Fresh into the new year and the Wanstead Society has been asking its members what we can do to make Where we live a better place in 2019. The message we got from our AGM was clear; to campaign for three basic things:
- Cleaner and greener streets
- Better health care services
- More policing in Wanstead
The Society is, first and foremost, a charity which seek to work with those in power to protect and improve Wanstead, Snaresbrook and Aldersbrook. Although we have some funds which we use to plant trees, maintain flower beds or fund litter picks we are clearly limited in our scope and projects. But we aim to do what we can to meet our members asks.
Cleaner and greener streets
We continue to support and fund the Wanstead Community Gardeners who do a fantastic job in maintaining lots of individual areas with native wild flowers. Without these volunteers our bio-diversity would decline even further, and we would lose precious green space. Our aim is also to ensure the Council replaces any dead, damaged or diseased street trees. These spaces may only be small but they offer vital life to bugs and bees which in turn help support native wildlife. We have invited our local Councillors to our February meeting to ask for an update on this, and discuss how we can work with the Council to protect and grow local green space in Wanstead
Better health care services
Over the last 25 years the population of Wanstead has increased, but our health care provision has gotten smaller. Wanstead Hospital has closed and we know that King Georges and Whipps Cross, while not in Wanstead, are vital to our health care and we aim to work with other groups to ensure their viability. Fortunately we have a practising nurse on our Committee who is providing ideas on how we can lobby to improve our health care provision and in November we met with Redbridge’s Cllr Neil Zammett who sits on the Councils Health Scrutiny Committee to seek ways in which we can work together to bring more NHS funding to Wanstead.
More policing in Wanstead
Since 2013 Wanstead has had no police station and although London has almost a quarter of the UK’s police force, it is no secret that police numbers have fallen across Britain. There is very little we, as an organisation, can do to improve police numbers. But we do attend regular meetings of the police and try to distribute advice they give through the Safer Neighbourhoods forums – because prevention is always better than cure. However, next year there are GLA and Mayoral elections and we will raise this issue with those seeking election. A clear message must be, we need more police and the police need more funds. This we can do through our lobbying campaigns and by organising political hustings when elections come around.