Councillor Burgess

Councillor Allan Burgess has died and the whole of Wanstead has lost a Council representative who took an energetic interest in every aspect of the neighbourhood's wellbeing.

Councillor for Wanstead Ward, Allan was a regular attendee at Wanstead Society Committee meetings.

We shall sorely miss the energy and know-how with which he pursued issues we raised. Our sympathies to his family.

Wanstead Police Station

The station is now open from 7.00am-11.00pm Monday to Friday, 10.00am-6.00pm on Saturday and closed on Sunday.

The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) has announced that it will undertake a new appraisal of all the police stations in their area.

One weakness in keeping Wanstead police station is that the police authorities keep saying that it has a very low "foot fall". Our response has been that this is because residents believe that the station is rarely open and so do not try to visit it.

It is vital that the public visit the station as much as possible so that footfall increases before the new appraisal begins.

If you feel that you receive a poor response when you go to the station, please contact either George Roughley, the Wanstead sergeant or Kate O'Riordan, the Snaresbrook sergeant.

Tesco comes to town

So Tesco is after Woolworth’s old premises – where they plan one of their Tesco Express stores.

Does the thought fill you with pleasure? Or with concern, perhaps that our smaller shops will suffer and eventually become empty?

It is said there is nothing can be done to stop Tesco and maybe you feel “okay, that’s life – the strong guy wins”.

If, however, you think there could be a detrimental effect to our area, you may at the very least wish your representatives to know how you feel.

Unfortunately, by ‘your representatives’, do not think we mean your local councillors or even your Council. They haven’t a say because Tesco’s business, as was Woolworth’s, is A1 (retail). It doesn’t represent a change of use therefore does not have to secure planning permission, other than for the signage which must meet Conservation Area rules.

Plenty of residents are content about this – better than a fast-food chain or a discount shop, they think. Others fear parking problems and increased deliveries that may accrue in and behind the High Street. Some are concerned about the possible future expansion of this powerful store.

Not long ago The Wanstead Society backed the Evening Standard’s SAVE OUR SMALL SHOPS campaign. We were given hundreds of your signatures which were passed to our Council. They supported the movement and also the allied Sustainable Small Communities Bill but, without having signed up to use the Act which came into effect in October 2007, their 'support' is meaningless.

It would be helpful for us as a residents’ community group, to know how you feel. If overall, there are concerns, we would submit our evidence to our local MP and to Central Government. Of course you may feel otherwise. Please say that, too.

What practical impact – good or bad – do you think Tesco will have on Wanstead? Do you think that a planning law which does not allow you or your council a say – as when a change of occupant does not represent a 'change of use' – need amendment?

Please leave your comments.

Stephen Alsop

The WS joins with its many members who've expressed sadness at the recent death of Steve Alsop, our High Street butcher.

Steve will be much missed by hundreds of Wansteadians.

His shop – still known as Dennis the Butcher after its former owner with whom Steve trained – will continue to serve us in the care of Steve's son (also Steve), with the help of long-term assistant, Pam.

Our sympathies to Steve's family.