Apart from some leaflets and a little bit of canvassing, the general election seems happy to let Leyton & Wanstead do its own thing.
The indications are that people are solidly behind Labour’s John Cryer, with the latest large-scale MRP study indicating that his position has strengthened during the campaign.
Despite some fake news graffiti (see above) it seems the parties are concentrating their campaigning efforts elsewhere, in more marginal constituencies.
★ There was however a flurry of confusion in Cranbourne Avenue and Newbury Court where residents were informed they were in the Ilford North constituency before corrected polling cards were issued. They are, as they have long been, part of Leyton and Wanstead.
A spokesperson for Redbridge Council told Wansteadium: “The error was quickly identified and resolved. Letters explaining the situation were hand delivered the following day to all affected electors, along with replacement poll cards and postal voting packs where appropriate. The streets named above were the only ones affected.”
★ An honourable mention should go to the independent candidate, Henry Scott, who has the distinction of being the youngest candidate in the whole country. He is 18 years old, grew up in Leytonstone and Wanstead, and is campaigning on backing Whipps Cross, stopping Brexit democratically, and climate action.
★ In terms of local interest, Chingford and Woodford Green is on many people’s lists of seats to watch. Iain Duncan Smith has been MP there since 1992 but is seen to be vulnerable to tactical voting. One of the tactical voting sites, Remain United, has the seat as 14th highest target seat. Based on 2017 figures, it requires under 1,000 to vote tactically to force an upset.
★ However you’re voting, we wish you a happy polling day. Photos of dogs at polling stations are welcome, as ever (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wanstead Climate Action, a group of residents who are warning about what needs to change to limit global warming, offered these re-written carols, written by @BinstedVillage, to make their case.
Jingle Bells / No More Flights No more flights no more flights absolutely none If you want to save the planet listen to our song oh! No more flights no more flights absolutely none If you want to save the planet listen to our song. Every time you fly/To the Med from London town It melts a chunk of Arctic Ice/As big as a house (per person!) * If you have to go/Take the train instead Or you could use Skype, attend/That meeting from your bed – hey!
No more flights no more flights absolutely none If you want to save the planet listen to our song oh! No more flights no more flights absolutely none If you want to save the planet listen to our song. *’Per person’ in the style of ‘ho ho ho’
Deck the Halls / Public Transport Deck the roads with bikes and buses Fa la la la laaa, la la, la la. Public transport for the masses, Fa la la la laaa, la la, la la. And about those tens of billions For new roads – it just won’t work! Traffic jams return in millions And the angry drivers go berserk.
See the blazing fires before us Fa la la la laaa, la la, la la. Worse each year, so join the chorus Fa la la la laaa, la la, la la. Time for Highways England’s sacking, Fa la la la laaa, la la, la la. Green New Deal is what we’re backing, Fa la la la laaa, la la, la la.
Good King Wenceslas / Sea of Plastic Good King Wenceslas looked out, On a sea of plastic Ban that single use right now That would be fantastic In our rivers in the sea In our drinking water Poisoning the food we eat And our sons and daughters
Hither page and stand by me, If thou knowst it telling, Who’s that sleeping in the street, Where and what his dwelling? Sire, he sleeps on plastic bags By a rubbish mountain Archways, doorways, are his home Rain his drinking fountain.
Bring me food and bring me drink Bring me warmth and shelter Bring me politicians here Tell them to do better Finding him a place to stay Must be our endeavour Through the rude wind’s wild lament And the bitter weather.
Sire the night is darker now And the wind blows stronger Fails my boat and it might sink I can go no longer. Rising oceans, war and drought Bring us more and faster Climate justice round the world That must be the answer.
We Wish you a Merry Christmas We wish for a healthy planet We wish for a healthy planet We wish for a healthy planet And a Green Deal New Year Glad tidings we bring to you and your kin We wish for a healthy planet And a Green Deal New Year
Now bring us a vegan pudding Now bring us a vegan pudding Now bring us a vegan pudding And jugs of good beer
12 days of Christmas (Crisis) On the Twelfth Day of Crisis the People want to see Governments all Actin’ Net Zero Carbon No Ice Caps meltin’ All Voices Singin’ Alarm Bells a Ringin’ No Sixth Extinction No More Floods Climate Justice Three Core Demands More Turtle Doves and A future that’s good for you and me
Volunteers and funding are being sought for a winter night shelter to run in the hall at Christ Church over the winter months. A £4,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund has been announced which will help meet the costs, and there is also a crowdfunder running to help.
Here the Rector of Wanstead, the Reverend Dr Jack Dunn, answers some questions about the project.
People think Wanstead is wealthy, but what is the homelessness situation here as far as you can tell?
The numbers are growing. The church is helping a growing number of homeless people and also people who have had their benefits suspended or stopped plus families who can’t make ends meet.
How will the night shelter work?
We will partner with FCENS who will provide a key worker to register the guests during the day and ensure that they are eligible for our help. The charity also works with guests to try to find long term accommodation solutions. Otherwise the local community provides volunteers to help cook and to serve dinner and to welcome guests and to stay over and serve breakfast and tidy up. The church provides the hall and the organisation and some of the volunteers. We are crowdfunding the finance. The shelter will sleep up to a total of 30 men and women per night.
Who are the intended clients for it, and if it’s for homeless people from outside Wanstead is there a risk of ‘importing’ a greater homelessness problem here?
The guests have to register with the FCENS charity first to gain admission to the shelter. They will come from a wide area. Homeless people don’t tend to have static locations. Some will be in work but not have accommodation and others may be long-term homeless.
At Wanstead from January 7 to the end of March on Tuesday evenings. A different church takers a night per week. The overall shelter runs from November to end of March but other churches take the Nov to December shift.
What will the arrangement be with other users of the premises (eg uniformed organisations)
The other users of the hall on Tuesday evening will continue to use the hall with appropriate safeguarding / practical provisions.
A winter shelter is a response to an acute problem, but what can people do to help the more chronic situation?
Lobby their councillors and MPs for meaningful change. Vote for the common good. Pray. In 2019/2020 it is unacceptable that people are still dying on our streets.
Nicola Jarratt adds:
Financial donations – Wanstead Parish are currently running a crowdfund campaign at the moment to raise funds. Over £5,000 has been raised to date including £2,000 from the Aviva Community Fund. Link here bit.ly/wansteadnightshelter
Food/toiletries/household items/clothes etc
* Lizi Arnold at The Cuckfield is collecting food items for both the shelter and Redbridge Foodbank, plus coats, hats, socks etc. for the shelter. She has an Amazon wish list running. * John Wagstaff at Petty Son & Prestwich are collecting food donations for both shelter and Redbridge Foodbank, plus good quality trainers for the night shelter