[picappgallerysingle id=”9380062″]Publication of Redbridge Life, the monthly council newspaper distributed free to houses in the borough, could be cut to once every three months under a plan to be announced by Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles (above).

Council-run newsletters, dubbed “town hall Pravdas” by some, have been criticised by owners of local newspapers for making their business harder. As well as meeting some appetite for local news, they are usually part-funded by advertising.

Thanks to a Freedom of Information request by L Barnett, it is known that 110,000 copies of Redbridge Life are printed each month, and that it has a readership of 250,000. In 2009/10 it was budgeted to cost £141,761, and up to last December, £17,810 of that had been offset by non-council adverts, including some from the NHS, TfL and universities and colleges. The council is aiming to save £4m from its budget this year, and had already been planning to cut the cost of Redbridge Life by £25,000.

Mr Pickles is reported by the Guardian to be about to believed to be about to announce a tightening of the rules. The paper reports:

Under the new rules, it is understood councils will only be allowed to publish free titles four times a year. They will also have to remove any content which appears to praise the council or endorse the quality of its local services, including quotes from local residents

More falls in house prices are expected in the coming months, according to at least one survey published this month. But according to one group of close observers, Wanstead appears to have bucked the trend.

On the House Price Crash website, poster Worzel wrote earlier this month that he and his wife had been looking for a house in Wanstead in 2006/7, but had been outbid. At the time the houses on the street he was looking at (unfortunately he doesn’t specify which streets) were being priced at £300k. He wrote:

Recent sales on the roads we were looking at had sales in July of this year for £410-£425k. So about 35ish % up from “peak”… The area in question is fairly close to the olympic site, but still, seems like madness to me for what are small 2/3 bed terraces in Zone 4 with leytonstone on one side, stratford to the south and Redbridge on the other side. The crash is not yet with us!

Fellow poster Miko responded that though he thought Wanstead had a lot going for it, he had found the prices staggering – he cited a three-bedroom semi with small side access to the back garden at £575k, and a larger four-bedroom semi at £725k. He wrote:

If i had taken a bet on Wanstead in 2006/7 I would have bet that the prices would have fallen by now. How wrong I would have been… I was working with a woman a little while back, and we were reading a property paper, she had been divorced a few years and had been forced to sell the house in Wanstead she was just a little short from being able to buy her ex-husband’s share and taking over the mortgage herself. So they sold and she bought a flat.While reading the paper she spotted her old house up for sale and the price that it was on at nearly bought her to tears.

Other posters say there might be an “Olympic effect” bolstering prices, though there is no clear reason why this should be the case, and some speculate that prices will crash in London next year. The numbers of sales are no doubt down on the busy times of the property boom, but the return of Churchill’s to Wanstead High Street hardly seems to be a signal that houses here are not selling. It’s no doubt the case that prices in some roads are holding up while others aren’t doing as well, but any specific examples Wansteadium readers can cite will be welcome, either in comments below or anonymously if you prefer, via e-mail: wansteadium[at]gmail.com. Below is a table, waiting to filled…

[table id=9 /]

Wansteadium reader Ego generously supplies the much-awaited report on the Queen’s British Steakhouse and Grill, writing:

Arriving a little under dressed and definitely punk completely failed to faze our head waiter. He seated us under a reproduction of the ‘God Save The Queen’ album cover, thus turning us into a feature of the very British theme.

The food can’t be recommended highly enough. Meat all sourced from the same farm in Yorkshire and brought to the table on a platter (with waiter’s patter) for your selection. Returning cooked just right, cutting like butter and certainly the best tasting I’ve had in recent memory. Buying British isn’t taken to silly extremes though, the wine list is international and covers all tastes.

The American Brat Pack background music didn’t work for me personally but that’s subjective and crooners are, at least, inoffensive. My own real disappointment was that the coffee did not meet the standard of the rest of the meal.

Slightly insipid coffee can be forgiven when the staff are as charming and the food such good value. The experience overall is well worth repeating.

Saturday is the last day of the first Wanstead Art Trail. Shops, cafes, hairdressers, pubs, and others on Wanstead High Street are hosting all sorts of artworks – but you will have to seize the day… Details here from the Wanstead Society.

In Wanstead. It’s like a bit of Wiltshire in East London.less than a minute ago via HTC Peep

With the opening of Wanstead’s Oxfam bookshop imminent, work is proceeding apace to get the former travel agents ready. A shop manager has been appointed, and 30 people have volunteered to help run the shop. Oxfam area manager Mark Appiah told Wansteadium they still needed another 10 people to join the rota; anyone interested can call him on 07717 541321.