wansteadguardian

• Wanstead’s role in the running of Redbridge Council has increased with the appointment of Wanstead Conservative Councillor Alex Wilson to the Redbridge ‘cabinet’ – the executive part of the council. Now three of the nine councillors on the cabinet are Wanstead Conservatives (Alex Wilson, Thomas Chan and Michelle Dunn) following the resignation of Cllr Sue Nolan, who is admittedly a Snaresbrook councillor. (If you’re expecting Wansteadium to assess whether this shift in the balance of power is going to have big effect on the governance of Redbridge, you must be new here.)

• So it may or may not be good news for residents of Wellington Road who are planning to be out in force at the Area One committee on Monday evening – after they got word that their campaign to stop or slow through-traffic had not succeeded. Motorists coming down Hermon Hill cut down Nelson Road and go on to Wellington Road to avoid the traffic lights at the junction with the High Street. Except on Mondays when the bin lorry completely blocks the road, and said motorists curse, slam into reverse and retrace their tracks. Residents say 60 cars a day speed down the road at up to 70mph.

• Congratulations to Keatings Jewellers on Wanstead High Street which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. And congratulations also to nearby Santa Fe which has marked its 20th anniversary.

• And at the other end of the High Street, it’s reported in the Wanstead Guardian that the owner of the buildings which house Snaresbrook Cars and the much loved Ironing Board outside Snaresbrook Station has applied for permission to demolish the buildings and put the business into temporary cabins. More here.

• Meanwhile reviews of the delicacies on offer at BBQ Express, Wanstead’s favourite talking point, after it apparently opened. The tweet and photograph below were posted on Friday night by Uzii Shaban who uses the hashtag #boss. But Uzii seems inadvertently to have posted a picture of a different branch of BBQ Express since as we all know, Wanstead’s sign now has no flames and is not illuminated as in the picture. Maybe the photo of the real thing just didn’t do it justice.


• And finally, the new subscribers keep on coming. At the time of writing there were 352 people who had signed up to receive Wansteadium by e-mail. Each morning, on those days when we have published a new entry, they get a beautiful and fascinating e-mail with which to wow their friends and colleagues. You can join them by signing up here.

Hurrah for the Wanstead and Woodford Guardian, which has been named as the UK’s local paper with the largest INCREASE in circulation for the first six months of 2011 – a whopping 27.1% boost.

Just seven per cent of local newspapers in the country saw circulation increases – for most of them it’s a time of relentless decline, with some seeing double-digit falls. A combination of readers and advertisers migrating to the internet, general advertising gloom and economic conditions are meaning that even some free papers are being closed by owners.

The Wanstead Guardian has achieved its increase despite all this, and competition from the Woodford edition of the Recorder, which is available free in Wanstead. The good news is however somewhat tempered by the fact that the circulation, following the increase, stands at a relatively modest 4,354 each week.

Wansteadium readers will no doubt have various theories as to the cause of the increase, which you are welcome to share here.

The Wanstead Guardian now has a story about the raiding and closure of the Wanstead Sauna, due (as Wansteadium pictured last week) to a magistrates order following “activities relating to one or more specified prostitution offences”.

Regular commenter on the paper’s stories, Rubbernecker of Walthamstow, comments:

Not that I have been there, honest, but I am told by a friend who also has not been there that this place has been there for over 40 years and if this is an example of ‘swift action’ by police to stamp out crime we have no hope!

He raises an interesting point – just how long has Wanstead Sauna been in business? Anyone who knows can e-mail in confidence to wansteadium[at]gmail.com

BBC London has an election cab, and on its first day it visited Wanstead. The team behind it tweeted:

@BBCLondonCab: talking to locals on Gordon (geddit?) Road in Wanstead – feeling here is politicians are all the same…

Meanwhile, according to a Wanstead Guardian article by the inestimable Claire Hack, the polls could be for an upset. According to a straw poll of people in Wanstead, the election will be as follows:

Labour: 0 votes
BNP: 1 vote
UKIP: 1 vote
Conservative: Possibly 1 vote
Liberal Democrat: Possibly 1 vote
Undecided: 1
Abstain: 1

This would obviously be a disaster for Labour, representing a decline from a 48.5% share of the vote in 2005, but of course that was when the constituency had slightly different boundaries, so perhaps that’s what has made the difference.

BBC News is reporting two arrests over the deaths of 80 birds and a dog at Alexandra Lake. At the time of writing, the BBC is saying that the two men, aged 35 and 27, were arrested in the Forest Gate area at 8am on suspicion of breaching pesticide control regulations, and were taken for questioning at an east London police station. Meanwhile Wanstead birder Jonathan Lethbridge today reported the death of another bird, a coot, which he has pictured on his blog.

Police told the Wanstead Guardian:

“Despite today’s arrests, analysis of samples taken from the scene last week has not yet been completed by the Veterinary Laboratory Agency (VLA) and it is too early to confirm the animals’ cause of death. All of them died in the area around Alexandra Lake on Wanstead Flats, Aldersbrook Road, or after spending time in the vicinity soon before their deaths. Officers are working with counterparts from Natural England and City of London Forest Keepers in an attempt to establish the circumstances of the deaths. The land around the lake remains cordoned off and dog walkers are requested to keep their pets on a lead in the surrounding area for their own protection.”

Great to see the Wanstead Guardian has noticed Wanteadium’s Pot Idol competition. It’s a few weeks ago now since those first photos were published – it was just after the worst of the snow (this BBC story explains graphically why snow and frost cause potholes) – and to give credit where it’s due, the council has now patched them up. There are still some nasty examples around Wanstead that you wouldn’t want to come across on two wheels, though. If you want to nominate any cases, either leave a comment here, on our Facebook page, or put it on Flickr with a tag “wanstead”.

Only for the hardy: Nelson Rd hole now filled

And if you are feeling really constructive, you can use the MySociety FixMyStreet service to report to the council any potholes needing repair.