Latest designs for Whipps Cross


Updated designs for the new Whipps Cross Hospital – due to be completed in 2026 – have been released by Barts Health NHS Trust.

“The community is asked to provide feedback to help shape the hospital… A planning application is due to be submitted to Waltham Forest Council this spring,” said a spokesperson.

Virtual public discussions on the designs will take place on 2 and 4 March.



Redbridge Council and the police to co-host crime webinar

British police crowd controlPolice in hi-visibility jackets policing crowd control

The Leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Jas Athwal, and Borough Commander Stephen Clayman will be hosting a live webinar on 1 December to discuss their approach to tackling crime.

Councillor Athwal and Mr Clayman will highlight the initiatives the police and the council have rolled out to tackle local crime hotspots and update residents on how they have been dealing with domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour in the borough.

They will also be joined by Stephen Addison, founder of the social enterprise BoxUp Crime and the police burglary prevention team, who will be sharing their top tips on protecting your home this winter.

“Tackling crime in Redbridge is one of our council’s top priorities. We are working closely with the local police to prevent criminal behaviour and to catch perpetrators but we want to hear from local people. This public virtual meeting is a great opportunity to hear about new anti-crime initiative and tips to keeping safe over the winter and to ask any questions you might have. Everyone is welcome to ask questions during the meeting but to make sure we get a chance to answer them all, please submit questions in advance if you can,” said Councillor Athwal.

To submit a question, email by 27 November.

Residents can watch the webinar on 1 December, from 6 pm to 7 pm.


Chutneys for charity: brother and sister sell condiment for good causes


A brother and sister from South Woodford are raising money for Cancer Research UK and Great Ormond Street Hospital by making and selling chutneys to order.

“During this festive season, our chutneys will make lovely Christmas gifts while helping raise money for fantastic causes! There is a good variety to choose from – including apple, plum, mango and tomato – and they will go perfectly with your crackers after a heavy Christmas dinner!” said Dina and Riad Hoque, aged 17 and 13 respectively.



South Woodford youth organisation welcomes Prince of Wales as patron


South Woodford based JLGB (Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade) marked the Jewish New Year in September by announcing that The Prince of Wales has agreed to become their patron.

“Our amazing youngsters have shown they are ready to be the leaders of today, for today. They are what our community needs, and we want to bring them to the fore. It’s an absolute honour to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales, as he has always been a tremendous believer in the power of young people to support their communities,” said a spokesperson.


Plans to renovate and reopen Woodford Green Library


Woodford Green Library has been selected for a makeover.

“This will include redecoration and refurbishment and rewiring throughout, bringing the library up to the standard of the other refurbished libraries in the borough. Plans are still in development, but there is a possibility of additional services opening,” said a Redbridge Council spokesperson. The library is expected to reopen in the new year. In the meantime, residents are advised to visit South Woodford Library or use the online library service.



Redbridge Local Lottery launch


The South Woodford Society will be one of the beneficiaries of a new lottery launching in the borough on 19 December (tickets go on sale from 10 November).

Redbridge Local Lottery is a Redbridge Council initiative, with a £25,000 weekly jackpot. “From every £1 ticket sold, 60p will go to local good causes in the Redbridge area to improve our community,” said a spokesperson.



South Woodford Gardeners plant 500 bulbs ready for spring


Members of the South Woodford Gardeners took part in Redbridge Council’s Big Planting Weekend in October.

“We were pleased to be given 200 daffodil bulbs and 300 tulip bulbs by the council. We started by planting some in George Lane, and the rest will be planted in the beds on the bridge over the A406. Look out for them next spring,” said Jane Turner.

The annual Big Bulb Giveaway – which saw over 40,000 spring-flowering bulbs distributed across the borough – is designed to help improve local neighbourhoods.


Winter protection


Back in July, Adem Esen from Wiseman Lee explained the changes to residential tenancies caused by COVID-19. With more changes now in force ahead of winter, the local solicitor provides an update

Since my last article in the July edition, there have been further changes to residential tenancies. Landlords or their agents must now give tenants six months’ notice before they can start eviction proceedings, except in the most serious of cases, such as incidents of antisocial behaviour and domestic abuse. This change came into effect on 1 September.

Possession notices served on or before 28 August are not affected by these changes and must be for at least three months.

Exceptions apply for the worst cases to seek possession. These are antisocial behaviour (now four weeks’ notice), domestic abuse (now two to four weeks’ notice), over six months’ accumulated rent arrears (now four weeks’ notice) and breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (now three months’ notice).

In addition, new court rules have been agreed to confirm landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Where this information is not provided, judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings.

“We have developed a package of support for renters to ensure they continue to be protected over winter. I have changed the law so that renters are protected by a six-month notice period until March 2021… These changes will support landlords to progress the priority cases while keeping the public safe over winter. We will keep these measures under review and decisions will continue to be guided by the latest public health advice,” said Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.

Jenrick added: “We are conscious of the pressure on landlords during this difficult time and do not want to exacerbate this. Of course, it is important that tenants who are able to do so must continue to pay their rent.”

With the introduction of the new notice periods, the government has recognised that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. The effect of this is that the duration of a Notice Seeking Possession will differ depending upon which ground you are relying upon and, essentially, the rent arrears cases where the arrears are more than six months old, as well as antisocial behaviour cases, can be progressed more quickly than other types of cases.

In business rent cases, the freeze on landlords taking action for non-payment of rent has been further extended until 31 December 2020. However, commercial tenants are encouraged to pay their rent where possible.

Wiseman Lee is located at 9–13 Cambridge Park, Wanstead, E11 2PU. For more information, call 020 8215 1000

Floating ideas


Rising at Molehill Green in Essex, the River Roding passes through the Wanstead and Woodford area en route to the Thames, bringing with it a very real flood risk to local homes. In the 11th of a series of articles, Nina Garner from the Environment Agency reports on the River Roding Project, which aims to reduce that risk. Photo by Geoff Wilkinson

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how important it is to take care of our vulnerable neighbours. In England, there are over five million homes at risk of flooding, many of which are home to vulnerable people who may be worse affected during and after a flooding event.

We know the effects of flooding, physical and mental, can last for years after a flood has happened, so by looking out for your neighbours, you can help your loved ones and the community recover more quickly.

In our previous articles, we have emphasised the importance of being prepared and being more resilient. As winter nears, here is a reminder of some positive actions you can take.

Create a personal flood plan
This will help to protect you, your loved ones and your possessions.

Help us establish a flood action group
This brings the local community together to talk about local flooding issues and helps to form a proactive group of residents that can support each other during an emergency.

It doesn’t matter if you’re at work, retired, need additional mobility help or just generally have limited time – it’s great to get involved in any way you can. Even if you don’t live in a flood risk area, your help can be valuable in helping others respond without the worry that your own property is in danger.

Help your community prepare for flooding
Are you part of a local group? Whether that be a religious group, a running club, a dog walking group, a book club or something else, could you help share our messages?

Staggeringly, only a third of people who live in areas at risk of flooding believe their property is at risk! And with climate change already causing more frequent, intense flooding, we all need to know what to do in a flood. Even small actions like encouraging your neighbours to sign up to flood warnings can be a massive help and save lives.

Create a community flood plan
A really great way to help protect your community from the worst effects of flooding can be to create a community flood plan. These plans can help you decide what practical actions to take before, during and after a flood, ultimately reducing the damage the flooding can cause. This requires your help and local knowledge.

The immediate effects of climate change mean flooding is predicted to happen more frequently, so it is more important than ever to get involved.

If you have any ideas, big or small, about how we can raise awareness of flood risk in your local community, please get in touch. Or, if you’d like to find out more information about how you can help, please do let us know.

River Roding Project update
The River Roding Project team are busy progressing the detail designs. The team recently visited a neighbouring Environment Agency flood storage area, to make sure we are feeding best practice and learn valuable lessons from the team who look after the structure into our design.

We have also been preparing the Flood Risk Activity Permits to start digging archaeological trial trenches in November at the upstream site in Essex. This will help us to explore the site in more detail to see if there are any historic environmental assets on site. By doing these investigations, we can ensure that any archaeological heritage is preserved at the site.

Please keep an eye out for upcoming River Roding Project engagement events in March or April 2021.

To find out if your property is a flood risk, visit
To register for flood warnings, visit
To check the River Roding webcam, visit
For more information on the River Roding Project, visit or call 0370 850 6506

Future for Whipps


In the sixth of a series of articles looking at the redevelopment of Whipps Cross Hospital, Charlotte Monro discusses sustainability and explains why nature and biodiversity are vital for the new building

With the architect team appointed, the design of the new hospital is now under way. A series of public virtual meetings are being held by Barts Health NHS Trust. And Action 4 Whipps community campaign is up and running, fighting for the hospital we need, along with a sustainability-focused action group. 

Ryder Architecture are leading the design team and have partnered with Hoare Lea as the sustainability advisors. All of us who have been calling for the new hospital to be net zero-carbon and designed to the highest sustainability and well-being standards can, I believe, be happy to have had some influence on this selection.

Hoare Lea has worked closely with the UK Green Building Council in developing a net zero-carbon framework for building. Through the Green at Barts health staff group I met with James Ford – the company’s lead for sustainability, who said just how significant a project Whipps is – and Chris Pottage, who contributed to the World Green Building Council research on health well-being and productivity in offices. Chris is determined that staff work areas must be designed to the highest standards for their well-being, something he has seen commonly neglected in hospital builds.

Building for net zero-carbon is a step-change, to which, said James, the building industry is responding. Health and well-being is integral to sustainability, and they both emphasised their belief, backed by a fast-growing body of research, in how important nature and biodiversity are for human well-being.

During the first of a series of public meetings by Barts Health Trust last month, we had a glimpse of possible designs for the hospital, to be located where the old nurses’ home currently stands. All the options appeared to offer access to outside views throughout the building, in contrast to the monolithic block type design of the Royal London. It was good to hear from Paul Bell, lead architect, talking of the building orientation to bring in the warmth of the sun and light, and the value of green space and biodiversity. However, many of us in the audience noticed what appeared to be minimal green space allocated around the hospital itself, and are asking if enough of the site is being retained for healthcare use and future expansion.

The strongest concern was over too few beds. People found the level of optimism in the presentations as to how far the need for hospital care will be avoided through improvements to community services to be “at odds with the reality on the ground”.

Neither a hospital of the right size for our growing population, nor a zero-carbon hospital will happen without us fighting for it. You too can get involved in the campaigns.

For information on future public meetings and to get involved, email

Amazing grazing

DSCF3286©Geoff Wilkinson

John Philips, Grazing and Landscape Projects Officer at Epping Forest, reports on the City of London Corporation’s successful cattle-grazing trial in Wanstead Park. Photo by Geoff Wilkinson   

In our modern world, there is a huge disconnect between the natural world, farming activities and the end-users who benefit from them. A generation or two ago, the memories will be stored of working the land, if only in the summer holidays as a reprieve from city life. This transmission of custodianship and behaviours around these land-based activities have sadly become a distant memory.

The social impact of the cows’ presence in Wanstead Park surpassed our expectations.  We had a huge response from local people wanting to get involved with the cows and have been continually taken back by the positive response from regular park users and visitors alike.

The park is not only a refuge for wildlife in an urban area but also for its local people. Getting to work with these large animals daily, it is not lost on me, the calming effect of seeing them in a natural environment, existing, free from the trappings of the human’s higher sense of self and expectation.   

The cows’ main job while in the park was to remove vegetation created from the carbon cycle and return it as plant and insect food. This removal around the anthills is especially important to allow solar energy to penetrate the earth to warm up the hills.

Acid grasslands are at risk and diminishing due to nitrification through air pollution and dog faeces, which allows more aggressive, faster-growing plant species to proliferate. The cows help reduce the vegetational mass in a patchwork, reducing competition for sunlight, which allows for slower-growing plants and grasses to survive. This patchwork of varying heights also creates habitat for insects to breed, hunt and perch.

The cows – Quinine, Nina and Nuru – have moved on now, having completed their work. Quinine – who is pregnant – will head back to our farm in Theydon Bois and will graze in adjacent fields to the buildings until she calves. Nuru and Nina are not pregnant, so will travel to Chingford Plain to graze until ground conditions start to deteriorate.

The trial has been a huge success and has secured grazing becoming an annual fixture at Wanstead Park, managed by the City of London Corporation. We would like to thank everyone involved, especially volunteers and local park users, including dog walkers who have had to modify their use of the park to help make this a success.

For more information on cattle-grazing in Wanstead Park, visit

Good neighbours


In the first of two articles, Sadayeen Khan, secretary of Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch (NHW), explains the group’s purpose and why their objectives are more than just tackling crime

Redbridge NHW is a registered charity run by volunteers from within the community. Anyone living, working or studying in Redbridge is welcome to become a member (free). We use Online Watch Link (OWL), a secure email system, to send out security, crime prevention and other advisory emails to our members.

Our volunteers care for our communities and environment. Prevention is better than cure; therefore, we encourage early action to avoid being a victim of crime and suffering the associated financial and emotional costs, and saving the time and stress to put things right again.

We are not the police, nor are we a reporting arm of the police. Therefore, we remind and encourage the public to call 999, 101 or report crimes on the or websites, or through the ‘Report It’ section of the Redbridge Council website.

Redbridge NHW asks members and their neighbours to keep an eye out for each other and report suspicious behaviour, characters and wrongdoing, by calling the police or informing the council. We encourage members and our communities to look out and watch out for our neighbours, especially the elderly and vulnerable; to support each other and keep their environment clean and tidy. It makes the areas more pleasant to live in and discourages criminality.

We encourage the use of anti-thief and security devices for the home and vehicles, including dash cams, CCTV and doorbell cameras as a means of monitoring and as a deterrent rather than being curtain twitchers. This technology allows people to call the police immediately if they witness an event, or later when the criminals have long gone but have been captured committing crimes.

The electoral boundaries in Redbridge changed in 2018, creating Churchfields, South Woodford, Wanstead Village and Wanstead Park wards. Once the information relating to these changes was available to us, we adapted quickly and have most definitely moved on with interaction with new councillors and redrawn police teams, new IT and automation, whilst still maintaining a human touch through good-old means of communications.

Whilst we are not the police, we do actively communicate with them to inform members of what kind of crimes or criminals are active in their areas. We are also in touch with other charities and can liaise with them if and when needed.

The Redbridge NHW website includes crime prevention advice, discount codes on crime prevention products and useful links to partner organisations. For more information, and to join (free), visit