Highams Park Forum
A group of local people all interested in the betterment of life in their area.

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of last meeting

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Minutes of meetings will be placed on this web page when approved by attendees.
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Looking up: An old oak tree putting
on leaf near the lake









Minutes of meeting Monday 15th June 2015 (Approved)




Trevor Calver, Jeff Beaton, Steve Webb, Cllr Marion Fitzgerald, Cllr Paul Braham, Alina Harris, Mike Reddy, Anne Haines, Nicolas Haines, Cllr Tony Bell, Oliver Shykles, Mike Payne, Roger Gillham, Mark Herring


Roger Torode, Mary Wilson, John Kear, Mary Dunhill, Gordon Turpin


1)         Welcomes & Introductions

Oliver Shykles chaired the meeting and Mike Payne took the minutes


2)         Matters arising from minutes of meeting 27th April 2015

There were no matters arising.


3)         Protecting Rights of Way in Highams Park


The council is responsible for maintaining a formal document known as "The Definitive Map and Statement" (DMS).  The purpose of the document can be summarised as follows:


"The DMS is a legal record of the public's rights of way in one of four categories (footpath, bridleway, road used as a public path, or byway open to all traffic).  If a way is shown on the map, then that is legal, or conclusive, evidence that the public had those rights along the way at the relevant date of the map (and has them still, unless there has been a legally authorised change). But the reverse is not true."


For various historical reasons and failures in record keeping over many years it has been suggested that the DMS for Waltham Forest is incomplete/inaccurate.  Forum members have agreed that the Forum should be instrumental in having known rights of way in the Highams Park area included in the DMS to ensure that footpaths and cycle ways are not accidentally lost during developments.


MR has started the process by marking up rights of ways known to him on a map of Highams Park.  He showed this to attendees.  MP handed over a list of local rights of ways from The Ramblers and MR agreed to check these against the map to ensure all were included.


It was agreed that the map should be displayed at Highams Park Day (see item 4 below) so visitors to the event can suggest any paths that have been omitted.  Cllr PB offered to generate a large (A0) copy of the marked up map for this purpose if MR sends him a PDF of it.


4)         The Forum's tent/stall at Display at Highams Park Day (Sat 11thJuly)

The Forum will have two adjoining tents at Highams Park Day.  A green one loaned by MP and a red and white one loaned by MD.  Mary Wilson and Jen Stallwood have kindly volunteered to do face painting in the red and white tent.  This has proved very popular in the past; while the children have their faces painted, the adults can browse our display in the green tent and chat to members.


The meeting discussed possible subjects for the display:

·         Footpaths/right of way map (per item 3 above).  Invite visitors to comment/add.

·         Photos of scenes in Highams Park (we would need to send out an appeal to residents for suitable photos)

·         A section orientated towards newcomers to the area showing what is going on, Highams Park websites and social media, and how to get involved.

·         The Winchester Road Traffic Calming scheme as a case study of effective consultation with residents.

·         A railway theme, current and historic:

o    Display a large version of the new tube map which now includes Highams Park.

o    Have some pocket sized tube maps for people to take away.

o    The different names of Highams Park Station over time.

o    The recent proposals for the inside of the signal box

o    Explain the improvements to the line, station, and service following the recent takeover by LOROL/TfL.

·         If was initially suggested that "Mini Holland" (the council's scheme for road changes to assist cycling)  might make an interesting display but it was felt that this was better left to the HP Planning Group who had been doing a lot of work on cycling routes.


It was suggested that if LOROL/TfL had a stall at the day to promote the line and the changes they are making, visitors would find it very interesting.  MP agreed to explore this idea further.


Cllr PB offered to print a large version of the tube map.  MP will forward a PDF.


The following volunteered to assist in the creation of the display and running it on the day:

Alina Harris, Steve Webb, Mary Wilson, Mary Dunhill, Mike Payne, Oliver Shykles


It was agreed that the volunteers would meet Tuesday 23rd June (7:30pm in The County Arms) to review the above list of ideas for the display, to firm up details, and agree who does what.  We have not charged for face painting in the past but it has been suggested that we might levy a small charge or perhaps have a collecting box for an optional donation.  The group will need to discuss this.


5)         TfL Takeover of the Chingford to Liverpool Street line and the caging at Walthamstow Central Station

Following on from discussions at a previous Forum meeting, RT reports (via MP) that TfL have listened to residents and are going to change the unpopular modifications to passenger flows at Walthamstow Central train station.  The "cage" on the Chingford bound platform will be removed, the automatic gates at the top of the Victoria line escalators will be moved into the tunnel which goes to the bus station, and the Victoria line entrance which was recently bricked up on the Liverpool Street bound platform will be reopened.  This will make things much easier for people changing from Overground to Underground and vice versa.  To enter the station to use either service will require passing through one barrier but there will be no need to pass through a barrier to change services.


Attendees reported some teething problems immediately following the TfL/LOROL takeover of the line at the end of May (cancellations and short trains) but most of the news is now good:


·         Attendees were very complimentary about the helpful staff on the platform.

·         The late night train (just before midnight) that didn't stop at Highams Park will now stop.

·         Improvements to the pedestrian underpass are planned.

·         RG reported that it is planned to run full length trains (8 carriages) all the time during the week, with short trains only being used at weekends.

·         The locations of CCTV cameras will be reviewed and they will be monitored in real time.

·         60+ and Freedom Passes can now be used at any time (not limited to after 9:30am).


Although some fares have been reduced as a result of the takeover, attendees were unclear as to the impact on the fare to Liverpool Street only.  Prior to the takeover, this fare was less that a zone 4 to zone 1 fare.


It was hoped that efforts will be made to deal with the windswept rubbish that gathers around the level crossing barrier motors.


6)         Information received

·       The Highams Park Festival will take place 9th to 26th July and will comprise over 50 exhibitions and events.  Full details can be found by visiting www.highamsparkfestival.com

·       Next Community Ward Forum meeting for Hatch Lane Ward and Hale End & Highams Park Ward is on Wednesday, 24 June 2015, 6.30 for 7pm, at All Saints' Church in Church Avenue, E4 9PF.

Items on the agenda include:

·         Cllr Clare Coghill - Cabinet Member for High Street and Regeneration 

Talk and questions.

·         Xylonite Arts - Highams Park Arts Festival from 9th to 26th July

A brief on the Arts Festival.

·         Winchester Road traffic

Talk on the Winchester Road traffic calming by lead resident.                                          

·         Neighbourhood Model

A brief on the new system by Gareth Jones - Head of North Neighbourhood Team. There will be opportunities for questions.

·          Hatch Lane Ward, Hale End & Highams Park Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT)

An update on the update on SNT's activities in the ward, there will be an opportunity for questions.

·         Fostering in LBWF

An introduction on fostering and "how to" become a foster carer.

·         Information - Highams Park Day on Saturday 11th July

·         Questions to Ward Councillors

(The Chair leads this session of community discussion, this is an opportunity for residents to raise any issues of local concern and of local interest)


7)         Brief Updates:

·         HP Plan update

MP reported for GT:  Multiple streams of work in progress but a key activity of the Planning Group currently is the creation of 5 questionnaires to ask residents their opinions on a number of topics to ensure that the Planning Group is properly representing their views.  The questionnaires are available to complete online by visiting the Planning Group website (highamsparkplan.org) and following the link on the left hand side of the home page. 


All readers of these minutes are encouraged to complete the questionnaires and to pass on the message to any neighbours who would not otherwise know.

·         Chingford Lane Crossing (safety improvements to the forest crossing point near The Avenue junction)

Cllr Fitzgerald expressed disappointment that getting this work started was taking so long.  She has been advised that some of the delay has resulted from both sides (LBWF and Corporation of the City of London) expanding the scale of the project to achieve additional objectives (e.g. access to the Golf Course area for Fire Engines in the event of a forest fire).

·         Shurgard fencing

OS has been advised that there will be no fencing on the Larkshall Road side of the building.  The current fencing at that point (which had concerned some residents) will be removed at the end of the build phase.

·         Empty retail outlets on Larkshall Road between Wilton Place and Coolgardie Avenue

As reported at the last meeting, some of these were being used unlawfully for storage.  LBWF enforcement have now dealt with this.  OS was pleased to see that one unit is currently being prepared for use as a business (details currently unknown).


8)         Action List: Review of outstanding items

The Action List was reviewed and updated.  Copy distributed separately from these minutes.


9)         Any other business

·         One attendee asked "Where did the Mulberry Tree go?"  This tree was "in the wrong place" when the Tesco store was being built and was scheduled to be moved.  Attendees were unclear as to what happened to it.  OS agreed to investigate.

·         Some new trees along the boundary of Wilton Place had been unlawfully girdled to cause them to die back (presumably because they were taking light from a nearby property).  OS agreed to highlight this to the Housing Association responsible.

·         Highams Park now has a dedicated LBWF enforcement officer (Emmanuel Banton) as part of the new Neighbourhood Teams reorganisation.   Attendees received this news warmly, especially as this is not a traditional 9-5 post and will allow the officer to survey problems and deal with them out of normal office hours.

·         TC highlighted the "Summer Transition Club for Dyslexic Pupils", Monday 27 to Friday 31 July 2015 10am to 3pm.  OS agreed to make people aware via the Forum's social media.  More information can be found by an internet search using the words in quotation marks above.

·         JB reported that when reporting defects online to LBWF, Highams Park postcodes are still coming up as "Chingford".

10)     Items for next agenda

No items were put forward at this time.


11)     Confirm date, time for next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Monday 27th July 2015 at 7:30pm in the Selwyn Lounge, All Saints Church, Church Avenue.

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