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

Latest minutes

of last meeting

Please Note:
Minutes of meetings will be placed on this web page when approved by attendees.
This will usually be approximately two weeks after the meeting.

Looking up: An old oak tree putting
on leaf near the lake









Minutes of meeting Monday 27th April 2015 (Approved)




Nicolas Haines, Anne Haines, Jeff Beaton, Oliver Shykles, Mark Herring, Gordon Turpin


Mary Dunhill, Trevor Calver, Cllr Tony Bell, Roger Torode, Oona Kelly, Cllr Tim James, John Kear, Cllr Marion Fitzgerald, Cllr Sheree Rackham, Cllr Paul Braham, Mary Wilson, Danny Hunt, Mike Payne


1)         Welcomes & Introductions

Oliver Shykles chaired the meeting.


Mike Payne (Secretary) was unable to attend and sent apologies for absence, so OS agreed to take notes of the meeting and MP converted the notes to these formal minutes after the meeting.


MP had provided OS with the above list of "apologies" received from 13 people. Councillors were all otherwise engaged on activities relating to the forthcoming General Election. Other members were unavailable for a variety of reasons. The unusually low attendance was just an unfortunate coincidence of events.


2)         Matters arising from minutes of meeting 9th March 2015

JB asked OS if there was any update on the fencing around the storage facility which is being built on Larkshall Road, OS confirmed the fencing was temporary and would be removed once the building work is complete.


3)         Protecting Rights of Way in Highams Park

[Attendees to mark up map (based on HP Planning Group boundary) with known rights of way]


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.


The intention of this agenda item was for attendees to work together to mark up a paper map with rights of way known to them. Due to the low attendance it was considered sensible to postpone this to the next meeting (15th June) so more members could contribute.


It was hoped that the Forum's map with footpaths marked on it could be shown to residents at Highams Park Day (11th July) and residents there could be asked if they can spot any paths that are missing.


4)         Effectiveness of Waltham Forest Direct service (Online and by phone)

[What's your experience of using it? Did it resolve the problem?]

Most people at the meeting said they didn't use Waltham Forest Direct and therefore had no experience of the service. JB said that it was better when people could phone different departments directly rather than going through a centralised system. OS said he reports numerous issues in the area but uses FixMyStreet.com to report things as this system keeps a publicly available log of reports and scores Councils against one another in terms of their ability to solve the reported problems.

5)         Cigarette butts outside offices from smoking breaks.

Areas highlighted for excessive cigarette butts being dropped on the floor were:


         Outside the County Arms.

         Outside TSS Security.

         In the alleyway from The Avenue to the back of the GP Surgery on Handsworth Avenue.

6)         Brookfield Path (where it bridges the river Ching) noticed as regular location for fly tipping and discarded stolen goods. Can CCTV be arranged?

Attendees discussed the path but had not noticed a particular problem there, vis-a-vis fly-tipping elsewhere in the area.

7)         Information received

         GT was pleased to confirm that a new information board had been installed by the Council on the little Green opposite the Royal Oak.

         OS advised attendees that the next Community Ward Forum meeting for Hatch Lane Ward and Hale End & Highams Park Ward will be on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 at 7pm (doors open at 6.30pm) and is taking place at All Saints' Church in Church Avenue, E4 9PF.

8)         Brief Updates:

         Chingford Lane crossing: GT advised this project seems to have stalled, GT to continue chasing. GT raised a concern that, with spring, the undergrowth was causing further decreases in visibility.

9)         Action List: Review of outstanding items

Due to time pressure at the meeting, the Action List was not reviewed. MP will review and update the list outside of the meeting based on his knowledge of progress.


10)     Any other business

         Parking along Winchester Road between Cavendish Road and Newbury Road - MH said that illegal parking along this stretch was becoming increasingly bad. A lot of customers to the restaurants along Winchester Road park on this stretch on evenings and especially evenings on weekends. OS advised that he would contact council officer Karen Naylor to let her know about this problem.

         OS advised that the supposedly empty retail units between the tanning salon and Adenhope's newsagent on Larkshall Road were being used as a storage facility illegally and he would report them to council officer Gareth Jones at LBWF; the amount of furniture crammed into these spaces was considered to be a serious fire hazard.

11)     Items for next agenda

      Mark up map (based on HP Planning Group boundary) with known rights of way (per item 3 above).


12)     Confirm date, time for next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Monday 15th June 2015 at 7:30pm in the Selwyn Lounge, All Saints Church, Church Avenue.


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