Monday, 3 March 2014

Lee Valley Leisure Trust

To Stella Creasey MP
MP for Walthamstow Constituency including Lea Bridge Ward Leyton

Dear Stella

Has the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority approached or consulted you about its decision this week in relation to the setting up a Trust to run its intended income-generating assets? What has been your attitude to it? I have grave concerns about the implications of that decision, especially on the LVRPA's continued capacity to properly steward the green open spaces of our Borough, in particular the areas of Leyton Marsh and Walthamstow Marsh that are in your constituency. The issue is not just to do with the balancing of financial books now, under the pressure of the Olympic 'legacy', it's about the temptation to turn more Metropolitan Open Land, activities, premises etc over to the Trust to run in future. In particular, regarding the stated intention of LVRPA to turn Lea Bridge Road into a "Destination" (see their EC papers dating back two years), I am greatly concerned that there could be encroachment running from the huge and totally inappropriate Essex Wharf blocks of flats all the way down to the re-opened Lea Bridge Station - making it a continuous built-up area with an enlarged ice rink, a hotel etc, any bits inbetween being covered by more of the massive advertising hoardings. If you recall when you were our Lea Bridge Ward Councillor some years ago you supported an (unsuccessful) campaign to get LVRPA to stop felling and pollarding the willows and to remove the massive hoarding they had newly erected which concealed the green screen of tall trees bordering the Flood Relief Channel.

The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority was originally set up to steward the land as a "green lung" for north and east London. Times are very different now, but peoples' needs for a healthy environment remain the same, and the requirements for proper preservation of wildlife habitats and the promotion of biodiversity have hugely increased. The LVRPA is under financial pressure due to the all-London levy issue coupled with the Olympic asset inheritance, and I wonder therefore what you have discussed with your fellow LVRPA-constituency MPs for instance John Cryer, Diane Abbot and others eg the Waltham Forest Council, the GLA? We cannot let this slip through our fingers.

Lastly, could I ask you to see if you can help your fellow Labour Party councillors in Lea Bridge Ward, who without explanation have so far failed to hold the normal Community Ward Forum meeting since December. This is a disgrace. Local residents have not been able to be informed of or discuss these hugely important matters relating to a large area in their Ward.

Thankyou for your kind attention, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Claire Weiss
E10 7AR 

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