Situation update

Thank you to everyone who turned up to the march on Saturday 16 August, and thanks to those who sent messages of support. The march was a great success, hundreds of people turned up. There were speaches made on the green outside the stadium where Ricky Holloway, Neil Gerrard MP and Stella Creasy spoke. We were then joined by Ian Duncan Smith MP and marched peacefully up to the stadium where a petition of 15,000 signatures was handed in.

Ian Duncan Smith MP, Neil Gerrard MP, Ricky Holloway outside the Town Hall after handing in the petition

Ian Duncan Smith MP, Neil Gerrard MP, Ricky Holloway outside the Town Hall after handing in the petition

Those 15,000 signatures were gathered in just 2 weeks showing the immense level of support. You can still sign online at http://www.petitiononline.com/savestow/

The last race was run on Saturday night.

Since then, the Leader of the Conservative Group in the Council has come out in support of the campaign, saying: “In common with our local MPs the Conservative Councillors would, by and large, wish to see the Stadium remain a dog racing venue.” A statement from the Labour and Liberal Democrat representatives is yet to be received.

19 August 2008 Save Our Stow representatives met with members of the Council to view the developers sketches of the proposed development for the Stadium site. It gave us an opportunity to present our immediate concerns and offer parts of our vision for the site to include community facilities as well as improved commercial facilities working for the community outside of race times.

A meeting with the developers and their legal team is scheduled for 17 September in the afternoon. We are trying to arrange an earlier meeting, even if that’s an informal one to one chat between an L&Q representative and Ian Lavery, our chief adviser.

Things you to help and issues at stake
Every London Borough is extremely challenged for housing that the local population can afford and any chance to build affordable housing is jumped up. However, we feel the loss of the Stadium far out weighs the gain from affordable housing for the local population. London and Quadrant have purchased the land and want to build affordable housing there.

  1. The dog track is one of the only majoy leisure facilities in the Borough with most people having to travel to neighbouring Boroughs for leisure and entertainment.
  2. The Stadium puts Walthamstow and Waltham Forest on the map, makes it a destination and gives the local population a sense of place and of civic pride, important in building communities
  3. The Stadium is a cheap, safe and friendly family night out
  4. The Stadium is a major employer in the local area. Waltham Forest has one of the highest rates in London of people travelling out of the Borough to work. Its therefore vital to the Borough’s economy and employment opportunities.
  5. The Stadium is built on flood plains. The Government has policies in place to discourage the building on flood plains. Last years devastating floods across the UK are largely blamed on building on flood plains.
  6. The reasons for the Stadium low attendence levels was exclusively due to poor marketing and advertising and lack of other activities at the stadium outside of race times.
  7. The Stadium could offer an even greater asset to our community by better use for the community outside race times.

What you can do:

  1. Email your local Councillors voicing any concerns of opportunities about the loss of the Stadium. Find your local Councillors here: http://www1.walthamforest.gov.uk/moderngov/mgFindCouncillor.asp?J=2
    They are duty bound to respond to you so please chase them up if the do not respond.
  2. Email the Labour Council Leader, Cllr Clyde Loakes leader@walthamforest.gov.uk
    Email the Liberal Democrat Council Leader Cllr John Macklin cllr.john.macklin@walthamforest.gov.uk
    Email the Conservative Group Leader Cllr Matt Davies cllr.matt.davies@walthamforest.gov.uk
  3. Contact the Developers L&Q Group and Yoo Capital
    Email or write to Simon Baxter, Principal Development Manager for L&Q Group, sbaxter@lqgroup.org.uk and cc to Chris Middleton, Head of Communications CMIDDLETON@lqgroup.org.ukSimon Baxter
    Principle Development Manager
    L&Q Group
    North Region
    10 Grove Crescent Road
    Stratford, London, E15 1BJ

    Andrew Thorpe
    Managing Director
    Yoo Capital
    2 Bentinck Street
    London W1U 2FA
    020 7009 0100

  4. Write to the Mayor of London – there’s an easy online form to fill in here: http://www.boris-johnson.com/contact/
  5. Finally, the Council is updating its planning strategy. This strategy will be in place for the next 15 years. The Council want our feedback and the deadline has been extended until 1 September 2008.
    Filling in their response forms is a chance to get the Stadium written into planning law. The documents are long but worth reading and responding to. First read this document, and then print off this document fill it in and post it to address on the form. Please note the form has the old date on but the deadline is extended to 1 September. This may feel like a lot of work, but if you have time – this could really make a difference.

Please email info@saveourstow.co.uk if you have any questions at all.

The level of support is growing, together we can make a difference, thank you all.

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