Where You Live: Waltham Forest

Where you live >> Waltham Forest

London is more than just the City and its famous landmarks. More than its museums, theatres, palaces, taxis and red buses. It is home to some 8 million people. You live, work and socialise across London’s 32 boroughs – you make them tick. You give Waltham Forest’s neighbourhoods, from Leyton to Chingford, their unique identity. It is these distinct areas that make our great capital such a rich and diverse city. Unlike the previous Mayor, Boris is working to give all your boroughs - not just Zones 1-3 - his attention.

Boris Johnson has a nine point plan to secure Greater London’s future. He is paying for this plan by cutting waste at City Hall to free up £3.5 billion for services.

In Waltham Forest the plan means:

  • Cutting City Hall’s share of council tax this year after freezing it for three successive years, putting an average £445 back into pockets. (Point 2) (GLA, Press Release, 1 February 2012, link ;  GLA Website, ‘Budget archive’, link.)
  • Investing in local high streets and supporting small businesses with over £2.5 million of funding for Waltham Forest from the Mayor’s Outer London Fund. (Point 6) (GLA, Outer London Fund: Round Two Winners announced, link)
  • Investing in transport with Leytonstone station receiving £1.293 million for improvements, roll-out of Oyster cards onto national rail, completing London’s first orbital rail with four local London Overground stations, and investing £16.4 million to boost local transport in Waltham Forest. (Point 8) (TfL, Borough LIP Funding, link; TfL, Press Release, 20 November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link; TfL, Press Release, 16 December 2010,, link; TfL, Press Release, 15 December 2011, link).
  • Boris is benefitting local pensioners by reversing the previous Labour government’s decision to stop those at 60 getting the Freedom Pass until 65.
  • He is also the only candidate in this election who can secure a better deal for London from No 10.

Freezing council tax

  • Boris Johnson has frozen council tax for three years and is cutting it this year. Boris Johnson has frozen his share council tax for three years and is cutting it this year (GLA, Mayor’s Final Draft Consolidated Budget 2012-13, link).
    • This has helped keep cost of living low for 98,771 households in Waltham Forest (DCLG, Council Tax Base, October 2011), putting an extra £445 back in the pocket of the average London  household.

Restoring green space

  • 100 street trees. 100 street trees have been planted in Waltham Forest under Boris Johnson (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 25 January 2012, link).
  • 40 green spaces. 40 green spaces, which allow local residents the opportunity to grow their own food, have also been created (Capital Growth Website, link).
  • Ending garden grabbing. Boris Johnson has introduced new protections for gardens from development. His revised London Plan enables boroughs to: ‘introduce a presumption against development on back gardens or other private residential gardens where this can be locally justified’ (GLA, The London Plan 2011, July 2011, p. 86-87, link). Draft guidance also urges councils to prevent garden grabbing: ‘Such a presumption reflects Government’s recognition in PPS3 of the need to provide support for justified, local measures to prevent “garden grabbing”’ (GLA, Draft supplementary planning guidance, December 2011, link).

Investing to transform local high streets

  • More than £2.57 million for Waltham Forest from Outer London Fund. Waltham Forest has received an economic boost of £2,577,750 from the Outer London Fund
    • Wood Street. Wood Street is receiving £1,508,250 to support and promote Wood Street as a retail-led centre. Funding go towards shop front improvement, as well as vital upgrade work to Wood Street station entrances and pedestrian routes. Funds will also enable an upgrade to Woodside Primary School High and improvements and better marketing of Wood Street indoor market (GLA, Outer London Fund –Round Two Grant Funding, Summary of Winners, 12 January 2012).
    • Blackhorse Lane. Blackhorse Lane is receiving £1,069,500 to support regeneration and maximise unique local resources. Funding from the Mayor will create new gateways to Walthamstow Wetlands at Blackhorse Lane and Forest Road, including signage, resurfacing, planting, cycle parking and shelter. It will also improve shop fronts in order to attract shoppers and boost the local economy (GLA, Outer London Fund –Round Two Grant Funding, Summary of Winners, 12 January 2012.)

Making your streets and homes safer

  • 1,000 more police across London by May and £132 million more investment under Boris. The number of Special Constables has more than doubled from 2,500 to well over 5,000 (GLA, The Mayor’s Consultation Budget, 22 December 2011, link; MPA Website, Police numbers, link; GLA, Mayor’s Final Budget 2011-12, link; Evening Standard, 30 January 2012, link).
  • 618 more patrols per month in Waltham Forest. In 2010-11 there were 618 more patrols per month in Waltham Forest than in 2008-9. (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 22 February 2012, link).
  • Total crime and youth violence in Waltham Forest have reduced. Since May 2008, Waltham Forest has seen a 6.1% decrease in total crime, a 14.2% reduction in robberies and bus crime has fallen 22.3% (MPS Statistics, May 08 – Jan 12 compared to Aug 04-April 08).

Ensuring a true Olympic legacy

  • Boris Johnson has funded eight sport participation programmes in Waltham Forest so far. They are (Mayor of London, Sporting future for London, April 2009, p. 9, link):
  • 13 organisations in Waltham Forest are receiving Sports Legacy Programme grants to offer free sports coaching to London (Freesport Programme Website, link).
  • Investing in Waltham Forest sports facilities. The Mayor has helped fund one facility in Waltham Forest to enhance sporting activities:

Investing in transport

  • £16.4 million of funding for local transport in Waltham Forest. Since becoming Mayor, Boris Johnson has invested over £11.7 million to boost local transport in Waltham Forest. This includes £1,421,000 for Leytonstone Town Centre and Station Area. This project will make improvements to public spaces and will remove street clutter and widen footways, improve crossing facilities and incorporate more cycle stands and better lighting, safety and security  (TfL, Borough LIP Funding, link; TfL, Press Release, 20 November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link; TfL, Press Release, 16 December 2010,, link; TfL, Press Release, 15 December 2011, link).


  • Improving reliability on Tube lines running through Waltham Forest. This is part of the Tube upgrade programme secured by Boris Johnson:
    • Victoria Line. New trains and signalling has increase capacity by 21%, meaning that from 2013,the line will be able to carry an additional 10,000 passengers per hour at peak time. Passengers will also see a 16% reduction in journey time (TfL Website, Victoria line upgrade plan, link).


  • Oyster Cards rolled out on national rail. After years of talk under Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson secured the roll-out of Oyster cards onto national rail. Waltham Forest is now the 12th highest oyster- using borough on national rail (TfL Website, ‘Oyster on National Rail’, December 2009, link)
  • London Overground. London’s first orbital railway has four local stations in Waltham Forest: Blackhorse Road, Walthamstow Queen's Road, Leyton Midland Road, and Leytonstone High Road.( TfL Website, ‘London Overground’, link)

Roads and congestion

  • Reviewing traffic lights. 2,000 London traffic light signals have been reviewed since 2009 and a further 1,000 signals are being reviewed in 2011/12 (TfL Website, ‘Smoothing traffic flow’, link). Timings of 24 traffic lights reviewed since 2009 to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion in Waltham Forest (TfL, Suggested Signal Removal List, link).
  • Introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme. Boris Johnson introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme in 2010, resulting in an average 17% cut in the number of road works by utility companies in those boroughs, such as Lewisham, which have adopted the scheme (GLA, Press Release, 11 January 2010, link; London Councils, London Permit Scheme: First Year Evaluation Report, 27 May 2011, link).


  • Bus improvements. 11 bus routes in Waltham Forest have been expanded and/or improved under Boris Johnson. (TfL, Bus Service Changes May 2008 - January 2012).
  • Bendy Buses removed. Nearly 500 new vehicles boasting the latest clean engine technology will replace the Bendy buses. Transport for London estimates it was save more  than £7 million a year (TfL, Press Release, 5 October 2011, link).


  • 1,230 total affordable housing units completed in Waltham Forest. 900 social rented and 320 intermediate affordable housing units were completed in Waltham Forest between 2008/09 and 2010/11 (DCLG, Affordable Housing Live Tables 1006,1007,1008).

Mayoral visits

  • Boris Johnson has visited Waltham Forest three times more in his four years than Ken Livingstone did in his eight years as Mayor. Boris Johnson has visited Waltham Forest six times since July 2008 whilst Ken Livingstone visited Waltham Forest  only four times in his eight years as Mayor (GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2000 – April 2008; GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2008 – March 2012).

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