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Council’s street parties prove a great success

As the summer recedes into the distant memory and the weather gets worse, it is nice to reflect on what a glorious year it has been in so many ways – not least with regard to the scores of successful street parties that Waltham Forest Council helped facilitate all over the borough.


Waltham Forest’s Street parties scheme – the ‘Get Together Street Party Initiative 2014' – was highlighted in the Evening Standard this summer as an exemplar way of encouraging local residents to hold street parties. Elsewhere in the capital local councils can charge for the privilege.


The ‘Get Together’ scheme set aside £3,000 for each of the 20 wards specifically to enable residents to host street parties or events. A resident can be reimbursed for up to £300 for a street party or an event in a park or open space. Local community groups or organisations are able to be reimbursed in-excess of £300 by way of a grant.


Chris Robbins, Leader of Waltham Forest Council, said, “We felt it was a fantastic way to build community spirit, to share food and culture and to allow children to play safely together. We want people to get to know each other in their neighbourhoods and to build relationships that bind them together.”


Waltham Forest Council has been funding street parties since 2012 when events were held to mark the London Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee. Since 2012 this funding has helped to deliver 314 street parties throughout the borough, with 65 street parties funded in 17 of the 20 wards in 2014/15 so far.


Deniz Huseyin from Ferndale Avenue, Walthamstow, said, “Besides bringing together neighbours, street parties show what life might be like in a less car-dominated world. The street where I live staged a party on 6 September, and no sooner had the road been closed to traffic, children emerged from their homes to play and mingle, as though they had been set free.”


The event in Ferndale Avenue included everything from a barbeque to a Best Sketch of Alfred Hitchcock competition, with music supplied by a local band appropriately named The No Sorrows.


The East Market Quarter Resident’s Association (EMQRA) also organised a street party on 6 September in Cairo Road, Walthamstow. Chair of EMQRA Gloria Wood said, “The aims of the street party were to get to know our neighbours and friends in the community even better, to enable the children in the neighbourhood to meet and make new friends, and to encourage a more cohesive, friendly neighbourhood.


“We wanted to break down all those barriers of age, background, profession or culture and to just have fun in a relaxed setting where the idea of a good working and caring ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘community’ is pleasantly reinforced.”


The event saw bouncy castles, a visiting fire engine, a bake off and a tug o' war. As well as the Council, the event was also supported by local businesses such as Asda from the nearby Mall and Akdeniz Supermarket on Hoe Street. Local churches and other organisations also helped out, including the YMCA that provided netball posts.


For more information residents should contact their ward councillors, or go direct to the Council on 020 8496 3000 or by emailing traffic.scheme@walthamforest.gov.uk for street parties


judy.beaupierre@walthamforest.gov.uk for events in parks or open spaces and cwfsupport@walthamforest.gov.uk for funding



PHOTO: Residents of Ferndale Avenue partied in their street.


 


 

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