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Council Leader Chris Robbins to Stand Down in May 2017

Chris Robbins will be standing down as Leader of Waltham Forest Council in May 2017, having led the authority for the past eight years. Chris announced his decision at a Full Council meeting this evening (15 December).

Commenting on his decision, Chris said: “I am very proud to have led this Council for the past eight years and strongly believe the Council has achieved a great deal since 2009.

“Despite the challenging financial situation, we are financially stable and have built a strong reputation with our residents and with the rest of London. By working together we have delivered a number of successes over the years.

“It is therefore the right time to let someone else take the reins, and I am confident the next Leader of the Council takes over a borough with much to look forward to and that they will continue to build on our achievements.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support over the years. We could not have achieved as much as we have without working in partnership with the community and with other organisations.”

During his time as Leader Chris has overseen a huge period of change across the borough, with the Council investing millions of pounds to improve town centres, keep neighbourhoods clean and safe, and provide first class leisure facilities for residents.

In 2012 Waltham Forest was one of the host boroughs for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with thousands lining the streets as the Olympic Torch passed through the borough. In the same year the William Morris Gallery re-opened to the public after a major redevelopment, and in 2013 it was named Museum of the Year by the Art Fund.

There has also been significant investment in parks and green spaces, including the bringing together of Ive Farm and Marsh Lane Playing Fields to create Leyton Jubilee Park, which was named to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Chris also delivered on his personal priority to bring a cinema back to the borough after more than a decade without one. The Scene at Cleveland Place complex opened in November 2014, with a nine-screen cinema, five new restaurants and 121 new homes, and has proved to be a catalyst for the regeneration of Walthamstow Town Centre.

Earlier this year Chris officially re-opened Lea Bridge Station after 31 years, providing direct links to Stratford and Tottenham Hale and kick-starting the Council’s ambitious redevelopment plans for the Leyton and Lea Bridge area.

Martin Esom, Chief Executive of Waltham Forest Council said: “Chris has been an outstanding Leader for Waltham Forest with his roots firmly placed in the borough he loves.  Through dedication and determination, he has delivered much for our citizens. It is an absolute privilege to know Chris and to have worked with him over the past seven years.  I will miss his wisdom and good humour.  I am pleased that he will continue to contribute and serve our residents as a Councillor for Grove Green in Leyton. I wish him well.”

Chris has been a Waltham Forest Council Member since 2002, when he was elected as Councillor for Grove Green in Leyton. He lives with his family in Leyton, where he has lived for 41 years.

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