Coronavirus Update: New restrictions on social gatherings, financial aid, and green light for Whipps Cross development

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Leader of the Council Clare Coghill green background

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 

Walthom Forest

Over the last week there has been 39 new cases of coronavirus in Waltham Forest. This is down from a total of 42 cases in the previous week. Whilst this is lower than the national average, I would still like to encourage residents to work together to ensure we all stay safe.

I have today written to Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, to express residents’ concerns around the current lack of available testing we are seeing in Waltham Forest and across the country. At a time when we are seeing a significant increase in cases across the UK and local authorities are working hard to promote the need for testing to stop the spread of the virus it is hugely frustrating that the system itself isn’t meeting demand. You can read my full letter, and also find details on booking a test here.

From 14 September, the government will be imposing restrictions on social gatherings of more than six. People who do not comply with these new restrictions could face a £100 fine, doubling after each further repeat offence up to £3,200. Whether you're a resident or a business, please familiarise yourself with how the new guidelines affect you here.

We have also been made aware in recent days of a scam that is targeting Waltham Forest residents. The scammers are sending letters to residents asking them to enter details into website to check if they are eligible for Council Tax refund. Please be aware that this letter is not legitimate. You can see an example of the letter here. 

new COVID cases in Waltham Forest

Keeping our schools safe

Back to school cartoon

Over the last few weeks, children and young people have been returning to school and college. Our schools have measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, this includes maintaining social distancing as far as possible, where social distancing is difficult (such as hallways) there will be additional measures in place. 

Throughout the school day there will be regular handwashing and pupils and staff who learn and socialise together will be kept within a ‘bubble’ to limit contact. 

We are encouraging travelling to school in a sustainable way whether on foot, cycle or scooter. Schools will have in place measures to ensure students can enter and exit safely.  It is vital that students and parents observe the social distancing rules and do not crowd or congregate near school entrances.  We all need to do everything we can to keep our schools covid safe.

Read more

Every Mind Matters

Every Mind Matters: Advice for parents

The past few months during the pandemic have been hard on everyone, including children and young people. As children return to schools and colleges there are lots of things we can do to support them at this time. Better Health - Every Mind Matters will help you find what’s right for your children - whether it’s listening to them talk about the challenges they’re facing or helping them develop skills to cope with their emotions.

The new NHS-approved guidance will help parents and carers to spot signs that their children are struggling with their mental wellbeing, understand how to support them with managing their emotions and deal with unhelpful thoughts.

Read more

Gain new skills for work, life and your wellbeing

Woman learning to sew - Waltham Forest Adult Learning service

Want to learn something new? Stir your creativity with an art, craft, fashion or creative writing course at the Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service!

Our expert team also offers one-to-one jobs help at our free Job Clubs, and we have courses that focus on improving your digital and job skills.

Courses start from Monday 14 September, and some can be booked directly online. For courses like hair and beauty, English, maths, accounting and our many other qualification courses, you will need to book a free assessment with us.

Browse courses and book

Council Services

Recycling bins

Our teams are continuing to deliver vital services and are working hard to reopen services as and when it is safe to do so. 

Learn more 

Join the London Community Credit Union

London Credit Union

Do you need access to affordable credit but struggle to get financial help from the big  banks? We know that the last few months have been full of financial worry for many.

Membership of the London Community Credit Union is open to residents of Waltham Forest, and can help you save or gain access to loans and current accounts.

The loans are an affordable and ethical alternative to high-cost lenders.

Read more

Green light for Whipps Cross development

Whipps Cross Hospital old building

Barts NHS Hospital Trust has been given the green light to move forward with plans for building a new hospital at Whipps Cross, along with related works.

Whipps Cross is one of six new hospitals to benefit from £2.7billion of funding, subject to business case approvals, as part of the Government’s Health Infrastructure programme.

On Friday 4 September 2020 Barts Health NHS Trust published Building a Brighter Future for Whipps Cross – Moving to the next stage’.

This autumn will see a range of engagement activity by the Trust, including virtual public meetings where the hospital redevelopment team and key partners will share their views and invite comments from the local community.

Read more

Leyton Leisure Centre to reopen

Swimming pool

From the 14 September, Leyton Leisure Centre will reopen under coronavirus guidelines. 

Swimming lessons across the borough will also be restarting on the 14 September.

Steps have been taken to ensure that visitors are as safe as possible, including one way systems. We would ask that all spectators wear masks when in the buildings. Keep an eye on our website for updates.

More information

Next step for EMD Cinema

EMD main Foyer

This week, we are delighted to see key milestones on some of our exciting developments in the borough, in particular the EMD/Granada Cinema on Hoe Street where we have gained full possession of the entire building, so the considerate refurbishment can continue.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, we remain committed to bringing this venue back to its former glory alongside Soho Theatre.

Take a sneak peek inside!

See the pictures


Information and advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing quickly and its important you keep up to date with those changes. The Council will be using email newsletters to keep residents and businesses up to date.

If residents have questions please visit our website, and use live chat to talk to one of our team, it's quicker than phoning.


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