Off-licence SFW Express, in Church Lane, Leytonstone, loses fake booze appeal

First published Friday 6 February 2015 in Waltham Forest E Guardian
Last updated 13:27 Friday 6 February 2015

SFW Express in Church Lane

A supermarket has lost its appeal against a decision to revoke its licence after being caught selling counterfeit alcohol and tobacco.

The owners of SFW Express, opposite Leytonstone Tube station in Church Lane, were also ordered to pay court costs of £11,983 at Stratford Magistrates Court yesterday.

Trading Standards officers found counterfeit goods including 242 bottles of wine, 154 bottles of vodka, and 63kg of tobacco In November 2013.

In June last year, Waltham Forest council’s licensing sub-committee revoked the licence after a review. But after the owners appealed the decision, meaning the shop stayed open.

The council is also prosecuting the owners for fraudulently selling goods.

A date for this case to be heard at Snaresbrook Crown Court is being arranged.


TFC Supermarket building in Leytonstone High Road

Squatters removed from above TFC in High Road Leytonstone

Published in the Waltham Forest E Guardian

Squatters were evicted from above a supermarket for their own safety.

Firefighters on patrol spotted a number of mattresses propped up against the windows of space above TFC, in High Road, Leytonstone on Wednesday.

They inspected the property and discovered around 40 people living there, in what used to be offices and classrooms of the East London College.

The brigade issued a prohibition notice as the property was unsafe and too many people living in a small space.

The notice said: “The property does not have adequate fire resisting separation and insufficient means of detecting fire so is unfit for use as a residential and sleeping accommodation.”

As police supervised the squatters as they packed up their belongings yesterday, the Guardian spoke to ‘Kamikaze’, who had lived there since December 2013.

The 30-year-old said:

We pay our electricity bills, we have had no issues with the police and we have done everything properly. The council has offered us a hostel for the night but after that we will basically be forced onto the streets.

We even have an agreement with the shop on the ground floor which said as long as we did not make any mess or steal from the shop then we would be allowed to stay.

But manager of the TFC supermarket downstairs, Hasan Altun, denied there was an agreement in place.

He said:

We have had this issue for over a year and we can’t just kick them out, they are so noisy and play on their guitars and drums in the night. It is impossible for me to have an agreement with them. I have tried to be amicable and give them my mobile number, but these squatters are smart people and they will say or do anything to help them stay.

 If it is true that the squat is a fire safety hazard then they need to leave, if anything happened to there then it would affect my shop and my business.


The Heathcote Arms public house

A report on the Waltham Forest Guardian’s website says that a local businessman has secured a three year lease to turn the Heathcote Arms, Grove Green Road, into an independent public house.

Businessman Jason Verdi said,

I saw the lease was available and as a local man I saw the opportunity as it is such an important aspect of the community. I want to turn it into a family pub, with home-cooked food and free from the issues it used to have.

I  am planning on getting it open as soon as possible, hopefully within two weeks.

We will see what we can do with it for a few years. I will certainly give it a go, but I could not leave it unused.


Carl Qulliam pictured outside Leyton Youth Centre (former County Cicket Ground) with former Lib Dem Council Group Leader Bob Sullivan

Former Lib Dem Advisor returns to fight parliamentary seat

Carl Quilliam, the former Head of Office for the Lib Dems on Waltham Forest council, has this week been selected to stand in the Leyton and Wanstead constituency by the local Lib Dem party.

Carl is a former civil servant who worked in regeneration under the last Labour government. He supported the Liberal Democrat council group as their Head of Office from October 2011 until October 2013 and now works for a large London-based housing association.

On being selected Carl said:

It’s exciting to be selected to stand here in Leyton and Wanstead. The Lib Dems have been the main opposition to Ed Miliband’s Labour here for over 20 years. And locally we’ve been at the forefront of campaigns on housing, children’s services, school places and protecting our environment.

It’s great to finally see local schools expanding thanks to coalition funding and without another of Labour’s expensive PFI deals but we still need more places to meet the growing demand.  

And we all know that we desperately need more affordable homes for local people, as well as more jobs and apprenticeships our young people.That’s why I will use this campaign to stand up for more local school places, more and better housing and tackling youth unemployment in the area.

Local Lib Dem activist Bob Sullivan said:

It is great to have Carl as our candidate, as the leader of the Lib Dem Group on the Council I spent two years working closely with him.  He knows the people, knows the problems and knows the area. There is no doubt he will be the best person to represent our residents as an MP.


London City Airport

Waltham Forest E Guardian – 28 January 2015

An airport has refused to attend a public meeting as it plans to go ahead with flight path changes which campaigners claim will cause a “noise ghetto” for those living under it.

London City Airport is planning to implement new technology to enable a much narrower and concentrated corridor over Wanstead, Leytonstone and Leyton.

Campaign group HACAN East believes this will increase the noise level for people living in these areas and wants the plan scrapped.

The airport will submit its proposal to the Civil Aviation Authority by the end of February, and if the plan is passed, it could be implemented in early 2016.

In a letter to the airport from deputy leader of Waltham Forest council, Cllr Clyde Loakes, he requested a further public meeting on March 2.

He said:C

“I remain concerned that a significant proportion of residents are still unaware of the introduction of the RNAV technology and the impact that this will have on the quality of life of those living under the flight paths.

“I think it would therefore be useful if residents were able to hear from you directly about the next steps that will be taken and how the technology will be rolled out.”

But in reply, Jeremy Probart of London City Airport, ruled out attending a public meeting in the near future.

He said:

“There is very little that we can add to this currently, and feel that a public meeting, such as the one you suggest, would actually be counter-productive.

“We know that some people are opposed to the proposals (and the objections received have been incorporated in the report to the CAA) and a meeting in March would not be able to offer anything in the way of further information, which may simply serve to inflame, rather than to assuage.

“Therefore we will respectfully decline the opportunity you have outlined. If such a meeting were to take place, it would make sense to hold it after the CAA’s decision on the proposals and slightly before the replicated flight paths take effect.”

To sign the petiton:



The Heathcote Arms

A petition has been launched to save the historic Heathcote Arms public house in Grove Green Road, at the junction with Richmond Road, from the developers.

It was sold in September to Equity Estates, however, no planning application has as yet been received by Waltham Forest Council’s Planning Department.

The petition has already gained over 880 signatures.

You can add your support here


The recently closed Police Station in Kirkdale Road

The Waltham Forest Guardian has reported that squatters have occupied the recently closed Police Station in Kirkdale Road.

Following the closure the Neighbourhood Policing Team is providing a contact point at Tescos in Gainsborough Road. It operates every Wednesday and Thursday from 6 – 8pm. and on Saturday from 2 – 4pm.

The Leytonstone Neighbourhood Policing Team telephone number is:

(020) 8721 2874.

For non-emergency calls the Police ask you to dial 101.

However, for emergencies call 999.

UPDATE – the squatters have been removed.


Focus has had a massive response to our petition to get all our elected councillors to have a CRB check (now called a Disclosure and Barring Service – DBS).

Councillors are Corporate Parents to all our children in care and DBS checks should be for all not just a few.

The FOCUS Team says: If you want to click here to sign the petition. You may also see the team in the High Street collecting more signatures.