March News. Meeting TH Mayor John Biggs. Walthamstow Listening + more!

March News

Since all the hard work on the excellent business rates campaign we most certainly have not been resting on our laurels! March has been jam packed with action and we have our strategy meeting taking place tomorrow. If you would like to play a role in helping to shape the future of our Guild then make sure you book your place. The meeting is from 3.30pm to 5pm at Il Cudega, Railway Arch 358, Westgate St, London E8 3RN.

Tower Hamlets Latest

Last Thursday a delegation of members met with Mayor of Tower Hamlets – John Biggs. Mayor Biggs agreed in principle to work with us on our ideas to:

  1. Work with our partners the New Economics Foundation to define ‘affordable commercial rents’ for small businesses and apply this to the local plan and help to build cross borough support for inclusion in the London Plan
  2. Identify a site in Tower Hamlets for a Community Asset Transfer
  3. Support the costs of the next map of members and work with us on the next East End Independents’ Day
  4. Bring clarity to the new changes announced in the budget on business rates

TH Mayoral Meet


In the coming months we will keep you posted on developments as they arise. We also intend to meet with the Hackney Mayor and make links with the new leader of Waltham Forest Council on members common interests here too.

Des and Lorraine move to Leyton, our treasured founding members – Des and Lorraine’s Junk Shop has moved to Leyton after 35 years of trading on Bacon Street. You can read about their magnificent shop in Spitalfields Life today. You can now find them at Unit 14, Cromwell Industrial Estate, Staffa Rd, Leyton, E10 7QZ. Call Des on 07553 345852 for opening times and “to discover the cheapest and most interesting collection of junk in London” The Gentle Author.

Save the Whitechapel Bell foundry and Vittoria Wharf! The East End Preservation Society and the Gentle Author have launched a campaign to save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. There is now a campaign website  – Friends of the Foundry where you can keep up to speed and find out what you can do to help:

  1. Click here to sign the petition  on which will go to Karen Bradley, the Secretary of State. Any referral on planning will end up on her desk, so the more she is aware of public outcry, the better.
  2. Write to Duncan Wilson at Historic England urging him to give the site Grade I listing and the fullest protection possible.
  3. Raise support on Facebook and Twitter, including the link to the petition.
  4. Currently the priority is to raise awareness and the number of objections to this sale. Fundraising is not the immediate objective (though offers have already come in and are welcome) but we will let you know when that day comes.

While you’re at it you could also sign this petition to protect Vittoria Wharf in Hackney Wick from demolition, the deadline to sign this petition is 5pm tomorrow 28th March.

Walthamstow Listening Action



On 14th March we held a get together at Today Bread with our friends ECHO to find out what matters to small businesses in Walthamstow. The common themes to arise were:

  • Sense of Community – connecting, bringing people together
  • Local Skills – and how to access them
  • Visibility
  • Council Relations
  • Affordable Workspace
  • Access to Finance
  • Peer Support

We currently have seven members in Walthamstow and nearby neighbourhoods. When we have a minimum of twenty members we will hold another meeting to discern which interests to act on first.

New Members!

Due to repeated requests we have opened up membership applications on a rolling basis. That means that small businesses and the self employed can apply for membership today!

We would like to extend a big warm welcome to all our latest members, here’s just a few: