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Waltham Forest has fewer businesses and jobs in the private sector than any other Outer London borough and has the lowest commercial tax base in the capital 3.  It has the lowest commercial tax base in London and the lowest rate of new business formation.  There are low rates of employment and self employment and lower than average levels of skills. One quarter of the working age population is  economically inactive. 1

Stratford has been the location of new medium size hotels : an Ibis and an Express by Holiday Inn.  Its location for the 2012 Olympic Games has put it in the front of British tourism prospects.  Leyton’s green open space in Epping Forest and the Lea marshes is of local significance only, grand mansions like the Great House and Forest House, which would surely have been important possessions for English Heritage or the National Trust, were demolished in the 20th century.  The potential for regional tourism, visitors from other parts of London and the Home Counties, is only grudgingly recognised by the Waltham Forest Council.

The 21st century brought many young people from eastern European countries which joined the European Union, particularly Poles.  Somehow they found homes in the area without being eligible for social housing, and took jobs in shops, pubs, cafes and in central London offices.

3  Reference by Philip Herlihey on the Walthamstow Yahoo! Group in December 2007 to a newsletter issued by Stella Creasey, selected to be the Labour Party candidate for Walthamstow at the next general election,  Stella Creasey was wondering what might be done to improve this.


1997 onwards

1  The Audit Commission’s Corporate Assessment Report for the London Borough of Waltham Forest in September 2008

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