Cllr Clyde Loakes: MBE for services to local government ‘a huge honour and privilege’.

Clyde with bike
Published: 8 July 2024
Filed under: Climate change

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate and Air Quality, has been awarded a Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) from His Majesty, The King, for services to local government. 

It comes after more than two decades of service to Waltham Forest Council, including 12 years in his current role as Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate and Air Quality, and 26 as an elected representative of Leytonstone Ward. 

Cllr Loakes has also played a hugely important role in securing and delivering the Enjoy Waltham Forest programme over the last decade, which has seen the borough transformed by major investment in walking and cycling. 

Cllr Loakes MBE: “It’s a huge honour and privilege to receive this MBE from His Majesty, The King. I’m absolutely delighted. I’ve been a councillor working in local government for 26 years and I am grateful to my party, as well as the people and organisations that I have had the honour and privilege of working with and being supported by during this time. I’d like to also thank Council staff past and present for their years of support.

“Most importantly though I’d like to thank the people of Waltham Forest and my own ward, Leytonstone, for their faith, trust and confidence in me, which has allowed me to serve both as a cabinet member and ward councillor. I’m forever humbled by that.

Cllr Grace Williams, Leader of Waltham Forest Council: “I’m delighted that Clyde’s outstanding record in local government had been recognised with an MBE. It is richly deserved for someone that was first elected as a local councillor in 1998 and has been serving our borough ever since. My fellow councillors and I have learned a huge amount from his approach in this time.

“Clyde has provided leadership through every stage of our multi award-winning and ground-breaking Mini-Holland initiative that has flourished into a second decade thanks to the Enjoy Waltham Forest programme. 

“It has delivered significant investment and radical expansion and improvements to the borough’s active travel infrastructure, boosting the safety, priority and numbers of residents walking and cycling.” 

Will Norman, Transport for London’s (TfL) Walking and Cycling Commissioner: “The work that Clyde has done in Waltham Forest to improve walking and cycling options in Waltham Forest, as well as air quality, is world-leading. His work has inspired similar projects not just in other London boroughs but in cities all over the world, and I look forward to continuing working with Clyde to build a better, greener London for everyone.”

Ten years of Enjoy Waltham Forest 

It’s now 10 years since the Enjoy Waltham Forest programme began. The borough has been transformed by this major investment in everyday walking and cycling.

Cllr Loakes: “At the start of this journey we envisioned a vibrant, healthier and more connected community, and it’s been amazing seeing this vision come to life in the last ten years. We have become the top outer London borough for residents getting around on foot, by cycle, or using public transport. We focused initially on walking and cycling but the programme has grown to support increased electric vehicle charging points, sustainable drainage and community led creation of parklets. 

“Our roads are safer, our air is cleaner and every year, residents have had more options for safe walking and cycling routes – in fact, there is now 56 kilometres of cycle tracks to travel safely on.

“This programme has been truly transformative, but we are not stopping here. Our ambitious Mission Waltham Forest commitments are set on delivering net-zero for the borough by 2030 and continue to ensure further opportunities to walk and cycle on safer streets long into the future.”

Enjoy Waltham Forest: key information 

In April 2012, Waltham Forest Council pledged its support to the London Cycling Campaign’s ‘Love London, Go Dutch’ campaign. This was part of an ambition to make the borough more liveable for all by making streets as safe and convenient for cycling as they are in the Netherlands. 

The Council then committed to delivering a comprehensive Cycling Action Plan, to be implemented over three years (2012-2015). In March 2014, the Mayor of London announced Waltham Forest as one of three Outer London boroughs to secure £27million of ‘Mini-Holland’ funding to dramatically improve conditions for cycling.

This quickly transformed into a more holistic approach entitled ‘Enjoy Waltham Forest’, which encompassed broader active travel, health, and public realm objectives. The Enjoy programme drew on international best practice. Its priorities were to support sustainable growth and regeneration, and to improve quality of life for all who live, work and travel through the borough.

The programme also focused on linking public transport and enhancing leisure provision through improving cycle access to the Lea Valley Regional Park, Walthamstow Wetlands, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Epping Forest. 

The overarching vision of the Enjoy programme aimed to: 

  • Substantially increase cycling within the borough and make it an attractive and mainstream mode of transport 
  •  Shift a significant proportion of short local car trips to cycle and on foot 
  • Improve the look and feel of public space 
  • Stimulate economic regeneration 
  • Improve actual and perceived safety for people cycling and improve the safety and attractiveness of walking journeys 
  • Enable more physical activity and reduce the burden of preventable diseases.

Find out more about walking and cycling in the borough

Mission Waltham Forest key information

Launched in March 2024, Mission Waltham Forest resets the Council’s support to residents through six ‘borough missions’, aiming to tackle the issues and challenges that residents are currently facing between now and 2030.  

Although we have made great strides to make Waltham Forest a great place to live, work and visit - we know this has not been felt equally across the borough for all residents. And that needs to change.  

Mission Waltham Forest will

  • Ensure every family and every child are given every opportunity
  • Build an economy that works for everyone 
  • Make Waltham Forest a great place to live and age well
  • Tackle the housing crisis head on 
  • Lead the way for a net-zero borough 
  • Create safe, green neighbourhoods where everyone can thrive

Leading the way for a net-zero borough by 2030 is a key part of the Council’s commitments. Our Mission priorities for the climate are

  • Make local homes warmer and bills lower 
  • Make walking and cycling safer and easier
  • Deliver top recycling rates for our borough
  • Ensure everyone can benefit from nature and our green spaces 
  • Empower residents and businesses to help secure positive climate action

 Find out more about Mission Waltham Forest.