King Henry’s Wharves – Here we are again

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IMG_6205Another chapter in the saga of the King Henry’s Wharves development. A new construction management plan has been put together whose lengthiness tries to bore us into forgetting that there remains no decent strategy for how this development can be constructed without MAJOR disruption to our whole community.

We have been in touch with concerned residents and once again have used their knowledge and work to put together a template objection letter which residents may wish to send to the council.

Pasted below. Please send to, adding your name at the bottom and with ‘King Henry’s Wharves Construction Management Plan’ as subject, as quickly as you can as they’ve put a short deadline on it.


I write regarding the new CMP (version 4 ,May 22, 2017) recently submitted after the planning deadline has lapsed (May 2, 2017) but for which Tower Hamlets’ Planning Dept has unilaterally permitted an extension. An extension should not allowable under the planning law since it resulted from illegal construction taking place. Read more

Police Meeting Update

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IMG_4836Thank you to all the residents who turned out for the police meeting we organised at St George’s Town Hall last week to discuss persistent anti-social behaviour, dangerous driving and crime in Wapping.

We know everyone is keen to engage and the Borough Commander has since written to outline what action police will be taking as a result of our meeting. I paste below her correspondence, which includes her recommendations to council but also to residents about how we might all work together to push back against the problems we have been experiencing. I also include my reply to her, which includes my concerns about the crash that happened that very night. Read more


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JS57113502Ofsted has today released a damning report into Tower Hamlet’s Children’s Services, rating the department ‘inadequate’ after uncovering ‘serious and widespread failings’ towards those children most in need of help and protection. [Report – click here]

Tower Hamlets Conservative group is deeply worried by this assessment but grateful to Ofsted for its vital investigation into the borough’s Children’s Services. Ofsted’s report is the wake-up call the borough needs, not least as the recent departure of Government Commissioners risks the view taking hold that it’s ‘job done’ in cleaning up Tower Hamlets after the misdeeds of former Mayor, Lutfur Rahman.

Ours is a fantastic borough with a lively, engaged community and huge human and economic resource. It has all the tools to become a beacon of civic excellence. Yet its Labour administration provides poor services to residents in far too many areas, lazily excusing itself through reference to the Rahman regime or central government spending constraints. Labour councillors have suggested many of the problems in Children’s Services stem from the misconceived merger of the Adult and Children teams under Rahman. There is little doubt that the merged department was unwieldy and unmanageable, but Ofsted’s report points to a much deeper, cultural problem within the service alongside poor governance and decision-making. Read more

Success in helping local businesses expand!

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C56GCDUWUAE0LZcIn spite of its sleepy residential profile, Wapping actually hosts a growing number of exciting creative businesses from Studio Spaces on Pennington Street to The Dock tech start-up hub in Tobacco Dock and Gensler, the big US architecture firm about to move into Thomas More Square this summer.

But perhaps the best known is Cherryduck Studios, formerly Tower Bridge Studios, which shot to local fame after making the fantastic #Wappingisopen YouTube video over the summer. Cherryduck is run by local Wapping couple, James and Michelle, who built their business up from nothing after combining James’ skills as a photographer for the Mirror and Michelle’s talents as an actress, interviewer and online video maker for the Sun. They now employ over twenty staff and have a fantastic premises on Samson Street with studios, production equipment and an IT suite.

Read more

Tobacco Dock Hotel Site

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tobacco site2Turning into Wapping Lane from the Highway, Wapping residents will recognise the dormant Tobacco Dock hotel site which has lain undeveloped and unloved for far too many years now. It was hoped when planning permission was given to build an aparthotel on the site that we would finally see this eyesore dealt with. Instead, the site has become even grubbier as the hoardings guarding it have gotten more graffitied and ratty-looking.
Following resident complaints, I am trying to get the council to take notice so that the owners of the site are, at the very least, ‘strongly encouraged’ to take better care of this prime Wapping land. We were recently given a presentation by a former Met police officer turned anti-social behaviour guru about the raft of powers now available to councils to penalise this sort of poor stewardship, and I have suggested that the council uses these powers to improve the look of this site. tobacco site
A bit of correspondence on the matter for everyone’s info.

—–Original Message—–
From: Julia Dockerill
Sent: 05 February 2017 12:49
Subject: FW: Wapping Lane Hotel

I’d be grateful if the Wapping Lane site adjacent to Tobacco Dock could be investigated. There is planning permission for an aparthotel opposite Tobacco Dock but no works have begun. Instead, the site is overgrown and surrounded by dangerous and ugly hoardings. It is an absolute eyesore. Read more

TfL response on the 100…

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100-busA quick update on the campaign to stop TfL cutting short our 100 bus route. Here’s the latest reply from TfL as to why they’re making the change. Fairly sure they’re under pressure to cut budgets to fund Sadiq’s half-hearted fares freeze in spite of pinning the blame on central government. The freeze only affects those buying single fares so Travelcard users are getting the double whammy of hiked fares and reduced services. Anyway, over to TfL…

Dear ,

Thank you for your email regarding the recent routes 100 and 388 consultation. I apologise for the delay in replying.

I’m sorry that you are unhappy with our decision to proceed with the proposals for changes to these two bus routes. I realise that it can be frustrating to respondents if we make a decision that goes against the prevailing attitude expressed in responses. This is why we always provide a comprehensive report of the feedback we receive through a consultation, along with an explanation of our decisions.

Consultations are vitally important to the work we carry out across the capital and they consistently lead to improvements by providing us with new information and challenging assumptions. However, a consultation is not a referendum or a means to vote for or against a scheme. While the numbers of people who support or oppose a consultation proposal are clearly important as a way of establishing the general attitudes of respondents, these figures alone do not determine our decision about whether to go ahead with the proposals. Rather they are one of several factors that we take into consideration to help inform our decision. Other things we consider include the detailed feedback we receive in consultation responses, feedback through other forms of engagement, the resources at our disposal, and our professional judgement on the best way of achieving the underlying objectives of each proposal. Read more

Tideway Invitation

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IMG_5243This invitation has just come through for all Wapping residents keen to learn more about the Tideway plans for King Edward Memorial Park. Put it in your diary!

Dear resident,

We will be holding an event on Thursday 23rd March 2017 from 19:00-21:00 to provide an overview of landscape design, architecture and art for the Tideway construction site at King Edward Memorial Park.

This event will be held at the Shadwell Centre.  There will be members of the Tideway architecture and landscape design team there.  Please note that both the artists that will be working on the hoarding and permanent art are also available on this date and will be attending. Read more

King Henry’s Construction Management Plan

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IMG_6202If you’re a Wapping planning buff you’ll already know. But if you aren’t, you probably go past that big, empty, scraggy site diagonally in front of the Captain Kidd and think, ‘why on earth is that prime piece of Wapping lane so neglected?’.

There have actually been approved plans for the past three years to redevelop the site and convert the nearby wharves to residential units, with affordable units built on the empty site. I have posted details of those plans on my site before so I won’t go over them again.

We have since been waiting with baited breath to see how the developer plans to carry out this building work considering how narrow the roads are around the site and the traffic pinch point that already exists just by Phoenix Wharves. How, for instance, is this going to work alongside a functioning 100 bus? Read more

Update on King Edward Memorial Park

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kemp playLast week I met the team from Tideway to get an update on the supersewer works at our local park, King Edward Memorial Park.

Main points to come out of the conversation:-

- the community liaison group is now up and running and around 25 people attended the last meeting. That meeting included a presentation on the new playground. I paste all the links below.

KEMP CLWG 31 Jan 2017 minutes – FINAL

KEMPF Presentation Jan 2017

play pages jan 31st_2

- Something like £3m in s106 contributions will be released to the council once a masterplan for the park has been agreed upon and there will be around £150k released for the benefit of other open spaces in Wapping. There will be a new slipway at Shadwell Basin.  Read more

Delivering newsletters in the snow and sunshine!

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leaflet 2017The local Conservative campaign team has been helping me deliver my Winter Newsletter over the past couple of weekends, in the snow but thankfully also in the sunshine. There are quite a few blocks that we are unable to deliver due to security doors and so on, so for those we were not able to reach, the PDF version is below.

Best wishes, as always, and do drop me a line if you have concerns about any issue within the control of Tower Hamlets council.

Wapping Newsletter Winter 2017 Read more

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