More Info on Tower Bridge Closure

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tower-bridgeHere are the latest details on the forthcoming closure of Tower Bridge.Tower Bridge closing 1 October to 30 December 2016

‘Tower Bridge will be closed to all vehicles from 1 October to 30 December 2016 so we can undertake major essential maintenance works to the structure and driving surface.

Tower Bridge is 122 years old and needs to undergo these works to ensure the iconic landmark continues to serve as a vital London river crossing. The decking was last refurbished in the 1970s.

The programme of work will include:

·         undertaking major maintenance to the bridge lifting mechanisms

·         replacing the timber decking and resurfacing the road and walkways

·         replacing expansion joints along the bridge to provide a smooth running surface

·         waterproofing the brick arches that form the approach to the bridge

BAM Nuttall is the civil engineering contractor working on behalf of the City of London Corporation on the project.

Travel advice during the works

Below is a summary of how journeys may be affected while the works take place. For detailed travel advice, please visit


The bridge will be closed to all vehicles during the works. Signed diversion routes will be in place, which will take will take northbound drivers over London Bridge and southbound drivers over Southwark Bridge. Drivers following the signed diversion and in the direction of travel shown on roadside signs will not be liable for the Congestion Charge.

Read more

My summer newsletter

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leafletingI have spent the last couple of weekends delivering my latest newsletter to Wapping residents with the help of local Conservative volunteers and councillors.

We are not able to access a lot of blocks in Wapping so for those residents who did not see it, I post it online here.

Wapping Summer 2016 Newsletter


A few bits of news

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Tobacco DockTobacco Dock – Earlier in the year, we had a meeting between Tobacco Dock and neighbouring residents about the management of events. I suggested at the meeting that it would be good idea if a better relationship was built between the community and Tobacco Dock, and one way to do that might be an Open Day. I am delighted to see that this has now been organised for 25 August. Click on the flyer for more details – all Wapping residents are welcome.

London Dock - I wrote about the Vaughan Way carriageworks a few weeks ago. These are now underway and you may have seen that they have just opened a ‘pop up park’ opposite Thomas More Square as well. A street food market will be hosted in it on Wednesdays during August. London Dock have also debuted on Instagram to share images of the development – follow them on: London_dock.

Tideway Tunnel – there was some concern about an application from Tideway that appeared to suggest they wished to avoid the archaeological survey during site set up. Local residents have since been assured that this is just for the works within the park, not the foreshore, and Tideway’s promise to undertake a foreshore archaeological dig with community involvement still stands.

Lido & Leisure Plans - I wrote a piece for this site a few weeks ago to try to clear up confusion about a planned lido at Brussels Wharf. Click here The Turks Head have now put their application in, and a few residents have written to ask me whether this means the lido is going ahead under them. I wrote to the council to ask for the latest on their viability study and for the latest information on their leisure strategy, especially with regard to the futures of St George’s and John Orwell leisure centres. I received the reply below. Read more

Vaughan Way Part Closure

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IMG_1627As part of works to integrate the new London Dock development into the surrounding area, it was decided that part of Vaughan Way would be raised. Having discussed this with the London Dock guys, I understand the idea was better to connect the new public square to the public spaces of Thomas More Square, bringing some level of continuity for pedestrians. I hope that it will also create a greater sense of arrival for people turning off the Highway and entering Wapping, helping to slow local traffic in the process.

Anyway, the works for this will be beginning on 8 August but I am afraid this will involve some disruption for local residents for around three weeks. Yesterday I received info about the precise arrangements for traffic during this period and I paste below all the details.  Read more

KEMP Community Liaison Group

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I received the following email a week or so ago from Tideway about KEMP plans.

Tideway are upgrading London’s sewerage system to cope with the demands of the city. The new 25 kilometre tunnel, running up to 65 metres below the river will start in west London and follow the route of the river to Abbey Mills Pumping Station in Stratford, where it will be connected to the Lee Tunnel. One of the site locations along the tunnel route is at King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore. Further information can be found on our website: Read more

King Henry’s Wharf Latest

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IMG_6205I have written before about the King Henry’s Wharf site – click here

It’s all gone a bit quiet but then I noticed a new planning application had been put in on the site. As such, I wrote to the council to ask whether the development is still going ahead. I received the response below:

21 July 2016

Reference: 5342969

Dear Councillor Dockerill

Enquiry number: 5342969

Enquiry regarding: ME – Planning Apps Registered By Ward Report for LBTH Members

In response to your query received on 11 July 2016. I have now had the opportunity to look into this matter in more detail and it is my understanding is that you are referring to the development proposals at King Henry’s Wharves, Phoenix Wharf.

As you will be aware, planning permission was granted on 2nd May 2015 (planning reference PA/13/00982) for a change of use of the existing wharf buildings (King Henry’s Wharf and Phoenix Wharf) to provide 35 residential units, the creation of a new three-storey dwellinghouse (on land formerly occupied by Swan Wharf), and the erection of new five storey building (on land on the north-western corner of the junction of Wapping High St and Brewhouse Lane) to provide 18 affordable units.

There are two relevant planning applications received by the Council since February 2016. Read more

Ornamental Canal Upkeep

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photoI received a couple of complaints recently about the upkeep of the Ornamental Canal, including over the absence of any drain cover which sadly led to some moorhen chicks being sucked in and drowned. I took these issues up with the council and received the reply below. I am glad to see that action has now been taken.

20 July 2016

Reference: 5338167

Dear Councillor Dockerill

Enquiry regarding: ME – Ornamental Canal in Wapping

In response to your query received on 11 July 2016 in relation to the Canal in Wapping.

I can confirm that our service provider Bow Maintenance and Landscapes have been working over and above specification in removing all duckweed (Lemnoideae) from the canal. Duckweed is extremely fast growing in sunny conditions and due to the vast array of wildlife on the canal it is not possible to chemically treat the issue.

With regards to the Buddleia growing from the historical dock wall, I can confirm that an order was raised for the removal of the weed which has subsequently been removed. The issue here is similar to the removal of duckweed and we are not able to chemically treat this due to the close proximity to the water.

With regards to the water outlets, a mesh has been placed on these to ensure that nesting birds are not at harm. This issue has been discussed with the swan sanctuary and the RSPB whose advice is to not interfere at all with the wildlife on the canal

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

L Nelson- Beer

Interim Head Clean, Green and Highways

Shadwell Basin Police Statement

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IMG_4939On 20 July, we sadly received news that a young man had died while swimming in Shadwell Basin during the spell of hot weather. It is extremely dangerous to swim in the waters and police once again ask residents and others not to use this unsupervised area, even if you are confident that you are a strong swimmer. Here is the report that the police sent councillors about the incident:

At 12.58 a call was made to police reporting somebody had jumped into Shadwell Basin and was now in distress, and had gone under and not resurfaced.  Marine Support Unit, Fire Service and Ambulance were all in attendance. 

Two significant witnesses identified and informed us that three males had been jumping in and out of the water,further stating they believed  they could not swim, as they were pulling each other out. However on this occasion the victim jumped too far and could not be reached by his two friends.  The friends ran over to some youths who were nearby and asked them to call police.  One of the youths went into the water to try and help but it was too deep and came out.

At 13.28 hours a body was pulled from the basin and at 14.03 life was pronounced extinct by HEMS.  Coroners Officer made aware and local CID were updated.

Mike WARDLE (director of Shadwell water sports centre) was on scene and stated that they have been having numerous problems with people jumping/swimming in the basin, and they would not listen to staff about the dangers of swimming in the basin. Further to that there were no life aids available due to them being removed and used by local youths.

Officers were assigned to the basin to prevent further people from swimming and jumping in, but they were ignored even though they had highlighted what had happened earlier.

A press release was made

A bit of clarification on the lido

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P1060929Wapping residents may be aware that plans have surfaced over the past few months for an outdoor swimming lido to be installed at Brussels Wharf, Shadwell Basin.

However there is confusion as to precisely who owns the site, and who is putting forward these proposals. As such, I thought it would be helpful if I clarify what I have managed to ascertain as one of our ward’s two local councillors.

There are two groups looking at this idea. First, is the Turks Head Charity. The charity is based in an office above the old Turks Head pub opposite John Orwell leisure centre, and works on local projects such as the popular summer shindig on Wapping Green. They have joined forces with the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre to put forward proposals for a swimming lido and café at Brussels Wharf. They held a consultation event a few months ago to share the idea with residents and now they have refined their plans and are putting them to residents this week for further consultation. To find out more, check out their leaflet or go along to their consultation at Raines House.

The other group is Tower Hamlets council itself which is looking at how to improve the basin area, particularly as this part of our ward will be undergoing changes due to works at King Edward Memorial Park. Read more

Our local bridge – closed for three months

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Tower-Bridge-raised-blogTower Bridge is to close for essential maintenance work from 1 October to 30 December. This will, of course, be a major headache for Wapping residents, but pedestrian access will largely be maintained and I guess we don’t want our favourite river crossing to crumble into the Thames…

Here are all the details so we can all be as prepared as poss:

Closure of Tower Bridge for Essential Maintenance work

The City of London Corporation are planning major essential maintenance works to Tower Bridge at the end of this year. This follows the investigative works that have taken place on the bridge during January and April 2016, to inform the wider essential maintenance programme for Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge is 122 years old and needs to under-go essential maintenance works to ensure the iconic landmark continues to serve as a vital London river crossing. Every day more than 40,000 people cross over Tower Bridge, including 21,000 vehicles, making it a critical connection in crossing the Thames. This daily heavy use has had an effect on the timber decking of the bridge, which was last refurbished in the 1970s. The bridge is owned, funded and managed from private funds by the historic Bridge House Estates, who will be funding these works.

The main works will start on October 1st 2016 and will finish by 30th December 2016. Read more