Construction Traffic on the Highway

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I hoped to ask the question below at the last Full Council meeting. However, as the usual chaos descended, we didn’t get anywhere near it on the order paper. I have now been sent a reply from Cllr Rabina Khan.

Question from Councillor Julia Dockerill:

Is the Mayor aware that a significant number of major developments are either underway or at planning stage on both sides of the Highway, including the London Dock, the Topps Tiles and Alan Day sites, Tobacco Dock Hotel and the Thames Tideway Tunnel. Is the Mayor also aware that at peak construction, the Thames Tideway tunnel alone will lead to an extra 82 HGV movements per day. What work has the authority carried out with TfL to assess the cumulative impact of major construction works over the next five years on the Highway in terms of traffic volume and access to Wapping, and is a clear timeline of those works available? Read more

Getting Wapping Fixed, One Puddle at a Time

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wapping laneBefore Christmas, I had managed to get some work done on the pavement outside the shops on Wapping Lane. As a result, we now have a flatter pavement around the crossing and post box that doesn’t create massive puddles when it rains. Hurray! Original article  here

I asked Wapping residents to let me know if the work had fixed the flooding problem. A few days later there was an almighty rainstorm and bam! the bloomin’ pavement flooded again (albeit not in the fixed bit).

I asked the great Simon of the Clean and Green team if he could investigate and it turns out that only half the pavement got fixed. He’s since been trying to find the funding to get the second part fixed and I am very pleased to say that it has now been allocated.

I have regular meetings with Simon to make various requests for work in Wapping. One of my other regular requests is to get the bollard lighting fixed along the Ornamental Canal. Not only has Simon found the cash for the pavement but he’ll now be doing the lights too.

His email is below. Thanks, Simon!

Some good news I have managed to find some pennies to have the other half of the pavement, (Wapping Lane) by the shops, renewed to prevent the flooding of local businesses. Although one part of the pavement was raised and repaired the other half was unable to be dealt with because of the lack of funding. I am pleased to inform you that I have now arranged for the funds to be made available to undertake the works.

Thank you for your patience on this.

I am hoping that the works will be completed within the next four weeks.

In addition to this I have wrangled some money from the Street Lighting budget and the parks maintenance budget to have new lights installed in Wapping Wood by the canal.

Red Lion Court Latest

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P1070039I have written thrice before on my website (click here, here and here) about Red Lion Court.

Red Lion Court is a building on Reardon Path which most Wapping residents would better recognise as the derelict old warehouse next to popular local restaurant, Il Bordello. I took pictures of the building in my pre-councillor days as I enjoyed the insight it gave into Wapping’s industrial past, before all the warehouses got snapped up for residential development.

I have no objection to the principle of Red Lion Court being brought back to life as a residential building. However the plans the developers consulted residents on involved the demolition of the building’s facade. I wanted to make sure that the case for such a demolition had been fully tested since the building is in the Wapping Pierhead conservation area and I have had meetings with the developer and been in correspondence with the council’s planning team.

Last week I received a letter (link below) which, to my surprise, advises that the developer has withdrawn the plans following a number of concerns raised by planning officers. Unfortunately no information has been provided as to what those concerns were. Read more

Thames Tideway AKA Super Sewer Works

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DSCN5222I had a meeting last week with the team at Thames Tideway, the new outfit that has been formed to take forward the super sewer project, to discuss works in our ward.

For those who aren’t fully initiated when it comes to London’s waterworks, we basically rely on sewerage infrastructure that was built 150 years ago by Sir Joseph Bazalgette. He designed a system that would cope, at its top limit, with the stinky side effects of four million Londoners. There are now eight million of us (admittedly not all relying on Bazalgette’s system) and Thames Water want to build a massive tunnel under the city to cope with rising levels of crap, a so-called Super Sewer.

It has been controversial because it’s expensive (with some people suggesting there are better, cheaper alternatives) and it will be disruptive to those areas affected by the construction works.  Read more

20mph Limit Zone Expands in Tower Hamlets

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We’ve just had a notice from the council to advise us that they are having an experimental roll-out of 20mph speed limits across the borough, starting from 13 April 2015. We already have a 20mph zone in Wapping but drivers should be aware that other roads beyond our ward in Tower Hamlets are likely now to be affected. It says that TfL roads (of which the Highway is one) will not be affected.  Details below.

Local authorities have an obligation to manage and improve road safety and to this end London Borough Councils are increasingly bringing forward the application of 20mph zones to help moderate the speed of motor vehicles and reduce accident rates. 

Tower Hamlets Council seeks to address safety whilst dealing with increasing traffic volumes, increased use of cycling as a mode of transport, increased population and pedestrian levels and increasing amounts of commercial haulage during a period of unprecedented public sector spending reductions.  Read more

Latest London Dock Newsletter

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London Dock Newsletter March 2015

ldThe London Dock team have just sent out their latest newsletter (click above). It includes the latest on the demolition works and information about the community grants scheme they have launched in conjunction with the East End Community Foundation. It includes a fund for greening our ward so please do apply if you have an idea for a small green project in Wapping that could benefit from such a grant.

They will also be starting work on the refurb of Times House on Pennington Street this summer. This is where a lot of the scheme’s affordable housing will be going and it looks like Peabody is going to be their partner in doing this. Peabody is a housing association started in the Victorian era by American philanthropist, George Peabody, whose statue can be found on Threadneedle Street. They are now one of the capital’s largest providers of affordable housing. I think this may well be their first set of homes in our ward.

Wapping Spring Round Up

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Spring 2015 Newsletter Wapping

See my latest newsletter by clicking on the link above. Alternatively, I paste the relevant text below. Read more

Supporting Cllr Chapman’s Motion on the Charlie Hebdo Attack

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At the last full council, I seconded a Motion put down by Cllr Chris Chapman that called upon councillors and the Mayor to send our condolences to the Mayor of Paris and the people she represents in the aftermath of the diabolical attack on their city. I made the following speech in the Chamber:

“Thank you, Mr Speaker. I wish to second Cllr Chapman’s motion.

It has been a difficult fortnight. When we discussed putting down this motion, I was confident that I had a lot to say. The raw emotion, the unadulterated outrage as we saw people literally erased for having the temerity to publish a picture. It was an act so over the top, so disproportionate that it would have been verging on the absurd had the result not been so tragic.

That people entirely unconnected to Charlie Hebdo should also lose their lives – including policeman, Ahmed Merabet and those taken hostage in the Kosher deli, shows that none of us should feel safe that this is a tyranny that might not one day touch us, including here in Tower Hamlets. Read more

Wapping Christmas Tree Lights Switch-On

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christmas6.30-7.30pm, 8 December 2014, Wapping Green, E1W 2RW

This year, I have managed to get a Christmas tree arranged for our ward which will be installed on Wapping Green, Wapping Lane, and I thought it would be nice to get everyone together by organising an event around the switching on of its lights to which the whole community is invited.

Please come along on 8 December with your friends, children, colleagues and family to celebrate the tree with your neighbours here in Wapping. We are very lucky to have a very special guest who has agreed to switch the lights on and it promises to be a fun evening!

There is no budget for this event, I am instead relying on the good will, kindness and generosity of the local residents, businesses and community organisations here. So far, there’s been a great response and I list below some of the contributions already offered. Read more

Pavement Puddles

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wapping lane

UPDATE! As of Monday, work has now begun on Wapping Lane to ensure that the pavement outside the shops stops flooding. Hopefully this means no more of those big puddles when it rains that we all have to skirt around. Thank you, Simon of Tower Hamlets, for sticking to your word and acting on my original request!

ORIGINAL STORY

I recently had one of the council’s senior officers over to Wapping to discuss improvements to the ward. I asked him to take a look at the pavement outside the shops on Wapping Lane which floods so frequently. He took a few snaps and has since sent a follow-up email (below). I shall let you know how his site visit goes – hopefully we can get some repair works done.

Wapping Lane

I am meeting with one of the Highway Engineers next week to inspect the pedestrian crossing and the footpaths. I am led to believe that the footway has sunk and needs to be re-laid to prevent the water cascading into the businesses. The barriers were allegedly placed at this location at the request of traders. There have been incidents of vehicles sliding off the road and onto the pavement. I will try and establish more facts on the day of the visit.