City Pride development plans – put on hold

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Proposals to build a 75-storey tower block on the City Pride site at Westferry Road were REJECTED on June 13 by Tower Hamlets Council’s top planning committee.

The plans, for nearly 1000 housing units, were thrown out by the Strategic Development Committee after Isle of Dogs Conservative councillor Cllr Peter Golds argued against it—pointing out how it exceeded density guidelines by five times.

But there was consternation as the Respect-backed Independent councillor for Millwall, Cllr Mohammed Miah, who sits on the committee, voted FOR the proposals.

Conservative councillor for Millwall, Cllr David Snowdon said “This application was just yet another inappropriate development taking no account of local infrastructure or the impact it would have had on our schools and roads. Residents were also concerned about the impact this would have had on our open spaces, and the housing mix of the proposed development.

“Cllr Mohammed Miah was elected by the people of Millwall to stand up against over-development of our area. Yet here he is trying to get another massive skyscraper built on Westferry Road.

“Residents know that local Conservatives are here to stand up for local residents against massive development putting pressure on our services. Clearly Millwall’s Independent councillor thinks differently.”

Our plans for more police and a council tax cut – rejected by Labour and Respect

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Your Conservative councillors would have put more police on our streets, fixed potholes in our roads, got rid of Mayoral perks and propaganda and delivered a council tax cut – but our plans were defeated by a coalition of Labour, Respect and so-called Independent councillors.

The Conservative plans, unveiled at this year’s Tower Hamlets Council budget-setting meeting, would have balanced the books at the Town Hall, cutting waste while investing in front-line services. But the decision of Labour, Respect and Mayor Lutfur Rahman will leave the Council with a £94 million hole in its reserves by 2017.

Conservative leader at the Town Hall, Cllr Peter Golds said “The Mayor’s budget leaves Tower Hamlets with an enormous financial black hole to fund pre-election giveaways and Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s ever-larger army of ‘advisors’. Your Conservative councillors proposed a series of costed amendments which would have got rid of this enormous waste.

“It’s clear Labour and Respect are out of touch with the real needs of the people of Tower Hamlets. Only the Conservatives focus on what matters.”

Application for a “Community Centre” on Island Gardens park

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We are writing to inform you of an application received by Tower Hamlets Council to erect a “Community Centre” housed in a Portakabin on Island Gardens Park. The site is the area in the north where for over a century, park keepers have stored their tools and where leaves cleared up in autumn have been placed waiting for collection.

The park was acquired from William Cubitt in 1850 by the Greenwich Hospital Commissioners expressly to preserve the view of Greenwich Hospital and now is an integral part of a conservation area and the World Heritage buffer zone incorporating The Royal Borough of Greenwich situated directly across the river. Island Gardens is a planned landscape, safeguarded from any development early in the 19th Century and features in Canaletto’s world famous painting of the Palace of Greenwich.

Adjoining Island Gardens to the south is the Calders Wharf Community Centre and there are other Community Centres proposed within existing planning consents for the Isle of Dogs.

Furthermore, the application indicates that far from being a community centre, this will be primarily for one particular group, featuring separate accommodation for men and women. In addition many of the proposed activities are for religious purposes, which are not compatible with a public park and recreation.

The proposed use would see a significant increase in traffic. It goes against existing Planning Guidance which states that the council is: “Preserving and enhancing heritage assets as an important part of the history and uniqueness of the Isle of Dogs” and “Existing public open space will be protected”. The Portakabin itself will scarcely enhance the masterpiece of Greenwich. It should also be noted that apart from the former Bandstand there has been no building on Island Gardens, indeed the designation as Island Gardens was to prevent the development of this site, and this ugly proposal will undermine 163 years of conservation.

As Island councillors and residents, we strongly oppose placing a Portakabin on Island Gardens, but residents also need to register their objections. You can do so by emailing: owen.whalley@towerhamlets.gov.uk and copying in the Mayor of London at: Mayor@london.gov.uk with your views and copying us into your response. Please do this as soon as possible. There is also an online petition opposing this application at http://tinyurl.com/islandgardens 

We will keep you informed of any further developments and future consultation regarding this application.

Cllr Tim Archer

Cllr Peter Golds

Cllr David Snowdon

Cllr Gloria Thienel

Greenwich development update

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Greenwich Council’s Peninsula West Masterplan outlines their intention to transform the Peninsula into London’s premier entertainment zone by focusing development and regeneration around multi-purpose sports, entertainment. Whilst we welcome regeneration, there are few Greenwich residents living in this vicinity, whereas thousands of people in Blackwall and Cubitt Town could be affected by noise and light, as has been demonstrated previously.

Your local Conservative councillors have supported Isle of Dogs residents by speaking out at Greenwich Council’s licensing and planning committees.

We will continue to do this, particularly as considers plans for Morden Wharf, which extends from the Samuda estate to Christ Church.

Rogue estate agents advertising board update

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Your Conservative councillors for Blackwall and Cubitt Town have taken up many cases of estate agents boards being placed without consent. Recently the council served two statutory enforcement notices on boards that had been placed on Glen Terrace on the Isle of Dogs. They were removed immediately as the company would have been liable for costs had the council been forced to take further action.

Conservative councillor for Blackwall and Cubitt Town Cllr Peter Golds said “This is a problem that we have been dealing with for a long time. If other residents have this problem, please contact us and we will ensure that the council takes action.

Rahman’s clean streets claim – what a load of rubbish!

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Your local Conservative councillors have slammed Respect-backed Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s claims that our streets are clean – and have called for better street cleaning and an end to bulk waste charges.

Conservative councillor for Blackwall & Cubitt Town Cllr Peter Golds said “Lutfur Rahman commissioned a pointless survey that said 98% of our streets were clean – what a load of old rubbish! Anyone who walks round our area can see bin bags, abandoned mattresses and dog mess littering our streets.”

Conservative councillor for Limehouse Cllr Craig Aston added “If Lutfur Rahman was serious about wanting to clean up our streets, he wouldn’t be charging residents £15 a time to get rid of bulky waste and over £100 for pest control. Your Conservative councillors proposed getting rid of these charges in the recent budget, paid for by cutting the size of Rahman’s office – but Labour and Respect joined forces to vote down this Conservative plan.

“The inevitable result of this will be plain to everyone – fly-tipping, rubbish and rats on our streets.”

Rahman’s taxi scandal carries on

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Your local Conservative councillors have once more slammed the Respect-backed Mayor of Tower Hamlets and his administration – after details came out of how they’ve splashed yet more council taxpayers’ money on taxi fares around the borough.

In our last In Touch leaflet, we gave you details of how Rahman and his Cabinet colleagues Cllr Abdul Asad, Ohid Ahmed, Oliur Rahman, Rabina Khan, Alibor Choudhury and Rania Khan spent £7,500 of taxpayers’ money up to June 2012 on taxis around the borough. But new figures show that they continued to splash thousands more in the second half of last year – £1,200 in five months, costing YOU an average £22 each journey.

Conservative councillor, Cllr Gloria Thienel said “Lutfur Rahman and his cronies really do have no shame. These figures just show how they are carrying on squandering council money on journeys to and from their homes or places of work to the Town Hall – journeys that could have been made by bus, DLR or tube or even on foot, the way thousands of residents of the borough travel each day.

This comes on top of Rahman using a little-known rule to make the Council spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on more advisors for his private office and keeping his propaganda newspaper East End Life going. The waste and misuse of public money by Lutfur Rahman is on an industrial scale.

Government invests £77 million in Tower Hamlets housing

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The Conservative-led Government has pledged £77 million of funding over the next two years to improve housing in Tower Hamlets.

£25 million of Decent Homes funding has been pledged for 2013-14. This figure will rise to £46 million in 2014/15. This money will go to renovate kitchens and bathrooms in council housing, and fund re-wiring and new heating systems where they are needed most.

In addition, Tower Hamlets has secured £6 million from the New Homes Bonus scheme which goes towards building new homes. This is the largest grant from the New Homes Bonus to any borough in the country.

Cllr Tim Archer, Conservative councillor for Blackwall and Cubitt Town, said “This is the boost for housing Tower Hamlets really needs. This money will help us to build new homes, relieving pressure in the borough’s 24,000-long waiting list, and to improve existing homes.”

“The last Labour Government left office in 2010 with 55% of social housing in Tower Hamlets not up to Decent Homes standard. That is a disgraceful record. The Respect-backed Mayor presides over a housing waiting list of 24,000 and has taken decisions to cut the average spend on repairs to council housing, damaging the quality of the work carried out.

“Only the Conservative-led Government is securing the investment in our housing stock our borough needs. I congratulate ministers on identifying local residents’ priorities and putting Government cash where it counts.”

Fighting Town Hall Waste

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Local Conservatives exposed the scandal of Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman and his cronies taking taxis and charging you the bill. In only 24 months Rahman’s cronies charged you £8,000 for taxi fares, while Rahman charges £50,000 a year for a chauffeur and car. Local Conservative councillor Cllr Dr Emma Jones says “While everyone else in the borough takes buses and the DLR, the Mayor swans around in a chauffeur-driven car. Only a Conservative administration will stop this abuse of taxpayers money.”

End of East End Life

Figures unveiled by local Conservatives show £3.2 million is blown annually in Tower Hamlets on publicity like East End Life — over £1 million more than any other London borough. Wapping Conservative campaigner, Neil King says “This waste of taxpayers’ money on propaganda has become an abuse. We pay so that Lutfur Rahman can have pictures of himself pushed weekly through our doors. Only the Conservatives are fighting to end this.”P1060859

with beautiful pictures

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London Docks: Big Change Ahead for Wapping

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The London Dock plans for the News International site will bring new life to this abandoned corner of our ward. However the scale of the development will put pressure on existing facilities and have an impact on the character of our area. The Conservative group has been scrutinising this application and voted to defer granting permission until worries about the height of buildings, traffic pressure and completion time could be resolved. We also worry that the Council is failing to use money from the developer to improve Shadwell DLR station However, two Independent councillors on the planning committee and one Labour councillors have now voted to wave the application through.

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