Pink Bag-gate

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pink bagsA lot of residents have recently written to me about the council’s bizarre decision to ration recycling bags by making residents show ID and turn up at Ideas Stores on specified days to get their annual roll. If only such a rigorous process was applied to those who wish to vote in borough elections…

This new policy has been the subject of extremely lively discussion within council and the Conservative group has been trying to get the council to see sense by reversing the change. We have appallingly low recycling rates, and the process of handling non-recycled waste is enormously costly. We should be doing everything we can to encourage recycling, not discouraging it with silly new restrictions.

I recently got the following reply from the council when I wrote to them asking for the latest information on pink bag-gate on behalf of residents. For those interested, it’s pasted below. Read more

My scrutiny of free schools in Tower Hamlets

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schoolLast night I chaired a ‘challenge session’ of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee (O&S) in order to scrutinise the allocation of sites for new free schools in Tower Hamlets.

O&S is the main member-led body that holds the executive decision makers of Tower Hamlets to account, and I act as scrutiny lead on Children’s Services.  The scrutiny process provides non-executive councillors like me an opportunity to examine services; to ask questions on how decisions are made; and to consider whether service improvements can be put in place. Scrutiny reviews and challenge sessions are one of the ways in which we undertake this function. Read more

TfL cuts down our 100 bus route

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cwi0iyuwiaertqyI am sorry to inform Wapping residents that in spite of a hard-fought campaign, TfL will be cutting down the route of the 100 bus such that it no longer serves St Paul’s, Blackfriars, the Southbank/Tate or Elephant & Castle. Everybody responded fantastically to my call for a ward lobbying effort by writing to TfL and the Mayor of London but unfortunately they have decided not to take on board our concerns. This is the letter I received from them last week. I am sorry not to have been successful in this important campaign.

Routes 100 and 388

Dear Julia,

Thank you for your interest and response to the proposals for Routes 100 and 388 that we consulted on between 30 September and 13 November 2016. To recap we consulted on proposals to extend route 388 to Elephant & Castle using the current route 100 routeing from Wormwood Street (via London Wall, St Paul’s, and Blackfriars Bridge), and withdraw route 100 between the Museum of London and Elephant & Castle, while making the current diversion of route 100 via London Wall avoiding Liverpool Street bus station permanent. Read more

Cash Secured for Dock Heritage

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rig background

As any good Wapping resident knows, our ward is imbued with the memory of its past as a working dock area processing cargo into London. That rich docking history manifests itself in old warehouses now converted into flats, docks long since transformed into leisure spaces (whether St Katharine Docks or the Ornamental Canal), evocative street and pub names, riverside steps to former wharves and the remains of heavy brick walls that used to protect cargo from thieves.

It has long been my view that this docking heritage is a great asset which we should seek not only to protect but to showcase, and I saw an opportunity for this when an application came forward to Strategic Development Committee a couple of months ago.

The application was for a private members’ club to be floated on one of the quays in Canary Wharf. The club was designed to replace a former industrial building – further details below:

Evening Standard

I was unconvinced that the benefits of granting permission for the club were worth the loss of dock space for two reasons. First, while there was an obligation on the developer via section 106 to put money into the general Tower Hamlets pot (£600k in this instance), I made clear in committee that I thought that any financial contribution should more specifically be directed into the preservation of dock heritage across the borough. In other words, if we are losing dock space, it should be offset by a much more targeted benefit that enhances the borough’s historical fabric in other ways. Secondly, I had concerns about the club’s exclusivity. While I have no objection to the principle of private members’ clubs, if we are losing semi-public space then I believe that the public should have at least some access to what comes in its place.  Read more

Bird Table for Wapping Rose Garden?

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parakeetA little bird told me (boooooo) about the parakeets nesting in Wapping Rose Garden, and wondered if the council might install a bird table for them. This is their reply:

Dear Councillor Dockerill

Enquiry regarding: ME – Parakeets Nesting in Wapping Rose Garden

In response to your query received on 5th December 2016, I have discussed the idea of installing a bird table in Wapping Rose Gardens with the Council’s Biodiversity Officer, John Archer.

He advises that hanging feeders of a squirrel-proof design would be preferable to a table-style feeding station. Food placed on a bird table would probably all be consumed by squirrels and pigeons. Food could easily fall off a table, and food on the ground will attract rats. If feeders are installed, seed and fat, aimed at a wide variety of birds, would be more appropriate than providing fruit targeted at the Read more

Tideway Project – Latest Info

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proj-004-KEMP-view1-12-12-02-1024x724A community working group has now been set up by Tideway so that local residents can contribute to and be kept abreast of the plans for King Edward Memorial Park (KEMP). NB – For those not yet in the know, KEMP is to be affected over the coming few years by works to build London’s new super sewer. I’ve posted about this before so you might want to have a look through this site for further info.

All the documents from the last meeting are below, including pictures of the plans (sorry for the less-than-dazzling file names!)

The next meeting is 31 Jan, 7-9pm at Shadwell Basin Sailing Centre. 

Happy New Year everyone!

Best wishes,

Julia Read more

Burglary Alert

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P1060990I was alerted yesterday to a particularly unpleasant series of burglaries in Reardon House, just off Wapping Lane, and I would recommend that all residents stay extra alert at this time and ensure homes are as secure as they can be. It seems the burglaries took place when a group posing as workmen gained entry to homes. I have been in touch with the local policing teams about the incident as well as our Tower Hamlets Homes Neighbourhood Officer, James. I paste James’ reply below.

Dear Cllr Dockerill,

Thank you for your email.  What an awful experience this poor resident has had to endure.  My team are aware that this happened and I have cascaded the information to other neighbourhood teams within THH to raise awareness.  The police were informed by the resident that this happened.  Apparently the two alleged perpetrators were wearing high visibility jackets and pretending to be work men to try and gain entry to properties.   Our Mears manager confirmed that they were not working for a contractor.

To help I have asked that the Neighbourhood Housing Officer and Anti-Social Behaviour Officer to meet together and agree on a way forward to help raise awareness for residents in this area.   It would be worth I am sure bringing in SNT in on this if possible so I have copied the NHO and ASB Officer into this email to start the conversation with the Ward Officers.  Read more

Christmas Tree Party – Save the date!

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tree

Wapping Christmas Tree Lights Switch-on

6.30-7.30pm, Monday 28 November 2016

As many of you know, for the last two years I’ve managed to get a Christmas tree arranged for our ward on Wapping Green, Wapping Lane, and with the help of local people, organised an event around the switching on of its lights. Thank you to everyone who has assisted in previous years with making this such a success.

We’ve now had two really lovely dos and we have been promised another tree this year, along with lights for the parade of shops. Naturally this means another party to organise.

As ever, there is no budget for this event. We are instead relying on the kindness and generosity of Wapping’s residents, local groups and businesses. I sent out an email asking for help last week and have had a fantastic response so far. I will shortly be updating the list of things to ‘cross off’ below with those who have offered to provide help so that residents can see who is helping out and what items still need to be organised should anyone wish to assist. Read more

Autumn Newsletter

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cwi0iyuwiaertqyThe local team of Conservative volunteers and I have spent the past couple of weekends delivering my latest Wapping newsletter. For those we weren’t able to get to, do check out the pdf version using the link below.

wapping-autumn-2016

100 Bus update

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100-busThank you for the fantastic support from residents in responding to the 100 bus plan, which sees TfL chopping the route of this vital transport link for Wapping residents. I made this the main story of my recent newsletter to encourage residents to respond to TfL’s consultation and thankfully everyone has been emailing them with their concerns.

I am also pleased to say that the council has incorporated the ‘set text’ I wrote against the plan into their own consultation response and have formally objected to the plan. I paste the letter below. If you want to learn more about the plans and send your own objection, get more details here 

 

Transport for London, Palestra, Blackfriars Road, London

2nd November 2016

Response to TfL Proposed changes to the 100 bus services

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please accept this as Tower Hamlets Council’s response to your proposed changes to the 100 bus services and its effect on Borough residents particularly in the Wapping area.

Councillors and residents have expressed their concerns with TfL’s proposal to shorten the 100 bus route, terminating it on London Wall rather than the current arrangement of crossing the river towards Elephant and Castle. In particular, the loss of the strategically important direct interchange facilities with other routes and modes at St Pauls, will discourage use, make journeys by public transport to and from Wapping much more difficult, and will severely impact on service resilience when the DLR and/or Overground services are unavailable. Access to health facilities will be reduced and night-time personal security potentially worsened. Read more