Spring Newsletter

FullSizeRender[1]I don’t always get a chance to keep everyone up to date with my work as our local ward councillor, so I’ve thrown everything together into a spring newsletter. I hope it gives you a flavour of some of the local issues I’ve been working on. It’s not an exhaustive list and, as always, feel free to get in touch if you have a concern that is not touched upon in this newsletter.

Warmest wishes,


Cllr Julia Dockerill

Spring 2016 newsletter

If there are any troubles accessing the above pdf link, then I’ve pasted the newsletter’s text below.


  • Rat Running—I’ve been working with TfL, the council and residents to try to identify coach operators using Wapping as a rat-run to avoid morning traffic on the Highway. I think things have improved but if you manage to catch the details of any coaches doing this, email peter.allnutt@towerhamlets.gov.uk
  • Speed Watch Initiative—the police have asked if our ward would be interested in an operation to identify problem areas for speeding. I said we would since I receive so many complaints about boy racers and speeding commuters. I am waiting to hear back.
  • Pennington St HGVs—money has now been identified between council and St George to install street furniture on Pennington St to ensure big lorries and coaches cannot idle there.


  • Crossrail—I recently went down into the Crossrail tunnel at Liverpool St to see progress. Crossrail will open at the end of 2018, and will speed us to Heathrow in about 35/40 mins from Whitechapel. We will also be getting a three-storey John Lewis at Liverpool St station!
  • D3 Bus—TfL is proposing to change the route of the D3 bus. I have objected to this and you might want to read more on my website—click here
  • Bike Storage—I have worked with residents at Matilda House to get some proper bike hangars so they don’t have to haul their bikes upstairs or face having them stolen. After a lot of pushing Tower Hamlets Homes, they have finally arrived!

Green Spaces

  • Wapping Woods—when out door-knocking, I was alerted to some uneven paving in Wapping Woods by a resident who said it had become a hazard for older people with mobility difficulties. I asked the parks team to take a look and they are now going to do some repair works.
  • Ornamental Canal—the pump has recently broken on the canal which is creating problems with the water level. The wildlife rafts installed last year are meant to be submerged but with the pump issues, they have become visible. I have asked the maintenance team to take a look, and they are going to get the biodiversity officer to review how well the planting is working. I have also pushed for progress on improved information boards.
  • Wapping Green—Still no commitment from the council to protect Wapping Green formally, as requested by the Turks Head. I have a meeting shortly with senior officers as I continue to try to get s106 monies for the improvement and expansion of this part of the ward to make it a real centrepiece. I shall also discuss investment at KEMP and John Orwell


  • Oswell, Doughty, Inglefield—I am trying to get improvements to these blocks. We have an ongoing problem with dumping and I asked for a more clearly defined area for rubbish. This has now been implemented (see before and after pics). I am also arranging for a local company to do a CSR project in Inglefield’s internal garden.

Anti-social Behaviour

  • Hermitage Gardens, John Orwell Car Park—I have been working with police and residents to try to deter groups of young men who have been gathering in cars, taking drugs and playing loud music late at night. A mobile camera was to be deployed and the idea of a dispersal zone examined. A similar dispersal zone was used successfully on Watts St and the camera helped clear problems on Cinnamon St. The John Orwell car park will be properly locked at night.
  • Nitrous Oxide Canisters—these are being left by groups on a regular basis and I have asked if the council will consider a local ban like in Lambeth. They have agreed to look into this idea.
  • Tobacco Dock—I arranged a meeting between residents and event managers to discuss how to reduce ASB from big dance events. We will now have enforcement officers at stations, better marshalling, more litter bins and a line for reporting concerns. During the most recent event, I reported street urination and litter problems and they responded accordingly so I recommend residents get in touch with Tobacco Dock if they are unhappy with any behaviour from event goers while it is happening.

London Dock

  • School—the council still has not instructed London Dock on a new secondary school for the site, even though the site can be available from March 2017 and there are now three new, excellent Tower Hamlets free school providers who have been approved.
  • First Time Buyers—applications for FTB homes now open. I have put a piece on my website—click here. I am told that there have been many applications, unsurprisingly.
  • Raised table — the planning department and St George have agreed a plan to raise part of the road between Thomas More Square and the London Dock to improve pedestrian flow and continuity between the two areas.
  • First Occupation—the first London Dock residents will likely be able to move in by the end of this year. Once this first phase is complete, with most of the new public Gauging Square opened, then work will begin on the next residential building, a tall tower. They are also speaking to a range of operators as tenants for the first commercial units. New shops and restaurants to come? It looks like Pennington Street warehouse will be open earlier than thought too.

Local Events & Sights

  • Understanding Islam—Father Damian of the Hurtado Centre is a theology lecturer and is hosting a series of lectures on Islam for local people interested in learning more about the religion. Here’s the flyer—click here
  • Trinity House, Merchant Navy Memorial, Tower Hill Memorial—we have some amazing assets on our doorstep. Recently I visited Trinity House at Tower Hill which looks after England’s lighthouses, as well as the Merchant Navy and Tower Hill Memorials. I have updated my website with information about these national landmarks for any residents who have an interest in our local history. Click here.
  • Our ward in the Tate’s Artist & Empire exhibition—I recently went to this fascinating exhibition and noted two links to our ward. The cheetah in the picture to the right was eventually housed in the Tower of London, and there was a picture also of the Prospect of Whitby…albeit the Tangiers branch!


  • Cinnamon St—I think we’re on our third iteration of this application now and I attended a meeting with residents and planning officers to ensure that this latest set of plans responds to the concerns of residents over light, privacy and density.
  • Red Lion Court—I’m pleased to see that work has begun on this old warehouse with the façade preserved after we fought to retain it for the local conservation area. See pic. (right)

Local Politics & the Town Hall

  • Zac Goldsmith visits Wapping—I was delighted to bring Conservative mayoral candidate, Zac Goldsmith, to Wapping to show him our beautiful ward including St Katharine Docks. The mayoral elections take place on 5 May 2016 and we are campaigning hard locally for a Zac victory so he can bring his positive action plan on housing, transport and the environment to Tower Hamlets. Click here to see his manifesto.
  • Still no answer from Mayor Biggs—I have asked several times now for Mayor Biggs to provide a list of public assets in our ward but nothing. This means that there is still no transparency over who is using and controlling publicly owned buildings in our ward, in spite of calls to find a space open to all local residents. The government commissioners have recently announced they will be staying at the Town Hall as they haven’t seen enough progress in changing the political culture of Tower Hamlets. I am afraid to say I still see a lot of the same inertia and absence of strategic thinking for our borough, and we never get close to getting through the agenda at full council due to the same old political posturing, grandstanding and time-wasting games.
  • Join the local Conservative group— our party branch goes from strength to strength, attracting new, enthusiastic members. Visit our website if you would like to help us provide the only credible, active and engaged opposition to Labour’s dominance of our borough.



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