Tower Hamlets Conservatives

King Henry’s Wharves – Here we are again

Another chapter in the saga of the King Henry’s Wharves development. A new construction management plan has been put together whose lengthiness tries to bore us into forgetting that there remains no decent strategy for how this development can be constructed without MAJOR disruption to our whole community. We have been in touch with concerned residents and once again have used their knowledge and work to put together a template objection letter which residents may wish to send to the …

Police Meeting Update

Thank you to all the residents who turned out for the police meeting we organised at St George’s Town Hall last week to discuss persistent anti-social behaviour, dangerous driving and crime in Wapping. We know everyone is keen to engage and the Borough Commander has since written to outline what action police will be taking as a result of our meeting. I paste below her correspondence, which includes her recommendations to council but also to residents about how we might all work …

DAMNING OFSTED RATES TOWER HAMLETS’ CHILDREN’S SERVICES INADEQUATE

Ofsted has today released a damning report into Tower Hamlet’s Children’s Services, rating the department ‘inadequate’ after uncovering ‘serious and widespread failings’ towards those children most in need of help and protection. [Report – click here] Tower Hamlets Conservative group is deeply worried by this assessment but grateful to Ofsted for its vital investigation into the borough’s Children’s Services. Ofsted’s report is the wake-up call the borough needs, not least as the recent departure of Government Commissioners risks the view …

Success in helping local businesses expand!

In spite of its sleepy residential profile, Wapping actually hosts a growing number of exciting creative businesses from Studio Spaces on Pennington Street to The Dock tech start-up hub in Tobacco Dock and Gensler, the big US architecture firm about to move into Thomas More Square this summer. But perhaps the best known is Cherryduck Studios, formerly Tower Bridge Studios, which shot to local fame after making the fantastic #Wappingisopen YouTube video over the summer. Cherryduck is run by local Wapping couple, …

Tobacco Dock Hotel Site

Turning into Wapping Lane from the Highway, Wapping residents will recognise the dormant Tobacco Dock hotel site which has lain undeveloped and unloved for far too many years now. It was hoped when planning permission was given to build an aparthotel on the site that we would finally see this eyesore dealt with. Instead, the site has become even grubbier as the hoardings guarding it have gotten more graffitied and ratty-looking. Following resident complaints, I am trying to get the council …

TfL response on the 100…

A quick update on the campaign to stop TfL cutting short our 100 bus route. Here’s the latest reply from TfL as to why they’re making the change. Fairly sure they’re under pressure to cut budgets to fund Sadiq’s half-hearted fares freeze in spite of pinning the blame on central government. The freeze only affects those buying single fares so Travelcard users are getting the double whammy of hiked fares and reduced services. Anyway, over to TfL… Dear , Thank you …

Tideway Invitation

This invitation has just come through for all Wapping residents keen to learn more about the Tideway plans for King Edward Memorial Park. Put it in your diary! Dear resident, We will be holding an event on Thursday 23rd March 2017 from 19:00-21:00 to provide an overview of landscape design, architecture and art for the Tideway construction site at King Edward Memorial Park. This event will be held at the Shadwell Centre.  There will be members of the Tideway architecture …

King Henry’s Construction Management Plan

If you’re a Wapping planning buff you’ll already know. But if you aren’t, you probably go past that big, empty, scraggy site diagonally in front of the Captain Kidd and think, ‘why on earth is that prime piece of Wapping lane so neglected?’. There have actually been approved plans for the past three years to redevelop the site and convert the nearby wharves to residential units, with affordable units built on the empty site. I have posted details of those …

Update on King Edward Memorial Park

Last week I met the team from Tideway to get an update on the supersewer works at our local park, King Edward Memorial Park. Main points to come out of the conversation:- – the community liaison group is now up and running and around 25 people attended the last meeting. That meeting included a presentation on the new playground. I paste all the links below. KEMP CLWG 31 Jan 2017 minutes – FINAL KEMPF Presentation Jan 2017 play pages jan …

Delivering newsletters in the snow and sunshine!

The local Conservative campaign team has been helping me deliver my Winter Newsletter over the past couple of weekends, in the snow but thankfully also in the sunshine. There are quite a few blocks that we are unable to deliver due to security doors and so on, so for those we were not able to reach, the PDF version is below. Best wishes, as always, and do drop me a line if you have concerns about any issue within the …

Pink Bag-gate

A 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 …

My scrutiny of free schools in Tower Hamlets

Last 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 …

TfL cuts down our 100 bus route

I 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 …

Cash Secured for Dock Heritage

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 …

Bird Table for Wapping Rose Garden?

A 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 …

Tideway Project – Latest Info

A 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 …

Burglary Alert

I 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 …

Christmas Tree Party – Save the date!

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 …

Autumn Newsletter

The 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

Thank 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 …

Delivery Motorbikes and Takeaway Waste

I recently raised the issue of delivery bikes damaging the bridge on the Ornamental Canal and also the amount of waste being produced by takeaway outlets on the Highway. I received the response below from the council. Not enormously encouraging…I had hoped they might look again at the bridge issue, perhaps placing some bollards there so at least they’d have to slow down, as the problems have been bad enough to require the planks to be repaired recently, taking out an …

Open Evening at Tobacco 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. The first of these was organised for 25 August and several residents took the chance to go on a guided tour of the Dock and enjoy the rooftop …

Speeding in Wapping

I have written about the issue of boy racers, commuter coaches, HGVs and ratrunners speeding along Wapping’s 20mph roads on many, many occasions. After the most recent incident involving a bad crash just opposite Capital Wharf, I asked the Borough Commander about what we can do to prevent speeding of this kind, including whether a speed camera might be appropriate. She wasn’t entirely sure of the regs in this area and wondered if the speed limit was 20mph, whether it …

Nitrous Balloon Losers

Excuse the title of this article but I am feeling both exasperated and full of disdain…! Returning home on Saturday night, I found the usual detritus of nitrous balloon losers right by my door. Clearly they had had another crazy, rock’n’roll evening…you almost feel sorry for people whose idea of fun is to sit in a hired sports car and suck a thirty second high from weeny little gas canisters that Mary Berry might otherwise use to whip cream for a flan. Then I am …

Keep our 100 bus route!

TfL wants to change the 100 bus route, one of our major Wapping transport links, such that it terminates at the Museum of London rather than Elephant & Castle. This means that the route will no longer serve key sites such as St Paul’s, the shops at One New Change, Blackfriars station, the Southbank and Tate Gallery, and Elephant & Castle. I am encouraging all concerned residents to object to this proposal so we can get our voice heard. You may …

A word on nitrous oxide, CCTV and ASB

I’ve been working with residents to raise concerns about nitrous oxide (those horrible little canisters that are constantly strewn on the pavement) and anti-social behaviour. For residents’ interest, this is a recent reply from the council about problems around Hermitage Gardens. I share it because it has info on the legislation around nitrous oxide and the issues with the council’s CCTV equipment.   I have read with interest PC McGubbin’s comments on dealing with cars parked up and people using …

Join KEMP Community Liaison Working Group

King Edward Memorial Park Proposals

London is getting a new sewer system, known as the Thames Tideway project, and we stand to be affected as they need to dig a big shaft in King Edward Memorial Park to access the tunnel works. The bad news is that we’ll face some disruption to KEMP and we won’t be able to see the beautiful river view of Canary Wharf for some time. The good news is that we get a big lump of cash to invest in …

Let’s stop Commuter Coaches

I wrote in my latest newsletter about work I’ve been doing to stop commuter coaches and big lorries using our ward as a cut-through, particularly at times of heavy traffic on the Highway. As we all know, the narrow cobbled streets in Wapping make it very dangerous for big vehicles to squeeze themselves through and they are not permitted to do so as a result. I have been working closely with local residents and Peter Allnutt at the council, who …

Car Clubs

I had an enquiry from a resident recently about the expansion of car clubs in Tower Hamlets for those who cannot get parking permits or who do not wish to operate their own vehicle. I received the response below from the council – it seems they are looking at how to roll out these kinds of schemes so that more residents can benefit, and changing some of the rules for existing users to give them greater freedom.   Dear Councillor …

More Info on Tower Bridge Closure

Here 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 …

My summer newsletter

I 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

Tobacco 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 …

Vaughan Way Part Closure

As 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 …

KEMP Community Liaison Group

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 Henry’s Wharf Latest

I 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 …

Ornamental Canal Upkeep

I 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 …

Shadwell Basin Police Statement

On 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 …

A bit of clarification on the lido

Wapping 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 …

Our local bridge – closed for three months

Tower 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 …

Ornamental Canal Update

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 and asked for the fencing to be …

Spring Newsletter

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, Julia Cllr Julia Dockerill Spring …

Course on Islam at the Hurtado Centre

Father Damian of the Hurtado Centre on Chandler Street, is giving three lectures on the beliefs of Islam for any local people who would like a better understanding of the religion. Father Damian is a lecturer in theology at Heythrop College, University of London. Here’s the flyer: Sign of the Crescent Moon

Proposed changes to D3 bus route

I’ve tweeted before to alert Wapping residents to a proposal by TfL to re-route the D3 bus so that it no longer serves the Isle of Dogs but cuts across Canary Wharf to Blackwall. The consultation on this runs to 20th March and I have been asked to comment formally by the council. I paste my consultation response below in case anyone wishes to make similar points. The details of the proposal and how to respond to it can be …

First time buyer homes at London Dock

Buying a place in Wapping is prohibitively expensive, as we all know. But if you’re a renter in the ward and would like the chance to own a home of your own here, you might want to take a look at the First Time Buyer brochure sent through by St George, London Dock. 28 FTB homes are up for sale, with discounted prices ranging from £152,940 to £268,160. The units are available only to people who live or work in …

Rat Running Through Wapping – Report It!

One of the biggest issues that residents are writing to me about at the moment is the use of Wapping as a rat run, particularly in morning rush hour and by commuter coaches and HGVs. I have raised this on numerous occasions with the council, and in person with the Mayor, suggesting higher visibility traffic patrols in the morning. This has not led to visible improvements yet although I think we are beginning to get some action with better signage …

Tobacco Dock

In October 2012, Tobacco Dock was relaunched as a dedicated venue for conferences, events, parties and fairs. This has brought new life to a much-loved Wapping building but can at times lead to disruption and disturbance to residents by patrons of the events and from loud music. I received a small number of complaints about a motorcycle event in June 2014 and had a meeting with Tobacco Dock to discuss how they could improve their management and relationship with residents. …

Royal Mint Court Plans, Tower Hill

Though not strictly in our ward, I thought residents would be interested to see the consultation boards for the redevelopment of the Royal Mint site. Click here For those unfamiliar with the site, it is opposite St Katharine Docks and the Tower of London and is currently dominated by a faceless office development dating from 1989. Nonetheless, this is an important historical site and retains some valuable buildings such as the Grade II listed Johnson Smirke Building, completed in 1809, which …

Christmas Round-Up

Please find my latest newsletter here – WAPPING CHRISTMAS ROUND Or pasted below: WAPPING NEWSLETTER From Cllr Julia Dockerill & your local Conservative team in Tower Hamlets Christmas Tree Rat Running Ornamental Canal Lighting Anti-social behaviour Bike Sheds Broadband Cinnamon Street planning application Tobacco Dock Town Hall Stuff – new Town Hall in Whitechapel, Bishopsgate Goodsyard Christmas Tree First things first, I want to thank everybody who came to the Wapping Green Christmas Tree Lights Switch-on this year. It was a …

London Dock Community Projects

The London Dock team wrote to me this week with details of progress in the first nine months of the London Dock Community Fund, including the Summer Programme of projects for local young people with community BBQs, a coding club and water sport activities. They have £2,180 remaining in the 2015 fund, with the deadline for small grants and ‘greening the ward’ activities closing on 12 October 2015. If there are any community groups or charities in Wapping eligible and interested in …

Wapping Market

Last summer we had the pleasure in Wapping of a new food market held every Sunday, organised by Brockley Market, on the Brussels Wharf site. Unfortunately there’s been no sign of it so far this year and there has been twitter speculation about whether it was due to a delay in the council’s market licensing system or some other such bureaucracy. I made some enquiries with officers and was told informally that the problem was not the council and they weren’t …

Consultation for Clegg/Cinnamon/Wapping High St Plans

For everyone’s information, an email I was sent this week from the developer of the Clegg/Cinnamon/High St sites. Consultation event next weekend. I’ve written about this application recently – click here Dear Cllr. Dockerill, Wapping High St Ltd would like to invite you to a consultation event on Saturday 25th July 2015 from 11-4pm at Raine House, Raine St E1W 9RG where we will be exhibiting revised plans for the redevelopment of 125-129 Wapping High Street, 13-15 Cinnamon Street and …

Ornamental Canal – 14th July Planting Day

I recently posted about the improvements underway to make the Ornamental Canal more attractive and nature-friendly. Click here Phase 2 of the programme is coming up on 14th July and will involve putting additional planting in and around the canal to encourage wildlife and help with water quality. Details from the council’s lovely volunteer coordinator, Sam, below: Good morning Cllr Dockerill Phase 2 of the Wapping canal project will be carried out on the 14th July. I have sent an …

Cinnamon/Clegg/High Street Site Proposals

Residents might recall a local planning consultation held by Phoenix back in October (I think) to showcase plans for three sites just off Wapping High Street that used to be owned by TfL (straddling Cinnamon and Clegg Streets and backing onto the High Street). You can find the proposals here. Since the plans were formally submitted to Tower Hamlets, I have been helping residents make representations to the planning department over light, privacy and height issues. I have also added …

Wapping Shopping List

It is now a year since I was first elected as Wapping’s local councillor and in that time, I have been trying to raise our ward’s profile in Tower Hamlets and get it the repairs and maintenance work that have been ignored for far too long. I now have news on various items of that work: The Bascule Bridge on Garnet Street. When I was campaigning in the elections last year, an exasperated resident said she would be grateful if …

Wapping Lane Junction – Traffic Lights Fixed

Many Wapping residents walk to and from Shadwell DLR, crossing the Highway at the intersection with Wapping Lane. However the safety of the pelican crossing has been questioned because of the phasing of the traffic lights. Currently, when the traffic light turns green for cars turning right from Wapping Lane onto the Highway, the pedestrian crossing turns green too. Sometimes the cars do not notice that they need to stop, posing a danger to any people who are using the crossing. …

Anti-Social Behaviour Update

I speak regularly to the ward policing team to ensure that they have up-to-date information about any concerns residents have expressed to me on crime-related issues. As the weather heats up, we tend to experience more problems with anti-social behaviour and general nuisance and I have received the following reply from Sgt Jak Bentley about the particular issues around Clegg and Cinnamon Streets where groups of young men gather to drink. It looks like Sgt Bentley may be heading off to pastures …

Operation Strong Tower

Councillors received the briefing below from our borough policing team about Operation Strong Tower, an exercise carried out by the Met as practise for a major incident. They have asked that we circulate it to reassure any residents who see or hear the exercise. The 2nd day of a major exercise to test the emergency services and Government response to a terrorist attack will be held in Tower Hamlets today in the Canary Wharf Estate. It started yesterday, Tuesday, 30 …

Wapping Ornamental Canal Project

I know how passionately Wapping residents feel about the Ornamental Canal which runs through the heart of the ward from Wapping Woods through to Hermitage Waterside. Not only does it provide everyone a much-loved outside space to walk, exercise and find peace in the metropolis, but it also hosts local wildlife from swans, moorhens and ducks to herons and carp.  I have been trying for some time to get improvements to the canal, both on maintenance issues and upgrades to …

Some answers on the Thames Super sewer

Just before the election, I met the team working on the Thames super sewer to discuss its likely impact on Wapping. Click here to see the original article. I asked them some questions about likely disruption in Wapping from construction works and they said they’d get back to me, which they’ve now done (they actually replied in March but their email got lost in the ether). I paste below the answer I received. Read on if you’d like to know what’s happening with the …

Construction Traffic on the Highway

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, …

Getting Wapping Fixed, One Puddle at a Time

Before 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 …

Red Lion Court Latest

I 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 …

Thames Tideway AKA Super Sewer Works

I 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 …

20mph Limit Zone Expands in Tower Hamlets

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 …

Latest London Dock Newsletter

London Dock Newsletter March 2015 The 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 …

Wapping Spring Round Up

Spring 2015 Newsletter Wapping See my latest newsletter by clicking on the link above. Alternatively, I paste the relevant text below.   I am sorry for the lack of website updates recently. It’s been an incredibly busy time both in the council and at my day job so I haven’t had a moment to write everything up. I summarise below some of the Wapping issues I’ve been engaged in over the past few weeks . It’s by no means an …

Supporting Cllr Chapman’s Motion on the Charlie Hebdo Attack

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 …

Wapping Christmas Tree Lights Switch-On

6.30-7.30pm, 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 …

Pavement Puddles

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 …

Red Lion Court – the Developer’s Say

Further to my earlier articles on Red Lion Court, I paste below correspondence with the developer so that residents can see their position. Dear Julia Thank you again for getting in touch with us about the concerns you have heard from local residents regarding Red Lion Court. We agree with your suggestion that more information should be provided to you so Paul (Knightsbridge Capital) has provided an initial statement, below. I would appreciate it if you could post the statement …

Red Lion Court

I recently posted on this site information about plans to redevelop Red Lion Court, the old warehouse on Reardon Path near Il Bordello. To read more click http://wappingconservatives.com/uncategorized/consultation-event-on-red-lion-court/#more-4189 The developers held a consultation event to speak to local people about the plans a week or so ago. Following that consultation, a few people got in touch with me to ask questions about the redevelopment, particularly with regard to the developer’s argument that it is not feasible to retain any of the existing building …

John Orwell Centre – Bushes Being Cleared

A few people have been in touch after noticing that the bushes behind the John Orwell Centre were being cleared. ‘What was Tower Hamlets up to?’, everyone wondered. I’ve asked and have just received the response below. Nothing sinister is going on, it seems, but I’ve taken Lisa up on her kind offer to meet and will be visiting the centre in a couple of weeks’ time to learn more about their plans for the future.  Dear Councillor Dockerill Members …

Alterations to London Dock plans

For all Wapping planning geeks, some information about proposed changes to the London Dock plans shortly to be submitted. Pasted below is my email correspondence with London Dock MD, Craig Carson.  From: “Craig Carson” Sent: 14 Oct 2014 19:22 To: “Julia Dockerill” Subject: RE: London Dock Dear Julia, Thank you for your email. I attach the information which we shared with the neighbours. This is available on our website which can be accessed from here: http://londondockcommunity.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/SeptemberDropInEventBoards.pdf <http://londondockcommunity.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/SeptemberDropInEventBoards.pdf>; Through a detailed …

Welcoming new citizens to Tower Hamlets

On Thursday I had the honour of being the Tower Hamlets community representative at our borough’s latest British citizenship ceremony. This ceremony is the final step that new British citizens take once they have been accepted by the Home Office for naturalisation. It is a celebratory event at which new citizens swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen and receive their certificates of naturalisation in front of friends and family. I made the following speech to welcome the new …

Food stalls by Waitrose

Land Securities have just emailed with an update on the food stalls that will be operating outside Waitrose over the next few months if any residents fancy a tasty snack or lunch. They said they want to continue to support the stalls during the winter as this is their quiet season. Here’s the schedule: October 14th Beirut Kitchen, Med. Paella 21st Criollo, Village Gujju 28th Beirut Kitchen, Juzu November 4th Gourmet Chorizo, Village Gujju 11th Beirut Kitchen, Fab Thai 18th …

Consultation Event on Red Lion Court

UPDATE 10 October 2014: Yesterday the developers of Red Lion Court held a consultation event at St Patrick’s to show residents their plans for the Reardon Path site. I was one of fifty residents who turned up to see the plans and discuss their views. I think they were surprised by the impressive turnout but we all know what Wapping’s like! The developer himself, as well as two of his team, used to live in Wapping until very recently so …

Thomas More Square Plans

On Friday Land Securities held an open day for Wapping residents to discuss their plans to revamp Thomas More Square. I asked for a pdf of their presentation boards so that I could share them with other residents. Also in the pdf are details of all the project managers in case residents need to report any concerns about the development during construction. The Thomas More Square project comprises refurbishment and upgrading works to four buildings. The works include the refurbishment of …

Wapping Road Improvements

Given that there’s still a big dip in the road on Wapping Wall, I asked for an update on carriageway improvements to restore the setts along the Wall, High Street and St Katharine’s Way. I received the reply below. The issue with Wapping Wall seems to be the collapse of a BT inspection chamber, due to be repaired in the next couple of weeks. 9th September 2014 Dear Councillor Dockerill Subject: Wapping Wall Carriageway Reinstatement Works. I refer to your …

Ornamental Canal

A couple of weeks ago I met with Michael and Matthew of Tower Hamlets’ Clean & Green team to conduct a walkabout of Wapping’s Ornamental Canal as I had received a few complaints about its maintenance from residents. On that walkabout I reported graffiti, greenery that needed trimming back and complaints about the bollard lighting not working. I met Wapping wader, Chris, and his team mate (Paul, I think?) who clean the canal daily of Canadian pond weed and other …

Latest Planning Applications for Our Ward

Latest planning applications for our ward are listed below: PA/14/01215 FPP 28/08/2014 St Katharines and Wapping 31 St Katharines Way, London, E1W 1LP Replace the existing wooden framed windows and door (Patio) in exchange for aluminium white finished double glazed units. Kate Harrison Mr Andrea Zulli 31 St Katherines Way London E1W 1LP PA/14/02303 NMA 27/08/2014 St Katharines and Wapping Former News International Site, 1 Virginia Street, London, E98 1XY Non-material amendment to Planning Permission ref: PA/13/01276, dated 26/03/2014, comprising …

Good news on Lighting but Bad News on the Bridge

When I was door-knocking, I was asked by a Garnet Street resident if I could do anything to improve pedestrian safety for those walking through Wapping Woods on their way from Shadwell DLR. I made some enquiries with the council and was told a site meeting would be held to improve the lighting between Wapping Woods and Shadwell Basin. It all then went a bit quiet so I’ve chased the matter up and received the response below. Success! We are …

Tree felling, London Dock

This through today from Craig Carson of London Dock development: Dear Julia, You will be aware that there has been some local interest in the removal of the trees on the eastern side of Vaughan Way to facilitate construction of London Dock. These will be removed in the next few days and we are posting the following statement on our website. With best wishes, Craig London Dock Commencement The planning permission for London Dock, granted in March 2014, includes the …

Events at Studio Spaces

I have had a couple of emails from Pennington Street residents about a series of dance events being hosted by local business, Studio Spaces, this autumn. When I got wind of the events schedule, posted online a week or two ago, I wanted to see how the first event was being run so walked past it (incognito) at both 8.30pm and around midnight. I also drove past on Saturday night and there seemed to be no trouble. There were friendly marshals …

Latest Planning Applications

Here is a list of the latest planning applications for our ward. Note the first, which is an upgrade to the Vodafone mobile mast on Vaughan Way. I had a letter on this from Clarke Telecome which explains it is to improve Vodafone’s 2G and 3G coverage in this area. ‘The existing 17.5m high Jupiter 830 shared street pole to be removed and replaced with proposed 17.5m dual height antenna column on existing root foundation; to add 3 new Vodafone antennas; …

Vaughan Way HGV Access Granted

Just to let everyone know that permission has been granted to open up a second access point on Vaughan Way to the London Dock site. I did make representations on behalf of all those who had raised concerns with me as part of the council’s consultation on the matter. I also raised my worries about the amount of construction traffic using that very busy junction with the Highway now that councillors have voted in favour of the demolition of the Topps …

London Dock Construction About to Begin!

This news just in from St George – construction of the first phase of the London Dock development is about to begin (see below and click for their newsletter for full details – London Dock) I’ve not yet heard any more about the possibility of a second HGV access point onto Vaughan Way but will post when I get news. There was twitter speculation about the trimming of trees on Vaughan Way recently being a precursor to the opening of a second …

GP Surgery funding update – new NHS support

There has been a lot of concern in Tower Hamlets recently over the funding of some of our local GP practices. In Wapping that concern has centred upon the St Katharine Docks GP surgery and Julia had a meeting with two of the NHS’s primary care commissioners for our area a month or so ago to discuss the future of the surgery. The way in which primary care is commissioned is highly complex,but basically the funding formula (called the Carr …

Road Closures Keep Cutting Us Off!

I know how irritated Wapping residents get when our village gets cut off by events which utilise the Highway. I again complained to TfL and suggested that on some occasions, they use Cable Street since we’re uniquely cut off when the Highway is closed. I received the reply below. They are going to get back to me…! I also asked for a list of forthcoming road closures and it seems that only the marathon is so far pencilled in for …

100 Bus Diversion

I’ve just had the following email from TfL. It seems the 100 bus which serves Wapping will not be stopping at Tower Hill, Tower Gateway or St Katharine Docks from Monday to allow for gas works at Aldgate. I must admit this is the first I’ve heard of this and am surprised to hear the diversion could potentially last over a year. Home Plan journey Status update Bus information Dear Miss Dockerill,I am writing to let you know that from …

Helicopter Noise

As we leave our doors and windows open in the hot weather, Wapping residents have become more aware of the noise from helicopters flying over our ward – low-flying Chinooks, police helicopters and other aircraft have all been spotted in recent weeks. Military aircraft (which, I believe, is what are flying so frequently over Wapping at the moment) do not come under the same noise laws and flight restrictions as civil aircraft. However there is a contact to whom one …

Redevelopment around King Henry’s Wharf

UPDATE: I have been sending residents’ concerns about the draft Construction Management Plan to the Planning Department and requesting that they are sent on to the developer so that they can be taken into account in any final CMP rather than afterwards. The Planning Department replied: Dear Councillor,  Thank you for the comments. I have not heard anything from the site owners / agent to suggest that the scheme is coming forward in the immediate future. However, I’ll send the …

‘No Cycling’ signs to be returned to Spirit Quay

We knocked on the doors of Spirit Quay residents recently and they told us of the problems they have been having with inconsiderate cyclings zooming along the upper walkway by the ornamental canal and nearly knocking residents over. While cycling is permitted on the lower walkway, it is prohibited along Spirit Quay but the council had persistently ignored requests to reinstate ‘No Cycling’ signs. Finally a council officer has now been down to the area to see the problems and …

Latest Planning Applications for Wapping

As councillors, we get sent lists of all the latest planning applications for the ward. I thought it might be helpful if I post these on this website so people can see what’s happening in St Katharine’s & Wapping. I shall try to make this a regular thing once I get the email through. Of interest this month: – modifications to Waitrose (residents might have seen signs in-store that there is likely to be a bit of disruption over the next …

More on HGV-London Dock Issue

As I have advised the many residents getting in touch about access to the London Dock site (click http://wappingconservatives.com/uncategorized/london-dock-construction-traffic/#more-4087 to read more about it all), I would be posting the response from the Tower Hamlets planning team as soon as I received it. I paste below the reply that came through to me at midday today. There was some confusion as to whether TH’s planners had requested the new access point or whether it had been St George, the developer. The letter …

Tobacco Dock Meeting

A few weeks ago, Tobacco Dock hosted a motorcycle event that disturbed a number of Wapping residents. This led to a series of complaints which Julia took up directly with Tobacco Dock to ensure they were aware of the impact on the local community. Later that week she met the Tobacco Dock team and raised a number of concerns with them including the prospect of rooftop parties in the carpark, noise from the revving of motorcycles, traffic management around events, …

Primary Care in Wapping & St Kat Docks GP Update

 UPDATE, 17 June 2014 – Cllr Julia Dockerill has now had private meetings with Dr Patel and NHS primary care commissioners, Paul Bennett and Neil Roberts, about the future of St Katharine Docks GP Practice. The way in which primary care is commissioned is highly complex, making this a rather difficult issue to distil into an interesting news article or soundbite. But here goes… GPs are not employed by the NHS but are independent contractors whose contracts are negotiated centrally …

London Dock Construction Traffic

UPDATE! Note from St George over construction traffic access issue St George is holding a drop in session next week for local residents. This will provide local residents with the opportunity to meet the team and discuss proposed construction arrangements for the London Dock development.   The event will be held in our consultation room at the eastern end of Pennington Street Warehouse between 5pm and 8pm on Thursday 26 June.    We have recently been advised that Tower Hamlets has …

Thank You

Written below is an account of the election campaign in St Katharine’s & Wapping and my first few weeks as a newly-elected councillor for our area. I appreciate it’s a little long but thought it might be of interest to those who might be curious about what goes on! I shall be writing shortly with information about the Wapping issues I’m currently dealing with. In the words of the great Alan Carr, ‘What a month it’s been!’ After a whirlwind …

Highway Crossing – TfL Actively Investigating

We know that there is a lot of concern, particularly among parents, about safety in relation to the Highway, the busy road that dissects Wapping and Shadwell. In response to that concern, as you can see from the previous article, Julia wrote to Transport for London to ask for improvements to the Dock Street/Vaughan Way junction. This afternoon, we received their response and are delighted to see that TfL is taking the matter very seriously by actively investigating a number …

Dangers of Dock St/Vaughan Way Crossing

We know that there is a lot of concern, particularly among parents, about safety in relation to the Highway, the busy road that dissects Wapping and Shadwell. A couple of weeks ago, a lorry mounted the pavement during rush hour, crashing into a traffic light in front of parents taking their kids to school at John Cass and English Martyrs. After that incident, some Wapping residents asked if we’d help with their campaign to improve the safety of crossings on the …

Crossrail and the Overground

Crossrail is one of the most exciting things happening in London right now and will bring huge transport benefits to us here in Wapping. However a few residents have expressed worry that the works at Whitechapel might lead to an extended closure of the Overground, affecting services from our own local station in Wapping. Worry not! Julia got in touch with Crossrail this week and it seems there are no such plans. Crossrail tries to coincide its works around planned …

Making the walk from Shadwell DLR Safer

We know that many residents worry about the safety of the walking route from Shadwell DLR through Wapping Woods. One Prusom Street resident recently asked Julia if we could look into improving lighting around the steel bascule bridge on Garnet Street. We raised this with Tower Hamlets and have now received the reply below. A meeting is now to be held to assess whether lighting units can be installed in this area to improve lighting in that area between Wapping Woods and …

Penang House Update

A couple of weeks ago, we knocked on the doors of Penang House residents to see if they had any concerns that needed raising with Tower Hamlets. One resident told Neil about several problems in the building, which we reported to the council: a) the lights are out on the stairway b) the stairway (step tops) has become eroded and dangerous c) broken windows on the communal stairway have been boarded up rather than replaced since January and d) the …

St Katharine Docks GP services

We share residents’ worries about recent newspaper reports suggesting that the future of Dr Sarit Patel’s St Katharine Docks GP practice has been put into question following funding changes. We have made immediate representations to Dr Anne Rainsberry, the NHS’s Regional Director for London, to ask for the full facts. Dr Patel has a stellar reputation here and residents do not want to lose his expertise, personal touch and continuity of care. We shall let residents know as soon as …

Action on lighting, street cleaning, anti-social behaviour and road safety

We regularly door-knock in Wapping to introduce ourselves to residents and see if they have concerns about the area that need raising with Tower Hamlets. We have met a fantastic bunch of people in recent weeks and taken up a broad range of concerns. This past fortnight’s concerns include youths drinking and littering in Wapping Woods; poor lighting around the Garnet Street/Shadwell Basin steel bridge and slipperiness there in winter months; persistent damp in a housing association home; poor upkeep …

Our constant battle to improve Wapping roads

[UPDATE! 24 April – We welcome the new government funding for pothole repairs that has been announced today and urge whoever controls Tower Hamlets on 23 May to bid for support. The £168 million Pothole Fund, announced in the 2014 Budget, has today opened for bids from councils, with applications closing next month. The funding is enough to repair more than three million potholes across Britain, and comes on top of £10 billion already being given to councils in England for …

Our Latest Delivery

We had a great team of friends out in Wapping this weekend to help us deliver our latest newsletter. Thanks, as ever, to them for their relentless enthusiasm and enormous support. If you didn’t get a copy of our newsletter, you can find it here. It details some of the ways in which our borough has been let down by the incumbent Mayor and the Labour majority.   Development plans don’t benefit existing local residents. Despite opposition from local residents, …

Broadband – Why the Slow Progress?

We have been getting a lot of complaints here in central London about the provision of superfast broadband. The Mayor of London has secured £25 million from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport’s Urban Broadband Fund to support the rollout of fibre optic in the capital. However BT have been slow in upgrading the exchanges in the City and East London. Julia made representations on behalf of Wapping residents to BT’s head of customer service, Warren Buckley, pressing him on …

Tower Hamlets Budget Special

This week we’re delivering our latest newsletter across the ward , detailing Conservative plans for our borough. Thanks, as always, to the great band of supporters who have helped us get the newsletter out.

More Road Closures – the Highway to shut for Tour de France

We have just been sent the email below from TfL notifying us that the Highway is going to be shut yet again, this time for the Tour de France. We know that fellow Wapping residents are getting pretty frustrated by the number of events being held that block access to Wapping and modify crucial bus routes. It is something Cllr Emma Jones raised with Tower Hamlets only a few weeks ago. Local campaigner, Julia Dockerill, has also responded to the …

Congratulations, Chris! Wilford for Mayor!

On 23 February, Chris Wilford was selected by Poplar & Limehouse and Bethnal Green & Bow Conservative Associations to be their Mayoral candidate for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets 2014 Mayoral election. Chris lives in Bow, and currently works in public policy for a leading international body. Previously, Chris has worked as a recruitment consultant in the financial services, placing candidates from new graduates to global directors. Before this, he worked on education projects for both the British Council and the House of …

Crime update – be vigilant in Wapping Woods

Wapping residents should be aware that there has recently been a spate of muggings in Wapping Woods. Cllr Emma Jones helped with efforts to cut back the trees, install CCTV and improve safety in the area last year so it is sad to hear of these problems. We encourage everyone to stay alert. Local Conservative activist, Neil King, attended the recent meeting at Studio Spaces to discuss problems on Pennington Street with illegal raves and other crime. A trained barrister, …

Improving Wapping Lane – What’s Your View?

We are always looking for ways to improve our area— whether clearing the canal, improving street lighting or repairing pot holes. We have a great parade of shops on Wapping Lane but we think the street itself could do with TLC. The pavement is poorly maintained, leaving big puddles in heavy rain. We also think that the railings on either side of the zebra crossing create problems. Groups of kids often sit either side of them, which can be intimidating …

Wapping surgeries in Bethnal Green? Thanks Cllr Haque!

Anyone wishing to see Wapping councillor, Shafiqul Haque, can now find him hanging out on the Roman Road, Bethnal Green, where he has decided to hold his surgeries—a half-hour bus ride away from Wapping. Cllr Haque was elected in 2010 after standing as a Labour candidate. But he got booted out of the Labour Party two years later and is now one of Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s sidekicks. This quality of service was probably not what was envisaged by the Wapping …

Put London Dock cash into Wapping not Whitechapel!

With the massive News International site in Wapping set for redevelopment, our ward is in the midst of huge change. Over the next fifteen years, 1800 homes, a secondary school and 20 000 square metres of commercial space will be built in a new quarter dubbed ‘London Dock’. In January, this was approved by the votes Labour members and the Lutfur Rahman supporters. Both Conservative members of the committee spoke and voted against the application—while we support the regeneration of this …

Making Wapping Better, One Mattress at a Time!

Anyone noticed how many mattresses get dumped on London’s streets every week? Tower Hamlets council asks for £15 to collect bulky items but East London seems to have an endless supply of feckless futons that cost us all money to clear up if dumped anonymously. The details of how to get rid of such items are pasted below. In the meantime, if you spot any of the offending articles, take a picture and send it to us with the location and …

Latest Newsletter Coming Out

We are currently distributing the latest newsletter from your Conservative Action Team around the ward and you may have seen us out and about at the weekend and weekday evenings. We hope to distribute a newsletter to every household but this isn’t always easy given the number of gated developments in our area. If you didn’t manage to catch one, please do take a look online using the link below. Thanks to all the friends and family members who came …

Wapping Conservatives website coming soon.

We are currently building our very first ward website. We hope it will become a helpful resource for everyone in the community and a good way of learning more about what’s going on in our area. Please be patient while we put everything together. The site will evolve over time, with more detailed information and new photographs coming soon. Best wishes, Julia

Fighting Overdevelopment in Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Council is planning to build a whopping 43,170 new properties in Tower Hamlets by 2025 according to its latest Core Strategy document. “The Council simply can not allow development at this break-neck speed without investing in schools, doctors surgeries and public transport infrastructure” says local Conservative councillor Cllr Emma Jones, “But Tower Hamlets Council is simply not doing enough. It is not driving a hard enough bargain with developers who are charging ever higher prices for flats, but …

Peter Golds: We Must Build Sustainable Communities

Over the past few weeks I have attended meetings organised by Island residents of a large estate of social housing, a newer mixed development and a gated development. All were facing the problem of dumped cars. In each development vehicles appear to have been abandoned on what is essentially private property. The police and council will not take action. Worse, the DVLA is delaying providing details of registered owners. As a result people face their own limited space being blocked …

Peter Golds: Tower Hamlets Mayor has disdain for public and councillors

At last broadcasting has come to Tower Hamlets Council. Having taken part in the meeting I then viewed it via the council’s website. It will not be featuring in the Oscars but it is a step towards open government in this secretive borough. What will be seen and noticed is the disdain with which Mayor Lutfur Rahman treats the council and public, sitting smiling at his supporters while ignoring questions from councillors who are elected to scrutinise his actions and …

Conservative councillors get Virginia Quay crossing

A new zebra crossing has been built on a busy road in Blackwall—after the area’s local Conservative councillors secured funding for it. The zebra crossing, located on Blackwall Way in the Virginia Quay estate, was built and opened over the summer. Local Conservative councillor for Blackwall, Cllr Gloria Thienel, “Residents of Virginia Quay raised the issues with me that were caused by Blackwall Way being opened to traffic. Local residents have been fed up with Blackwall Way being used as …

Mayor shores up fading support

It came as little surprise on discovering that among the millions of pounds of taxpayer money being handed out in grants by Tower Hamlets, £64,000 was heading for Unite, Europe’s wealthiest trade union. Unite maintains a political fund of millions and has been involved in a series of disputes over the selection of parliamentary candidates for the Labour Party. The union itself commissioned an internal poll to establish how their members voted. The result was that 45% voted Labour and …

Island Gardens building plans – withdrawn

The threat of development on Island Gardens park has been defeated – thanks to your Isle of Dogs Conservative councillors and objections from residents across the Island. In our last In Touch we kept you informed about a proposal to build a community centre in a Portakabin on this historic park, risking damaging the view of Greenwich Hospital across the river. Following action from your local Conservative councillors and the setting up of the Friends of Island Gardens, the plans have been withdrawn. …

We see little benefit from towers

There has been much controversy over the decision by Tower Hamlets to grant planning consent for a 75-storey building close to Westferry Circus. This will drive a coach and horses through the carefully agreed policy previously enforced around Canary Wharf and is likely to result in a series of unco-ordinated and uninteresting skyscrapers. As the committee was considering the application, consultation was underway for two further massive developments in the Westferry/South Quay area, one of which is for another 57-storey …

Register your objection to 173 housing units at Island Point, Westferry Road

As you may be aware, Tower Hamlets Council’s top planning committee voted in June to reject plans to build a 75-storey tower on the site of the City Pride pub near Canary Wharf, which would also have seen 173 housing units at the Island Point site on Westferry Road. However, due to a technicality, the proposal came back before the committee on 18 July. The second meeting was arranged for 5.30pm rather than the usual time of 7.30pm, and one …

Standing up to the tunnel run menace

Tower Hamlets Council is finally taking action over the tunnel run misery at Westferry Circus—thanks to action from one of Millwall’s Conservative councillors. The tunnel runs—which involve convoys of hundreds of cars meeting up to rev their engines late at night—have resulted in sleepless nights for many local residents. Thanks to pressure from Conservative councillor for Millwall, Cllr Zara Davis, Tower Hamlets Council are finally implementing water barriers at Westferry Circus to deter tunnel runs from congregating there. Commenting, Cllr …

Action for our area – Limehouse

Cllr Craig Aston is working with the local police Safer Neighbourhood Team over crime and anti-social behaviour issues around Gill Street (pictured above) and the Barleymow Estate. Cllr Craig Aston got rubbish, including abandoned shopping trollies, removed from Bethlehem House on the St. Vincent’s Estate (pictured below)

Studio Spaces licence refused

Tower Hamlets Council’s Licencing Committee has refused to extend the licence for Studio Spaces on Pennington Street. The bar, which applied for a new licence at the meeting on 30 May, was refused after objections from local residents and the police. Local Conservative councillor Cllr Dr Emma Jones has been raising issues about crime and anti-social behaviour at Pennington Street on behalf of local residents for many months. She comments: “This is not the first time residents have had to …

City Pride development plans – put on hold

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 …

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

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 …

Application for a “Community Centre” on Island Gardens park

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 …

Greenwich development update

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. …

Rogue estate agents advertising board update

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 …

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

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 …

Rahman’s taxi scandal carries on

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. …

Government invests £77 million in Tower Hamlets housing

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 …

Fighting Town Hall Waste

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 …

London Docks: Big Change Ahead for Wapping

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 …

Repairing the Ward

We think our ward is one of the most beautiful and atmospheric in London with its historic, maritime legacy and stable village community. Yet we also think it is under-maintained and overlooked by Tower Hamlets and the borough’s Mayor. Your local Action Team keeps up the pressure on the Council by securing pots of funding for local works and reporting jobs that need doing. After years of patched and botched repairs, Cllr Emma Jones secured £75,000 to restore the cobbled road on Wapping Wall. Cllr Jones says …