Newsletter No 5 - July 2017 
from Councillor Andrew Wood, Canary Wharf ward 

Dear all,

Welcome to my fifth newsletter. I am working on a more detailed newsletter about anti-social behaviour and the Rotherhithe bridge which should come out next week. Subjects of this newsletter include:

  1. Road closure this weekend for London Triathlon, crane operation on Marsh Wall + tunnel run event this Saturday night
  2. Neighbourhood Plan public meeting also with Mayor John Biggs, Thursday 20th July from 7pm Seven Mills Primary school + IDEA store Friday and Saturday
  3. ASDA development public meeting Monday 24th July 7pm, St Johns Community Centre, Glengall Grove
  4. Council motions & questions for Council meeting tonight
I hope you find this useful, more information and how to contact me are on my website here;
or you can call/text me on   07710 486 873
tweet me at   @andrewwwood17
or email me at
1. Road Closures

The island is going to be affected Sunday by road closures related to the Triathlon which will result in a degree of road congestion and disruption. 
The TfL website has a detailed list of road closures on Saturday and Sunday as well as a list of bus changes.

We also have two other issues this weekend;
  1. Saturday night tunnel runners from Essex maybe visiting tunnels in the area (including the lower part of Westferry Circus), previous events like this have caused noise and considerable road disruption late at night. They like to park their cars  making lots of noise and then drift or race at high speed through tunnels. I have let the police and Council know about the event and the police have sent the organisers a warning.
  2. Also this weekend part of Marsh Wall is closed for a crane operation outside The Madison development by Millharbour. The closure is planned between 3.30am Saturday 22nd until 8pm Sunday 23rd. See map below.
2. Neighbourhood Plan meeting Thursday 20th July from 7pm

Meeting is at Seven Mills Primary School, Malabar Street (next to the Barkantine estate) E14 8LY. Doors open 7pm if you want to have a chat, event starts 7.30pm and ends 9pm. Free entry, no ticket required.

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs will be attending as well. We will also have a discussion with him about a range of issues concerning our community. Subjects likely to be addressed are fire safety and security, and updates on the Tower Hamlets Local Plan and the GLA’s Opportunity Area Planning Framework. But the main focus will be on the Neighbourhood Plan, details here

There will also be drop in sessions at the Canary Wharf Idea store on the following days & times if you cannot make the evening of the 20th;
Friday     21st July 12-2pm
Saturday 22nd July 3-5pm
3. ASDA Development - meeting Monday 24th July 7pm

The application details are not yet online but St Johns TRA and the Isle of Dogs Neighbourhood Planning Forum will be organising a public meeting on Monday 24th July from 7pm at St Johns Community Centre on Glengall Grove to discuss the proposed ASDA planning application. We have separately asked Tower Hamlets Council planning team and the developer for a meeting but they wont be available until September. So on the 24th we will go through the detail that we know, write down all of the questions residents have to share with the Council and developer before the September meeting.  We will also discuss what we would like to see happen in this area.
4. Council Meeting tonight Wednesday 19th July

Attached below is a copy of the questions and motions we submitted to Tower Hamlets Council in advance of the July full Council meeting. It has been a few months since the last Council meeting and the next one is in September so we had a lot more issues we wanted to raise but with a group of five Councillors we are restricted to 5 questions and 5 motions in total.

If you want us to raise any similar questions or motions in the September meeting let me know. You can also ask your own questions directly to the Council.

Motions are on Greenwich foot tunnel cycling, terrorism protection, construction noise and dust, population growth and infrastructure required and management of services

Councillor Andrew Wood
Is the Mayor satisfied that all buildings in Tower Hamlets with cladding have now been checked or are in the process of being checked and that fire safety assessments are up to date?

Councillor Peter Golds
Will the Mayor inform the council as to whether the four homeless families have moved into 10 Turin Street according to the decision of the Asset Management Board seven months ago on the 9th December 2016?

Councillor Julia Dockerill
Following the meeting I organised on the 27th April at St Georges Town Hall to discuss Anti-Social Behaviour problems in St Katharine’s & Wapping ward will the Mayor provide an update on the specific issues raised in particular the actions requested by the Borough Commander after the meeting.

Councillor Chris Chapman
Given issues raised in the Channel 4 Dispatches programme on the 3rd July about cruise ship related air, noise and light pollution, what steps is the Mayor and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets undertaking regarding cruise ships on the River Thames, docks and in the future docking at Enderby Wharf which is contiguous to the Isle of Dogs?

Councillor Craig Aston
Will the Mayor confirm how much S106, CIL and New Homes Bonus cash is sitting in the Councils bank account to help pay to replace the broken play equipment in Ropemakers Fields which is being held up by a lack of funds to pay for replacement equipment?


Construction noise and dust
Proposer – Cllr Andrew Wood
Seconder – Cllr Chris Chapman

This Council notes that;
Tower Hamlets is undergoing an unprecedented amount of demolition and construction, which in some areas has been underway for more than a decade now and will continue for another decade.
Furthermore, the construction of some of the tallest residential buildings in western Europe is taking place very close to existing homes. This construction is generating significant amounts of noise, dust and light pollution – which is impacting on resident’s health and quality of life. That other forms of disruption like road closures whether for construction or sports events are also negatively affecting quality of life.
That too often developers start noisy construction work before 8am and continue after 6pm (or 1pm Saturday) or even try and sneak it in on Sunday mornings
Construction management plans are rarely followed and do not fully capture the different phases of construction
This Council further notes that;
If a developer asks for an extension of allowable hours and provides reasons why; it is too often granted allowing work into the evening.
The Council does not have a physical presence to monitor and control construction and does not even pay overtime to the staff that could provide some extra coverage despite earning hundreds of millions of pounds in S106, New Homes Bonus and CIL.
The council calls on the Mayor to undertake the following;
1. That Construction Management Plans are reviewed and approved on the basis that they minimise disruption to residents.
2. That demolition methods allowed are designed to minimise the impact on local residents
3. That all such plans are discussed with the local community in advance 
4. That the only allowable reason for working late are Health and Safety Reasons.
5. To ensure the rules are enforced throughout each and every day

Concerns over management of critical services
Proposer – Cllr Julia Dockerill
Seconder – Cllr Chris Chapman

This Council notes that;
That after this Councils Children’s Services failed its OFSTED Inspection that those responsible for the service were moved sideways, stayed in post or have taken a secondment elsewhere but nobody has lost their job.
That the former Cabinet member responsible has been moved to another vitally important Cabinet role with serious responsibilities in this case for Adult Social Care.
That the elected Council has not been informed as to the current state of Adult Social Care but based on anecdotal evidence we have reasons to be concerned about its services. There is no OFSTED inspection of Adult Social Care.
That the OFSTED failure was a surprise to this Council but in part was due to the culture of the service. That culture may be found elsewhere within the Council.
We call on the Mayor to;
1. Expand the talent base of the Council as we simply do not have enough competent people to cover every role with sufficient depth, responsibility and expertise
2. Invite the Local Government Association or other bodies to inspect all of Tower Hamlet’s critical services to enable reassurance that failings in Children’s Services are not repeated elsewhere within the authority.

Population growth in Tower Hamlets and required infrastructure
Proposer: Cllr Andrew Wood
Seconder: Cllr Peter Golds

This Council notes that;
The recent release of updated population statistics by the GLA based on ONS data. Once again Tower Hamlets is the fastest growing place in the UK. Much of that growth is concentrated in the far west and south east of the Borough.
The Council further notes;
The imminent release of the Isle of Dogs and South Poplar Opportunity Area Planning Framework and the accompanying Development Infrastructure Funding Study (DIFS). The study will show the large amount of development that could come on top of the 19,500 homes already with planning permission in the area plus the almost doubling of employment space in Canary Wharf.
That the 2016 Infrastructure Delivery Plan part of the draft Local Plan forecast a total spend on infrastructure of £1,016 million by 2032 across the Borough and that the DIFS will show that a similar scale of spending is required in the OAPF area.
That population growth has consistently exceeded forecasts. The 2009 Local Development Framework forecast Tower Hamlets hitting the population it achieved in 2016 only by 2025 and even then, only in the high-density growth option.
That the scale of the required spending and complexity of what is required far exceeds that of the move to the Royal London Hospital site.
The Council calls on the Mayor to;
1. Improve clarity over the spending and planning of infrastructure. Currently we only have visibility over infrastructure spending when Cabinet papers are released.
2. To set up dedicated teams to plan and deliver the infrastructure required in each major growth area. We need to replicate the dedicated delivery mechanisms of organisations like the London Docklands Development Corporation or the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation.
3. Since nowhere in western Europe will be as tall and dense as the Isle of Dogs we will need to seek international advice from cities like New York, Singapore, Honk Kong and Shanghai.
4. Recognise that residents will care more about the delivery of new schools, GP surgeries, playgrounds, bridges, recycling facilities, sports halls, community halls then whether or not LBTH has a nice new office.

Cyclists in the Greenwich Foot tunnel
Proposer: Cllr Peter Golds
Seconder: Cllr Andrew Wood

This Council notes that;
The Cabinet of the Royal Borough of Greenwich considered changes to the By-Laws governing the use of the tunnel.
That these by-law changes must be then agreed by Tower Hamlets Council before submission to the Secretary of State for final approval.
That the change in By-Laws is introduced by this comment;
“Currently the bye-laws prohibit cycling in the tunnels. This is contrary to the Council’s policy of encouraging safe and considerate cycling at a time when there is demand from users to be allowed to cycle through the tunnels when it is safe to do so. It is proposed to amend the bye-laws to provide the Council with discretion to allow cycling. That discretion would be exercised when cycling is considered safe to all users and advertise by appropriate signage.”
The proposed By-Law says this;
“4. No person shall ride or sit or stand upon any pedal cycle, skateboard, scooter or other wheeled device used for recreational purposes in the Tunnel, unless authorised by the Council. All cyclists must dismount when directed to do so howsoever by the Council.”
The council of Tower Hamlets notes:
• Many pedestrian users are Tower Hamlets residents visiting Greenwich or tourists.
• The numbers of cyclists who continue to cycle when pedestrians are in the tunnel even when small children are present.
• The narrowness of the tunnel.
• That it was designed as a Foot tunnel not as a cycling tunnel.
• The conflict and anti-cycling prejudice that creates due to a lack of enforcement of the current no cycling rules.
• The fear that some residents have of walking through the tunnel due to cyclists not stopping.
The lack of enforcement of the rules as they currently stand
The Council calls on the Mayor;
1. To notify the council of the Royal Borough of Greenwich that he and Tower Hamlets Council will not agree to a change of the By-Laws
2. That if any changes were to happen that local residents on both sides of the tunnel should be consulted first 
3. That the London Borough of Tower Hamlets will continue to work with Greenwich Council to enforce the current rules against cycling in the tunnel.

Additional security against terrorism
Proposer: Cllr Julia Dockerill
Seconder: Cllr Peter Golds

This Council notes that;
Recent terror attacks in London which have included the use of vehicles to knock down and kill vulnerable pedestrians either in well visited areas or outside a Mosque. The presence within Tower Hamlets of a number of dense streets with large numbers of pedestrians present.
That the City of London is once again investing in physical security measures and intends to build a £5 million ‘ring of steel’ around the City to protect it from future terrorist attacks. This will include manned checkpoints, rising street bollards, restricted roads and crash-proof barricades. These precautions come after MI5 warned that the “eastern cluster” of towers planned or being built around Bishopsgate is “highly sensitive to the threat of a hostile, vehicle-borne” attack and will replace the previous ring of steel installed to ward of IRA attacks.
That the City of London is seeking S106 funds from developers in order to help fund this work.
That at within Tower Hamlets only the Canary Wharf estate has a similar level of physical protection.
The installation on London’s bridges of concrete barriers to protect pedestrians from vehicle attacks.
The Council further notes;
That in February 1996 the IRA bombed Marsh Wall which killed two and injured and maimed many more, some who died of their wounds years later. This location was deliberately chosen as a softer target then Canary Wharf estate to the immediate north but one with the same level of publicity value.
That like the City of London Tower Hamlets has emerging clusters of tall towers in Aldgate, Blackwall, Marsh Wall and the areas to the north of Canary Wharf. None have any form of physical security built in or in the immediate area except for some ANPR cameras on some (but not all) of the approach routes. There is not even a publicly funded CCTV network in place in most of these areas.
The location in Tower Hamlets of several high-profile locations such as Brick Lane, Whitechapel, Marsh Wall, Roman Road and the Blackwall Tunnel Approach.
This Council believes that;
We also need to review our security measures in line with the City of London and have appropriate security measures in place to protect and deter potential attacks. And with so many tall buildings close together we may be perceived as a softer target especially as so many buildings are residential in nature.
The Council calls on the Mayor to;
Initiate a full security and safety review of the Borough which will be submitted to Cabinet, Overview and Scrutiny and the full council for consideration and final recommendations. And;
1. Consult with MI5 on the potential security threats to Tower Hamlets given its strategic location and national assets
2. Consider adding to future S106 agreements additional funding for additional security measures over and above those funded through CIL
3. Identify in advance likely targets and consider what steps would be required to mitigate the impact of any future attack using vehicles or other methods
4. Publicise such preparation where appropriate, in order to reassure residents and deter potential attackers
5. Work with the City of London Corporation to ensure that any security cordon includes developments physically located in Tower Hamlets but which are an extension of the City Fringe. That the same happens in the areas adjoining Canary Wharf or other possible targets like Whitechapel Mosque.
If you wish to have a chat about what it is we do locally and events that we organise please get in touch. I am happy to meet you on a one to one basis.
Sent to you by Councillor Andrew Wood, 12 Neptune Court, Homer Drive, London E14 3UQ
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Councillor Andrew Wood · 12, Neptune Court · Homer Drive · London, London E14 3UQ · United Kingdom

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