Newsletter No 1 - April 2017 
from Councillor Andrew Wood, Canary Wharf ward 

Dear all,

Welcome to the first email newsletter I will be writing for residents of Canary Wharf ward and our neighbours. The plan is to write these every couple of weeks, they will start with the most urgent news item at the top, then degenerate into political stuff at the bottom :) Sorry there has been a delay in writing this as I had intended to start this last year but too much has been happening. I normally use the Facebook group I administer 'Canary Wharf & Isle of Dogs residents' to communicate as well as Twitter but this email is for those of you not on FB or who prefer to read a summary every few weeks.

Please let me know what you think about the design, layout, content etc but if you do not wish to receive this newsletter please unsubscribe at bottom. But also forward this email to whomever you think may appreciate this. They can get their own copy by emailing with the word newsletter in the subject.

If you want to kept up to date on planning issues the Isle of Dogs Neighbourhood Planning Forum also sends out regular email updates as well. It is a non-political group and you can find out more about them on their website here which also contains a link to their regular newsletter.

Subjects of this newsletter include:

  1. London Marathon Sunday 23rd April road closure & route
  2. Construction management update
  3. How to register to vote and who can vote
  4. Tower Hamlets fails its OFSTED Children's Service Inspection
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. Marathon Route, Timing and Road Closure

The ward is going to get cut off on Sunday as all of our main roads are on the Marathon route so you will need to walk or use the DLR to get around. Participants will enter the island at the following times (we are on miles 15 to 19 of the route)

9.45am Elite men wheelchair
9.55am Elite women wheelchair
10.23am IPC International Paralympic Committee
10.35am Elite women runners
11.11am Elite men runners
12 midday 3.30-hour pace which is good pace for fast runners
1.25pm 6-hour pace which is very slow runners
Vehicles on route will start to be removed 7am Sunday. Road closures start 6.30am but Virgin say vehicles can still move until 9.45am on Westferry Road if escorted. Access can re-open after 2pm but officially roads closed until 7pm.

Greenwich foot tunnel will be closed north to south between 10:30-12:30. 

More information about the Marathon can be found here;

More information about transport options can be found here;

Road closure map south
Road closure map north
Read More Detail Here
2. Construction management update 
Whether it is closed pavements, noise, dust, late night (or morning) working, large HGV trucks turning on narrow roads or unsafe crossing points we suffer more from construction then almost any area in London as the tallest and densest residential towers in the UK are built here.

Although Tower Hamlets Council has earn't over £100 million in funds from development along Marsh Wall/Millharbour/Westferry/WIQ and will earn even more in future Council Tax receipts they wont even authorise overtime payments to investigate late working!

As a reminder no construction should take place before 8am or after 6pm on weekdays, on Saturday construction should stop at 1pm. No work Sunday. This means no noise should be heard at the boundary not that staff cannot be on site. Work should only happen outside of these hours with the permission of Tower Hamlets Council (but there is no place check permissions online)

But if you observe work happening outside of normal hours take a picture or even better a video and send it to me and I will follow up with the Council. The Council has its own page explaining what they will do with contacts here;

I have done several tours of the area with Council officers pointing out the issues and have sent them many pictures of the disruption. A few weeks ago I did another tour of the construction sites on or close to Marsh Wall with the Head of Planning and the Head of Clean & Green (which covers roads). The Vice-Chair of the Isle of Dogs Neighbourhood Planning Forum accompanied us with copies of the construction management plans so that we could see the difference between actual practise and the plans. Not surprisingly most sites had adopted 'temporary' practises. We shall see what the Council do but they very clearly know what is happening and the consequences.

The Greater London Authority and Transport for London are now also involved on this issue. They are discussing setting up two things;
  • A developers forum to co-ordinate issues better (there is an unofficial forum already)
  • A Freight Management & Construction Management Strategy (they are looking for funding to write)
In the short term the solution is to keep applying pressure on the Council to do a better job and to push the GLA & TfL as well for solutions. We are the most important growth area in London and Canary Wharf is the 3rd most important economic centre in the UK after the Cities of London and Westminster.

But longer term I think we need to set up a new form of local government, a Town or Parish Council for the Isle of Dogs, more on this in future newsletters.
3. How to Register to Vote and Who can Vote

You have until the 22nd May to register to vote in the forthcoming General Election on the 8th June, you can do so here;

If you think you will be away on the 8th June you can register for a postal vote here;

To vote in a General Election you must:
•    be registered to vote
•    be 18 or over on the day of the election (‘polling day’)
•    be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen
•    be resident at an address in the UK (or a British citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years)
•    not be legally excluded from voting
4. OFSTED Inspection of Tower Hamlets Children Services

I have been supporting a parent for the last two years dealing with Tower Hamlets Children Services. It has been a deeply worrying experience but I was not sure whether it was an isolated experience or not but now as you can see from the summary of the OFSTED findings they are also worried and have failed the Council.

If you also have any issues with the Councils Children Services department please get in touch (in confidence)
I have quoted below directly the first two paragraphs of the OFSTED findings;
There are widespread and serious failures in the services provided to children who need help and protection in Tower Hamlets. As a result, too many children remain in situations of actual or potential harm for too long. Insufficient scrutiny by the chief executive, the director of children’s services (DCS) and politicians has meant that they did not know about the extent of the failures to protect children until this inspection. In the majority of cases referred to them by inspectors, managers and leaders had to take immediate action to ensure that children were safe, that their needs were met and that plans to safeguard them were progressed appropriately. In addition, as a result of identifying current risks to children, inspectors requested that the local authority review several aspects of the service urgently, including private fostering arrangements, care leavers in custody, the arrangements for the Public Law Outline (PLO) and the psychosocial team meetings.

Services for children in care or who need to be adopted and those for young people leaving care are not yet good enough. Some services have significantly deteriorated since the last inspection of children’s services published in 2012, when the local authority was found to be good overall with outstanding features. The DCS took up an interim position in July 2015 before her permanent appointment in March 2016. Despite uncovering a deeply worrying picture regarding the services provided to children, there has been insufficient rigour by senior leaders in challenging weak management oversight. When changes have occurred, progress has been limited or not sustained, and improvements remain fragile. Senior leaders have accepted the inspection findings and are determined to improve outcomes for children.
There are forty-five Councillors across Tower Hamlets, five of whom like me belong to the Conservative Party.  We are the effective opposition to the Labour administration & the Labour Mayor. In the 2010 referendum, voters of Tower Hamlets chose to remove power from Councillors and introduce an Executive Mayor for Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman and now John Biggs who  has the executive power. So my role is to hold them to account but to also push the Council to deliver what it should be delivering.

Although I have a political role my long term focus is on making the area the best place to live in London despite the huge amount of construction underway which will make us the UK equivalent of Manhattan, Shanghai or Hong Kong.

If you wish to have a chat about what it is we do locally, my role 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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