Newsletter 2 - 24th January 2022
from Councillor Andrew Wood, Canary Wharf ward
& now a candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets

Dear all,

Welcome to the second email newsletter of 2022, I decided last week's newsletter was getting too long, you can read it here so I decided to move some subjects to separate newsletters this month.

Subjects of this newsletter include:

  1. Tower Hamlets Code of Construction Practice consultation including public meeting 5pm today 
  2. Recycling & rubbish update and what are Underground Refuse Systems (URS)?
  3. New 46 storey tower on Marsh Wall
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
Tower Hamlets Code of Construction Practice consultation until Friday 25th February 2022

This is about the rules that apply to the construction process in Tower Hamlets, the Council last updated their rules in 2004 and a lot has changed. So they are consulting on an updated version until the 25th of February.

You can attend one of the following online and in-person events:
Webinars on Teams link here
  • Monday 24th January at 17.00 - 18.00 (TODAY)
  • Thursday 27th January at 17.00 - 18.00

In-Person Drop-ins:
  • Monday 31st January (17.00 - 19.30) at Whitechapel Ideas Store
  • Wednesday 2nd February (15.00 - 17.00) at Chrisp Street Ideas Store
  • Friday 4th February (15.00 - 17.00) at Canary Wharf Ideas Store

It contains at least two pieces of good news 

1. Saturday noisy construction work is to be made by exception only - not automatic - so we are copying Kensington & Chelsea Council in only allowing noisy construction work 5 days a week (unless developers apply for a specific exemption) - note this may only apply to future sites, not those already with planning permission

2. It is one of the first Council documents to formally recognise the IoD Neighbourhood Plan policies that you voted for last May as having weight (even though it has had legal weight since April 2020)

BUT you need to respond to the consultation to support these suggested changes or they may be watered down as developers will also be responding to this consultation, they have a separate series of questions.

At the March 2021 Council meeting Cllr Peter Golds and I tried to change the rules about Saturday working by submitting a motion called "Regarding the impact of construction on the Isle of Dogs and South Poplar" but it was heavily amended by the Labour Group (see the picture below of part of their amendments to our motion including removing the idea of 5 day working) but it looks like the Council decided to go with 5 day noisy working after all :) , you can read our original motion here and the Labour amendment here 

Labour amendment to our original motion (last page)
Recycling & rubbish update and what are Underground Refuse Systems (URS)?

I see a lot of complaints from residents about delays in picking up waste especially recycling, food, and gardening waste as well general street cleanliness plus delays in the free bulk waste pick up service (but it is at least working again here)

And the concerns about the build-up of waste are not just about the smells and the lack of tidiness but the potential fire risks from too much flammable rubbish inside or near to some buildings.

I suspect that the problems are worse here than elsewhere in London even though a shortage of drivers and COVID staff absences affect all Councils. The Council took this service in-house in March 2020 ending the contract with Veolia so it is now the Councils responsibility to fix. I spend most weekends in Lewisham helping to look after my 9-year-old niece and I do not notice the same range of problems there (also on social media there) but I have also heard from people working in other Boroughs which all suggest the problems are worse here.

And the graph below from this Council presentation (link here) in November 2021 suggests that as regards recycling rates things are worse here than elsewhere in London and getting worse.

One reason is equipment related. URS bins are the underground bins that you can see in the pictures below from Blackwall Reach by Blackwall DLR station (which means some Council staff will walk past these on the way to the nearby Council offices). As the Council is currently selling new homes in Blackwall Reach and you can see the sales office from these bins so you might assume the Council would be highly motivated to sort out problems here!
But it is only last Friday that I have seen a large number of wheeled paladins after I suggested the idea earlier this month in this Tweet here 

We have some 700 such bins in Tower Hamlets, and the Council recommends them for future developments.

But we only have three of the specialist trucks that can pick up the bins. At times none are working, sometimes only one is working and the notice below only refers to two trucks. But a new truck is due to arrive in February, more then a year after the 1st picture below.
Pictures taken: December 2020 at Blackwall Reach, then June 2021, finally July 2021
Blackwall Reach on Friday - large numbers of wheeled paladins have now been placed there for rubbish collection after I suggested doing this on the 8th January
Why was this not done sooner?

New 46 storey tower on Marsh Wall public consultation 

The public consultation has started on a new 46 storey 800 unit co-living tower at 56-58 Marsh Wall (between Mastmaker road and the old NatWest bank with Byng Street behind), see picture below.
The old NatWest site which has separate permission for a 41 storey twin tower whose planning permission was about to expire which is why they had to start work. 
Details in link here 
They held a series of online meetings last week which you can watch here, and see the answers to questions submitted by residents and myself. 
Co-living is where you rent a small studio with its own toilet/shower but then share a large kitchen, dining and living room (like the Collective in Crossharbour)
More on this later as I have asked to speak to the developer.
From now until the 5th of May 2022 all my posts and comments are promoted by me Andrew Wood, 12 Neptune Court, Homer Drive, London, E14 3UQ
As an independent candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets & Councillor for Canary Wharf ward
This covers the imprint requirements recommended by the Electoral Commission
My website has more contact details
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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