Welcome to Edition 3 of the newsletter to let you know what is going on in Wapping and how your Labour councillors and Labour Council are working for you.
Firstly, thanks to everyone who signed the petition and supported keeping the ticket office at Wapping station staffed. In total we had over 200 signatures, and we have sent your views to the consultation. We will let you know the outcome.
On other petitions, Mayor John Biggs has launched a petition to oppose the damaging Government cuts to the funding of schools in Tower Hamlets. You can add your voice by going to this link.
And if you are concerned about Brexit , see how the Mayor’s Brexit Commission is looking closely at the impact of Brexit on our borough. Read more here.
A Tower hamlets Labour campaign session calling for a second referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal took place on Saturday 13 October. Leaflets and out cards were delivered to residents of Wapping by a group including Mayor John Biggs, Cllrs Denise Jones and Abdal Ullah, SKW Chair Catherine Overton and Diane Roome.
Photo credit: Cllr Abdal Ullah
Wapping Lock ins are a source of frustration to residents, especially when they happen without any notice as happened last year. Denise and Abdal have been contacted by residents about the chaos caused by the increasing numbers of Marathons that run along the Highway cutting off Wapping.
As a result of their requests to Council officers, there will be a consultation meeting for residents with the Marathon organisers at 6pm on Tuesday 16 October at the Ensign Club, corner of Wellclose Square off the Highway. We would welcome events like the Marathon if they are well-organised and Wapping residents are given notice well in advance. Please do come along to the meeting and make your voices heard.
Other ward enquiries this week included
- noise nuisance
- air quality
- a family with a financial crisis due to DWP payments not being paid on time.
In other ward news, here’s an update on Raine House redevelopment. Raine House is a Grade 1 listed building and we must make sure the proposals for alterations and improvements are appropriate and sensitive to its heritage. The building is in need of repairs and refurbishment. The Planning committee recently considered an application for Listed Building Consent and didn’t accept it. Given the importance of this historic jewel of a building in our community, we welcome the extra checks and scrutiny of the officer’s proposals and we have asked the officers to bring forward plans to complete the improvements and adaptations as soon as the consents are obtained. And we are also keen to see the building used for the local community with transparency of control.
Wider Council News As well as their ward duties both Abdal and Denise have positions of responsibility in the Council
Abdal is busy as Chair of Overview and Scrutiny (O and S) committee looking into aspiration & wellbeing of our borough, by reviewing the Council’s performance in Education, Employment and Community Safety.
Last month we looked at post 16 educational achievements with presentations from Queen Mary University, Tower Hamlets College, T.H Education Partnership. This month O&S is out in the community on Monday 29th October at George Green School and looking at secondary schools with emphasis on white working-class boys’ attainment
He also has 2 call ins on the Mayor and Cabinet decisions on Day nurseries and the Future Management of the Integrated Community Equipment Service
Denise is Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing and is encouraging residents to have Flu Jabs that can still help combat flu. The latest flu bulletin by Public Health England shows that flu is on the increase in Tower Hamlets and the CCG has been on a drive to ensure that local at-risk patients and staff in NHS services receive the flu jab that protects them from several strains of the flu virus. It is not too late for individuals to have the flu jab, particularly if you are in the at-risk category or come into contact with other individuals routinely as part of your employment or study.
In Tower Hamlets the CCG, has encouraged staff to receive the flu jab by also providing 100 children with a polio vaccination with the ‘Get-a-Jab, Give-a-Jab’ campaign with UNICEF in a developing country per flu jab received here. It’s great to work with UNICEF to provide vital vaccinations for children in developing countries and support good healthcare around the world.
For flu jab information on the nine most common myths please visit the NHS website here.
We have written to the Government and Network Rail to call on them to reverse the massive rent hikes that businesses in railway arches are facing. With so many businesses relying on these spaces, we have to do everything we can to protect them. Read more here.
In June we came to an agreement with Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) about paying 18-21-year-old staff members the London Living Wage. GLL deliver leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools in Tower Hamlets under contract with the council, and although these employees aren’t employed by the council, we felt in this exceptional case that we should provide more funding so that all staff are paid the full London Living Wage ahead of schedule. Read more here.
More news next week – let us know if there are issues on which you would like updates!
Your local Labour Team