Team TH
Team TH

Welcome to Edition 5 of your St Katharine’s and Wapping Labour newsletter. It is now available on the Labour Party website at this link and is being circulated via Twitter and   Facebook. If you have a group or know of other folk who would find it interesting please contact Emma, Branch Secretary on

1.Brexit update

Both Wapping Councillors campaigned for and voted Remain in the EU referendum and a contingent from Tower Hamlets LP, including Denise and Rushanara Ali MP joined the People’s Vote March last weekend, demanding a say on the final Brexit deal. The campaign continues and residents are urged to send a personal letter to Jim Fitzpatrick MP to express your concerns about leaving the EU.

The Mayor has set up a Brexit Commission, led by Cllr Amina Ali, and including Tony Travers, Professor of Government at the LSE, to examine the impact of Brexit in Tower Hamlets. They will report in January 2019.  You can have your say by visiting the Council website and looking for The Brexit Commission

  1. Mayor’s news

Mayor John Biggs and Tower Hamlets Labour councillors have joined with Labour councillors from right across the UK to call for a real end to austerity for local councils. Tory cuts mean councils have lost 60p out of every £1 that the last Labour Government was spending on local government in 2010.

Pressures on councils are increasing – last year councils were forced to spend an extra £800 million on vital services to protect children, and with an ageing population and growing demand adult social care faces a funding gap of £3.5 billion.

Since the Conservative Government took office in 2010, Tower Hamlets Council has had to save £176m.

  1. Council activities
  • Dementia Cafes in the Borough

As part of the council’s Ageing Well Strategy, we are keen to make sure people are living well with Dementia. The Mayor is supporting Tower Hamlets becoming a Dementia friendly borough. Cllr Denise Jones will be undertaking Dementia Awareness Training next month, and is keen to encourage as many people as possible to do the same.

Many of us have a family member or a friend with Dementia. In Tower Hamlets we have 4 memory/dementia cafes per month (there could be others not known to us):

  • 2 dementia cafes per month in London Muslim Centre
  • 2 dementia cafes per month in Merchant St Community Centre, Bow E3

These are all run by the Alzheimer’s Society.

One of the cafes in Bow is formatted to be a ‘Singing for The Brain’ group. This is because service users requested it this way and the council worked with commissioners to adjust the format. Council officers are working closely with the English National Ballet and one of their early projects they wish to support is a further memory café, so watch this space. And do tell us if there are other forms of support for people living with dementia or things you think the Council should be considering.

  • Hermitage Primary School students learnt about Democracy in the council chamber

This week a group of students from Hermitage Primary School, Wapping joined four other primary schools in the Town Hall Council Chamber.  The children had fun learning about the levels of government and how they fit together in the democratic process. They also heard from the Speaker of the Council, and councillors on what a typical day may involve and why they enjoy their roles. Children were quizzed on important political people and places, took part in mock debates and dressed up to role play being the Speaker and Mace Bearer. Debates included how to best allocate playground funding and whether women should be given the right to vote.

Overview and Scrutiny is on the road – the next meeting, Chaired by Councillor Abdal Ullah is at George Green School at 6pm on Wednesday 29th October. It’s a public meeting – all welcome.

  • The Council is also leading the way in tackling the Nitrous oxide problem in Wapping and across the Borough. A successful action by the Council resulted in a newsagent in Shadwell losing its alcohol license after 13,500 nitrous oxide canisters were seized from the store. There is also an investigation underway into Tanim Superstore in Commercial Road where another 13,500 canisters were seized. This is down to excellent partnership work between the Council and the Police. Work is still continuing to see if there are other ways to restrict the use of this dangerous and anti social substances.
  1. Ward News


  • has been dealing with squatters, new rough sleepers, ASB issues and Youth Centre activities.
  • He has met the Safer Neighbourhoods Ward Panel member and liaised with the local police on a couple of matters.
  • He has also been talking to the Director of Children Services & Youth Service about Wapping youth club and the current activities during half term,
  • followed up with the London Marathon CEO about benefits to our ward from the races,
  • is assisting with funding for Xmas fair, lights & lunch for the pensioner’s group.
  • presented awards at London Tigers who work with young & adults across the borough.


  • Visited Bart’s and the London hospital social work team who facilitate safe and effective discharges from hospital to home.
  • Case conference on Anti social behaviour
  • Meeting with the City of London and LBTH on rejuvenating Petticoat Lane Market
  • Cabinet meeting on the forthcoming Budget
  • Loneliness Task Force planning meeting
  • Councillor briefing on Homelessness Strategy
  • Meeting with resident re Phoenix Wharf
  • Surgery cases on housing, parking, mental health issue, grants
  1. Updates on previously reported matters

The rough sleepers who were on the site near Waitrose are well known to council officers and the outreach service, and they have now moved across the road near to Quay 430. They have been accommodated in a number of hostels over the years and most recently The City of London worked with the council to find a housing solution for both with the dog and cat but it didn’t work out. Officers will continue to work with them but alongside the continued offers of support will be enforcement actions to assist in curbing the associated ASB.


Keep the Streetlink number on your phone for when you see a rough sleeper.

020 3856 6000

Streetlink managed by St Mungo enables the public to alert the council about people sleeping rough in the area. This is the first step that you can take to ensure that rough sleepers are connected to local services and get the support that is available to them.

Phoenix Wharf

Cllr Jones had a brief meeting this week to run through current concerns from a resident. As it was half term a larger meeting for residents who are interested to talk to planning officers will be arranged later in November. As it stands, the new developer is saying there is no plan to develop the site in the near future so the intention is to set up a working group with the developers and residents in due course, and to consider the effects of all the proposed developments in this area.

And finally, contact details for Denise and Abdal are here:

Denise holds her surgeries by appointment on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month 11-12 noon at Raine House Raine Street E1W 3RL and is happy to do home visits by arrangement. She can be contacted on 0207 364 0363:  07956103483 or

Abdal holds his surgeries by appointment only on Wednesdays 11-12 noon on the 1st floor of Wapping Youth Centre, Tench Street.  He is happy to do home visits by arrangement. He can be contacted on 07956124264, by email at, or on Twitter via @AbdalUllah.

Denise won’t be around for the next two weeks as she is taking a well-deserved holiday to celebrate 50 years of marriage to Dan. Congratulations to both of them, and thanks to Abdal for holding the fort whilst she is away!

More next week,

Your Labour Team

Abdal & Denise
Abdal & Denise
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