Liveable Streets review

There is a review going on for the Bethnal Green area, which I publish here, as it also concerns us what happens in our area.

The following message was sent by Becca Jordan to the Weavers Community Forum:

“You will have likely have seen improvements to Bethnal Green’s streets, leading to a significant reduction in traffic. There are however increases in traffic where approved closures have been paused and concerns have been raised from residents regarding severance, particularly for north south journeys.

We are therefore undertaking a review and are speaking to residents, businesses and the emergency services to assess the impact of the scheme and see how we can make amendments to address concerns, whilst retaining the benefits of reduced traffic secured by the scheme.”

Key areas of focus are:

  • emergency service access throughout the area
  • Warner Place/Squirries Street
  • The closures at Pollard Road, Barnet Grove, Old Nicole Street
  • Ropley Street
  • Arnold Circus

Tower Hamlets would therefore like to invite your group to attend a drop-in consultation session on the local Bethnal Green Liveable Streets scheme.

Session 1

St. Peter’s Mission Hall, 56 Warner Place, E2 7DA,
Saturday, 13. November 11:00 – 14:30

Session 2

St. Peter’s Mission Hall, 56 Warner Place, E2 7DA
Wednesday, 17. November 16:00 – 19:30

Chest hospital development approved

I am happy to say that the former Chest hospital has finally gotten the go-ahead for development. Planning App Ref: PA/16/03342.

whilst I, if given a choice, would always prefer a social housing development, I would also equally strongly oppose rotting buildings and decaying areas.

It will be a huge stimulus to our local area, when the former Chest Hospital gets developed. Shiny new buildings will look good in our neighbourhood.

Apparently also the last SNT Ward Panel has declared our estate as the most crime-free in the area.

We should make our future neighbours feel welcome.

Crest Nicholson. Grid Architects.

Meeting with Mayor John Biggs

Old Ford Road residents meeting

Please come along to St James the Less Church Hall on 25th June
from 7-9pm to hear from the Mayor and Council officials about
local traffic and environmental issues affecting Old Ford Road…

Attending from London Borough of Tower Hamlets:

  • Mayor John Biggs
  • Cllr Sirajul Islam, Statutory Deputy Mayor & Cabinet Member for Housing
  • Cllr David Edgar, Cabinet Member for the Environment
  • Cllr Ahbab Hossain, Ward member for Bethnal Green
  • Cllr Dan Tomlinson, Ward Member for Bromley North
  • Margaret Cooper, Head of Engineering for Public Realm
  • Dan Jones, Divisional Director for Public Realm

Agenda:

  1. Improving the quality of life in Tower Hamlets/Bethnal Green – the bigger picture
    1. Update on the “Neighbourhood Refresh” (walkabout September 2018)
    2. Air Quality – implementation of the Tower Hamlets Air Quality Action Plan
    3. Resident engagement consultation
  2. Old Ford Road – general update/overview
    1. Update on the LBTH road improvement scheme
    2. Transport for London proposals for the Hackney to Isle of Dogs Cycling and Walking improvements – potential knock-on effect on Old Ford Road
  3. Old Ford Road – specific issues/proposals
    1. Incidents of accidents since the scheme’s introduction
    2. 20 mph speed enforcement
    3. Buses – speeding, safety
    4. Cycling – provision for safe cycling on Old Ford Road
    5. Trees and greening of the road
  4. OFR FLyer 250619 final[34580]

For further information please contact john.griffiths@rocketsciencelab.co.uk (No.134)

Please click OFR FLyer 250619 final[34580]to see the flyer.

 

Up-date on the Raine’s Foundation

I am sketching a new article on this issue. Just to inform everybody that the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs has replied to my enquiry and stated that he will look into this matter more closely. This issue greatfly affects residents of our estate, as we do send our children to this very local secondary school.

It seems that the process to handle the school’s future didn’t involve a thorough consultation of parents.

The School informed parents with a Notification-of-change-of-leadership-arrangements that the school will no longer be run by the head of Sir John Cass and Redcoat Foundation School Mr Paul Woods as executive head teacher but that the leadership of the school will be transferred to the headteacher of Oaklands school Patrice Canavan OBE. Parents were invited to a meeting with the interim executive board on 25. February 2019.

I makes a huge different to the ethos of the school whether its a headship to do with Sir John Cass or Oaklands. Sir John Cass is a Church of England school.

I attended that meeting alongside a very small number of about 15 other parents. I remember distinctly that P Canavan reassured us that nothing would be changing for the school and on that basis parents were kept in the believe that things will go along as always, just under a different leadership. Because the Notification-of-change-of-leadership-arrangements said nothing about a possible closure parents were not feeling a dire necessity to attend the meeting on 25. February.

I remember distinctly at that meeting saying that I was very happy with the school as my child does very well there.

When parents were then subsequently sent letters dated 1 May 2019 by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets Debbie Jones, Corporate Director for Children and Culture, which informed parents they consider closing the school.

I distinctly remember having spoken to Mr Hallett, the previous headmaster 4 years ago, that the school had problems recruiting students and that the Lower School may be closed. At the 7. May 2019 meeting, which was packed with parents and students one parent remarked that on the Local Authority pupils referral website, Raine’s was not even an option to choose.

It seems illogical that Raine’s should have problems recruiting students when it has a brand-new building, is located in a very good, leafy area of the borough and has a great 300 year tradition to be proud of. It seems something isn’t quite right about the recruitment process, to which the local education authority is now responsible for.

Parents do not want to have Oaklands as an option and they were never properly consulted on the transfer of headship.

gatehouse school
Gatehouse School, a private school, on Parkview Estate, bordering onto the Chest Hospital site.

The local area around Parkview estate, sees a lot of land being owned and facilitated by the Church of England.

the Chest Hospital is between Parkview Estate with Gatehouse School and the new Raine’s Foundation school building. The Chest Hospital site is due for re-development into a luxury high-price housing complex near Victoria Park.

There is the St. James the Less Church, who also own the land that Gatehouse School is built on, in the heart of our estate.

chest hospital

In between St. James and Less and Raine’s Foundation school is the former London Chest Hospital that is under development with much protests around this.

Next to the Chest Hospital is the Raine’s Foundation school who opened their brand-new building 4 years ago.

raines school
Raine’s Foundation, Church of England Secondary School, opened this brand-new building 4 years ago.

The Church of England and St. John’s on Bethnal Green also is involved in the development of the new cafe next to the entrance of Bethnal Green station. Opposite there is the new residential housing and the East London Hotel also owned by persons affiliated to the Church of England and further up the road is the Mission Practise, which previously occupied the Mission building opposite Bethnal Green station.

It seems odd that, when there is a brand new luxury housing development planned, next to Raine’s Foundation school, that the Diocese supports the closing of the school, as we know it when they successfully run a private school, namely Gatehouse in the vicinity. The Diocesan representative refused to answer questions about what will happen to the Raine’s Foundation building. And that is the essence of the matter.

Pictures to follow and I shall continue this article later, for now just food for thought.

The proposed closure of Raine’s Foundation school

Today, 7. May 2019, a day before the 300 years celebrations of the school, there was a meeting at Raine’s Foundation school with a proposal to close the school. Tomorrow at St. Paul’s there will be another celebratory service for parents and pupils to mark this wonderful occasion of 300 years of Raine’s.

Today’s meeting was called for and conducted by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and it was a totally inadequately planned stitch-up.

The hall was packed with parents and students who demanded answers from Christine McInnes, Divisional Director of Education.

Yet the meeting was very poorly conducted. There was no panel of specialists to answer questions of all types e.g.

  • What will happen to the school buildings
  • Will pupils out of the borough get support in finding other schools
  • Will the Curriculum at Oaklands be the same as it is at Raine’s
  • Can the school be kept open as it is
  • Will parents get financial help with a new school uniform?

Pupils were told at the school several days ago about the proposed closure and pupils were sent into a state of shock. All those actively preparing for their GCSE and A-Levels were made anxious and nervous and were caused severe distress by the unprofessionally delivered news.

Today people asked where is the

  • Member of Parliament Rushanara Ali, where is the
  • Mayor of Tower Hamlets?
  • Why were there no councillors to support the parents?

There was no proper loudspeaker system, parents and pupils were perched into the hall on group tables and uproar occurred when the representative from the Education Authority kept on smiling when people were infuriated and wanted answers. Parents remarked that if their children smirked and smiled at teachers as Christine McInnes smirked and smiled at them, the children would have been sent into detention.

There are already plans to use the current former Lower School building in Old Bethnal Green Road, as Sixth Form Building to be managed by Oaklands school.

Oaklands doesn’t offer a Sport A-level program. Their website does not elaborate on their Sport’s science option, it is blank. Raine’s offers the Edexcel BTEC Sport (Certificate)

There is no detailed program to transfer pupils from Raine’s to Oaklands with adequate continuation of subjects studied and pupils from outside of the borough cannot be guaranteed support in out-of-the-borough schools.

Parents widely expressed their frustration that Raine’s Foundation pupils should be sent to Oaklands instead as Oaklands has a totally different ethos and pastoral care. Oaklands is not affiliated to any church and parents sent their children to Raine’s because they like that it is being run in conjunction with the Church of England.

The meeting was a total shambles and badly run. Parents had been advised that a consultation will be published on the Tower Hamlets council website during June 2019 for 1 months.

However it is strongly advised that parents should complain as much as possible in writing to

  • local councillors and the Mayor of Tower Hamlets
  • the local MP Rushanara Ali
  • the local education authority, who push the closure because of financial difficulties, due to falling pupil numbers, via their consultation process.
  • There is also a parent petition against the closure in circulation, please ask around.

ToynbeeJust as I attended a council run workshop on Community Cohesion at Toynbee Hall this morning; I am shocked how badly handled this situation is.

This situation affects all parents who value a Church of England education for their children. We do not want to have this choice taken away from us. Parents are in total uproar and pupils are in shock, that their education is not taken seriously.

We constantly get told that there is a lack of school places, yet the local education authority wants to tell us that there is no interest for Raine’s Foundation places, when Raine’s Foundation used to be a very popular school.

Housing development at Bethnal Green

Telford Homes are ready to put their emerging planes for the development of the former LEB building under scrutiny.

The old site will be transformed to bring the area around Bethnal Green station into the 21st Century and that will develop the local area.

Please do not hesitate to visit the Telford Homes website where the plans are published online and also there will be a public consultation on Thursday 2nd November 2017 at the New LIfe Bible Church near Bethnal Green station, between 5pm – 8pm.

I went today to a private viewing as Parkview Residents Association was asked for input. I am very pleased that so much positivity radiates from the new plans into the area and community.

Bethnal Green Community Safety

At the Walkabout in April 2017 for the Bethnal Green Ward, issues were recognised and acted upon.

Please see enclosed the newsletter that reflects upon the local policing issues.

Issues include Parkview Estate Pomeroy House.

You_said_we_did4-17

As mentioned in the previous post, residents wishing to become members of the Safer Neighbourhood Panel for Bethnal Green please register with OWL. The next panel meeting, by invitation only, will take place at the Glasshouse.

Successful cities grow

Traditionally Bethnal Green North, at the most northern tip of Tower Hamlets, bordering on the Regents Canal and Victoria Park was always a very tranquil and quiet area of Tower Hamlets and Bethnal Green.

A few schools, shops and churches, the London Chest Hospital, the Childhood Museum were the few attractions in the area.

The new influx of residents that new housing developments bring, I am certain,are most welcome by our local shopkeepers and I think we must embrace the new residents that the Crest Nicholson project at the former Chest Hospital site will bring and that we can expect in the next few years and help them feel welcome.

Personally I would not object to the building of desperately needed new housing. There are a few petitions against in circulation but they are not made available to all residents at all times. There are many petition website like 38 degrees or change.org to name only two, that collect petition signatures easily. Even this website collected petition signatures in the past.

All residents have the opportunity to also object to the planning permission directly via Tower Hamlets Council’s website. This is a very open process and I think all democratic processes need to be transparent.

I think we need to embrace change and be open to it. The prices of the new dwellings should not stop them from being built. There are other channels to demand the lowering of rental prices of homes for rent, rather than not built the homes.

 

Election Results

the new member of parliament for Bethnal Green & Bow is Rushanara Ali, Labour

the councillors for the ward of Bethnal Green North are:

Zenith Rahman, Labour 1634 votes
Giancarlo Gibbs, Labour 1586 votes
Stephanie Eaton, Lib Dems 1551 votes

other results are:

Muhammad Abdullah Salique, Labour 1476 votes
Azizur Rahman Kahn, Lib Dens 1316 votes
Richard Alan MacMillan, Lib Dem 1181 votes
Muhammad Ansar Ali Pramanik, Respect 795 votes
Nur Baksh, Conservative , 748 votes
Heather Finlay, Green 595 votes
Syedun Noor, Respect 594 votes
Alan Mak, Conservative 445 votes
Matthew James Smith, Conservative 439 votes
Samuel Peter Goodman Hancocks, Green 371 votes
Shirin Akther Samanta, Respect 314 votes
Ann Edmead, Independent 156 votes

Here is a results page from Tower Hamlets council. Here is the BBC one.  The Notice of Poll is very useful for those wanting details of candidates standing.

Bethnal Green South. 3 seats for Labour
Bethnal Green North. 1 seat for Liberal and 2 seats forLabour
Bow East. 3 seats for Labour
Bow West Ward. 3 seats for Labour
Blackwall & Cubitt Town. 3 seats for Conservative
Bromley By Bow Ward. 3 seats for Labour
East India & Lansbury Ward. 3 seats for Labour
Limehouse Ward. 1 seat for Conservative, 2 seats for Labour
Mile End East Ward. 3 seats for Labour
Mile End & Globetown Ward. 3 seats for Labour
Millwall Ward. 3 seats for Conservative
Shadwell Ward. 1 seat for Respect, 2 seats for Labour
Spitalfields & Banglatown Ward. 3 seats for Labour
St Katharine’s & Wapping. 1 seat for Conservatives and 2 seats for Labour
St Dunstan’s & Stepney Green Ward. 3 seats for Labour
Weavers. 3 seats for Labour
Whitechapel. 3 seats for Labour

The Tower Hamlets electorate have voted Yes in a referendum over the borough having a directly elected Mayor.

They voted 60,758 in favour against 39,857, with a turnout of 62.09%.  A poll will be held in October to elect the first executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

See Tower Hamlets website for full results here

The General election was won by the Conservatives.

Full results are here and broken down to Conservatives 306, Labour 258, Lib Dems 57

 David Cameron has sent me an e-mail and I copy you the relevant parts here:

“But however much pride we can take in the enormous advance, we have to accept that we fell short of an overall majority. I know how much you wanted one – I wanted one too. But now we have to work with what we have. As I have been saying these past couple of days, it is vital Britain gets strong, stable and decisive government. The challenges we face – a war in Afghanistan, the debt crisis and an economy that is stuck, deep social problems, political crisis – call for nothing less. So it is in Britain’s national interest that the Conservative Party rises to this challenge and works to secure good government for our country.

That’s why yesterday, I made a big, open and comprehensive offer to Liberal Democrats. I want – and I believe the country expects – our two parties to work out how we can deliver strong and stable government to tackle Britain’s big and urgent problems. Right now, talks are underway. Inevitably, there will be masses of unfounded speculation in the press, but I wanted to tell you my thinking directly, and I hope I’ll be able to give you direct updates as we move forward.

So first, I want to make clear that I do not believe any future government should give more powers to Brussels, be weak on immigration or put the country’s defences at risk. So we will stand firm on these issues.

But I also believe there are many areas of common ground between us and the Liberal Democrats – such as the need for education reform, building a low-carbon economy, reforming our political system, decentralising power, protecting civil liberties and scrapping ID cards.

There are also areas where I believe we in the Conservative Party can give ground, both in the national interest and in the interests of forging an open and trusting partnership. For example, we want to work with the Liberal Democrats to see how we can afford to reduce taxes on the lowest paid. Of course, we hope to see a similarly constructive approach from the Liberal Democrats – not least on the urgent issue of tackling the deficit.

Inevitably, these negotiations will involve compromise. But that’s what working together in the national interest means. I hope we can sort things out as quickly as possible, for the good of the country. But we won’t rush into any agreement.

We’ve got to make sure that anything that results really is the best possible outcome for Britain – that it really is in the national interest. After all, that’s what this party has always been about. That’s what I’m about. And I know that’s what you want, and what the country wants right now too.

Thank you.” Signed David Cameron

Polling Day 6 May 2010

At this poll we’ll have lots to do because we can vote for local Councillors, our Member of Parliament and take part in a referendum for or against a Tower Hamlets Mayor.

All of us who are eligible gotten 2 polling cards, one is for the Local Government and Referendum Elections and the other one is for Bethnal Green and Bow.

The last day to register for the vote was on 20 April 2010, that was yesterday.

We are privileged in that we have a greater number of very good candidates to choose from, and they come from a variety of parties who all are very busy to distribute their literature, leaflets and calling cards through our door and we also see a greater amount of canvassers calling at our addresses.

All we have to do is to go to the local polling station, St. Elizabeth R.C. Primary School, on 6 May between the hours of 7am to 10pm and cast our vote. I really hope we can improve on the previously low turnouts and cast our vote, so that we all have an input in making a choice and a difference. The more good quality candidates we can choose from the better our politics are going to be. We should make the most of that quality choice. Our choices matter.