Worrying breakdown in local services

I have never experienced such a breakdown in local services.

  1. Our local secondary school, Raine’s Foundation is under threat of closure
  2. 2. Our local GP, The Mission Practise is refusing* to give patients appointments.
  3. The London Chest Hospital was closed some time ago.

Taking this as a sign of a reduction in local services, residents should be concerned and make enquiries to their local Member of Parliament, their Councillor and perhaps the Mayor of Tower Hamlets as to why our local services are not delivering the care our community needs.

*Online appointments are normally not available and when ringing, one can not get an advance appointment all times.

THH management of estate

As the Overview and Scrutiny Committee report with date of 15. August 2019 establishes, the Committee resolved that the decision of ALMO management of council housing in the borough has been referred back to the Mayor for reconsideration.

I understand that the majority of other Labour led councils opted for council housing to be managed in-house.

Councillors were concerned that engagement with residents was insufficient, that across London other ALMOs are different to that presented in the Altair’s report and that the report wasn’t part of the consultation and didn’t consider HRA debt, value of in-house management or savings for potential in-house management options.

The call-in recommended that the THH housing management should be extended for a maximum of 2 years to undertake a full consultation.

Yet Mayor John Biggs has confirmed his decision of 31. July 2019.

 

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.

 

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.

Neighbourhood Safety Panel meeting

Agenda:

  1. Mayor John Biggs: context and political overview
  2. John Fortune: the role of Neighbourhood Manager and current projects
  3. PC Oscar Pantano: what residents can do best to assist the police in terms of evidence and reporting crime and ASB
  4. Rachael Sadegh: the role of the LBTH Substance Abuse Team
  5. Yvette Holmes and Michaela French: the work of THH and the Housing Forum on ASB
  6. Kevin McKenna: Best practise showcase – Weavers Community Action Group.

This open meeting is intented for residents of the following wards:

  • Bethnal Green
  • St. Peter’s & Weavers
  • Spitalfields
  • Banglatown

Venue: Collingwood Hall, Collingwood Street
Date: Monday, 28 January 2019
Time: 18:30 – 20:30