traffic calming and Sewardstone Road

The liveable Streets consultation has far-reaching consequences.

However, connecting this to the ongoing Government Ombudsman complaint, which has now been re-opened because Tower Hamlets Homes have appealed, I think this links in to the Liveable Streets issues.

Seeing how badly rusted the metal railings are alongside Sewardstone Road between Rosebery House and Sewardstone Road and how badly the wall underneath Sewardstone Road near Rosebery House is damaged, I wonder whether that would be addressed by the Liveable Streets program.

The wall is either crumbling because of the many very mature tree roots damage it or perhaps because of vibrations from traffic, the wall is being damaged or even both.

The proposed plans do not specify any remedial works within Parkview Estate. I can imagine that even a contraflow cycle lane on Sewarstone Road would suffer from the severely rusty metal railings on the Sewardstone Road.

I strongly recommend that all take part in the survey, which is now live online and look at the proposals, which have been popped through our letter boxes and state in their responses also the need to fix damage to the wall between Rosebery House and Sewardstone Road.

A small section of the damaged wall between Sewardstone Road and Rosebery House. The rusty railings are just about visible. Please state in your survey response that something needs doing about this.

simply horrible

I can’t contain my dismay about the horrible planting scheme that the Parkview TRA has put upon us. I am not the only resident who has a view onto spent wildflowers. They look horrible for most of the year.

Here is how this came about.

  1. The Goodgym Tower Hamlets dug up the lawn
  2. The Parkview TRA planted wildflower seeds.

gardeners
The Parkview gardening Volunteers prepare a lawn area for mixed natural habitat planting. Doesn’t it remind us of Extinction Rebellion diggin up the lawn in Cambridge?

wild flowers
the spent wildflowers look simply horrible.

I can understand the environmental benefit of wildflowers but why put them into such a prominent location where we have to look at the stalks for most of the year. There are plenty of remote location, which cannot be overlooked so prominently around the estate.

Please click through to some Gardeners World prize gardens if you want to look at some nice gardens.

PS: Today on 26. July 2020, the dry stalks have been removed and it looks slightly better. Pic to follow.

However I am objecting to this scheme being the responsibility of the TRA because there seems to be no clarity as to how many people ctually are responsible. All residents should be clearly informed whose responsiblity it is to mend such plant schemes and what their names and contact details are. The TRA changes each year or more often, so who is liable for the mess if it happens?

Bug hotels

bug-hotelBug hotels provide an important environmental service. They can become home for butterflies, ladybirds, bugs and wild bees. They often house small insects, which consume pests from plants.

The bugs will stay within the perimeters of the hotel and don’t tend to move into our flats. They like the dark and secure environment the hotel provides for them. They will however enjoy our balcony plants.

Bug hotels are currently on offer at the Lidl store in Well Street for the bargain price of £7.99 but they can also be bought from other retailers like Amazon for home delivery.

The benefit of trees for carbon absorption

tree sprouting
Tree sapling growing near the stairs on the path towards the football pitch. It is a tree that nobody removes and can grow to 20m in height.

Whilst a study, carried out in the USA concluded that mature tree forests can absorb and store a lot of carbon emissions, as soon as a tree or shrub gets cut down, all that stored carbon gets released into the atmosphere, which in fact has no benefit at all from an environmental point of view.

One has to calculate the cost against the benefits.

In one of my recent posts I praised the Council for cutting down the shrubs around Rosebery House for the purpose of it being more secure but, the cutting down of shrubs around Rosebery House alone took one garden worker a whole week.

That is a lot of money being spend on 2 housing blocks on a council estate. Taking into account the materials and wages spent, I fully understand that leaseholders complain about their costs.

There is little environmental benefit on growing and cutting bushes and shrubs regularly as all the captured carbon gets released back into the atmosphere.

I have complained to the council about the over planting on the estate and the regular cutting down does little to alleviate the problems.

There would be a much better benefit for mental health and environmental considerations if the current shrubs (which are often cut short trees) get removed and replaced by soft shrubs with softer leafes, which could be fruit shrubs or flowering shrubs, that can also provide a home for small insects and bugs.

There would be much less maintenance required, which is very much cheaper for our residents.

hedghog
Hedghogs live on Parkview and proper planting will support their environment.

The hard leafed shrubs in the Rosebery House area do not attract butterflies or insects or small mammals like hedgehogs., they have no benefit whatsoever with the exception of looking green. In fact their roots could weaken the building structure of the house.

It would be much cheaper to maintain the area and be of more benefits to the residents if we could have the hard leafed shrubs removed and replaced with soft and low level plants.

Some of the trees around Rosebery House have quickly sprouting off-shoots as can be seen in the pic above. They just grow everywhere quickly into tall plants.

As already listed there are recommended distances from trees to buildings and it can actually devalue house insurance if trees are too near and I think the council does not consider this when allowing the over-planting of our estate.

And as there is the myth about oxyden production. I quote a popular site, which says:

“Humans consume 550 L oxygen per day (ref 1). How much plant growth do we need to produce that amount of oxygen? Plants produce 22 L for every 150 g of growth (ref 2). They would need to increase in weight by 3.75 Kg (8 pounds), each day, to produce the oxygen used by one person.” Ref

“It takes six molecules of CO2 to produce one molecule of glucose by photosynthesis, and six molecules of oxygen are released as a by-product. A glucose molecule contains six carbon atoms, so that’s a net gain of one molecule of oxygen for every atom of carbon added to the tree. A mature sycamore tree might be around 12m tall and weigh two tonnes, including the roots and leaves. If it grows by five per cent each year, it will produce around 100kg of wood, of which 38kg will be carbon. Allowing for the relative molecular weights of oxygen and carbon, this equates to 100kg of oxygen per tree per year.

A human breathes about 9.5 tonnes of air in a year, but oxygen only makes up about 23 per cent of that air, by mass, and we only extract a little over a third of the oxygen from each breath. That works out to a total of about 740kg of oxygen per year. Which is, very roughly, seven or eight trees’ worth.” Ref.

 

 

Support during COVID-19

If you wish to support those affected by Corona Virus please register via the central register  on this webpage. If you have ideas on how to improve things please email: covid19@towerhamlets.gov.uk

General council webpage links and advice on http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/coronavirus

Help for Victims of abuse against women and girls can rely on getting help. If you are in an emergency call 999, if you cannot speak on the phone press 55, which refers your call to a specialist helper who will assist you.

Local support:

  • Tower Hamlets Victim Support IDVA 020 7364 7957/2448 (Monday to Friday 9-5)
  • Victim Support 0808 1689 111 (24 hours)
  • Tower Hamlets Crisis Intervention Service 020 3222 4027 (Monday to Friday 9-5; and weekends 10am-6pm)
  • Legal advice regarding domestic abuse and family law, such as non-molestation orders, child arrangements or divorce – Bowling & Co. Solicitors family@bowlinglaw.co.uk 020 8221 8000 in emergency 07464 925 083
  • Tower Hamlets VAWG Team 0800 279 5434 (Monday to Friday 9-5) or email domestic.violence@towerhamlets.gov.uk
  • Tower Hamlets Housing Options Service Team (HOST) will no longer have a drop-in service. For those at risk of homelessness contact HOST on 020 7364 7474 Monday to Friday 9-5 or after 5pm the emergency number 020 7364 4079
  • Adult Safeguarding team 020 7364 5005
  • Children Safeguarding team 020 7364 3444

National Support

  • National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247; 7 days a week 24 hours
  • LGBT specialist advice on 0800 999 5428 (Monday to Friday 10am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 4pm or email help@galop.org.uk
  • Specific Men’s Advice line 0808 801 0327 Monday – Friday
    • 9am – 8pm Monday & Wednesday
    • 9am – 5pm Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
    • email info@mensadviceline.org.uk
  • Women’s Aid online support service https://chat.womensaid.org.uk/
    • Monday – Friday 10am – 12 pm
  • Hestia provides a free-to-download mobile app, Bright Sky, which hides as a weather app but provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

Other VAWG support

  • Girls aged 14+ or woman and have been a victim of sexual assault you can contact
    • Rape Crisis 0808 802 9999; 12pm – 2.30pm and 7pm-9.30pm each day.
    • for victims age 16+ use the Live online Chat helpline Monday – Friday.
  • Beyond the Streets, support for women who are involved in prostitution 0800 133 7870 or email support@beyondthestreets.org.uk
  • Female Genital Mutilation FGM Engagement Service 020 7377 8725 (Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.
  • Forced Marriage Unit 020 7008 0151 or email fmuoutreach@fco.gov.uk
  • Stalking and Harrassment 0808 802 0300 Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4pm except for Wednesday when it is open 1pm – 4pm.
  • Trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation 08000 121 7000

Perpetrators of abuse who want help

If you are worried how you are treating your partner or family member and want to stop your behaviour, you can contact Respect on 0808 802 4040 or email info@respectphoneline.org.uk