Petition 15 July 2009

The petition to be brought by Johanna Kaschke (myself) will be worded as follows, in a slight amendment to the printed wording as published in the Council’s agenda.

I print here the text as it will be read in the 3 minutes allowed to present a petition.

“This petition has 161 signatures and 1 letter of support from a local school.

There are slight changes to the original petition.

This community centre on Parkview Estate, does not attract nor host crime and provides a positive to the anti-social and criminal negatives in the area.

Such centers are important to provide meeting space for locals who cannot afford commercial rates to mix and there is still a considerable number of local residents who require that provision.

People use it for birthday parties, children’s parties, weddings, and other parties.

There is also a much used boxing club, tea and coffee mornings, I use it for Neighbourhood Watch meetings and of course the Tenants and Residents Association also meets there. Not to forget the mothers and toddlers and youth club have nowhere else to go on a regular basis. Central Government funding has been allocated to be spent in the area and approved by the Parkview TRA and when the children’s play area of the Glasshouse will be upgraded, the Glasshouse Centre itself must be running smoothly and for that purpose it does need its grant.

Especially in my function as chair of the Parkview Neighbourhood Watch I am concerned that crime fighting and preventing has not just to do with arresting criminals, it is as much about crime prevention and a well run and loved community center like the Glasshouse is an invaluable asset for that purpose. It attracts and retains law abiding citizens, children and pensioners who need a meeting space.

Jackie Miller and her mother Lil Warner ran the Glasshouse for over 18 years. Lil Warner died of a sudden heart attack that took her unexpectedly from our midst and the council decides to turn onto the volunteers leaving them with unpaid bills. Jackie Miller is personally responsible for those bills and she had a justified expectation to get her grant to pay for those gas bills that have accumulated during last winter, a winter that saw exceptionally low temperatures and the allocation of cold weather payments to benefit recipients and old people.

The Glasshouse does a lot of good in our community and deserves support from the council to keep as an invaluable asset for our community. It is not the action of a responsible council to allow the use of a community center without ensuring that the cost of doing so can be met and the council did exactly that, namely allow the use of the Glasshouse without checks on viability.

I am hoping that the Council will change its mind and now allocate the £6,000 – 10.000 asked for allocate a community engagement officer to enable a more efficient allocation of this resource for community education as well as entertainment. The Glasshouse also requires renovation and has further potential as education centre and community meeting venue and prayer facilities for Muslims.

I am still hoping the council will now give the much needed money to help the volunteers pay unpaid gas bills as well as sufficient monies for the running of the centre and renovation as other funding could not be obtained.

I thank you for your considering in the hope that you will grant this request.”

I shall report on the outcome of the petition in due course and would like to invite people who are interested to attend the council meeting on 15 July 2009, at 7:30 at the Tower Hamlets Town Hall, Mulberry Place, London E14

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