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Whats in Wapping

Wapping Town Council Public Meeting – 28 July

Wapping Town Council Public Meeting – 28 July

Public meeting to discuss the viability of a Wapping Town Council:



Invitation: open invite to all as the next stage.  Also see discussions on the Wapping Website […view previous articles] and coverage by the local press (links below).

Venue: Raines Hall, Raines Street, Wapping (on the left walking down Wapping Lane towards the station. Turn left in to Raine Street and the Tenant’s hall is there on the right. [...view map]

Statement from Geoff Juden

The Wapping Town Council Proposal being put forward is an attempt to give a local voice to local people by giving representation to the local community. It intends to be a non-political entity that embraces the desires and aspirations of the people of Wapping and will actively strive to achieve that goal.

It will be representative of the entire community and be a listening ear and helping hand for local businesses. It will operate with the vested interests of gaining Wapping residents a fair share of available finances.

Recent Press Coverage

Information from Previous Comments

Useful resources and links posted on previous articles; let us know of others and we’ll get them added.

[Update 29 July]

We’ll update oficial minutes when available.  Resident recording of the meeting in 6 parts is available on YouTube starting:

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  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    “Wapping steering group has zero BNP connections, now lewt’s hear that the detractors have no Respect or Labour connections”

    Glad to hear it :) I guess I probably still fall under detractor, so no, no Respect, Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, Green or Monster Raving Loony party connections here.

    I think it’s a mistake not to name the steering group though, it leaves them open to accusations of their agenda, who they represent etc.

  • John

    I am not going to allow the BNP crap to go unanswered. I lose the rag every time I hear the same garbage. Tonight Cllr Jones started the political bollox, I have never been involved in any political party.
    In 1999 the Bethnal Green labour group started the rumour that I was a member of the BNP. I found out because a friend involved with labour phoned me with regards this subject.. I duly wrote to Oona King and still retain her reply to this day.

    Oona never denied the smear was initiated by local labour and she even admitted that was why she had had preconceptions of me. I retain the letter because in Tower Hamlets the way politics works is that if you disagree with labour then the BNP accusation is aired.

    Now I hide behind no one, I supported Oona King as one of only 3 black women in parliament in 2005. I stood up, mouthed off against Galloway and his racially and religiously bigoted agenda.

    Hardly the credentials of the BNP, I ponder if the author of the suggestive BNP link voted Respect with its racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist agenda. Maybe Robin would disclose who he represents.

    I think quite a few political pygmies are upset that there might be a chance that the financial gravy train may evaporate and that less pockets will be lined.

    Wapping steering group has zero BNP connections, now lewt’s hear that the detractors have no Respect or Labour connections

  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    Costcutters whilst detrimental to living right next to it, would provide a service (possibly a not needed service) to people much further afield, or those passing to/from the tube, so many of the 19000 should have a say.

    (Full video is up, around an hour in total)

    Starts at:

    Apologies for the poor quality and breaks for battery/memory card changes!

  • John

    Concur exactly Paulie you are entitled to your view, and unlike you I do care. I care that an elected representative has no power to deal with local issues. In fact I agree completely with you, it was not her fault as she is not able to represent the local people, therefore as I said she is surplus to requirements.

    I never realised 19,000 people lived next to costcutters and I would suggest we raise a petition against overcrowding in that area.

    I always said there would be detractors. However unlike the lack of democracy provided by Tower Hamlets I suggest you put your friend forward for the committee or steering group because I would certainly raise no objections to her standing or being part of any process.

    It’s a shame our Council do not extend the same democracy to the people.

  • Robin

    I came away from the meeting feeling far less supportive of the proposal than when I went. In particular, I am not reassured when the Chairman, who seemed more concerned with hearing his own voice than with facilitating contributions from others, says that we can’t be told the names of those who are on the Steering Committee. I don’t want to find that I have signed a petition sponsored by someone who is a straw man or woman for the BNP.

    As for the Costcutter proposal, I accept that none of our Councillors are on the Licensing Sub-Committee. But they do have a responsibility to find out what is going on in their ward and get involved. While it’s rather after the fact, I would like to know what all our ward Councillors are going to do to make sure that Costcutter complies with the Sub-Committee’s requirement to consult the community on our concerns – and even, maybe, act on them!

  • John

    As far as I am aware Geoff approached the Youth Centre which is also the Bangladeshi Association but has had no reply from any of it’s representatives..

    I still think that the main aspect must be if the interest is high enough to gain the signatures to take this forward. If so then we go down the avenues of what we can, or cannot, provide.

    It’s the chicken and the egg. I say we tackle the initial issue, is the Town Council a goer, if yes then we get enough signatures. I am not going to promise anyone anything except that if I am involved then it will be people who will not be paid. It will be people who are interested in the area.

    I have four daughters and could have brought many young ones tonight who all live here but why do so when nothing is organised. If it goes ahead I can bring a young generation to get involved.

    If we get the required amount of signatures then I will get many of the youth on board. They, like many, want to know it’s going to happen before they give up drug induced comas or alcohol fuelled outings to sit with us coffin dodgers

  • Paulie-K

    Firstly, you’re entitled to any view you want and I don’t care. However, Cllr Jones was shown very little respect.

    Fact 1: The council’s power to decide on licensing matters is delegated to the licensing committee.
    Fact 2: Cllr Jones is not on that committee.

    Therefore, laying the blame at her door is not fair. We have no ability to judge any of her actions and she wasn’t given opportunity to say one way or the other as everytime she tried speaking. she was interrupted.

    Whilst 300 people in Wapping signed a petition, 19,000 didn’t, and we have no way of knowing one way or another what the remaining 98% think and thus I find it impossible to feel sufficiently legitimised to treat someone that way.

    I am hugely wary of LB Tower Hamlets’ activities, but for the new council to succeed, it needs to engage with all aspects of the community, as it would simply generate hostility. Indeed, the most articulate person at the meeting in my opinion was the one asian lady present- I’m not convinced by the need for the council, but if she ran, I would vote for her.

    I should also extend thanks to Brock for filming.

  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    John said:”You certainly cannot go to any youths and promise them anything and then find you can give them nothing.”

    Quite right. But you can go to them – say to the Wapping Youth Centre – and ask what are the priorities for them? Would they like to get involved in the steering group? What do they think? If you can get the youth on side the argument becomes much stronger.

  • John

    Brock said:”Paulie-K:”The lack of age and ethnic diversity of attendees was also disappointing.”

    This. I agree wholeheartedly. Audience nearly 100% white, largely middle-aged.

    One of the areas I think would be useful for a local council to explore is working with young people providing them with extra facilities and activities. Having young people involved in the council/steering group, or alternately as a linked ‘youth council’ would be beneficial.”

    You can’t make any decisions until you know this is going to happen. You certainly cannot go to any youths and promise them anything and then find you can give them nothing. The most important factor is seeing if enough people are interested. There has to be other meetings including over in Swedenborg Gardens. This I would imagine will see a completely different ethnic mix but I would hope they have the same hopes and aspirations as the people tonight.

    You also have to look at provision for everyone, one provision for all, not provision on the basis of race or religion. That enters a new ball game in Tower Hamlets, one youth fits all.

  • John

    Paulie K you can get involved and try to arrange it in any manner you feel would help. The lack of age and ethnic diversity cannot be put down as anyone’s fault. The meeting has been advertised. We cannot force people to attend. I don’t give a toss about anyone’s colour creed or religion they are more than welcome to attend as long as we don’t have to suffer political agendas.
    I don’t have to suffer being labelled by association with any political party and although I vowed many years ago never to vote labour again, I was actively campaigning for Oona King against George Galloway and then voted Jim Fitzpatrick against him.
    So the political agenda set me right off.
    If this goes ahead no one will be getting paid, No political agenda. The disabled have suffered, local businesses have suffered and our parking spaces evaporate more and more by the day because the faceless councillors sit there doing nothing to stop the onslaught against us..
    I never wanted involved in politics because I can’t sit there listening to the lies without telling the councillors what I think of them. Denise Jones merited everything she got because she simply shrugged her responsibilty as a local councillor by telling us Costcutters was not her fault. It most certainly is her fault, she ignored the wishes of the local people.

  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    Paulie-K:”The lack of age and ethnic diversity of attendees was also disappointing.”

    This. I agree wholeheartedly. Audience nearly 100% white, largely middle-aged.

    One of the areas I think would be useful for a local council to explore is working with young people providing them with extra facilities and activities. Having young people involved in the council/steering group, or alternately as a linked ‘youth council’ would be beneficial.

  • John

    Well I apologise for getting angry. I was irate that Councillor Jones instantly tried to make it a political argument.
    Lost the rag as I am won’t to do. I was a little tad upset that she said the Costcutter decision was nothing to do with her as it was decided by a committee, sort of explained why she and other local councillors are thus not needed.
    As for a precept, look at the fact, another layer of officialdom will be brought to bear and ponder who will foot the cost of it. We will have a Mayor and his cabinet, all being highly paid, making all the decisions and then telling the Tower Hamlets council cabinet to tell their councillors to tell us what is happening. We would have even less say. By removing the need for three paid councillors the Mayor and his cabinet would then deal directly with the people of Wapping.
    Our local councillor showed she knows very little about the area and cares even less.

  • Paulie-K

    I thought it was very badly run. I don’t think that Geoff or John came across very well, or the people of Wapping (myself included). The meeting should have been held only at the point that the steering committee were actually able to articulately describe what the actual powers that could be devolved. I also thought someone independent to the steering group would have made a much better chair and ideally someone who could control the mob mentality.

    My final thought was that Cllr Jones (who I didn’t vote for) was treated very badly. Geoff is happy to have previously run as a borough councillor from outside, yet happy to criticise her.

    The lack of age and ethnic diversity of attendees was also disappointing.

  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    Pt 1 up at


    rest will be linked from there…still uploading!

  • Lisa

    I will be very interested to see the video and minutes. As a complete observer I felt it was extremely negative and angry and the benefits were not clear. I came away still wondering exactly what the petition was for but maybe I’m just not up to speed with these things.

  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    Just back from the meeting, v interesting; low-quality video from a cheap camcorder to follow….

  • Paulie-K

    I must say, this whole proposal is becoming very entertaining- looking forward to the debate tomorrow!

  • John

    I’ll save my salvos until tomorrow Brock. Listen I am not the only person involved here but I am the big gub. I have argued the toss with politicians for nigh on twenty years. I don’t have the answers to the World’s problems but I do know what’s going on in Wapping.

    I’ll leave one point to ponder, why would we have to levy a tax locally.

    No I am lying….this bastard could be a politician…I’ll do two points..We could take responsibilty for any, or all, services, there are no restrictions.

    Right I’m off to practise my football songs, got to get tuned in.

  • John

    Brock I’m glad to hear you are turning up, somehow I think you better be prepared to be pressganged. You seem to have an interest in the area and willing to duck and dive to dig out relevant information. I don’t know you from Adam but if this proposal is to go ahead then we need people willing to get involved.
    Councillors may be speaking so there may be a problem with them being recorded but I will go round about half six, need to be there early to get my translator up to scratch on my Scottish accent., we can discuss or argue the case and come to a conclusion that hopefully suits all.
    It may get indepth but I am putting a time limit on me saying anything. Celtic play Sporting Braga tomorrow night in Champions league qualifiers and football is more important than my council tax being doubled and my wife being traded at commodity quay for three camels and a kit kat.
    That’s my stance so you all know where we are before it all starts.

    I do hope a few of you on here can find the time to turn up. I more fervently hope some of you may come to support this proposal.

  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    Questions I would like to hear answers to on Weds:

    1) Am I right in thinking that the council would have the power to collect tax locally, and this would be the primary source of income for it, not re-allocated funds from LBTH?

    1a) If so, at what sort of level is it proposed?

    2) What responsibilities would pass from LBTH to a Local Council, if any?

    3) What are the main concerns with LBTH that the council seek to address?

    3a) If the issue is with the councillors (specifically them not living in Wapping/not adequately representing us) why is a change in Government structure the answer, rather than a change in personnel? There was the opportunity for the electorate to replace the councillors with Wapping residents a couple of months ago in the last local election.

    I’m sure there’s more that will come out during the meeting but those are the pressing issues for me I think!

  • http://www.paulbrockphotography.co.uk Brock

    I’m not sure Fiona. I did request permission on here and as John says “I don’t suppose I have any real objections to it being recorded but can’t speak for others.”

    Time permitting, I’ll head down a little earlier and hopefully can agree something with them.

  • Fiona

    I won’t be able to make this unfortunately like a few others but would be very interested if it was recorded. Do we know from the organisers yet if they’ll allow it?

  • http://www.WhatsinWapping.co.uk What’s in Wapping

    See http://www.whatsinwapping.co.uk/wapping-town-council-update-150710/ for previous comments on the Town Council proposition.