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Wapping Town Council: What Next?

Wapping Town Council: What Next?

A Public Meeting was held yesterday, 28th July in Raines Hall Wapping to discuss the Local Town Council proposition.  Official minutes will be published when available, but a resident recording of the meeting in 6 parts is available on YouTube starting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BRLrx3BfBo

Resident Views

Numerous comments today by residents since the meeting [...view last article].

Statement from Geoff Juden

Wed 28th July 2010 a meeting was held to ascertain going forward with a proposal for a Town Council in Wapping. There are always views for and against any change, however the people of St. Katharine’s & Wapping are being given the right to decide, any idea of what powers to take in hand, or indeed any cost to the people of St.Katharine’s & Wapping .

I personally will be happy to be involved with this venture should the people wish. This website will be kept informed of the progress. The next step is to gain sufficient signatures for the petition, in order that this may be presented to Tower Hamlets Council for a governance review of the area.

The final decision on all matters rests with the public of St. Katharine’s & Wapping and nobody else, so far the only people in London to be given this opportunity. Use it wisely.

Reference Information

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

Latest Updates [...View Here]

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  • Paulie-K

    @John I’m afraid not! More to do with getting the fencing repaired and whether having the gate in the middle would make it easier for them to get the ball rather than having to walk round everytime it went out.

  • john

    Paulie when you emailed about the basketball court. Can I ask, well actually I can ask but will you gve me an answer, was it regarding the ball going over the fence and entering your home. I did witness such an event once and admit I did laugh, it was an absolute fluke and the boys who acidentally did it stood there like lemmings.not knowing what to do next. It was like watching a comedy of errors.
    I used to get it when we first moved here including my windscreen getting cracked. We did manage to get them to raise the fence to it’s present height.

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

    I think I know one of the answers to Paulie’s questions:

    “What is the maximum precept it could raise?”

    There is no cap on council tax precepts, according to http://www.isitfair.co.uk/Downloads/Town-Parish%20precepts%20-%20Aug%202009.pdf
    There are also no restrictions on how much it goes up each year.

    Rarely it is possible for the precept to be greater than the parent authority part of the council tax, effectively more than doubling the council tax, though it seems such parish councils tend not to last for very long!

  • Paulie-K

    @John, here in lies the rub. As we know, there is a petition that is accumulating names (any idea how many so far?) under the banner of improving democratic representation in Wapping. In principle I am in favour of increasing the representation of people in Wapping but only in the right circumstances. At present I cannot in good conscience contemplate signing the petition as there are too many unanswered questions. I think the concept is a good one, but in practice, we may find it flawed.

    I don’t know how familiar with survey design you are, but it is very difficult to phrase questions to be free of bias. If you ask ‘do you think local people should have a say over how money is spent’ it’s reasonable to assume most people would agree. If however the question is ‘do you think we need another tier of government’ people would be disinclined (I think there was an article in the Times on this to do with the concept of “the Big Society”- alas I am outside the paywall) to vote in favour.

    For me the outstanding questions are:
    *What powers could it have
    *Of the areas the council could vote on, would LBTH be bound by them (for instance town councils have no power over planning just the ability to make a representation)
    *What will the cost of supporting the town council be at LBTH (dedicated finance staff etc)
    *What governance would the parish council be subject to (production of accounts, audit)
    *What is the maximum precept it could raise
    *Would there be a referendum and how much would this cost
    *How much will the governance review cost
    *Will the shadow council be elected by residents or by committee

    Combined with the fact that our representation on the ‘Big’ issues will be reduced by 2/3rds, the proposal at present has no merit for me.

    My understanding is that Geoff feels that the points above should be all considered by the shadow council, though I think that is leaving it a little too late in the day. I am not convinced that Geoff knows the answers to the questions above himself or how much review of existing publications or the relevant primary legislation he has undertaken. When I challenged him in the meeting he dismissed my point (his repeated ladder analogy, his view that me having ‘reasonable understanding’ was as good as having no understanding etc.).

    Also, whilst formal introductions might be desirable I wouldn’t take umbrage that people don’t use their full names online, and I would fully understand individuals’ desire for anonymity given the strength of feeling it gave rise to in the meeting.

    To assure you about my motivation, I was at the meeting and spoke, though I have never been a member of any political party and have no connection to anyone involved in East London politics other than I once emailed Cllr Emma Jones about making improvements to the design of the basketball court on the High Street. I have lived in the area for 5 years since I graduated. I don’t take part in the social fabric of Wapping at all, as there is very little for someone in their mid-twenties who works full-time. I do however compete in the Town of Ramsgate pub quiz every week and attend church locally (though not St Peter’s due to theological differences).

    As for the costcutter licence, it is for Cllr Haque to answer how he voted. Whilst both Cllr Haque and Cllr D Jones are in the labour group, it isn’t for Cllr Jones to tell him what to do- I assume he is his own man so I still feel her treatment wasn’t fair.

  • John

    Well well, remember Denise Jones saying she was not responsible for Costcutters and some on here saying she was innocent as she wasn’t on the licensing committee, I was accused of picking on her but I discover her colleague and fellow Wapping councillor, Shafiqul Haque, is on the licensing committee.I ponder why Ms Jones never made that fact public at the meeting.
    Another cover up by local labour and another case of a local councillor failing the local people of which he is supposed to represent.

  • John

    Don’t act too quick Paulie, let’s see what transpires in the next few weeks because I am interested in all the legalities. I am not at all interested in a precept and that is why I want to know all the ins and outs.
    I am more interested in getting a council, committee, cabal, conclave. concoction or whatever other name we use of people who are interested in getting things done and problems removed. If the council or our local councillors were able to rectify the problems that abound then there would be no need to even set this ball rolling but it is the constant: ‘It’s not my fault.’ from our councillors that has set me off. It is their faults, it was their responsibilty to listen to the opinions of the local people and air their concerns.They have failed miserably to do so. I want a mechanism that can have some bite in curtailing the council from foisting on us plans that are detrimental to the people of Wapping. That is not something that I see as needing to raise a precept for. So before we all end up at each other’s throats let us proceed for a couple of weeks to see how it pans out. I can assure you I am not going to be running to the council with any petition before we meet and discuss the facts in detail. I also want to see money used in Wapping instead of being shipped out to other parts of the borough as we endure years of building work at News International.

  • John

    And so do you remain a man of mystery Robin along with Fiona and not forgetting Flash Harry. Quite a few demands being aired by faceless people. I did respond to Fiona’s post unless you missed that point but why should anyone bow to the demands of people who remain in the background, it’s a two way street here. I know Brock because he made himself known. The likes of Flash Harry stays in the dark yet did an awful lot of checking on certain points. Maybe you can all state who you are and what part you play in the social fabric of Wapping. Just think it may well help.