The results of the two Liveable Street surveys are below including the 1st draft
For the 2nd main survey, the results are from the 1st week – Saturday 18th to Friday night 8pm when I announced on the radio show I do with Cllr Puru Miah that I was able to segment the results, see point 2 below – will update next week after more results are received - but these maybe impacted by the results of the 1st week
I conducted the surveys for three reasons:
Also interesting was that 35 residents have sent in pro-Liveable Streets emails to Councillors since the Mayor announced a pause. Each email shows the name of the person. Those emails showed a clear trend as to their names i.e. Andrew Wood is an Anglo-Saxon name. Puru Miah is not.
The 6 collectors on SurveyMonkey were:
Facebook IoD & E14 – the Canary Wharf & Isle of Dogs Residents group that I run – mainly E14 but was shared elsewhere on Facebook – 26,765 total members but 20,082 active members in last 28 days
Facebook TH Opp LS – the Tower Hamlets residents against the Liveable Streets Proposals with 2,312 members – but the survey suggests not all members of this group are against Liveable Streets :)
Facebook TH wide – posted in some Tower Hamlets group like Tower Hamlets Community 5,024 members, Tower Hamlets Residents 1,473 members
Twitter – my Twitter @andrewwood17 but shared on Twitter by others
Nextdoor – only in the E14 area
WhatsApp – in 3 WhatsApp groups: LB Forum, MyTowerHamlets, Our Tower Hamlets
Of note is that E14 based areas have been barely affected by Liveable Streets so far as even the Barkantine work (no road closures) is very different to what has happened in the Weavers ward area (lots of road closures) for example
I will do more analysis next week on point 3 – the response rates
Click on each link for the survey results in PDF
Tower Hamlets total results 2nd survey data_all_210924-total.pdf
Twitter results data_all_210924-twitter.pdf
Facebook Isle of Dogs & E14 data_all_210924-facebook_iod.pdf
Facebook Opposed to Liveable Streets data_all_210924-facebookoppols.pdf
Facebook Tower Hamlets wide data_all_210924-facebook_th.pdf
Draft survey data_all_210925-draft.pdf
Q2 illustrates some very different responses by social media tool - in terms of results but also the number of submissions - here are the questions in order as to what the Mayor should do next:
Green - He should extend & strengthen the programme
Dark Blue - He should stick to the existing proposals
Yellow - He should pause to reconsult residents
Light blue - He should scrap the whole thing
Orange - Not sure
I have been in Germany for the last few weeks for my mums 80th birthday party.
So I did some tweets yesterday about good ideas we can take from Germany, some serious ideas except the 1st one :)
Plus also lots of pictures of cakes 😁 I will explain the relevance to E14 in a future post but visiting Memmingen where my mum lives can be very frustrating when I compare their social infrastructure to ours Maybe best to read on Twitter or via the pics below https://twitter.com/Andrewwood17/status/1429824235938189316?s=20
Campaigning for the May 2022 local elections started last year if you knew where to look but it is becoming increasingly obvious as parties start stepping up activity ahead of May 2022 that it is underway now.
So, I thought I should make clear what my own plans are.
At this stage– 9 months away from the local election, I plan to stand as a candidate for the Canary Wharf ward election as an independent (a member of no political party).
A reminder there are 2 Councillors for the ward, so you will have two votes.
Democratic elections are about choice and the good thing is that Canary Wharf ward will be a real contest, as a ward that different political parties (Aspire, Labour, Conservative) have won in recent years and will all fancy their chances here so your vote really will matter. In May 2018 there was a 7-vote difference between the 2nd, 3rd, 4th candidates!
As an independent candidate whether I get re-elected or not will be up to you as voters. I will have no party machinery behind me, no automatic bank of support I can rely on, no money except my own.
If I fail to get re-elected then I can go on a lovely long holiday, first proper one in 8 years, stop working 7 days a week, and get a chance to read some of those books I still buy as if I have the time to read them
But as a now experienced Councillor who still has a long list of things I want to get done (more on this in coming weeks including a Mayoral manifesto and a local Council for the Isle of Dogs), I feel a duty to stand again. If you want me to represent you for another 4 years I will do it, if not I can relax and go do something else.
But to be honest one of the things I am struggling with is to what extent I try and finish stuff in the next 9 months (that infrastructure analysis for the Isle of Dogs!) and how much time I spend on campaigning. I know the two reinforce each other but a lot of the work I do is not visible or so boring that many people won’t be interested (trying to change the Councils strategic plan targets for example or writing fire safety recommendations).
One reason for standing again is that we do not have enough Councillors today who are both capable and who will do the work (see my analysis of Cllr work levels) and Tower Hamlets has less Councillors (45) then almost any other local authority so we cannot afford to have too many duds. Today we have around 15 excellent Councillors, 15 OK Councillors and 15 poor ones. You as voters need to do a better job voting for good people next May, but then political parties also need to pick better candidates!
So, one of the things I aim to do over the coming months is provide residents with a better understanding of local politics, issues and what Councillors actually do when we have a Mayor with all of the power. So that come next May you will be able to make
To register a political party takes time, it can be done like Rabina Khan did with PATH in 2018 and Lutfur Rahman did with Aspire. But I quite like being an independent, it allows me to work with people from other political parties.
Will I re-join the Conservatives?
I was asked if I would re-join the Conservative party recently and I said no. I am politically homeless at a national level as no major party represents my views. I am like former Conservatives David Gauke and Rory Stewart, the Conservative party nationally has moved away from me, and I have wide policy differences even if the Westferry Printworks decision was the final straw for me.
Excel file /uploads/4/2/7/8/42789711/mes___meetings_by_councillor.xlsx
ODS file mes___meetings_by_councillor.ods
See Twitter comments here twitter.com/Andrewwood17/status/1415232789025378305?s=20
or below as a PDF
The original interim London Fire Brigade report into the fire at New Providence Wharf is here
I have underlined the key sections and then added comments or questions to the PDF here london_fire_brigade_preliminary_fire_investigation_report__053666-07052021_new_providence_wharf_[redacted].pdf
My speaking points to the Inspector at the appeal
Site at: Former Westferry Printworks Site, 235 Westferry Road, London, E14 3QS
Appeal by: Westferry Development Limited
PINS Reference: APP/E5900/W/19/3225474LPA
Submitted at 9am 20th May
Cllr Andrew Wood
Phone: 07710 486 873
But in summary air quality has been improving steadily for years and is below World Health Organisation safe targets in large parts of Tower Hamlets (but not everywhere), this downward trend has been happening for years even before ULEZ.
During lockdown the Council do not collect air quality data in some months so most of the analysis is pre-2020.
This data comes from Tower Hamlets Council own data sources, the four permanent air quality monitoring stations and the 90 NOX diffision tubes across the Borough
One reason why this has not picked up in reporting is that the GLA only update their analysis every 5 years and this is now out of date.
It is likely that the ULEZ extension in October (if it does improve air quality by 30% as TfL suggest) may well mean that nearly everywhere in Tower Hamlets will have levels of pollutants below WHO safe levels.
This is probably due to the Euro emissions standards for new cars improving on a regular basis so new cars are cleaner then old cars, the more new cars, plus hybrids + electric vehicles the faster the change.
But we need more data in a number of areas especially for PM2.5 as we only measure that in 3 places and only started measuring recently to be 100% sure.
We also do not do enough measurements in places with major construction sites as data capture has been focussed on vehicle traffic. At times the worst place for air quality has not been by the side of a road but in Millwall Park in the south of the Isle of Dogs!
You can check this data for yourself here
Presentation is here as a PDF click here and pictures below
I produced this presentation as a response to a Council presentation where the pictures used were out of date (as based on GLA pics) but the text did largely reflect my presentation below.
I wrote a 5 page summary of the key issues referendum_choice.pdf in the governance referendum, also see pictures below.
I have not decided which way to vote myself so I wrote the guide to help myself think through the issues, I won't be supporting either campaign.
I dislike both options and especially the method by which the choice was made and I fear it will not solve any of the underlying problems in Tower Hamlets, why we continue to underperform on a range of issues, more on this in the coming months.
So I added a 6th page with a suggestion as to what to do if you do not like the choices or the method by which these final two options were picked.
Which is to write at the very bottom of the ballot a message, what the Americans call a Write In as to your preferred option, for me that was the Committee system (which is what Newham Labour have picked as well)
As long as anything you write is clearly separate from your choice marked by an X, that means your ballot paper will still be counted as a valid vote but your message will be seen by count staff and agents from both campaigns.
More about the referendum on the Council website here.
An article sent to Conservative Home on the 23rd Feb 2021 in advance of the Parliamentary debates on who pays to remediate fire safety to encourage Conservative MP's to support the Stephen McPartland & Royston Smith amendment.
Having quit the Conservative Party in February 2020 over a planning issue I was recently asked if I might re-join.
The immediate answer was no, and the first reason that came into my head was the cladding and fire safety debacle that many of my residents are suffering from (although we still do not know how many people are affected which maybe why the political consequences of this are not yet clear).
The government is now only offering financial help for cladding issues in tall towers not for all of the other fire safety related costs like fire barriers, waking watches, delayed home sales and increased insurance costs which have been caused by the same industrial, planning and regulatory failures as the cladding that failed at Grenfell in June 2017. And if your home is less than 18 meters in height you have to pay for any cladding issues via loans (that financial limit exists because nobody can agree a better definition of a tall building). Delays in resolving this issue have already resulted in some home owners declaring bankruptcy.
As a result it cannot be right that through other people’s failures including those of the government to properly regulate that homeowners have to pay to rectify other people’s mistakes as is still the plan for some categories of buildings, some categories of owners and many fire safety issues. They will also pay VAT or Insurance Premium Tax on these additional costs so government also benefits from this financial pain. That strikes me as profoundly unfair and the recent government announcement has attracted almost universal condemnation.
It is true that many of the affected buildings are in Labour areas like mine but I know many of those people affected, some of them would naturally move away and into safer Conservative around the cities over the long term (assuming they can still afford to do so) and probably have families already there. Some Conservatives have done an excellent job in response to this crisis but it strikes me as an unusual decision to inflict financial pain on a category of people who would normally support you electorally rather than developers and other parts of the building industry.
As a reminder according to Ipsos MORI’s figures at the 2019 general election, 57% of voters who owned their home outright voted Conservative, as did 43% of people with mortgages (same % as the Conservative vote share).
This is because the consequences of the fire safety crisis are as much financial as they are the concerns related to building safety and those financial consequences will last decades long after the buildings themselves are made safe.
Failure to resolve this issue will cause political issues for the Conservatives in the coming years, that damage will be at the margins but there will be marginal constituencies which contain affected buildings, or frustrated home-owners or their families who might laugh hollowly if told that the Conservatives are the party of home-owners. I wonder how Labour and the Liberal Democrats will take advantage of this in 2024, because I can hazard a guess.
The additional costs of fixing the cladding and all other historic fire safety issues should come solely from a tax on developer and other industry participants profits. This is not as damaging as some might fear not least because housebuilders have been making good profits in recent years thanks to government schemes like Help to Buy which by 2023 will have helped boost the housing market by £25 billion in loans. According to the Economist magazine property development companies in the UK make twice the operating margins of their peers in America, it is time they took greater responsibility for the problems they caused.
In 2015 Lambeth Council introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO for short) to ban the use and sale of laughing gas also known as NOX. They are the little silver canisters that you will find littering streets all over Tower Hamlets. The canisters also have a legal use in the food industry usually in whipped cream canisters so can be bought legally. They contain a gas nitrous oxide (NOX) which when inhaled usually via a balloon gives the user a short high.
Taking nitrous oxide can cause feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and calmness, fits of giggles and laughter – hence the nickname ‘laughing gas’ and sound distortions and hallucinations. But they can also give you a severe headache, cause dizziness, stop you thinking straight, and cause short-lived but intense feelings of paranoia according to the website Talk to Frank, and can have other negative health impacts.
The reason why they are so many canisters is that users have to keep inhaling them to stay high. Why they don’t then pick them up and put them in a bin remains a mystery.
But six years after Lambeth and more than two years after Cllr Peter Golds
and I introduced a Council motion asking that we follow Lambeth in introducing one, Tower Hamlets Council is now consulting on introducing a Public Spaces Protection Order which will ban their use, the order will state:
a) Person(s) within the Restricted Area will not:
Ingest, inhale, inject, smoke, possess or otherwise use psychoactive substances (e.g. nitrous oxide) and which is causing or likely to cause harassment, alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance to members of the public.
that consultation ends Monday so please complete it online here.
It is not currently illegal to possess NOX canisters so if the Police turn up and see you using them they cannot do anything (unless you are driving at the same time as some NOX users do). But a PSPO gives the Police and Council enforcement officers the powers to order people to stop these activities and fine them a £100 for each offense which is why we need your help in responding to the consultation.
Public Space Protection Orders were introduced in 2014 by the government and they have to be consulted on first, can only last for three years at a time (but can be renewed) and must set specific rules for a specified local area. PSPO areas can cover a local park or in this case the whole Borough. We know the Police struggle to know where the two other PSPO areas are or what the rules are so they rarely use them, only a Borough-wide PSPO is likely to be usable by the Police.
Tower Hamlets has the highest rates of anti-social behaviour (ASB) in London the Met Police recently confirmed and they are I believe also the highest rates in the country. We are now also the densest Borough in the country so ASB from NOX users often has a negative impact on our communities, especially from the parties that NOX users have in areas close to people’s homes. If NOX users picked up their canisters and found quieter places to enjoy themselves then perhaps we would not need to do this. Please complete the consultation to help give the Police and Council officers more powers to deal with it.