Reasons to object to Network Wapping’s application to become a Neighbourhood Planning Forum for Wapping
It will be no surprise to learn that I am in all in favour of local people becoming involved in their community.
The main role of Love Wapping is to let people know what is going on. We don’t have a local press to speak of and while not everyone is on the interweb it’s better than nothing. Well, I think so anyway.
So this is the reason why I am asking you to formally object to the application by Network Wapping to become a Neighbourhood Planning Forum. It’s your choice, I only speak for myself and no one else, but here are my reasons to object.
My main reference is the PDF copy of the Network Wapping Neighbourhood Planning Forum application as found on the Tower Hamlets website.
Contact. What contact?
On the Neighbourhood Planning forum application form contact details for Network Wapping are given as below.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (currently supported)
- www.networkwapping.org (currently supported)
- www.facebook.com/networkwapping (to be supported)
- @networkwapping (currently supported)
- www.streetlife.com/page/network-wapping (to be supported)
From my own experience I know that emails to the address given are either ignored (as I get no reply) or only answered after some considerable time. Same with Tweets.
Don’t take my word for it, email or tweet them and see if you get a reply. So I would argue that none of these methods of contact are supported. Anyone can publish an email address or a website but it takes will to actually use them to communicate with people.
And as to the website…. Has anyone ever made sense of it? Not me. A fundamental requirement would be a clear statement of Network Wapping’s objectives and how they intend to achieve those objectives. I cannot find these anywhere.
Absence of Meeting Minutes
Also I cannot find any Meeting Minutes of Network Wapping. Should these not be published for everyone to read? If they are not published on the website where can they be seen?
Perhaps the most telling detail is that the ‘About Us’ section of the Network Wapping site is password protected. This is either deliberate or through incompetence. Either way the message it sends is clear.
Losing the will to live
I had intended to work my way through the application form and dissect it item by item but on attempting this I started to lose the will to live.
Incoherent, muddled, badly written
Suffice to say the application form is incoherent, muddled, badly written and has not even been checked for spelling mistakes. If a secondary school child submitted this as homework it would be marked with a big red F.
Here are some examples.
Q 1: The Forum is established to promote or improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of its neighbourhood. How will How will the Forum seek to promote or improve the neighbourhood area in terms of its social, economic and environmental well-being?
A: Social well-being: “We promote arranging places towards encouraging positive social interaction.”
My comment: What does that mean? What ‘places’? Seats around a table in the pub?
Q 1: How will the Forum embed the Council’s guidance and aspirations within the Community Plan, Core Strategy, Managing Development Document and Diversity and Equalities Statement in their activities?
A: Diversity and Equalities Statement: “We believe diversity is hugely beneficial and all are to be asissted [sic] to excel.”
My comment: A statement of the blindingly obvious. It would be more useful if Network Wapping explained how they would do this. And learnt to spell.
Network Wapping Membership
The more interesting details come when you look at the Network Wapping membership list. The identity of members has only become known since the official publication of the application by the Council.
Network Wapping has repeatedly refused to publish its membership list or explain the reasons why it refuses to publish the list. You can see it on this site and on the What’s in Wapping website here.
But you still cannot see a membership list on the Network Wapping site. Why? Something to hide? Disorganised? Or is it simply that they hold Wapping residents in contempt?
E1W is Wapping
Either way a cursory examination of the membership list reveals that most of them do not live in Wapping. This fact alone is reason enough to reject this application.
The Wapping post code is E1W. This is quite clearly explained here on the Wikipedia site.
The What’s In Wapping website has grouped the applicants by postcode which gives:
Membership E1 & E2 – north of the Highway
John Bell, Michael Ainsworth, Julian Cole, Mark Willingale, Ismail Saray, Jennifer Jones, John Inglis, Suzelle Longman, Genia Leontowitsch, Jim Ford, Christine Avlon, Jon Freeman, Mary Nepstad, Andreas Lechthaler, Liz Gardner, Carl Nash, Zeke Manyika, Gareth Jones, Dilwara Begum, Geoffrey Juden
Membership E1W – Wapping
Husna Begum, Alex Kind, Christine Trumprer, Peter Cottage, Gren Bingham, Jake Kemp, John Tarby, Meryl Thomas, Trevor Jones, Danielle Lamarche, Ralph Chittock, Tetty Kadury, Michael Nulty, Paul Kellaway
So that’s 20 members who do not live in Wapping and 14 who do. This is not right.
In addition there are no less than four architects listed: Mark Willingale, John Inglis, John Bell and Ralph Chittock.
I have lived in Wapping for over three years and have only met architects at the London Dock and Phoenix Wharf consultations. Four architects is, in my opinion, three too many. Or maybe four too many?
I do not consider that the membership of Network Wapping is representative of the area.
Wapping seems bigger today
The easiest way for Network Wapping to deflect any criticisms of the fact that more than half do not live in Wapping and that their membership is not representative of Wapping is simple.
Make Wapping bigger!
And this is just what they have done. Cunning, huh?
Below is the map of Wapping that Network Wapping has submitted as part of their application. (Places names added by Love Wapping Art Director for context).
By submitting this Network Wapping claim to be a community voice for everyone in St Katharine Docks, Wapping, Shadwell and parts of Limehouse. Just thought you should know. I wonder what the Friends of St Katharine Docks think to this?
I could go on for a long time about how unfit Network Wapping is to become a Neighbourhood Planning forum but life is too short.
Suffice to say that I know Wapping doesn’t need Network Wapping and we should think more about keeping our small part of London safe and sound and a nice place to live.
Network’s Wapping continuing refusal to disclose its members and lack of response to emails makes it unfit to be a Neighbourhood Planning forum. Or anything else.
We do not need Lunar Power at Shadwell Basin. Honest, that’s what these people want. Look at their background document.
We do need safe streets, good housing and, sad to say, donate more tins to the Tower Hamlets Food Bank.
Wapping is a community, not an architects’ playground.
To express your opinion about the application by Network Wapping to Tower Hamlets Council please use the contact details below.
Responses should be sent to email@example.com or to:
FREEPOST RRBK – TZER – UTAU
Neighbourhood Planning Consultation
Strategic Planning – Plan Making
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
PO BOX 55739 London E14 2BG
Telephone: 020 7364 5367