Network Wapping – opaque, unrepresentative and hopeless with arithmetic.

Some people don’t take no for an answer do they? Only a few days ago we said that Network Wapping had not made a Neighbourhood Planning Forum (NPF) application on 1st October. And they had not.

Unfortunately for all of us Network Wapping did submit a NPF application the day after.

This comes after Network Wapping withdrew their previous application on 30 July just before the 1st August deadline.

This deadline being an extension of the original deadline that was specially extended because of Network Wapping’s abject failure to consult with anyone. Apart from themselves.

And the news on 10th August that of the 152 responses to the Network Wapping NPF application 150 were objections, one in support and one neutral.

I have to admit arithmetic was never my strongest subject at school, so if you could check my sums here and let me know if they are correct I would be grateful.

So. 150 is a big number. Compared to 1 it is in fact 150 times bigger.

That also means that 1 is 150 times smaller than 150. Is that correct? Yes, I think it is.

Here comes the tricky bit

So far so good. Now here comes the tricky bit. A hypothetical situation. Brace yourselves.

Let’s imagine that a small group of people propose that they want to do something that will have consequences for a larger group of people. So the larger group of people can have their say as to whether they:

  •  Agree with the proposal
  • Disagree with the proposal
  • Have no view either way

Got that? (At this point it is fine to use pencil and paper to keep track, you will be required to show your workings of course.)

So the large group of people have their say on what they small group of people want to do. 152 responses are submitted and the results are as follows:

  • 1 response are in agreement with the proposal
  • 150 responses disagree with the proposal
  • 1 has no view either way

Let’s pause and check our initial logic here.  If 1 is 150 times smaller than 150 then that means that there are 150 times more people who don’t want this to happen than do want it to happen. Is that correct? Yes? Good.

From hypothetical to reality

Then let us take our hypothetical scenario and see how it compares to the public response to the first Network Wapping NPF submission.

Gosh! It’s the same! 150 responses out of 152 were against their proposal. And that is not necessarily 150 people against as responses from organisations count as one response. So that could be 1,500 individual against the proposal. Which – I think – is an even bigger number than 150.

Another way to think of the whole 150 compared to 1 thing is that 99% of respondents objected. Have a look at this on What’s in Wapping.

But let’s stick with 150.

And ask one simple question of Network Wapping.

“What part of 150 against, 1 in favour and 1 neutral do you not understand?”

That was probably a wasted sentence as Network Wapping refuses to acknowledge what this means. So let’s try some plain English.

  • Your NPF proposal was rejected by the people of Wapping in an open democratic process.
  • Your proposal was heavily criticised by Tower Hamlets Council.
  • You have been told repeatedly that your schemes are unwelcome but you persist with them.
  • You have ignored the views of other long established community groups such as Friends of St Katharine Docks, Wapping Bangladeshi Association, Save KEMP and the Limehouse Community Forum.
  • You have no political support.
  • You have no grassroots support in the community.
  • You have no genuine interest in planning in Wapping and have demonstrated this repeatedly.
  • You do however have a keen interest in the London Dock development and in particular the plan for a new school there. Why is that when you ignore other planning issues?
  • The ‘members’ of Network Wapping hide from scrutiny, reject criticism and evade giving honest answers to reasonable questions.
  • Network Wapping is only interested in what it can take from the Wapping community, not what it can give.
  • Bottom line? You should stop what you are doing, pack up and go home. You are wasting a lot of people’s time for your own indulgence and your own interests.

Enough already!

But enough about these people. What can we do? Well at the moment we have to wait about six weeks until Tower Hamlets Council have checked the Network Wapping NPF application and publish it.

Then we can, if we wish, object to it. Again.

Do the right thing

But let’s not wait six weeks. Find out all you can about Network Wapping, ask them questions, attend their meetings and see what they do and how they do it. Discuss this issue with your friends and neighbours, contact your elected representatives and see what they think. Find out about Neighbourhood Planning and consider if Wapping needs a NPF.

What if you were one of the people who put their names to the original Network Wapping NPF submission?

Well all I can ask is that you do the right thing, contact Tower Hamlets Council and ask for your name to be removed from that and any subsequent applications. You signed in good faith with honest intentions but the truth is out now. If you did not sign the application have a look at the list of signatories anyway and, if you recognise a friend or neighbour,  have a chat with them and ask them about Network Wapping.

For my part this morning I emailed an organisation called ‘My Community Rights’  that deals with supporting community projects such as NPFs on behalf of the Government (sort of, its complicated, see also ‘Locality’  which seems to be the umbrella organisation) and has funding of around £30 million.

Where’s the cash?

Now originally it was thought that Network Wapping had applied to Tower Hamlets Council for some cash, up to £7,000, but I have been informed that it is in fact My Community Rights that does this.

So my email to My Community Rights asks how much money, if any, has been given to Network Wapping, what are they doing with it, and how is it accounted for?

Let’s do stuff!

What else can we do?

I know! Stuff! Let’s get together and do things for our community! No secret meetings, no hidden agendas, just doing stuff! Sound like a plan? Stay tuned.

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