I am I the only person in Tower Hamlets who is getting so many letters from Mayor Lutfur Rahman that I have difficulty keeping track of them? OK it’s flattering and all that but soon people will start talking… [Editors Note: They already have.]
Either way I am in good company as the Mayor seems to have problems keeping track of his letters too! Or should I say his team does? Can’t imagine the Mayor of Tower Hamlets opens his own post and sticks stamps on envelopes, he probably has people to do that for him. Anyway..
The back story
There is a bit of a ‘back story’ to this as they would say in Hollywood. Essentially one day in November three nice ladies knocked on my door, said they were from Tower Hamlets Homes (they weren’t) and asked me how Mayor Lutfur could help me? Nice.
I raised two issues with the three nice ladies, one being the lighting in Wapping Woods, the other being the broken pavement in Wapping Lane outside Tower Pharmacy and Hussey’s grocers. When it rains the pavement floods.
Now by some weird sequence of events the queries I raised with the three nice ladies not from Tower Hamlets Homes resulted in me getting letters from the office of Mayor Lutfur. Odd, huh?
But hey, it’s better than being ignored, right!
Now I have to admit that I was a silly billy and did not ask to see the IDs of the three nice ladies at the time. Why should I though? But this simple act of knocking on a door, saying you are from Tower Hamlets Homes (when you are not as has been proved) and then me getting nice letters from the Mayor has caused a bit of a fuss. Almost a kerfuffle.
That fateful day in November
Since that fateful day in November I seem to have spent more time speaking to investigators from Tower Hamlets Homes, service heads at Tower Hamlets Council and journalists from publications both low and high that I have not had much time to do important things like feed the geese.
Let’s hope no one makes a television program about the three nice ladies knocking on my door! Now that could turn a kerfuffle into a right palaver. And that would not be good. But I think we can rest assured that TV people – who are very, very important remember – would show any interest in this.
But I digress. Letters!
Just before Christmas I got yet another letter from the Mayor that had attached to it a letter from the Head of Transport and Highways at the Council.
The letter from the Head of Transport and Highways to the Mayor was very good indeed. In fact it is so good I have reproduced the main text below and the PDF files are attached to this post.
Basically the letter is in response to me ringing up the Mayor’s office and complaining that the response to a previous letter was not good enough. OK, I admit I might well have been trying to find out the identity of the three mysterious women but my complaint was still valid.
Problem being that I was complaining about the response to the broken pavement in Wapping Lane. Not the lighting in Wapping Woods. Because the lighting in Wapping Woods has been fixed and fixed very well. Mainly because Cllr. Denise Jones (Labour) and Cllr. Emma Jones (Conservative) worked long and hard to get them fixed.
The broken pavement in Wapping Lane is still broken. But more of that later.
Here is the text of the letters about the wrong thing. Oops.
Covering letter from Mayor Lutfur to me.
Dear Mr Baynes,
Further to my letter dated 10/12/2013, I have now heard from officers regarding the above matter that I took up on your behalf. A copy of their reply is enclosed.
I trust you will find the contents self-explanatory and I hope this satisfactorily answers your query. However, if there is anything further that I can assist you with please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets
And here is the report to the Mayor….
Report from Transportation & Highways to Mayor Lutfur
Dear Mayor Rahman,
Re: Highway Maintenance 1-84107736
I refer to your enquiry regarding Mr Baynes’ continuing complaint about the lighting in Wapping Woods. He was not satisfied by the original response and has asked that the situation be looked at in more detail.
Mr Baynes was originally concerned about the quality of lighting in Wapping Woods possibly being linked to two attacks in that area. After a public meeting regarding those problems in Wapping Woods and surrounding areas, S106 funding was secured for lighting improvements and the lights along the path were upgraded to brighter white lighting. Officers have since been on another walkabout in the area with residents and they were really happy with the results and said they felt a lot safer walking through the woods. The Dellow Street route is now also a lot better lit and a lot safer.
Community Safety are now seeking approval for further funding to continue lighting improvements in other streets in Wapping and we hope that Garnet Street can be included in that project.
In the meantime, as confirmed previously- the lighting is regularly monitored and any defective lights repaired without delay.
Head of Transport & Highways
At this point I would just like to thank Margaret Cooper and her team for their work. The improvement in the Wapping Woods lighting is fantastic. You can read about it here when I went on a walkabout. I won’t mention who didn’t go walkies of course. [Editors Note: Cheap.]
So there you have it. Lovely letter, wrong subject.
Wapping Woods remains properly lit.
The pavement in Wapping Lane remains broken.
No doubt throughout the Borough of Tower Hamlets residents are being thrown into confusion after complaining about dog mess and getting responses back with details of a Thames Barrier maintenance report.
Those people in the Mayor’s office really need to get their system sorted. But then as I am still baffled as to how an issue I raise with a person passing themselves off as a Tower Hamlets Homes employee finds it’s way to the Mayor’s Office that might be a tall order.
TV Expose? No. Film? Maybe.
In conclusion all I can say is that there is no way very important TV people are going to make a programme about the pavement.
But maybe someone might make a film about it? Nah, no one would ever be that daft.