With only eight days to go before the Big Half Marathon event disrupts many parts of Tower Hamlets the Council has caved in to relentless pressure from residents and published some information.
Which is nice of them.
You can now see details of the Big Half event on the Tower Hamlets Council ‘The Big Half is coming to Tower Hamlets’ page at towerhamlets.gov.uk/bighalf
In short there are more details for all borough residents and specific information for Wapping residents.
Free car parking is now being provided at John Orwell and there will be a leaflet drop during the week.
Half backed measures for the Big Half.
We have published a page of Twitter comments on the Big Half Shambles which we think is representative of opinion – very negative opinion.
(Note: We do not belong to any WhatsApp groups – and intend to keep it that way – but we know there is a lot of activity on these groups relating to the Big Half Marathon and would appreciate some input from WhatsApp people. Please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org)
One of the most pertinent comments has been made by What’s in Wapping responding to Tower Hamlets Council:
“Wapping has many elderly residents who rely on carers coming in during the day from outside the area – if they can’t drive, they need to plan ahead as many look after residents in other areas of Tower Hamlets too. Please can you help coordinate?”
And this comment by Ralph Hardwick:
“So why allow @ to take over parts of the borough and inconvenience all the residents and others who may need access? This is an event too far.”
Ralph also asks if Wapping residents should protest?
“Will there be a protest re the late announcement of the Big Half by Tower Hamlets? Have the road closing orders been correctly promulgated within the necessary time frame?”
Our estimate is that there are roughly 20 people complaining about the Big Half Marathon for every one who sees no problem with it.
Nimbyism? We don’t think so
James Morrell has made a comment here which in part reads:
“As I’ve said previously the coverage of this seems a lot of fuss for having to move your car for a couple of hours. Yes it hasn’t been communicated very well (although I’ve received a leaflet and there is something on almost every car on the High Street) but the tone of this veers close to NIMBYism.”
James fails to realise that the fuss is not just about having to move your car.
It is about the lack of consultation.
It is about the real hardship imposed on those who are reliant on the service of carers.
It is about the massive inconvenience to a resident who had planned to return home to Wapping from abroad the day of the event but has had to change her plans because she will not be able to get to her home.
Ultimately it is about the complete disconnect by public organisations like Tower Hamlets Council and Transport for London from the communities they are supposed to serve.
LW does not believe that any change in political leadership at the town hall will make any difference to what happens on the ground.
The system of local government in London and the UK is broken.
What about TfL?
There is also some mystery about exactly what Transport for London did – or did not – do.
And while Tower Hamlets Council is now being ultra nice we are not daft enough to think this is anything more than responding to pressure from residents.
The Big Half Marathon shambles has brought the whole issue of the entire borough being disrupted by sporting events into focus.
Tower Hamlet’s residents are more than happy to host events like the London Marathon on our streets and anything else for that matter as long as other parts of London do their bit too.
A little peeved
To be honest LW is more than a little peeved that once again we have to do the work of Tower Hamlets Council employees.
They get paid, we don’t.
Our decision of course but when the choice is for LW to not tell residents about an event which will impact a lot of people we consider we have a duty to tell everyone else.
To get us even more annoyed while we have been doing the Council’s job we have not been able to bring you proper coverage of other issues that affect the borough.
Apologies but we are doing our best!
Any donations to help us keep going would be gratefully appreciated as ever.