The council is holding a meeting in the One O’Clock Club, Wapping Gardens, tomorrow Wednesday, February 20th between 1.30 and 5 pm about ‘refurbishing the playground’ and it seems drastic restrictions on walking dogs in our park are on the agenda.
Quite what is meant by ‘refurbishing the playground’ is not specified but LW does worry that the council – or should we say Cllr. Abdal Ullah – may have plans for Wapping Gardens that have yet to be publicised for some odd reason.
‘Dog walker hostile’
Some months ago a Wapping resident heard about Cllr. Ullah’s plans for Wapping Gardens which were ‘dog walker hostile’ to say the least.
We thought it would only be fair to publicise these rumours so that you can ask Cllr. Ullah about them at the meeting tomorrow. Hey, it would be rude not to!
Are Wapping dog owners being persecuted?
It seems that what ‘refurbishing the playground’ means in the case of Wapping Gardens is the following:
- All dogs must be kept on lead anywhere in Wapping Gardens
- Dog walkers will be banned from using the two ‘cages’ in Wapping Gardens and the surface will be converted to astroturf
- The Old Graveyard opposite the Town of Ramsgate will be gated and it is only in this area that dogs will be allowed to be off their leads.
Cllr. Ullah confronted
One resident who enjoys walking their dog in Wapping Gardens confronted Cllr. Ullah about these proposals and expressed her views in a typically direct and forthright East End manner.
Cllr. Ullah did not deny the detail of the proposals.
Apart from the overwhelming hostility to dog owners these plans exhibit, it was pointed out to Cllr. Ullah that the Old Graveyard is consecrated ground. And there was no way that this dog owner was going to allow her dog to do his business on people’s graves.
It seems that Cllr. Ullah was a little taken aback by this minor detail.
As to the general tone of the proposals, Wapping residents should start to wonder if Cllr. Ullah has a problem with dogs and their owners?
OK, dogs don’t vote but their owners do.
Youth Club problems
The only problem involving dogs in Wapping Gardens that LW can recall in recent years is the very unpleasant series of incidents where female residents were verbally abused and intimidated when trying to walk their dogs in Wapping Gardens by a group of youths from the Youth Club in Tench Street.
These incidents were not caused by dogs or their owners.
Wapping Gardens meeting details
The meeting is at the One O’Clock Club, Wapping Gardens, Green Bank, E1W tomorrow Wednesday, February 20th between 1.30 and 5 pm.
If you or your children use Wapping Gardens or you walk your dog in Wapping then we urge you to attend.
If you cannot make the meeting then please email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can contact Cllr. Abdal Ullah by email at Abdal.Ullah@towerhamlets.gov.uk, call him on his mobile on 07956 124264 or tweet him @Abdalullah
If the rumours are true and are in fact concrete proposals that Wapping residents then they must be resisted.
Irrespective of the details of the proposals borough residents need to resist these sham consultations. It’s not just the council – Transport for London do the same thing and let us not forget the battle to Save King Edward Memorial Park and the travesty of the ‘consultation’ by Thames Water.
Another nasty surprise like Raine’s House?
We should all remember the nasty surprise we all got when we turned up to the first ‘consultation’ about Raines House and found that plans had already been drawn up and £1,300,000 allocated without word one to any members of our community.
The Raines House issue is tangible proof that the current Labour administration has a nasty habit of only paying lip-service to the concept of consultation, instead just going through the motion after decisions have been taken.
This has to end now.
Questions to be asked
LW wonders what motivates the proposal that all dogs must be kept on a lead in Wapping Gardens? Dogs will be dogs but the overwhelming majority of dog owners in Wapping (and we know most of them personally) are very responsible.
There is no justification for this blanket ban.
Putting down astroturf in the two cages to encourage people to play football sounds a great idea. But it is bound to fail because there is nothing to stop people playing football in the cages now but they don’t.
Which is why some of the dog owners take their dogs in the cages if they are not good at mixing with other dogs – sensible, right?
And if someone does want to play footie or anything else in the cages a polite conversation takes place and play they do. Not rocket science, is it?
One reason that putting astroturf down is a complete waste of time and money is one that Cllr. Ullah told LW about some time ago. Residents whose homes overlook the cages object to the cage lights being on in the evening because they shine into their homes – which stops people using the cages for games.
And as to the Old Graveyard being the only grassy area that dogs will be allowed off their leads – would Cllr. Ullah be OK with this happening to a Muslim burial ground? We doubt it.
Tackle the real issues Cllr. Ullah
Odd thing is that LW knows Cllr. Ullah has no problems with dogs personally. So why these proposals which unfairly target dog owners in Wapping?
If Cllr. Ullah has nothing better to do than dream up daft schemes like this may we politely suggest he tackles the real problems in Wapping and Tower Hamlets as whole – speeding cars at night being just one, traffic congestion during the day is another, spending some of the £180m the council has sitting in the bank on saving our nurseries, stopping school children being radicalised, eradicating child poverty in the borough – instead of the imaginary ones.
Maybe the real issues are just to difficult to deal with?