An open letter to John Bell of Network Wapping

Saturday 02 November 2013

“Dear John

I write this letter as an individual and do not claim to represent anyone but myself.

I want to ask why you and your colleagues at Network Wapping are submitting a second application for your group to become a Neighbourhood Planning Forum?

Network Wapping wishes to become recognised under law as representatives for a wide area around Wapping yet you fail to engage or respond to those you wish to represent.

This should be enough to demonstrate to the authorities that your latest submission should be rejected.

You withdrew your first submission to Tower Hamlets Council 24 hours before the deadline.

Maybe this was because with 150 letters of objections to Tower Hamlets from the local community, one letter in favour and one neutral you realised your submission had no chance of succeeding?

And so if you withdrew the submission you could technically say the Network Wapping submission was ‘not rejected. Much like a boxer who refuses to step into the ring.

Apart from the 150 letters of objection to your first submission you know that all the established community groups in the area – Friends of St Katharine Docks, Wapping Bangladeshi Association, Save King Edward Memorial Park, Limehouse Community Forum – are firmly against your submission.

You ignore their work and lay claim to areas of the East End that they have been looking after for many years.

So what right do you have to make another submission? That is exactly the same as the first submission? Adding some legal jargon to it does not alter any facts.

Legally you have every right to resubmit. You can apply for Network Wapping to achieve Neighbourhood Planning Forum time and time again. And you probably will. But just because something is within the law does not mean it is the correct thing to do.

You are rarely seen in Wapping. You show no interest in any planning issues in our area apart from the proposed school at London Dock.

So why do you think you represent the local community?

The only thing that you and Network Wapping do is waste a lot of people’s time, mine included. Sorry to be harsh but that’s the reality.

Those of us in St Katharine Docks, Wapping, Shadwell and Limehouse who are concerned about the activities of Network Wapping have had to spend a lot of time monitoring what you are up to as under the Localism Act there is no formal method of doing this.

Why have we attended your meetings? Why have we written blog posts? Why have we engaged with our neighbouring communities?

As individuals we hold widely differing political views. But we have seen Network Wapping at work and we are of one mind that the way you and Network Wapping operate is undemocratic and there is no place for your organisation in East London. In any capacity.

So I publicly ask you and Network Wapping to withdraw your Neighbourhood Planning Forum submission immediately. And not make another submission.

By withdrawing you will gain some respect from the communities along the River Thames from the Tower of London to Canary Wharf who oppose you.

If you persist with your application you and Network Wapping will lose what little credibility you have left. And waste even more of our time.

I look forward to your reply and will of course publish it on the Love Wapping website in response to this letter.

Feel free to publish this letter on your website.”

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baynes

8 Frobisher House
Watts Street


7 thoughts on “An open letter to John Bell of Network Wapping

  1. Robin, I won’t be holding my breath for Network Wapping to reply to Mark’s letter. They haven’t updated their website since 2nd August, and haven’t published any minutes of their monthly meetings since mid-July. They don’t seem to get accountability to the community.

  2. Network Wapping haven’t addressed the concerns of the 150 people who objected to their last application. It’s almost like they are hoping Wapping will give in?

    1. Well as many of those objections were from organisations it is more likely several hundred residents Network Nuts are ignoring. History shows that others have made the mistake of thinking that that East Enders will give in. Didn’t happen then, won’t happen now. Key thing is for people to contact Tower Hamlets Council and express their views.

      1. Thank you for bringing this to our attention Mark. Just curious have you had a response from Network Wapping yet? I don’t understand why they can’t just answer all these questions, maybe if residents knew what it is they were actually trying to achieve they’d receive some support.

          1. I just find it all really strange , criticism and debate generally improve plans and ideas so I just don’t understand why residents keep hitting a brick wall.

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