Full council meeting 27 July 2022
My first full council meeting (with all Councillors and the Mayor) was useful and interesting. The agenda and a link to the recording is here: Council Meeting
Because this was the first council meeting I have contributed to, I took the opportunity to say a few words following my election. You can watch the speech from 1h56m in the recording here: https://towerhamlets.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/671682
Here is a summary of the contributions I made during the meeting:
Petition to keep Antill Road vehicle filter
I was involved with setting up this petition which preempted the Administration’s action to remove the recently installed ANPR camera preventing non-residents from using Antill Road as a rat run. More information on this issue can be read here: Removal of Antill Road ANPR camera
We are yet to receive a formal response to this petition.
Petition to oppose the Silvertown Tunnel
The petition was set up and presented by members of the Stop Silvertown Tunnel Coalition and focused on giving the new Mayor an opportunity to oppose the construction of the Silvertown Tunnel. The Aspire administration refused to take this opportunity.
Aspire’s motion: adopting their manifesto as Council policy
My speech focused on specific areas of the manifesto which I and the Green Party agree with and areas where we disagree.
On the one hand, I was pleased to see a great many progressive policies in the manifesto. My personal highlights were:
- Plans to convert empty buildings into housing which is a much more climate friendly way of creating new homes for residents than building new ones.
- Promoting womens’ sports and providing women-only activities.
- Setting up more Community Land Trusts in the borough, building on work which you did with my Green colleague Neil Jameson in the past.
However there were significant disagreements which I had with a number of points:
- The backward steps taken to remove low traffic measures across the borough.
- Numerous references to the expansion of car parking.
- A concerning promise to monitor the safety and effectiveness of cycle lanes along Bow Road which is a TfL matter.
- A promise to research for the causes of poor air quality, which I would argue is redundant given the extensive research which already exists showing that vehicle transport is the primary cause of air pollution.
Report: Overview & Scrutiny
I thanked the authors of the report and expressed my enthusiasm at the prospect of engaging in robust examination of the borough’s housing providers and housing options service. I also expressed excitement to be part of the long tradition of scrutiny in the borough. I said I hope and expect the new Administration to be thoughtful and open to recommendations made by the various committees in O&S. I also like to paid tribute to Cllr Marc Francis who has been heavily involved with the committee in the past and was extremely helpful in providing advice on ensuring the continuity of the Committee’s work, and I hope and I’m sure he will continue to do so in future.
Report: Standards Advisory Board
I thanked the authors of the report and directed the attention of the meeting to the focus of the committee on embedding the Nolan principles of public life into the actions of this council’s members. I expressed a hope that all members of the council including the Mayor agree that these principles are foundational to our everyday activities as elected members, particularly the principles of Objectivity and Openness in decision making.
Question: Safety of Skew Bridge and Tredegar Road
I submitted a question to the Executive asking what their current plans are for improving safety of pedestrians, residents and all road users around Skew Bridge and Tredegar Road junction with Coborn Road in Bow West. Find more information about this case here: [news about Skew Bridge/Tredegar]
Motion: Oppose the Silvertown Tunnel
This motion was sadly not debated because we ran out of time. Nonetheless, the petition on the same topic gave an opportunity to understand the administration’s position on the topic.