Tuesday 27 September 2022

Neighbourhood Planning Referendum 13 October

 Do you want the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to use the Bow Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?

The Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Planning Referendum is taking place on Thursday 13 October. If you are a MEOTRA resident and have registered to vote, then you should have received a polling card by now. 

This referendum asks the simple question: “Do you want the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Roman Road Bow to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

Map showing the extent of the Bow Neighbourhood Plan area
The Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Planning Area

The idea of the plan was first put forward in 2016 by the Roman Road Trust and it has taken tonnes of effort to get the plan together and to go through all the necessary government hoops.

You can find out more on the council website including viewing the neighbourhood plan and the notice of referendum.

In simple terms, a Neighbourhood Plan is a document that sets out planning policies for the neighbourhood area (in our case Bow). The plan’s policies are used to decide whether to approve planning applications in the area. It’s written by the local community, the people who know and love the area, rather than the Local Planning Authority, and it is a powerful tool to ensure the community gets the right types of development, in the right place.

MEOTRA have been involved with formulating the plan since the outset and have regularly posted about it. The key is that it helps give the people of Bow a greater voice in planning applications.

The main themes of the plan are:

  1. A thriving high street and local economy
  2. Green streets that encourage walking and cycling
  3. Beautiful public spaces
  4. New life for our local heritage
  5. High quality affordable housing
  6. A resilient and well-networked community infrastructure
The full plan can be read here. It is 48 pages long, but it is well laid out and full of lots of photos and graphics and so is not as imposing as it sounds.

Should you vote in favour and support it? Well we couldn't possibly comment. Have a read for yourself over a cup of coffee or something stronger if you prefer.

This morning's Roman Road London's The Slice had a well written article on the Bow Plan too that is worth a read.

A photo of Bow residents looking at a map of Bow and discussing the area. discussing
Pointing out a community asset (The Palm Tree!)

Saturday 24 September 2022

Rising Anti-Social Behaviour, Noise and Crime in our Area

Map of MEOTRA area highlighting areas experiencing ASB

This year has seen quite a rise in Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and noise pollution within the MEOTRA area. We all need to do our bit to help reduce it. It is important to report incidents and make a note of any reference number (e.g. Crime Number).

Police and council resources are often allocated based on the number of reports made (so-called "trigger levels"). So if you see an issue that concerns you report it, don't assume someone else has.

This article is in two parts. This first part outlines some of the current problems.  In Part Two (tomorrow) we will detail how to report your concerns.

The Art Pavilion, Clinton Road

Tuesday 20 September 2022

Our Community Reacts to Shea Gordon's Murder on Morgan Street

Photo of Shea Gordon

As I am sure most of you will know there was a murder on Morgan Street on Sunday 4th September at approximately 00.08hrs. 17 year old Shea Gordon was fatally stabbed. Another youth was seriously injured, but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. The murder and disturbance leading to it was featured on BBC London news and further information is available on the BBC website and most recently on the Roman Road London’s website.

Police Appeal for Information

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Rogers from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command said:

“While an arrest has been made, I would reiterate my appeal for anyone with information about the incident which led to Shea’s murder to come forward. We continue to support Shea’s family through this incredibly difficult period but they need your help too – please get in contact with any information you have that could help provide them with the answers about what happened to Shea.”

Anyone who witnessed this incident, or who has captured footage or images, should call the Major Incident Room on 0208 345 3715, giving the reference Operation Wildcast. Information can also be provided via Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Residents Meet to Discuss the Murder and Rising Anti-Social Behaviour

On the 15th of September there was an online meeting hosted by a Lichfield Road resident which had around 32 attendees from our area. Many MEOTRA residents were unable to attend as we were only invited two hours before. Thanks to the 15 or so who came via MEOTRA at such short notice. MEOTRA did get both of our Bow West councillors (Asma Begum and Nathalie Bienfait) to attend, and their knowledge and input was invaluable.

Meotra’s notes from the above meeting are here.

MEOTRA has arranged an online meeting between the church, our councillors, the MEOTRA committee, and a small number of residents this Thursday evening to discuss the events of that fateful night and the increase in noise and anti-social behaviour that has been noticeable over the last few months from the site.

Ahead of Thursday’s meeting please let us know your thoughts on any concerns you have about the church (both the historic building and the hall on Lichfield Road that is used for events too). Please be as specific with times and dates as you can. 

MEOTRA has had a good relationship with the church for many years - since at least 1986. They have kindly let us use their hall for committee and AGM meetings free of charge many times; lent us chairs and tables for free at the last minute for our Jubilee Party in Tredegar Square and we have obtained a £2000 grant from the Tower Hill Trust dedicated to “rewilding” the churchyard so it becomes a local pocket park for local residents to enjoy. The churchyard has potential to be a very special place and we are supported by the council and the Friends Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park in achieving this (further info).

Anti Social Behaviour within the MEOTRA Area

Our area has seen a noticeable increase in anti-social behaviour (ASB) and we are working with the police, councillors and the council to tackle this. We will be posting about this shortly in a separate post. Please let us know any other ASB concerns you have.

MEOTRA are arranging an open public meeting with our Councillors, council licensing/parks/events officers, our local police officers and local MEOTRA residents to discuss what concrete steps we can take to improve matters in our area.