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Update from Emma Puosi

Another week of busy campaigning has gone by leaving us tired but satisfied with our progress. We have bagged another celebrity endorsement (Delia Smith) and we had another round of appearances on websites all over the world, courtesy of Dame Helen Mirren. But we are especially pleased with those activities that engage our community directly.

As you well know, King Edward Park is the meeting point of four different Tower Hamlets’ wards: Wapping, Shadwell, Limehouse and Stepney. The more the campaign progresses the more these different communities come together. Every day we find ourselves meeting and liaising with people from different parts of the borough and that makes our campaign all the more important.

This week, we were invited to the Limehouse Forum meeting by Mark Slankard, head of the group and owner of the Urban Bar. It was a great chance to meet more of our neighbours and to spread the word about Thames Water’s plans. It was also a nice occasion to get to meet this amazing group of people, after the meeting, over drinks at The Narrow with manager Simon Brencher. They have accomplished a lot for Limehouse so their advice and experience is certainly very welcome.

Friday was a particularly busy day. We had a school assembly at St Peter’s, Wapping, where the kids of Year 5 presented our campaign to the other children. Working with the school has been a real privilege and we must thank Mr Johnson, the supporting staff and Ms Dickson, the Head teacher, for making all this possible. Of course a great thank you goes to Toni who worked hard and to the kids themselves who were absolutely brilliant. As part of their Persuasive Writing lessons, the children wrote letters to Her Majesty to convince the Queen to save our precious park. Some extracts were read out at the assembly. Seeing the children’s commitment was very moving and made our efforts all the more worthwhile.

We left the school to head right to Shadwell Mosque, a smaller community compared to the Darul Ummah’s but still very friendly and lively. We will continue our work with the Muslim Community and next Friday we will be in Wapping to take signatures there. The response from the local Mosques has been great and has given us the chance to come together with some amazing activists that work really hard for our Tower Hamlet community.

We left the Mosque to stop at St Paul’s Shadwell Church where we met Vicar Ric Thorpe. King Edward VII Memorial Park rests within this parish and therefore the congregation is eager to get involved. We are looking forward to work with them.

The last act of this very eventful week was a meeting with Mayor Luftur Rahman and Cllr Alibor Choudhury who came out on a Sunday to talk about strategies for the campaign. Our Mayor will be meeting Thames Water tomorrow to make sure they stop pretending they have not heard about the motion passed on 02nd Feb 2011, when the Full Council unanimously voted a motion against works in any part of the park.

Lutfur, we are all behind you on this one!

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