Save KEMP meeting with Thames Water
At a sometimes angry and animated meeting representatives of Thames Water encountered the raw emotion generated by their plans to destroy King Edward Memorial Park.
Over 150 local residents attended a meeting at St Peter’s school in Wapping on 3rd June to listen and make their views known.
Unlike Thames Water’s consultation process, the message was clear and unambiguous: “Leave our park alone!”
Visibly shaken – and stirred too
At the end of the meeting Thames Water left, visibly shaken, after admitting that they had launched into the consultation with no local knowledge.
It only took a few minutes after the start of the presentation by Phil Stride (PS), the project manager for Thames Water (TW), for the patience of local people in the audience to grow thin.
Lee Hurst in no mood for jokes
Local resident and comedian Lee Hurst (LH) was in no mood for jokes as he repeatedly failed to get straight answers to his questions about the efficiency of the consultation. His experience was typical.
LH: The consultation that you have done, how far and wide was that consultation? Have you got proof of that consultation, as we didn’t receive jack shit where I live down Narrow Street. (Applause).
I found out about this from Toni who is a friend of mine on Facebook. Is that how you do your consultation?
Other: They send you a water bill instead!
LH: Yeah! You could have slipped it in with that.
TW PS: Not only did we do that [….] now that doesn’t mean we got to all the people we should have done (laughter from audience) All I can tell you, is what we followed we followed best practice guidelines, and obviously I wont go through all of these here (refers to list of meetings on screen), these are a list of all the engagements and consultation events we held relating to this site King Edward Memorial Park.
LH: Seriously, finish off answering the question, 250 meters, where did you send the letters to?
LH: No no, where does the 250 meters start? I’m glad you’re standing up cos if you were sitting down I wouldn’t be able to hear you talking out your arse. 250 meters, where did it start?
TW PS: It started from the edge of the park. Paul, can you give us a definition of exactly where these leaflets were delivered?
TW (Paul): 250 meters from the edge of the park, yeah.
Woman: So why didn’t I get one because I live next door to the park?
LH: Can I suggest you start off by sending them all out again?
TW PS: All I can say is I can give you…
LH: Can you send them all out again?
LH (shouting): Can you send them all out again?
TW PS: Well the answer to that is, what, would that not just confuse the people?
LH (and everyone else): NO! NO!
LH: It would inform them of the consultation process! Twat! (Applause) I am getting [...] annoyed now.
Were 175,000 Thames Water leaflets sent to squirrels?
A visibly angry Lee Hurst asked if, as Thames Water believed they had sent leaflets to everyone living within 250 yards of the park, maybe they had been delivered to all the squirrels?
Another audience member asked Thames Water how many people of the 175,000 ‘consulted’ saying no to their plans would it take for them to stop?
Again no reasonable answer was given, Phil Stroud resorting to hiding behind management jargon.
Thames Water documents are incomprehensible
“I’m a university professor and I couldn’t understand your consultation document,” said Wapping resident professor David Smith. “Thames Water should look at what it is presenting.”
It would seem that Thames Water has not heard of the reputation of East Enders for plain speaking. Now they have experienced it first hand they may wish to change their approach