Meetings

PUBLIC MEETING WITH THAMES WATER

14th June 7pm

St Paul’s Shadwell – on the Highway

 

KEMP supporter Mark Donne demanding answers from Thames Water at the St Paul's meeting held on 12th January. In case you are wondering, he didn't get any...

 

Come and hear from Thames Water why they are adamant that destroying our park and severely impairing our community life for years to come is the only way to clean the river. 

They will tell us why imaginary people’s imaginary jobs are worth more than our REAL kids’ REAL well-being&welfare, the REAL heritage of our REAL area and, more generally, the REAL needs of REAL people. 

They will also tell us why the leisure of West Londoners is more important than that of East Londoners. 

Sounds interesting, don’t you think?

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13 Responses to “PUBLIC MEETING WITH THAMES WATER”

  1. On June 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm cairo cannon responded with... #

    I can’t be at the meeting but please stop them! This is one of the most beautiful and unique parks in London. I walk there several times a week for health and happiness. Let me know if there is anything I can do.

  2. On June 12, 2012 at 8:50 pm Julia Dwyer responded with... #

    My son and I love going to play in this park and love picnicking there in the summer. My husband and I go also go jogging along the waterfront. We love this park and it would be a huge tragedy to lose it. Please, please don’t let plans go ahead to destroy this very important park!

    • On June 13, 2012 at 10:26 pm carld responded with... #

      Julia we are fighting this to the bitter end and the Council seems to be like minded. We won’t go without a fight!

  3. On June 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm Tim responded with... #

    I’m really fed up – this is the one evening of the week I’m not free! I really wish I could be there as this is something I feel very, very strongly about. It seems plainly obvious that the whole thing was a foregone conclusion from the start. I really hope we are able to keep up the pressure and continue the fight to get them to reconsider and re-route through Heckford instead. I’m really sorry I’m unable to attend, but please note my attendance in (very angry) spirit all the same! … in fact, you know what? I’m going to email them and tell them directly!!

    • On June 13, 2012 at 10:26 pm carld responded with... #

      Shame you can’t make it but yes please do write to them. They need to understand that the pressure is still very much on!

  4. On June 13, 2012 at 10:16 pm Tim responded with... #

    I have just read Thames Waters “Tideway Times” in which they say IN TOTAL (for the whole London-wide scheme, not just our area) they had “over 6,000 responses” to the phase 2 consultation … So our 10,000+ petition signages do not count???

    See for yourself, this is positive-spin false propaganda on overdrive: http://thameswater.co.uk/cps/rde/xchg/corp/hs.xsl/15652.htm

    • On June 13, 2012 at 10:25 pm carld responded with... #

      Yes, Tim you are right. They are counting the petition as 1 response… They do concede that it was the largest number of signatures they received in Phase 2 though.

      • On June 13, 2012 at 11:20 pm Tim responded with... #

        Talk about manipulating statistics to suit their desired ends … I simply despair!

        I find it mind boggling that their reports and newletters can concede and acknowledge our concerns and our opposition – but then they can just as plainly state in the very same report that they don’t think it necessary to alter their plans (even though they themselves have proposed an alternative route which we favour!).

        It’s such a shame I can’t attend. I hope you’ll be able to give them a proper grilling tomorrow and get a real answer as to why Heckford is a no go option.

  5. On June 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm Patrick Folan responded with... #

    Hi Save KEMP,
    Am really interested in attending the discussion tonight
    As I would like to show my opposition to the destruction of KEMP,
    I’d just like to ask as I’m am in a wheelchair does the venue have
    Disabled access to it? I feel that it’s everyone’s duty to partake
    In the process as this was unfair from the start and was
    Going to be an uphill struggle

    Thanks

    • On June 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm carld responded with... #

      Patrick thank you for coming last night. Notes will be available shortly. You are right, it will be a hard struggle, it has been for the last two years, but we are determined to see it through. Luckily our elected officials are on side and our Council is doing a brilliant job at backing the campaign. We must remain confident.
      Emma

  6. On June 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm Nick C responded with... #

    This was the first Thames Water(TW)/KEMP meeting I have attended. Prior to the meeting I knew very little about the TW proposals. I use the park on a weekly basis, and find it a useful cut through along the Thames Path heading towards Canary Wharf, as well as being a great place to enjoy the riverside views. I went to the meeting with the objective of understanding more about the plans, and also to support the concerns of using the park over other sites.

    Thames Water, although defensive, were willing to answer all questions posed to them.

    I must say that I was very surprised at the rudeness and commotion caused by a small group of residents in the meeting. They seemed hell-bent on disrupting the meeting, whilst raising very few constructive questions. This almost meant that we did not have time for serious questions such as discussing alternative engineering proposals, and the scrutineering of the new points raised by Thames Water as to their rationale for choosing the site. People are passionate about the park, and it’s understandable that debate around it will always be heated, but heckling should be saved for protest days.

    If Save KEMP wants to be taken seriously, we need to be much more objective in our arguments – in particular, systematically picking apart Thames Water’s arguments for choosing the park as its preferred site.

    The key points I took away from the meeting were:
    - The new plans actually seem to blend into the park quite well, the original huge ventilation shaft now seems to have been hidden down somewhat. The cynic in me says that the original plans were never going to stick, but were merely there to make the 2nd design look less offensive. Either way this opens up the potential of further reducing the visual impact of the vents – a good point raised by one of the residents today (citing the use of the Rotherhithe ventilation shaft as a possibility – an interesting engineering challenge!).

    - We will experience AT LEAST 3 years of building activity in the area.

    - Another point raised was that the model plans seem to use a very favourable bird-eye perspective of the site. Thames Water need to provide more detailed plans from a number of perspectives, rather than hiding the details behind artistic talent.

    - There is already an existing sewer which runs under the park.

    - 85% of the park will remain open throughout the full period of construction.

    • On June 15, 2012 at 11:59 am carld responded with... #

      Dear Nick, thank you for coming to the meeting last night.
      The fact that that was your first meeting explains why your comment is inaccurate in so many ways. I will try to explain them to you but obviously I cannot sum up TWO YEARS of very intense campaigning in a blog comment. So forgive me but, for the sake of space and time, I will deal with each point somewhat schematically.
      These are the point you took away from the meeting:
      1) The new plans actually seem to blend into the park quite well, the original huge ventilation shaft now seems to have been hidden down somewhat.

      You obviously don’t have a problem with the fact that the “artist impression” (Thames Water’s own definition) is a bird’s eye view rather than an accurate reconstruction shown from ground level and against the actual surroundings. You might have not realised that that sketch is only showing 2 vents rather than the 4 that will actually be installed in the park. It also doesn’t show the industrial building that will house all the electrics for the vents and their filters and that is going to be the size of a double garage and will be sited at the edge of the Nature Reserve/Wild flower Meadow, ie a protected environment, that will be severely affected not just by the construction of the building but also by its presence there. The electrics unit will in fact need maintenance and access to it by van. If it were an advert, that sketch will be pulled in a matter of minutes for false advertising.
      It also needs pointing out, that the sketch represents a somewhat distant future. The “impression” shows established trees. Both our independent experts and the ones working for LBTH concluded that TW will have to substitute our mature trees that will be decimated with very young ones. This means that for at least a decade, if not more, the legacy left behind by the Super Sewer will not just be a protruding concrete monstrosity built on top of a protected piece of land (the foreshore is a “Priority Habitat” listed under the NERC Act section 41), it will also be a barren landscape against which the four venting towers will stick out even more. But as they say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and if you think that is acceptable that is your legitimate opinion. Please do accept though that 11,000 people beg to differ.

      2) “Either way this opens up the potential of further reducing the visual impact of the vents – a good point raised by one of the residents today (citing the use of the Rotherhithe ventilation shaft as a possibility – an interesting engineering challenge!)”

      This is an issue that we have discussed at length with Thames Water and with the independent experts. Derek Arnold from TW has assured us that unfortunately the current proportions are the minimum requirement for the vents to work properly. In fairness to Thames Water, if they could have reduced the size of the vents, I think they would have done it already to make their decision to stick to the foreshore more poignant. If it wasn’t proposed it means they stick to their statement that it is not possible to reduce the size of the towers without compromising the workings of the system. As for using the Rotunda, again it has been discussed many months ago already and it is not an engineeringly viable solution.

      3) We will experience AT LEAST 3 years of building activity in the area.

      The works are going to take a minimum of 3 ½ years.

      4) There is already an existing sewer which runs under the park.

      That is the very reason this all started.

      5) 85% of the park will remain open throughout the full period of construction.

      It might be open but it won’t be usable. 11,000 and I don’t see how anyone would want to spend time on a construction site or just by it. The river view will be blocked; there will be noise, dust and traffic, as it is the norm with all construction sites. The reason for the campaign is that we cannot, as a community, cope with the loss of the ONLY park we have left, we cannot cope with the destruction of a very important asset in the biodiversity plan for our area, we cannot cope with losing a very important piece of local history and we cannot cope with having the place where dozens of locals are at rest and their families can go and remember them destroyed. Not to mention the damage to local schools and charities that rely on the park for events, sports days etc. I suggest and you go back and read all the endorsements and all the testimonies we have collected from the community to get a better idea of what the impact of the plans would actually be.

      As for SaveKEMP not being taken seriously, we thank you your concern, but we have spent the last two years engaging with our elected representatives (at all levels); we have engaged with Thames Water; we have presented an engineering report that was endorsed by the Mayor of London and the GLA and that forced Thames Water to go back to the drawing board and come up with an alternative option; we have consulted with a team of experts that includes University Professors and various professionals; our very own Chair is a very well respected Civil Engineer with years of experience in Major Infrastructure Projects. I have to admit that I was quite insulted at first when I read that comment but as you said, that was your first meeting, and you clearly haven’t followed this process at all. Perhaps though, you could take your own advice and “be much more objective in [your] arguments” which requires you look at the WHOLE picture and THEN pass judgement. I suggest you read our responses to Phase 1 and Phase2 of consultation, our engineering report and the meeting notes from the monthly working party gathering we attend at Mulberry Place with Thames Water, a cross-party delegation from the LBTH Council, John Biggs, LBTH Officers and independent experts.

      Finally, your comments about our supporters are really uncalled for. Say what you like about the campaign (I think that probably even Thames Water would disagree with you) but our supporters are honest people who have seen their area taken away from them bit by bit. They have been behind us fighting for our park in rain, shine and even in the bitter cold taking signatures. They marched to City Hall and they slept in the park. If you had listened carefully and given them a chance, you would have heard that some of them live in overcrowded conditions, that others have their relatives’ ashes scattered in the park right where Thames Water proposes to concrete over, that their kids’ only place to go a play outside is that park. I think they have all the rights in the world to be angry especially given that Thames Water has NOT offered one single valid reason to prefer the foreshore option over Heckford. Unlike you, they have been to every single meeting and they have heard Thames water’s propaganda so many times they know it by heart. No surprise when Phil Stride, like a broken record, starts repeating the same old script people get a bit fed up.

      Again, thank you for your suggestions and for coming to the meeting but there is a lot more to this campaign that you appreciate.

      Emma Dunsire
      Vice Chair and Campaign Co-ordinator

  7. On June 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm joe Fagan responded with... #

    On Thursday 14th June 2012 I had attended a public meeting in which Thames Water set out their plans in which they wanted to use King Edward Memorial Park for their construction site and in doing so by their own assumptions will destroy 15% of the Park and River Front as well as prevent the use of a Footpath with river views for at least 3½ years. This insane idea will destroy a heritage site which is protected under Royal Statute as well as the use of a common path enshrined by common law.
    The date of this meeting happened to fall on the 367th anniversary of the Battle of Naseby in which parliamentary forces defeated the arbitrary power of the King.
    Present at the meeting were Phil Strange and his colleague Richard Aylard that represented Thames Water Sewage Works and the local MP Mr Jim Fitzpatrick who sat with them as Chairman rather than support his local constituents. This, in my view, had not been viewed favourably by the local residents as it seemed that he wanted to abdicate his responsibilities by sitting on the fence. In this instance, he was sitting on an altar. I gained the impression that he had already sacrificed his principles on the altar of expediency by doing nothing. When pressed by one questioner he used the lame excuse that he was acting for all constituents and that the decision had not been taken.

    This was not my observation for when it was pointed out that an alternative brownfield site namely the Heckford Street Industrial Estate was available at no extra cost Mr Strange and Mr Aylward’s arguments did not hold water. Instead the body language and smug expressions on the faces by these so-called “high priests” made me think that a tacit agreement had already been made.
    Our objections and counter proposals had not been heard and that the listening process itself had barely registered on the decibel scale.
    It would be against the law for Thames Water Sewage Works to proceed without legislative approval.
    One wonders what magic ingredient had watered down the fire in the belly of our sitting Member of Parliament who had been elected, to not only represent his local constituents, but be their champion to safeguard our cherished resources. I can only conclude that like his sitting colleagues, he wanted to go through the motions, if I could use that expression, because he knew that this was a cosmetic exercise.
    Mr Fitzgerald’s frequent protestations that no decision had been taken either led me to the belief that he suffered with water on the brain like Thames Waters Sewage Works, or that “me thinks that he doth protest too much.”

    In a reply to one question Mr Phil Strange made the cogent remark that “water is a precious resource.” I agree with that remark.

    My cogent reply would be that “King Edward Memorial Park is also a precious resource.”
    Nevertheless, the locals have given Thames Water Sewage Works a viable alternative which has been arbitrarily dismissed. It remains to be seen if arbitrary power which had been defeated three centuries ago will be vanquished again. I hope so, for I hope whoever makes the decision will consider the most important resource of all: “The human resource.”

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