Saturday, 24 January 2009
Hackney Wick Community Meeting a Great Success
Thank you to all the residents who made it down to the Hackney Wick Community Meeting on Thursday. It was great to see so many of us there!
I have sent individual emails to everyone who asked me to get answers on their behalf - but if I missed anyone - please get back in touch.
I would just like to say a massive thank you to a few people:
Charlie Foreman - the guy in the top photo - for all the very hard work and dedication he put into this meeting!! I know he has a super team around him who probably did most of the work - but he was the one who made sure that Leabank Square was listened to.
We all know the very Reverend Alan Piggot well here in Leabank Square - as a great friend and confidant. He chaired the Questions & Answers section with amazing skill & tact! He made it clear that this was the start of a new relationship with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) - and that everyone in this relationship has a duty to be honest & open about our feelings.
A big thanks to the Wick Ward police team led very ably & professionally by Sergeant Andy Port - who looked after the event & saw that it passed off peacefully & without any hitches.
Then a massive thanks to the External Relations team under Julie King & Giorgia Sharpe - who were very helpful & forthcoming with their answers.
We all know that there are very challenging times ahead for us here in Leabank Square. The new 2-story Welfare Centre is about to be built right in front of us. It will convert into a Catering Centre for the journos & media types during the games (and hopefully back to a green afterwards).
The Media Centre & International Press Centre is also about to be constructed opposite us - with all the noise & construction activity associated with a huge development. The very high electric fence is going up in a few weeks time - and it's not pretty! Hopefully the ODA will be able to partially pretty it up with loads of trees in planters.
The White Post Lane pedestrian gate for Olympic construction workers is opening up immanently - most probably resulting in a Controlled Parking Zone being imposed on the surrounding streets (see: http://leabanksquare.blogspot.com/2009/01/hackney-wick-controlled-parking-zone.html) - and this will mean loads of workers using our own parking bays to avoid fines in the streets.
The Hackney Wick Station is going to have thousands of extra passengers coming & going into the White Post Lane Olympic Gate - on an already capacity-filled train in peak times. What does that mean for you morning & evening commute? I'd love to say - get a bike like some of us - but the Hackney Council refuse trucks speeding down Berkshire Road towards & from their new Chapman Road depot - is a very frightening experience - even for more experienced cyclists.
There are going to be times when a late running cement truck needs to empty it's cargo right opposite Leabank Square - and ruin your evening meal with a great lot of noise. There are going to be instances of hired cranes having to erect that last few metres of girding - well into the evening. There will be disruption & noise & dust & inconvenience - but the end result is a cracking Olympic Games and brilliant legacy for all of us in Leabank Square.
There is going to be a lot of trying times ahead - before & after the games - but with people like Charlie, Alan, Andy, Julie, Giorgia and all of us - we can make it an easier passage of time. We just need to be open & honest about how we all feel.