Thursday, 15 October 2009

Leabank Square & ODA Meeting Minutes

Leabank Square Residents Meeting with the ODA - Revised Minutes

Date: Wednesday 14th October 2009 Time: 7.30pm Venue: Old Baths

* Paragraphs where clarification or further information has been given by the ODA team.

In attendance -

Leabank Square Residents
Tracie Trimmer (TT) - Chair
Nadira Choudhury (NC) Minutes
Sóna Abantu-Choudhury (SAC)
Mathew Carter (MC)
Stewart McPherson (SM)
Simon Platman (SP)
Lindy Nelson (LN)
Gillian Young (GY)
Terri Lubrun (TL)
Filiz Ozturk (FO) – Family Mosaic (Resident Involvement Officer)
Real Ojokor (RO) – arrived at 9pm

Hackney Council
Charlie Foreman (CF)
Robert Kavuma (RK)

Julie King (JK)
Richard Rook (RR)
Grant Finlay (GF) - Carillion
Peter Jones (PJ) - Skanska
Giorgia Sharpe (GS)

Welcome and Introductions – Purpose of Meeting

Introductions were made and TT stated that the meeting was held to create better relations between the ODA and Leabank Square (LS) residents. JK spoke about the ODA wanting to be a good neighbour. She stressed the importance of being open and honest with residents, but also stated that residents needed to be more open too. The ODA team would like to create a good dialogue with LS residents as they value residents’ opinions.

Construction updates and discussion

*JK introduced the construction team. RR’s responsibilities include coordination of construction activities and communication about out of hours working in particular. GF represents Carillion and is responsible for the construction of the IBC/MPC. Peter Jones represents Skanska and they are responsible for building a lot of the roads and bridges.

*RR spoke about the soil piles on Eaton Manor. Some of these will have to be moved to East Marsh, to be temporarily stored until it is used to form a ramp up to the new bridge over Ruckholt Road from the E. Marsh coach park into the Olympic Park.

RR mentioned the Velodrome. The steel structure is taking shape and the cable roof should be completed by December. The platform has also been laid for the Basket Ball Arena. The landscaping of the Olympic Park has begun. Topsoil has already been deposited and the first trees will be planted in November.

*There are currently 5,500 people working on site. There are 140 vehicles an hour during peak time. RR spoke about mitigation measures – 80 trains were used in September, a barge is used once a week to take about 90 tonnes of waste and 2 barges are used to bring bulk materials into the Aquatic Centre.

*RR stated that 12% of the construction workers arrive at the White Post Lane gates from Hackney Wick Station. Planning Permission has been applied for to use these gates as a contingency entrance for ODA vehicles should the Eaton Manor entrance be temporarily closed or during necessary construction work to modify the road immediately outside the entrance. This may start to be used from February 2010.

GF spoke about the foot path which is currently being built for ODA workers. It will be used by staff walking from the White Post Lane entrance to various points in the park. This should be completed by the end of the month.

GF explained what we are to expect in the next 3 months. The cladding and the roofing of the IBC should be completed by the end of the year. GF informed us that once the cladding is up LS residents should not notice the lights so much on the Olympic Site (OS). Internal work will continue.

Construction of the building cores (lifts/stairs) will continue on the MPC. As this building has a concrete frame, it will take longer to complete the work.

The MSCP structure will be completed by the end of the year and the cranes for this will start to come down soon after.

GF spoke about ODA efforts to mitigate noise and dust. Mitigations measures include starting the day at 8am, tarmac-ing roads (all roads have now been tarmac-ed) and using bowsers. These measures will continue into winter. As the nights draw in the ODA will be more conscientious about lighting on site. More lights will be used in winter and so ODA workers will make sure these are pointing away from LS. Residents should call the Hotline number if there are any issues concerning lights.

GF said he would be happy to discuss any further environmental mitigation measures. He mentioned that the potted trees would be loosing their leaves soon and any other ideas would be welcome.

There are currently no plans to do out- of -hour works within the next 3 months.

*RR stressed that dust and noise is still being monitored. Dust and noise levels have never exceeded the levels set by the Planning Conditions.
Opportunities for Working Together

*JK informed us that the ODA now has access to a small pot of money for community projects. TT mentioned the LS riverbank as being a potential project for the ODA. JK confirmed that safeguarding our riverbank would be a project that the contractors would be interested in. However there are landownership issues which would need to be resolved before this could happen.

At this point CF mentioned that a replacement bridge has yet to be built across the canal. It has not been decided where this bridge will cross. There are numerous ideas, including the bridge going across from the LS riverbank and even opening the towpath up for pedestrian access. In any case this bridge will not be built until after the games. In light of this information, JK stated that any plans for changing the LS riverbank would have to be left until after the Hackney Wick Masterplan is confirmed.

*JK informed us that Carillion want to open the Olympic site on Saturday 14th November, this event will enable local residents to get a sense of the scale of the project and meet the team building the IBC/MPC, special invites will be circulated. Local residents can also book tours to see the Olympic Park, the information will be in the next Engage newsletter. There are currently tours that take place every weekend for the general public. At the moment they are booked up to 3 months in advance.

*The ODA will be negotiating to rent a room from the Hackney Wick Community Centre. This room will have information boards and updates on all Olympic issues concerning the Hackney Wick area.

TT mentioned that some LS residents are interested in having a gate at the entrance of the Square. There was a discussion about the Overground being closed for 16 weeks and the impact this would have on parking and traffic in Hackney Wick. JK and GS spoke about dealing with ODA staff who park their cars in LS. Any staff caught parking in LS would be issued with a notice. One such incident occurred in LS which was promptly dealt with. Wick Village residents have had similar issues around parking.

GS informed us that the two main issues concerning installing gates in LS are landownership and maintenance. These two stumbling blocks have also arisen in talks with Wick Village.

SP raised a question about the road works on Chapman Road. The 26 and 388 buses are currently terminating at Cassland Rd. This is having a negative affect on local residents. The box junction at the top on Chapman Rd has faded. CF will investigate these issues and report back to SP.

*JK stated that the ODA provides local residents 7 days notice before out of hours works are carried out in line with their Code of Construction Practice. JK went on to explain if there is a requirement to carry out emergency works this is the only time it is difficult to notify residents within the 7 days notice period, but residents will be notified as soon as possible. PJ spoke about the recent complaints they had received form LS residents about generators/pumps being heard during the night. He stated that although these sounds can be irritating, they did not exceed any accepted noise levels.

PJ informed us that the contractors need to do some out of hour work on Saturdays afternoons from October – December. The normal weekdays are very congested and it would be unsafe to carry out this extra work then. PJ proposed that the nosier work be carried out between 8am - 2pm and the quieter work between 2pm - 6pm. If this work cannot be carried out on Saturday afternoons, they will continue to work on Saturday mornings and the work will take much longer to complete.

RK was unsure if there was enough representation at the meeting to make decisions on such important issues. He stated that he was not happy with the ODA’s recent proposal for an extension on working hours. TT stated that both LS residents associations’ would consult with the Wick Village Tenants association about the proposed extra working hours. TT will supply JK with feedback by 24th October.

RR mentioned that the under track crossing may also be an area which could result in future weekend work.

SAC raised a question about the Olympic Park Border. Maps appear to show the LS riverbank within the Olympic Park boundary. JK confirmed that this is definitely not the case.

SAC raised a question about Section 61 and emergency work. SAC wanted to know why emergency work was not factored into the planning before the construction started. Why is the work eating into our precious weekend time? RR informed us that due to the complexity of the work, unforeseen circumstances can arise, such as the discovery of an unexpected underground service or extraordinarily bad weather. .

RK stressed that Section 61s are not handed out so freely. There is much careful thought and consideration before the council grants the ODA emergency work permits. RK also mentioned that the Hackney Council has been making unannounced visits to the Olympic site.

GF explained that there are many reasons why emergency work may need to be carried out. Weather conditions can mean that it would be dangerous to use the cranes or the temperature can affect things like concrete not setting properly.

*SAC raised a question about the Olympic Hotline. Why does it take an hour for someone to call back when a message is left on the answer machine? JK explained that the lines operate from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday by the Community Relations team. The ODA employs a service provider to operate the lines out of hours. The current service providers have been operating the out of hour lines since 2007. A call would go to an answer machine, if the operator was on another call. Apparently a large number of calls are received on the Hotline about employment opportunities. JK agreed that it should not take one hour for a call to be acknowledged and she will look into this.

Forward Planning and date of next meeting /AOB

TT asked everyone if they would like to meet the ODA for another meeting. JK stated that it would be useful to meet up for an update just before the Christmas break. It was agreed that another meeting would be arranged for the beginning of December.

TT mentioned that the Guardian would be filming in the Square on Friday. Leaflets were available for interested parties.

The meeting closed at 9.30pm


Matt said...

Same old, same old. Wake me up when they have anything new to say willya.

Dirk said...

Mate when i get a chance to read the whole thing i'll chat more

Anonymous said...
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Maria said...

Sóna, it's a pity, but I still want an answer. Please could you deffo send mine.

Derek said...

Thanks anyway. Please could you add mine to the rest and send them. It's probably better to get them in writing. Nice try.

Anonymous said...

No need to publish this, but lots of mention in Parliament about Carter-Ruck - demands for the partners to be brought before the bar of the House, also references to powerful lawyers out of control. Trafigura case has made the intimidatory use of lawyers very high profile.

Jose said...

Sona, thanks for still sending my questions. As to the wholw 'consultation' on Saturday hours, we all know that it was merely a show of concern to make us feel as if they are actually giving us a choice.
In reality it won't affect LS anywhere near as much as WV, and then the noise won't be greater than when they tarred the road here.
Pity some of LS were conned into taking it all so seriously.
Keep up the good work.

Matt3 said...

So their 'consultation' didn't even mean a thing anyway did it? According to their craftily worded 'Notifiation of Works' flyer, its going ahead from next Saturday anyway. I noticed that the 'noisy works' will now last for 7 hours each day instead of the 4 hours they initially mooted.
As Jose said - it was all a great show to con us into thinking we were being consulted, when actually they will always just go ahead and do what they please anyway.
Still I suppose some residents will always be gullible enough to believe them, and so the construction world goes round and round.

Ms Scarletttttttt said...

Sóna, thanks for the email. What a farce!? I love that most of the attendees were actually taken in by the 'we wanna consult YOU about the working hours' bit, when 3 years of experience has told us time and time again that they will ALWAYS do what THEY want.
Do some residents actually believe a multi-billion pound construction project even gives us a second thought?
Still, if it makes some people feel V important then it must surely be a good thing for our community - right?
Ms Scarletttttttt

Dulcie said...

Dontcha just love all this modern techie stuff?! Great meet mates!
I think start now before the list gets even longer. Heaven knows theres enough to go on about - but we need some answers now. It may only be 1000 days to these wonkers - but its the rest of our lives to us!

Zoulla said...

I just thought I might remind everyone that after the actual Olympics are over, there will be another 2 years building/demolition works to remove the temporary structures and then another 5 years at least of builing "homes" & "business spaces" on the same site so we have to put up with noise, dust road closures etc etc until 2019 at least........

Anonymous said...

Zoulla, I'm afraid sympathy doesn't butter many parsnips, but you have all mine. And so do the poor people at risk of being lumbered with Sebastian Coe's World Cup bid. I like to think of it all as a sort of flexible pension scheme for clapped out former politicians and deadbeat PR people. Maybe that way you can persuade yourself that you're part of something that's beneficial for someone somewhere.