Saturday, 20 March 2010
Hackney Wick Masterplan Community Meeting
A massive thanks to Helen Goodsell of Hackney Council for arranging this great meeting for Hackney Wick. We all got to meet many of the people who can make our lives a lot easier. From the parking department to the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC).
Once again - Rev Alan Piggot from St Mary's in the Eastway - set the meeting into context with a brilliant summary of the journey we have all been on the past few years. Then Charlie Forman from the Olympic Team in Hackney Council introduced us to the main speakers - Neil Walker from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) - who are actually running the Olympic Games & Sarah - one of the Pathfinder volunteers - who help LOGOC run the games.
We then heard from Emma Wheelhouse - from the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) - who is responsible for seeing that the Wick gets a good result after the Games.
Of course - most of what they said was all spin. That is their job. They need to convince all their own line managers that they are doing their job - so they tick loads of boxes by coming out into the community. But the most important thing is that they have now introduced themselves to us.
The rest is up to us. We need to make them aware of anything we want them to do. They are our servants. We are all paying their wages - and we are the ones living next to this huge park. We need to tell them what we want.
To this end - I brought up the catering facility with Neil again - and he promised that some sort of answer was busy making it's way back to us about all the plans, timings, mitigation etc included in the original email. Watch this space.
I the also asked Emma (again - again) - what was going to become of the footprint of the catering facility in legacy mode. All the plans still have a green open space directly opposite Leabank Square - but she still insists that the planning is in process - and that nothing has been decided yet.
Again - I stressed upon her our absolute desire that we have it returned to Arena Fields (all be it - much reduced) - so that when the Gainsborough School Footbridge is re-built - it lands on a green open space. She is still spouting the same regurgitated answers we have heard many times before - but says that the planning is to be decided early next year (2011) and we should know more then.
Remember to include Charlie Forman, Boris Johnson, Tessa Jowel & Meg Hillier in all your correspondence over this subject. We need them to impress on the OPLC that although we lost the lovely Arena Fields - but we can have some of it back in its original place!!
All in all - we had an enjoyable day networking - although the Olympic part was the same old same old - just a few new faces. It was good to talk to Robert Kavuma about the noise before 8am on the Arena Fields Road. It was brilliant chatting to Felicity from British Waterways - always positive.
Helen - once again - thank you so very much for getting this all arranged. You & the whole Hackney Council team made a big difference to the way we are all feel about this corner of your borough.