4 February 2016
Annual General Meeting of the East Shoreditch Forum
11 October 2015
Make It Happen
Rochelle School generously hosted a community fun day featuring food, family entertainment and fabulous prizes in the free raffle draw. To earn a ticket, local residents were invited to review the ideas for the neighbourhood plan area and the different ways to make them happen via the planning process. All views were recorded via a questionnaire and about 80 completed questionnaires were the basis of the next version of the plan. Tower Hamlets cabinet member for strategic development Rachel Blake attended, along with Weavers Ward councilor John Pierce.
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22 September 2015
Individual effort Vs collective action
Several of our neighbours have been busy talking to Tower Hamlets about greening the area. Given the level of investment, TH likes to test the waters and agreed to install new planters on Redchurch Street and around the Boundary Estate. If you’ve been asked to adopt a planter, please take care of it. Weed, water and remove the waste (beer cans and the like) as keeping the planters looking pretty will help attract more investment to the neighbourhood. Not much point in beautifying things, if we then let them get trashed!
The Neighbourhood Planning Committee met recently, courtesy of the new Counter Albion cafe, for our second discussion about the draft plan. We’re thinking about the things you told us that you don’t like in the neighbourhood and working out how Council planners can make improvements when they make their planning decisions.
We’d love to beautify all those derelict corners you’ve pointed out in our part of Weavers Ward, and make the area more people-friendly (less traffic and less fumes). Our first theme – ‘Public Realm and Open Spaces’ will hopefully deliver some of those ideas.
Our first discussion about the draft plan mainly focused on how to turn ideas into planning policy. We’ve had great support from our consultant (courtesy of Planning Aid for England) and a past member of the Tower Hamlets planning team, who knows how it all comes together.
Rochelle School kindly hosted that meeting so we got to try some of their canteen food. An added bonus in working towards a Neighbourhood Plan is that we get to try all the local cafes and meeting places.
To better understand local problems, under the guidance of the London Sustainability Exchange the Forum took part in an exercise to test local air quality. This involved a bit of daring, finding places to fix test tubes that record pollution levels. A tube placed in Redchurch Street recorded pollution levels only just within the legal limit.
2 November 2014
Second AGM and Finding the vision
Venue: St Hilda’s East Community Centre
About 50 people turned up for the Neighbourhood Plan Vision Day. Over a full day of talks and workshops, we added new ideas to the labels that we’d already gathered for the Carpet of Wishes – around 200 suggestions were pinned up round the walls of St Hilda’s East Community Centre. A special contingent of young residents drew their ideas for a better East Shoreditch.
We learned about the social and economic profile of the area – where the greatest needs are – and we had an overview presentation that pinpointed the problems and possibilities. Read them both below.
You can get a flavour of the event through the video below from Alejandro Negueruela.
And special thanks to Albion Café, Allpress and Rochelle School for keeping us in coffee, cakes and savouries.
25 October 2014
More Talk and Chalk, and Getting Down to It
Venue: Rich Mix Business Centre
We’ve been on another Talk and Chalk mission today, this time visiting Forum friends and small businesses based at Rich Mix. Opinions were suprisingly similar to retail business with shop fronts on the street, as they focused on cleaner street, more provision for cycling, and opportunities for outdoor fitness sessions and community events.
parents' coffee morning
Venue: Virginia Primary School
Representatives of the management committee joined a parents’ coffee morning at Virgina School to talk about the Neighbourhood Plan, over the giant map of the plan area. Parents added their thoughts to the map and their wishes to the big Weavers map.
Talk & Chalk on Redchuch Street
East Shoreditch neighbourhood team have been on more ‘Talk & Chalk’ missions, asking local businesses what improvements they would like to see. We invited shops on Redchurch Street to share their ‘Three Best Ideas for the Area’.
We got a fantastically enthusiastic response and lots of great ideas to work into the Neighbourhood Plan.
Here’s a few examples of what retailers had to say:
- pedestrianise Redchurch Street or create a ‘shared surface’, where people are not less important than cars
- let’s develop the village-y feeling
- co-ordinate rubbish collections, so umpteen trucks don’t come and go
- graffiti watch, to stop acid-etching of shop windows
Here’s a few of our neighbours looking pleased with their big ideas.
Collecting your wishes
One of the tools from the Make and Do sessions were Make A Wish boxes. A number of boxes were distrinbuted at collection points including Rich Mix, St Hilda’s Community Centre and the laundrette on Calvert Avenue. We collected wish tags to add to the Weavers Map of Wishes for the neighbourhood.
Talk & Chalk on Calvert Avenue
Rent, rubbish, anti-social behaviour … what are the main problems for East Shoreditch businesses?
East Shoreditch Forum committee members were up and down Calvert Avenue this month, talking to shop owners and staff about what would help their businesses to succeed. There was no shortage of ideas.
We heard most about traffic and the state of the streets. More focus on pedestrians and cyclists, cleaner streets, and less speeding traffic would all be good for business on Calvert Avenue. It’s a wide, tree-lined street that lends itself to sidewalk cafes, something the Neighbourhood Plan can promote as well as better traffic management.
We’ll continue to talk to businesses and feedback will be incorporated into the next big consultation event around the draft Neighbourhood Plan at Rochelle School on Sunday 11 October.
10 August 2014
Venue: The Hut, Gascoigne Estate, E2 7LX
This might look like a large piece of sacking, but over the next few weeks it is going to grow into a carpet made up of colour-coded woven wishes. At the first Making Day on August 1, we created 900 labels and sewed together yards of hessian as the base for this Carpet of Wishes.
Join us on Sunday 10 August to continue to make consultation tools. Drop in to say hello, or join us for the day. A giant Weavers Map needs stitching in preparation to record people’s wishes at community events.
This is your chance to find out more about this important initiative, to get together with others from the area and to compare notes about what needs to change. There’ll be plenty of other ways to input over the weeks, as we’ll be out and about in the neighbourhood to start using the tools. Look out for boards that appear in strategic places for Post-It notes and, in others, blackboards to write on.
9 August 2014
Walk the Weavers Green Trail
Are there enough green spaces in East Shoreditch, or in Weavers overall? Discover hidden places as well as the better known, such as Arnold Circus. Saturday 9 August sees the launch of the Weavers Green Trail.
There are a number of ways to join in. Following the launch at Arnold Circus by Britain’s kick box champion Ruqsana Begum, you can:
follow one of the volunteer guides
key weaversgreentrail.commonplace.is into your smart phone or iPad
or pick up a hand-drawn map to follow.
Green Trail ‘passports’ available at the launch event will be stamped at seven different ‘pit stops’ run by different local organisations along the route and turns into a ticket for a Magic Show at the end. Bring the children and look for ways in which our Plan can improve the neighbourhood.
7 August 2014
Venue: Counter Albion
Counter Albion kindly hosted a breakfast, as a forum for business to discuss ideas for the neighbourhood plan. A sustainable neighbourhood is business as well as resident friendly, and going forward the Forum hopes to work with local businesses to support young people’s development and employability. Some local businesses already champion Tower Hamlet’s mentoring scheme and some attendees expressed interest in mentoring young people.
1 August 2014
Make and Do event no.1
Venue: Rich Mix mezzanine level
Now the Forum is moving on to the next phase, we need some ‘tools’ to assist with community engagement. Drop in to say hello, or join us for the day to make some tools. These include a Weavers Map to record people’s wishes at community events, and ideas boxes to collect up any big ideas you have for the neighbourhood.
The Make and Do events will help to collect local people’s thoughts on what should go into the Plan. You don’t have to know about planning or be particularly adept at stitching, cutting and painting. As we’ll be working on the website and social media too, there will be a number of activities to chose from.
It’s a chance to find out more about this important initiative, to get together with others from the area and to compare notes about what needs to change. Following the two events, we’ll be out and about in the neighbourhood to start using the tools.
5 February 2014
East Shoreditch Neighbourhood Planning Forum and proposed plan area are both formally designated by a full meeting of Tower Hamlets’ Council. Now East Shoreditch Forum has the mandate to get on and make its Neighbouhood Plan. We’re going to be busy..!
31 December 2013
WANTED unsung heroes and heroines
Tower Hamlets has launched a new award to recognise and celebrate local people who develop and support local activities. Why not nominate people who have helped to improve life in the area for a Civic Award? The deadline for nominations is 31 December 2013.
The happiness factor
Where’s the greatest feel-good place in our area? Or the worst feel-bad place?
On Sunday 17 November, we will start an exercise to find out. Digital organisation CommonPlace has developed a special app for our Neighbourhood Forum. Use it and you can register what you feel – and why – about different corners of our locality.
An early trial run turned up some surprising results, and helped us to look at our area with fresh eyes. Drop into Rich Mix on Sunday between 11am and 7pm and give it a try.
We will also be out and about on the streets, inviting anyone local to try out this visionary and extraordinary device – a totally new way to record how people feel about their neighbourhood.
East Shoreditch Neighbourhood Planning Forum’s designation documents have been submitted to the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney.
Since the AGM approved the proposed boundaries for the neighbourhood area, the Forum has been busy finalising all the necessary papers for both Tower Hamlets and Hackney, as the forum area crossed the borough boundary. Watch this space for the next steps!
An amazing AGM
Venue: St Hilda’s
Almost 40 local residents and local business representatives crammed in to the meeting room at St Hilda’s Community Centre for our first AGM.
Given the importance of local voices in the new planning processes, we were thrilled by the number of people who turned out to hear about progress to date.
The AGM voted to approve the proposed boundaries for the neighbourhood area, which now needs to be submitted to Tower Hamlets for public consultation, and a new management committee was elected.
Venue: Rich Mix Board Room
Our neighbourhood has been in a state of permanent seige from outsized development applications that contribute nothing for existing residents and businesses. A number of campaigners met to discuss the Localism Act and the potential for Neighbourhood Planning to give the community a voice in Tower Hamlets’ planning decisions.
The meeting concluded that if a Neighbourhood Plan captured our wishes, Tower Hamlets planners would be better equipped to negotiate with developers. For example, respecting the scale and character of the existing neighbourhood and increasing social housing contributions.
We set about organising a first AGM, to recruit Forum members and to elect a management committee, as required by the 2011 Localism Act.