On- line discussion and issues this week have included:
BUGGIES V. BUGS - various members of SLM attended the London Borough of Waltham Forest's Planning Committee on Monday 1 July, for the application of the LVRPA's Hoggin (hogging?) path and mooring posts. We had three speakers addressing the issues of: moorings and relationship to the Hoggin path; the illegality of residential use to which the path is an ancillary and the impact of the Hoggin path on the character and the nature of the marshes. There had also been a formal request to get the report withdrawn (refused). Additionally, we supplied the committee with photographs illustrating eleven of the insect species that live on the area in question and pictures of how much of the area is likely to be cleared for a new path. There was only one member of the newly elected committee that seem prepared to ask questions e.g. "As the proposed path was near Sandy Lane, was it needed?". Two Councillors spoke on the need to have buggy and wheelchair access - without realising that this is "not a through path". We requested to make clarifications but the Chair, refused. So with one abstention vote, the LBWF Planning Committee wafted through another LVRPA incremental assault on the green space it is supposed to be protecting for its own profit and in effect acting outside of its is Parliamentary statute. Anyone hanging on to the idea that the democratic system works, would have had that view severely questioned by the way this meeting went. Whilst the general public are advised to stick to purely planning issues, the Chair thinks it is his prerogative to make a comment not relevant to the topic under discussion, but to state that in his opinion "Leyton Marsh had been restored to its former state" (which even LVRPA evidence challenges). Supposedly, this was to incite some reaction from us, particularly as at least one of our speakers had gone out of their way to be extra polite in a plea to get them to listen! This committee clearly cannot grasp the damage incremental development has on habitat or spot a money making scheme hiding under the guise of "an improvement".
STADIUM LED REGENERATION - the London Assembly Regeneration Committee are conducting an examination into stadium-led regeneration and how it affects local communities. This refers primarily to the West Ham football club's take over of the 54k seat Olympic Stadium at a cost of £154m. (do the maths). People are invited to send in their comments see http://www.london.gov.com/
HUMPH OVER THE HUMP - SLM are currently monitoring the movements of pedestrians, cyclists, dogs and motorists over Cow Bridge on to the Hackney Marsh at the weekends. So far, statistics reveal that more cars than cyclists or walkers/runners are entering the marsh using this route. SLM's concerns are over safety and limiting the impact of the adverse environmental effects of car use on green space.
CUTTING REMARKS - we are currently questioning why Tottenham Marshes are treated differently to Leyton Marsh by the LVRPA's mowing regimes. The LVRPA are saying that they are following Natural England's recommendations for Tottenham by cutting on a three year programme but doing something entirely different, further down river ...
PETITION OF THE WEEK - many of you will have already seen this but in case you haven't. 38 Degrees currently have a petition to try and say a hay meadow in Warwickshire. The local wildlife trust want to save it, but evidently Natural England have changed their minds and would seem to be in violation of the UN Aarhus Treaty. That we have lost 98 per cent of meadow land since WW2 in this country, should be enough incentive not to lose any more. see http://you.38degrees.org.uk
ART IMITATING REAL LIFE - over in mythical Ambridge, the anti-road campaign is getting underway and they are talking about T shirts and fundraising - it was a timely reminder to mention that SLM "leading where the Archers chooses to follow .." has its own campaigning T shirt and a gradually growing list of other goodies - e.g. a new poetry book about the marshes and a forthcoming SLM calendar. Also, if you have an event, where we could sell T shirts etc., we'd be pleased to know.
Firstly, a reminder about the East End Walk on Sunday 6 July - meeting at Bromley-by-Bow tube station (District Line) at 2.00 p.m. and finishing at Stratford around 4.30. p.m. This would be a good opportunity to discuss the London Assembly's review (mentioned above).
Waltham Forest Friends of the Earth are having a gathering in Kitchener Park on Saturday 5th July at 11.30, followed by "Mill's Summer BeeZaar" with information about FoE's current Bee campaigns, including the opportunity to sign the petition against pesticide use.
Also on Saturday, DIGs is having its Summer Picnic at 4.0 0 p.m. on Hackney Downs, E5, with food and games. This will follow on from a Focus E15 campaign walk for decent housing. Meeting time for this is 12.00 Central Park, East Ham E6. Further details from
The Tour de France - comes to East London on Monday 7th July. For details of the route and how transport will be affected, the "Hackney Gazette" has a special pull out.
There is an Urban Harvest Walk on Wednesday 9th July, to gather Meadowsweet blossom on Walthamstow Marsh. Meet outside the Riverside Café at the bottom of Spring Hill, E5 9BL at 2.00 p.m. It has to be sunny for this walk to take place so, if in doubt, ring Joan on 0790838905.
Next SLM meeting is on Monday 14th July at 7.30 at the Hare and Hounds pub, Leyton on Lea Bridge Road. Newcomers welcomed.