This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes. We are a group of people from the Lea Valley Area, trying to keep the marshes and other local green spaces used and preserved for wildlife to exist and people to enjoy. Find out more about our work via our websitewww.saveleamarshes.org.uk . As well as information about our campaign, we also have a sales page to aid our funding. You’ll find T shirts, books and our 2015 Calendar with beautiful images from our “What I love About the Marshes” competition.
In the mix this week are stories near and far which highlight the issues of both our ongoing battles over green space as well as, the need for low cost housing for people. Both are at the mercy of government and property speculators and suffer from the struggle to be heard in a world that is increasingly dominated by the need of the rich to get richer ..
MULTI LAYERED CAR PARKING APPROACH – Hackney Council’s Planning Committee supported a plan to prevent usage of so called surplus supplies of parking in a multi storey car park in the Olympic Park, five minutes from East Marsh. This makes no sense, other than L.B.H.’s desire to have another car park on East Marsh, where green space should be, since there is not enough space at the nearby multi-storey car park – because they are prohibiting there being any! Meanwhile, the discussion of the Cricket Pavilion and associated car parking is not on the Planning Committee for December.
LEE VALLEY REGIONAL PARK AUTHORITY/ QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK – Two items this week: (1) LVRPA – have turned down a suggestion made by the LLDC to employ further police on LVRPA land in this area at a cost of £74.5k in the light of “underwhelming” crime occurring in the area, meanwhile the LLDC has employed a further 6 full time police officers and are proposing another 15 at a cost of £1.4 a year. Further information can be found on the LVRPA website: http://www.leevalleypark.org.uk/
MUGGERS & PLANTERS – no not the name of a hipster cafe, but the controversy around new planters put up by the London Borough of Waltham Forest along Marsh Lane, supposedly to slow down traffic. However, cyclists have become victims of crime from people hiding behind the planters and leaping out to snatch wallets. The alternative to going down this route is the cycle way along Orient Way, which does not have the best surface for cycling. As well as, angering local cyclists, there is also cause for concern as with one hand the council offers planters and on the other it auctioned clearing of wild plants supporting wildlife earlier in the year.
THE EFFECTS OF MILD, WET WINTERS – Two things prompted inclusion of this – one a Flood Alert put out last weekend about a threat of flooding in the Lower Lea Valley (fortunately it didn’t happen this time) and another about the spawning of frogs five months early. Frogs only mate once a season, so if their breeding effort is affected by a sudden freezing it will be a really big problem.
IN THE PRESS – Following last week’s letter from Mr. Walker regarding football on Mabley Green, Damian Rafferty, Chair of the Mabley Green Users Group writes a response in the Hackney Gazette p.16. The main thrust of his letter is that a full public consultation has been taking place and that football will always be part of Mabley Green but with other benefits to the community. Also in the the paper p.5 “Battle lost to save historic terraces” in Dalston – although the Open Dalston Group may still appeal against the loss of the Georgian Terrace and the Disney-esque replacement plans. Other stories in the ongoing battles of rights to decent, low cost housing versus development land grabs are coverage of the Crown Estate residents protest against rising rents (p.9) and Hackney Homes may be reviewing their ridiculous policy of not allowing washing lines or plants on balconies (p10). This was introduced as part of Fire Policy but is inconsistent with other balcony uses e.g. TV satellite dishes. Private Eye this week has an interesting story about a conflict of interest; Prince William, as president of the Fields in Trust, the national charity protecting the nation’s playing fields needs to talk to his father as a school in Dorchester, leasing land from the Duchy of Cornwall, wants to sell out some of the land for housing development (p.30). Another story worth reading is on the same page “Paddington Bare” about the Canal and River Trust backing big business in the shape of British Land, over the canal-side communities and the impact on moorings. Meanwhile, over at the Evening Standard (26/11/14), the weekly Wednesday property pages feature up and coming Clapton yet again but more importantly, there is a story on p.2 with Mr. Pickles attempting to “strong-arm” Councils into selling off more council homes towards building more “affordable” housing.
EVENTS Springfield Park Users Group will be holding a meeting at the Sparks Cafe, White Lodge, in the park at 2.00 p.m. on Sunday 30 November, to examine and discuss the Heritage Lottery Fund improvement plans for the park and its buildings. All interested are welcome. There is also a survey being carried out on these plans. Email for further details. This is being followed up on Sunday 7 December with a fun day of activities and a chance to walk around the site to get more information about the proposals. Walks/tours start at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Also, meet at the Cafe.
Planting edible hedgerow whips - 11am Saturday 13 December Mabley Green Users Group are planting around 400 little trees along the border with the A12 to make a wonderful hedgerow for birds and wildlife and a sound barrier for humans, come along and plant a few trees! Everyone welcome. Find out more.
New Year Pongathon - 12-2pm Friday 2 January Blow off the Christmas and NYE excesses with outdoor ping pong, cakes, tea and if anyone wants to share their detox, retox or just hangover cures, come along!
Mabley Green Users Group are taking delivery of planting and gardening tools in the next few weeks - and a shed share - and lots of bats (so contact them if you want some bats for your school or community group).
Dalston Curve Garden, Dalston Lane E.8 is having a Festival of Light 2014: Paper cut out workshops for adults, making lanterns for the garden cafe (tonight) but also on 4 and 11 December from 6- 9pm. Another event coming up is the Rucksack Cinema on 13 and 14 December, with illuminated screenings and a classic Christmas film being shown. Further details from firstname.lastname@example.org
Next SLM meeting will be on Monday 1 December at 7.30 p.m. at the Princess of Wales pub on Lea Bridge Road – we usually gather around the back of the building – all welcome.