Liveable Streets pantomime comes to Shadwell

Down in Shadwell, the next target for the controversial Liveable Streets scheme is being planned after initial consultations (yeah, right) and workshops (uh huh!) with local residents.

You can find out more about the project here on the PCL Consult site Liveable Streets Shadwell or, er, here on the LBTH Liveable Streets Shadwell site.

Seems the LBTH site has more information. Quite why it is not possible for someone to sort this out so there is just one Liveable Streets Shadwell site is beyond us.

Pantomime just for show

“If its anything like the other ones its going to be s**t from what I can see. It is just repackaged, recycled nonsense that has been rejected before,” said local resident Mo Rakib.

“Ultimately this pantomime they put on is just for show and the end-plan is right up the council’s alley. They take the most extreme suggestions from that map [on Liveable Streets site] , which is incredibly difficult to use, and justify whatever there final plan is with those.”

Mo is not a fan of Liveable Streets.

Text book way to not use a map for a consultation process courtesy of PCL Consult

Cllr. Rabina Khan (Liberal Democrat, Shadwell) has been keeping a close eye on the plans and takes a more even handed view.

Cllr. Khan says has been lobbying for residents’ involvement from the outset. [Note for Labour councillors, this what you are supposed to do for your councillor allowance, not sit on your fat arse all day.]

She registered a formal enquiry with the council to ensure that residents were contacted through various communications as many are digitally excluded.

Cllr. Khan made a point of attending the Shadwell Liveable Streets session and insisted that officers from PCL Consult meet her in Shadwell to look at what we can do to improve the ward.  

Rumour has it that she was none too impressed by the PCL Consult officer who attended the first meeting and Cllr. Khan made her views known.

He has not been seen in the ward since.  

Cllr. Khan told the Liveable Streets officers  that one walkabout would not be sufficient so two were scheduled to make sure that the ward could be properly covered.

Amongst many issues found were:

  • Blind spot-on Martha Street near the bus stop
  • Another dangerous blind sport on Tarling Street opposite Watney Market and Café Rosh
  • Better street signage on Cable Street
  • Ensure the markings between the cycle lane and the pavement were much clearer on Cable Street

The complete list of issues found can be found in the Liveable Streets Shadwell documentation.

Cllr. Khan says that many residents are visually impaired and disabled so it is very important to safeguard both pedestrians and cyclists.

Concerns regarding Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) were raised at January’s council meeting were based on the discriminatory consultation by the councils’ contractor PCL Consult. [LINK]

Yet another petition

The fifth (yes, fifth) petition about LTNs stated that residents had been directly and indirectly discriminated against based on their protected characteristics such as age and disability.

Cllr. Rabina Khan

In January 2021 Khan brought a motion to Council in order to stop the structurally discriminating consultation process on the Liveable Streets programme as she believed that the formal consultation document did not take residents’ views into account. 

Cllr. Khan emphasises that the motion was not against the Liveable Streets Programme per se but the manner that they were being implemented.

‘End discriminatory consultation processes’

“Younger residents want clean air and a place where their children can live and play, and older people want an area where they can feel connected to other members of their community,” says Khan. “This was not a motion or a petition against LTNs, but a motion that challenges and puts an end to discriminatory consultation processes in implementing the Liveable Streets programme in the borough.”  

“Assessing the impact of these road closures on the disabled and elderly will necessarily involve face-to-face meetings, but it is hard to see how these can take place with Covid restrictions in place,” said Khan. “Disabled and older residents have requested that these are addressed as part of the consultation process.”

Enquirer Comment

On the 20th of January this year the High Court handed down two judgements quashing the London Mayor’s Street Space plan and TFL’s Bishopsgate Traffic Management Order.  The Judgement clearly stated that there was a lack of an equality assessment.

In 2019 a High Court granted a Judicial Review against Tower Hamlets Council for indirect discrimination against Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Community Projects.

The UTAG [Cab drivers] v TfL Judgment made it clear that it is not enough to sit back and rely on consultation responses – there is a duty of inquiry.

(Note for Cllr. Kevin Brady, here is the dictionary definition of duty as borough residents know you are more than a little unclear on the concept:

  1. something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation
  2. the binding or obligatory force of something that is morally or legally right; moral or legal obligation.
  3. an action or task required by a person’s position or occupation
  4. the respectful and obedient conduct due a parent, superior, elder, etc
  5. an act or expression of respect
  6. a task or chore that a person is expected to perform

We hope that helps! )

Scanning through the Shadwell documentation we noticed that during the consultation residents asked for a flyer, in Bengali, to be made. This was produced and distributed in Watney Market, the traders in Chapman Street and the Darul Ummah Mosque apparently.

This shows that the Liveable Streets people at PCL Consult had not the slightest clue about Shadwell.

They had to be told that it might be a good idea to have some information in Bengali.

Did they even visit Shadwell before drawing up their plans? This is similar to their shock discovery that there is a flower market in Columbia Road which they had no knowledge of. Seriously. This happened.

Sums up Liveable Streets.

Don’t forget there is a proper enquiry into Liveable Streets consultations tonight for Wapping people, details here.

Please support the work of the East End Enquirer

If you found this story useful please consider helping the Wapping Mole and the East End Enquirer continue to cover issues like this by clicking the PayPal link below.

Donate via PayPal here.

As community journalists we do exactly what it says on our tin – we work for the community.

In Tower Hamlets, which covers most of London’s East End, that means we spend a lot of time investigating allegations of political corruption.

It is an unfortunate fact that the poorest local authority in the country is still beset by the highest levels of corruption.

As Love Wapping we were instrumental in exposing the electoral corruption of Mayor Lutfur Rahman.