Rory Stewart bids to be Mayor

The former Conservative Party leadership candidate Rory Stewart has announced a bid to be the next Mayor of London.

Mr Stewart has said he is standing down from his seat in the Commons and has resigned from the Tory Party.

“Our leaders have become so bad at listening to the people… Instead, they have retreated to a madhouse of mutual insults in the Gothic shouting chamber of Westminster, pitting one group against another – rich against poor, London against the rest, Brexit against Remain – and all the time getting further and further away from compromise, practical solutions, and the centre group. And this is why I’ve decided to stand, not for party, but as an independent,” he writes in an open letter to the Evening Standard.

Mr Stewart has run a humanitarian foundation in Afghanistan and served in the diplomatic service in Iraq.

Excessive noise levels prompt industrial action

Central Line drivers who are members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) will take industrial action next month following a dispute about noise levels.

The Jubilee, Central, Northern and Victoria lines are set to be affected after 95% of union members supported the action.

“It is appalling that RMT driver members have had to resort to a programme of industrial action in order to force London Underground to take the issue of excessive track noise seriously,” said Mick Cash, General Secretary of the RMT.

“This is an issue that impacts not only on our members but on the travelling public as well and the union is absolutely determined to ensure that the company don’t drag their feet for a moment longer.”

Drivers will “drive trains in manual mode at an appropriate reduced speed to mitigate the creation of excessive noise and to alleviate the distraction, discomfort and anxiety caused in the affected areas” claim the RMT.

Transport for London (TfL) have said that the health and safety of staff and customers are its “first priority” and that they have “already agreed to provide a broader range of ear protection to drivers who wish to use it alongside plans for longer-term solutions to this complex issue.”

Noise levels have been a problem on the Central Line for several years as reported by the Ilford Recorder in 2017 and The Wanstead Post in 2018.

The industrial action is due to start on Thursday 10 October 2019.

Meeting about expansion at London City Airport

A new date has been announced for the public meeting about expansion plans at London City Airport.

The event will now take place on Thursday 3 October 2019 between 19.00 and 21.00 at Wanstead Library.

A Draft Master Plan published by the Airport in June 2019 outlined plans including a change to the current cap on flights, an increase in the number of early morning and late evening flights and an end to the current 24-hour closure of the airport at the weekend.

A meeting organised by Cann Hall Area Residents in July included robust contributions from many of those affected by the airport and coincided with the launch of a campaign against the proposals by HACAN East.

#improvethecentralline

In 2018 The Wanstead Post spearheaded a campaign to #improvethecentralline. The intention was to encourage interested parties – such as Transport for London, the Mayor of London, Central Line management and staff as well as passengers – to come together to address problems and find innovative solutions. The campaign culminated in a meeting with Caroline Pidgeon, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee and Chris Taggart, Head of Line Operations, to discuss the most pressing issues.

Since then the Central Line has had good and bad days. When the service runs it can be excellent but when things go wrong it can be truly appalling. After speaking with staff, you are often left with the impression that a sense of complacency permeates the running of the line and there is a general feeling that the situation will never improve.

According to the Socialist Worker website, members of the RMT Union who work on the Central Line are “fighting against chronic understaffing, imposed rosters, management bullying, inadequate welfare facilities and local agreement breaches” and have planned a 24-hour strike due to start on Tuesday 3 September 2019. There is no doubt that if the strike goes ahead utter misery will be caused.

This is an undesirable turn of events for management, staff and passengers because any strike will cause nothing but suffering. Harsh management or unrealistic aggressive demands by unions achieve little and negatively impact hard-working commuters. There needs to be a new collaboration between all involved, a renewed desire to work together and get things done, a refreshed positive energy to make a difference and move on to a better future for all those who work on or use the main arterial route through the greatest capital city in the world.

Public meeting in Wanstead

Redbridge Council have announced there will be a public meeting in Wanstead to discuss expansion plans by London City Airport.

The event follows a robust discussion organised by Cann Hall Area Residents in July and the launch of a campaign against the proposals by HACAN East.

A Draft Master Plan published by the Airport in June 2019 outlined plans including a change to the current cap on flights, an increase in the number of early morning and late evening flights and an end to the current 24-hour closure of the airport at the weekend. This follows the controversial concentration of arrival and departure routes in 2016 which resulted in a five-fold increase in complaints from local residents.

The public meeting will take place at Wanstead Library on Thursday 5 September 2019 at 18.00. Tim Halley, Director of Infrastructure & Planning at London City, will speak and answer questions from residents.

**Update: 4 September 2019**

This meeting has been postponed.

Group launches campaign against expansion at LCY

Image: Andrew Holt

The campaign group HACAN East has launched a petition against expansion plans put forward by London City Airport.

The new petition follows a public meeting during which the airport outlined proposals to change the current cap on flights, an increase in the number of early morning and late evening flights and an end to the 24-hour closure of the airport at the weekend.

The community event was arranged by Cann Hall Area Residents and involved representatives from London City, HACAN East, John Cryer MP and residents from boroughs affected by the airport.

HACAN East has also announced plans to deliver postcards to local communities advising how to complain about the proposals.

A Draft Master Plan was published by London City Airport in June 2019 and the 12-week public consultation runs until 20 September 2019. Full details can be found on the London City Airport website.

The petition created by campaign group HACAN East can be found on the Change.org website.

Robust meeting about LCY development plans

Photo: Andrew Holt

Last night Wanstead residents attended a lively meeting about expansion plans at London City Airport.

The event was organised by Cann Hall Area Residents and involved representatives from London City, campaign group HACAN East and local Member of Parliament John Cryer.

The Draft Master Plan published by the Airport in June 2019 outlined proposals including a change to the current cap on flights, an increase in the number of early morning and late evening flights and an end to the current 24-hour closure of the airport at the weekend.

Residents from boroughs surrounding London City expressed considerable concern about carbon emissions and the climate emergency as well as the noise disturbance caused by aircraft.

In a tweet following the meeting John Cryer described the event as: “A robust debate from the local residents to say the least!”

HACAN East had earlier launched a major campaign against City Airport’s expansion plans which they claim will include the delivery of thousands of postcards to impacted homes.

The 12-week public consultation period on the Draft Master Plan runs until 20 September 2019. Full details can be found on the website for London City Airport: https://www.londoncityairport.com/corporate/consultation

HACAN East has produced a briefing document for residents wanting to respond to the consultation. The advice can be found on the website for HACAN East: https://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/London-City-Master-Plan-Briefing-July-2019.pdf

Public meeting about airport expansion plans

A local residents’ association has organised a public meeting to discuss development proposals put forward by London City Airport.

The event will include speeches by representatives of London City, the Chair of campaigning group HACAN East and the Member of Parliament for Leyton & Wanstead.

Cann Hall Area Residents have organised the event after widespread concern amongst the local community about noise generated by concentrated flight paths and plans to increase the number of flights. London City Airport published a Draft Master Plan in June 2019 which stated a future target of 151,000 flights by 2035.

Residents in Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Greenwich, Lewisham, Bexley and Havering are affected by aircraft taking off and landing at the airport and a report published by the Civil Aviation Authority in 2018 estimated over 900,000 people are directly impacted.

Campaigners have accused London City of misleading people about the consquences of its development plans.

“To say that the airport is not being completely straightforward with residents would be a massive understatement,” said John Stewart, Chair of HACAN East, which represents local residents.

“It is becoming clear that for most people, if the expansion plans go ahead, the noise climate will get worse.”

The Cann Hall Area Residents Association meeting will take place at Buxton School, Cann Hall Road, E11 at 19.30 on 30 July 2019. The Draft Master Plan 2020-2035 can be found on the London City Airport website and the public consultation period runs until 20 September 2019.

LCY consults on development plans

A public consultation has been launched on the Master Plan for London City Airport.

The proposals cover the years 2020-2035 and indicate a change to the current cap on flights, an increase in the number of early morning and late evening flights and the end of the current 24-hour closure of the airport at the weekend.

The campaign group HACAN East, which represents residents affected by the airport, has expressed dismay at the development plans.

“For all its green talk, this plan would be disastrous for residents. Flight numbers could double from today’s levels. And, to rub in the pain, the aiport is looking to ease the restrictions at the weekends and in the early morning and late evening,” commented John Stewart, Chair of HACAN East.

Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer for London City Airport, said:

“This draft master plan is a long-term vision for London City Airport, detailing how London’s most central airport can meet continued demand sustainably, create jobs and opportunities for East London, and support the capital as a major global city for tourism and business.”

HACAN East has produced a briefing document for residents wanting to respond to the consultation. The advice can be found on the website for HACAN East: https://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/London-City-Master-Plan-Briefing-July-2019.pdf

The 12-week public consultation period runs until 20 September 2019. Full details can be found on the website for London City Airport: https://www.londoncityairport.com/corporate/consultation

Flight path review delayed

London City Airport has delayed plans to review its flight paths.

Information from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has revealed the process will not commence as expected in June and has been rescheduled until the autumn.

The airport has been asked to reappraise its flight paths as part of a review of routes at airports in London and the South East. London City concentrated arrival and departure routes in 2016 which resulted in a five-fold increase in complaints from local residents.

The anti-noise campaign group HACAN East believe the delay is to avoid a clash with consultation on the master plan for the airport which may include options for expansion. It is expected London City will consider applying for the current cap of 111,000 flights allowed to use the airport each year to be lifted.

Airports in the UK are reviewing flight paths as air traffic controllers transfer from using a ground-based to a satellite system to guide planes in and out of airports. The new system will allow for more precise flight paths which will reduce fuel costs for airlines and improve the resilience of airports.