Wednesday 29 September 2010

Wanstead Flats - Cardboard Copper Stands Ready To Serve

One week from today, residents from Newham, Waltham Forest and Redbridge will gather at Durning Hall Community Centre for a public question-and-answer session with representatives of the City of London Corporation and the Metropolitan Police, discussing plans for a proposed Olympic operations base on Wanstead Flats in 2012.

I know that the Corporation's extremely charming Director of Open Spaces Sue Ireland will be coming with Paul Thomson, the Superintendent of Epping Forest, to speak from the platform. We are very grateful to them both. I also know, after talking to them this evening, that a group of 9-13 year-old young people from Newham Woodcraft Folk will be settling into the front row and plan to ask some questions. I know too that Michael Gavan, the former Newham Unison chair, has graciously agreed to keep order.

But as yet, I have no idea whether the police are coming. They have indicated that they plan to, but who their spokesperson will be on the day remains a mystery. Perhaps I'll find out more when the steering group of the Save Wanstead Flats campaign meets tomorrow evening to finalise arrangements for next Wednesday.

However, it would such a shame to leave an empty chair at the top table if the police fail to show. So, just in case, I've clubbed together with some friends to order a cardboard cut-out policeman (above right). He's reportedly six feet and one inch tall, obviously not that good at answering questions and at thirty quid, rather on the expensive side (you can purchase one yourself here). But, provided he arrives on time, I'd of course be very happy to make Cardboard Copper available to the campaign if needed.

Let's hope that won't be necessary. There are still far too many unanswered questions that only the police can answer and clearly, consultation with local people is far too important to be left to a stiff, inanimate object.

Residents Public Meeting

7pm at Durning Hall Community Centre
Earlham Grove
London E7 9AB

You can download a flyer for meeting here.

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