The Save Wanstead Flats campaign steering group met last night to finalise arrangements for next week's public meeting and now has a provisional figure for the number of signatures collected so far in opposition to the Metropolitan police's plan to set up on the Flats in 2012.
Including the petition collection sheets that arrived this morning, there are 1324 people signed up so far in opposition to the plans, with a further 403 online. More completed petitions are expected at the beginning of next week and there are street stalls planned on Monday. It's not too late to collect more in support of the campaign - a copy of the petition can be downloaded from the campaign website.
Last night I also discovered that the Cardboard Copper will no longer be necessary - the police will definitely be attending the public meeting on 6 October. An e-mail from Chief Supt Alaric Bothron was sent on to me today and it seems he wasn't amused by my suggestion! The meeting yesterday also set out the format for next Wednesday, which will be ably chaired by former chair of Newham UNISON Michael Gavan. The debate has been divided into five broad themes to make sure that everything is covered and these are:
- The way the site for a potential Olympic policing base was chosen
- The future protection of the Flats if Epping Forest Act 1878 is amended and the implications of any precedent the police plans set
- The impact on local access in Forest Gate, Wanstead and Leyton
- The impact on local use of the Flats during 2012
- Alternative sites and what plans are in place if local objections are successful
Now we have to hope that as many people as possible turn up. The leaflet promoting the event is available here if you can help spread the word.