Sunday 18 December 2011

So What Do We Do About Fortress Wanstead Flats?

After much debate about how to follow the court decision to refuse to listen to the case for a judicial review, the Save Wanstead Flats campaign is inviting local residents to a meeting at Durning Hall Community Centre in Forest Gate on Wednesday 18 January at 7pm.

This meeting offers an opportunity to discuss what to do next, which inevitably covers a broad range of concerns. For instance, there are the question of how to prevent the use of the Flats as a 'security exclusion zone' in the future (for the World Athletics Championships in 2017, for example) and what, if anything, can be done to strengthen the Epping Forest Act 1876, which has been severely undermined by the Legislative Reform Order and the City of London Corporation's cowardice. There is also a discussion that must be had about what other steps might still be taken by the Save Wanstead Flats Campaign to try and stop the Met police’s plans - or whether it is time for the campaign to call it a day and let others take over.

Campaigns always come to an end eventually but, from a personal point of view, I believe the impact of a Met police 'Muster Briefing and Deployment Centre' on the local area next year still demands further action. There are, of course, immediate issues facing residents in Forest Gate, Wanstead and Leyton when the base opens, not least the potential disruption and restricted access to the Flats that may be far worse than we have ever expected. This is something that residents' groups may decide to take on. One group I've been involved with for many years, Newham Monitoring Project, has grave concerns about the effect on local people's rights of a massive security presence in east London next summer and is keen to monitor the impact of the base on the use of excessive stop & search powers. In addition, there is more scrutiny necessary in checking that promises made about the base during consultation and planning in 2010 are not broken because of 'changing security demands'

One way or another, Fortress Wanstead Flats will demand our attention next summer. And you never know - perhaps someone has a creative and imaginitive way that we can still stop it.

What Next For Wanstead Flats?
Residents' Meeting
7pm, Wednesday 18 January 2012

Durning Hall Community Centre, Earlham Grove, Forest Gate

Let your friends and neighbours know - publicise the event on Facebook or download a flyer and distribute widely.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you/people seen this?

R(Pelling) v Newham LBC [2011]

If I am right is n't this the guy fighting to save Wanstead Flats?

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