The Upton Centre was closed unexpectedly and “for the foreseeable future” on Friday 19th December by Newham Council. Cabinet members agreed to launch a consultation with residents about the future of the centre. You can access and respond to the consultation questionnaire online here (closes Tuesday 26th May).
Caroline Tomes, Newham Green Party member, filled in the consultation questionnaire yesterday and was shocked and dismayed at the questions being asked. In response Caroline has emailed her councillors noting her concerns. She’s said:
Having attended a number of public meetings concerning the closure of the centre and heard about the poor communication from the council in this regard, I am very concerned for the future of the community groups who depend upon the Upton Centre and the wider community who also benefit from this community asset.Yesterday I completed the consultation questionnaire. As a public health professional who has experience in questionnaire design and delivery, and lectured on this topic at various Universities, I was dismayed. The consultation is nothing short of appalling. It has many leading questions, is not explicit in its assumptions or costings, and most disappointing of all, it appears to suggest that LBN council is already favouring the option to demolish the site.
Newham Council appear to prefer tokenistic research rather than carefully planned engagement to find out what people actually want or think, and this supposed consultation further evidences this. For Caroline’s critique in full, read her storify here.
As with many community campaigns in Newham there appears to be a common underlying theme. The complacent Labour one-party state of elected officials, led by Mayor Robin Wales. Whatever the outcome of May 7th, Newham Green Party are committed to supporting and raising the profile of community campaigns for a better Newham.
When walking around Newham, we’ve heard people ask ‘what difference can one Green voice have?’
The answer is one heck of a difference!
A Green MP or Green Councillor for Newham would mean a strong voice of opposition, challenge and change.
That is worth voting for.