Silvertown tunnel

25 Jan

Councillor James Beckles (Plaistow North) on his blog today:

Monday 23rd January it was our first Newham Labour Group after the Christmas break. On the agenda was a motion calling for the rejection of plans for the Silvertown Tunnel.

The arguments for the motion were compelling, arguments about the health consequences for people living in the surrounding area.
It was put to Labour Group that the motion be amended effectively taking out the strength and force from the motion.

This was put to a vote. I voted against the amendment, however the amendment was passed. The amended motion was then put to a vote and was passed. I voted against the amended motion on the grounds that it was watered down and the substance of the motion was lost.

I support the regeneration opportunities happening in our area and the potential these have to uplift people and place. However this should not be at the cost [of] residents’ health.

To understand exactly what happened you need to read the motion that was originally put by Cllrs Conor McAuley (Custom House) and Ann Easter (Canning Town North), and what the wrecking amendment moved by Cllr Ken Clark (cabinet member for Building Communities, Public Affairs, Planning and Regeneration) took out.

The full text is below, and the red section (also in square brackets) is what got taken out:

Newham Labour Group notes that:

  1. TfL have consulted on building a 4 lane tunnel at Silvertown next to, and in addition to, The Blackwall Tunnel, which the former Mayor Johnson said will double road capacity across the Thames at this point and help ease congestion. 
  2. It is widely acknowledged that you cannot build your way out of congestion and that a more appropriate strategy would be to improve conditions for walking and cycling as well as make public transport more affordable. 
  3. The additional road capacity would lead to a significant increase in motor traffic in Newham (particularly in Canning Town) and significantly worsen air quality in this borough. 
  4. [Newham and London already suffer from poor air quality and building this tunnel is totally incompatible with Newham and London meeting their air quality targets.

Therefore Newham Labour Group calls upon Newham Council to reverse its position on the Silvertown Tunnel and call upon Mayor Sadiq Khan to cancel the project. 

Further,] Newham Labour Group urges Newham Council and the Mayor of London to investigate alternatives such as continuing the A406 south beyond the A13 and across the Thames east of the Woolwich Ferry.  

The motion was amended and passed. So Labour group declines to note the poor air quality in Newham and won’t be calling for the cancellation of the Silvertown Tunnel project.

As one councillor tartly put it later, ‘Every child a breather’ is clearly not one of the Mayor’s priorities.

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8 Responses to “Silvertown tunnel”

  1. Roger M January 25, 2017 at 16:25 #

    Is Councillor Beckles yet another decent politician doomed to be crushed and disillusioned by the Newham “establishment”? Let’s hope not.

  2. d January 25, 2017 at 19:52 #

    Wales’s righthand thug in action again.

  3. Alan C January 26, 2017 at 12:08 #

    Steve Brayshaw the Labour Group Whip, (when he’s not living in Manchester) seems to have been instructed to cover up the whole Silvertown Tunnel debate discussion.

    You will notice that Cllr James Beccles’ blog on the debate has disappeared from the web and I understand that at least two members have been told to delete their tweets on the matter.

    Newham Labour’s commitment to open democracy is as hollow as ever!

  4. Roger M January 26, 2017 at 16:23 #

    Newham will twin-town with Moscow next….or even Washington DC.

  5. Sheila Thomas January 26, 2017 at 20:59 #

    Extremely disappointed and disgusted by the antics of Newham councillors.What is especially pathetic is most of them live where they will not be affected by the tunnel.They have yet again put position above people who placed their trust in them at the ballot box.

    • Alan Combe January 27, 2017 at 14:03 #

      Are you any relation to Cllr Sheila Thomas?

  6. KEVIN MANSELL January 31, 2017 at 00:41 #

    I don’t think I subscribe to the criticism on this one.I think the A406 crossing is a higher priority and -as the amended motion says -could be seen as an alternative to Silvertown Tunnel .

  7. terry ball January 31, 2017 at 22:14 #

    i am so glad i do not have to put up with traffic in the south of the borough the a406 is bad enough anytime the tunnel has a problem or a squirrel gets run over on the a13 ,i generally do not go out as it is fruitless sitting in traffic jams for hours, i have often thought how the bridge or a tunnel might alleviate the problems if a bridge were to be built from beckton to abbey wood or somewhere over the river linking the a2 and a406 or like dartford a tunnel and a bridge so if one breaks down the other could take the strain ,i cannot understand why the views of so many have been taken out or watered down thats what mayor khan needs to see ,we are a borough with the worst asthma affected residents in the capital and to congest it more with fumes from traffic that will be on roads that are not fit for purpose in e16 or e14 is madness .is mr brayshaw still a councillor in newham ? ,does the council really care about children with breathing issues ?does the council know that you are likely to die from living in newham before the rest of the capital ,live work and stay is just a dream not a vision mr wales we are your voters please help say no to tfl .

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