This is the blog of the Mile End Residents Association

The area we cover

The borders covered by the Mile End Residents association is as follows - click image above for details.
  • South of Mile End Road
  • East of Burdett Road
  • North of Bow Common Lane
  • West of the British Steet Estate and Tower Hamlets Cemetery 
It includes the major development sites in Southern Grove and the old St Clements Hospital site.

It also covers all sites covered by the redevelopment of the Eric & Treby Street Estate.
    Who can be a member of MERA?

    If you live in a home in this area your household can be a member of the Association.

    Membership of the Mile End residents association is is open all households living within the boundaries of the Association - irrespective of whether they are EastendHomes tenants or leaseholders, tennats or leaseholders of other Housing Associations, tenants of private landlords or owner occupiers.

    What we are about

    At our inaugural meeting on 13th August 2009 we decided that Mile End Residents Association would be clear about:
    • what we are and will do
    • what we are not and what we will not do
    We are..... We are not......
    Area basedNOT Estate based
    Community orientedNOT Housing only
    All households - tenants, leaseholders, owner occupiersNOT EastendHomes tenants only
    Tackling ALL future planning applicationsNOT just the Eric/Treby application
    Completely ApoliticalNO formal political links
    Encouraging involvement & community participationNOT about doing things to you
    Improving the quality of life where we liveNOT about accepting minimum requirements
    Making things happenNOT about putting up with things
    Totally Transparent - we tell you what's happeningNOT opaque - and keeping you in the dark

    What we do

    We campaign on all matters which have an adverse impact on the residential amenity of our neighbourhood in Mile End.  

    We also take an active interest in all our local green/open spaces and health and safety issues associated with traffic and street management and everything which affects the look of the place we live in.

    If you would like to stay up to date with what's happening in our area

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    Minutes of Meetings
    Report from the MILE END RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION - Inaugural meeting 13th August 2009 
    East London Tabernacle Hall 7.30pm - 8.30pm

    Households present at the meeting signed up for membership and a group of residents volunteered to be reps for their blocks - they will pass on information and leaflets to their neighbours. If you would like to represent your block please get in touch with us.
    41 people signed in

    Welcome and Introduction
    Mark Taylor welcomed people to the meeting and provided a summary of why a Residents Association was being created. He also thanked all the people who had written letters, signed petitions, leafleted and gone to meetings at the Town Hall during the fight against the approval of the EastendHomes planning application.

    Apologies were received from three residents who all expressed an interest in being involved.

    The purpose of the Association
    Katherine Tyrrell introduced some notions of what the Association SHOULD be about and detailed what it would NOT be about.
    We are..... We are not......
    Area based Not Estate based
    Community oriented NOT Housing only
    All households - tenants, leaseholders, owner occupiers NOT EastendHomes tenants only
    Tackling ALL future planning applications NOT just the Eric/Treby application
    Completely Apolitical NO political links
    Encouraging involvement & community participation NOT about doing things to you
    Improving the quality of life where we live NOT about accepting minimum requirements
    Making things happen NOT about putting up with things
    Totally Transparent - we tell you what's happening NOT opaque - and keeping you in the dark

    Katherine asked the meeting if they had left anything out.

    The suggestions for ways in which it could be amended were as follows:
    • Dialogue with EastendHomes should aim to be positive and constructive (the Association will not be seeking conflict)
    • The Association is realistic about that fact that changes need to occur and will not be promoting 'pie in the sky' ideas
    • The Association will aim to ensure that all households are kept informed
    It was also suggested that the date of the next meeting should be before January 2010.

    Choice of a name for the Association
    Suggestions for names of the Association and results of a vote:
    1. Mile End Residents Association (MERA) - 26 votes
    2. Brokesley, Eric & Treby Residents Association (BETRA) - 1 vote
    3. Hamlets Way Residents Association - 4 votes
    The meeting adopted Mile End Residents Association as the working title. This will be subject to a formal vote at the first Annual General Meeting of the Association (date to be advised - mid January suggested).

    Borders of the Association
    Mera Area

    The borders are as follows (suggested and agreed) - click image above for details.
    • South of Mile End Road
    • East of Burdett Road
    • North side of Bow Common Lane
    • Lockhart Street, Maritime Street, Ropery Street
    • West of Tower Hamlets Cemetery i.e. Southern Grove and Brokesley Street
    Membership of the Association
    The meeting agreed that membership should be on the basis of households living within the boundaries of the Association - irrespective of whether they are EastendHomes tenants, leaseholders, tenants of private landlords or owner occupiers.
    • 31 members signed up for membership on the night
    • 15 of these would like to be actively involved.
    Three residents volunteered to be reps for their blocks; they will keep their neighbours informed and distribute future leaflets in Derwent House, Wentworth Mews and Loweswater House.

    Formation of a Residents Association
    The meeting was asked whether those present wished to form a Residents Association. The vote was unanimous and it was agreed to form the Mile End Residents Association.
    Mark Taylor indicated that he would be contacting the following organisations to advise them about the new Association:
    • London Borough of Tower Hamlets
    • EastendHomes
    • Metropolitan Police
    • The Planning Department at Tower Hamlets Council
    • And various other public service organisations who need to know we exist

    Mark Taylor announced that formal elections for a Committee would be held at the first Annual General Meeting.
    In the meantime a group of people were needed to get the Association set up on a formal basis.

    The Acting Core Committee:
    • Acting Chair - Mark Taylor
    • Acting Vice Chair - Jonathan Parry
    • Acting Secretary - Lene Milaa
    • Acting Treasurer - Katherine Tyrrell
    The meeting agreed that these people should continue work for residents until the first AGM when a formal Committee will be elected.

    The Association will aim to ensure that all households are kept informed

    Minutes from the MILE END RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION - General Meeting 1st February 2010 
    East London Tabernacle Hall 7.00pm - 8.45pm 

    Download the MERA Constitution PDF - click here
    Details of the inaugural meeting - click here

    35 people signed in

    1 Welcome and introduction
    Mark Taylor welcomed people and introduced the meeting and why we were having it.

    1a Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT)
    Sgt Mick Redmond introduced himself and how the SNT work in the Mile End East ward. He took a couple of questions from residents about anti social behaviour.

    2 Apologies for absence
    Jan Anstey Hayes (EEHLFA) Three apologies from residents, including one for lateness

    3 Minutes of the last meeting
    Attendees had no objections to the minutes from the meeting held 13 August 2009 so they were signed off by acting chair, Mark Taylor, as a true record of events.

    4 Matters arising from the minutes
    Borders of MERA to include the St Clements site?
    The arguments for this inclusion are:
    • It borders onto Brokesley Street and is a logical extension of our area
    • It is a major development which will have a major impact on the properties overlooking the sit
    • As the Residents Association for the area it makes us a very relevant party to any consultation about proposed developments

    A unanimous vote decided to include the St Clements site.

    The Name MERA
    The working title of Mile End Residents Association (MERA) was confirmed by a unanimous vote as the final and future name of the Association

    Katherine Tyrrell has since the meeting in August 2009 resigned from the post of Acting Treasurer.

    5 MERA Committee Report
    Mark Taylor reported on some successes that MERA have been involved in:
    • EastendHomes Planning application news: Although we lost at the final Strategic Development Committee meeting on 15 December 2009 we did succeed in getting the plans refused once and it did take 8 months to get them approved due to our objections. We also succeeded in getting a number of matters addressed through the conditions.
      The plans are now on their way to the GLA, i.e. the Mayor’s office, for approval (or disapproval…)
    • MERA sent a letter in August 2009 to Paul Bloss, CEO of EastendHomes, seeking formal recognition - inviting further questions on any points that needed clarification - and an invitation to meet - which resulted in no response. This letter was resent 28 January 2010 - again no response. Mark Taylor and Jonathan Parry had an informal meeting with Steve Inkpen (Director of Regeneration) 7 October 2009 to "assess where we are" after the first refusal of the planning application.
    • Club E3: Update on appeal - hearing to be held 23 and 25 March 2010
    • We now have a website, blog and twitter account: All used to good effect:
    • Squatters: Squatters occupied 1-14 Brokesley Street in August and following action by MERA representatives EastendHomes cleared the site and (finally) secured the site properly
    • 642 Mile End Road: Planning permission for a change of use to fast food/restaurant was refused by the Council after a significant number of formal written objections by residents of Mile End Road and Brokesley Street
    • Core Strategy: Katherine Tyrrell submitted a detailed comment on behalf of MERA in October 2009
    • Demolition: Katherine Tyrrell has sought and got clarification about the demolition on the Brokesley Street site after Demolition Notices were issued in January 2010 to adjacent neighbours. Still seeking communication plan and plan for how all works in the street are to be managed.

    To illustrate what MERA are involved in and do on a weekly basis Lene Milaa went through some entries in the MERA diary she keeps: Meetings with the Tenants Federation, SNT, EEHLFA, surgeries with councillors Rachael Saunders and Ahmed Hussain. Full council meeting, EastendHomes main board, conservation strategy consultation, planning this GM meeting, You Decide, MECHT.

    6 Constitution
    Mark Taylor pointed out that the draft constitution had been available to view on-line and for those who wanted to make comments copies could be made available on request in the last week up to the meeting.

    It was emphasised that the draft constitution is pretty much standard to the type used by residents associations and has only been tweaked to suit MERA’s requirements (e.g. area reps).

    The constitution was accepted by a unanimous vote (32 out of 39 present). Note: not all attendees were eligible voters.

    7 Election of Officers and Area Reps

    Mark Taylor announced that four officer posts were subject to election.

    Katherine Tyrrell had stood down as the Acting Treasurer and conducted the election of officers with a short introduction to the four candidates who stood. No one else had submitted nomination forms or wished to contest the election.

    The result:
    • Chair: Mark Taylor
    • Vice Chair: Jonathan Parry
    • Secretary: Lene Milaa 
    • Treasurer: Faiz Rahman

    Faiz Rahman suggested a membership fees structure where the committee members pay e.g. £10 at each meeting to cover costs of photocopying and other expenses that MERA incur.

    Lene Milaa went through the list of Area Reps to confirm those who have volunteered and to recruit new volunteers. She also identified those areas where we lacked representatives.

    Area Representatives and Committee members were then confirmed as follows:
    Area (block / street)
    Name of area representative
    Committee member
    Loweswater House
    English Street
    Beckley House
    Treby Street

    Ropery Street
    Maritime Street / Lockhart Street

    Bow Common Lane

    Mossford Street

    Eric Street / Hamlets Way (houses) i.e. south of Hamlets Way
    Hamlets Way (flats) / Eric Street i.e. north of Hamlets Way

    Burdett Road (above shops)

    Wentworth Mews

    Windermere House

    Coniston House
    Derwent House
    S, P & J

    Ennerdale House
    Buttermere House

    Tracy House

    Brokesley Street / Mile End Road
    Brokesley Street (small block)

    Hannover Court

    Rebecca House

    Coopers Court

    The committee is made up of the nine members listed as well as the chair and vice chair.

    8 Introduction to Local Councillors
    Cllr Ahmed Hussain (Conservative) spoke about his support for MERA, that he and his party have actively supported and worked with residents in the fight against EastendHomes’ building plans; he spoke against the plans at two Strategic Development Committee meetings and has brought the GLA’s attention to the issues of the plans. But he also pointed out that the plans are not likely to be stopped now.

    Cllr Rachael Saunders and Cllr Motin Uz-Zaman (Labour) spoke about their role as local councillors elected to represent the people of Mile End East and their dual role as Board Members of EastendHomes.

    Cllr Saunders reminded residents that she spoke at the SDC meeting in December 2009 about the lack of consultation undertaken by EastendHomes in relation to the building plans. She revealed how she and Cllr Motin Uz-Zaman had been told by EastendHomes that further proper consultation would take place before the submission of the second planning application and her fury at this not happening.

    Cllr Saunders explained that she had spoken in favour of EastendHomes working with residents groups (MERA, Bede RA and EEHLFA) at the main board meeting last week and suggested MERA write up a Memorandum of Understanding stating MERA’s aims and conditions. She stated that so far EastendHomes have not had a process to deal with residents associations!

    A member of the audience commented that local residents should not be surprised their views were ignored by EastendHomes if EastendHomes also ignored their own promises to its own board members - who represented local residents. 

    9 Local Residents Concerns - Your views

    Katherine Tyrrell made notes of residents’ concerns which included:
    • No attention being paid to complaints made to police. Need better feedback
    • Demolition/construction in Brokesley Street: Arrangements re impact on local residents need to be concluded to satisfaction of residents
    • Being passed from pillar to post within EastendHomes
    • Service charges for leaseholders: These need a much better explanation from EastendHomes as to why they are so high
    • Hamlets Way/Burdett Road junction: A number of issues were raised: Impact of parked cars in the vicinity of the junction adversely affects visibility and reduces width of street to one car; bins on the pavement affect passage of pedestrians and child buggies; footpath restricted by building site on north side without any provision for pedestrians; the junction needs double yellow lines and effective enforcement. Pedestrians need to be able to walk without impediments to their ease of access and movement
    • Mile End Road accidents and traffic management: A number of concerns were raised about the management of traffic and parking on Mile End Road and the apparent increase in the number of very bad crashes and accidents. Special mention was made of pedestrians being knocked down on pedestrian crossings, fatalities, the need to monitor the number of accidents and the impact of the parked Tesco lorries unloading
    • Drug dealing in the area: Two areas were noted as appearing to have problems with drug dealing on the street (Brokesley Street and Eric St/Hamlets Way). This needs to be referred to the Police and the SNT
    • Anti social behaviour at the Eric Street/Hamlets Way junction: Last year’s ‘You Decide’ money (£20,000) spent on taking the fence down has not, it seems, solved the problem. Dispersal order in pipe line
    • Wentworth Mews: A fire incident here led to a woman being killed. There has been an investigation but no feedback to residents as to what action is being taken to safeguard residents
    • Drunken and anti-social behaviour: There were a number of complaints about the behaviour of drunks throughout the area covered by MERA, particularly late on Fri/Saturday night
    • LBTH cleaning: Drunks vomit and urinate in the street but it is never cleaned up by the Council. It was also noted that the sand covering the blood stains from the stabbing in Maplin Street have still not been cleaned up. Generally, the level of attention to keeping the area clean and tidy and free from the impact of anti-social behaviour on other local residents is very poor. It will be improved for the Olympics so why not now?
    • English Street: The speed bumps which are supposed to reduce speeding are completely ineffective and appear to attract kids who deliberately speed over them
    • Lack of Primary school places for local kids: This was identified as a major issue as part of the consultation on the planning application. The Council seems to think it is satisfactory for the local kids to be schooled all over the borough
    • Looking after vulnerable people: We need to be more aware of where all the vulnerable people live (including those living in non-EastendHomes homes) so that offers of help can be made when the weather is bad.
    10 EastendHomes Lease - and Freeholders Association (EEHLFA)

    Mark Taylor explained that due to LVT preparation, Jan Anstey Hayes (interim chair of EEHLFA) could not attend, but a meeting will be arranged in the next month for the Mile End branch to be set up.

    11 Any other business

    12 Date of the next meeting
    • Next General Meeting to be arranged
    • Next Committee Meeting to be arranged
    • AGM January 2011

    Additional notes:

    £103 was collected in donations from attendees towards the photocopying of leaflets for the meeting (cost £77) and hire of the Tabernacle (cost £38).


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