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Archive for December 12th, 2011

My letter to Lord Coe

Letter to Lord CoeAs previously discussed, I have worked with the leaders of the political groups here at Tower Hamlets Council to put together a letter to Sebastian Coe, chair of LOCOG, imploring him to reconsider his decision to accept sponsorship from Dow Chemical.

Dow, as you will recall, has a controversial history: it is the successor corporation to Union Carbide, which was responsible for the horrific Bhopal disaster, the effects of which are very much evident to this day as local journalist Ted Jeory has exposed.

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Followers of this blog will be aware of my longstanding concern over what have come to be known as cycling ‘death-spots’ – in particular the Bow roundabout, where Brian Dorling was tragically killed in October and where only a month later, Svitlana Tereschenko also met her death.
Friends and family of the two victims, along with passionate cycle-safety campaigners, held a candle-lit vigil at the site three weeks ago. My finance chief Alibor Choudhury, himself an avid cyclist, attended this and told me it was a very moving event.
This is a hugely pressing issue – we cannot wait for more people to be killed before we act to ensure safety for our cyclists.

So I was shocked to hear that when Green London Assembly Member Jenny Jones and Ken Livingstone’s running mate in the 2012 election Val Shawcross jointly raised London’s cycle safety at Boris Johnson’s City Hall, the Conservative Group and the BNP walked out of the meeting and in doing so prevented any discussion taking place, since the meeting was inquorate.

What’s even worse is that it’s not the first time they’ve played this type of game.

It’s an issue that transcends any political divides. It is a disgrace that these politicians were content to use this attempt for a serious discussion to launch a party-political stunt. It shows how out of touch they are with the concerns of Londoners.

Boris Johnson needs to tell his Tory colleagues to get a grip – and to deal with this issue seriously and quickly. Lives are at stake.

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