Saturday, March 14, 2009

Battle Royal (Docks)

Today I went for the umpteenth time to the other end of the borough to campaign in the Royal Docks council by-election. Whilst canvassing voters I was surprised to bump into Steve Phillpott, a fellow History student in my days at the University of Kent. (I won't reveal how he's voting though.)

For those unfamiliar with this part of London, the Royal Docks ward is the southernmost part of Newham, below the Royal Docks themselves and consisting of Silvertown and North Woolwich (or for those who use the tube map for geography it's served by the Woolwich Arsenal branch of the Docklands Light Railway between West Silvertown and King George V stations). Here's the best map I can find electronically (although the ward boundaries are not precise), click for a larger version:

The response has been good so far and I have also been amazed by the number of people we've had out. (See also ConservativeHome: Could Newham be poised for a Tory councillor?) Our candidate, Neil Pearce, has been campaigning not just since the by-election began but over the years for improvements to the ward, including a successful campaign to retain the North Woolwich police station, and against the expansion of flights at London City Airport to a level far beyond originally agreed for the airport, because of the air and noise pollution they bring.

One of the more interesting moments of the day was when I saw a Labour leaflet claiming that we are in favour of a second runway at the airport! Now even leaving aside that this is totally contrary to our candidate's record, it's also not physically possible. Take a look again at the map above. The airport's only runway is at the bit that says "LONDON CITY AIRPORT" between the Royal Albert and King George V docks. Exactly where on earth could a second runway go? The only way I could imagine one is if it's on Royal Albert Dock and used by seaplanes! And these are hardly the most compatible planes for the destination airports.

Polling day is on March 26th and all help is much appreciated. To get details please either join the Facebook group: Neil Pearce for Royal Docks or ring his agent Billy on 07717 752657.

Updated: Many thanks to the commenter below who has provided links to images from the Labour leaflets showing the lies here and here.


Anonymous said...

Labour canvassers are going round saying that the Conservative candidate Neil Pearce wants a second runway at London City Airport. It is really bad Steve Brayshaw's campaign is spreading such dirty lies......

In fact Labour supported expansion of flights from 76,000 to 120,000.

I went to Newham Council's Planning Meeting and I saw with my OWN EYES Neil Pearce put in an objection to airport expansion. And he was such a good speaker that everyone clapped!!!

"London City Airport should go to public enquiry. The airport measures noise over time so it can average out noisy planes with the silence in between. That's not the way my ears work. The planes are noisy and more planes equals more noise. With crossrail being given approval the entire remit for the airport should be considered not expansion.” Steve Brayshaw 05 March 2008

Mike Law said...

I've sent an e-mail to Brayshaw asking when and where the Conservatives made this claim - I copied in Grainger at the Newham Recorder.

I've also sent an e-mail to the Electoral Commission asking what the legal position is regarding such false claims in election material.

Anonymous said...

There has been a concerted malicious campaign today to try and tie Neil to the Boris Flashmob and beyond.

False names and identities were created on various websites and identities of people associated with Fight The Flights were used.All between 12pm and 2pm.

As you are aware the Royal Docks by-election happens this week and various other "parties" have become vicious and nasty.It is a shame that the Newham machine is so desperate not to have a Tory Councillor that they will stoop to this level.

I hope your website blog can grab Rachels IP address to expose her/him.

Fight the Flights is the London City Airport anti expansion community group. They ARE NOT anti airport NOR anti aviation and are NOT party political. The group is representative of the community in that it has campaigners who are from all political persuasions. We have a cause, which bonds us all together - and politics don't come into that, whatever the 'impersonator' claims! We can understand that those who don't have the privelege to personally know the residents campaigning would perhaps have difficulty understanding that nice people do actually exist and make up our communities.

So who would want to impersonate and make such statements to try and attack Neil Pearce? A pr company perhaps - or the political party in the Royal Docks who didn't listen to the residents and is now concerned it might lose a seat?

Neil Pearce has indeed been involved in Fight the Flights - because he listened to residents concerns in the Royal Docks about their fear of airport expansion and responded to that. There's no secret there at all. Neither is there any secret that Neil Pearce did not agree with Boris Johnson - this was all documented by BBC London. None of that sounds like he was trying to hide it, does it?

And one last thing: Neil Pearce is not on the board of FTF and he did not organise the flash mob, and we have indeed had support from: Labour MP John Austin, Baroness Ludford, Lib Dems and Darren Johnson from the Greens.

Alastair Grant said...

Hi Tim,

Information on Royaldocks can be found at




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