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Thursday 21 June 2012 7.25pm
Dear all,

Thanks for all the contributions to this thread and the e-mails directly to the Riverside Lib Dem Councillors.

We very much share the concerns about some of the Jubilee arrangements and are grateful to residents for raising these matters. It is particularly frustrating as we had asked the council to send out advance communication to local residents so that people knew what was going to be happening on the day and this clearly didn't happen.

We are also very troubled that public rights of way were blocked off on the day with no consultation which is supposed to happen with road closures. We cannot see how all the restrictions were really about security and it feels like it was more about money and/or VIPs.

The land may be private but there are also public rights of way. We were aware in advance that Butlers Wharf was going to be privately ticketed but had been assured that the public rights of way would be maintained and that there would be clear communication.

Since the jubilee, we have made enquires to the council on behalf of the Lib Dem council group about who made these decisions, whether they were in consultation with the police and how they will ensure lessons are learned. Simon Hughes MP has also taken up the issue of security preventing access with the council and the pageant organisers.

It is a real shame that many local residents (who pay the council tax) did not have a better day at the Jubilee, but we will continue to push for answers and press the council to do a better job for the Olympics. As local elected representatives we will always continue to pressure the council to put local residents first.

On the cobbles, we are very frustrated that residents were not consulted about this. There are inevitably different views about them and it would have been far better for the council to listen to these before makign centralised decisions. Last week Cllr Eliza Mann arranged and attended a site meeting with the Shad Thames Residents' Association. The council has apologised that this work has been rushed and residents have not been consulted. We are following up with a meeting with council officers from highways and planning to discuss how we can really protect and enhance this very special conservation area.

Please don't hesitate to contact us directly if you have any other issues with the council.

Best wishes,

Councillor Anood Al-Samerai
Liberal Democrat Councillor for Riverside Ward
Leader, Liberal Democrat Council Group
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