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'Planning Facts' stall: June 2008

Above: An FoQM 'Planning Facts' stall, June 2008

THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE...

Have you visited the People's Market yet?

Far from being satisfied to leave things exactly as they are, the Friends of Queen's Market have worked tirelessly to engage with others to see how Queen's Market can be cherished and improved. Back in 2006 Friends of Queen’s Market submitted their first renovation proposal called 'A Forward Looking Traditional Market' to Newham council, but this was flatly ignored by them. Queen’s Market make a profit of over £250,000 per annum which has not been reinvested into the market to ensure its long term future. As a result the community have only been offered a “Hobson’s Choice” of St. Modwen Plc and none other.

Management and sustainable design with local participation are at the heart of this community.  Leading experts tell us the current 1960’s building structure is sound and functions for its purpose. Things have moved on considerably from our 2006 proposal, and  with the help of professional architects, planners, spatial designers and landscape architects we aim to compile an alternative plan for Queen’s Market which does not exclude any social group, whilst incorporating the needs of traders and shoppers alike, for a multi-ethnic market, suitable for London’s world class status.
We understand the extraordinary dynamic of the market and in order to survive another 100 years positive change in is needed. St. Modwen simply have no experience in creating sustainable and successful street markets and are certainly not needed or wanted in East London.

There are a number of improvements that the council could easily make to Queen's Market straight away:

1) Introduce an inductive loop system for the deaf and people with hearing difficulties.
2) Replace one of the stairwells with a glass lift.
3) Remove structural clutter (especially on the ceiling) that impedes access to natural light.
4) Ensure that the toilet facilities are properly maintained.
5) Improve signage to the market, including the posibility of signage at Upton Park tube station. If you know of any groups who are willing to help in offering professional advice, funding or who want to twin with our market please contact us today. Here is a list of groups in conversation with Friends of Queen’s Market as we compile an alternative plan for the 110 year old market.

Glass House
- Community Led Design http://www.theglasshouse.org.uk/ Glass House have confirmed they are able to offer us valuable advice, support and training and are compiling a programme of workshops.

Women’s Design Services
 www.wds.org.uk  

Climate Change Youth Development Trust
(CCYDT) http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/askncvo/trusteegovernance/?id=2317#The_Climate_Change_Youth_Development_Trust_(CCYDT)  

Ethnic minority community groups within Newham
Other groups offering voluntary advice and support for an alternative plan for Queen’s Market:

Planning Aid for London
http://www.planningaidforlondon.org.uk/   

Friends of the Earth
http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/index.html  

Friends of Brixton Market
http://www.friendsofbrixtonmarket.org/  

Wards Corner Community Coalition
http://wardscorner.wikispaces.com/  

World Union of Wholesale Markets
http://www.wuwm.org/wuwmsite/scripts/default.asp 



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FOQM objections to Greater LondonAuthority:
http://www.radicalactivistnewham.org.uk/Submission_GLA_Final.doc (01/09/2007) ....................................................................................................................... http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/search/display.var.659176.0.friends_of_queens_market.php

FoQM want to see our precious market cherished, marketed and celebrated.
..................................................................................................................

OUR2 POINT OBJECTIVE:

1. To oust the St Modwen redevelopment plan for Queens Market.
   
2.To keep the market in the public/not-for-profit sector with community controlled development and management.
 
This is our charter as agreed by a committee vote, held on 13th August 2007.
..................................................................................................................  

For a fascinating insight into the GreenStreet area be sure to read the following article by Paul Barker:- http://society.guardian.co.uk/communities/story/0,,1860519,00.html  ...............................................................................................................................

At Queen's Market people have a passion for fresh, healthy food. Good food matters

http://www.cooksister.com/2008/05/garlicky-and-very-easy-roasted-aubergine-dip.html http://www.prospectbooks.co.uk

The Guild of FoodWriters http://www.gfw.co.uk

Vegan London http://www.veganlondon.co.uk

Speciality FoodMagazine http://www.specialityfoodmagazine.com

The Food Programme http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/foodprogramme.shtml

Citta Slow UK http://www.cittaslow.org.uk

Sustain http://www.sustainweb.org

The VegetarianSociety http://www.vegsoc.org

The Seasoning & Spice Association http://www.seasoningandspice.org.uk

Food in the Arts http://www.londonfoodfilmfiesta.co.uk

Where do you like to shop - can you suggest any good local markets?


Andi: I've just discovered this place called Queens Market, near West Ham (in London). It's just unbelievably brilliant and the people there are so great. They've fought off closure from big supermarkets, all with a huge smile on their faces. The produce there is wicked.   As featured in Neneh and Andi Dish It Up, BBC 2 8.00 pm (11/4/2007) http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/tv_and_radio/dishingitup_interview.shtml ....................................................................................................................... http://www.heureka.clara.net/tenerife/eating-out-in-puerto.htm .......................................................................
The following editorial by Roger Foss is from What's On In London, 16th March 2006. Everyone knows that the great divide between London and just about every other capital city in the world is its amazing diversity. It's what makes London unique. Take the wealth of street markets, from Brixton in the South to Camden in the north selling everything from okra to chav ear-rings. Markets don't just add local colour: the stalls and small shops sustain individuals and local communities in a million and one different ways. That’s why this week we've focussing on the danger facing Queen's Market in Upton Park. London's most ethnically diverse street market is threatened by the regeneration plans of Sir Robin Wales, the Mayor of Newham, who wants to knock the stuffing out of it by handing the entire site to private developers who aim to replace it with an Asda/WalMart superstore, posh apartments and a shopping mall. He only has to go down to nearby Stratford Shopping Centre to see how regeneration leads to degeneration. Once cobbled Angle Lane, lined with shops and market stalls, meandered between the station and Stratford Broadway. But inthe name of 1960's progress Sir Robin's predecessor at what was then the West Ham Council bulldozed the lot and replaced it with the hideous mall that everybody hates to this day. Today Dickensian Angel Lane is a just a memory to older East Enders. Were it not for a successful campaign, Covent Garden market almost went the same way in the sixties. But Sir Robin does have a breathing space. He must listen to the locals. Otherwise London will edge one step closer to losing its identity. .......................................................................
Towards a Forward-LookingTraditional Market
Sensitive solutions for a precious London asset  The FoQM proposal which was compiled by consulting local shoppers, traders, shop keepers over afew years and with advice from professional architects and consultants,experienced in building market places. This can be obtainedby emailing: friendsofqueensmarket@yahoo.co.uk Or call:  020 84724730   Newham Council and St. Modwen have ignored the document and tell us it is not an alternative they wish to consider. Since this was published in 2006 FoQM have continued to engage with communities and welcome fresh ideas. .......................................................................................................................

The Robinocracy of Newham
It is a point of public record that Sir Robin Wales gagged his own Labour councillors on the issue of Queen's Market at an open council meeting held 11th April 2005.This is all the more shocking in view of the fact that at that time of the 60 councillors 59 were Labour and 1Christian Peoples Alliance. http://www.stratfordguardian.co.uk/search/display.var.592165.0.councillors_forbidden_to_take_part_in_market_debate.php The dictatorial behaviour of the Mayor of Newham has resulted in three Newham Labour councillors leaving the Labour Party- each citing the conduct of Sir Robin Wales as the main reason for their departure. They are:-  Sarah Ruiz  Mike Law Abdul Kareem Sheikh BEM (former Mayor of Newham) The thrasonical nature of Sir Robin Wales invariably means that he promises mountains but delivers molehills. Formore fascinating insights intothe London Borough of Newham be sure to visit:- http://forums.e-democracy.org People are tired ofthe 'like it or lump it' approach to democracy. ...............................................................................................................................

Flawed council proposals
It isinteresting to note the following pointsin Newham council documentation. Cabinet Supplementary Agenda - 22nd December 2005 Queen's Market - Supplementary ReportonConsultation and Progress 6.31   "A key aspect of the proposed scheme is Asda .." "They are an established Yorkshire based company...." 6.42   "The proposed scheme focuses on principles at present and lacks detail..." 6.52   "The Council'sTransportation section feel that much more work is required on the details of the scheme.."
...................................................................................................................................... http://www.metacafe.com/watch/176698/save_queens_market/ ................................................................................................................  
The following featured in the DailyTelegraph (14/2/2006) 'No' case to answer for Asda St ModwenPoperties has more than lettingLongbridge to worry about. It's upset Queen'sMarket in Newham, which it wantsto shut and with the support of Wal-Mart'sAsda, put up flats. The plans haven'timpressed locals, who claim thedevelopers' presentation showed only white facesin one of the more ethnicallydiverse areas in the capital. Such is the localire, the market has landed apart in the new movie about Wal-Mart, The HighPrice of Low Cost. I hear noteven free lap-top cases handed out at Newhammayor's jamboree last week wonthem over. Business Diary (Edited by Sophie Brodie) ...............................................................................................................................  

Private Eye
- 17th February -2nd March 2006 Rotten Boroughs Sir Robin Wal-Mart Newham's elected mayor Sir Robin Wales haspioneered a number of daft schemes, including giving under-trained park wardenspolice powers (Eye1143).But none has annoyed locals more than a plan to demolish the much-loved,100 year-year-old Queen's Market in Upton Park and replace it with an Asda. Thislively market consists of 60 small shopsand 80 stalls serving fresh, very cheap fruit and veg, including many exoticvarieties, and other goods to East End people of all hues and views. But Newhamcouncil wants to lease the site to developer St Modwen, sweeping away the existing market and replacing it with an Asda and 220 luxury flats. Although the council says the number of stallswill not be reduced, and that the developers have agreed to freeze pitch feesfor "a few years",service charges will "need to reflect the actual costs of maintaining a quality environment". Small traders take this to mean that they will be priced out in a new, characterless and ethnically cleansed market. Localcampaigners, the Friends of Queen'sMarket, have had their planning objections and 12,000 signature petition dismissed out of hand by Sir Robin, who describes the group as "an overtlypolitical campaign that has spread outright lies". Asda, meanwhile, is described by the councilas "an established Yorkshire-based company that has developed severalcommunity initiatives and is one of the main sponsors of the Children in Need appeal". Nothing about the fact that the chain is actually a subsiduary of Wal-Mart corp, America's biggest retailer,criticised by the GMB union for"riding roughshod over worker's rights". But as Sir Robin declared inthe Newham council magazine:"Misinformation and conspiracy theoriesusually abound whenever regeneration and development are proposed". Sir Robin Wales(Mayor of Newham) with Nick Kay of St Modwen Properties  St. Modwen (the" Patron Saint of Degeneration") are clearly incapable of creating social spaces and this is why an alternative in needed. 'Partners in grime' It would appear that both Newham council and St Modwen* are intent on letting Queen's Market fall into disrepair. Cleaning has been cutback and pitches, and shop units are being left vacant. It suits both council and developers to see the market run-down, trade will then tail offand traders are far more likely to seek a way out. It also creates the impression that the sell-off is a fait accompli. FoQM will ensure that this outrageous neglect is fully exposed. * Since Summer 2006 St Modwen have been responsible for the management of the shops. Retails units are being shuttered up and left unlet. We doubt whether 'Sir' Robin or Nick Kay have ever bothered to visit markets such as La Boqueria and Santa Caterina in Barcelona, hence the utter poverty of their so-called aspiration for Queen's Market. http://www.boqueria.eu/Eng/        http://www.mercatsbcn.com (In Spanish) .............................................................................................................

http://www.nabma.com/news.php?action=view_article&article_id=162 ........................................................................................................................................ http://www.harbourandjones.co.uk/news/?j=JennyMarket&t=latestnews .....................................................................................................................................    

Isn't it time you made a date with Queen's Market ?
SIDE BITS

MARKET SPY   Traders report increased harrassment from the council of late! Why has the market manager's shifts been cut back? Why are toilets at Queen's Market invariably closed? Why are retail units being left empty? Why is the market not being cleaned properly? Why has no lift been installed from market level to parking spaces above?   Mr Jonathan Owen of Quarterbridge has now beenhired by St Modwen to try toconvince the market traders to capitulate to their will. Apparently he is currently engaged in a little divide and rule. No doub the is hoping for a sizeable commission should this disreputable scheme get the go ahead. By all accounts he doesn't  seem too concerned about any possible impact on shoppers or local residents. http://www.quarterbridge.co.uk See if you can find out how many pieces of silver Mr Owen is going to be paid if he manages to 'break' the spirit of the traders and 'deliver' the market to St Modwen.  No doubt Mr Owen will be only too glad to elucidate matters. Email:- jonathan.owen@quarterbridge.net  orTel:- 01296 712233    'PLANS - available only on request' In a June 2008 event (consultation?) asking the public to "Please come along and view the plans" St. Modwen Developement Director Nick Kay brought out  plans only when asked (which were in boxes behind the sofa)     Commercial Aspirations St Modwen have now decided to add a veneer of spin to their increasingly unpopular scheme and are being accompanied by  a PR firm called Camargue whose brief is, to quote their website ,    “to inform and influence the media,business and political stakeholders, employees, local communities and, whenappropriate, the general public. Our aim is to help shape opinions, responsesand behaviours in order to support our clients’ commercial aspirations.” Addressing Arson Traders were rightfully concerned after hearing about ‘random’ fires erupting in Brighton’s West Pier, Camden Market and the Latino Market, Pueblito Paisa in Seven Sisters (supporters of our campaign). In September 2008 FoQM invited St. Modwen and the fire prevention person from the fire brigade to inspect the market for any risk areas of attack. St. Modwen has yet to decide a suitable date of inspection- let’s hope it’s soon.   ‘Friends of St. Modwen?’ In recent times groups have popped up claiming to represent the traders whilst also being in favour of the St. Modwen scheme (or in some cases just themselves). Our insiders tell us these “sporadic”groups appear not to have a democratic constitution, do not hold regular open meetings, nor AGMs, so who’s agenda are they trumpeting? Veiled threats along with divide and rule appear to be the order of the day. When it come to the the Newham Community Forums the subject of Queen's Market would appear to be sub judice - why is this? If you can find out more about them, do keep us posted.   Whatever the machinations of Newham council and its developer friends one thing is for sure, the Friends of Queen's Market will continue to articulate the legitimate concerns of shoppers, traders and local residents alike.