East End comic Lee Hurst joins park campaign

EAST London funnyman Lee Hurst has given his backing to a campaign to stop a Wapping park being dug up to make way for a super sewer.

The Limehouse-based comedian has joined 1,200 protesters in a petition to save King Edward Memorial Park from being excavated.

Thames Water, carrying out works on the �3.6billion project in the coming years, has not yet said which sites are definitely being used but residents are fearful the park is in the firing line.

Mr Hurst, whose ran Bethnal Green’s comedy club The Fymfyg before it shut for refurbishment in December, said he and the protesters would put up a “stiff fight” to stop the works.

He added: “I think it’s a dreadful idea that one of the best locations for East Enders to enjoy a stroll and great view of the River Thames is to be ruined by this construction project.

I guess we are being walked over again as it saves them having to bother the City.

Why don’t they position it near City Hall where there has already been massive development?”

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Mr Hurst regularly walks his dog in the park, in Glamis Road, and is urging Thames Water to think again when the public consultation ends this Friday.

On Sunday, a group of residents rallied at the park to gain support for their campaign, Save KEMP (King Edward Memorial Park).

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said the current proposal would leave a “permanent scar” on the banks of the river.

The consultation has been running since September and Thames Water has held four full days of public exhibitions in Tower Hamlets.

It has received almost 250 responses so far from residents in the borough.

Thames Water said no decisions have been made yet and urge people to register their views at www.thamestunnelconsultation.co.uk or by e-mail to thames.tunnel@thameswater.co.uk.