Wednesday, 18 April 2012
What they say vs what they do
'Housing estates should be bulldozed because they don't vote Tory'
Readers, you would be truly amazed to hear some of the comments that our Tory Councillors make. Sometimes this may be an aside, something they don't wish you to hear, but more often it's shouted loud and proud in full Council meetings.
We have one tonight. I wonder what they will let slip?
Now we are discussing the regeneration of parts of North Kensington. Do you think the Councillors who say these things about our neighbourhood should be in charge of it? Can we trust people who say: 'North Kensington is like East Berlin with all the concrete buildings'
One of our senior Tories who has a say in Planning, once said of Trellick Tower, a Grade II* listed building very much admired in the international architecture community: 'a monstrosity not worth putting a lightbulb in'
So will they ask residents what they want, or will they do what they think is 'good for us'? Given that one of them said: 'We don't DO community consultation', I wonder if they will. After all the residents of what was called: 'A dung heap' can hardly be trusted, can they?
Now, under the Localism Act, they will be formally obliged to consult, to listen, and to act to residents' aspirations. So we would like to say, 'Shape up; we are watching you'.
And by the way, yes, I do remember who said what.
POSTSCRIPT: What we asked for was reasonable and fair, and well within the guidelines of the new Localism Act which, despite some notable weaknesses, should be good news for community consultation. We offered our support, and to cooperate by encouraging commitment from the local community for the Crossrail station at Kensal Gasworks. We gently suggested that it could be rebranded:
But sadly control-freakery won the night. The Tory amendment demanded that we agree 'unequivocally' to support the station. As my ward colleague stated 'NO BLANK CHEQUE'. Why would we agree to something for which the terms have yet to be stated? Planning have told us that plans for the Gasworks 'are evolving as we speak'. And yet the Tories told us it was 'too early for any discussion'. It's the 'too early-too late' game they play on major planning sites, and it's most unworthy. Remember, we are watching you!