Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Bush police watched by millions

With thanks to a reader I've come across this extraordinary video, which has been watched by over 7.5 million people thus far. It starts with one of the many wacky performers you get outside the central line tube, in this case a clearly very talented young guy who somehow manages to create dance beats with the use only of his mouth!

Enter stage left two of the Shepherd's Bush Safer Neighbourhood Team, who it's fair to say give a frankly embarrassing account of themselves. Junior plod, who seems to have ants in his pants, even violently shoves his notebook against the camera being used to film them while senior plod gets into a very long circular argument and starts using passive aggressive tactics: "so you're saying you know the law better than us, eh?!"

At the end, the performer simply says he's off anyway, and starts packing up which should really have been it. But senior plod clearly hasn't had his fill of aggro and starts another argument by demanding to know why "you started filming me, it's not very nice is it?", followed by junior plod who keeps opening and closing his notebook warning "well, we'll clash again then won't we."

It's pretty clear both of them were itching to find an excuse to arrest the performer, who wisely resists the temptation to give them that opportunity.

I'm sure the police had to do something - after all better that than what I experienced at the hands of the Westfield heavies a couple of years ago. But having seen some of the best local police in action around the Bush, it's pretty clear that people skills are maybe not the key strengths of all of their colleagues. Must do better.

Monday, 29 April 2013

H&F Hospitals: Funeral parade

Coffins bearing the names of local hospitals set to be downgraded, including the complete loss of Accident & Emergency services, were carried through the streets on Saturday in what was hailed by Ealing Council to have been the largest ever march in that borough. I have no idea what the competition to that was, but it was a well attended march with several thousand joining the throng as it wound its way from Acton Park up to Ealing Common.

scary rides
As ever with these things there was the comedy element, as Ealing Common is currently shared with a children's funfair. So as speakers regaled the crowd with what would be the horrors of life without A&E, there were blood curdling screams coming from the next door fairground, as kids were spun and propelled around on terrifying looking rides.

But the messages were very serious and quite clear - we are not accepting these cuts, and we are not going away. That last point will not have been lost on our own Council, who it turned out had been negotiating with the bureaucrats even as they professed to be members of the Save our Hospitals campaign.

They have since produced several glossy leaflets, hand delivered at great cost to every household, to justify that decision. As the local elections approach, you can expect more glossy leaflets.

You can also see what people think of those claims in the video above, which was taken at a public meeting in Hammersmith last month - it's worth watching to the end as Peter Graham from the Council valiantly sets out their case, to be followed by a pithy response from a local.

There will be more marches, protests and rallies with the next being a London-wide event taking place on May 18th, bringing campaigners from across the capital together at Jubilee Gardens in Waterloo.

More on that from the campaign website here.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

West Ken: PR machine revs

Lucky residents of the West Kensington & Gibbs Green Estates have sent me this letter, which they are grateful to the Council and their colleagues at CapCo, the property developers for.

It couldn't be more patronising. Of the scheme, which 80% of them have fought tooth and nail, preferring to keep their community intact, it says this:
"we have always believed it will make lives better for you, the estates residents"
Oh! Silly me! It was about making residents lives better all along. But hang on, what's this, just days earlier?
“This major regeneration could lead the way in lifting the country out of recession – ploughing hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment into London’s economy"
Could that be the same Nick Botterill, Leader of H&F? It surely could. Only in this borough, from this administration, would you hear the sort of North Korean hyperbole that claims a single luxury flat development is going to single handedly lift the United Kingdom out of the deepest recession since the Wall Street Crash.

Either way, it ignores the inconvenient fact that there is a Court battle to get through first, which commences on July 17th.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Planning application details for Television Centre on show

The proposed look

Developers Stanhope and the BBC have today launched their detailed plans to open up and transform Television Centre into a mixed use development including office and studio space for the BBC, complementary entertainment and leisure facilities, public open space, offices, housing and a hotel.

For the first time, Television Centre will be opened up to the public and the famous forecourt remodelled and enlivened by new retail, leisure and entertainment uses together with access through the site providing connectivity with the local area, including Hammersmith Park. The BBC will continue to have a significant presence at Television Centre: BBC Studios and Post Production will return in 2015 to operate three state-of-the-art studios to serve television production in the South East in addition to their studios at Elstree, and provide new and enhanced facilities for BBC audiences, talent and production staff; and from 2014, BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial operation, will move into a public-facing corporate headquarters, following refurbishment of Stage 6.

The remaining office space will be aimed at occupiers in the creative sector providing new employment opportunities and there will be a variety of public uses, including a cinema, health club, restaurants and cafes, which will benefit the local community. The much-loved listed buildings at Television Centre will be retained. As part of opening up the site, the audience experience will be greatly enhanced, with new facilities - there are a number of emerging ideas about exactly what this audience experience might be, but nothing has yet been finalised. Stanhope and the BBC have established a joint venture company, TVC Developments Ltd, to deliver the project, to identify further BBC legacy opportunities going forward and to integrate the proposals into the wider White City Opportunity Area.

David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope Plc, said:
“Stanhope is working in partnership with the BBC to deliver a publicly accessible mixed use remodelling of these iconic buildings and redevelopment of the adjoining land. The BBC will continue to have a significant presence at Television Centre and we will be bringing new life into the site with new public routes, spaces and uses. We will be introducing a vibrant and exciting mix of new retail, leisure, office and residential uses whilst keeping and enhancing the famous original BBC buildings and retaining key operational BBC studios and office facilities on site. Television Centre will be a great place to live, work and visit.”
Dominic Coles, BBC Director of Operations, said:
“We are very excited to be working in this unique partnership with Stanhope to redevelop Television Centre into a truly public space that builds on its history, protects its place in the local community and greatly improves the audience and visitor experience, with better facilities and attractions for those coming to see shows recorded in its iconic studios from 2015. This development will not only deliver a legacy befitting a site of such historical significance but also is part of a BBC property strategy which is maximising value for money for the licence fee payer and releasing fresh funding for programming making.”
So what, exactly, is new? Here's a full and very detailed run down, for which I am grateful to the PR people on the project: 
  • Plot A - The current ‘Stages 4 and 5’ buildings will be remodelled and refurbished to provide retail, leisure and office space, called The Television Factory it will be a new creative hub for businesses in the area that will house up to 3,000 people. The listed buildings and the remodelled forecourt, frontage and elevation of Television Centre from Wood Lane will be retained. It is intended that the location and continued presence of the BBC will attract creative and media companies to Television Centre. The Forecourt will be remodelled as a large space predominantly hard landscaped for pedestrians, it is envisaged that a range of activities can take place including events such as filming, farmers markets and occasional concerts.
  • Plot B - The ‘Inner Ring’ of Television Centre will be sensitively refurbished to provide space for a boutique hotel and a series of residential apartments. Helios Plaza, at the heart of Television Centre will be sensitively remodelled to enhance the setting of the Helios Sculpture and fountain by TB Huxley Jones. A new concentric courtyard will be shared with Plot C (the ‘Crescent’).
  • Plot C – The ‘Crescent’ will accommodate five clusters of dwellings in ‘mansion block’ style buildings looking over Hammersmith Park or the new courtyard. The height of Plot C is kept to a lower level than the height of the ‘Inner Ring’ to give the existing prominence over the new.
  • Plot D – The existing ‘Restaurant Block’ will be replaced with a new residential scheme designed by Duggan Morris. The intention is that this building will hold the northern frontage facing on to Hammersmith Park, and will respond to the scale of the ‘Crescent’.
  • Plot E – The sequence of buildings that replace the ‘Drama Block’ will enclose a central courtyard and are designed to maximise the amount of dual aspect accommodation. The building tiers down in scale in order to maximise opportunities for sun and daylight to penetrate into the central space. It also responds to the scale of the neighbouring streets and creates a ‘book end’ frontage to Hammersmith Park, at a similar scale to the new crescent building.
  • Plot F – two rows of town houses are located to the south of the site around a ‘Village Green’. These dwellings provide family accommodation with private rear gardens. The scale and form of these buildings aim to complement that of the houses which back onto the site from Frithville Gardens.
  • Plot G – The scheme proposes the demolition of the existing ‘East Tower’ so it can be replaced with a more slender and appropriately sited building. The footprint of this building is split into two elements which step up in height from the ‘Drama Block’ towards Wood Lane. The tower sits closer to Wood Lane to engage the building with the wider urban context. This provides an urban marker, mirroring that of the masterplan for the extension to Westfield. This building is curved in plan which responds to the concentric layout of the site also allows the route adjacent to the viaduct to be opened up.
  • Plot H – The building on Plot H replaces the existing Multi Storey Car Park on Wood Lane and is designed by Maccreanor Lavington. The buildings step up from the scale of houses in Macfarlane Road and re-introduces Macfarlane Place as a pedestrian route connecting through the open viaduct arch to the remainder of the masterplan. Plot J - ‘Studios 1-3’ will be refitted as ‘state of the art’ studio space and will continue to be operated by BBC Studios and Post Production (S&PP). The opening up of the site enables the audience and ‘talent’ experience to be greatly enhanced.
  • BBC Worldwide will be housed in a new headquarters in a refurbishment of the ‘Stage 6’ building fronting Wood Lane, with the internal works designed by HOK.
  • There will be approximately 1,000 new residential units and townhouses in total, including affordable housing and c 575 car parking spaces. All the housing will benefit from access to new open spaces and courtyards in the development as well as access to Hammersmith Park.
  • New built residences will have the use of terraces at ground floor levels and balconies, winter gardens or roof gardens at upper levels.
  • The new public realm reinvents the existing forecourt and Helios Plaza as attractive public spaces, which gives an address on to Wood Lane and provide a backdrop for varied activities.
  • The masterplan respects the existing massing of the Television Centre building; it builds a new tower to replace the existing tower and places housing to address boundaries with existing low rise residential areas and the park.
  • RIBA award winning practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris is Stanhope’s lead architect on the project, supported by Maccreanor Lavington and Duggan Morris.
  • The commercial accommodation will achieve an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating and the residential accommodation will achieve Code for Sustainable Homes ‘level 4’. The masterplan embraces a holistic and site-wide approach to sustainability.
The Television Centre site is 14 acres and was the former site of the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition. It officially opened in June 1960 and was designed by the architects Norman and Dawbarn and appears to be like a question mark in shape. The central ‘ inner ring’ of the building and the front flank of Studio 1 are Grade II listed as special interest and these listed elements of Television Centre will be retained and enhanced, including the instantly recognisable exterior view. 

The site has been expanded over the last 60 years and there is currently 1.6m sq ft of existing buildings dating from the 1950s-1990s, and operates as one building from a services point of view. The site is designated for employment, media/creative and residential uses in the GLA’s White City Opportunity Area Planning Framework which also envisaged the opening up of the site. The uses identified for Television Centre will complement the other regeneration sites in the White City Area.

Stanhope and the BBC will be holding a public exhibition on the plans at:

Reception BBC Television Centre, Wood Lane, W12
  • 24 April 2013 17.00 – 20.00
  • 25 April 2013 14.00 – 20.00
  • 27 April 2013 10.00 – 16.00

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

West Ken stand-off set for Summer

West Ken campaigners
At an oral hearing this afternoon, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, Clive Lewis QC refused permission for judicial review of Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s decision to sell the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates to Earl’s Court developer Capco. At the same time he dismissed the Council’s application for costs.

In his judgment, the Judge said:
"The Claimant is Mr Greatwood. He is a secure tenant on the West Kensington estate. He has lived there for 20 years. It is his home. It is not surprising he is concerned and worried about this proposal. It is not surprising that he has brought the matter before this Court. He is supported by a number of other tenants who are also concerned, as you would expect, about the impact on their homes and the places where they live. Mr Greatwood, has, if I may say, put forward his arguments carefully and moderately".

"I pay tribute to Mr Greatwood and his supporters for the careful, considered and moderate way in which they have put these arguments in this Court".

"Firstly, I take on board the point that this is a matter of very great importance to Mr Greatwood and his friends. He is a secure tenant on these estates; he has lived there for 20 years. This is his home. He was perfectly entitled, in my judgment, to challenge the lawfulness of the decision. Secondly, the way he has conducted himself, in my judgment, is exemplary. He has done everything he can to assist this Court by focusing his arguments and taking points that appear sensible. He has done everything he can to marshal quite difficult material and papers. In my judgement, his conduct cannot be criticised in any way whatsoever".

"In relation to the order of Mr Justice Mitting, … he did not think it would be appropriate to order costs. What Mr Greatwood then did, very sensibly, was reconsider matters; he abandoned certain grounds; he had new facts, which have come to light afterwards; and again, he proceeded very reasonably. So, in my judgment, it would be inappropriate to order the costs of the Acknowledgment of Service. So, whilst I fully understand the application made by the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham … the application for costs is dismissed".
Upon advice, the Claimant has decided not to appeal the Judge’s decision. Harold Greatwood said:
"I was very heartened that the judge welcomed my right to challenge this scheme in the High Court. He said it was not surprising that me and my neighbours should be worried and concerned; and he paid tribute to the enormous amount of work that me and my friends have put into this case".

"I’m not going anywhere, and I know that the majority of my neighbours shall also be staying put. We’re back in court this summer. It’s far from over: we fight to the bitter end".
"going nowhere": West Ken & Gibbs Green residents
 Residents return to the High Court on 17 July for a substantive hearing to consider their challenge of the Council’s planning policy that underpins the Earl’s Court scheme. The Claimants are the West Kensington & Gibbs Green Tenants & Residents Associations; the Defendants are the London Boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea; and the Interested Parties are EC Properties, Transport for London and the Greater London Authority.

Community Organiser for the estates, Jonathan Rosenberg said:
"Residents are absolutely determined to use every lawful means to defend their community and save their homes"

"At £8 billion this is the largest redevelopment in the world outside of China. Despite the Government’s ambition to limit judicial review claims, this judgement confirms there is still a corner of English justice where ordinary persons can challenge decisions that sorely affect them, decisions that are made by the powerful to benefit the rich at the expense of the poor".
Cllr Nicholas Botterill, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, however, is a happy man:
“The redevelopment of Earls Court is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the local residents to benefit from a multi-billion pound investment in their own neighbourhood. We will be working closely with local residents to ensure they are the main beneficiaries of this scheme.

“This major regeneration could lead the way in lifting the country out of recession – ploughing hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment into London’s economy and bringing thousands of new homes and jobs."

The Oak W12 comes to the Seven Stars roundabout

Bush Blog Editor Simon Grange gives the lowdown on a new pub set to grace the Bush...

 The Oak W12 is due to open on the Seven Stars roundabout in mid-May.

The lease of the former Grand Union pub on the corner of Goldhawk Road and Paddenswick Road has been acquired by Glass Investments, headed by Jasper Gorst. Glass Investments currently operate three other successful pub restaurants, including the Bird in Hand on Masbro Road, Brook Green which they took over last year; the other two being The Oak in Westbourne Park Road, and The Old White Bear in Hampstead.

Like The Oak in Westbourne Grove, The Oak W12 will serve wood fired pizzas as well as an à la carte menu influenced by Mediterranean Italy, Spain and regional France.

Unusually, Jasper is not only a restaurateur but also a designer; not only is he responsible for running the business, but in fact he has designed everything in the interior, including all the furniture and fittings, many of which are being made for him locally by Leather Chairs of England in Acton

Having lived in the Bush for fifteen years, he believes that recent pub closures in the area haven’t simply been a consequence of the current economic climate but reflect a failing on the part of some pubs and restaurants to cater to the changing and more demanding tastes of customers. The success of cosy and excellent gastro pubs in the Bush such as the Anglesea and the Princess Victoria, and the demise of other “traditional boozers” would also indicate an upward shift in the local demographic.

Let’s wish Jasper and his team the The Oak every success and hope that his confidence in the area will inspire others to tidy up this slightly shabby corner of the Bush.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Pickles gives West Ken green light, court battle looms

Local Government Secretary of State Eric Pickles has given the nod to our Council's controversial scheme to evict the residents of the West Kensington & Gibbs Green estates in order that property developer CapCo can pursue the Earl's Court redevelopment. The problem is that the majority of residents do not want to leave.

Bullying has been the order of the day, while the courts have taken a dim view of our Council's approach, to put it mildly. That bodes ill for the scheme in the forthcoming legal tussle, the first salvoes of which will be fired tomorrow, with a hearing to consider the case brought by resident Harold Greatwood for a judicial review of the way our Council has behaved.

West Ken & Gibbs Green Estate
 Even Mr Pickles, who has described this Council in glowing terms, is in no doubt about their excesses. It was he who finally forced the withdrawal of propaganda sheet "H&F News", very much against their wishes, while his letter of consent which you can read by clicking on it above is very explicit about the Council not being allowed to take shares in CapCo as the scheme moves forward. It does not, of course, forbid individual councillors from doing so as private citizens.

Reacting to the news Jonathan Rosenberg, community organiser on the estates, had this to say:
"The Government has consented to the sale of people’s homes to a tax-havened property speculator against the wishes of 80% of residents. Yet, it won’t implement the law it promised to allow residents to take ownership of their estates. The Prime Minister promised power to the people. Rather than the Big Society, his Government has chosen Big Bucks".
While Andy Slaughter MP had some questions:
"What is extraordinary are the reasons Mr Pickles give. He thinks £90 million is a good price for one third of a development said to be worth £8 billion. Many independent experts - including the District Valuer who advised the Council - queried this, saying that at the least there should be reviews over the 20-year life of the project to see if it was continuing good value for the taxpayer.

But Pickles has changed the rules, so provided the deal is worth more than the debt remaining on the existing housing (£11m), he is not interested in whether H&F residents make a gift to CapCo worth hundreds of millions".
Tomorrow the High Court will hear from resident Harold Greatwood who has this to say:
“Arguably, the Council’s decision to sell the estates was unlawful because the scheme was not ready, the wrong people were consulted, and support for demolition from some residents was induced by the offer of preferential treatment.

I’m fighting alongside my neighbours to save our homes from being redeveloped. Why should tax-havened off shore interests benefit from destroying our community and wrecking all the trade generated by the Exhibition Centres?”
He has lodged a case for judicial review on three grounds, which are that:

The Council’s decision on 3 September 2012 to enter into a conditional land sale agreement with developer Capco was irrational and unlawful because:
  1. It did not take account of the uncertainty about whether Transport London would include the Lillie Bridge Depot (a critical maintenance facility for the London Underground) in the development. It hid that vital information from the decision makers and the public and it failed to obtain assurances from TfL. The Council should not have taken so premature a decision, given the risks involved, the financial disadvantages of such an early commitment to Capco and the impact on residents. 
  2. Without authorisation it extended the consultation area to 30,000 households, which was grossly unfair because it swamped residents’ views. Instead of confining the consultation to North Fulham, as decided by Cabinet, it consulted people as far away as Putney and Hammersmith Broadway. 68% of households on the estates as against 2% from the “wider area” responded to the consultation. Even though the estates voted 4:1 against demolition, the Council decided: “when all the views of consultees are considered, the proportion against the proposal (47%) is not much greater than the proportion in favour (45%)”. 
  3. It failed to correct residents’ perception that the Council had made them preferential offers of new council homes in Seagrave Road. This led to the consultation showing greater support for the scheme, which was relied on by the Council in reaching its decision. Because of these commitments, the Council would be unable to meet its “one move promise”. The Council’s proposal in its draft Local Lettings Policy that “preference will be given to the resident with the earlier date the relevant contract was signed” had no rational basis and was not a proper or relevant factor to be taken into account in allocating properties

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Bush Hall: Sneak Preview

Bush Hall

News of an exciting new phase in the life of Bush Hall from Bush Blog Editor Nathalie Bristow

OPENS MAY 2013!!

What's not to love about Bush Hall? Set-up and owned by Charlie Raworth and Emma Hutchinson, this husband and wife team are responsible for music for everyone in W12 6m to 106 years between Bush Hall gigs and Music House for Children. They have single-handedly preserved the wonderful Edwardian music hall for all to admire and although we love the chicken shops along Uxbridge Road, of course, Bush Hall is a beacon of coolness in our midst.

But listen up Bushites, you will have notice a bit of facelifting going on at our lovely Bush Hall and it is because this powerhouse couple are now throwing even more fun our way - a restaurant! The Bush Hall Dining Rooms open in late may and will, quite simply, be brilliant.

A brilliant local chef (ex-Annies) Tim Tapper. Annies loss is our gain! I'll let you know as soon as it opens about the menu... I intend to be their first customer.

A brilliant local interior designer Clare Nash in whose beautifully designed interiors I have languished in many an other restaurant or too.

All built by brilliant local builders and yes, you will know them too, Tom pops up everywhere and is a W12 institution.
Dining Rooms: Artist impression

All brilliantly bank-rolled by Charlie and Emma to the tune of £750,000. For us to eat well in W12.

So, how do we thank these W12 entrepreneurial minstrals? Easy. Just go to the Bush Hall Dining Rooms. Go there for breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner. Go there for your meetings, you dates, your pre-gig supper, your early morning coffee. Just go there to support this great local empire's reincarnation as even better than before.

Repeat, after me - I will go to the Bush Hall Dining Rooms all the time and tell all my friends to do the same... I will go to the Bush Hall Dining Rooms all the time and tell me friends to do the same... I will go to the Bush Hall Dining Rooms...

Find our more @BushHallDining or www.bushhalldining.wordpress.com

Friday, 19 April 2013


Bush Blog Editor Simon Grange takes up the issue of spelling in W6...

Now that the Askew Road “Bup” is not only “close” but has been razed to the ground to make way for a new development, the prize for “Most exotic notice in a shop window” lies unallocated.   I put this forward as a contender, spotted on King Street at the Eat Tokyo Japanese restaurant.  Closer examination of the sign in the door reveals this to be the “Hammathmith branch” [sic].  Are there any other gems out there that are in contention for the award?

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Boy stabbed in the Bush

BBC London are reporting that there has been another stabbing, this time of a boy aged 15 who was attacked on Foxglove Street near the junction between Old Oak Road and the A40 yesterday evening at about 1925.

Those of us who live higher up the Uxbridge Road usually alternate between Shepherd's Bush station and East Acton and those who use the latter will be familiar with this road. It isn't known as a hotbed of violence but one or two roads up certainly is.

The residents of Hemlock Road include a group responsible for sexual assaults, random stabbings and violence against police officers. It has also been the venue for doorstep shootings. Most residents of this part of W12 can make a pretty good guess at which front doors the police will be knocking in the next few days.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

West Ken: Residents prompt lock down of PR firm

TfL man appears to accept petition c/o BBC London
The battle between residents who want to save their homes and our Council broke into the open last week in chaotic scenes as a central London office block was ordered into lockdown by the PR firm supporting our local authority and their colleagues CapCo, the property developers.

Edelman PR Managing Director Chris Rumfitt, who apparently describes himself as "the last Blairite in the Labour Party" was none too pleased to see the residents, demanding that only one of them accompany Andy Slaughter into their offices. But the residents wanted to hand over a petition and were going nowhere, so Mr Rumfitt eventually appeared.

People meet power: resident hands petition to PR chief Chris Rumfitt (c/o A Wiard)
Accepting the petition, which was also delivered to the Department for Communities and Local Government, Transport for London and CapCo, Mr Rumfitt didn't stay for long and shortly afterwards issued a press release to PR Week in response to complaints that the office lockdown had effectively barred not only protestors but other people working in the same building. They said:
"Along with four other organisations, Edelman received a small, well-behaved and peaceful protest related to our work on the Earls Court development on Wednesday. We were pleased to go down and meet with the protestors, listen to their concerns and continue the dialogue we have been engaging in with them over the past five years. We are proud of our work on the Earls Court development, which guarantees every single one of the residents a new home within the development".
Andy Slaughter had a more pithy view of things:
"I was impressed to see how easily the People’s Estates ran rings round “the world’s largest independent Public Relations Agency”, which claims to “provide strategic thinking and deliver high-impact campaigns, across the full spectrum of communications”
While Keith Drew, Chair of West Ken Gibbs Green Community Homes said:
"Edelman trumpets its international awards and boasts an: 'Edelman Trust Barometer'. Yet, when a few council tenants tried to deliver a letter to its Managing Director of Public Affairs for London, he locked down a major headquarters building in the heart of the Capital. Had our MP not pleaded he come on down, the Police would have stormed the building to drag him out to face his constituents!

"Edelman is bungling the 'promotion' of the largest speculative redevelopment in the world outside of China, the £8 Billion Earl’s Court scheme that would destroy 761 decent homes, a cohesive community, 500 UK manufacturing jobs, thousands of jobs dependant on the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centres, damage this country’s international trade, and deprive the Treasury of billions in tax revenues; all to benefit off-shore interests and tax-havened companies at the height of a property-busted recession.

"Edelman's client, CapCo, has blown £40 million on this futile enterprise, so I wasn't surprised their Directors were too ashamed to come out. I was delighted we so spectacularly embarrassed Edelman, a company that employs 4,500 people in 66 offices worldwide. I can't understand how they reconcile their stated positions with their client accounts. So much for Patriotism, Localism and the Big Society!"
We heard last week that our Council has effectively accepted that it has run out of time to force the Shepherd's Bush Market scheme through before the next local elections; residents up the road in West Ken will be hoping they can push their own battle over that line too, before crossing their fingers before polling day.