Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Media Coverage

We are pleased to report that local and national media have picked up on our plight.

On Sunday 14th June the BBC Politics Show reported on our situation with the Council and highlighted the considerable discrepancies in the Council's message about their plans e.g. last week the Council’s press office told the BBC that there had been "Absolutely no discussions with any developers about the site" yet there is video of the Conservative Leader of the Council, Stephen Greenhalgh, admitting on 29th April (under pressure from residents) that there have in fact been talks (see link below). Likewise the property speculator in question confirmed to the BBC last week that he has indeed been in talks with the Council and would be 'very interested' in getting involved in 'rebuilding' of Queen Caroline - in other words, demolition of our homes. And (worryingly) they expressed confidence in this going ahead at some point.

One of the most noticeable omissions in all of this is that there has never been any mention of rebuilding the estate for the current residents. We are absolutely certain that we are not the intended recipients of the supposed 'opportunities' that Councillor Greenhalgh refers to when trying to wriggle out of the corner he has backed into!

After all, we all know that property speculators are not philanthropic businesses. They will want to maximise profits and we know who gets hurt....

Three residents from Queen Caroline were interviewed on the Politics Show and expressed their deep distress and concern about what is being planned for us and about the lack of transparency and honesty in the process. They talked about the impact on their lives of the current threat to their security. One, whose child has recently been diagnosed with autism and needs stability even more than all children, explained just how negative an impact this kind of uncertainty is having on her child.

Our local Labour Councillor Stephen Cowan (who strongly supports our cause) was interviewed live on the Politics Show but regrettably none of the ruling Conservative Councillors (i.e. those responsible for secretly planning to sell our homes) made themselves available. Our understanding is that one of the Councillors was meant to represent their side of the story but became mysteriously unavailable. The very least they could have done was turn up to be held accountable to the public. Or perhaps they don't view themselves as public servants? You can draw your own conclusions as to why neither the Conservative Leader of the Council, Stephen Greenhalgh, nor the Cabinet Member for Housing, Lucy Ivimy showed up.

Instead they sent along Nick Johnson, the Chief Executive of the Managing Agents, Hammersmith and Fulham Homes. This poor man seemed woefully ill-informed and probably felt somewhat compromised by the situation he found himself in. Even though he had just seen the video of Stephen Greenhalgh admitting to talks with developers and refusing to allay fears of residents he could do nothing but toe the party line and say there are "No firm plans".

Will they still be saying this when the bulldozers come?

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