Thursday 31 May 2018

Alison Hopkins rages against the machines - both mechanical and political!

Former Liberal Democrat councillor and Dollis Hill resident Alison Hopkins has reacted angrily to Sadiq Khan's decision to allow the Cricklewood Aggregate Superhub to go ahead.
In a statement for Wembley Matters she said:

This just shows that protests by some Brent councillors to the Mayor of London were simply grandstanding in the run up to the election: those photos of them wearing facemasks were a stunt. When Brent Labour realised the depth of fury at the proposals for both the aggregate terminal (Cricklewood Superhub) and the waste transfer facility (WTF), Cllr Butt hastily asked Barnet to arrange a so-called “consultation” meeting at the Crown, earlier this year. But, Brent councillors had ALREADY had presentations from Barnet about how wonderful Brent Cross would be back in October 2017! They didn’t bother telling any residents about the WTF planning application though – and there have been far too many cosy behind the scenes meeting between both the Leaders of both councils and senior officers, as well as with developers. 

Sadiq Khan is the latest Mayor of London not to support people in Brent, Barnet and Camden who oppose the Brent Cross “Regeneration” and the resulting mess. Livingstone lauded it, Boris approved it and Sadiq has rolled over in front of the juggernaut that is Hammersons and the Brent Cross developers. There’s far too much cosiness in all this. Originally, for example, the North London Waste Authority objected to moving their WTF to “our” side of the tracks. . They suddenly withdrew ALL objections at the last possible moment . I've done several FoI requests since, but they are evasive as hell on the subject. Add in the fact that the developers have consistently been mendacious about so called consultations and the results of said consultations and you’ve the perfect storm. 

As I’ve said before, those of us who live on the edges of Brent and Barnet are ignored by our respective councils. In Dollis Hill we could end up being the filling in a sandwich of rubbish dump and aggregate terminal. 

For Brent, it’s all about Wembley. And shops. For Barnet, it's all about Brent Cross. And shops. Not much difference between them, is there? 

I've asked Barnet Council when the WTF will go to their Planning Committee, but they’re being very evasive on that. The recent rubber stamping of what’s known as the Brent Cross CPO3 – Compulsory Purchase Order 3 – by the Secretary of State might have been a very different matter if there had been real political opposition from Brent councillors and MPs. But instead, what happened was active support by Brent for road layout changes which will have an appalling impact on people in Dollis Hill and Cricklewood. 

But then, I’ve an email from one from one councillor who thinks the WTF isn't that bad – and during the elections, Labour canvassers and councillors simply didn’t know the difference between the aggregate terminal and the WTF. One of them actually told me that the WTF had been given planning permission by Paul Lorber. (!) They also consistently told local people that it was far too late to stop the dump or the aggregate terminal. That really wasn’t the case, but it would have taken real political will and challenge which seems to have vanished entirely. 

Both the WTF and aggregate super hub are a disaster for us all. It's also appalling that what used to be a cross party and almost all party campaign against the so-called Brent Cross regeneration  is now not. This transcends party politics and ought to have had proper opposition from Brent and from local MPs as it once did. Navin and both Carolines are honourable exceptions in all this, as are the local Greens, but who is actually standing up for us?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of Brent Labour councillors don't give a damn about the people whose interests they are meant to represent, yet the majority of those who could be bothered to vote elected them to virtually all the seats on the Council. It beggars belief!!!