How Wandsworth Council is recycling failed councillors

Author: Cyril Richert

Wandsworth Conservatives - Not Delivering for You posters (original on wandsworthconservatives.co.uk)

Wandsworth Conservatives – original photo on wandsworthconservatives.co.uk

On Thursday 9th November, John Locker was elected councillor in the safe Tory ward of Thamesfield (I always remember what a Society member told me a while ago: “if the Tory party was putting a monkey up for election in that ward, he would get elected“). The name might ring a bell as John Locker was ousted from Bedford ward at the last local election in 2014, where Labour’s Rosena Allin-Khan and Fleur Anderson were elected. That is how Wandsworth Tory party is thanking obedient Tory councillors, by making sure they find a safe place where they can stay with a pretence of power. Continue reading

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Wandsworth Council is threatening to tear down homes of Ganley Court

Author: Dr Neil Mason

Ganley Court homeowners protesting at the latest Council’s exhibition for the Winstanley/York estates redevelopment

The Ganley Court homeowners on the Winstanley Estate are fighting the proposed plans to demolish their homes as part of a regeneration masterplan.

They support the wider regeneration of the estate but completely reject this masterplan in its current form. The residents feel the proposed demolition of their low rise family homes to facilitate the building of a neighbourhood of dense skyscrapers is simply unacceptable. They are dismayed and distraught at the horrendous offer to be rehoused in new tower blocks on a shared equity basis. 

This regeneration project is making a mockery of planning rules.  The plans are changing and misleading at every stage and the buildings are getting higher, e.g. the latest addition of housing on top of the community centre, library and leisure centre with several 20-25 towers along the park. Continue reading

Appalling exhibition on the future of the Winstanley/Clapham Junction Station area

Author: Cyril Richert

Did you support the two 42-storeys towers at Clapham Junction station in 2009? If so you will be very pleased that Wandsworth Council is now pushing for such avision, but with a more ambitious project transforming of the full area into a small Canary Wharf type development!

For others, you will wonder if you should cry or laugh, but you will certainly be flabbergasted by the vision presented by the Winstanley York Road regeneration team. Continue reading

Public consultation: a necessary evil for the Council?

Author: Cyril Richert

'Excellent! So that's all agreed, then! All we need do now is draft the consultation document.' (cartoonstock.com)Wandsworth Council, like all other public authorities is used to run consultations. Some might consider that consultations are un-necessary: local elections are providing elected Councillors who have the legitimate power to make decisions. But most will argue that the consultation is part of a vibrant democratic process where the local government needs to seek (and not dismiss) the support of the residents to implement preferences. The fact is also that most of the consultations are mandatory as part of the local authority statutory duty. Continue reading

Replacement of Northcote library has been given the thumbs up by Tory Councillors

Authors: Amelia Milne & Cyril Richert

On Tuesday 19 September, Councillors from the Overview & Scrutiny Committee were asked to back the scheme to replace the current Northcote library by a block of flat, and rebuild a new library facility with facilities and more residential units on the Chatham Hall site.

Attending the meeting were Councillors O’Broin (Chairman); Councillor Ms Torrington (Deputy Chairman); Councillors Anderson, Belton, Field, Hart, Jones, Lescott, Nardelli, Stokes, Mrs. Strickland and Walsh.

With no surprise the meeting reflected the division on party line : Conservatives all in favour of the plan supported by Cllr Dawson and Cllr Cook, Labour Councillors taking local residents’ side and opposing the proposal [1]. Continue reading

CJTCP – Presentation of the Business study for Clapham Junction

Author: Cyril Richert

On Tuesday 19 September, The Means, appointed by the Council, presented the results of their feasibility study on the future of Clapham Junction town Centre. The company has been appointed by the Council to look into the different possibilities for the town centre business organisations to move to self funding. A Business Improvement District (business lead organisation funded by businesses) is the preferred option. Continue reading