Betrayal of a Community

Press Release by Salvinder Dhillon, Indian Welfare Association

Last night, Thursday 25th March 2010, the Mayor of London betrayed the Southall community. Boris Johnson used his powers to overturn the decision of our community rejecting the plans to build 3,750 homes on the Southall Gas Works site.

The entire community was against this dangerous development posing serious health hazards for the community and subjecting our lives to frustrations of horrendous traffic congestion. He used the argument that the plans would have a minimal affect on the quality of life of our community and sugar coated the proposals as being “beneficial” to the community. The Mayor and some council representatives were happy at money being provided by National Grid, the developers, as horse trading. National Grid was joyful at the decision of the Mayor showing his loyalty to protecting commercial interests of private concerns.

Taranjit Chana, from Save Our Southall, Joe Sidhu, governor of Beaconsfield Primary School, Salvinder Dhillon from Indian Welfare Association and founder of Save Our Southall, Councillor Zahida Abbas Noori , Chris Murell from the Southall Water Tower along with community representatives from Hayes, Hillingdon and Ealing spoke forcefully and passionately against the Gas Works development. The meeting was well attended by campaigners and their supporters.

The Mayor was told that the decision of the Mayor was a betrayal of our community and our community was repeatedly a victim of sham consultations and democracy. All along their opinions have been ignored and wishes neglected. Moreover report on which the Mayor formed his decision was inaccurate. He was asked to take part in a public debate involving local campaign groups along with community leaders and attended by the community. The Mayor can approve the plans if he has a majority. Otherwise he must scrap them. The Mayor showed no interest in democracy involving the community. Instead he used his powers to please the developers and sell out the community.

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6 Responses to Betrayal of a Community

  1. Eric Leach says:

    This is an awful decision. The only vehicular access to these 3,500 homes is the centre of Southall which is already heavily congested. Informal estimates of the current population of Southall are around 150,000. This suggests very high occupancy rates. So four people per new home would see that population rise to 164,000. In other words bigger than the cities of Oxford, Perborough and Dundee.

    However the decision is consistent with Ealing Council’s unapproved LDF plans to build over 10,000 homes within 800 metres of Southall, West Ealing, Ealing Broadway and Acton Stations by 2026.

    Of course it’s unclear where the children in the new homes would be educated; where all the incomers would recieve healthcare and how the new private gated estates would be Policed.

  2. Campaign Supporter says:

    No surprise Sharma, Gurcharan, Gupta and Manjit cam to the Gurudwara at Park Avenue to show their faces, but did not bother to join the others to attend the hearing in London.

    To their credit Randhir, Noori, Kang, Anand, Dhami and Bagga made the effort to support the people of Southall by attending the hearing.

    Other people present included campaigners from Save Our Southall and from Friends of the Earth. Jo Sidhu was also present with the Headteacher from Beaconsfield Road Primary School

  3. Vote Independent says:

    The Conservative leader of Ealing council Jason Stacey was recently quoted by The Guardian in making the following statement:

    “The planning application for the Southall Gas Works site was refused after long and careful consideration by Ealing Council’s Planning Committee. The decision reached was based on real concerns being expressed by councillors and residents of the area alike about aspects of the application and aided by the local knowledge and expertise that local councillors bring to these planning discussions.

    It is regrettable that the principles of local democracy may now be overturned by the Mayor and I would reiterate that the reason for refusal of the application remains as valid now as it did when the Planning Committee took the decision. Any attempt to ignore this and impose this development without addressing these issues upon Southall would be wrong and fly in the face of the principle of borough’s being best placed to make decisions on behalf of their local community.”

    It is interesting that so far there has been little response from Ealing council to this horrendous decision by the Mayor. Nor has there been any reaction by Gurcharan Singh.

    Did any Conservative councillors attend the hearing?

  4. Pingback: Tory Localism In Action

  5. Southall Lad says:

    Gurcharan is apparently dissapointed with the decision – he’s tweeted to that effect anyway. It seems as though he’s already taking action – this is what he tweeted last on the matter:

    “Mtg with the leader of the council re decision of the Mayor of Ldn re Gas Bd site.Will b asking him to go4judicial review of the decision”

  6. Southall Lad says:

    Following up from my last post:

    “Mr. Sharma, I said it before and say it again that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones on other.”

    The Southall Gasworks decision – my response to Sharma and my commitment to the community. Gurcharan Singh

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