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.