Boris Ridicules Southall Residents

southall gasworksThanks to the guys at Boris Watch for sharing the link to the 2010 London Planning Awards speech by Boris where he can be heard boasting that (listen at 1:20)

“….In the last couple of weeks I have green lighted – in spite of the fiercest opposition from local people…never mind [great laughter and amusement] – I have nodded through an enormous mixed use development… [Southall Gasworks]”

On his twitter site Sharma claims that he had attended the hearing at City Hall on 25th March, but none of those who attended remember seeing him that evening. Both Sharma and Gurcharan met up with the campaigners at Park Avenue Gurudwara, but soon left. What is certain is that neither Sharma nor Gurcharan spoke at the hearing.

Although Stacey has made a number of sound bites in a bid to hoodwink the people of Southall, there can be little doubt that Ealing Council has not put up a fight on behalf of Southall residents, and may even have secretly been in favour of the plans all along. David Hill writes on his Guardian Blog that

At the hearing at City Hall Ealing’s Head of Planning Aileen Jones said she had discussed the revisions to the scheme with the Planning committee chair and that she was confident the reason for refusal had been “sufficiently addressed”

Save Our Southall has written to Stacey complaining that Ealing  had made it far easier for the Mayor to agree the application and justify his trampling on local democracy by Aileen Jones’s statement on behalf of the Council.

It has also come to light that on the day of the hearing, in a bid to sabotage the campaign, somebody phoned the Coach Driver and gave false information by asking him to come one hour later than had been arranged. Despite this the campaigners did not lose their resolve and managed to be at the hearing on time.

It is a bitter pill to swallow, but the reality is that Southall ‘leaders’ and politicians such as Stacey, Sharma and Gurcharan are only too happy to attend photo shoots, give sound bites, and generally blow their own trumpet on websites such as facebook and Twitter, whilst offering little or no real support for the people of Southall.


About geezer

The time has come. A new dawn awaits. Shake off the lethargy and rise to the challenge of reclaiming your quality of life! Fight for what you deserve - after all you have been paying the council tax. Resolve to be fobbed off no longer, rise and make your voice heard!
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11 Responses to Boris Ridicules Southall Residents

  1. geezer says:

    comment below originally made by Input on 31 Mar 2010 on DaveHill’sLondonBlog.

    a) looking through the 2006 sub regional plan it’s down as an Opportunity Area, so this is clearly long considered a suitable place by GLA planners

    b) It was going to be just off the West London Tram route, killed by, er, Ealing and Hillingdon Councils (shown on the 2006 map, actually)

    c) That leaves basically Cross Rail as the only public transport enhancement in the area, and even that’s just the limited west of Paddington service which also has to serve Ealing Broadway

    d) There’s a huge car parking provision

    e) The only road project involved is widening South Bridge in Southall, which if you know the area is a bottleneck between a couple of bottlenecks

    f) The traffic in that area is *awful* anyway, since there is no decent north-south public transport at all and there’s a serious car culture dependency across west suburban London

    Given all that, no, it’s not a great idea. I’d have gone for a smaller ultra-accessible model community with limited road access, to attract people to London who don’t want to use a car. However , I suspect such people don’t want to live in a public transport desert, either, so you’d need to include a decent bus or preferably light rail scheme to link to, probably, Hounslow town centre and the nearest Tube station (which is miles away, in, er Hounslow).

    The councillors, in Ealing anyway, are doing much what LBHF are doing, flogging social housing to developers, backing cars over public transport (e.g. restricting bus lanes and removing traffic signals in favour of roundabouts) and recently had their massive Ealing town centre redevelopment (which Boris also backed) nixed by John Denham, to great local celebration. Ealing NIMBYs are a fearsome bunch, but this is Southall, not Ealing.

  2. verma says:

    Save our Southall campaign clearly highlights the calibre of politician in Southall. Not to mention the current incumbent who I believe has lied and Mr Guracharan Singh, well no better then Mr Sharma. Give them a photo opportunity and and they will not miss it, at the expense of the community that they dearly care so much for!!

  3. anon says:

    Ealing council should take legal advice and challenge Boris Johnson on this decision to dump more problems into Southall. Somehow I doubt that this will happen

  4. Southall Lass says:

    I also posted this comment on Gurcharan’s website, let’s see if it get’s approved, and if there is any response:

    Gurcharan you need to answer these questions:

    1) Did any Tories make a spirited defence at the Mayor’s hearing?
    2) Why did you not attend the hearing and speak against the plans?
    3) Do you and your party plan to fight Boris’s decision?
    4) Was you letter to Boris just a publicity stunt?
    5) Why did your party allow Ealing Council to speak in favour of the development (see below)?

    At the hearing at City Hall Ealing’s Head of Planning Aileen Jones said she had discussed the revisions to the scheme with the Planning committee chair and that she was confident the reason for refusal had been “sufficiently addressed”
    Reported by

    6) Please let us know how exactly you intend to fight the decision.

  5. Southall Lass says:

    Looks like Gurcharan does not have any answers to my questions. He has had time to put up new stuff on his website, but decided against approving the above comment that I posted on his site.

    Sharma is no different, didn’t even bother speaking up for his town at the hearing!

  6. verma says:

    Over the last few weeks we have seen various campaigns and supported by the ever green Southall politicians who normally hibernate part of time unless a photo opportunity presents itself. We have had leaflet drops and text massages from these politicians who in the past failed to acknowledge the problems we have had, be it Tories or Labour.

    Southall Pride website had some interesting articles and I agree with most of what has been said. Yes over 50 percent of our councillors are illiterate who would fail the 11+ English exams and over 85.percent would fail the GCSE English & Maths exams.

    I agree with Gurcharan Singh when he says that under labour we had the dirtiest streets, but he forgets that he was (if I am not mistaken) the Cabinet Minster for Environment and we invited him on a walk about with Then John Birch , Did any change take place NO!

    Under the Labour administration when the first round of the Regeneration Budget for Southall was approved all the pavements on The Broadway and the South Road were renewed. When the residents and businesses from ‘old Southall’ complained they were assured that all the pavements on The Green and King Street would be renewed . To be fair, the work was started, but only as a token gesture – the new pavement on King Street between Hammond Road and Havelock Road is the sole legacy of that broken promise.

    Today, as the election draws near Southall Broadway and South Road is receiving the bulk of the regeneration funds, and the policy of diverting money to ‘new Southall’ continues. What about ‘old Southall’? Why have our councillors failed to address this issue either when they were in power as Labour or today as Conservatives?

    LBE officers constantly change goal posts, lie, treat people of Southall in a condescending manner, and generally fail to deliver services to Southall residents to the same level as to other parts of the borough.

    Why don’t the Southall Councillors ever unite and stand shoulder to shoulder with Southall residents and businesses instead of making deals with officers in the Council just to win favours for their individual wards?

  7. Southall Lass says:

    It’s been nearly a week since I posted my comment and questions on Gurcharan’s website.

    Looks like he will not publish my comment (which I have posted here, see above). Maybe he has no answers??

  8. Southall Lad says:

    @Southall Lass – first of all, get your own name you teef!!!

    Secondly, I think you’re being a little unfair to good ol’ Mr Singh! The nature of your questions are very antagonistic – it makes me question whether or not you are a partisan. Either way, the abrasive approach you’ve used hardly encourages positive political debate…

    Having had a quick scan through (and by no means am I trying to speak for the man himself) here are my thoughts:

    1) Did any Tories make a spirited defence at the Mayor’s hearing?
    2) Why did you not attend the hearing and speak against the plans?
    – NO IDEA
    3) Do you and your party plan to fight Boris’s decision?
    4) Was you letter to Boris just a publicity stunt?
    5) Why did your party allow Ealing Council to speak in favour of the development (see below)?

    Hmmmm, anyway, what was Sharma’s response like?

  9. Southall Lass says:

    Sounds like you are the partisan one, and some may believe (perhaps unfairly) that ‘good ol’ Mr Singh!’ having no intention of approving my comment on his website, has asked you to respond on his behalf.

    Please do not patronise me by telling me to read his blog, I have read it and wouldn’t ask these questions if the answers were there. Yes, the letter he sent to Boris is there in full glory for all to see. Gurcharan turned up at Park Avenue Gurudwara and met up with the Save our Southall campaigners, but left very quickly. Why did he not attend the hearing and speak on behalf of Southall people? You cannot blame people thinking that the letter was a publicity stunt.

    I have no faith in Sharma either, you can follow his response on his Twitter site. Even though he was at the hearing in London, he did not speak, and since then he has gone on to make public statements so that he can post them on his Twitter site. My own view is that Sharma has done little for Southall, certainly very little on the issue of the Southall Gasworks.

    Southall Lad stop living in cuckoo land and trying to make out that my questions are antagonistic. If you or Gurcharan, or any other politician for that matter, cannot respond to perfectly straightforward questions from their prospective constituents, then they need to ask themselves if they are suited to standing for election.

    Let’s have a robust, transparent and healthy debate!

    Finally Southall Lad don’t be so petty as to accuse me of being a teef, you do not have a monopoly on the name ‘Southall’. Perhaps this is a reflection of your insecurity or a lack of answers to my questions…

  10. Southall Lad says:

    Barbershop psychology at it’s worst!

    You’re clearly taking this all a tad too seriousley. I suspect you suffer from paranoia! Suffice to say, I have no affiliation with Gurcharan at all. I’m simply a very concerned constituent – like you in fact. So it seems, we have more in common than just our alias.

    Anyway, I couldn’t care less if you find me patronising – I call it as I see it. I still think you’re antagonistic and your approach is very unconstructive.

    I do agree though – we should have a robust, transparent and healthy debate.

    You may be interested in a discussion topic set up under G Singh’s facebook group – it gauges us for the qualities we would like to see in our MP. Perhap the Moderator of this blog can create something similar and we can all chip in?

  11. Eric Leach says:

    I’m very concerned about the Southall Gasworks decision. I spent days of my life fighting the Arcadia Tower, including 10 days at a Public Inquiry, and I know how much effort it takes to stop silly things happening in our towns.

    My town is West Ealing and we have our own mini gasworks nonsense. It’s the plan to build 721 new homes and little else on the 11.5 acre Green Man Lane Estate site.

    Ealing Council plans to knock down 32 housing estates; sell off the land to developers; who will build new denser estates. It will involve the sell off of over 100 acres of public land.

    The draft Ealing Local Developement Framework Core Strtegy calls for 10,000 new homes 800 metres from Southall, West Ealing, Acton and Ealing Broadway Stations by 2026.

    We must all fight together to defeat this across the whole of Ealing.

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