Sunday, 18 November 2012

'Remarkable' PR desperately resort to anonymous quotes to undermine Keep Willesden Green campaigners

In their account of the 'community involvement' process they undertook for developers Galliford Try, Remarkable PR make a rather remarkable attack on Keep Willesden Green via an anonymous quote from one resident about what s/he claims a 'few friends' have said. LINK (p24) Public relations has never had a fantastic reputation but this does seem to take the biscuit. The comment is certainly not one that Brent Planning Committee should endow with any credibility.

The quote from Remarkable PR's document
Kate Spence, Joint Chair of the Keep Willesden Green campaign said:
Like most attendees of the Library Lab Consultation, I only attended one meeting.

KWG are a large group of local residents united by their desire to ensure that Willesden Green is regenerated in a way that will benefit the local community. We are the Public who live and use the land at the library site. We want to make sure that the right thing is done and the interests of ALL our community are served. 
Remarkable PR who have made these comments in their consultation are being paid by Galliford Try to consult with us in order to demonstrate that it is appropriate for Brent Council to take Town Centre public land and allocate 70% of it to a property developer for the developer's own private financial gain. The KWG local residents have chosen to campaign to protect the land. It should be retained for much needed infrastructure.

In 2006 Brent Council intended to do things properly. The following can be read in the Willesden Green Conservation Area Appraisal 2006
2.1 The Local Development Framework 
The Planning Service at Brent Council will produce as part of its Local Development Framework a set of core policies for the control of development within Conservation Areas. In particular the core document will address the fundamental principle of “Preserve or Enhance” from the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and Planning Policy Guidance Note 15. The core policies will deal with alterations to existing buildings, new development, the built landscape and the natural environment. Policies will also be adopted to respond to the pressures of large scale development in residential historic areas.  
From the core policies a series of guidance documents which will be supplementary to the LDF will be produced. These supplementary documents will expand upon the basic policy principles giving specific guidance regarding materials, construction details and techniques for development in the Conservation Area.  
In addition to the supplementary development guidance documents the LDF will identify and possibly initiate a number of “Area Action Plans” which may include the Conservation Area within its remit. The special requirements of designated Conservation Areas will be a principal consideration in the development of “Area Action Plans”  
2.2 The Community Involvement 
As part of the Development of the LDF the Council has produced a “Statement of Community Involvement” which outlines its strategy for consulting people who live, work and play in the London Borough of Brent. All documents produced as part of the LDF will be consulted upon using the principles and processes described in the document. Hard copies are available from the addresses shown in contact details at the back of this document, or can be viewed on the Council website. The strategies outlined in this document will guide the Councils involvement with the residents of Willesden Green.

Unfortunately none of these intentions have been put in to place.  We are told that the ratio of land allocated at the WGCC has been prescribed by developers as the only viable way of returning a new WGCC with council offices. It seems to me that the opinion of partnered property developers with deeply flawed designs have been given a greater emphasis by Brent Council than a well considered LDF.
How can Remarkable PR expect local residents to sit down and talk about activities inside a diminished library space that has been designed without any Local Development Framework, "Area Action Plan" or a publicly consulted master plan? It is outrageous that Brent residents can be handed such an ill-conceived done-deal and then be criticised when we object as a group. 
If the library is run-down then it is a result of poor maintenance on the part of the council. If Remarkable PR can only find one anonymous resident, who thinks it is wise to sell off Public Asset, then facts speak for themselves. It is time to consider the views of the local residents and to stop trying to consult on the finer details of a done deal.

1 comment:

  1. I attended every 'consultation' meeting that was held at the Library Lab at WGLC (except for the Teens one to which I felt unqualified as I am out of the age range). In every meeting somebody started to ask about the size of the proposed WGLC and the ratio of housing to public space. Every time this question arose, it was ruled 'out of order', sometimes ending in acrimonious exchanges. By the third meeting some people were branded as 'disruptive'. In fact one dear old lady (who was acting as a local individual) was only allowed to attend provided that she did not speak! It is clear that despite comprehensive note taking throughout the sessions, only the anodyne and bland points have been printed. Please be aware that at EVERY session, the people noted that the building was too small and t hat the loss of public circulation space was critical.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.