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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

JANE SOLOMON'S ADDRESS TO COUNCIL

Cllr Coleridge,the instigator of this act of vandalism decided to lurk at home....

Here is the excellent speech....

Thanks to all who attended this evening's Council Meeting! Here is the petition speech:
WOT...NO COLERIDGE?
We believe a late reprieve is preferable to the current climate of a brewing scandal, a scandal set to run and run and run.
There is time to revert to the 1.4 Million pound upgrade that was shelved when the lucrative John Lewis deal was struck or to build an extension on the so-called “surplus land,” - the Council's controversial name for the children's playground. Almost 2000 people signed this petition showing overwhelming opposition to the demolition of this heritage building.
We are currently awaiting the Council's response to complaints we submitted via the Ombudsman. These complaints grew from concerns and suspicions of parents and residents, into a startling catalogue of gross misrepresentation and deception:
1. The Council was about to build 40,000 sq ft of offices & shops and a walkway, on playground without consent from the Secretary of State. Under such circumstances, Planning Permission should never have been granted, yet they continue works despite Department for Education warnings this is “at their risk”.
2. We do not want our children playing on the roof! But the plans for the New School dictate they will since they were designed to release land for the commercial building by incorporating rooftop play areas - already considered obsolete by the London Diocesan Board, since they are windy, cold and dangerous.
Furthermore, according to the Architects' Appraisal Panel, the commercial element “compromises the new school,” and should be “dramatically scaled back or removed altogether from the scheme”.
The design “lacks richness and quality” and they conclude, is “NOT an adequate replacement for the original board school.”
The current Public Consultation over playground disposal is both ludicrous and undemocratic since it occurs alongside demolition, too late for our objections to count.
3. The Public were fed falsehoods to prime them for the scheme: that the building had “reached the end of its useful life,” had “serious defects,” that it was not accessible to children using wheelchairs or on the autistic spectrum, when in fact it had been for years; that it would cost more to refurbish than rebuild and that demolition was the only option.
This could not have been further from the truth – that the school was only days away from a 1.4 million pound refurbishment abruptly halted when the John Lewis deal appeared and pound signs flashed up.
4. The Council & John Lewis pressured English Heritage NOT to list Marlborough – a huge Conflict of Interest since John Lewis is a Corporate Member of English Heritage and both they and the Council stood to profit millions.
5. We have been advised that the Council's tendering procedures may have been circumvented regarding the architects, by putting the planning application in John Lewis' name, despite the project being on borough-owned land.
6. Corporate Property Department identified so-called “surplus land” on the site in 2012, the inception of misinformation regarding the supposedly “derelict building” that was the nursery & playcentre and the supposedly “under-utilised land” that was playground. This deceit was repeated as recently as July in the Council's letter to the MP, which blatantly states that “the office building is not being built on any existing operational school land”. This is completely untrue and throws serious doubt on the 2013 school land disposal application.
It is quite clear from Council documents that the major refurbishment of the school was shelved because of the profitable John Lewis deal, with the new scheme misrepresented to the public as a Necessity; and that the Victorian building is only being demolished in order to hive off land for a commercial building, for which the correct consents are still not in place.
In view of this, we reiterate our demands for works to be halted, until all complaints have been resolved and the proper consents obtained.
The iconic Marlborough School has been part of our neighbourhood for 137 years. It is appalling that, having survived two world wars, the destruction of this building should finally come at the hands of a morally-corrupt Council; a Council colluding with developers and hell-bent on swelling its cash reserves at the expense of our heritage and our children's playgrounds, to the blatant disregard of tax-paying residents.
However, egos, lies and fat bank accounts aside, let us not forget the fact of the matter which is that Marlborough School, the earliest and arguably finest example of a Victorian Board School in this borough, could, and should, outlive everyone here in this room today.

11 comments:

  1. Dear Dame....I was there
    Cllr Coleridge was conspicuous by his absence. Emma Will, Nick PB, Rock FM and Will Pascale spoke. Emma DC spoke for labour stance and was excellent comparing it to the 1982 town hall scandal and agreeing that there was conflict of interest re John Lewis and English Heritage. Also said the Brompton and Hans Town ward councillors should have done something to help the campaigners.

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  2. Powerful stuff from Jane Solomon. Does anyone know when we will hear the result?

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  3. Great stuff from Jane Solomon and thanks to the Dame for once again making this well known. Stirring speech and illustrates how many holes there are in this 'development'. The local councilors & planning committee should hang their heads in shame, oh, that's right they don't do shame.

    Well done to the Save Marlborough group who have worked tirelessly and with no help from those that should have helped.

    There must be byelaws to enable residents to 'de-throne' these councillors who do not have our interests at heart.

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  4. This is all huff and puff by clapped out residents. Once again, the Council waves two fingers to public opinion.

    Demolition of Marlborough School is a fact of life guys. Get used to it.

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    Replies
    1. Portnoy
      It's difficult to interpret your imbecilic comment. Are you suggesting that residents' views are irrelevant? And do stop using idiotic Americanisms like 'Get used to it'. You may be stupid but at least try to be cogent.

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    2. Portnoy, ever heard of democracy? The least we could have is some respect and ear from our councillors, after all we do pay their wages. Or we could stop paying our council tax in protest then they would sit up and notice. "huff and puff"? there are no empty epithets here but you sir, or madam, are very much like Annonymous 09:01 said a person dedicated to self abuse, so enjoy!

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  5. Great stuff but watch the RBKC (for now) untouchables responsible worm their way out of yet another scandal of their own making.

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  6. Ms Solomons and her colleagues are to be congratulated. Thie speech is a superb example of residents demanding their rights over the self-interest of councillors and developers.

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  7. I am embarrassed to say that I was in favour of the new development. I've just read this article and it has completly changed my mind. l really hope that the council do the right thing and stop the development.

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  8. Are you paying more than $5 per pack of cigarettes? I'm buying my cigs over at Duty Free Depot and I'm saving over 70% on cigarettes.

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