|SHOT ACROSS BOWS|
Some years ago Danny Boys Moylan was determined on a plan to destroy Sloane Square.
It was Thompson's threat against sitting councillors that led Pooter Cockell to back off at speed.
Ironically, at that time, it was the redoubtable Victoria Borwick and Tim Coleridge who stood shoulder to shoulder with residents.
It's a shame Cllr Coleridge doesn't repeat his fine gesture today.
Dear Chelsea Councillors,Council position on Crossrail 2 station in ChelseaI have read the RBKC Report and Appendix B to be sent to Tfl regarding Crossrail and I think you should reflect on the fact that you have put yourself on the wrong side of Chelsea residents.The proposals for a Crossrail station have not drawn any strong support. While there are some individual supporters, there has been no public campaign in favour of the station. The Council has been left to argue the case in favour, whereas the usual pattern would have been for Councillors to listen to the arguments put from both sides.This has resulted in a “Council versus the Residents” debate, with the Council seen as closely linked to Tfl rather than listening to residents and small businesses. Tfl have admitted that their consultation effectively asks residents to approve a project when many of the important details are not known, because they are championing an entire railway, and the proposed station has not been evaluated individually and subjected to a cost/benefits analysis.A further problem is that the Council, in taking the lead in arguing against the “No to Crossrail” residents’ group, continues to accuse them of exaggeration, despite them having obtained many details under Freedom of Information requests which were news to residents, and were valid contributions to the debate. Your report, which talks of public support for the station in earlier consultations, makes no mention of the sudden change of plan in 2014, which resulted in many Cremorne residents voting tactically in favour of the Fire Station site while many residents close to that site imagined that the station would not be placed there and did not bother to vote. The last minute change caused much bad feeling.Report A says at point 36. It is important that no-one prejudge the outcome of the consultation, and also that it not be treated as a referendum. The quality of the arguments made should be paramount. This Council will be reading the results of this consultation very carefully.In fact, the consultation question is as follows: Do you have any comments about the proposals for a Crossrail 2 station at King’s Road Chelsea? Therefore, a comment could be “I am in favour” or “I am against” and there is no need to write an essay about the quality of the arguments. A simple statement should be accepted as a matter of democratic principle. Such simple statements were accepted in the previous consultations, upon which you rely in your own report, and to ask for more would be to adopt a double standard.Under representative democracy, elected Councillors can take a stand against the wishes of their constituents, if they believe the issue to be in their constituents’ long term interests. A majority of Chelsea residents think that a Crossrail station, even leaving aside the disruption of construction, will not be in the long term interests of Chelsea.If you are going to commit yourself to taking a stand against your constituents on the “we know best” principle, rather than reserving judgment until the consultation is completed, that will be tested in subsequent elections.James Thompson, Chairman, KRACR