An unedifying row has broken out in the blogosphere between the Public Relations firm employed by Capital and Counties (CapCo), the developers that our Council would like to knock down and redevelop the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates next to Earls Court, and Dave Hill of the Guardian. In recent times Dave's London Blog has been paying some interest in our Council's plans for the estates, which in West Kensington's case prompted the extraordinary action of residents to band together and vote to take over the estate themselves, serving a "notice to quit" on the Council as a "rogue landlord" under new legislation designed to protect people from bad landlords. One of the residents is seen here pictured in a meeting of local residents with John Healey, the Housing Minister, in Parliament last year.
It's therefore a touchy subject to all concerned. So when Dave posted that CapCo had been angered by what they perceived as a shoddy service from PR firm Edelman, to the point that they had asked residents to contact them directly instead of going through their PR people, the Chief Executive of Edelman UK decided to weigh in himself.
You would think that a man in charge of one of the UK's biggest PR firms would spot a bad-PR elephant trap a mile away but no, now we have the two men slugging it out online with Robert Phillips, the CEO, trying to nitpick Dave Hill's article by questioning who sent what email when. View the unedifying spectacle here.
So what's this got to do with Shepherd's Bush? It's an illustration of some of the firms this Council deals with when it comes to the planning and redevelopment of our estates. We have two very good local examples, the Goldhawk Block and 282 Goldhawk Road, of what happens when these people are in charge and residents views seem to come very low in the priority list.
In fairness to the Council they have nothing to do with this online spat, and they can hardly be held accountable for what the developer's PR firm get up to. But are these really the sort of people they should be dealing with when it comes to reshaping the face of our Borough and potentially removing people's homes?