Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Gordon Brown joins Battle of Bush

The Prime Minister was in Shepherd's Bush today, joining a list of political big hitters such as Peter Mandelson, David Cameron and George Osborne, alongside Andy Slaughter at Innocent Drinks, the firm currently based in our borough. The location was carefully chosen - it is the same firm, which employs several hundred local people, that is being forced out by our Conservative Council with this planning decision taken against the will of local residents, who are still campaigning against it.

Labour didn't have it all their own way though, todays Evening Standard reported the visit but also that the owner of Innocent chided the Prime Minister over the planned increase in National Insurance contributions. Not quite the message Labour were hoping for.

Nonetheless Andy Slaughter said:

"As Gordon Brown said this morning ‘Innocent is a great example of a thriving British company delivering high quality products in the UK and around the world. London is a leading world city because of successful businesses like Innocent. Only Labour is committed to a greener, smarter, high skilled London: supporting the kind of innovation and economic growth that is crucial to the future of our country.’

Innocent is a fantastic business and I am proud that they are based in Hammersmith, where they would like to stay. But of course they are being forced out by the Council which has given the owners of the site permission to demolish the estate, with the loss of almost 200 jobs.

There could not be a starker contrast between Labour and Conservative attitudes to jobs in the green and innovative sector of the economy. It is scandalous that the Tories are prepared to drive out businesses like Innocent from the borough to make money for their developer friends.

Fortunately, thanks to the work of Brackenbury Residents and local Labour Councillors Stephen Cowan and Mike Cartwright, the fight is not over. At their and my request the planning application was called in for a Public Inquiry later this month. If the Inquiry finds in our favour the Estate will survive.

Today, speaking to the Chronicle the Prime Minister gave his support to our campaign"

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