Thursday, 28 October 2010

Council defends seating at last night's public meeting

Well last night's full council meeting seems to have lived up to expectations as being a lively affair, with plenty of protesters finding themselves in full voice about the proposed changes to Shepherd's Bush Market, Labour councillors largely backing them and Conservative councillors pledging to listen to residents - while accusing Labour of orchestrating some of the protests.

When I previewed the problems that some of the protestors were anticipating with such a small venue I said I would ask for comment from the Council and they have responded to me below. I think its fair enough, especially if they did actually seek to make more seats available.

A council spokesman said: "Full Council meetings are arranged months in advance and difficult to change at short notice to accommodate high public demand. Once we became aware that so many members of the public were likely to attend we placed extra chairs in the gallery to seat 80 people and set up an additional room for 60 people with an audio link so that they could hear the debate.
The Council is 100 per cent committed to listening to the concerns of local people on plans to regenerate the market. We have spoken to numerous market traders, visitors and residents. We have held 15 hours of drop-in sessions and senior council officers have sat down with residents in their living rooms and across Shepherds Bush.
"We are now arranging a wider public meeting in the next few weeks so that we can continue to listen and respond to what people are saying.
"The Council has agreed an overarching vision. However, no detailed plans for Shepherds Bush Market have been submitted and will not be submitted from development partners without exhaustive discussion with local people. "

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