Caught out again. As the Mayoral election looms closer new documents have emerged which demonstrate the Mayor gave his full backing to Thames Water’s plans to build the entrance to the so-called “Super Sewer” in Carnwath Road, Fulham as opposed to Barn Elms over the water in Wandsworth.
This was just weeks before the Mayor’s appearance in Hammersmith at a “People’s Question Time” event that was marked by loud jeering and heckling which a GLA official who has attended every one of those events over the last four years told me was the most volatile and noisy he’d ever seen.
I revealed here how Boris misled the public at that event by feigning ignorance over the Shepherd’s Bush Market scheme when in fact he’d personally signed papers approving that scheme in its entirety. Now it seems that the Mayor, who faced loud and heartfelt pleas from residents in Fulham set to be affected by the sewer scheme, was in fact lying when he told those residents that he would not allow their communities to be destroyed. He said, at the event on March 7th:
"I am against any disruption for Londoners, particularly on Carnwath Road…on Carnwath Road, I will not tolerate anything that disrupts and destroys the lives of London communities…I will defend your interests and the rights of your community to be protected from disruption, with all the vehemence that I used to defend Barn Elms".
Yet Andy Slaughter MP has gained access to the Mayor’s official response to Thames Water’s consultation, which was due to be kept confidential until after the Mayoral elections in May. This tells a very different story. Here the Mayor says this: (my emphasis)
"The switch to Carnwath Road from Barn Elms for main tunnelling purposes is supported as this relocates major tunnelling activities from a Greenfield to a partially derelict Brownfield site which benefits from good navigational characteristics and better access to the Strategic Road Network".
You can look at the document for yourself at the top of this article.
Thus, the Mayor backed his Wandsworth Conservative allies over those in Hammersmith & Fulham, as well he might. There are more potential voters in that area than there are on our side of the river. But what’s this? After the People’s Question Time event the Mayor quickly despatched another letter to Thames Water, which says this:
"Carnwath Road. This site is also close to people’s homes and again you have proposed to cover the main construction works with a warehouse building. I do not think you have proposed enough use of water transport given the busy urban nature of this area and this is another case where you must look harder for alternatives".
But this letter, dated 27th March, was a) drafted after Andy Slaughter’s Freedom of Information request to get access to the documents and b) falls six weeks outside the official consultation period. I don't think you need me to explain what might be going on there. You can read that letter below.
So it seems that for Hammersmith & Fulham at least, on Shepherd’s Bush Market and now on Carnworth Road Fulham, this Mayor is prepared to back property developers and the ‘super sewer’ over the wishes of local residents while publically trying to pose as being on their side.
Sadly for him these documents show in brutal black and white what some have suspected for a long time. It’s all just been for show.
Mayor Support 2