Ken's visit earlier today saw a series of very serious charges leveled at our Council, principally about their relationships with property developers. I reported what had been said but contacted our Council to offer them a right of reply, which has come in the form of a comment piece from Cllr Harry Phibbs, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement.
Here's what Harry had to say about Ken's comments:
|Cllr Harry Phibbs|
Naturally as one of the local councillors I am touched that Ken Livingstone has come to visit Ravenscourt Park Ward. But I wish he had got out and about a bit rather than just going to a closed meeting with a dozen people several of whom seemed to be his fellow Labour politicians.
He could have talked to local parents who are delighted to have the chance to send their children to the West London Free School which was opened by Boris Johnson last year.
He could have talked to motorists who are relieved that the West London Extension of the Congestion Charge has been scrapped by Boris.
Or he could have visited Standish House where on Monday morning Tarek Tuzani and his partner Laura Stevens became the first council tenants in the country to apply for the right to buy under the new £75,000 discount. He could have explained to them his strange ideological hostility to home ownership ( except for himself.)
Then perhaps he could have seen some of the new street trees that have been planted with funding from Boris. Then going along King Street he could have made his way to the Irish Centre which in a celebration of the Big Society is now community rather than council owned.
Or then gone on to the Shepherds Bush Village Hall in Bulwer Street now owned by a charitable foundation.
In both cases the noisy scaremongering from the Labour Party as to the consequences of these building being sold by the council has been proved entirely false. After he had finished denouncing cosy links with property developers he could explain why when residents objected to a ten storey tower block on the Allied Carpets site just north of Ravenscourt Park, he tried, unsuccessfully, to push it through.
Perhaps he could have gone on to knock on some doors in the West Ken and Gibbs Green estates where he would find considerable support for redevelopment and the opportunity for better housing that it could bring. If that is to much trouble he could have read about it in this morning's Guardian.
So far as air quality is concerned this is a problem for London as a whole and not just Shepherds Bush. We do monitor air quality at Shepherds Bush Green and we want to reduce pollution. That is why we are determined to reduce traffic congestion and are bringing Boris Bikes to the borough. We also encourage residents to use car clubs. There are electric charging points for cars around the borough - eg 30 at Westfield. City Hall produced 1,813 tons of carbon a year. Under Boris it is down to 1,606. If the Shepherds Bush Market redevelopment takes place I'm assured that that all businesses based at 30 to 52 Goldhawk Road have been offered the opportunity to return to the new Goldhawk Road shop units by Orion.
Cllr Harry Phibbs