Mark's campaign notepad and other stuff

Notes from the writer/LibDem parliamentary candidate for Somerton & Frome

Marlborough Hill Campus is Westminster Council speak for…

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…the Quintin Kynaston School redevelopment, NW8.

Recently I went to a local ward forum, which was the best attended I’d ever been to – the reason? Local people are very unhappy about the development of the school, known locally as QK. Or more precisely, they’re unhappy about the lack of consultation on the proposed development. Or even more precisely, they’re unhappy that there have been consultations, but they feel no-one’s taken any notice of what they’ve been saying at these consultations.

I think this is a common problem with “cuddly Conservatism” – there are ward forums and consultations but nothing much changes or happens as a result of them. The spending of the local ward budget was a case in point – our Tory councillors asked us all for ideas which they took no notice of and then they spent the money as they wanted to – security doors for City West housing. The security doors were needed but shouldn’t it have been City West who were forking up, not council tax payers across the whole ward? (Funnily enough, in other wards they have done what local residents wanted them to do – facilities for youth and senior citizens, more security lighting, benches… )

So back to QK. I think our councillors and Tory PPC were a little shocked by the furore at the last Ward Forum and yet another consultation was hastily organised, and this time SOME of the residents’ concerns do seem to have been addressed, eg the main after-hours entrance being on Finchley Road. However, vague terms such as health facilities being “focused on” serving students won’t quell all the fears.

It seems to me that a local amenity which can genuinely serve the wider local community should not be scorned. But residents are rightly concerned that a lawless atmosphere after school spilling-out time would extend late into the evening. I have heard from a source close to the school that they’re currently without a police officer (as I believe the Academy in Harrow Road is) and the school and the council must address this for the sake of all in the area.

If we can deal with these issues, and improve the desperately in-need educational facilities in the process, the new development could actually be a beacon for the whole area which brings vibrancy, community and security from morning until night.

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Written by markblackburn

December 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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