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Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Reflecting on the last Brent Executive, I am struck at how uncivil meetings can often become.  I first noticed this tendency at a Planning meeting over the Tenterden MUGA a couple of years ago.  That meeting shared two striking characteristics with the Willesden Library protesters on Monday.  Firstly, there was a lot of shouting.  It appears that some people think the best way to make a case is raw aggression.  Secondly, there was little attention to what was actually on the agenda.  In the Tenterden case, the MUGA was agreed in principle, the application was merely about the details; nonetheless, a crowd of about forty people turned up to shout the committee about their opposition to the whole scheme.  Similarly, the several speakers who denounced the Willesden Library Development ignored the actual subject of the call in _ the interim library arrangements _ and spoke instead about things like the retail offer, which are surely better covered in the pre-application consultation.


Anonymous said...

It's great that people are getting off their arses and giving their elected councillors a hard time.. Most people don't know anything about a pre-application consultation so just turn up whenever they get a chance to force those arrogant gits to listen to us.
This whole library business is a disgrace. We don't need a new library or "cultural centre", whatever the hell that is. The one that is there just needs doing up and some local people put in to run it. Keep the old building out front too. Keep the open space. Spend the money elsewhere. Des Brittain.

Martin Francis said...

The issue concerning the retail relates to widespread concern about the Willesden Bookshop's future. We were told at Scrutiny that the developers all said that finding space for the bookshop and the old Willesden Library was not possible and would make the scheme unviable. As a result the developer agreement signed by the council does not include them and presumably as it is a 'done deal' can't be changed. We will be told in the pre-application consultation that retail cannot be added because of that agreement. It would be great to hear that this is not the case because I can tell residents that it is still possible that the bookshop may be included at their meeting this evening, 7pm Kings Hall, Harlesden Road, Willesden.

Miki Berenyi said...

'Raw aggression'. That's brilliant! Three dads, five mums, and three children under 10. You don't think you're over-reacting a bit? And our entire point (which you refused to address, hence the shouting) was exactly that we had been given no opportunity to take part in a 'pre-application consultation', so we had no choice but to drag ourselves and our kids up to your meeting to make our point. Still, thanks for the mention. I'll be directing all my Kensal Green mates to your blog so they can see exactly what kind of a public-spirited councillor they have representing them!

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