We just cannot stop them, we don't have democracy we have dictatorship with this bent voting system. Instead of being counted centrally our votes do not go out of our wards, Both Conservatives and Labour love it and will never change it.
Roy Baker ● 220d54 Comments
When we had the London Building Acts and the buildings were larger extra care had to be taken and there was something called a Section 20. Yes there has been privatisation of Building Control but overclose relationships anywhere are problematic.There are a lot of white goods fires and work has been done to try to tighten controls regarding them. Which has called for these to not have plastic backs. We have many more electrical and electronic items in our homes nowadays. I have seen built-in kitchen white goods where there was supposed to be ventilation to them underneath or around them so that the machines' workings stayed cool but it was all ignored. The instructions for fitting weren't even opened.People need to understand the importance of the reasons for and the importance of fire doors and smoke lobbies and intumescent strips and why it is important that door closers close and doors are not propped open especially in tall buildings. It is interesting that if you were staying in a hotel room you would find information on the back of the door and in an office you would have fire drills but in a private block of flats?
Philippa Bond ● 162d
One was refurbished inside and the other was ACM cladding as part of the local refurbishment of the area. The one with cladding Grenfell was never refurbished inside and was true to the original 70s design 1 HOUR protection BETWEEN FLATS if only they didn't fit the cladding the fire would not have spread up the building.. Lakanal was totally refurbished inside and the layouts were altered and the original compartmentation was breached by the builders allowing the fire to spread through the flats... Grenfell the supplier and builders failed to address the problem at design stage that the ACM was never design or approved for high rise buildings..Greed has nothing to do with Building regulations they have for years changed the biggest thing that was introduced was privatisation and a free-for-all. Building regs are not worth the paper they are written on especially when in house developments are concerned in council owned buildings... The residents in the upper floors of Grenfell had no chance with temperatures in there 1000c.. Building industry have written a lot since Grenfell and there are more consultants and experts out there.. Building TOWER blocks out of modern cheap materials and expect them to stop the spread of fire is crazy.. Hammersmith Grove there was a fire in the middle of the block 2021, the layout and design of the old building the fire was contained and no deaths. Shepherd Bush green 12th floor the fire was contained.. when owners fit plastic windows and cladding in tall buildings what do they expect when a fire breaks out??
Nicolas Ozegovic ● 186d
Both Lakanal House and Grenfell Tower were built under the London Building Act before changes were made to regulations. They both had a single staircase. Fire compartmention is extremely important.https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/scrapped-fire-safety-laws-burdened-industry-official-report
Philippa Bond ● 186d
Lancaster West Estate was built in the late sixties Grenfell was the only one of that estate that was glad with insulation as part of the redevelopment of the carpark and swimming pool that it stood on.. Grenfell is a totally different design to Lakanal. Grenfell is a single staircase high rise set out around a lift core... If the gladding wasn't stuck on it the building would have probably contained the fire and may have not allowed it to spread so quickly...Greed probably played a factor more than anything else in the choices that we're made at the design stage.. Building regs and the way the Council officers and others played their part will be investigated once the coroner's Court has finished.
Nicolas Ozegovic ● 186d
Grenfell was not that old a building. It was not just the cladding that was the problem. There were a ccatalogue of other problems. We've had laws re building here since the Great Fire of London in 1666. There was a fired at Lakanal House where there were deaths before the Grenfell one. We have Coroners' inquests where the recommendations are not actioned. Take a look at Scottish Building Regulations - they were updated before England's post Grenfell changes. Why would they be preferred to the English ones? So here are the 2021 winners of the prestigious Pritzker Prize - famous for refurbishments. We should be spending more time refurbishing buildings rather than just demolishing and rebuilding with all the expense and cost to the environment that that brings. https://www.dezeen.com/2021/03/17/lacaton-vassals-pritzker-architecture-prize-opinion/
Philippa Bond ● 186d
No problem, BellEnd & Co will keep ensuring that these Towers are signed off.He has no choice apparently. 🤣
Rosco White ● 187d
Grenfell was an old building that was refurbished with modern cladding that breached the fire integrity of the building allowing it to spread.New buildings are no better at stopping the spread.. plasterboard and metal stud walls will provide little or no protection once the building is alight... That is why people are afraid and owner occupiers who have brought are stuck in limbo..
Nicolas Ozegovic ● 188d
One of the worrying things is that Grenfell threw up a lot of problems in buildings apart from the dangerous cladding.I don't believe that Govt has legislated to make sure that this will not happen again. With a Govt which apparently refuses to answer FOIs on which buildings are affected the idea of even more being built with potential problems and dangers to those less able to make a quick exit is horrifying.I had understood that the idea of going higher was to make our housing more like that in the rest of Europe. Only will there also be the best of management and concierges?
Philippa Bond ● 188d
I don't really know enough about shared ownership to comment but is this the structure planned for the Perceval House flats?If the arrangement does prove to be toxic that is bad news overall but the specific risk for Ealing residents is that if sales of full priced units in Perceval House disappoint and the council's property company requires a bailout.David - that's nice of you to say but it is unfair on the majority of participants in this thread.
Mark Evans ● 188d
Sorry it seems predictive spelling got the better of me...Correction to my earlier posting..'Shared ownership is not property ownership'.. Its the pay-day loan of housing and most regret having brought into the sector.
Nicolas Ozegovic ● 188d
Shared ownership is not property ownership. It's the pay-day lian of housing and mist regret having brought into the sector..As I said a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
Nicolas Ozegovic ● 188d
Did I say that the use of fines as a primary way of raising funds was a good idea? I'm on record as consistently saying that it is a effectively a highly regressive way of tax collection and a betrayal of Labour party principles. I don't understand why you think 'affordable' housing in particular is a white elephant. As far as I know the so-called affordable portion of local housing developments tends to be snatched up because of the discount but the full priced units are the ones that tend to be difficult to shift.Remember though it is the government who setting housing targets based on absolute numbers so inevitable we are ending up with lots of small flats in big towers.
Mark Evans ● 188d
What a load of rubbish screwing residents in fines doesn't make it right. Building tower blocks and knocking down perfectly good homes opposite Acton Town mainline station is not right. Blighting residents with their personal thoughts and ideas is also not good. Blaming everyone else when it goes wrong is a bit rich!! We all know that central government is pushing LTN'S but no other local Borough is installing them like Ealing the only benefit is the amount of money they earn from fines and then there's developers lining their pockets...Affordable housing is becoming a white elephant and is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode..
Nicolas Ozegovic ● 188d
Not sure if you were describing Rosco or Gordon as pompous but either way it was a bit unfair.A good foundation against fighting the system is understanding how it works and Gordon is essentially right in his analysis of local government. If you look at the accounts of the council you'll see that a large part of their budget is for education and social care in which they are essentially just implementing government policy at a local level.The council tax can't really be varied significantly by an individual council because they are tightly constrained on what they can charge so the main variable in income is what they get in grants for the government and they are made to jump through hoops to get that and fine income which Ealing are resorting to with alacrity.You are right to say that what is happening is wrong and in no sense can the current administration in Ealing be absolved of blame but Gordon is right to draw attention that they are carrying out government policies. Both Conservative and Labour councils are building tower blocks and setting up LTNs. It might seem like a relatively straightforward thing for a local authority to say we aren't bothered about government housing targets and we don't want to set up LTNs but the fiscal consequences of doing so are likely to be pretty severe.
Mark Evans ● 188d
That's a bit pompous.You don't need to know how local government works or be au fait with the nuances of bureaucracy or simply roll over and accept it.It does not make it OK.When it's wrong and clearly not working, it's wrong.Pure common sense and instinct makes that more than apparent. However it is expressed.
Raymond Havelock ● 188d
It would be helpful if you explained to us what you base that opinion on but, as you have never once said anything that suggests you have any insight into how local government actually works, it would be reasonable to presume it is your own preconceived notions.
Gordon Southwell ● 188d
Your criticism might have more credibility if you didn't constantly resort to juvenile name calling.
Whilst the current administration in Ealing should be roundly condemned for the Perceval House proposal it is perhaps worth remembering the circumstances in which it is arisen.
Local authorities are in many ways just delivery organisations for central government policy and have little discretion of their own. Westminster controls the purse strings and councils have a choice of either doing one they are told or being deprived of funding. In the current economic environment it is very difficult for a council to take a principled stand and refuse to implement government policy.
The current government have mandated very aggressive housing targets for London mainly because they remain averse to building on the green belt in constituencies which are represented by Conservative MPs. Therefore the heavy lifting to reach the desired number of housing starts is being done in the capital. At the same time there are quite onerous requirements on 'affordable' housing.
As London doesn't have much spare land and the targets focus on number of units not number of rooms we are ending up with a huge number of flats and hardly any houses. As the requirement to offer affordable units reduces profit margins, more units need to be crammed into the space which means taller buildings.
Like with LTNs, Julian Bell and Ealing Council appear to be guilty of implementing a government policy with undue enthusiasm rather than originating the policy themselves. As with LTNs, culpability for the consequences of these policies should be shared between local and central government.
Gordon Southwell ● 189d
I've said it before, Ealing, from Queen of the Suburbs, to ......The New Croydon.No doubt Bellend is VERY proud of himself.
Rosco White ● 194d
Here's the Press Release from 2015https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/ultra-low-emission-zoneThe Mayor was Boris JohnsonHave you read the London Plan which has now been signed off for publication by the Govt?https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan/new-london-plan/london-plan-2021
Philippa Bond ● 195d
"That is just pure hatred of the people who put those Labour Councillors in that job."I never thought of it that way, but you may have a point.Has anyone else noticed how BellEnd is emulating Ken Livingstone?You know, arrogance and disdain personified?
Rosco White ● 196d
No need to incentivise Bell he already has two homes in the borough including one that should be allocated to a family on the social housing waiting list.
N V Brooks ● 196d
First we have Bell tell us all that he will have the council constantly have a go at the people of Ealing Borough until they give up and abandon their cars, showing outright a pure malice towards the residents. Backed up by a full Labour Party Whip to stop their councillors opposing him.Now we have him and his Councillors forcing these giant monstrosities upon the Borough that they know full well the people do not want.That is just pure hatred of the people who put those Labour Councillors in that job.
Leslie Bailey ● 196d
Although the flats aren't affordable the discount is a nice sweetener for anyone who is allocated one particularly if there is potential to ultimately sell the unit at full market price. As it is the council's development it will be up to them how they distribute them and it is possible they will see them as a good way to attract and retain staff. If they can offer discounted accommodation close to work it might make it possible to recruit better quality employees.
Gordon Southwell ● 199d
All depends which developer has the deepest pockets.They won't though be 'affordable' by any stretch of the imagination.
N V Brooks ● 199d
"Lots of talk about the opportunity for families on the waiting list"Yeah, it's called BellEnd Local Labour BS - all talk, no substance.We all know very, VERY well that the number of "affordable" housing will be "trimmed" at some stage and signed off by LBE as a justifiable reduction.You can bet on that as sure as the sun's coming up tomorrow.
Rosco White ● 199d
Passed by 8 votes to 4 with one abstention.Lots of talk about the opportunity for families on the waiting list to move into Bell’s erection. Bet none do. And I bet the affordable element, already outside the means of many, shrinks.Still it will be one monument among many to Bell and his cronies’ hubris and greed.
Simon Hayes ● 199d
Absolutely, people could & should do much more in uniting and rejecting the unacceptable Planning Decisions that are destroying Acton.But how do you get the fast rising huge number of Renters involved, it's usually of no importance to them? VOTE LOCAL LABOUR OUT!
Rosco White ● 202d
Victor is still with us and isolating due to his age. Victor is passionate about our unique historical buildings. As a single person who has taken on this and previous planning committees, he will always challenge poor planning decisions taken. But we should not take him for granted. More locals should stand up to these people who wish and are destroying Ealing.. sooner they are voted out the better!!!
Nicolas Ozegovic ● 203d
I remember Victor Mishiku. The trouble is that planning has become more and more complicated as so much more seems to now be included in it. There are so many different pieces of info and statements that have to be looked into. I also don't know how much training Councillors get in the planning regulations because I have seen and heard them (not in Ealing admittedly) being told by someone else sitting in the planning committee that they can't say this or that or ask for this or that condition. Sometimes a Borough Solicitor sits in. I've heard it being complained about Ealing in the past that someone making the decisions didn't know the planning rules. And then there is when the counting of votes is apparently incorrect.....aaagh!
Philippa Bond ● 205d
It is on YouTube.
If you can bear the tedium here it is:
Unfortunately, it is necessary to watch the whole damn thing to catch the obvious deliberate mendacity of the council officer concerned as it is exposed and unfolds over several hours.
I am not a natural Labour supporter but I have to say that I take my hat off to the labour councillor that kept gnawing away at the 'pepper potting' bone until the truth was finally exposed. Dr. Huq also deserves a thumbs up for her continuing dedication to the cause in the support of local residents as well.
Tony Colliver ● 205d
This video needs to go up on YouTube and made more accessible.But it also exposes the Mafia like bullying that forces a Council Officer to Lie.The insidious culture propagated by certain council cabinet members is just as bad within the little clique of like minded Authority executives and these need to also be named and shamed by a proper investigation of the whole shebang.Was this officer 'got at" ? If so by whom? Does it happen a lot more than it should?At the very least it is bullying and moral corruption. At worst, Who knows?It is high time this gets beyond Rotten Boroughs in Private Eye and this gets more widely exposed.
Raymond Havelock ● 206d
I think describing what happened with the use of the word 'misled' is a gross understatement.I contend that the council officer flat out lied.Only when he was REPEATEDLY taken to task on the question of pepper potting was he finally forced kicking and screaming to admit the truth.He then whined and snivelled an "apology" about having inadvertently misled the committee.Yeah, right!He should be sacked.No, to describe what happened as misleading simply doesn't cut it.This was flat out plain and simple for all to see DELIBERATE concealment of the truth and the people responsible for perpetrating it should be sacked.Thank goodness for a streaming video record otherwise this disgraceful behaviour would never be witnessed by most.
Tony Colliver ● 206d
I can remember from not too long ago when the Chair of The Planning Committee would strictly order that no audio and/or visual recordings were to be taken during the Meeting, under any circumstances, and you were threatened with removal if you did!Mind you, this Labour Lot had a LOT to hide, much gobsmacking stuff happened in The Olden Days, how I WISH I had recordings.Also, of course, the so called "Minutes" were often, and are, mysteriously missing rafts of conveniently forgotten controversial material.Ask Victor Mishiku, he could write a book on it!
Rosco White ● 211d
Yes, it appears that it has been ruled invalid. Cruel - yes for everyone. This is the second of the planning meetings on this - at the first one the decision was deferred. The IT does not work well - it was difficult to read the plans - the descriptions and pictures were out of sync the first time - maybe a bit better the second meeting.After four hours the second time the Youtube link timed out before the end of the meeting. So we had watched from 7pm until 11pm - a marathon in itself. We didn't see/hear all those who must have asked questions/spoke - and also don't know exactly how the voting went as it wasn't recorded.I would urge all residents to watch this though to have an idea of what is going on.
Philippa Bond ● 211d
The explanation now appears on the front page. Unfortunately I don't believe this will delay the project significantly as presumably all they really need to do is reconvene the meeting and take the vote again. It would be cruel to make the planning committee hold another four hours of debate when nobody is likely to have changed their mind.
As for the financial model being scuppered, they have borrowed huge amounts of money to develop property. If you assume that they are paying 3% that means they need to generate £12mn a year just to pay the interest. Therefore they have to develop and sell housing whatever. The saving grace for them is that the government knows the economy collapses if the housing market does so it will be underwritten whatever the circumstances. The problem is, time and time again, the public sector trying to operate commercially has been a disaster so it is probably not prudent to expect huge surpluses from Broadway Living.
Gordon Southwell ● 212d
Philippa Bond ● 212d
I suspect that the financial viability of all these tower blocks is coming in to question.Too many that too few people want to live in post-Covid and post-Grenfell. Coupled with reduction in London population as may EU workers have returned home.
Philip Coe ● 212d
I’m hearing that Ealing Council has withdrawn its request to the Msyor to proceed with this at present. No reason given yet, though I wonder if the financial model is scuppered by the rejection of Gurnell redevelopment last night.It remains a live project however, but one wonders if it will get underway before next years local elections.
Simon Hayes ● 213d
Opposition councillors of whatever party usually have the luxury of being able to vote against unpopular planning applications but if you are part of the administration then there are consequences to voting against an application which has the approval of planning officers.
It is extremely rare in any borough for a plan to be successfully blocked if the planning department has said that it is okay. The actions of the housing minister Robert Jenrick in giving approval to major developer against the wishes of the local authority should be a caution to anyone who might believe Conservatives would be a more effective bulwark against over development in the borough.
Perhaps we could allow Cllr Busuttil to speak for himself and explain the logic of his decision (which presumably he did during the meeting).
Gordon Southwell ● 214d
We can't trust the LIBDEMS at all on the Planning Committee in Ealing, Jon Ball's tendency to regularly vote "Grant" is especially noted.We have no idea about the CONs if they regain power, but so far at least they seem to consistently vote against the "Bad" Planning Applications at Planning Committee.
Rosco White ● 214d
Philippa, given that life is short perhaps you could give us the edited highlights?
I notice the Liberal Democrat councillor Gary Busuttil abstained in the vote. It would be interesting to know his reasoning.
Gordon Southwell ● 214d
Mind you, we could also do with a decent Conservative Leadership too.An ineffective "Opposition" just gives BellEnd complete carte blanche.I still don't understand why the CONs and LIBDEMs don't team up on a joint ticket to fight for Ealing Borough.
Rosco White ● 216d
This is the point. They need a real Labour leadership in ealing. These are far too cosy with the wealthy.
Peter Chadburn ● 216d
Bell is using 'affordable' in the technical rather than ordinary meaning of the word. In the social housing industry, 'affordable' means a property let at 80% of market rent, which is still going to be prohibitively expensive for people on low incomes.
Vlod Barchuk ● 218d
Julian bell quoted as saying the development will bring truly affordable housing to the centre of Ealing. Perhaps if be sells his 7 bed house in Acton,and utilises the money from property inherited by him in Yorkshire,and also gives up his subsidised housing association flat he lives in, it may well be affordable,to him, but not for the majority of people.
Donna Fraser ● 219d
It's the same as the LTNs, Labour want them, or at least vote for what Bell wants (following the Whip being used last year), and Conservatives stand with the people. What way did the Lib-Dem vote go?
Leslie Bailey ● 220d
Conlan is Labour. Big surprise.The meeting was a shambles. The council officers misled on a number of matters. It’s very, very dodgy.
Simon Hayes ● 220d