Rock-A-Doodle-Do!!

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Is RBKC’s serial social cleansing offender  Rock Feilding-Mellen (former deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, property and regeneration) still here?

Many have heard  reports of him leaving him leaving his North Kensington home and blaming “angry residents”. Given that his home is  located near to Lancaster West Estate (which Grenfell Tower is in) and the Silchester Estate (which was formerly under threat of regeneration), THINK can’t say we’re exactly surprised if  Rock’s not  too popular with the neighbours……

Several locals did spot  us  a few notices on the tree opposite “Little Lord Rock Weilding-Felon’s” home, as mentioned by us in our early days as a blog here:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/talking-to-the-trees/

But we are wondering if  he  is still a councillor. THINK  did hear others including the excellent  From The Hornets Nest blog mention that both Rock and fellow  Tory Holland Ward councillor Warwick Lightfoot (former cabinet member for finance)  have not just resigned their posts, but also have resigned as RBKC  councillors.

We fully recommend you pay The Dame a visit here:

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/resignation-dishonours-list.html?m=1

THINK has mentioned Cllr Matthew  Palmer doing a chicken run to Queen’s Gate before.

We  also know that Rock Feilding-Mellen  was also a fellow Ward councillor in the now-defunct St Charles Ward and Cllr Palmer   decided to do a “chicken run” to a safer Tory council ward. Rock wasn’t so fortunate and lost his seat!

Rock  clucked off to Holland Ward and flew back in but THINK can reveal that in fact at the general election this year,  Labour topped the polls in this affluent, once-considered safe Tory ward. So it looks like Cllr Feilding-Mellen is chickening out of facing defeat. Oh well, it won’t be the first time an RBKC cabinet member has deliberately avoided the people they are supposed to represent…..

THINK do not believe that he or anyone else who held a senior position on this council during before and after the Grenfell refurbishment and during terrifying plans to socially cleanse and asset strip our community away, is fit to run a bath, quite frankly.  We say that his and many of his Rotten Borough colleagues’ political careers are, like some of the chicken sold in supermarkets, well past their sell by date.

But we also believe that people in his and Cllr Lightfoot’s ward deserve full local representation and that the decision to remove him from his  council ward completely   should be up to the will of his local  electors and the process of democracy, not be some weak-minded attempt to “save face” from the RBKC Tories or some attempt by him to avoid  further public scrutiny. Here again is the video that we previously posted for of some Save Our Silchester campaigners outside Rock’s place (we love the chicken outfit!)

If we are pondering Rock’s future, what is left of his political career and his state of mind, here are London  UK punk legends (and once North Kensington locals)  The Clash to sum up what may be going through his mind; if he is in any state to have a mind left  at all………

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Wornington: Our College, Our Future:

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Save Wornington College: public meeting on Tuesday 26th September at Bevington Primary School, Bevington Riad, W10 at 6:30pm.

Regular readers will know that our local community college in Wornington Road is important to many in our community. The life skills and opportunities offered by the provision of further education in North Kensington have made a real difference to the lives of many here.

But as THINK have said before: Our  College is under threat of closure, with the building likely to be demolished and replaced with luxury flats.

Like the Save Wornington College campaign and the Grenfell Action Group, THINK are far from reassured by the behaviour and statements from the KCC management here:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/kcc-board-take-our-first-ever-piglet-pie-award/

The Save Wornington  College campaign demands to them are:

– That the  “managed decline” of our much-loved College is halted

-That the entire College building remains in educational use

-That the recent reduction in provision and diversity of courses is reversed

– That the recent reductions in teaching and auxiliary staff are reversed

– That the Crèche  and other facilities at the Wornington Road site are protected

-That there is no merger with West London College

We at THINK  fully support this campaign and urge all in and around our community to come to this meeting

At the last “consultation” meeting, THINKers were so pleased to see such a high turnout. It was very good to hear from all, especially students and staff past and present.

It appears that neither KCC nor the RBKC Tories, share the love for Wornington College that our community clearly has – let’s show them that they do not speak for us and we will do everything we can to keep our College here in North Kensington and not let the developers take a wrecking ball to not only the College, but to the chances in life for  many the less privileged in this community.

 

 

 

 

Profile: THINK’s “Your North Kensington” art competition winner, Karimah Bint Dawoud

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When we held our art competition and asked people to send in their own interpretation of our North Kensington local community, we didn’t expect such an incredible response, but out of 167 entries, our unanimous winner is Karimah Bint Dawoud!

See Karimah’s winning artwork here:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/09/24/karimah-bint-dawoud-your-north-kensington-art-competition-winner/

Karimah is from a multicultural background and lives locally. She studied at Central St Martin’s,  was the first Muslim woman artist in residence at Leighton House Museum back in 2006.

She is a qualified nutritionist, and has  also authored the cookbook Heavenly Bites, the best of Muslim home cooking.

On top of that, she works as one of two voluntary health and wellbeing representative of Kensington Social Council and also works around London as a co-ordinator for  the charity Feed the Need, providing healthy food to homeless and vulnerable.

Like a lot of people in our community, she has also been affected by the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. She has rediscovered her natural artistic talent through art therapy.

We were particularly captivated by  uniqueness of Karimah’s work – the influence of both traditional and modern Islamic art and the  direct reference  to Grenfell and our local community.

Also her work has summed up our community through portraying Grenfell,   the multicultural and eclectic background and life of North Kensington  and also the fact that many of the victims, like herself are practising Muslims

Her work radiates the hope and positivity in our community that still exists despite such a huge disaster that has affected us.

We were pleased that Karimah, despite being so busy with her voluntary work, found time to spend with THINK and her energetic and positive personality is an inspiration to all.

Her voluntary efforts in and around this community are incredible and we are pleased that this too, sums up what has happened in our local area since the fire. She has also been kind enough to invite us to join her in her charity work later this week.

She more than deserves to win our competition and also wins £50, not to mention our admiration and deep respect – which is priceless.

 

Karimah Bint Dawoud: “Your North Kensington” art competition winner

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Pictured above are Karimah’s three winning art pieces. She has also been kind enough to share her drawings below which are unfinished work in progress –  with us. Her work is truly unique and sums up our North Kensington community; as well as her work representing Grenfell and the diversity in our local area.

We thank everyone for their entries and say that looking at artwork from many in and around our local community made a pleasant  and very welcome change from us banging on about RBKC most of the time!!

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Dizzy Lizzy pretends to be busy…..

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This is RBKC leader Elizabeth “Dizzy Lizzy” Campbell in front of the cameras in North Kensington today.

Today there was a vigil for those our community has lost in the Grenfell Tower fire. THINK will pay tribute to all who organised and all in our community who attended.

We remember those we have lost and it was important  for THINK to be there. We say to those who are no longer with us, you will always be a part of our community and we will always remember you and make sure all who speak to us, read this blog or simply visit North Kensington does too.

THINK did hope that this would be a day of quiet reflection and to mourn our friends and neighbours.

But our tempers flared when we saw Dizzy Lizzy standing in front of the cameras down the road afterwards.

What is so wrong with that you may wonder?

Let us point out that Cllr Campbell did not even bother to attend the vigil and meet survivors and pay tribute to those we have lost; but she was happy to stand down the road and put on a show for the cameras to try and make it look like she is actually doing something.

THINK are not convinced she is doing much and so are many in North Kensington. After being confronted by residents, she soon made her getaway.

We say to Dizzy Lizzy, you might be able to fool some in the media, but those living around North Kensington have to live with this disaster every day – we are not fooled by mere words and statements. The  least you could have done today was to attend the vigil (at least her colleague Kim Taylor-Smith turned up there briefly).

Giving statements to cameras and newspapers  as a PR stunt does not help  our community and we think you have some real nerve, standing in front of cameras right around the corner from the vigil and refusing to talk to residents.

It is typical of the Tories in charge of our council to ignore ordinary residents, so we cannot say we are surprised. But we are appalled and this community deserves better than a leader who is running scared of the people she is supposed to be responsible for. We will also mention that she was less than a minutes’  walk away from the vigil.

Here is our exclusive live Tweet video of her doing what she does best – avoiding North Kensington residents. What you do not see in the video is that  the young woman in the camouflage jacket  – who Dizzy Lizzy and her minder swerved to avoid – was wearing a t shirt with a picture of a deceased loved one from Grenfell on it.

Rotten Borough of Kensington and Chelsea: what were you thinking (or taking!)

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Pictured on the left is Rock Feilding-Mellen, RBKC  former deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, regeneration and property.

Pictured on the right is Nick Paget Brown, former RBKC leader (and liar)

Between them, they wreaked havoc and hell on the poorest and most vulnerable in the community. Not pictured is their cabinet member for finance, Warwick Lightfoot – see our previous post here:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/warwick-lightfoot-sorry-we-have-no-money-but-are-sitting-on-300-million-reserves/

This was their plan; generate as much money as you can to stay in power by asset stripping, social cleansing and  capitalising on the high value of land and property in the borough. They could not even begin to understand North Kensington in the words of Rock: “the north is the new south”

Of course the intention was to bribe the property-rich, cash-poor mainly elderly voters with their own taxpayers’ money in the hope of staying in power for a lifetime.

But it didn’t work out like that as they did a cheap shoddy refurbishment of Grenfell Tower which cost countless lives and casts a charred darkened shadow over their misdemeanours.  Most of us in this community will forever have it in their heads as a permanent reminder of what a bunch of crooks  we believe those in charge of RBKC to be.

We gave a rough list of just a few of their “projects”  in this post:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/09/15/little-lord-rock-weilding-felon-about-to-pack-his-bags/

As it is, we think for once, Nick “Piglet-Pie” Paget-Brown has (in his body language in the photo at least) summed up the utter bewilderment of most of the community they were supposed to represent.

Rock’s Mother, Amanda Feilding, the Countess of Wemyss, has called herself her  “own drug laboratory” and both his parents  have practised trepanning (drilling holes in their heads) to stay permanently high.

A journalist who once met Amanda Feilding said that “she is not exactly a good advertisement for legalising drugs, as she is frail and always shaking”.

Now in North Kensington, which like a lot of parts of inner city London, has a large drug problem, and a local authority which continually fails to deal with the distribution of hard drugs and the subsequent community issues that result from that failure, we can only guess that Rock lives up to his name.

Here is a personal quote about his upbringing from his own Mother: ” In our home there were no taboos. The children grew up knowing you could smoke pot and work,  and even enhance your cognitive function if you are clever enough to combine it with other substances”

Well, most families in less privileged circumstances would normally at least receive the attention of social services. Oh wait? Didn’t Rock also remove provision of children’s and families social services from the Westway in North Kensington?

We believe nothing short of a lengthy spell behind bars for messrs Paget-Brown, Feilding-Mellen and Lightfoot would be most appropriate. The only thing is  they might rather enjoy being reminded of boarding school too much……

And today we have a “stalemate” situation, propped up by a Conservative Prime Minister who lines the pockets of the bigoted  DUP – (who wouldn’t know North Kensington if it hit them on the back of the head)  to continually bring our area into further social decline.

We now have “Dizzy Lizzy” Elizabeth Campbell who is absolutely clueless and might as well have had a hole drilled in her head –  and her sloth- like Deputy Kim Taylor-Smith (another property developer, great!) in charge. For goodness sake we wish someone would do something about this but we only live in hope…..

 

 

 

 

 

Time up for the TMO

IMG_1060.JPGTHINK has said it before and we will say it again; when are the TMO going?

It is not satisfactory for RBKC TMO residents to not have any knowledge of who will be in charge of our social housing.

Our council is being secretive about this and we not only fear social cleansing  carried out and/or privatisation but we will also point out that some from the TMO may be subject to criminal investigation, so allowing them to be in control of our social housing in RBKC is beyond inappropriate.

Also for many North Kensington residents, living near Grenfell, this just adds to our trauma and also our increasing anger with the council and still charging residents rent while they are grieving for their friends and neighbours and also  receiving a very limited service now only adds further insult to injury…..

 

 

North Kensington Library: Happily ever after

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Once upon a time  back in 1891, there was a  purpose built  public library in North Kensington, It was enjoyed by many local and nearby residents of all backgrounds for over a century.

Then one day the ruling  Self-Servatives  in charge of the Royal Borough took a look at this much loved library  and decided that a beautiful Grade Two listed building was too special for its ordinary residents and made plans to lease the  existing library building to a Prep School and provide residents with an ugly inferior new library  building instead.

The Royal Borough’s Prince of Darkness, Rock Feilding-Mellen also had booked places at this Prep School for his children.

The citizens of North Kensington were astonished at the very nerve of  the Self- Servatives and the Prince of Darkness to take away a much- loved local library, appalled at how Prince Rock apparently had conflicts of interests in the matter and outraged at the planned layout of the proposed new building which combined the children’s and adults libraries.

Prince Rock  and his Self-Servative cabinet cohorts also had been behind plans to  take away people’s social housing, replace a local much-needed community college with so-called luxury flats and many other controversial redevelopment plans. It appeared their priorities were to carve up and sell off council-owned property in  North Kensington alongside developers for pure financial gain.

The frustrated citizens of North Kensington came together to fight a strong campaign to save the library for public use.

Then disaster struck and a needless and entirely preventable tragedy in the shape of the fire at Grenfell Tower sadly devasted the local community and many lost their lives or their homes.

The good citizens of North Kensington supported each other throughout the constant grief, trauma and stress, and still continued  campaigning to save their library, their College and their social housing.

People from all over the country and the world began to take notice, and soon fingers were pointing at King Nick, leader of the Self-Servatives, Prince Rock  and many others.

Soon public pressure forced many of the Self-Servatives in charge to resign and the Prince of Darkness was banished to the shadows, where he still remains today.

Now the good citizens of North Kensington have heard the good news that (what are left of) the Self-Servatives have now scrapped the plans to take this beautiful building away from the public and the Friends of North Kensington Library were instrumental in their campaign  to save it – a community will be forever grateful to these dedicated and passionate campaigners.

The End? Well we are not “sitting comfortably” quite yet – there are still many other things going on in North Kensington that give us cause for concern. We are still under Tory rule in RBKC, many in charge appear to be connected with property interests, our community college, Wornington College and the provision of further education is under threat and there is still a big question mark hanging over our social housing.

We did not mean to appear flippant, but this really is one true story that almost sounds make-believe. We thank the Friends of North Kensington Library and this good news has made THINK’s day.

Here is today’s Evening Standard:

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/plans-to-lease-north-kensington-library-to-5800aterm-prep-school-scrapped-in-wake-of-grenfell-tower-a3637151.html

Let’s  work at the other campaigns, hope and strive for success in those too. So we are pleased that North Kensington Library   has been saved for public use and  after Grenfell, our community more than deserves to live happily ever after.

The elusive Laura Johnson

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Pictured here is RBKC Director of Housing, Laura Johnson She despite having a high profile career is more than reluctant to have her picture shown – we cannot imagine why she chooses to be camera shy when she is in such a senior public position.

She  is still in power over what is left of our public social housing and. THINK will remind fellow residents that she  has been in her post since 2009.

What has happened in her tenure you might ask? Try the social cleansing plan that was attempted by RBKC towards residents of the Silchester Estate.

Also there were many more homes under threat of regeneration, particularly in Notting Dale Ward, North Kensington  (the ward that Grenfell Tower is in)  and the Grenfell Action Group had this to say:

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/notting-dale-is-latest-rbkc-regeneration-target/

And  back in 2014, RBKC  changed the housing points system  to remove localism points from those who have strong links and family background in  their local area, replacing them with absolutely nothing!

Also a member of the public  has  been in correspondence with Ms Johnson on a few occasions. Most recently was when she was threatened with “regeneration” and asked several questions about it. Some of the questions were indeed  rephrased  by Ms Johnson to fit a rehearsed answer.

What Ms Johnson did confirm however, is that RBKC does indeed socially cleanse those with not very many housing points  (so basically the young, single and physically healthy do not stand any chance of being housed  in the borough) and does make final offers of housing outside the borough and indeed, outside London in some cases.

Also Ms Johnson knowingly placed this same resident  some years back, around the corner from a known antisocial tenant. The resident had previously taken a restraining order against this antisocial neighbour only for RBKC’s housing team to ignore this. RBKC also had a few years back,  made the ridiculous mistake of  placing this woman in the same temporary accommodation as the antisocial neighbour when the court case was pending!

But what was Laura Johnson’s response when then local MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind  questioned the council over this? That’s right, Ms Johnson cited the shortage of housing in RBKC and did not even bother to apologise! Yes we are told that it is unusual for Ms Johnson to reply to ordinary tenants, though we can bet that many have various questions to ask; especially  now. So lurking in the shadows and hiding from the  residents that they are responsible for  does not make either  Ms Johnson or RBKC  look particularly helpful.

So if anyone wonders after Grenfell about RBKC’s attitude towards social housing and their neglect and contempt for those who live in it, THINK point out that it is not only elected councillors who are responsible.

We have also heard  talk that Laura Johnson has ambitions to be a Conservative MP; for once words fail us….

Is Little Lord Rock Weilding-Felon about to pack his bags?

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We have heard the latest  From The Hornets Nest that Rock Feilding-Mellen (pictured above) and Warwick Lightfoot may be about to resign from RBKC here:

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/resignation-dishonours-list.html?m=1

Rock Feilding-Mellen was Deputy Leader of RBKC and cabinet member for housing, property and regeneration from 2013 up until the 30th  of June this year when he resigned. His resignation statement here:

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/newsroom/all-council-statements/cllr-rock-feilding-mellen-statement-30-june-2017

In this, over the Grenfell Tower fire,  he said “Like my neighbours, I feel heartbroken”. Well we at THINK happened to believe that he felt more “heartbroken” at not being able to finish the job of a developers’ carve up of North Kensington, depriving many locals of public assets, amenities  and many social housing tenants and leaseholders of their homes.

Here is a rough list of projects his footprints (or should that be fingerprints?) were all over, what the potential plans were (they are very secretive about this) and the current situation with them now:

Westway Information Centre – redeveloped to be leased to Notting Hill Prep School :  The information centre is no longer no more.

North Kensington Library – to be closed and leased to Notting Hill Prep School and a new (ugly and inferior Library building provided for the public): Now cancelled for good – thanks to the excellent campaigning by Friends of North Kensington Library.

The Silchester Estate: Silchester East and Silchester West Estate both under threat of regeneration: Safe – for now

Other smaller housing regeneration projects, including social housing flats threatened with regeneration on Oxford Gardens, Raddington Road and Portland Road: Merely “put on hold” for now – no word yet

Wornington College: See our previous article: under threat of closure, RBKC owns the freehold (which they bought from KCC for £25million) : Likely to be closed and redeveloped into “luxury flats”

“Little Lord Rock Weilding-Felon” was also a trustee of the Westway Trust until 2014. For those not in the know, the Westway Trust was originally a charitable trust set up in the 70s with the aim to hold 23 acres of land in Trust  and develop and manage for the local community with the aim of creating positive spaces for the community to use under the Westway.

Sadly the Westway Trust in recent times have proved less than trustworthy, favouring moneyed developers and businesses over local community projects, paying themselves exorbitant salaries – sometimes to a higher amount than to what they are actually spending on the community – truly dreadful.

As it is there are many positive spaces provided under the Westway, but most of the work has come from those in our community who have volunteered and donated – as has also been the case now in the aftermath of Grenfell.

We mentioned Feilding-Mellen and his trip to MIPIM at Cannes before. We can also point out that Angela McConville who was chief executive of the Westway Trust, also accompanied Rock there on one occasion.

If the news is true, we welcome seeing the back of messrs Feilding-Mellen and Lightfoot, though we would rather see their humiliation next year at the local elections being exercised by the voting public (both are councillors for Holland Ward).

Warwick Lightfoot has featured here in THINK before too:

https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/warwick-lightfoot-sorry-we-have-no-money-but-are-sitting-on-300-million-reserves/

Some of us are wondering if this terrible twosome are planning their getaway just to avoid  some of the full facts  that  may come out  about others at RBKC – about cabinet members, councillors and some members of senior council staff, particularly those closely associated  with these two.

So maybe a desperate PR exercise in damage limitation by the RBKC Tories to  attempt to rescue their  tarnished reputation? If so; that just proves how hopelessly they are out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent. By the way, the suitcase and holdall Rock is carrying in the picture look big enough to whisk away a stash of important papers……

Save Wornington College – the campaign goes on!

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Many in and around our community (and beyond) will have heard about the fight to Save Wornington College.

For those who are not fully aware of the facts, let THINK give you a brief but general outline of what has happened, the situation now and why there is a strong campaign to keep this College in our community:

There have been education facilities  provided in Wornington Road, North Kensington, since the first “ragged school” was opened there back in 1874.  Ragged schools were charitable organisations devoted to providing education for impoverished children.

It remained a school in various different forms over many years  of social and economic change, and in the 1970s started on  its path to become what we know it is now, by offering English courses to the Vietnamese  boat people. In the 80s it became a further education College in full and therefore has a long recorded of providing valuable and much needed courses to many in our community.

The Wornington site is in a very multicultural area and many have benefited from its provions of ESOL (English as a second or other language) courses. Many adults in the area have also benefited from the college’s providing of Access  courses which offer a route to university education and a second chance in life in less fortunate circumstances. Also the provision of vocational and arts  and design courses at the college have also benefitted and provided life changing career opportunities to many. The college also has a crèche providing childcare to students with young children.

Now we are in the position where KCC (Kensington and Chelsea College) runs the site. KCC also have another site in Hortensia Road, Chelsea. Sadly, we have been disappointed to see  that provision of some of the vocational courses have been dropped at the  Wornington site but maintained at the Chelsea site.

We have also learned that the site has purchased by our local council RBKC for £25 million. Now why might they want to do this, some might wonder? Well, THINK and the Save Wornington College campaign believe that the intention is to redevelop the site for luxury flats instead and sell of to private developers.

We also know (see our previous post – “KCC win our first ever Piglet-Pie award”) that KCC have been less than forthcoming with the public as to their intentions, as even though they made it clear that a merger with West London College was their preferred option, they did make out that it was not a done deal – though we have seen  advertisements for  courses at the site saying “KCC – in partnership with West London College”

So why might we object to this?  Well the provision of these much needed courses provides  real opportunity to many in our local community for a start. Also that many students are on low incomes or are time-constrained by having jobs and/or families and would find a commute to Ealing or Chelsea too difficult. Also there are no direct public transport routes for such a journey provided in the north of the borough.

Another thing that gives us concern is that KCC are making staff at the Wornington site redundant – which also points to reduced facilities or complete cessation of  provision of education at Wornington College altogether.

Also KCC and RBKC have mentioned education facilities continued to be provided at the site, but they have not stated how big the new site is. Also what sort of courses would be provided at the proposed “mysterious” new site. We fear that their “proposed site” would be far smaller and many more courses would not simply have the space at the new building to carry on there. This is particularly true of  many of the arts and crafts courses.

As they have been less than open with us and our friends at the Grenfell Action Group have been doing some digging into planning laws and some at the KCC board,

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/wornington-college-the-smoking-gun/amp/

We do not believe that they will guarantee the future of our community college at all and that we will lose the provision of further adult education  that enhances the life chances of many in our area altogether, only to be replaced with “buy to leave” empty luxury flats, which are nothing of any benefit to our community whatsoever.

Please do come to the public meeting on Tuesday September 26th 6:30pm at Bevington Primary School, Bevington Road, W10 to support our college and our community and don’t let them  take it away from us.