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Tuesday, 24 November 2015


The Dame's roving reporter writes....

Last night's Westway Trust's AGM  was held in the beautiful St. Helen's church in N. Kensington. 
Amid drumming and singing, hundreds of local residents attended for an enthralling evening of grand opera in several acts. 
A panel of 8 or 10 milk white, middle class, directors and trustees faced a vivacious and motley audience of people spanning the five continents and the seven ages of man and woman.  
After the usual life-sapping social propaganda and, at the very start of the meeting, Robina Rose loudly questioned the legitimacy of the Trust's secret change of its focus from providing services for local residents, to serving five London boroughs including Wandsworth!  
This caused uproar. 
The accuracy of the minutes were then questioned by one audience member after another. 
To roars of approval, the matter was settled by trustee Cllr Mason, who confirmed that  last year's vote had been illegitimate. 
The new Chairman Alan Brown promptly withdrew the minutes and his agenda. There followed multiple calls for McConville to go and more than three hours of questions from the floor. 
Everyone from Rasta's to city slickers noisily questioned the Trust's motives. 
A director claimed that the soon to be evicted stables will be replaced by an equestrian centre. Rather than mollifying his boisterous audience, his remark was met by hundreds of loud demands for the Trust to support the existing stables instead. 
Nothing the Trust said was accepted by the residents - who, by then, were largely on their feet. 
The public dismissed a series of feeble excuses for Trust mismanagement ranging from a black sports group offered a 3 month lease, being immediately replaced with a white gallery granted a 5 year lease; to the closure of the much loved Maxilla children's centre. 
In a doubtlessly unintended condescending voice, McConville's tried several times to tell the audience that the Trust was duty bound to destroy local services in favour of other London boroughs. 
Despite or perhaps due to her efforts, the air rang with rejection.  Niles Hailstones and scores of his colleagues kept up the momentum. Panel members went either purple, were deeply depressed or in McConville's case, stared blankly into space. There was a vigorous discussion of why the Trust failed to attend the recent Tabernacle public meeting. McConville's excuses were roundly rejected. On and on it went until in the face of universal public outrage, the chairman agreed to another attempt at an AGM; this time on residents' terms. At last it was over, with the debate slowly turning into lively chats between small groups heading for the doors. It had been a truly wonderful night at the opera.

And McConville? She was last seen tottering out of the building on her 7" high heels, into a dark, wet and windy night.


  1. Yes it was a splendid example of democracy in action. It's also an utter disgrace that a charitable Trust set up to support local residents should have used unlawful methods to steal their services. Both the Council and the Charity Commission condoned the move. Presumably both must now withdraw their approval.

    The calls for the chief executive, Angela McConville, are justified.

  2. What punishment Awaits those who dare challenge the Trust Let's see !!!

  3. The game is now up, the performance of most senior Board members and CEO were weak and incompetent, and 300 people were there to see it.

    An extraordinary evening, and rather wonderful too.

  4. Kerr M'Udgeon24 November 2015 at 14:50

    The video and presentations were in turn patronising and lurching into the absurd...
    The grand finale of this mind-numbingly boring balderdash was a straight faced gentleman who has received funding to knit a cover for a tree... meanwhile the hapless McConville was happy to evict Sarah Turvey (recipient of the Mayor's award for community service?) and her stables -- a community based project. It seems the McConville and Co have marked the cards of the Stables and are determined to turf them out regardless of the wishes of the community the Trust purports to serve. One might be forgiven for finding this almost vindictive. The constant denials of the Trust that there is no hidden agenda are increasingly difficult to believe... a cursory glance at McConville's 'team' is a telling indicator of the true agenda. As the evening progressed, the Trust's attempts to be seen as an honest broker were demolished and in tatters, as its duplicity was exposed. It is to hoped that Councillors Mason and Spalding will ensure that many bright lights are shone into the murky affairs of the Trust. North Kensington expects better.

  5. 13.55 may have misunderstood the situation. A charitable trust or similar group is subject to regulation. The Westway Trust has just been found to have unlawfully attempted to change it's aims, via an illegitimate vote of the Trust board. Since the vote was unlawful, surely no change in the Trust's aims has actually taken place.

    To make matters worse, on the basis of a non-existent vote, the Trust received ratification of it's non-existent change of focus: from both the RBKC and Charity Commission. So the Trust is unlikely to be in a position to threaten anyone. On the contrary, the authorities may investigate the Trust.

    Think of the possible complexities. For example, agreements the Trust has entered into with external bodies may be void. This may lead to litigation. Organisations in say Fulham or Brent may have invested in equipment and staff to engage in projects with the Trust. These projects may no longer go ahead. The external organisations will seek to recover at least their costs. There are any number of similarly embarrassing and expensive possible scenarios awaiting the Trust.

    Are there any Hornet-reading lawyers out there able to shed a little light on this mess?

  6. So what of the Trust's recently assembled (and expensive) Marketing and PR team? Don't seem to be of much use.

  7. It is the Council that closed the Maxilla Children's Centre and it is the Council that is handing over the old Westway Information Centre and the North Kensington Library to Notting Hill Prep School. It is easy to take on the Trust, much less easy to take on the Council, Wake up, Westway 23!

  8. or is this a councillor who has been asleep on her watch ....

  9. Will trust not lead to council therefore a sprat to catch a Mackerel

  10. Did local ward councillor attend

    1. There were several Councillors present, two on the Board, one Labour and one Conservative, and I counted a further seven Labour in the audience.

    2. Labour Councillors turned up but none had the guts to stand up and help represent the voice of many of their constituents. Waste of space!

    3. labour is scared cus their mates in the press are bashing them all the time due to Jezza

  11. There's not a hair's breadth of difference between the council and the trust. A councillor told it like it is recently "the trust is a barely disguised branch of the council."

  12. I entered the building at 6:40. As I passed through the door a female in authority (I can't say it was McConville) said to a minion "We're going to have to shut the doors. They're taking over".

  13. It seems to me this is the situation.

    The Trust was initially constituted to use the 23 acres for the benefit of the local residents - this they did by providing physical community facilities at low rents.

    Gradually they have become property developers, maximising the return from the land, and using the profit to 'benefit' local residents with grants, training, courses, singing lessons etc (as so painfully plugged at the meeting).

    I guess dishing out money is easier than providing physical facilities. And property development is exciting.

  14. Comment heard by lady shut the door there taking over . . !!!!!!!! Whilst at least 40 badges of voters who .Don't attend sat on the table does anyone ever go to these meetings Are they invited?

    1. "they are going to take over..." perhaps it was the same Trust woman who declined to give a child water.... the refreshments were taken out of circulation pretty rapidly too ...

  15. In fact it only took a handful of voters to take over the meeting. They successfully highlighted the fact that that last year's vote neither achieved the legally required proportion of votes, nor was that vote presented in the authorised manner. So effectively there was no vote.

    Even more interesting is that McConville said last year's vote was necessary because the Trust had already accepted government funding. This necessitated the structural change. So not only does the Trust probably owe money to outside organisations, but it took central government money under false pretences.

    Then there's her point that historically the Trust "must" have changed their structure in order to deviate from it's original charitable aims. After the current mess, any such hope seems a little desperate. The Trust has probably been structurally unlawful for years, or even decades.

  16. Anonymous24 November 2015 at 17:00
    "It is easy to take on the Trust"

    It is easy to say that now that people have dedicated 6 moths to making these events happen. Did you make it happen??! W23 are not the ones who have been sleeping here....

    Have some respect for people who have given time and money to support the community. They need your support, not your badmouthing.

    W23 know full well the connection between trust and council.

    1. Totally agree with that statement.
      It is not easy to organise and the time and energy given by all those who do it should be applauded not slagged off

  17. WW23 has done a great job rousing the community to challenge the status quo. Which ever way one looks at the Trust, it's deeply mired in mismanagement or worse, that may have gone on for years. Alan Brown has his work cut out.

  18. How can someone basically 5 years out of school be ceo of the westway trust? ask yourselves that.

    Basically an undergrad in English Lit, and then a phony Msc in Multimedia?? hahaha and 2 years at Price Waterhouse (accounting firm WTF) and from that point on it's Governorships and CEO..

    This smells of a stitch up, and this patsy is delivering it to the residents of N. Ken.

    1. oh yeah forgot this..

  19. The black sports group was not sports but the only live music social venue .left and used greatly by community. . On the 23 arces . I believe it was still meant to be hired out as to community In contract But At £6000 Cost for a small venue is a high price to pay therefore excludes community trust also I believe in presentation At beginning of AGM showed film from 2014 in they how we serve the community so well which was funded by V A museum Oh Dear

  20. delighted to see local people take action like this.good on ya !!!!!!


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