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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Saturday, 5 December 2015

MUCH MORE FROM THE WESTWAY AGM

Alan Brown
Alan Brown (rightly) opened up this year's AGM to the local community and the result was that it voiced a little of its frustration and anger with the shoddy treatment it's received over the last 44 years at the hands of the senior management and trustees of the Westway Trust.

The chief executive, Angela McConville, set the scene perfectly by showcasing her idea of contributing to the community. First up was a (I think Sudanese) girl singing. Had she written her song? Was it culturally relevant to her? It was a cover of New Yorker Alysia Keys!

What a contrast with the account by long-standing resident Wilf Walker of how he'd built the Acklam Hall up into a venue for live Afro-Caribbean music when it was snatched from him by the Trust. He was followed by his son Huey explaining with calm dignity how the Trust had just done the same thing to him with the Flyover. It came across clearly that she had not cared about its significance as the last live music venue available to the local Afro-Caribbean community when she'd been able to get more money from a minor art gallery. I hope that Alan understands the desire and potential for a major Afro-Caribbean cultural centre here and that the reason the Westway Trust was given the 23 acres was to provide space for things like that not commercial art gallery's with no local significance.

Another similar story told was about Sarah Tuvey's stables. Sarah also clearly enjoys huge community support. The difference is that, despite their best efforts, the Trust's senior management has not yet achieved their goal of forcing her and her ponies to leave, so Alan could easily turn the situation round.

Sarah grew up locally and took over the stables from the rag and bone man in a terrible state. Stable Way was a no go area too. The Westway Trust used her to transform them into a community asset which Sarah has used to help very many people that other local organisations (like the Westway Trust) aren't able to cope with or help. And it is a real community resource - she welcomes everyone whether they can afford her (modest) rates or not.

18 months ago the Westway Trust took advantage of a technical legal point to avoid renewing Sarah's lease in the way they'd previously agreed to. Since then, they've made her life hell.

It began with Angela saying that she was only interested in "gold standard" stables producing national champions. She didn't get that Sarah's stables were gold standard community stables achieving something unique in London. She said that Sarah could stay if she made the business sufficiently profitable etc - but promptly turn down the offer of a year's rent upfront. Then she said she needed a real financier but turned down the very major one Sarah introduced to her. Next Angela brought in her lawyers who complained that she hadn't kept sufficient records of her community work, even though the Trust had never been interested in it before. Sarah was given the choice of being evicted last July or next January. At their last meeting, Sarah told them that she had no where to go - but they have told everyone that she had agreed to leave. (This is just one small example of the lies and misinformation they've been disseminating about her which has turned many people against her.)


Sarah wants to continue working in her own community where she can contribute so much. She deserves to be allowed to do so and the community want it; this is something Alan could sort out easily. He just needs to listen to the community instead of the vindictive and highly personalised attacks that Angela has made on Sarah. 


The Trust was given the land for things like community stables. What Sarah needs is either a proper long lease of the existing stables and arena so she can relaunch them with improved facilities (the current ones are worn out and need refurbishment) or to be part of the new equestrian centre that the Trust is talking about (the one thing Sarah has achieved is making them understand that ponies and riding can make a valuable contribution to the inner city). 


Giving Sarah's stables a real future would be a great first step to showing that the Westway Trustees are now listening to and working with the community that they are meant to represent, and providing space to replace the Flyover would be a good second one too

26 comments:

  1. It is very clear that Westway have lost their way...deliberately. They were not created to make profit, they were created to work in the best interest of local people whose homes were flattened to make way for the polluting, poisonous motorway. Instead they have behaved appallingly, they have systematically cleansed anything that has mattered to local people and indeed to tourists, who bring millions of pounds of business into the area, who want to see and be part of a creative interesting community, even for a day. Westway have trashed the very things that bring residents together, Acklam Playspace and Acklam Hall being just two, they have deliberately not invested in the maintenance of Sarah's Stables and tried to pass the buck to her, they have been manipulative and twisted in their dealings with her. They see absolutely no value in the local people they are supposed to represent. Instead they have done everything in their power to disenfranchise residents, but they seriously underestimate the power, determination and love residents of this Borough have for their community, both North and South. Angela McConville needs to leave, she has created nothing but utter chaos and division, whoever Alan Brown is he needs to engage with local people in an honest and open way, he needs to create things that matter to us. Westway have plenty of money in the bank to do this and still be a very healthy organisation. If they continue to fail local residents they will be made accountable. Sarah Tuvey is one person, she has stood with courage and conviction for what she believes and knows has worked for local people from all types of backgrounds. These people continue to support Sarah, its about time Sarah was given the support she needs from Westway to keep the one thing left that matters to local people. It would go a little way to rebuilding Westway's credibility.

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    1. Retired Chief Executive6 December 2015 at 10:20

      Ms McConville is obviously not a serious person. But she is a serious nuisance.

      A capable Chairman would put her out to grass.

      Delete
  2. If the Westway Trust try and evict Sarah at the end of January then they will unleash a force of local community action that will make them regret the day they were born.
    That is not a threat it is a fact.
    Local people love the stables and we all know how they have historically benefited the community.
    The Westway Trust can rest assured that the North Kensington population will not allow a bunch of RBKC quislings to rob us of this cherished community asset.

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  3. "Township" North Kensington needs to be preserved and developed as an area that provides skilled labour to the hotel, restaurant, retail, transport, building, teaching, nursing, cleaning, construction needs of central London. And especially the Royal Borough

    We do not want another yuppy scape or upmarket housing regeneration for those who get squeezed out of more expensive areas or buy to leave properties to satisfy the infinite demand from China, Russia and the Middle East

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    Replies
    1. Is the Westway Trust getting clear policy guidance from Hornton Street? Without this, and a political understanding of what is right for residents and what they will accept, there will be nothing more than heat and grief.

      Public policy needs to be slightly behind public opinion. Otherwise it is doomed. Politicians need to give the Leadership to move public opinion forward. But first they need to connect up to understand public opinion.

      Monopoly Tory land in the Royal Borough has produced one of the most severe disconnects between politicians and residents. Hopefully new blood like Victoria Borwick, MP for Kensington, can start to address this fault line. She has common sense and she cares.

      Delete
  4. Westway Trust is not a steady state organisation. It is a major change organisation.

    The Leadership needs to be deeply engaged with residents: listening, explaining, adapting, suggesting, urging. And not attempting the impossible. This requires a special type of Leader.

    Looking at Westway residents and then looking at Ms McConnville, it stretches the imagination to think that she would be capable of establishing any kind of empathy with the locals.

    Time for a rethink, Cllr Paget-Brown

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  5. I hope Mr Brown knows and understands that leadership is about choosing the right people for the job

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  6. Despite being caught red handed faking the vote whereby it changed it's "charitable" focus from acting for local people, to working with five other London boroughs, as well as the recent public votes of no confidence, the Westway Trust still believes it's business as usual! Since the vote was invalid, it did not take place. The public lacks confidence in both the Trust's directors and trustees and their public consultations.

    It's dishonest for the Trust to try to continue its "consultation" on Destination Westway - seeking to make commercial profits from the space under and near Westway. Since this programme constitutes an essential part of a non-existing change of focus, it cannot now go ahead. Yet the Trust persists in dishonestly seeking to carry on as if nothing had happened. The Westway Trust is dishonest from start to finish.

    There's an equally dishonest claim that the Trust is "independent" of the Council. In fact, the Council discussed and ratified the Trust's faked up change of charitable focus. RBKC is the Trust's landlord, so has to give it's permission for any change of focus and/or use of it's land. RBKC is also dishonest from start to finish.

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  7. As for McConville's statement that she's only interested in an equestrian centre for "gold standard" stables producing national champions, national champion riders need champion horses. The air under the Westway is poisonous; killing 75 local residents a year. Who in their right mind would allow high quality, valuable horses to breathe toxic air? Like so much McConville says, this statement is either remarkably foolish or deliberately misleading. Perhaps it's both.

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  8. Anonymous 13:17 is right Hornton Street is supporting Westway and have throughout supported them against the stables. Pagett Brown is a complete waste of space he is not working for the residents of Kensington and Chelsea he has allowed Hammersmith and Westminster to take over the running of the Borough he has stood by while good and experienced officers were forcibly retired or fired. The standards for which Kensington were a benchmark for other Boroughs have gone through the floor. Kensington have spent thousands fixing the problems caused by Hammersmith and Westminster and still Padgett Brown has not woken up, it seems he would prefer to be guided by officers from Hammersmith and Westminster.

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  9. I think time has come for 38-degrees or Change.org to get involved....locally and nationally... Is our Dame going to start the ball rolling?

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  10. Paget Brown gives not a moment's thought to the proper governance of the rotten borough. There are at least a dozen serious scandals bubbling away in the Hornton St cauldron. Most are home grown; merely exacerbated by the bi-borough disaster. WCC largely keeps a safe distance.

    The Town Hall's sole ambition is to suppress the various truths. As long as NPB can wander round smirking at random members of the public and writing drivel columns in local newspapers, he's oblivious. He's less gratuitously offensive than Pooter, but has turned the lack of oversight into an art form. It's not just a rotten borough; it's rancid.

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    1. Don't think for one second that Westminster have distanced themselves, Westminster has been responsible for countless disasters under the dozy eye of paget brown et al. Their useless commissioners have been responsible for the transport debacle which tortured disabled children, and elderly, payments for their own staff and services have to be sent to BT in Scotland, they've had to pay some staff in cash and its putting organisations at risk....they have retired the local officers who knew what they were doing ...another Westminster disaster. Not one of these councillors actually seem to understand they are being mugged daily, no doubt monies will go missing too.....we need to return to Borough specific services, forget the others because they certainly don't care about the residents of this Borough. Its an utter mess.

      Delete
  11. On the subject of the local newspapers, why is McConville, CEO of the Westway Trust given a regular column in the local freebie? This is not to be confused with the publicly subsidised Horton St Rag.

    McConville's latest offering is headlined "Creating space for local business to thrive." It's the usual dreary stuff about an open evening at the Westway arcade and the Trust's ongoing support for small local businesses. She omits to mention that the Trust is evicting the stables and a popular black music group etc. Nor is there a word about following development policies after an illegal vote. Instead she claims to listen to people. Yet she failed to hear the recent unanimous public vote of no confidence and demands for her resignation.

    She finishes by claiming some sort of ownership of "the vibrant heritage of N. Kensington." Unfortunately Ms McConville wouldn't know vibrancy or heritage if she met them in the street. Her failings are so obvious, she must go in order for the Trust to move forward with those qualified to support local communities.

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  12. 16.44 makes some excellent points. Perhaps WCC's part in many of the recent scandals is less well known, because its officers are largely kept away from the pubic. The three boroughs collude at all levels to destroy what's local and genuine, in order to make central west London a place fit only for offshore money launderers. H&F went Labour at the last general election, a fact that seems to have made not one iota of difference to the way it does business.

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  13. Sadly the Council is not Westway's landlord any longer. This was changed when the lease came up for review a few years ago. Transport for London now lease the land occupied by Westway directly to the Trust. Some of the land is leased to and occupied by RBKC, but not the parts that are causing all the problems.

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  14. Please tell as we're is information to back up the council are no longer the middle man in trust land and . Transport for London are in leasing Straight to trust.

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  15. The Council is not the middle man, the lease is from Transport for London to the Westway Trust.

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  16. Okay on what date did it all change

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  17. So Council input is to Regain it's Power Back on 23 arces .

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  18. It's long been known that the Westway Trust is a barely disguised branch of the Council. TfL owns the land. There's no reason to believe RBKC doesn't lease it from TfL and sublet to the Westway Trust, rather than the other way round.

    Think about it. RBKC is the wealthiest Council in the UK. The Westway Trust has nothing beyond 23 acres of land under and near an elevated roadway. If you were TfL, to which organisation would you give the head lease? There's an old saying "If it doesn't make sense, it's not true."

    No one believes a word from the Trust. It's known to rig its voting system and act unlawfully. So it has to prove to the public that it holds the head lease. Unless that lease is produced, everyone will know this is yet another lie. The issue is important because whoever holds the head lease, controls the future of the 23 acres.

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  19. Surely when the Westway was built the land would have been compulsorily purchased by the Department for Transport (Central Government). At what point was it transferred to TfL?

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  20. No idea. TfL probably didn't exist in the 1960s. TfL definitely owns it now. The issue is which organisation has the head lease from them.

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  21. It was originally held by the Department of Transport, which leased it to RBKC, which sub-leased it to the North Kensington Amenity Trust. The sub-lease came up for renewal in the late 1990s during the reign of Roger Matland. Matland was desperate to get his hands on the lease and remove RBKC from the frame. Which happened. At some stage Transport for London inherited the land from the Department and TfL then signed the new lease directly with the North Kensington Amenity Trust. The current regime at the Westway Trust are guiltless of this particular manoeuvre. All the changes that led to the control of the Trust by outsiders from the worlds of finance and property happened under Matland, not the current regime. They are just reaping the benefit. As is the Council, of course, because although it no longer controls the Trust in the way it used to, it has facilitated the removal of community involvement in the Trust and ensured that it is controlled by individuals who subscribe to the Tory world view, ie those who cannot be trusted with Society.

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  22. Why is Angela saying that the previous AGMs were open? It was impossible to find out when and where the last one was taking place in advance, which isn't my idea of a meeting being open. Angela, please just accept that you're in a hole and stop digging. Rewriting yet more history at this stage won't help your position.

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