Monday, 30 March 2009

All those in favour........

Over 300 people turned out on Sunday at a public meeting in support of the EMD. It was good natured and informative event. Time and again members of the local community spoke passionately about the value of the EMD to Walthamstow as a cinema, and their fears about any scheme in which the UCKG proposed to share a small portion of it.

Notable highlights included;
  • The transparently vacuous and nonsensical excuses given by the UCKG for not attending the public meeting

  • Councillor Macklin's forthright condemnation of the Council's decisions throughout the EMD and Arcade saga, followed by the recollection [by other people] that he was party to those decisions and didn't ever oppose them.

  • Councillor Wheeler's rambling riposte, in which he appeared to support pretty much everyone, especially if they want a swimming pool in the town centre and a running track in the sky above it.

The meeting concluded with votes on 4 key issues;

  1. Would the community prefer a revived EMD to a new multiplex - 100% in favour

  2. Do the community wish to proceed with the UCKG plan for shared use - 100% against

  3. Should the council pursue a Compulsory Purchase Order, and take control of the EMD building - 100% in favour

  4. Should the council agree a land swap with the UCKG; exchanging the EMD for facilities elsewhere - 90% in favour and 10% against

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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Barmy £35m plan for Arcade site... please send a quick email TODAY!

The council's latest barmy decision is to plough £35m of public money into a new Arcade scheme including a swimming pool. See this story in the Walthamstow Guardian... including many comments from frustrated residents!

While we prefer a pool to a Primark, the decision to stick with developer St Modwen means the unpopular tower block design will probably change very little. Especially as the council seeks to recoup its (read: our) money by flogging off flats. The council's even going to fund St Modwen to the tune of £500,000 to develop the plans. So yet again tonnes of money are being poured into a scheme in which the developer can't lose - but we, the public, will lose out no matter whether the plans go ahead or not. Also the council finding £35m to bail out its tower block plans undermines its claims that it can't find the monet to help save the EMD cinema.

We think the council should instead genuinely go back to the drawing board, without being tied to a developer, genuinely consult residents about what we want, and consider the fates of the Arcade site and the EMD together.

Anyway, the council cabinet made the decision last night to go ahead with this barmy plan, but was split along party lines. If four local councillors insist on it, the decision can be called in to full council next week for debate - and that would see a good chance of it being overturned. Or any five local councillors could ask the mayor to call an extraordinary council meeting. Both of these options could see the decision sent back to cabinet for reconsideration.

So... please fire off a quick email TODAY to your local councillors - visit this council web page to find out who they are - simply asking them to please call the Arcade site decision in to full council. This will be particularly effective if your councillors are either Lib Dem or Conservative (the Labour guys were in favour of the plan).

Oh and please do email your councillors. Don't just assume someone else's councillors will do the job! These guys care about votes - so the more emails they receive, the more chance of them calling it in, and the more chance of the decision being overturned.

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Monday, 23 March 2009

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Arcade News

The WF Cabinet are soon to decide if, and how, they will press on with the Arcade development. Presently they are planning to move Pool and Track [but not the Track part] onto the Arcade site. For the detailed report follow;

Our concern major concern is that they still hope to recoup 30-40% (i.e. £10-14m) of the budget through the residential units, and if so then - you guessed it - we're talking another unpopular tower block plan!

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