29 November 2010

Local Tories enjoy millionaires' moolah

Not everyone in Hammersmith is having it tough. The local Conservative Party has enjoyed nearly a quarter of a million pounds in donations over the past decade, with four in every ten pounds coming from just two multi-millionaires, Lord Ashcroft and John Nash. According to Electoral Commission figures, the ten-year total since January 2001 hit £216,684 at the end of October. 

Lord Ashcroft’s £42,000 bounty was conveyed by Bearwood Corporate Services Ltd, a subsidiary of a subsidiary of an investment company owned by a Belize-registered company (yes) associated with the straightforward peer.

John Nash, who owns a huge private healthcare company, chose to channel £50,000 to Hammersmith Tories via his wife Caroline. She also bestowed £21,000 on Andrew Lansley's office, causing the Daily Telegraph to exclaim, Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, is being bankrolled by the head of one of the biggest private health providers to the NHS” and the Daily Mail to warn, Mr Nash runs several other firms that provide services to the NHS and stands to gain hugely from Tory plans to increase private sector involvement. It will be interesting to see how local GP consortia develop.

Who on earth are S.D. Management of 4th Floor, Centre Heights, 137 Finchley Road, London NW3 6JG, company reg. No. 0624459, who gave the Hammersmith Conservative Party £5,000 on 9 December 2009? Any answers, please, to hfconwatch@hotmail.co.uk.

26 November 2010

Cathnor Group takes fight to the Tories - visit their stall in Lyric Square

Good to see this email today from Annabel Clarke (no friend of the Labour Party) taking on the Tory Council’s misguided development plans, which would waste public money, ruin the Hammersmith skyline, boot out residents and damage local firms. Visit the stall tomorrow before or after signing the Save Cineworld petition (see below).

    Cathnor Park Area Action Group Communication
    Dear Members
    Please could you forward this email to all neighbours and friends.
    If you are in Hammersmith tomorrow (27th November 2010), there will be a stall in Lyric Square showing more details of the Town Hall Redevelopment and what you can do to object.
    Kind regards
    Annabel Clarke, Cathnor Park Area Action Group

25 November 2010

Sign the "Save Cineworld" petition

At 2pm this Saturday 27 November, campaigners will be launching a petition outside Cineworld in King Street, Hammersmith to save the popular cinema. This is part of the Save our Skyline campaign.

Given the 14-storey monstrosity the Tory council wants to build on the cinema site, it is ironic that Cineworld is currently showing an alien horror film called "Skyline", whose poster warns "Don't look up". (Tory councillors take note: the good guys win in the end.)

23 November 2010

The Tories' "Bugger Off Society"

Another tawdry Tory timeline:
  • 13 September - At a Save Our Skyline meeting, H&F Tory Cllr Harry Phibbs says "I'm here to listen" to residents' concerns that replacing the town hall extension with two 14-storey skyscrapers would blight the skyline, force out vulnerable local residents and damage local shops.
  • 29 October - The “listening” Tories submit unchanged plans to the planning committee.
  • 12 November - Private Eye again calls H&F a Rotten Borough: "How the Bigger Society became the Bugger Off Society when it came to consulting over plans to demolish council buildings in favour of luxury flats”. Full piece here (better still, buy the paper).
Go and watch the Tories ignore local people at the next Save our Skyline meeting, 6 December, 7.15pm, Rivercourt Methodist Church, King Street W6 9JT.

16 November 2010

Threshold – a timeline of Tory revenge?

The Threshold Housing Advice charity (THA) has closed its doors after 32 years. Here are some interesting dates.
•   June 2008: H&F council refuses emergency accommodation to an eight-month-pregnant battered wife, who ends up sleeping rough in a park for four days.
•   2009: THA complains to the Local Government Ombudsman.
•   Jan 2010: Ombudsman finds H&F guilty of maladministration causing injustice
•   June 2010: H&F council stops funding THA.
•   Nov 2010: THA closes.
The Ombudsman is still investigating a second THA complaint about H&F, allegedly “a lot, lot worse than the first”.

Bumptious Greenhalgh irritates K&C and Westminister Tories

The leaders of Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea councils are apparently still smarting at the crude way H&F leader Stephen Greenhalgh jumped the gun on their carefully planned announcement about merging services. Expect sparks to fly once discussions between the crass H&F Tory slashers and the one-nation Tories in K&C start in earnest.

15 November 2010

Are local charities being kicked out to make Palingswick House a free school for kids outside the borough?

Dogma-driven H&F Tory Council looks set to hammer local charities and sacrifice local residents’ money on educating children from outside the borough. The council originally shamefully said it would kick out 23 charities that help local people from Palingswick House on King Street and sell the building to pay down debt rather than improve services.

Now rumours are flying that the Tories are about to give up any rental or sale income from the building and hand it over to Toby Young’s new free school. Toby says only “about half” of students will be H&F residents – in other words, half will come from outside H&F (see http://tinyurl.com/2wllgop). Why should local charities and residents pay for this?

09 November 2010

H&F council to axe 700 jobs and make £28 million cuts

Following the government's spending review, Tory H&F council plans to save £28 million in the next financial year. This savings target means losing around 700 posts over the next four years.

That's before any plans are finalised for the so-called super council of H&F, K&C and Westminster.