Click above for Planning Application submission (we submit, we submit!) plus Transport page.

2014-09-01

Daily Telegraph: "All economic measures are fallible; some are dangerous"


"By using our past mistakes to judge our current performance, we condemn ourselves to repeating the cycle "

Link to web site

"The revisionist news about the UK economy just keeps getting better. Less than six months ago, with the International Monetary Fund breathing down George Osborne’s neck, the country was thought to have narrowly escaped a triple-dip recession. The economy appeared to have managed a somewhat anaemic 0.3pc of growth in the first three months of the year.

"... [However, remember that] the financial crisis was the end of one of the biggest credit binges in history. Among the things that the bubble inflated were economic growth and median income in the western world. Why then do we continue to measure ourselves in reference to a rate of economic output that was by definition unsustainable and indeed placed us in such a perilous predicament?

"Worse than that, by using our past mistakes to judge our current performance, we condemn ourselves to repeating the cycle. Critics of the Government’s austerity programme used it as a yardstick with which to beat George Osborne. Had they got their way and forced the Chancellor to change his course, perhaps the double and triple-dips would have been for real. "




" 'The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It' review – Owen Jones's biting critique of the elite"

"A passionate account of injustice reveals the lies peddled by our leaders"

Link to The Observer

"Why is it that the people who caused the financial crash have got away with it while those who played no part have been punished? This, essentially, is the question that Owen Jones poses in his passionate account of political and economic injustice. In searching for the answer he, like other columnists before him, has alighted on the "e" word, the establishment.

"David Cameron, the Conservative chameleon de nos jours, saw an opportunity in the mayhem wreaked by the bankers. Before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, the leader of the opposition had pledged to match Labour's spending plans. As the author points out, Cameron quickly changed tack and deftly turned crisis into opportunity.

"Prompted by financiers and their friends, he turned economics on its head, declaring that the problem was caused not by an out-of-control financial services industry but by a bloated state. Cuts became the mantra to turn Britain back on to the path of prosperity."

[Reposted from 2011] 'Broken Barnet': "Barnet Council - a culture of Decadence, Failure, Incompetence and Corruption"

Link to 'Broken Barnet' web site

"... [Barnet Council Audit Committee chair and noble Lord,] Lord Monroe Palmer moved to the MetPro Audit Report's recommendations, repeating his view that the report made:
"Devastating reading ... Horrendous . [I hope] we don't have to wait for the public, for the bloggers, to tell us, before another report like this had to be presented."
[We note: Barnet has paid £1.4-million over five years, without any contract at any time, to a largely-illegally-unregistered security company, MetPro Rapid Response Limited, which went into liquidation earlier this year, owing 'hundreds of thousands of pounds', to be replaced by a new company, MetPro Emergency Response Limited, which the Council started and continued to pay, again without any tendering or contract whatsoever. 

This company also made illicit video recordings of the public attending council meetings, within Hendon Town Hall (where the Pinkham Way protesters were called 'a rabble', by the way).]
"Barnet Council's Chief Executive thought the problem, guess what:
"Says something profound about the [London Borough of Barnet] culture."
"Yes, Mr Walkley: it speaks of a culture of decadence and failure, incompetence and corruption.

"The trouble is that Captain Pugwash and his hapless crew ... are insisting on taking the listing vessel out onto the high seas, of massive outsourcing of public services, in the meanwhile, seaworthy or not ...

"Lord Palmer again raised the question of potential fraud. This was neatly deflected by Jeff Lustig, Director of Corporate Governance, by a mention of the 'Corporate Fraud Team'. Will we ever hear any more, I wonder?"


More material is at 'Barnet Eye'.


More about the 'Barnet Blogsphere':


"Easy council" scandal puts Town Hall outsourcing reforms in the spotlight.

Investigations by local bloggers uncovered serious contract irregularities at a flagship Tory council. The case may have wider implications for public service reform.


2014-08-31

Works for some: The opposite of Hammerson's junk housing


Copper Lane review – London's first co-housing project strikes an elegant balance between communal living and leafy seclusion

Link to The Observer

"This sounds like the reality show from hell: seven adults and six children, not all known to each other at the start, get together to design and build six houses for themselves. They borrow money, buy a piece of land with no planning permission attached, hire architects, other professionals and a building contractor. They negotiate with each other as to who gets what bit of the project for what money.

"Six years later they move in. The builder has recently presented the final bill, making a total construction cost of £1.8m, against earlier, inevitably optimistic, estimates of £1.45m. "We've only just figured out how much each of us will pay," says one of the residents, Simon Bayly.

"Their development, called Copper Lane, has no private gardens or washing machines, but shared open spaces, a laundry and a communal room for parties, music and games, which have to be collectively managed and maintained. The project could have been a fusion of Big Brother, Changing Rooms and, for the bravado with which those involved seem to have taken on a possibly impossible task, The Apprentice. Yet, far from sinking into a stew of acrimony, they seem to be on as good terms as ever, as they discuss who gets to use the new communal leaf-blower.

"... It has the added advantage of being cost-effective, as other houses in the area of similar size can sell for 40% more than the cost of those at Copper Lane, which is not to say it's exactly the solution to southern England's notorious housing problems. It is too singular for that, the creation of an unusual group of individuals who had the advantage of having some property to start with. But, compared with the stacked-up investment units that pass for much new housing, it's an appealing model."


2014-08-30

Proudlock Associates appointed by Brent Cross developers as disability consultants



"Proudlock Associates are award winning disability and inclusive design consultants. We specialise in access auditing of buildings, access strategies, access statements and access appraisals.

"We produce award winning solutions for clients in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

"We deliver top quality work through qualified and experienced staff.

"We will guide you to comply with the Building Regulations and work with you towards meeting your duties under the Equality Act 2010. Furthermore, we want you to win awards for excellence and we will show you how to achieve the best practice standard."


"Proudlock Associates is proud to be the author of the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) inclusive design guides. RICS members can see some of our work and news/articles on inclusive design at the isurv members’ area of the RICS website."



Events and Conferences:
"We provide experienced and capable speakers for conferences and workshops on the Equality Act, Inclusive Design, Disability and Inclusion. Please get in touch to talk about your speaker requirements."



London Communications Agency:
Brent & Kilburn Times

Barnet Times: Brent Cross shopping centre, high streets and air pollution



2014-08-29

Don't think for one minute that Hammerson executives aren't capable of important, creative and intelligent press releases. Oh, no. Don't think that for one minute. No siree!



"The selfie is dead - long live the 'ph-oodie'"

28.08.2014

"An in-depth study of Hammerson's social media feeds proves that the selfie is on the way out, and is being replaced by a new major trend - the ph-oodie.

"The phoodie, an amalgamation of 'photo' and the popular tag 'foodie', is an individual who religiously snaps their food exploits, and then shows off their tasty treats across their social media feeds to friends and followers. [They have friends?]

"Hammerson, who own and manage some of the UK's best-loved shopping centres including Bullring and Brent Cross, discovered the phoodie trend by looking at the social media channels across its UK portfolio. The analysis saw that more than half of the photographs uploaded on social media were now of food, surpassing fashion for the first time.

"Hammerson also mapped a host of other trends; for example, the item UK phoodies love to show off most is the humble burger, however, the single most popular dish was Wagamama's Katsu Curry, meaning that it now could be trumping the classic korma as the UK's most popular meal.
Starbucks is the brand that achieved the most social media mentions, with the coffee chain dominating 65 per cent of uploads.  Our obsession with getting our caffeine hit could also link to the fact that the biggest spike in phoodie uploads came at 11am, with dinner time surprisingly being low down on the list.

"Regionally, there are also some distinct trends; the Birmingham phoodie is an American aficionado, with Krispy Kreme and Ed's Easy Diner being the most popular dining spots for Bullring [sic] customers. In London, however, most Brent Cross shoppers preferred to upload snaps of their delights from Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Lola's Cupcakes.

"Sophie Ross, Group Head of Multichannel at Hammerson commented:
"I've lost the will to live. [Oh no, she didn't say that. What she did say was:] Although our retail destinations are well known for their fashion credentials, we started to notice that our social media feeds were dominated by food, hence why [tautology] we have coined the new tribe of social media uploaders 'the phoodies' [it was a quiet day].

We were very surprised by some of the results; we are extremely busy in the evenings with our superb dining offering, but it seems that our customers use 11am as their most prevalent time to post on social media as they treat themselves with coffees, cupcakes and sweet treats."

ENDS
Notes to Editors 

Hammerson own and manage 11 major shopping centres in the UK, including Brent Cross in North London, Bullring, Birmingham, Victoria Quarter in Leeds and The Oracle in Reading. Hammerson also owns 22 retail parks and is an investor in nine premium designer outlet villages across Europe including Bicester Village.

For further information please contact:
Catrin Sharp, Group Head of Media
catrin.sharp@hammerson.com
+ 44 (0)20 7887 1063



"Frank PR? Catrin here. What's that load of £$%^&* you've given us? We're being ridiculed here. Yes ridiculed! Call yourself a PR outfit? I've heard better PR from Genghis Khan."





"Some of our bankers, some of our lawyers, some of our property market": How London Fuels Corruption: Anthea Lawson at TEDx Houses of Parliament




Published on Jul 10, 2014

"Anthea Lawson is a campaigns director with Global Witness, a not for profit organisation that investigates the economic networks behind conflict, corruption and environmental destruction, and campaigns to change the system. In this talk she tells the story of how London has become a hub for corrupt money, and outlines what should be done to stop this."

"Tax Justice Network: For more on the British role, see here or here or here."

Sat 13 Sep: Cricklewood Open Studios



"Steel lettering crowns the restored facade along Cricklewood Broadway. Beautiful brickwork and architectural details set off with colorful canopies that recall the early days of traders along the Broadway."
Saturday September 13th: 11am - 6pm

"Cricklewood Open Studios is where local artists and makers invite you to visit their studios and see the great work they do, where they do it.

"A studio might be a garage, a spare room, a warehouse or a shed. It's a great chance to view and discuss how artists and craftspeople work, to share ideas, buy work or just quietly enjoy visiting. The only requirement is your curiosity.

"There will also be a couple of historical walking tours of Cricklewood on Sunday 14th.

It's all free to attend, so please join in and help us make the most of Cricklewood's creative talents at our first Open Studios."


"The Cricklewood Town Team (previously Cricklewood Improvement Programme – CIP) was created by Cricklewood Homeless Concern in partnership with a group of Cricklewood residents towards the end of 2010.

"A steering group was formed, motivated in part by the ideology of the Big Society, and chose to focus on creating a climate for change that encourages local people in Cricklewood to take charge of and lead on the development of Cricklewood, making it a great place to live, work or visit.

Cricklewood straddles the junction of three London boroughs and more immediately three wards i.e. Mapesbury (Brent), Childs Hill (Barnet) and Fortune Green (Camden). Consequently it is a challenge to develop a coherent approach for Cricklewood as a neighbourhood or town and, as a result, the area requires attention to make it an attractive place for all.

"Cricklewood Town Team aims to create a formal organisation which plays a lead role in determining the future for Cricklewood in conjunction with relevant bodies such as resident associations, community groups, local businesses, faith groups, community safety agencies, statutory partners such as Barnet, Brent and Camden councils, as well as the Community and Voluntary sectors."

Accurate Brent Cross Masterplan? No! Allies & Morrison's image forgets the southern parts of Barnet's corrupt 2008 planning application!



"The Brent Cross masterplan presents a vision for a sustainable town centre. The key location of this brownfield site, which straddles the North Circular ring road, supports its potential as a major urban centre for northwest London, creating a gateway to the city from the M1. [Meaning: Come by car!]

"The mixed-use development provides business and residential expansion, recreation facilities and retail opportunities, underpinned by improved public transport connections. Sensitive to its context, the development creates clustered tall buildings as landmarks on the skyline, interspersed with smaller scale buildings and generous open spaces." [It also includes - on the same planning application - a 5-storey building on Cricklewood Lane.]

Chapman Taylor: Hammerson's dreadful living bridge at Brent Cross (videoing from the real one)


Ah, breathe in the NO2 from the
10-lane North Circular Road underneath!
And note the fully-segregated cycle lanes here!
What a wonderful design, eh?
Link to Chapman Taylor.
And be impressed.

"This project will create a new town centre for the regeneration of Cricklewood, and is centred on the existing Brent Cross shopping centre, which was the first out-of-town [that is, car-based] retail scheme in the UK, constructed in the 1970s. The scheme is comprised of retail, including two new department stores, a new restaurant and leisure quarter, residential, hotels, offices plus new car parks. These will be set around new streets, landscaping and a natural corridor for the River Brent [rigidly following the northern edge of the North Circular Road!].

The new town centre will be linked to a proposed market square which lies at the heart of the Cricklewood regeneration area via a landscaped civic space, called the living bridge, across the North Circular Road.

[Actually, the 'living bridge' is likely to be further east.]




[Reposted] "Crossrail and HS2 superhub will bring £6bn boost to north-west London" (and maybe London Overground trains to Hendon Thameslink and an RAF Museum station)


Link to Evening Standard

"Boris Johnson is to set up an Olympic-style regeneration agency to transform a rundown area into a thriving new district and deliver a £6 billion economic boost to London.

"The Mayor wants to use Crossrail links and the planned HS2 route — which will converge at Old Oak Common — to spur the creation of 80,000 homes and 20,000 jobs.

"By 2025 a 'mini-Manhattan' of skyscrapers and apartments will shoot up around the station in north-west London. The Mayoral Development Corporation in Old Oak Common, known as MDC, will have the same powers that are being used to create a Games legacy in Stratford. It will begin planning work next year at the semi-industrial 195-acre site north of Wormwood Scrubs and Westway. The establishment of an MDC is subject to London Assembly approval." [and the three boroughs involved?]



(Click for YouTube video!)

"Old Oak confirmed as HS2 hub"

Wednesday November 27, 2013

"A Government bill paving the way for a £50billion high speed rail line (HS2) to be built confirms Old Oak Common, just north of Wormwood Scrubs, as a principal hub station it was revealed this week.

"The high speed hub will connect the HS2 line to Crossrail and the Great Western Main line and provide opportunities for substantial regeneration of the nearby area, according to the council.

"Vast tracts of semi-derelict industrial land, in the north of Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F), could be transformed with up to 19,000 new homes and 90,000 jobs thanks to the major improvement in accessibility that HS2 will bring.

"Supporters of the rapid rail link between London and the north hope to see a new high-speed line running from the capital to Birmingham by 2026. Preliminary contracts worth £60million can now be handed out, although further legal hurdles remain before the actual railway can go ahead. Auditors KPMG say the line would boost the UK economy by £15billion a year.

"Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
“HS2 is the most ambitious and important infrastructure project in the UK since we built the M25 30 years ago, and in 30 more it will be just as integral a part of the nation’s prosperity.”
"A second phase, taking the line to north west and north east England, is due for completion by 2033. The cost of the project is now put at £42.6billion with a further £7.5billion for the trains.

"HS2 is set to make Old Oak Common Britain’s best connected railway station as it acts as the main interchange between HS2 and Crossrail. The Government has signalled Old Oak’s vital role in taking pressure off busy central London terminals like Euston, the London terminus of HS2, which could not have coped with the 13,000 extra passengers an hour that HS2 will bring. A new generation of trains, running at speeds of up to 225mph will stop at the new Old Oak hub station.

"Five of the nation’s airports will be linked to the high-speed rail network for the first time through the Old Oak interchange. Central London and Heathrow will be just 10 minutes away, Birmingham will be 40 minutes direct from Old Oak and Luton, Gatwick and City Airport will all be within 45 minutes. In addition, if the Government decide to move Heathrow to a new hub to the east of London, there will be a direct connection from Old Oak via the HS1 link in less than 30 minutes.

"Around half of working age adults within 1.2miles of the station are unemployed. Some parts of the area - which includes a large amount of railway land with train depots, two waste recycling facilities, the Car Giant dealership and other light industrial uses - are in the bottom 1% most deprived nationally.

"Given the regeneration potential HS2 provides, the Government, Mayor of London, TfL and London Boroughs of H&F, Brent and Ealing have developed a 30-year vision to transform the Old Oak area. The Vision spells out how up to 90,000 jobs and 19,000 new homes - in addition to new schools, open spaces, shops and leisure facilities - could transform the area. View the vision at www.london.gov.uk/oldoak

"Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader, says:
"HS2 has the potential to act as a catalyst to create much-needed new homes, jobs and opportunities in one of London's poorest areas. We have heard a lot about how HS2 will bridge the north-south divide and regenerate parts of northern England and the Midlands, but it has also the potential to transform rundown inner London neighbourhoods right on our doorstep.

We will continue engaging with HS2 and the Government over the coming months, to ensure that the HS2 proposals deliver the optimal benefits for the borough’s residents.”
(Independent web site)
"There is potential to improve the local road network and provide bus and cycle lanes, linking existing and new stations to the wider area. There is also potential to improve local connections with new bus services to a new bus interchange at the proposed HS2 and Crossrail station, and discussions are on-going with the Government about ways in which the London Overground rail network could be connected to the Old Oak Common station.

"Mr McLoughlin continued:
“The number of passengers on our railways has doubled since 1995, while rail freight traffic has risen by 65 per cent over the same period. The existing rail network is operating at near full capacity, and neither new motorways nor domestic air travel are environmentally sustainable options to meet the mobility requirements of a British population expected to grow by 10 million by 2033.”
For more, visit www.lbhf.gov.uk/hs2

2014-08-28

Barnet Times: "Panel to determine Mayor of Barnet's fate"


Link to web site

"Councillors will decide whether the Mayor of Barnet breached the code of conduct when failing to declare his interests in housing at committee meetings.

"The group leaders panel is set to consider Hale Councillor Hugh Rayner's fate at the group leader’s panel next Wednesday.

"However, although a motion to exclude the press and public from the meeting has been put forward, the panel will hear representations from people arguing against this."

Cricklewood and Thameslink: "Build it and they will come"


Link to PDF file



2014-08-27

The Guardian: "The Cheesegrater – a tower of no small ambition"


Link to web site

"Someone has told the bouncers to be nice. It is now standard for architectural anoraks like myself to find ourselves challenged by smile-less security as we go about our blameless business – no loitering, no photography, no looking, as if al-Qaida scouts would do their dastardly work in this way or as if, years after the invention of the camera phone, photography can be controlled as it could in the age of the tripod. But not at the base of the Cheesegrater. Here, you can ride the escalators, take snaps and engage the wardrobe-shouldered gentlemen in conversations about architecture.
"Which is just as well, as much of the Cheesegrater's claim to be special, to be more than just another commercial tower, rests on the zone beneath its overhanging mass, described as a 'public space'. Accuracy requires it to be pointed out that it is not in fact public space, being controlled by the developers British Land and Oxford Properties, but privately owned, publicly accessible space, which might now be called Popas for short. Still, it is something most skyscrapers don't offer, and a few arsey guards would wreck the positivity generated by this gift of valuable cubic metres and its expensive landscaping.
"... You certainly know that this is Popas, not public space. The switch in paving on the boundary line tells you so, as do the interesting species of tree, the ultra-green of the grass and the patrolling (friendly) security. But Popas, as long as you are clear in your terms, does not have to be a bad thing. The Cheesegrater's version avoids the common Popas habit of being a shopping mall in disguise [where COULD he have been thinking of?] – the signs are up announcing opportunities for buying macaroons and smoothies, all pastel against the grey steel, but they don't dominate."


Wembley Matters: "Cricklewood says 'Oh, no, not that lot again!' but ready to stand united against the SE Alliance"


Link to web site

Municipal Dreams (Hammerson's out-of-town car-based Brent Cross plan incorporates all the latest thinking)


Link to
'The County of London Plan, 1943:
"If only we will" '

"The County of London Plan was commissioned by the London County Council, written by JH Forshaw (Chief Architect to the LCC) and Patrick Abercrombie (the most famous town planner of his day and Professor of Town Planning at University College, London) and published in 1943.

"It was a bold and comprehensive reimagining of the capital and, though most of its specific proposals were quickly forgotten in the austerity and necessary pragmatism of the post-war years, we should recall its ideals and vision – and perhaps learn from them too.

"... To modern eyes, there is something bitter-sweet in all this – in the irony that it is war that can unleash our most creative and idealistic ambitions for a better world; in the fact that war itself provided both the means – the power of the state and the collective will of the people – and the opportunity to rebuild." [Instead of which, we now have the corrupt Brent Cross planning application. Oh, well.]

To Thurs 16 Oct: "Long term transport strategy - public consultation" (It's Brent. Barnet has been "roads, roads, roads, roads" [Cllr. Coleman])






Link to survey

"LB of Brent is currently consulting on our Long Term Transport Strategy (2015 to 2035).

"The strategy has been developed to allow us to plan for future investment in transport throughout the borough for the next 20 years.

"This is your chance to let us know your thoughts on things like cycling in the borough, public transport and the proposed HS2.

"The consultation will run from Thursday 21 August 2014 to Thursday 16 October 2014.

"To take part in the consultation, fill in an online form or you can attend one of our public exhibitions being held at Brent Civic Centre on:
  • Thursday 25 September, 5pm to 8pm
  • Friday 26 September, 10am to 4pm
  • Saturday 4 October, 11am to 4pm
"For more information, please contact our transport planner: Christopher McCanna by email christopher.mccanna@brent.gov.uk or by phone 020 8937 5424."

2014-08-23

Barnet and Hammerson's plan for the North Circular Road


Brent Cross:
"Faceless estates. Sprawling suburbs. Soulless financial districts.
Discredited elsewhere as fostering the worst kind of urban angst"

Actually, it's The Guardian:
"Why haven't China's cities learned from America's mistakes?" [Link above.]

"Faceless estates. Sprawling suburbs. Soulless financial districts. Discredited elsewhere as fostering the worst kind of urban angst: these are the vogue in China – but change could be afoot

"In the wake of economic reforms in the 1990s that helped set off the largest urban migration in history, China had the rare opportunity to embrace cutting-edge city-building approaches as it expanded its skyline. It could have avoided the mistakes that made Los Angeles into the land of gridlock, or bypassed the errors that turned the banlieues of Paris into what one American planner calls 'festering urban sores'.

"But China [or rather Barnet and Hammerson!] looked back instead of forward. Over the past decade and a half, the nation’s developers and government officials have replicated discredited urban planning templates, importing ideas that were tested, failed and long since abandoned in places like Europe and the US. Planning authorities have committed 'essentially all the mistakes that have been made in the western world before', says Yan Song, director of the programme on Chinese cities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"She recalls how 10 years ago, a delegation of planners from the US convened with Chinese officials, who were then working on eliminating Beijing’s cycle lanes to make room for more cars. 'The American planners were saying, "Don’t do that, please! We’ve done that, we have made that mistake. Don’t follow us,"' says Song. 'But at the time, when you have that kind of modernisation, people love cars – so unfortunately the planners there didn’t listen.' (A few years later, Beijing backpedalled, and since 2010 it has been working to bring back the bicycles.)" [Pity Barnet and Hammerson didn't listen, either!]

2014-08-22

The Independent: "Big wheel rolls into the home of Motown"


"They forgot the motor city in the years of American urban renewal, but now JP Morgan is writing a $100m cheque to kickstart Detroit. Some doubt the bank’s motives"

Link to web site

"There are all sorts of theories in Detroit for why the Wall Street banking giant JP Morgan Chase is spending $100m (£60m) to help fix parts of this city. It’s charity; it’s a secret deal with the Justice Department; it’s guilt over all the Detroiters the bank foreclosed on during the crisis; it’s a plot to privatise municipal infrastructure.

"... The [biggest] risk to the bank would be the total collapse of Detroit’s economy: the bank, which has roots in the city going back 80 years, employs 3,600 people in Michigan across 300 branches. Last year, it was the largest consumer mortgage lender in the state.

Mr Seybert says:
"The broader test is whether a big enough injection of private money can move markets to deliver positive change.

Bank capital is shareholder capital. We're not a foundation here. I feel very strongly about this. Community development needs to be sustainable, and we expect a return on our investment."

2014-08-21

Daily Telegraph: "We're stuck in the 'Yes-But' economy, where interest rate rises are forever delayed"


"For every indication that the economy is on the mend, there is another that suggests things could unravel very quickly"

Link to web site

"Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of the 'Yes-But' economy. It is, as you are doubtless becoming aware, a strange, febrile place – one that is forever teetering on the brink of an inflection point without ever quite tipping over. There’s plenty of good news but it comes couched in significant caveats; likewise, most of the gloom is cancelled out by equal and opposite cheer. Is the glass half full or half empty? Well, that depends on your point of view, and which statistics you choose to back it up.

It is, in other words, an environment replete with excuses for inaction, especially if you are one of the world’s central bankers currently gathering for their annual jamboree at Jackson Hole this week. (What, incidentally, is the collective noun for central bankers? An 'indecision', perhaps?)

"... Ambiguous economic signals provide reasons not to raise interest rates. But they are also the consequence of the decision not to raise interest rates. The fragility of the 'Yes-But' economy is both maintained and sustained by the unwillingness of central banks to end the biggest monetary experiment in history."

[Reposted] Evening Standard: Hammerson's Brent Cross: "A lot of imagination in the layout" (Then, not now.)


"It is a wonderful asset to be able to park your car and do all your shopping under one roof, without worrying about traffic wardens or getting wet," says Mrs Renee Stitcher, a magistrate's wife.

We took her around the centre to see for herself what was going on, and to get her views about the shopping centre.

"It is a wonderful centre - a lot of imagination has gone into the layout, and I am enjoying walking around the shops, and also having the chance of a sit down and something to eat and drink," she said.

Sometimes she uses Golders Green for her shopping, but says parking is a real problem. "The council has not provided any parking. Either you park a long way away and walk, or else go elsewhere.

"I have been going to the West End, because I can get a car park and a choice of goods.

"The chance of doing all my shopping in one go will be just what many housewives want - and they needn't get wet in the process.

"I like the design and layout of the centre, but my husband is going to be furious because it will encourage me to shop more often!

"High on my priority list with this centre is its convenience. You can come by car and park all around it, and get into the shops on two completely different levels.

"The big West End stores have come out to where we live, and it looks as though there will be plenty of choice.

"I like the big islands of carpeting in the Fenwicks store. The aim of this, I am told, is to help identify each department - the whole store ... looks very bright and cheerful.

"In these days of economic depression and general problems, everyone needs a lift - and this store provides it. I think the Fenwicks store is nicer than many similar styles I have seen in America.

Her one big worry was that the centre was big and overpowering. "It might take a long time before people get used to it."

6 Jan 1976


Barnet Times: Cricklewood, Brent Cross and Hendon Football Club





2014-08-20

Evening Standard: "London gets first roundabout to segregate cyclists and motorists"


Link to web site

"A breakthrough in cycle safety was unveiled today, as work began to create the first fully segregated roundabout in London.

"Cyclists and vehicles will be kept apart by using raised kerbs and separate traffic lights on the Queen’s Circus roundabout in Battersea.

"The interchange is not notorious for collisions, but Wandsworth council decided to make the improvements to prioritise cycling and walking as the Nine Elms area is redeveloped."


2014-08-19

Hammerson's development manager Russell Beresford "disappointed" with Swansea's plan (Barnet engineered the Brent Cross corrupt plan, so no disappointment HERE)


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-28839940
Link to BBC web site

"Developers Hammerson have been given permission for a £10m revamp of Swansea's [semi-out-of-town - we know the feeling!] Parc Tawe retail outlet, but said a restriction blocking it for 12 years from approaching well-known stores is not acceptable.

"Swansea council claims the restriction is to protect its plans for the city centre.

"... Hammerson's development manager Russell Beresford, said:
"It's a strange day when a leader of a council desperate for investment chooses to unfairly [unfairly?? bless!] criticise a major [useless] landowner and potential investor in the city [so crawl before us, you pond-life scum] and we very much hope his approach doesn't put off anyone considering investing in the city [in our race to the bottom].

... We are therefore considering our options."
"Swansea has struggled to find a way of successfully regenerating the centre following the collapse of the long-time proposed Castle Quays development in 2004 which suffered several false starts, including with Hammerson."

2014-08-18

Evening Standard: "Charities could be left homeless as Barnet office block is turned into flats"


Link to web site

"Charities fear they will be left homeless after being evicted from a London tower block.

"Many of the current tenants — more than 100 small businesses and charities — have been given as little as four to six weeks' notice to leave, it is claimed. Developers plan to turn the 14-storey Premier House in Barnet into 112 'reasonably priced' flats.

"Andrea Bilbow is chief executive of Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service (Addiss) which is based in the building. It runs a helpline used by around 5,000 people a year. She said:
"The shocking news that we have to move with just six weeks’ notice arrived at the start of summer holidays."

2014-08-17

The Guardian: "Britain's productivity puzzle: when will it return to pre-slump levels?"


"Recession saw productivity collapse as more people have been employed to produce the same level of output"

Link to web site

"... Since 2008, productivity has collapsed as more people have been employed to produce the same level of output. Output per worker is currently 17% below where it would have been had the pre-recession trend continued, which explains why this has been a lost decade for living standards.

"That, though, is history. The real issue is when will productivity return to its old pre-slump trend? If ever. That, in turn, is related to the reason productivity has been so weak in the first place, a theme explored by the Bank of England in last week's inflation report.

"...Some of these structural changes in the economy predate the recession, so unless skills have atrophied or we have become thicker as a nation, there is good reason to imagine that productivity will eventually pick up."


The Independent:
"Black cloud hanging over Britain’s
impressive economic recovery?
Weak productivity"


Link to web site

The Guardian:
"How peaches and propaganda are helping to shape the new world order"

"Many chroniclers of the 1930s say the decade only really took on its doomed, chaotic character when major countries left the gold standard (Britain first in 1931, Italy last five years later). Today, a breakup of the world system would take a different form: the competitive devaluation of currencies in which large amounts of debt are held by other countries, or the closure of financial markets to certain countries. We are still far from this – but not unimaginably far.

"After the release of this week's GDP figures, the debt dynamics of Europe – above all Italy – once again look ominous. Italy has the eurozone's biggest debts and is the biggest loser from the arrangement whereby Germany profits from everyone else's inefficiency. Without recovery, not only do its debts look unsustainable; it also becomes yet another candidate for imposed austerity and technocratic government.

It is possible that, at some point, there will be a replay of summer 2011, in which a bond market crisis has to be averted by concerted global action, but this time with Italy rather than Greece and Spain needing the bailout. Such action will be all the harder in a world where trade and financial markets have become weapons of diplomatic war, in which anti-globalist parties of the right and left have significantly more support, and where the global order looks much more worn and frayed."

Progressing the Corrupt Brent Cross Cricklewood Planning Application: Provision of Legal Services


"The London Borough of Barnet wishes to appoint a single legal services provider to provide legal advice on the Council’s Brent Cross Cricklewood Project, including but not limited to:
a. Property
b. Procurement (including joint ventures and other delivery mechanisms)
c. Planning (including Section 106 Agreements)
d. Highways(including Section 278 Agreements)
e. Financial and commercial
f. Tax (if required[!]), and
g. Affordable Housing."

"Total final value of the contract(s): £5,000,000. Excluding VAT."

Award criteria  (at least Barnet is actually tendering nowadays, not just routinely paying invoices without any tender or any contract!)
:

Quality – Experience, Skills, Knowledge & Understanding 15
Quality - Procurement 10
Quality – Commercial 10
Quality – Planning 10
Quality – Public Sector Partnership 10
Quality – Delivery of Services 15
Quality – Presentation 10
Price 20



"And the winner (out of 8 offers received) is..."
Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co LLP
2 Snowhill
Birmingham
Date of contract award: 14-07-2014




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