ARUP Hypocrisy: "Non-Executive Director Sir Michael Bear appointed UK Special Envoy for Sustainable Urbanisation" (after leading Hammerson's 29,000 extra cars/day Brent Cross plan)
"The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, made the announcement at the Sixth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue event in London, which he hosted with Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai.
"As Special Envoy, [ARUP's] Sir Michael will represent UK industry at the highest level, providing advice on UKTI related programmes and engaging with Chinese policymakers on issues around urbanisation. He will also host inward delegations and lead trade missions to China relevant to urbanisation and resilience.
" 'New and renewed cities' was a major theme at this year’s UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue, reflecting the many opportunities for collaboration between the British and Chinese governments and businesses. Sir Michael’s appointment will help ensure the long-term success of this strengthened cooperation."
Sky News: [Disgusting] "Scenes From Brent Cross, London." (We're used to disgusting scenes from London Communications Agency and Hammerson, so, well: Whatever.)
"The UK continues to embrace the American concept of Black Friday: a big shopping day centered around Thanksgiving sales.
But the effect has not been completely positive."
(It would help if Sky News labelled its archived videos correctly, since this is not actually Brent Cross. But the Murdoch outfit never lets facts get in the way...)
Barnet Times: "Chris Naylor, chief operating officer leaves role at Barnet" (Barnet's gain is Barking's loss)
|"Every happiness and prosperity!|
If, in the progress of revolving years, I could persuade
myself that my blighted destiny had been a warning to you,
I should feel that I had not occupied another man's place
altogether in vain."
(Link to Barnet Times)
"Barnet Borough Council’s chief operating officer is leaving his role.
"In an email to all councillors, Andrew Travers, Barnet’s chief executive, confirmed that Chris Naylor has accepted a job as the chief executive of Barking & Dagenham Council. He said:
"He intends to take up his new post at the start of February next year."
"Barnet's Green parliamentary candidates stage protest against 'unsustainable' plans for Brent Cross shopping centre"
|Link to Barnet Times|
"Environmentalists staged a protest over plans for the 'unsustainable' Brent Cross shopping centre regeneration.
"Barnet's Green Party parliamentary candidates - AM Poppy for Chipping Barnet, Adele Ward for Finchley and Golders Green, and Ben Samuel for Hendon – draped a banner over the North Circular Road at Brent Cross last Friday.
"... AM Poppy said:
"The 29,000 extra car journeys per day envisaged, and the added roads planned take us in exactly the wrong direction. The idea of a living bridge is also a mystery."
Barnet Times: "Barnet Labour hope to resurrect plans to create ‘fairer’ scheme for West Hendon leaseholders"
(West Hendon is part of the same Supplementary Planning Guidance area as Brent Cross.)
"Barnet Borough Council has offered to buy back the properties in West Hendon bought under the right to buy scheme"
|Link to web site|
"Labour councillors are hoping to resurrect plans to create a 'fairer' system for leaseholders forced to pay £10,000 in repair bills months before their homes are bulldozed.
"People living on the West Hendon Estate have been asked to pay the money up to six years before they are due to leave their homes, even though the works would have a 25 year life span.
"... Cllr Richard Cornelius, leader of Barnet Council, said:
"I can understand that leaseholders have been concerned about what the future holds for them.
But the publication of details of [a] shared equity offer and the revised offers to buy their homes should reassure them that they will have the opportunity to move into a great new home in a transformed West Hendon.
Leaseholders will benefit in the long run from the new homes being built to a much higher standard than the current estate, along with all of the new facilities that regeneration will bring."
"As the Financial Conduct Authority opens a study into the credit card market, we look at how the UK has created a credit card debt mountain"
|Link to web site|
"The Financial Conduct Authority is launching a study into the credit card market, amid fears that consumers are losing out.
"... Compared to other forms of credit such as overdrafts, purchase loans and so on, credit card lending has grown substantially.
"According to Bank of England figures, there is currently £39bn of gross credit card lending in the UK. Unlike other forms of short term credit, it is above pre-crisis highs."
|Link to web site|
"Bailouts, bail-ins and the banks: why we can't afford another financial crisis"
"A look into the future: David Cameron's nightmare has come true; the slowdown in the global economy has turned into a second major recession within a decade.
"In those circumstances, there would be two massive policy challenges. The first would be how to prevent the recession turning into a global slump. The second would be how to prevent the financial system from imploding.
"These are the same challenges as in 2008, but this time they would be magnified. Zero interest rates and quantitative easing have already been used extensively to support activity, which would leave policymakers with a dilemma. Should they double down on QE or come up with more radical proposals – drops of helicopter money or using QE for specified purposes, such as investment in green energy?
"For now, the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England prefer not to contemplate this dire possibility. They will deal with it if it happens, but are assuming it won't."
|Link to The Guardian|
"Final Act of the economic crisis is upon us. There's every chance of a tragic ending"
"The past week has shown that international co-operation, while not as strong as in 2008-09, is still there. The G20 in Brisbane was one modest expression of solidarity. Perhaps more meaningful was the US-China deal on climate change, which did include quantifiable targets. India’s decision to sign up to the World Trade Organisation agreement on streamlining procedures for the passage of goods across national borders kept hopes of a multilateral trade agreement alive.(Heading and image above are from print edition, not on-line)
"In the other, a heavy price is paid for attempting to muddle through. The second leg of the crisis begins in the Far East, with Japan using aggressive QE to drive down the value of the yen. This makes Japanese goods cheaper on global markets. China responds by driving down the value of its currency. A new wave of deflation is exported to the rest of the global economy, with particularly grievous consequences for Europe. Falling prices make debt servicing more expensive and the number of defaults increases. Hedge funds collapse and there are fears for the banks.
"It emerges that the G20 plan for ensuring that systemically-important banks are not “too big to fail” only works in individual cases not when there is a generalised panic. With policymakers wondering what they have left in the locker, Vladimir Putin decides it is the time to cut up rough over Ukraine. Act 5 ends not with the players waking up to find the crisis was all a bad dream but instead with Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction: exit pursued by a bear."
|Link to web site|
"David Blanchflower: Yet more evidence that pay is going nowhere fast"
"The first chart shows the growth in earnings in current and constant (2014) prices. It shows that real earnings are down 8.8 per cent since 2010, using the Consumer Price Index as a deflator. No sign of any real wage growth there. As the ONS noted, real wages have continued to fall every year since 2008, including every year of the Coalition Government.
"There were also sharp declines in annual earnings growth by industry, as the second chart illustrates. In 10 of the 19 sectors wage growth was 1 per cent or lower. In 13 of the sectors wage growth in 2014 was lower than it was in 2013. In only three industry sectors was wage growth above 2 per cent.
"But the most interesting evidence from ASHE was provided by the ONS at my request, by firm size. This is of particular interest because the AWE excludes workers in firms of under 20 employees and then is adjusted retrospectively based on the ASHE findings. My claim for some time has been that wages in the smallest workplaces are likely to have grown much less recently than in the bigger firms, and so it has turned out."
|Link to web site|
"The outlook for retail is looking distinctly sunnier"
While sentiment surrounding the Eurozone economy at the start of MAPIC this week might be muted, retailer confidence continues to emerge – perhaps not quite enough to flood the Croisette with popping champagne corks, but this optimism will mean visitors will turn up to Cannes this year with a sunnier disposition, and that’s nothing to do with avoiding the UK November rain and a couple of days by the Mediterranean Sea.
"MAPIC is a great opportunity to test retailer sentiment and as we head towards the end of the year, the team will return from this week with a more enlightened insight into retailer outlook for 2015 and what their priorities look like for the next 12 months – which will importantly include locations of choice for the year ahead.
"Despite a muted consumer backdrop across the Channel, we have already seen in the second half of this year a growing desire from retailers to be in the best retail destinations. The outperformance of our newly opened Les Terrasses Du Port development in Marseille, just along the coast from Cannes is a prime example, with brands including the Kooples, Princesse tam-tam and Michal Kors, reporting their new Marseille stores as one of their best performing from a sales perspective, within their French portfolios."
... David Atkins
|Link to web site|
"Tenants who face eviction from their homes as part of a regeneration scheme appeared in court on Tuesday.
"A total of three non-secure tenants from the West Hendon Estate appeared in Willesden County Court today, as part of the process for Barnet Borough Council to seek eviction notices against them.
"They are being moved out of their homes in Franklin House, Tyrell Way, and Marriotts Close on the estate next year, to make way for 2,000 new flats which are being built.
"... There was an issue relating to what Mike Freer, who was leader of the council at the time, had said in January 2009 to a meeting of tenants. He said Mr Freer had assured tenants that the council had agreed to turn temporary tenancies into secure tenancies."
|Link to web site|
"Leader of Camden Council, Cllr Sarah Hayward, will be guest speaker at the launch of the Barnet Labour Group Housing Commission this Thursday 20 November at 7pm, The Crown Moran Hotel, Cricklewood Broadway.
"The Barnet Labour Group Housing Commission has been established to investigate solutions to the housing crisis, in particular how we can increase the supply of affordable homes for rent and home ownership in the Borough, and how we can improve standards in the private rented sector.
"The Commission is being launched at a public meeting at 7pm on Thursday 20 November, at the Crown Moran Hotel, Cricklewood Broadway – all members of the public are welcome.
"The Commission will run for eight months, with at least six meetings - all open to the public - and will take evidence from independent housing experts, other London Boroughs and the local community. Anyone can submit written evidence to the Commission by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org."
"Hammerson uses automated mechanical model to showcase Christmas gifts" (Allied with London Communications, Hammerson has behaved mechanically at Brent Cross for years)
"Hammerson, the retail property developer, has used a 13-feet automated mechanical model to showcase the wide variety of the Christmas gifts available at its shopping centres"
|Link to 'Campaign'|
"The 30-second spot, called 'colliderscope' and created by Isobel, shows a scarf 'pouring' out of a china teapot, baubles scattering onto a raised umbrella and a smartphone rising out of a blue leather handbag.
The camera then pans out to reveal the complete model and the brand’s 'there are many sides to...' strapline.
"... The campaign will run on TV, radio, outdoor, press, advertorials, digital, in-store and video-on-demand."
Yorkshire Post: "Yorkshire blazes the retail trail" (Consume, Consume! At least it's economic activity, though.)
|Link to web site|
"Yorkshire is bucking national shopping centre development figures as the region’s cities creep up the retail rankings with the construction of new schemes, according to property experts.
"... Andrew Milton, director of retail asset services in CBRE’s Leeds office, said:
"Hammerson’s Victoria Gate which will see John Lewis coming to the city for the first time, Westfield’s long awaited Broadway development in Bradford and the recently opened Vangarde Retail Park in York all demonstrate that retailing within the Yorkshire region continues to be strong in those important key locations.
Although London and the south east remains dominant in terms of development and retailer preferences, strong retailing locations within the UK will always do well [winning the 'Meaningless Phrase of the Day Award'; should go far, this Andy] including good quality market towns."
South Wales Evening Post: "Council Leader says: Hammerson are doing 'Sod All'!" (Ah, if only Barnet Council would say that, instead of being posterior-licking sycophants)
|Link to web site|
"THE future of Swansea's tired Parc Tawe is still uncertain — three months after planning permission was granted for a £10 million overhaul.
A scheme to revamp the area around the Plantasia attraction and Odeon cinema was approved by councillors in August — but subject to a long list of conditions, some of which the owner and developer, Hammerson, said were 'unacceptable'.
"The approval came with comments from the then Swansea Council leader, David Philips, who accused Hammerson of doing [tee-hee!] 'sod all'..."
Hammerson plc: Interim Management Statement for the period from 1 July to 9 November 2014 (where a small part of success depends on Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent)
|David Atkins, |
Hammerson chief executive,
and his development pipeline
"At Victoria Gate in Leeds construction continues on our aspirational development adjacent to Victoria Quarter, Leeds' leading luxury retail destination. The £150 million development is now over a third let and we are encouraged by the interest from premium brands that have identified Victoria Gate as a key retail destination within their future store portfolio."Construction at our 23,800m2 French development Jeu de Paume in Beauvais is progressing well. The development north of Paris is currently 54% let by income with Swarovski announcing they will be opening a new store within the Carrefour and H&M anchored scheme."In Croydon, we have received confirmation on the timing of the CPO Inquiry for February 2015. Detailed designs for the 200,000m2 centre will evolve, while the land assembly process continues next year.
"At Brent Cross Cricklewood, we have a secure planning consent following the successful expiry of the Judicial Review challenge period. Consultation on the detailed designs for the first phase [which strangely didn't mention the shopping centre!] has been completed and a detailed application [based on Barnet's corrupt planning consent] will be submitted later this year, with the first phase of works starting in 2016. ['Can't wait to demolish 205 homes and only replace a third of them, before getting out. Who'd have though we could've gotten away with that little scam, eh? But it's only Barnet Council we're negotiating with, so 'nough said!']"
[The red bits are not in the Hammerson report. Shame, really.]
Financial Times: "Hammerson counts on Côte d'Azur for French lift" (and demolishing 205 homes at Brent Cross)
"Hammerson is counting on the spending of affluent consumers on the Côte d'Azur to boost its stake in French shopping.
"In a trading update on its July 1 to November 9 period, the retail-focused Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) reported that consumer and occupier market conditions are "improving in prime UK retail whilst remaining subdued but stable in France".
"UK shopping centre sales were up 2.6 per cent, with France down 2.8 per cent year-to-date.
"But new developments in Nice and Marseille look promising, it said:
"At Les Terrasses du Port [in Marseille], retailer performance has been strong during the initial trading period with a number of well-known brands including The Kooples, Princesse tam-tam and Michael Kors reporting that their new Marseille store is already one of their best performing from a sales perspective, within their French portfolios.""The FTSE 100 company reported substantial year-on-year growth in total rent from new group lettings (+37 per cent) and total area of lettings (+21 per cent).
David Atkins, Hammerson chief executive, said:
"Earlier in the year we saw signs of improvement in the UK retail market and since then we have experienced further growth in retailer sales, tenant demand and rental values in our winning retail locations.
In France, there is continued appetite from both consumers and retailers for outstanding retail destinations despite a more muted consumer backdrop. The outperformance of our Les Terrasses du Port development in Marseille since opening and the acquisition of a stake in the prime Nice Etoile shopping centre, underlines our commitment to vibrant retail locations in France."
"High Court judge dismisses Whitgift Trust's objections over [Hammerson's] £1bn Croydon redevelopment plan"
|Link to Croydon Guardian|
"The group fighting against Westfield and Hammerson's £1bn redevelopment of Croydon town centre has lost its High Court battle, after a judge dismissed its objections to the scheme.
Whitgift Trust, which manages and part owns the Whitgift Centre, has been arguing at the court over Croydon Council’s approval of the plans.
The Trust, controlled by the Anglo Irish Bank and unconnected to the Whitgift Foundation charity, objected to the consent granted to Westfield and Hammerson's proposed retail development by a planning committee last November."
#"Sticky Drink Lorry is Coming, Sticky Drink Lorry is Coming,..."# (though thankfully not to Brent Cross this year)
|Visit Hammerson's Bullring Centre, B'ham|
for the sticky drink lorry
(link to The Independent)
"Coke's Christmas truck, which announced that ‘holidays are coming’ for so many of us before we grew up and became cynical about advertising, is usually depicted on a snow-flecked road that winds its way through tall fir trees.
"Between 28 November and 23 December however it will visit such festive sites as Asda Milton Keynes and Back Lane Car Park, Newton.
"The violently red truck will park up and blast Christmas tracks across England and Wales, also stopping in at a factory outlet in Clacton and an Intu shopping centre in Norwich.
"You can catch a glimpse of it, if just to watch people stoically walk past and complain about Christmas in November, at the following places..."
"This meeting is jointly organised by Barnet Housing Action Group, Our West Hendon campaign, and Barnet Alliance for Public Services, on Monday 10 November 2014 from 7pm, at the Crown Moran Hotel, Cricklewood.
"The shortage of social and affordable housing is one of the most pressing problems facing our communities. Is council housing the answer to the crisis? What can councils do to tackle the housing shortage? What should Londoners expect? What’s the solution: housing associations? housing co-ops? mutuals? self-builds? Must regeneration be gentrification?
"Come to this open forum to discuss with other members of the housing community – councillors, tenants and campaigners – possible solutions to the current housing situation and what actions can be taken next. Working in groups, this is an opportunity for you to give your views of what needs to be done and by whom."
Joining us for the discussion will be:
Chair of Planning Committee, London Assembly
Cllr Achilleas Georgiou,
Deputy Leader, Enfield Council
Cllr Ahmet Oykener,
Cabinet Member for Housing, Enfield Council
Cllr James Murray,
Executive Member for Housing and Development, Islington Council
Cllr Philip Cohen,
Assets, Regeneration & Growth Committee, Barnet Council
Cllr Gabriel Rozenberg,
Assets, Regeneration & Growth Committee, Barnet Council
Cllr Adam Langleben,
Housing Committee, Barnet Council
Izzi & Sarah Counihan-Sanchez,
The Counihan-Sanchez Family Housing Campaign, Brent
Jazmin Stone & Sam Middleton,
Focus E-15 Mums, Newham
Unite Communities organiser
homeless, VICE News reporter
resident homeowner and ex-council tenant, Our West Hendon campaign
Barnet Alliance for Public Services is a coalition of residents, community and campaign groups, and trade unions who want to protect our quality of life, our public services, and our local democracy. We believe we should participate in and contribute to the place in which we live.
Tel: 07534407703 #OurBarnet @BarnetAlliance Web: BarnetAlliance.orgBarnet Housing Action Group works with tenants, homeowners and the homeless, victims of housing benefit cuts and the bedroom tax to fight for housing as a public service run for all who need it. We are opposed to the selling off of our council housing and the gentrification of our council estates and communities. We believe in 'Homes Before Profit'.Tel: 07913 999 255 Facebook: facebook.com/pages/barnet-housing-action-group/462079237237388 Twitter: BarnetHactionOur West Hendon is a campaign group of residents on the West Hendon Estate that is striving to get a redevelopment that is for the local community, not at the expense of it. Our main aim is to ensure that all those residents who choose to remain on the redeveloped estate should have the right to do so. Our community, Our homes.
"A new report shows that Britain as much cause for pride as worry"
|Get one's butler to click on the web site|
"Social mobility is one of the biggest problems facing Britain. Article after article has been written (not least by me) bemoaning the fact that the rich are getting richer, the poor and getting poorer, and the middle class are trapped in the middle. We’ve even set up an official commission devoted to suggesting ways that disadvantaged children can finally have a better chance in life.
"But a fascinating new survey from academics at Oxford University and the LSE suggests that actually, social mobility's not much of a problem at all. Or rather, that it's a problem that's mostly been fixed.
"... [However], as the researchers say, if there is a ‘mobility problem in present-day Britain, it is not that mobility overall has fallen. It is, rather, that the balance of upward and downward mobility ... is moving in an unfavourable direction. Perhaps it is this that has been sensed by politicians in their concern with mobility'.
"This potential problem does, as they also say, carry 'potentially far-reaching political and wider social implications'. If we're moving towards a situation in which there are fewer people at the top, and more at the bottom, and people are more likely to have worse jobs than their parents, we should clearly be concerned."
Barnet Press (x3: "Protest by those 'priced out' of new-look West Hendon estate"; Brent Cross & Chris Naylor, Barnet's Head of Finance; and Hendon FC) and Ham & High (Hendon FC at Cricklewood)
|Link to web site|
"PROTESTERS staged a sit-in at an exhibition put on by housing developer Barratt Homes and Barnet Council to showcase plans for the new West Hendon estate on Saturday.
"The design of the new estate, dubbed Hendon Riverside by the developer, went on show at Marsh Drive community centre, where dozens of residents and housing campaigners demonstrated.
"Leaseholders are angry about the deal the council has made with Barratt to demolish the existing homes and build a new estate, as well as a primary school and nursery, because they fear they will not be able to afford to buy a home in the new development."
Cyclists in the City: "I am completely humbled by this: We can't keep up with the number of employers and other organisations pouring in to support the Cycle Super Highway plans"
|Link to web site|
"For several weeks I have been slowly drip-feeding updates about the fact that organisations across London are waking up to cycling.
"What's happening now is that the support is turning into a flood.
"It started a couple of months ago. I first got a whiff that some organisations were trying very hard to undermine the Mayor's plans to build two cycle super highways in central London.
"The consultations run until Sunday this week. If you haven't already, please add your voice. Either as an individual or on behalf of an organisation. Here's what you can do to help."
[Reposted from Nov 2009] "[Hammerson is promoting] an arrogant, selfish, money-centred scheme!" Evening Standard: "Brent Cross to charge shoppers to park, to deter car travel"
|Link to Evening Standard|
"David Howard, chairman of the 'Federation of Residents’ Associations of Barnet', said one residential tower block would be almost as high as Wembley stadium’s arch, while the 140-metre chimney of a new waste incinerator would be higher. He said the development included:
"hutches for hobbits, not proper homes for families with gardens."
"As an occasional user of the shopping centre, my ears pricked up at the revelation that car parking charges will be imposed to ration the 7,600 spaces.
"Brent Cross is a miserable place, full of sad faces and stale air. It is overdue redevelopment - and its residents deserve all the help they can get, in living alongside the North Circular Road."
Independent on Sunday: "Going to work is more stressful than ever, poll reveals" (least you don't work for Hammerson)
"British workers find their jobs increasingly demanding and precarious"
|Trudge to the web site|
"Britons find their jobs more stressful, precarious and demanding than ever before, according to an extensive poll of experiences of the workplace published exclusively by The Independent on Sunday.
"Two-thirds of employed people say that the amount of work they are expected to do has grown over the past few years, and more than a third are expected to do unpaid overtime, YouGov polling for the TUC found.
"One in five says they have seen at least one person sacked or made redundant without good reason."
(Memories of Bristow, Evening Standard)
|Link to web site|
"The unrestricted use of fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, a UN-backed expert panel says.
"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in a stark report that most of the world's electricity can - and must - be produced from low-carbon sources by 2050.
"If not, the world faces 'severe, pervasive and irreversible' damage.
"The UN said inaction would cost 'much more' than taking the necessary action.
"The IPCC's Synthesis Report was published on Sunday in Copenhagen, after a week of intense debate between scientists and government officials.
"It is intended to inform politicians engaged in attempts to deliver a new global treaty on climate by the end of 2015."
Thurs 13 Nov: Brent Cross Christmas Switch On (firmly sticking Hammerson's Mike McGuinness on the top of the Christmas tree)
"Join us in Centre Court on Thursday 13 November when the brilliant Urban Voices Collective will be switching on the Christmas Lights with a blend of traditional and contemporary Christmas songs.
Until then, you check out the Urban Voices Collective You Tube channel for a brief edit of their soulful covers.
Performances at 4.00pm and 6.00pm.
The lights will be switched on at 6.30pm.
"Urban Voices Collective were extremely privileged to go into Air Studios with Grammy Award winning Composer & Producer David Arnold to record their unique cover of Russian Roulette by Rhianna. This is the first of three songs that David Arnold produced with UVC."
"Urban Voices Collective have covered the classic Mumford & Sons song 'I Will Wait'."
Wembley Matters: Sat 1 Nov: "Campaigners staging sit-in at Barratt Homes PR meeting on West Hendon Estate right now"
|Link to web site|
"Campaigners from Our West Hendon and Barnet Housing Action are currently staging a sit-in at an exhibition by Barratt Homes, at the community centre in Marsh Drive, West Hendon.
"The current occupants of social housing on the estate are being ousted to make way for a luxury private development by Barratts."
|Link to 'Our West Hendon' on Facebook|
|Link to Shahrar Ali web site, from mid-September|
" 'Social cleansing' of London's council estates sees Tories plan underground playground for children"
"... Land is being cleared for luxury apartments overlooking the Thames and the multi-billion-pound Battersea power station development. Flats that no one in the overcrowded Churchill Gardens estate will be able to afford.
"Churchill Gardens is one of the finest social housing estates in London. It pioneered 'district heating' and still has a heating tower that provides the estate’s heating and hot water.
"Built where the Blitz had levelled Victorian housing to rubble, it was made a conservation area in 1990, and some blocks and the water tower are Grade II listed. Some of its flats have river views, and it’s a heartbeat away from the tree-lined Embankment. Its neighbour is the affluent Dolphin Square, where many MPs live.
"... In 2012, when he was seeking re-election as London Mayor, Boris Johnson spoke out against the 'Kosovo-style social cleansing of London'.
"But for many communities that is exactly what 'regeneration' has meant.
"When the vast Heygate estate in Elephant and Castle that once housed generations of ordinary Londoners is rebuilt, only 79 of 2,500 new homes on the site will be available as social housing.
"Meanwhile, the 'regeneration' of the West Hendon Estate, which overlooks the Welsh Harp reservoir, will see it recreated as Hendon Waterside, with only 25% social housing and the nature reserve under threat."
"London is 'completely dwarfed by the sprawl of the suburbs that embrace and encircle it'. Nick Barratt’s appropriately massive history celebrates not just the central city but Greater London, a term that came of age in 1889 with the foundation of the London County Council. It embodied the idea that London was more than a city, it was a metropolis, the largest urban centre on the planet at that time.
"Adopting a chronological approach, Barratt traces its evolution from its pre-Roman origins, through its role as the 'fortified heart of Norman power', and into the medieval period, when 100,000 people lived in London, many of them beyond the City walls in nascent suburbs.
"By the time Henry Mayhew gazed down on London from a hot-air balloon in 1847 the 'leviathan Metropolis' stretched as far as the eye could see."
- rest of Guardian review, and link for sale at discount: here.
Reviews below are from 2012 (click on images):
"Little boxes, all the same"
"The epithet ‘suburban’ has tended in latter years to be used snootily by those who regard themselves as fully-detached cosmopolitans. Margaret Thatcher and Finchley come to mind — though of course Thatcher actually lived in Chelsea, not far from the Arts Club. The truth is that, with few exceptions, people travel to work. They commute. They are suburban. Crouch End, for example, is full of journalists and actors and musicians: the last thing they would describe themselves as being is suburban, but that is what they are. In fact almost 70 per cent of London’s population is suburban. To be urban you have either to be very well-off or the opposite.
"... The roads have always been a disaster. One chilling paragraph here describes a GLC plan for three concentric rings [it was four] around the capital. There are urban bien-pensants who affect to love the Westway, but the idea of something similar ringing the capital in ghastly nooses does not bear thinking about. In the event only the outer ring was built: the M25 [a mix of the third and fourth rings].
The best bits of this book are the well-chosen quotations from great observers: Pepys - his is the first recorded mention of the Hackney carriage, John Evelyn, Dickens - describing Jacob’s Island in Oliver Twist: 'every repulsive lineament of poverty, every loathsome indication of filth, rot and garbage'."
"This history of the capital’s sprawling suburbs is flawed but highly entertaining"
"This history not only tries to encompass all London, but all elements of London – transport, sanitation, education, welfare, crime, policing, public health, immigration – you name it.
"... We learn that Kilburn was a spa town, that Turnham Green was feared for its highway robbers, that by the beginning of the 18th century London was drowning in human waste and, according to Swift: 'Sweepings from Butchers Stalls, Dung Guts and Blood/Drowned puppies/stinking sprats/all drench’d in mud'.
"... The real story of suburbia, for most of us, comes with the opening up of the transport routes in the mid-19th century, with the extension of the train lines, coach and later bus and car routes into what were formerly villages on the edges of London. Typically, this is meticulously recorded, and for my money the book comes into its own in the final quarter, 'From Metropolis to Metroland'."
"An epic account of how Britain's capital city became the behemoth of greater London"
"You don't have to be a Londoner to enjoy this heroic tale of people – and bricks and train-tracks – triumphing to the detriment of green space. You might need to be more enamoured than I am of local politics in order to relish the ever-shifting status of the Metropolitan Board of Works/London County Council/Greater London Council, but even with this material, Barratt gives an overview of 150 years of bureaucratic spats with a relatively light touch.
"You certainly don't have to like the suburbs - they have always divided even as they conquered. One of the book's anecdotes sticks in the mind. 'Each evening the children's writer E Nesbit would produce models of factories and suburban villas out of brown paper and cardboard and then ritually set fire to them'."