Click above for what became the consented plan, plus Transport page.


"London housing: is creating 'mixed communities' such a great idea?"

Link to The Guardian

"Everyone wants 'mixed communities'. The breadth and depth of the consensus in London (and elsewhere) is amazing. Labour councils want them, Conservative councils want them. Shelter supports them. Boris Johnson has pledged to "work to deliver them," and his new London Plan and revised housing strategy both refer to promoting them. The desirability of using planning and housing policy to bring about "mixed and balanced" neighbourhoods is rarely disputed. But why, exactly, does everybody think they're such a good idea? And are they right?

"The core conviction is that living in a 'mixed community' is better for poor and disadvantaged people than living in a poor and disadvantaged one, and that tailoring policy accordingly interrupts patterns of social segregation. This belief informs the prioritising of ex-service personnel and people who have jobs for social housing allocation, the logic being that doing so dilutes prevailing cultures of dependency and antisocial conduct. 

"It also provides a moral rationale for regeneration schemes that entail rebuilding social housing-dominated estates to introduce other tenure types that better-off people can afford or just knocking them down and starting again. The same thinking underpins the view that new housing developments should have a diversity of market and "affordable" homes within them.

"Yet evidence vindicating this confluence of urban social and planning policy is neither straightforward nor overwhelming."

Hammerson and the Chamber of Secrets

1830 - Brent Cross Cricklewood Southern Development

"GVA wins yet another national award"

"GVA received the 'Corporate Real Estate Partnership Award' alongside RBS, DTZ and DLA Piper for their complete real estate service across the UK and Ireland Royal Bank of Scotland occupational portfolio.

"The award was presented by John Pienaar, BBC’s Senior Political Correspondent at the annual 'CoreNet Global UK Chapter Awards', sponsored by Property Week, during a breakfast event held at the Institute of Directors on the 27th November.

"GVA’s Regional Senior Director, Patrick Morrissey, accepted the award on behalf of the company. He commented:
"We’re delighted to have won this award. This is a great example of outstanding teamwork to support our client’s best interests."


Daily Telegraph: "Have we really seen the end of growth?"

Link to Daily Telegraph
"If you believe Robert Gordon, the Northwestern University professor whose work on technological progress – or to his mind, the lack of it – is gaining a cult following, economic growth in advanced economies is essentially over, not just for now, but forever.

"In itself, there is nothing new about gloom laden “declinism” of this sort; it’s almost as old as humanity itself, and invariably it’s in the ascendant at times like this, when everyone is down in the dumps and barriers to growth seem almost insurmountable.

"Yet there are good reasons for believing there may be something in it this time around. With long yields on government bonds in any halfway creditworthy advanced economy tumbling to historic lows, this seems to be the predominant view of millions of investors around the world. Money managers are betting on low to nil or even negative growth way out into the indefinite future." 

Link to web site
"Forget all the speculation and imagine what, in an ideal world, next Wednesday's autumn statement could be like.

"... And the markets hadn't panicked because Britain retained control of its currency and, besides, it was never going to go bust. Couple that with the coalition's progress in rebalancing the economy away from borrowing and shopping, and towards exporting and producing.

"... None of this is going to happen next Wednesday. Instead, George Osborne will admit to another terrible year and more gloom ahead: maybe not as bad as the doominess from the OECD on Monday, but grim enough. ... The result is the phrase Keynes used in 1930:
"The long, dragging conditions of semi-slump."

Link to:
The Guardian:


SHOPPING CENTRE WARS: Hammerson Tweedle-dee and Westfield Tweedle-dum

animated gif maker
"Retail giants [what, us?] share
their visions for Croydon"
Cick above for 'Croydon Guardian'

The two companies, who are both vying to take over the Whitgift Centre, were guests at the 'Develop Croydon Conference' 2012. 

John Burton, Director of Development at Westfield [the little head above] and Robin Dobson, Director of Retail Development at Hammerson [the big head, he, he] were on a panel of guests, speaking about the importance of retail. 

"... Mr Dobson, of Hammerson, began by talking about why Croydon is such an attractive proposition:
"“There is a fantastic infrastructure here. There is excellent transport links, excellent consumer demand and a very much well led council." [sic]
"Mr Dobson also cited their retail outlets in Birmingham and Aberdeen as examples of how they tailor their projects to the town’s needs." [unlike at Brent Cross!]

[Westfield said something similar.]

Hammerson's Croydon vision 
- v -
Westfield's Croydon vision

Canadian Governor of Bank of England: "The Puck Stops Here"

Link to web site
The Guardian:
"Mark Carney: a Sven for Threadneedle Street?"

"Although he doesn't take up his new job until 1 July next year, Mark Carney will have a full in-tray. Britain's economy is still 3% smaller than it was when the recession began in 2008 and King warned earlier this month that output may fall again in the fourth quarter of this year. A further decline in GDP in the first three months of 2013 would constitute an unprecedented triple-dip recession, something few would rule out given the combination of weak consumer demand, a dysfunctional banking system and the ingrained problems of the eurozone.

"Unless something dramatic happens in the next seven months, Carney will inherit an emergency setting for monetary policy: interest rates of 0.5% and at least £375bn of quantitative easing."

Link to web site

Daily Telegraph:
"New Bank of England Governor Mark Carney's wife: an eco-warrior who says banks are rotten"

"The British wife of the new Bank of England Governor is a strident environmental activist, who urges people to spend less money on possessions, and once declared:
"Having more stuff does not make us happy."
"Diana Carney has expressed sympathy for the anti-banking Occupy movement and suggested that global financial institutions are 'rotten or inadequate'.

"She has described the notion that humans should halt all consumption to save the environment as a 'good point' but 'very hard, given the way our societies function', and has also lamented the 'relentless exhortations to buy, and the fact that much of our sense of self is tied up in our possessions'.

[Updated] Meanwhile, up the road at (public-transport-well-connected) Wembley City...

Link to Brent & Kilburn Times

"Luxury fashion brand LK Bennett has become the latest name to sign up to London’s first ever designer outlet in Wembley.

"Phil Cottingham, Head of Retail at Quintain, who are [which is?] heading up the Wembley City developments, said:
“LK Bennett is one of Britain’s premier fashion brands boasting a strong international profile, and will therefore appeal to both the primary catchment and the thousands of tourists that [who?] visit Wembley every year."
"The anchor retailers include Nike, Gap, Clarks and Marks & Spencer, while restaurants including Prezzo, Handmade Burger Co, Las Iguanas will also be included. 

"The 350,000 sq ft centre will also include a new nine-screen Cineworld, seating up to 1,800 people." 

Link to web site

Evening Standard:
"Quintain switches focus to London"

"Quintain is aiming for around £150 million in property sell-offs as it funnels resources into its vast Greenwich and Wembley developments and cuts debt, the company said today.

"... Proceeds from the sales will be spent on Wembley and the Greenwich peninsula. Quintain is hoping to build a combined 15,000 homes in total there over the next 10 to 15 years, as well as cutting the debt below £400 million by March 2014."

Sheffield gives up on Hammerson?
(We know how they feel)

Link to web site

Sheffield Star:
"Revamp for Sheffield’s Moor"

"A LONG awaited revamp of The Moor is on its way - with new fashion shops moving in to newly-built stores costing tens of millions of pounds.

"Talks are taking place for new retailers to move onto the street, turning The Moor into one of Sheffield’s most thriving shopping destinations once again. Debenhams could also be upgraded.

"... Discussions are taking place between Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, landlord of The Moor, and fashion chains to occupy the new stores below Debenhams and on the site of the former McDonalds and JJB Sports buildings.

"The redevelopments will go ahead regardless of what happens with [Hammerson's] neighbouring Sevenstone retail scheme." "Ranald Philips, agent for Scottish Widows, said:
"We talk to Hammerson quite a lot about Sevenstone, but there has been a 12-year wait for it to get started. The Moor has been waiting 10 years, and in the meantime a lot of retailers have left."
"Sheffield Council chief executive, John Mothersole, said:
"I’m delighted The Moor is coming back strong. It’s very much a private sector-led development supported by the council."

Link to Yorkshire Post

Yorkshire Post: "£45m offer to get new Sheffield retail quarter underway"

"STALLED plans for [Hammerson's] new retail quarter in a Yorkshire city which fell victim to the recession could be kick-started with a further £45m of public money under plans unveiled by council bosses yesterday.

"Sheffield’s Sevenstone project, which is supposed to be overhauling a huge area behind the city’s John Lewis store, should have been completed by now, but its developers have continually postponed the start date.

"This has led to parts of the city centre falling into near-dereliction after shop units were the subject of compulsory purchase orders led by Sheffield Council several years ago only to be left empty.

"Yesterday, Sheffield Council chief executive John Mothersole, who has led negotiations with Hammerson, confirmed the authority has now offered to fund £45m of work to 'facilitate' a start date on the scheme in 2014.

"Mr Mothersole said the deal would involve the council advancing the cash, in the knowledge that once the new shops were up and running taxpayers would get the money back through business rates.

"Nobody from Hammerson was available to comment on the announcement yesterday, or confirm whether it was prepared to enter into any arrangement with Sheffield Council on Sevenstone." 

"Sheffield retail scheme to receive £45m TIF funding"


[Reposted] Evening Standard: "London: Portrait of a City"

On the beat: A Traffic policeman at work
near St Paul’s Cathedral (mid 1960s)
Link to Evening Standard

"A fascinating new book documents London's urban development from Victorian era to the modern."

The Guardian: "Analysis: Capitalism still needs a helping hand" [As opposed to the bankers helping themselves]

"Policymakers insist vigorous recovery will arrive, but concerns remain over deep structural problems," writes Larry Ellott

"The era of Mad Men typifies capitalism's sunny postwar decades"
Link to The Guardian

"Hope springs eternal: China's manufacturing sector has perked up a bit; there are encouraging noises coming out of Washington about avoiding the fiscal cliff; the euro is still in one piece – could it be that recovery is coming at last?

"After all the false dawns, this could be the point at which capitalism shows its resilience and regenerative powers. Since the birth of the modern industrial age more than 250 years ago, there have been only brief deviations in the upward trend of production. The Great Depression looks like a mere blip on the upward sloping graph of UK or US GDP.

"Even so, the depth and length of the crisis has led to a degree of soul searching. While policymakers insist publicly that vigorous recovery will eventually arrive, there is private concern that deep structural problems are blunting the effectiveness of a stimulus unprecedented in its scale, scope and duration. These concerns are well founded."

Link to:
Daily Telegraph:

ICIJ: "Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze"

"Joint probe by ICIJ, the BBC and the Guardian unmasks 28 'nominee directors' who pose as public faces for more than 21,500 companies."

Link to 'International Consortium of Investigative Journalists'
"The existence of a global network of sham company directors, most of them British, can be revealed today.

"The UK government claims such abuses were stamped out long ago, but a worldwide joint investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the Guardian, and BBC's Panorama program, has uncovered a booming offshore industry that leaves the way open both for tax avoidance and the concealment of assets."

The Guardian: "Earls Court: Kensington and Chelsea's go ahead can't hide the contradictions"

Link to web site

"Much of the formal foundation is now in place for Sir Terry Farrell's high rise 'villages' to soar from the rubble of the exhibition centres and, across the borough border, of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green housing estates, whose residents oppose demolition by a margin of at least three to one, according to the council's own assessment of responses to its consultation, though you'd never guess that from this finely-spun press release, which also pretends that people living in the surrounding area are firmly in support.

"The truth is that only a minute percentage of them answered the council's call for their views, whereas the response from the secure council tenants, housing association tenants, leaseholders and freeholders who live on the estates was impressive."


How long will Brent Cross's Hammerson need to be involved with Tax Havens?

Link to web site

Daily Telegraph:
"Europe campaign against companies that dodge tax"

"Britain has joined forces with Germany and France to press for a speedy crackdown on systematic tax dodging by big business.

"... In a letter, the three finance ministers said 'tax shifting' was a 'growing problem'. It was 'important both for its potential impact on Government revenues and for the confidence of our citizens in the fairness of taxation of international companies'.

" 'International tax standards have had difficulty keeping up with changes in global business practices,' the letter added.

Link to web site

The Observer:
"Treasury to crack down on UK's offshore tax havens"

"Radical plans to force the UK's tax havens to reveal the names behind hidden companies, account holders and trusts have been drawn up by the Treasury.

"The news has delighted tax justice campaigners, who predict that the move, which is expected to be unveiled in the chancellor's autumn statement and come into force in 2014, will have major consequences for those trying to hide their money offshore.

"A leaked document reveals that the UK plans to impose its own version of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca) on the crown dependencies of Jersey [Hammerson connection], Guernsey and the Isle of Man [Brent Cross Cricklewood connection], as well as its overseas territories, such as the Cayman Islands."


The Independent: "Britain's missing billions: counting the true cost of corporate tax avoidance"

Link to The Independent

"Yesterday's public finance figures were a tale of two countries: the public paid more and corporations paid less.

"... A number of famous multinationals have come under the spotlight over corporation tax. Starbucks has reported taxable profits in the UK only once in the past 15 years. Google reported revenues in Britain of £395m in 2011, but paid just £6m in corporation tax. Amazon booked £3.3bn in UK sales in 2011 but paid no corporation tax at all. Senior executives from all three companies appeared before the Commons Public Accounts Committee this month. Starbucks told MPs it paid a royalty to its parent company in the Netherlands, which offset profits made here. Amazon said its profits are all booked in Luxembourg, and Google's profits are registered in Ireland."

[And Hammerson is involved with a tax haven...]


'London Sustainable Development Commission' - no friend of Brent Cross developers?

"The London Sustainable Development Commission was established in 2002 to advise the Mayor of London on making London an exemplary sustainable world city."
Sustainable Development in London

 "Sustainable development is about ensuring we have a better of quality of life now and for the future, whilst protecting and enhancing the earth's resources. Our vision for London articulates how this can be achieved and is contained in 'A Sustainable Development Framework for London':

Vision for London

"London has retained its position as one of the World’s great cities over many centuries because of the quantity, quality and diversity of its people, businesses, infrastructure and natural resources. However, the downside of this pre-eminence has been the associated social division, pollution and increasingly wasteful use of resources.

"Our vision for the 'World Class' London of the future is a place where all Londoners and visitors feel the greatest possible sense of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being. Our thinking and decisionmaking will be long-term, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This means ensuring that the ways in which we live, work and play will not interfere with nature’s inherent ability to sustain life.

"We will achieve this by taking responsibility for the regional and global impacts of city life. With our commitment to inclusion and cooperation, we will build upon and celebrate London’s diversity, in all its forms. Resources will be used efficiently and fairly and the natural and built environment protected. Our reward will be a prosperous, vibrant and healthy city, one in which we all make the most of opportunities for fulfillment.

"All of us have a part to play in achieving this vision. Each step will be
supported by clear objectives and targets and will be sustained by learning from success."

In practice, achieving a better quality of life is about:
  • Having access to quality education, jobs, services, housing and leisure;
  • Living in an environment which is healthy, resilient and stable now and into the future;
  • Living and working within a society which is democratic, just, engaged, diverse, responsible, supportive and vibrant;
  • Being fulfilled, healthy and with sufficient personal resources to enjoy life.
Whether as individuals, communities, businesses or governments, our journey towards sustainability means we need to think about the social, economic and environmental impacts of everything we do. We must make the most out of available opportunities, designing out negative impacts and minimising them as a last resort.

Sustainable Development History

Sustainable Development is first officially referred to in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development in its report, 'Our Common Future'.  Known as the Brundtland Report, after the Chair of the Commission and author, Gro Harlem Brundtland, it defined sustainable development as: 
'development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'.
Sustainable Development was formally recognised as a global challenge at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. This is great.

In 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development measured progress against achieving sustainable development since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and set new challenges via a political declaration, an implementation plan and a range of practical measures.

In the United Kingdom, the government produced its sustainable development strategy, 'Securing the Future', which includes five principles to underpin how sustainable development will be pursued throughout the UK. The government has established the UK Sustainable Development Commission as the government's independent watchdog helping to put sustainable development at the heart of UK government policy."

Evening Standard: "Oh Lord, spare us from the pulpit preachers of economic hellfire"

Link to web site

"Sir Mervyn King was on fine form the other day, when he publicly slapped down a journalist who accused the Bank of England of being 'institutionally inclined' to ignore any one-off factors that pushed up inflation.

"... It’s useful that the Governor picked up his questioner, because it might help to dampen the increasingly vocal fringes of the current policy debate — I call them the economic 'green ink' brigade — who preach economic hellfire and want to start tightening the screw on the entire country. 

"One in 10 British companies is a 'zombie', so we’re told, staggering on to pay debt interest alone, kept alive by record low interest rates and depriving more worthy companies of credit." [Earlier Evening Standard comments.] 

Link to Evening Standard

"Retailers fear a Christmas flop as consumers keep cash"

"Fears of a dire Christmas for the High Street mounted today as new figures showed worried consumers have built up a £40 billion savings pile during the past year.

"The British Bankers’ Association’s latest data revealed 6.1% growth in deposits over the past year to £688.9 billion as consumers bunker down against economic fears, with savers squirrelling away £3.4 billion in October alone."

StockMarketWire: "Morgan Stanley downgrades Hammerson"

"... overweight to equal weight ..."
reports StockMarketWire


Little Pea and Bertie present "Brent Cross Winter Wonderland"

"Join us for the most magical of Christmasses this year at Brent Cross!"
"Come & revel in our stunning Winter Wonderland and soak up the festive season."
Giant Ice Skating Rink
"Nothing gets us more excited about Christmas than throwing on a woolly jumper and a pair of fluffy ear muffs to take a twirl around our giant ice skating rink, except this is, the propect of twirling around a that rink with the stars of Dancing on Ice! When you’ve finished don’t forget to warm up with a hot chocolate or a glass of mulled wine."
We’ve brought you the cheapest panto tickets in town. Oh no, you didn’t…
"Oh yes, we did! Welcome aboard as Defoe’s classic book, Robinson Crusoe takes to the stage in this priceless performance, packed with music and laughter.

The Panto Company’s production of Robinson Crusoe is a delight for both children and adults. It's the tale of the heroic captain of the Good Ship Lizzie. His mission: to seek out wondrous treasures, discover strange new lands, and to boldly go where no action-packed adventure has gone before!

Yet, when Crusoe is shipwrecked, he has more than new lands and treasure on his mind. There’s his hilarious new friend, Man Friday; the beautiful Princess Moonflower; and of course, the wicked pirate, Captain Hogwash.

Hold tight – this panto travels at a thousand smiles an hour. Each show lasts 20 minutes and there are two shows an hour. Forget pricey West End shows to entertain the kids, we guarantee this will have the same effect and it’s great value at just £4 for kids and £6 for mums and dads!"
Christmas Village Market
"Christmas is a time to eat, drink and eat some more. So we’ve brought you festive favourites to warm you up while you wander round our amazing Christmas village. Olde English hog roast, mulled wine, toffee apples, candy floss and German bratwurst are among the culinary delights on offer to give you an inner glow. You’ll also find Indian, Thai, Mexican and Caribbean street food!"
"The fun just keeps on coming with a 100ft panoramic big wheel, Victorian carousel, teacups, bumper cars and many more family favourites."
Magicians and Street Entertainers
"Let us entertain you! We can promise you won’t have a moment to be bored as you wander through the Winter Wonderland and take in the sights."
Face Painting
"While you’re enjoying our slice of Christmas it’s important you look the part so be sure to stop off for some face painting! Always a favourite with Brent Cross kids…"
Free Admission!
"Our favourite part? Admission and parking are free! Rides and attractions can be paid for with Wonderland Tokens. Tokens are available at the box office or to pre-buy online at www.brentcrosswinterwonderland.com. It costs nothing to come and soak up the atmosphere!"
Opening times
"Open every day from 8 December to 5 January, 12pm – 10pm. Excluding Christmas Day (that really would be too good to be true)."

"To give you that rosy glow while strolling through the Christmas snow"

Choose from a selection of traditional Christmas Treats, prepared for your delectation...
  • Olde English Hog Roast, complete with all the trimmings a succulent taste of Merrie England
  • Genuine German Chargrilled Sausages...for better or Wurst !! Bavarian Brats that cut the mustard
  • Spud Murphy's Jacket Potatoes, piping hot, straight out of the oven..with toppings of choice
  • Minced Pies and warm Mulled Wine (with a non alcoholic version for the Kids)
  • International Street Eats to spice up your visit... Mouth Watering Indian,Thai, Mexican & Caribbean Cuisines
  • Old Time Sweet Treats... Toffee apples, Candy Floss, Sugar Canes.

"Admission is free for everyone, and what's more, you can't spend any money at our festival of fun !

The only legal tender accepted for rides and attractions in our World of Wonder are Christmas Credit Tokens
Whilst access to Wonderland is absolutely free to all, some of our great attractions and rides only accept Christmas Tokens.
They're available in £1 and £2 denominations, and will be on sale at our entrance Box Office.
Buy them on the day, although we suggest you beat the queues and pre-buy on line for fast-track entry.
Your tokens will be held for collection, on arrival, in your name, at our Advance Booking Window. Just bring along your Winter Wonderland Token certificate that will be e-mailed to you shortly after you place your order."


"You'll be able to hit a bucket ( or two ) of balls at our new,all weather two tier, 2-bay, floodlit Golf Driving Range.
Our Astroturf fairway, with hazards and targets will delight and challenge golfers at all levels of proficiency.
So come and thwack that Driver, and let off steam while the ''other half'' indulges in some serious retail therapy at the Brent Cross shopping experience.
Why not improve your game and perfect your Swing courtesy of our resident PGA professionals who offer both ''one to one'' and group tuition
Their 'Not to be Missed' opening offer is a One Hour Player Evaluation for just £19.99. It includes:
  • full consultation and video capture
  • free lesson and practise notebook
  • free re-writable CD to monitor progress
  • free web profile to view your video swing on the Internet.
Both Junior and Ladies tutorials are always available.
  • PLUS ... Fun for all the Family on our Themed 18-hole Mini-Golf Course... Great for 'Children' from 8 to 88 years of age !
  • PLUS ...We're declaring War on all Couch Potatoes at our Kids Activity Zone, featuring Ice Skating, a Zorb Ball Pond, Go-Karts circuit, Rock Face Wall, Monkey Trail and lots more interactive outdoor attractions to stimulate and challenge
  • PLUS ...Our Massive 6000 square feet EVENTS TENT, hosting a variety of delights." 

"Forthcoming programmes will include :
Antiques, Collectors & Vintage Fairs & Valuation Days,
Childrens entertainments,
Fashion Shows,
Arts & Crafts Exhibitions,
Food Fayres, etc.
Available for Private & Corporate functions.
Call 0208 202 4114 for booking enquiries.
E info@brentcrosswinterwonderland.com "

Evening Standard: " Kensington and Chelsea planners give go-ahead for demolition of Earls Court Exhibition Centre"

Link to Evening Standard

"A plan to demolish Earls Court Exhibition Centre and replace it with thousands of new homes has been approved.

"Developers say they want to turn the 77-acre site into a 'new London district' by creating four 'urban villages' and a '21st century high street'. [Now, where have we heard those phrases before? Ah, at Brent Cross, from Hammerson!]

"The plans are based on designs by architect Sir Terry Farrell and would create 7,500 houses and 12,000 permanent full-time jobs, according to developers Capital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco)."

Earls Court


Daily Telegraph City Diary: "It’s the muppet show – from an Anglo Irish Bank viewpoint"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Lloyd Blankfein and Goldman friends, book now. A Dublin playhouse has raised the curtain on a musical with the tagline: 'It only takes a few muppets to screw an entire country.'

"These particular muppets are the puppet-masters of the defunct Anglo Irish Bank, the star of 'Anglo: The Musical', which is playing to packed-out audiences of Irish taxpayers able to see the funny side, as they await a sixth austerity budget in five years.

"Characters in the show include Taoiseach Enda Kenny, depicted as a lapdog on the leash of German chancellor Angela Merkel, and a poor young couple who borrow €890m to build a 40-storey apartment beside their modest home. According to scriptwriter Paul Howard, the satire needed 'certain rewrites' after producers received warning letters."

The connection?

Brent Cross's Hammerson has bought part of the leasehold interests of Croydon's Whitgift Shopping Centre, in its battle for control against Westfield. (Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee.)

The remaining, still-'independent' Whitgift leaseholder is the 'Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Assurance Company', a subsiduary of the 'Irish Bank Resolution Corporation', the zombie-bank interests of the Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society. (The latter has no connection with the UK building society.) 

(Presumably from a press preview, so imperfect sound recording)

Evening Standard: "Why living standards will slip further"

Link to Evening Standard

"It is a profoundly depressing thought. Could it be possible that the twenty-somethings now entering the workforce in Britain will become the first generation for a couple of centuries that end up, on average, poorer than their parents?

"... Unless we can continue to innovate, to keep increasing our productivity, our own living standards will stagnate.

"... [Some factors are] cyclical. The really big issue, the one that matters more than anything else, is whether there has been some structural change, some damage to the great engine that has increased wealth incrementally, year after year, since the Industrial Revolution."

Link to Evening Standard

"We need to get set for a new normal"

"The economy has just passed a couple of milestones. Employment is, at last, higher than its previous peak; and retail sales are also at a new high. This week we should get another encouraging signal as third-quarter GDP figures are expected to show resumed growth.

"So how close are we towards being back to normal? My quite unscientific answer is that we are somewhere between a third and half-way back — but, and here’s the twist, the new normal will be utterly different from the old normal.

"... House prices are still a bit above the long-term ratio of four times average earnings, so you could say they are still too high. But in another three or four years’ time, with more or less stable prices and slowly rising money earnings, they could be back to a reasonable relationship. We will, more or less, have recovered from the housing bubble. How the monetary authorities allowed the bubble to occur is another matter." 

"One in 10 British firms 'are zombies burdened by debt'" (Link)

"One in ten British firms are now “zombie” companies, walking-dead businesses with unsustainable debts, due to the record low interest rate and banks’ reluctance to write off bad loans."