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


Mrs Angry's 'Broken Barnet' web site, on Roads of Barnet

Link to web site

"... Colindale is one of those areas that have been targeted in the insidious Tory plantation strategy, via a housing policy in which so called 'regeneration' schemes see areas of social housing and rental accommodation for low income families replaced and dominated by private development schemes.

"Beaufort Park - whose quota of affordable housing was removed by the Tories last year - and similar developments are changing the face of areas like this.

"The Peel Centre, a former police HQ is also due for development - and of course the Brent Cross Cricklewood plan, that will transform the neighbouring area, is going to be massive in terms of transformation of the western side of the borough.

"The result in the long term on the political and electoral landscape will be hugely significant.

"In Colindale and West Hendon, these schemes are having - and will continue to have - a devastating impact on the local communities."


NLA: "London's Centre for the Built Environment"

Link to web site

"Located at The Building Centre in central London, NLA is a focus for the debate and discussion of issues facing architecture, planning, development and construction in the capital.

"A year-round programme of conferences, talks, round-table discussions and exhibitions attracts leading decision-makers in London government, property, planning and design. This broad audience of architects, engineers, developers, agents, planners, councillors, officers and community provides an unrivalled environment for discussion, learning and debate.

"Public galleries - open to all, free of charge, six days a week - tell the story of London's development through a giant scale model of central London, displays on major development activity across all of London's 33 boroughs and regularly changing exhibitions. We are open six days a week and receive over 10,000 visitors each month from London, the UK and abroad."

"NLA is an independent organisation managed by Pipers Projects Ltd. All funding comes from ticket sales to paid events and membership fees from a wide range of private and public sector organisations with an interest in London's built environment."

Link to
The Towers Debate:
Does London need more tall buildings?
(3 June 2014)


BBC iPlayer video: "Business Boomers: HOT PROPERTY"

"A look at businesses that have boomed despite tough economic times. This reveals the inner workings of the British house-building industry, with access to the lead players."


The Guardian: "Barnet Tories: confusion, regret and so much more"

"Trailblazing north London borough Conservatives survived Labour's challenge last month but now face claims of incompetence, sharp practice and private greed"

Ask your butler to link to web site

"Barnet Council, for so long a Conservative standard bearer for minimalist services and grand privatisations, is in danger of becoming known instead as the London Borough of Bungles and Bad Behaviour.

"The month since the Tories just about held off Labour at the ballot box has seen the council mired in constitutional confusion, its leaders challenged about manoeuvres over allowances and timetables and had none other than Boris Johnson publicly agreeing to help look into the private business conduct of a senior Barnet Tory councillor.

"Trouble burst into the open on June 2 at the first full council meeting after the election, at which the Conservatives’ previously safe majority was slashed to just four seats. This is expected to dwindle to a tiny, tenuous one after residents of Colindale ward vote for their three councillors on Thursday in a contest postponed from May due to the death of a candidate from the Green Party."

DesignCurial: "Runway Success - What to do with London's airports"

Link to web site

"The only thing that seems certain is that London and the South East needs more airport capacity. With a range of proposals put forward, the Airports Commission is due to get down to the nitty-gritty of where and how it is to be supplied.

"Should it be a four-runway mega-hub in the Thames Estuary? Or maybe super-long runways at Heathrow? How about an incremental approach expanding Gatwick now, and Stansted later? Should Heathrow really be closed? These are the issues that will occupy Howard Davies' Airports Commission this year as it gets right down to the bare bones of how to expand airport provision in London and the South East.

"This is one big hot potato, one of those eternal, unsolved issues that has always proved just too strategically - and politically - hot to handle. Expansion first came up for discussion nearly 50 years ago, and since then there has simply been too much riding on it for anyone to agree and implement a strategy.

"What's at stake is not only the homes and well-being of those unlucky enough to be near any new runways but - we're told - the very future of the UK's airline industry, with huge knock-on effects for the UK economy as a whole."

Hammerson partners Westfield in Croydon. Not an inch of trams in Barnet but "Plans for second tram line in Croydon town centre"

Link to Croydon Advertiser

"A SECOND tram line could be created in the town centre, as part of authorities’ efforts to boost public transport capacity ahead before [sic] major town centre redevelopment.

"Getting more travellers out of cars and on to feet, bikes, trams and other public transport is part of Croydon Council’s plan as it readies for long-term development, including the Westfield/ Hammerson shopping centre and thousands of new homes, with the borough’s good transport links much prized by developers.

"Jo Negrini, the council's director of development and environment, says the pending redevelopment is of 'Olympic 2012' proportions 'which will transform and repopulate Croydon’s town centre, and create thousands of jobs', and that the council was working with Network Rail and TfL, among others, to make sure transport could cope.

"She said the town centre had previously been remodelled around car access, but that relying on the car for short trips could lead to 'environmental, economic and health problems,' continuing:
"Consequently, we are working to ensure that walking and cycling become real and practical choices for those shorter journeys, and that Tramlink and other public transport modes continue to improve as a means of catering for the longer journeys."

"London's population is 8.4m and rising faster than any other part of the country"

Link to Evening Standard

"London's population is rising at a faster rate than any other part of the country because of high immigration and birth rate and now stands at more than 8.4 million, official figures revealed today.

"The Office for National Statistics said that the number of people living in the capital rose by just over 108,000 in the year to June 2013.

"The rise - which is equivalent to half the population of Westminster or Islington - was driven by high migration from overseas, which added 79,500 to London’s population during the 12 month period, and a fresh baby boom which brought an extra 131,000 children into the capital."

What House: "New homes to be built on former Hendon FC site"

"The former Hendon Football Club ground in north-west London will finally be bulldozed to make way for the construction of more than 100 new homes.

"Hendon football fans were left heartbroken when the club were forced out of their home of 82 years, back in 2008, in order to pave the way for new residential properties to be constructed on the 4.4 acre plot in Claremont Road.

"But despite long-standing plans to build new properties, the planned development has faced numerous delays due to financial constraints. However, the scheme now finally looks set to go-ahead, after a planning application was submitted to Barnet Council this month.

"According to the proposal for the project, the former football ground will be redeveloped to provide 135 residential units, comprising 84 flat in three five-storey blocks as well as 51 two- and three-storey houses.

Hendon's former football ground is located in the Brent Cross and Cricklewood area which is set to undergo a major £4bn transformation over the next 15 to 20 years.

"The Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme is expected to deliver around 7,500 new homes, 27,000 jobs, three new schools, a new train station, major road improvements, a completely reinvigorated Clitterhouse Playing Fields, new community facilities and much more. Barnet Council [using its own-designed corrupt planning procedure of a single 'yes/no' planning application covering several square miles] gave the scheme the green light in 2010. Mike McGuinness, development director at Hammerson, said:
"The benefits [we prefer 'effects'] of Brent Cross Cricklewood will be felt for generations to come."


Hammerson to move down-market, and also fails in bid to buy into Bluewater shopping centre: "Land Securities Acquires 30% Stake"

Link to LSE web site

"LONDON (Alliance News) - Land Securities Group PLC Wednesday said it has acquired a 30% stake in the Bluewater shopping centre near London in Kent from Australian property business Lend Lease Group in a deal worth GBP656 million in cash.

"FTSE 100-listed Land Securities also acquired the full asset-management rights for the centre and 110 acres of surrounding land for GBP40 million. The overall net initial yield after expiry of rent free periods is 4.1%.

"The deal comes after UK press reports that rivals British Land PLC and Hammerson PLC also were looking to buy the stake in the shopping destination which attracts around 27 million visitors a year.

"The centre totals 1.8 million square feet and is home to over 330 retailers, including House of Fraser and John Lewis. It also includes 13,000 parking spaces."

Estates Gazette:
"Hammerson homes in on Guardian HQ"

"Hammerson is to relocate from the West End to King’s Cross, after agreeing a deal with Network Rail to take an assignment of part of its lease at the Guardian’s headquarters.

"The retail REIT will exchange imminently on a deal to occupy around 40,000 sq ft on a single floor in King’s Place, 90 York Way , N1.

"The terms of the deal are thought to equate to a rent in the mid-£50 per sq ft.

"Hammerson currently occupies around 28,000 sq ft at 10 Grosvenor Street, W1, a building it owns jointly with Grosvenor.

"...Cushman & Wakefield acted for Hammerson;
BNP Paribas Real Estate acted for Network Rail;
Savills acts for Deka;
Hamlet acts for Polonius that honest men are rare, and that the sun would breed maggots in a dead dog because that flesh is good enough to be kissed by the sun."
[Just thought we'd add that. Act II, Scene II, you know.]

[Reposted from Sep 2012] BBC: Levittown: A suburb at 60 (like Brian Coleman's 'Garden City' at Brent Cross?)

Link to BBC web site

"Levittown Pennsylvania - a model community that has symbolised the American dream, is now 60 years old. The BBC has returned to the suburbs, to see if the dream still thrives.

"Levittown's history, since its inception in 1952 is a history of the ups and downs of America's middle-class. A belief that 'the next generation will be better off' is the basis of the American dream, but can it hold in Levittown?

"... Almost 60 years ago, the planned community embodied the hopes and prosperity of America. Now, it represents a more realistic picture of the American experience. The BBC investigates Levittown, Pennsylvania, as part of a year-long series.

"In 1960, BBC journalist Ludovic Kennedy travelled to Levittown, Pennsylvania in advance of the Nixon-Kennedy election. Reporting for Panorama, Kennedy's on-the-scene accounts provided an ideal perspective from which to measure the concerns of a fast-changing nation.

"Levittown had been founded eight years earlier, when America was on the cusp of a huge burst of prosperity. GIs home from the war had started families in earnest. The baby boom had begun, and a new middle class was driving the economy." 

"... Now, in 2012, the country has changed much. But one thing has not: the middle-class residents make up the heart of America, and are still viewed as the 'real' voice of the nation. Candidates vie to win their vote, and politicians battle over who best represents their interests.

"So like Ludovic Kennedy before us, the BBC will turn to Levittown for insight into what matters most to Americans.

"As Levittown prepares to turn 60, and the nation prepares to vote in the next presidential election, the BBC will focus on Levittown in depth. For the next year, we will meet its citizens, documenting their concerns and dreams, and tell the stories of residents who used to inhabit the American Dream."

Evening Standard: "Finance must get back on the right path"

Link to web site

"... In the concluding chapter of his justifiably acclaimed book, City economist Russell Jones puts his finger on the danger to society inherent in modern finance. He writes:
"There is no doubt that the shortcomings and failings in the basic architecture of financial intermediation [bankers are crooks] can encourage predatory and destructive tendencies if not grotesque distortion in the allocation of capital and resources and huge costs for society as a whole when these distortions unwind." [Bankers are crooks.]
"But he also makes the point that it was the excesses of a relatively small number out of a large community that imposed such a large bill on society." [Bankers are crooks.]


The Economist: "Counting the cost of finance"

Link to web site
(Image is from The Guardian's Steve Bell)

"EVERYBODY knows that the collapse of the financial system in 2008 was hugely costly for Western economies. But finance was taking a heavier toll on the economy even before Lehman Brothers went under.

"That is the conclusion of a new paper by Guillaume Bazot of the Paris School of Economics which takes a different approach to measuring the overall cost of finance.

"... [Maybe finance industry] higher incomes are what economists call rents: excess incomes earned by those with a privileged economic position. The financial industry is protected because governments and central banks will act to rescue it when it falters, in a way they would not do for chemicals, say. And the sector may also benefit from asymmetric information: some of the products it sells are highly complex and clients may not be aware of the full cost until well after a sale is made.

"The central question that the finance industry needs to answer is this: why has its increased importance been associated with slower economic growth in the developed world and a greater number of asset bubbles?"

Questions to Boris (the Mayor of London) about Hugh (the Mayor of Barnet)

Barnet Bugle:
"Video: Boris falls head first into Dismore's elephant trap over Hugh Rayner's alleged antics as a landlord"


Oldham Evening Chronicle: "Work starts on micro apartments" (Good grief)

Link to web site

"WORK has begun to build 142 self-contained 'micro' apartments — some as small as 18 square metres — in Oldham town centre.

"The development, to be known as G-Suite Cardinal Court, is designed to provide affordable accommodation.

"The micro apartments, which range from 18-35 square metres, include a small bathroom and open-plan kitchen-living area."

Broken Barnet: "On the far right, announced the Chair, is Richard Cornelius. We knew that already, but laughed anyway"

Link to Mrs Angry's Broken Barnet

"Question time at Friern Barnet Library - the library shut by Barnet Tories, as part of their war against culture in this borough, but re-opened by occupiers, and returned to the people of Friern Barnet to enjoy, as intended by those who opened the library, with funding from the Carnegie Foundation, in 1934.

"... [Council Leader] Cornelius arrived early, perfectly relaxed and his usual affable self, his Mr Punch-like grin primed, and at the ready.

"At the door a man was holding a bucket, collecting contributions for the library that Mr Punch had closed, and put up for sale.

"The Tory leader, a member for the very affluent area of Totteridge, and the owner of a Hatton Garden jewellery business, peered suspiciously at the bucket, and seemed unsure how much to give."


Corrupt City of London: Video: "People, planet, profit - a revolution in integrating global and local for a resilient future"

"The third lecture in the Wax Chandler's Company series is delivered by the internationally renewed [renowned?] environmental engineer and thought leader, professor Peter Head, who discusses how big data and advanced modelling can inform and test local decisions for the sustainable development of a city or a whole region."

We know a story about the City of London and Hammerson, don't we?

It's all through the MANSION HOUSE window... 


Barnet Times: " 'It will look like a concrete jungle': Concerns raised over plans to build 400 new homes in The Hyde"

Link to web site

"Plans to build 400 new homes and a shopping area could turn Hendon into a 'concrete jungle'.

"This week developer NEAT Developments held a public exhibition to showcase its proposals to build on a site between Rookery Way and Edgware Road in The Hyde.

"There is currently a Homebase and a second-hand car sales lot on the site, which NEAT wants to redevelop in spring 2016.

"As well as approximately 390 flats, there will be no more than ten houses, and between 280 and 300 parking spaces."

"London housing zones to create 50,000 new homes" (The high-vis jackets and helmets are in case of meteorites or low-flying pigeons)

"The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson have announced today (Friday June 13) that 50,000 new homes, across twenty new housing zones, will be created in London, while visiting a prospective new zone in Enfield, North London.

"Housing zones are a new approach being used by the government, to get new homes built quickly. [Why will they work, any more than existing scams?]

"... To ensure that developments in housing zones progress as quickly as possible, the government will grant the Mayor substantial powers, in the form of Mayoral Development Orders, to remove planning obstacles.

"These new zones are in line with the major shake-up of planning rules to support house building announced by the Chancellor in his Mansion House Speech, yesterday.

"... The Mayor’s Office has worked with a number of London boroughs to test the concept. These include: 
  • Meridian Water in Enfield 
  • Tottenham Hale in Haringey 
  • Southall in Ealing 
  • South Poplar in Tower Hamlets 
  • Winstanley and York Road in Wandsworth."

Barnet Press: Hendon Football Club, Clitterhouse Playing Fields, and Evil Hammerson's Brent Cross

... and not a good week for Barnet Council...


The Glass-House: Community-led design

Link to web site

"The Glass-House is an independent national charity supporting and promoting public participation and leadership in the design of the built environment. We provide independent advice, training and hands-on support to community groups and organisations, housing associations, developers, local authorities and other stakeholders, to help them work more effectively together to create better quality places and spaces."

"Over the past year we've created new dialogues, provoked a wider audience and brokered new, exciting relationships and collaborations. We've helped shape and influence placemaking practice and worked with beneficiaries to share and celebrate their stories and knowledge. Our research partnerships with higher education are building an evidence base to support the movement of community led and participatory design, at a time when we are engaging with stakeholders from the housing and property industry like never before.

To find out more about our recent work and our future plans for supporting great placemaking please download our 2012/13 Year Review:
Supporting Great Placemaking in 2012/13: The Glass-House Community Led Design Year Review

We want to make great places a reality for everyone

"Since 2001 The Glass-House has been helping people make better buildings, spaces, homes and neighbourhoods. As a national charity we support and promote public participation and leadership in the design of the built environment.

"We champion great placemaking built on collaboration, and we bring people together through design to develop a shared path to better places.

We believe

  • Design influences the way people feel about their homes, communities and neighbourhoods.
  • Local people should be at the heart of changes to their neighbourhoods.
  • Good design can lead to places that are better used, more easily managed and more sustainable.
  • We should all be surrounded by buildings and spaces that delight us.
"We believe in the power of community led design to transform places and bring positive and lasting change to local people

We aim to promote and support community led and participatory design through:

  • Improving awareness and understanding of design and how it affects our quality of life
  • Providing the skills, confidence and practical tools to create inclusive and sustainable neighbourhoods
  • Enabling a design process that involves local people and leads to delightful spaces and places that work for everyone
  • Promoting respect and appreciation for what everyone can contribute to a collaborative process for change 
See our blog and project showcase for examples of our work."

Financial Times: "London’s towering skyline comes to end of construction boom"

Link to web site and video

"The era of tall towers that has transformed the face of the City of London is coming to an end, the man most widely credited for their creation has said.

"Protected sight lines, businesses downsizing and developers shifting their focus to renovations mean that landmarks such as the Gherkin, the Cheesegrater and the handful of towers now under construction are not likely to be challenged by further waves of newcomers, according to Peter Rees.

The chief planner for the City of London Corporation for 29 years until his retirement in April, Mr Rees has granted planning permission for the series of towers that have marched across the Square Mile’s skyline."

Ashford Place, Cricklewood: Weekly Update

Ashford Place and Faith Communities:
We are working with Brent Multi-Faith Forum  on hosting an event next week around mental health services within a faith context. You are very welcome to attend.
Safe and peaceful Cricklewood:
Happily all ended well and peacefully in Cricklewood.
Personal perspectives:
We held two customer group meetings this week. The first was made up of customers from a variety of homeless experiences e.g. some are currently on the streets, some in temporary accommodation and some are settled in rented flats and are working. It is amazing to hear their personal stories and how the public perception of homelessness is completely different from the reality as reported by this group.

These groups are a great opportunity for our staff and volunteers to learn about what homelessness actually is, how it impacts on the individual and how vital it is that we as providers respond in a caring, empathetic and professional manner. One of the key messages from the group this week is that Ashford Place gives people hope despite how awful their particular situations may be.
Our second customer group was made up of our older Irish customers who have been settled in their homes for some years but who still need a level of support to prevent future homelessness. Many in the group were delighted to hear that our dining room and social activity space will be opening in four or five weeks as they see Ashford Place as a place where they are welcome and where they get the support they need.
Community in action:
Ashford Place is arranging a joint outreach  at 9.00am this Saturday - 21st June - at Gladsome Park with local residents, parks council officers, police and other interested parties to see what are the issues and concerns regarding rough sleeping, anti-social behaviour and public health. It is imperative that our community and public sector agencies work together with us to resolve to share information and find solutions. We are meeting up at the Cricklewood Library building.
Commonwealth visit:
We were delighted to host a visit by a delegation of Commonwealth Parliamentarians this week arranged by MP Sarah Tether’s office. Having visited Brent Civic Centre in the morning we showed them our Cricklewood Improvement Programme improvements on the Bdwy and our work here at Ashford Place. The Parliamentarians came from countries such as Australia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
Work at last:
It is a tough world out there, particularly if you have nine children, never had paid work in your life and now having to work to keep your home. But it is possible. Over the last few weeks the team has helped a woman to find two part time jobs totalling 16 hours a week. This will make a big difference to her and her family. It took us 28 weeks in total to help the woman prepare for interviews, attend interviews and encouraging her to keep her spirits high and it eventually worked. Often the back story to successfully gaining employment can be a long hard road.
The Americans are coming:
We were delighted to welcome John Pacitii from Food Donation Convention A few weeks ago I wrote about Nandos and ourselves working together where we use food donations to support our customers.
Brent Intelligence Hub:
Very useful information here on Brent.
Spare a moment?
Part of the reason for our success is the wonderful team of volunteers we have at Ashford Place. If you have some spare time to volunteer then do contact us for a chat. We have vacancies for finance, fundraising, project management projects. We particularly need people with experience of film making, retail, project management, teaching and chatting! Many of our customers would love to have the opportunity to just chat to residents so as not to only just focus on their problems.
Danny Maher 


The Economist: "Taking the heat out: Increases in interest rates will at best slow Britain’s housing boom"

Link to web site

"... What monetary policy cannot do is fix the deeper problem—which is that houses will remain least affordable in the places where most jobs are being created. Price increases in the capital are making lots of money for construction firms who own land: Berkeley Homes, a London-focused builder, increased its profits by 40% in the year to April. But they are not stimulating much supply, largely because planning restrictions are so tight.

"In St Albans, a southern commuter town, the price of greenfield land with planning permission has already eclipsed its heady pre-recession levels. Yet where there is actually plenty of land with permission to build, for example in the Thames estuary, house prices remain too low to entice builders.

George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, at least understands the problem. 'British people want our homes to go up in value, but also remain affordable,' he said in a recent speech. Yet he has offered no new solution to London's unaffordable housing. The green belt surrounding the capital, on which building is banned, will remain intact. House-building will therefore be limited to former industrial sites which are expensive to build on.

"As a senior civil servant notes, Britain’s housing market is getting back to its pre-recession normal state: broken."

Barnet's APPROVED 300,000 tonnes/year waste incinerator at Brent Cross, with 140m-high chimney, plus whether Barnet's dustcarts should go to Pinkham Way in Haringey at night

The Guardian: "Help to Buy: MPs question £10bn cost and impact on housing shortage"

Link to web site

"The government has yet to demonstrate that its flagship Help to Buy mortgage guarantee policy is providing value for money, an influential committee of MPs has found.

"The Commons public accounts committee (PAC) has warned that the scheme – under which government equity loans finance up to 20% of the purchase price of homes worth up to £600,000 – creates a medium and long-term risk to the taxpayer in the shape of a £10bn portfolio of loans that will impose a heavy administrative burden for decades to come.

"In a new report, the spending watchdog says the scheme was introduced smoothly and quickly in 2013 and helped 13,000 home-buyers within nine months.

"But it notes that Eric Pickles's Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) violated Treasury guidelines by failing to carry out any assessment of alternative options before going ahead with the scheme."


Daily Telegraph: "House prices rise to ten times average salary"

Link to web site

"The cost of an average house in the UK is ten time bigger than the average salary, rising to fourteen times bigger in London, according to the latest figures.

"In all but two regions, house prices are seven or more times the average salary for that area, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in The House Price Index.

"These figures will fuel claims that it is becoming almost impossible for first-time buyers without access to the 'bank of mum and dad' to get on to the property ladder, unless radical action is taken to curb the rise in house prices."

The Guardian: "Architects hark back to Festival of Britain with 'vertical carnival'"

"The 1951 Festival had it all: the jaw-dropping Skylon tower, the Dome of Discovery and an unswerving optimism about the future. Now, International Architecture Showcase are reviving that energy, dreaming up plans for east London estates"

Link to web site

"While today's Expos often leave behind curious wastelands dotted with rotting pavilions and coloured tarmac, occasionally garnished with clusters of private flats, it is heartening to remember that things were not always thus. The Dome of Discovery from the 1951 Festival of Britain may be long gone, the Skylon long lost at the bottom of the river Lea, but in Poplar, east London, the council houses of the Lansbury estate, built as part of the festival's Live Architecture Exhibition, are still very much standing.

"... What might have looked cheap in 1951 appears a model of quality to today's eye, such is the nostalgia for an age when the London county council readily built 30 acres of new homes in decent, robust materials.

Arranged as a series of neighbourhood groups, the estate comprised two- and three-storey terraces and maisonettes in London stock brick, interspersed with some six-storey blocks, and enlivened by a few 'festival-style' touches: trellis porches and balconies, cantilevered stairs and a jaunty clock tower, from where one could marvel at the entire plan. There were to be schools and churches in a simple modernist style, as well as a Catholic church by Adrian Gilbert Scott (younger brother of Giles, who built Bankside and Battersea power stations) in what the Survey of London describes as a fruity 'Jazz-Modern Byzantine' style."


Barnet's Cunning Plan for when Hammerson Walks Out of the Unsustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Shambles

This was due to be approved at the:

Assets, Regeneration and Growth Committee
Monday 16th June, 2014 7.00 pm (link)

but Barnet council had screwed up its legal advice, and the committee didn't lawfully exist!

Watch the video from Barnet Bugle:

Or with added bile, link to Mrs Angry's 'Broken Barnet' web site below:

"There was a meeting scheduled for last night at the Town Hall, the inaugural meeting of the rather unappealingly named 'Assets, Regeneration and Growth Committee'.

"Mrs Angry didn't bother to go, being more inclined to stay at home and sit on the sofa eating chocolate, and discussing tents, portable showers and She Wees with Miss Angry (don't ask).

"Perhaps this was the wrong choice, or the right choice, but in any event she missed what was perhaps the most extraordinary meeting that has ever taken place, here in Broken Barnet, where extraordinary meetings are the order of the day, most days.

"Do look at the footage, and try to suspend your belief in the possibility of proper governance in local government long enough to understand what has now happened in this borough.

"This was the committee meeting which discovered, rather in the surrealist manner of a Bunuel film, (no, please don't argue, Jack Cohen ...) that it did not exist. Or it may have been an existential crisis. Or it may have discovered rather that it existed not in the moment, only in the imagination. Hard to tell.

"The harsh truth, however, that had to be accommodated, to the evident discomfiture of all present, was that the committee had
no constitutional status,
no executive powers,
no purpose,
no point."

Sat 21 - Sun 22 June: Hammerson's Louise Ellison, Head of Sustainability, is at it again: "The Big Positive"

"The Big Positive Weekend is coming to Brent Cross on 21st and 22nd June.

"The Big Positive Weekend is a celebration of people, brands, ideas and actions coming together to make our world a positive place to live. We’ll be travelling the country aiming to inspire 200,000 positive actions.

"With nine weekends, in nine cities, travelling 900 km; [semi-colon?] this is One Big Positive road trip.

"From Southampton to Aberdeen, you are invited to join us in the journey to a Big Positive Future. You can pledge, dance, shop, watch, drive, paint and win, just make sure you’re part of it.

"Be inspired. Be sustainable. Be part of it."
You'll even have the chance to win over £700 of positive prizes! One lucky winner will win...
  • Roberts SolarDAB radio from John Lewis 
  • Manuka yoga mat and ball from John Lewis
  • Kobo Mini from WH Smith
  • Levi's £80 gift card 
  • Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish in a limited edition John Lewis 150 Years tin 
  • Fairtrade wine, chocolate, tea, coffee and other goodies from Marks & Spencer
  • Aveda Shampure Shampoo, Shampure Conditioner, Hand Reflief Cream, Food Relief Cream from Fenwick
  • L'Occitane straw bag of beauty products
  • Origins facial products for gentlemen from John Lewis
  • One pair of TOMS classic slip ons from Schuh
  • The Body Shop Strawberry gift pack
  • Three organic cotton babygros from GAP
  • LUSH soaps and bath products
  • Two John Lewis Foundation tote bags in the 150 Years colour palette
  • A Waitrose hamper of sustainable and non-toxic cleaning goodies such as Ecover and Method.

"The Big Positive"

"This Summer will see our nationwide sustainability roadshow, The Big Positive Weekend visit our UK Shopping Centres.

"The Big Positive aims to reach 2 million customers and inspire 200,000 positive pledges. The roadshow celebrates the great things people and brands are doing for our communities and our environment and is designed to leave visitors inspired and motivated to take small actions that add up to a big positive impact.

"It's the first roadshow of its kind to be staged by a retail property owner and will visit nine of our shopping centres across the country throughout June, July and August with the aim of attracting over 200 million consumers a year [that doesn't make sense. But then doubling the size of car-based Brent Cross shopping centre doesn't either]. The Roadshow will start at WestQuay in Southampton and include London’s Brent Cross and Bullring [sic] in Birmingham. With a combined audience of over 6 million people, The Big Positive Weekend promises to give great ideas and advice on how to not only be more sustainable but also save money.

The headline sponsor for the Roadshow is Nationwide Building Society. Nationwide has been working hard to reduce its environmental impact and is keen to help individuals do the same, through its Green Homes Guide, which provides practical tips for sustainable homes. 

E.ON, the energy partner sponsoring the event, will have advisors on hand to help people use no more energy than they need by sharing energy-saving tips, demonstrating smart meters, and discussing free and discounted energy efficient measures which shoppers may be entitled to. Partnering us on this initiative is Renault, our exclusive travel partner and SEA LIFE* Centre & Sancturies who are supporting the 'Paint a Positive Future' School’s Art Competition. (* "We don't like people who go with the tide - we want individual characters that strive for the best, and aren't afraid to swim upstream to get it.")

Shoppers will be able to engage with an array of different sustainability focussed activities and displays at each centre, all manned by our Big Positive Ambassadors. As well as activities from our partners, shoppers can become part of a digital photo gallery of ‘positive people’ created live during the event and look at some of the most ‘positive products’ available from the centres’ retailers.

The Big Positive event will be taking place at: 
  • WestQuay, Southampton on 14 – 15 June
  • Brent Cross, London on 21 – 22 June
  • Centrale, Croydon on 28 – 29 June
  • The Oracle, Reading on 5 – 6 July
  • Highcross, Leicester on 12 – 13 July
  • Bullring [sic], Birmingham on 19 – 20 July
  • Union Square, Aberdeen on 26 – 27 July
  • Silverburn, Glasgow on 2 – 3 August.