On Friday 22nd April at 8.30am, Capco’s Group Director of Development Management, Mike Hood, failed to turn up to his own ‘breakfast roundtable’ at the Earls Court Project Rooms in Empress Place, having previously put out an invitation saying he wished to “listen to the wisdom of the community”.
A dozen Earls Court locals and residents of West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates – including local teachers, postal workers and senior citizens – had gathered at the entrance from 8am intending to greet Mike Hood and guests at the event, which was titled, ‘what makes a community flourish?’
Residents had produced a briefing document for attendees to remind them of the 500 responses to Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s consultation on Capco’s plans in 2012, at which 80% of respondents were opposed to demolition.
Consultation responses came from residents of all ages up to 92 and ranged from children saying ‘Your promises are just a trick’ to parents saying ‘I am worried about harm to the elderly’ and ‘My only dream is to keep my home’. The full set of responses can be read below.
When David and Donna Isaac – who face the possibility of being moved out of the area completely if their home is demolished – made enquiries inside, they were told that the event had been cancelled.
Said Linda Sanders, Secretary of the West Ken Gibbs Green Community Homes Board; “This behaviour tells us exactly what Capco think of the local community. Firstly, no one on the estates or living next door to the destroyed exhibition centre was given the invitation to this event to talk about how to make their own community flourish. And then in the end the big wigs at Capco decided they’d rather not listen to what we have to say. If you’re looking for proof that this so-called regeneration is not for the benefit of local people you won’t find clearer evidence than that.”
The residents’ own breakfast did proceed as planned, however, with blueberry muffins, local wisdom and fliers shared amongst themselves and with passing commuters, who were most appalled to hear of Capco’s plans to ignore the wishes of the majority on the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates.
These extracts are from residents’ responses to the Council’s formal consultation in 2012.
Five hundred voices answer “What makes a community flourish?” and share their fears, if developers take their homes.
Our children (aged 4 to 9) say:
I like my house. People might get angry. I am 6. I love my estates.
I am very worried. I play in the playground.
No. No! Knock down your own home! You are a big bully.
Please don’t knock down our homes!
My friends walk me to school. What about people?
Demolish other places! So, don’t sell our homes. That is rude.
It makes me sad and angry. To the Governor. You are being cruel.
We don’t want to move. Don’t demolish my home!
Don’t raze our homes! I am worried about this. Keep your hands off!
Your promises are just a trick. It is hidden agenda.
Please don’t do this to us. I feel very scared.
Demolition game, rubble trouble. I’m very unhappy and upset.
So don’t knock it down or demolish! 30 quotes
Our children (aged 10 to 19) say:
Don’t contact me! Respect the wishes of majority! I hope my words….
The estate is not noisy or messy. I know my way around.
I’d be very depressed. No David! Our Society!
Make more money with buildings. You are making us homeless. Memories thrown away. My friends all live here. This is pathetic!
You can’t make me move. Blackmail, insulting.
Emotional, social and ethical scandal…. Very shocking.
May not be accommodating. You can shove your promises!
Don’t tear down our neighbourhood!
Children-teenagers point of view. Don’t take away freedom of speech!
Very out of order. Great sense of loss. Council spoon-feeding residents.
It is a selfish act. Kicked out. Not going anywhere!
Of course I’m concerned. Major negative effect.
Should focus on kids’ future. I will talk to my neighbours.
Very selfish indeed. I dread the idea. Accept what the people want!
I will miss my friends. Keep out from our estates!
Why would you do that? The Council has no democracy.
Going to be full of strangers. Rich people will be moved in.
I am very concerned. No, no, please. Don’t demolish!
Association to fight. Don’t demolish decent homes! Quite disorganized.
It makes me personally unhappy. I’m not happy.
The Council is sly. Somewhat greedy. You don’t ##ing care about us.
Bog off! Very devastated. They suddenly want to knock down.
Some kids…. Huge repercussions on young people.
Intent to destroy. I’ve grown up here. Please don’t! Snakes.
Scheme is rubbish. Don’t sell to the fat cat! Not reasonable.
I will have a tough fight with you. I won’t stand for it.
Government should not allow it. I’m not going to let this happen.
It will disrupt my life. You won’t have much luck. Keep our homes!
One of the reasons…. Waste of time and money. Cancel the scheme!
I don’t believe the assurances. Demolition machines.
Your assurance is a hollow one. Their offer, we don’t need it.
It’s not for the people around here. It’s a strong and safe community. They’re just pushing us aside. Take our passion seriously!
Dunkirk beaches. I feel saddened. We shouldn’t be thrown out!
The Council are quite corrupt. I’ll just get made homeless. 86 quotes
Our young people (aged 20 to 30) say:
Ballots would be democratic. I refuse to move! It’s stupid.
Piece of s###! They don’t give a f###! No one listens! It’s a bad idea!
Start all over again. Stubbornness to stay put. It made me cry.
WKGGCH should have ownership. Agree! I have two babies.
Council totally and utterly wrong. Council refuses to help.
They can’t rule over the people. I love my community.
You must listen! Don’t demolish! I will not move.
Elderly and disabled don’t deserve it. It’s horrible. No offer to me.
Everyone looks out for each other. Detriment to the wider area.
Wrong to be knocked down. False promises. No one asked me.
It’s bull s###. Too bad. Lead to overcrowding. One way conversation.
I don’t want the money. No promise for me. My brother is disabled.
Very disruptive. Classist proposal. Epilepsy. Try listening to us!
I’m happy with my home. Regardless of anyone’s views. I will stand firm.
Furthermore…. Abuse of power. The problem with the scheme…
Perfectly good homes. I really feel pity for those…
You don’t have residents’ interests at heart. It’s too risky to accept.
The human cost must be considered. I won’t let it happen.
Worst manner. I almost fainted. It is not fair. It’s disgusting.
Refused this plan from A-Z. Treating us like animals. All lies.
No choice except to fight. Very unstable for me. Not properly informed.
Unrest from all tenants. Out. Out the developer! The future scares me.
Community should take over. Too much inconvenience.
Promises are not genuine. I f###ing don’t want your promises.
Such a great friendly community. The question is… 69 quotes
Our young parents (aged 30 to 40) say:
The demolition is unnecessary. They don’t want to know.
They shouldn’t shut us down. The scheme is crap. I love my neighbours.
Cause us great distress. No focus on the people. Tell us the truth!
I feel very bad. Discrimination against lower income people.
I don’t want the community destroyed. My home is beautiful.
I will fight this demolition all the way to the end. We will be homeless.
It’s going to upset the children. Plans need to be honest.
I will be made homeless with my child. Just out for themselves.
Of course I don’t want this to happen. The developer’s hidden agenda. Demolition is not right. So much extra cost. I’m being conned and blackmailed. Not shown me any respect. Our voices must be heard!
My children like the place. Negative on the community. Please don’t!
I will be hugely disadvantaged. Enough to cause stress. Take care of her.
We should be able to vote. People help each other. I am flabbergasted.
Don’t destroy our homes! Don’t sell to developer! Awful thing to do.
I have spent a lot of money. I love my home. Stop bullying me! Neighbours help with new born baby. Hands off the community!
I don’t want to be demolished. Misleading information from the Council. Treated us stupidly. You’ve secret agreement. I came here to be safe.
£££ signs. My family: nowhere else to go. I feel very stressed.
The future is dark for me. Scheme is not beneficial to residents.
You disregarded us. WKGGCH is the way forward.
You must be heartless. We are being exploited. Fiercely opposed.
They don’t want to communicate. Devastating for the neighbourhood. Bad idea to move the people. There is no reason to knock down. Development would destroy jobs. Should be illegal. I am against.
Development will destroy the environment. It’s not just. I will feel bad.
The way the Council talk is upsetting. Development is bad.
I am psychologically attached… Let us get on with our lives! Oh My God!
I want WKGGCH to take responsibility. Can’t imagine the mess!
My preference is for the estates to be transferred. Feel angry and crap.
I would shed a tear. Makes me sick. We are being pushed aside.
I want the right. Sense of community. Load of tosh! You are very wrong. You lied to me. Let us run our estate! My home is my kingdom.
My neighbours my family. No way! You do not deliver. Stop telling lies!
Everything is gloom and blue. 87 quotes
Our parents of growing families (aged 40 to 50) say:
Five children, better off in this house. Not been translated.
Get out please! Money only to the developer. Calling where we live slums? Diabolical. Making money out of people’s vulnerability. Very bad thing. You didn’t tell me. Adding stress. This will devalue my property.
Don’t destroy! Don’t sell! F### you! I don’t believe the Council.
Keep Out! I see no reason for destroying. I will never leave this home. Leave me alone! Poor to be squashed. Will affect my well-being.
The developer wants to throw us out. We did work hard.
I have done a lot of planting. It is a shame to be brought down.
I am worried about harm to elderly. Don’t trust the Council one bit. Residents’ emotional attachment to the community… Last thing I want.
Our future, our lives, our homes. Both my children have disability.
I will be scared. Stop lying! Confusing and unclear. You are stopping me.
I will chain myself to the doors. So very angry. Please respect the people.
Put poor people in bushes. For them to say…. I love my home.
I object very strongly. I’ll watch you fail. Give us the vote!
This is my neighbourhood. I am settled here. Listening to its pockets. You just don’t care. My only dream is to keep my home.
Very condescending. Really annoying me. Seems a waste.
What happened to the Conservatives’ Big Community? Please listen.
Already own my own white goods. Thrown away. Very worrying.
Your assurances are a sham. Kicking us around like a football.
I am not impressed. Neighbourhood means everything.
We should be self-governing. Allow residents to vote! They’ll disregard the estates. I fight to the end to keep my home. What about us?
The Council is trying to bribe people. The developer is not legally bound.
Disposition of working class citizens. I am against demolition.
There is nothing wrong with the estates. I like so much my home.
You are trying to frighten people. Stop you monsters!
I wanted stability for my family. Seven children, nowhere else to go. Council put a sum on happiness. I don’t enjoy best of health.
I don’t trust the Council. It will affect my family. You are irritating.
I object. The Prime Minister… Views are disturbing.
For rich people, not for poor. Our beloved estates. Cancelled!
You shouldn’t sell our homes! Your communication is below zero.
There needs to be social housing. Put the residents ahead!
Elderly can’t defend themselves. I can’t understand. It would hurt me.
I am on the side of the people. I don’t want the Council to get rid of me. The new development is not what I want. I am happy to stay put.
The proposal to demolish is very unfair. Neighbours are very helpful.
We have invested time and money. What do we get?
Greedy developer out! Council in cahoots with the developer. 102 quotes
Our maturing parents & families (aged 50 to 60) say:
Asthmatic building site. Community housing a brilliant idea.
Good community spirit. We look out for one another like a family.
Stay out! To be stuffed some other place. This is a great neighbourhood.
I want to see tenant ownership. I feel completely rejected.
You say one thing…. Adversely affect residents. Get out of my house! How dare you! Money is nothing. Security and belonging.
I have set roots down. I don’t think they take my opinion….
Disabled adaptations. Blocking off my choices. I feel betrayed.
Need a bulldozer to take me out. This is my final decision. Get stuffed!
I’ll sleep in the kitchen. They talk utter rubbish.
We don’t want to be homeless. The promises don’t make sense.
Council is on one-track mission. Against my wishes.
It makes me feel violated. Treated as an idiot. Social cleansing. Uprooting destabilizes family and neighbourhood. Fat cats!
Plans are unnecessary. Like pie-crust: easily broken. Unbelievable!
Toe the Leader’s line. Affected negatively. Nervous breakdown.
People call and cook for me. You cannot put a price on the home.
Don’t darken my doorstep! Fed up to the teeth. It is not polite.
I feel uninformed and herded. You cannot put a value on the home.
My psychological well-being. You are robbing us. Very, very angry.
The Court will bring justification. They don’t know who I am.
Tory canvassing for Boris Johnson. Council is just being greedy.
I’ll march tomorrow to stop you. We should have full freedom! I’m lost.
Get together and fight this decision. The community should take over.
We will not move for the world. I refuse to leave. 61 quotes
Our original neighbours (aged 60 to 70) say:
Good community spirit. Making us feel sad. Disabled and need to stay.
My neighbours are good friends. Force us into hutches.
Jargon hides their lies. I’ve experienced dictatorship. Council! Stop that!
A very important argument…. I am disabled after a brain tumour.
Put to Outer Mongolia if lucky. Cannot replace what I have got.
I must not move. Load of rubbish. All about greed. Full of s##t.
I am appalled and upset. You make me feel terrible.
The Council is running down the estate. I have a right to be heard.
Sell to a company saddled with debt. Stop and think! Leave us alone!
You only want to build private homes. The Council are mean.
Greenhalgh wants social cleansing. I’m not a gambling man.
Stress might finish me off. Not conducive to well-being.
I don’t want a flat. I want to stay here. Greenhalgh stood in my house.
Made me feel worried. Fight for the estate! It hurts me. Keep protesting! It would be criminal to demolish. Let the people decide! No Sir!
Stop ignoring us! It belongs to the people. No water or heating bills.
Improved immensely under Decent Homes. Council try to cheat me.
The Council does not listen to the tenants. Your mercenary intentions.
A community of loving families. Think of what you are doing! 48 quotes
Our retired neighbours (aged 70 to 80) say:
This is causing a lot of stress. High class people will benefit.
Many people will go homeless. I am very depressed and angry.
You’re playing around with people’s minds. It’s all one way. I am disabled.
This house suits my needs. Council is utterly wrong. I want my vote.
Scheme’s promoters – self-aggrandizement. You want to throw us out. She doesn’t want the upheaval. This is bad. You are just trying to fool us.
Do not sell my home! I’ve had enough. Put everyone in a ghetto.
Council treat people like idiots. Proposal would harm community.
I won’t let you kill my mother. Scheme is crackpot.
Like most of my neighbours…. Who are they to say? I am old and blind. You are wrecking my nerves. It would be awful to demolish. No way!
It makes me bloody angry. I am a doctor serving humanity.
Do not pack my things! It’s mysterious. The Council are cheating us.
We oppose with efforts of unity. I belong here. I don’t want to move.
Not good enough. Council neglecting their responsibilities.
Upsetting me. The buildings are structurally sound.
The Nazi Party bombed us. 40 quotes
Our octogenarians plus (aged 80 to 92) say:
I will go to the Queen. One of the stupidest things.
My Gosh! My Gosh! You will have to drag me out.
In my mind and being… It is a bit scary. Home.
Greed! When your heart is in a place… In one ear… 9 quotes
Our West Kensington & Fulham neighbours say:
Bullying tactics to bulldoze. It’s a crime.
Harm the local people. Café members strongly object.
We cherish this estate. Lump you in your head. Don’t dictate!
Cannot put a price on community spirit. Explain. I feel for the people.
Nothing short of contempt. Unfair. They never tell us properly…
Bring rich people in to serve you! Council has declared war.
Talk to TRA. Battery hen environment.
I do strongly object. Cause stress and hardship.
Stop it! Wider community adversely affected. 20 quotes