Andy Slaughter MP explains to ITN London why residents of two West London council estates have travelled to the Battersea offices of a Hong Kong property developer
On 20 November, West Kensington and Gibbs Green residents went on a coach trip to deliver a message: Capco must hand back our homes before it sells its Earl’s Court assets.
Currently, these include a contract with the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham to demolish the 760 homes of our 2,000-strong community.
First stop was the Battersea office of CK Asset Holdings, a Hong Kong property developer registered in the Cayman Islands, which is in talks with Capital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco) to buy its Earl’s Court assets.
Left to right: Person who barred entry to the reception area of Hutchison House; another person; person who refused to say who he was; Andy Slaughter MP
Our MP, Andy Slaughter, explained he wanted to deliver a letter to CK Asset Holdings’ founder, Mr Li Ka-shing (see below), and to the company’s directors, warning they would be ill-advised to buy Earl’s Court should our estates be included. He wanted to be reassured that the person he was entrusting with the letters was a bona fide representative of Mr Ka-shing.
Left to right: Astrid, Rita, Faisal, Maria
Front: left to right: Sally, Julia, Dioscore, Teresa
Residents looked on for 20 minutes as our MP tried in every way he could, but failed to extract the name of the person promising to pass on the letters. That person was, however, keen to stress that CK Asset Holdings is only one of several companies talking to Capco about buying its Earl’s Court assets.
Left to right Faisal, Baghdadi and Dioscore
Harry displays our petition to the Government against demolition and in favour of community ownership
Left Rita, right Maria
ITN London interviews Wajiha
Next, we went to visit PR company Jericho Chambers in Charterhouse Square to deliver letters to all of its 27 partners and associates. We wanted to debate the ethics of them supporting Capco at the same time as it’s hawking our estates around the world. (see letter below)
The contact page of Jericho Chambers’ website states: “It’s easy. Phone or e-mail us directly. You will be pleased to discover how straightforward it is. We are proudly bullshit- and bureaucracy-free.”
The Officer Manager for Jericho Chambers told Andy Slaughter MP that not one of the 27 partners or associates was in the office. Nonetheless, she kindly agreed to receive the letters.
We then travelled 35 miles north of London to the village of Aldbury, in the Chiltern Hills, to draw attention to the demolition of what the Victorian Society described as a “charming and attractive house” modelled in Arts and Crafts style, yet dating back to the 16th Century.
Its demolition and replacement with a mock Georgian executive mansion, which is close to completion, was ordered by its owner, Ian Hawksworth, the Managing Director of Capco, the very same company that’s trying to sell the contract for the demolition of our homes to CK Asset Holdings.
In the Valiant Trooper we ate a hearty cottage pie followed by apple crumble and custard. Locals we spoke to told us that although they regularly passed Barley End so knew it had been demolished, and some had connections with the old Barley End going back generations, they did not know what was going on there now, nor who the owner was, yet alone his connection with us.
We delivered the Aldbury News (see below) to houses in the village and left copies at the Valiant Trooper and at the Greyhound Inn
Finally, we drove our message home outside Ian Hawksworth’s house.