Friday, 11 June 2010

Andrew Boff finds it. Jeanette Arnold loses it

Andrew Boff, local resident and Conservative spokesman at the London Assembly on East London & the Olympics, has found minutes from September 2009 recording that the total cost of Dalston's Olympic bus stop could be £62.9 million, not £40million. £23 million over budget. See the minutes here -para 2.11.
He gave an ITV news interview on Wednesday and raised a question regarding the issue with Boris at GLA Mayor's question time yesterday. Also present was the Labour representative for Hackney and east London, Jeanette Arnold - a cheerleader for TfL's Dalston Olympic bus stop . She seemed to take it all a bit personally.

Jennette Arnold AM, former Chair of the London Assembly is pictured with Denis Oswald, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission (left) and Sebastien Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee.

You can watch the politicians discuss the issues on the GLA webcast here (scroll though to 01:47:00) but, in summary, it went something like this:
Boff: Can it possibly be true that The Slab in Dalston cost not only Dalston's heritage buildings but £62.9 million of public money? It says so in the LDA's minutes.
Boris: I will just read parrot fashion what I've been told to say. But £40million seems a lot to me for a concrete slab. I will ask questions of TfL today.
Arnold: The Dalston demolitions and The Slab are quite seperate. You're confusing my constituents... Bugger off Andrew...You can't tell me anything about Dalston Mr Boff. Go away! Go away!
Chair: Jeanette you're out of order. That's enough. Settle down please.

Ms Arnold suggests that The Slab had nothing to do with the demolition of Dalston's heritage buildings. But a letter from the GLA London Development Agency's Chief Executive, Manny Lewis, dated 29.11.06, to Lord Low (OPENs Patron) stated that, on the advice of it's architects ARUP (which designed the Barratt's tower blocks to replace them), "the buildings fronting Dalston Lane make very little contribution to the streetscape" and that "the provision of the over-station slab is reliant on a viable development scheme on the Dalston Lane site".

The LDA also wrote to the High Court judge to say The Slab scheme was in danger of collapse and urged him to lift OPEN's injunction which was preventing the demolitions.

The LDA repaid Hackney the cost of the demolitions.

This 1898 architect's drawing is of the entrance to Dalston's Theatre of Varieties, which was at 12 Dalston Lane. It was built in front of the original 1886 circus entrance ( the earliest surviving example in the UK - designed by Alfred Brandreth). An urban gem. These buildings were described by the LDA's Chief Executive, as "making very little contribution to the streetscape". Shortly afterwards the buildings were demolished.


  1. New Lab hacks are getting increasingly touchy about the Dalston debacle. During the election I met a local councillor on the street who first of all conceded that the selling off and re-purchase of the properties along Dalston Lane (not at the junction but towards Queensbridge) had 'been a mistake'. (a mistake that many of us told New Lab was a mistake over a space of at least ten years). And then proceeded to get quite ratty about the slab! She seemed to think that the slab was necessary even if no buses used it! Interesting idea, I agree, that a few pedestrians walking over the top of a railway track need a forty foot deep, 40 million quid plus slab to walk on...but there you go. Accuracy was never one of the New Lab apologists for this bit of vandalology.

    Indeed, standby for more Jeanette Arnold like crap, where people try to claim that everything that has happened was 'worth it' because we've got the overground.

  2. At last the truth is out. The proverbial has well and truly hit the fan for the Labour Party liars. No more hiding I hope heads roll for the disgusting waste of taxpayers money and the destruction of historical buildings all for the benefit of a property developers. Jennette Arnold is a disgrace and it's good to see she looks worried, just like Jules Pipe, Luke Akehurst all all the othe Hackney Labour Crooks. Fingers crossed justice is done


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