Edelman responds to campaigners' claims after police attend office 'lock down'
Lynsey Barber, prweek.com, Friday, 12 April 2013, 10:36am
Police arrived at Edelman's London offices on Wednesday when a group of campaigners, including Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter, were barred from entering the building to deliver a petition to the firm's public affairs MD Chris Rumfitt.
Edelman: Campaigners in front of its Victoria offices
The Save Earls Court, West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates group, which is campaigning against the redevelopment of Earls Court and surrounding areas, told PRWeek that Edelman's office block was locked, preventing people from entering or exiting the building.
Chair of West Ken & Gibbs Green Community Homes, Keith Drew claimed that workers from other companies in the same office block were also affected.
Rumfitt denied that Edelman had any involvement in the decision to lock the doors of the shared building.
Police arrived at the scene as Slaughter exchanged text messages with Rumfitt asking him to meet campaigners, which he then did.
Edelman said in a statement: 'Along with four other organisations, Edelman received a small, well-behaved and peaceful protest related to our work on the Earls Court development on Wednesday. We were pleased to go down and meet with the protestors, listen to their concerns and continue the dialogue we have been engaging in with them over the past five years. We are proud of our work on the Earls Court development, which guarantees every single one of the residents a new home within the development.’
Rumfitt added that Edelman did not call the police about the matter.
Drew contended that Edelman ‘trumpets its international awards and boasts an 'Edelman Trust Barometer'. Yet, when a few council tenants tried to deliver a letter to its managing director of public affairs for London, he locked down a major headquarters building in the heart of the capital’. This is an allegation Rumfitt denies.
Drew added: 'Edelman's client, CapCo, has blown £40m on this futile enterprise, so I wasn't surprised [Edelman’s] directors were too ashamed to come out. I was delighted we so spectacularly embarrassed Edelman.'
Earlier in the day, the group which includes tenants of the West Kensington and Gibb's Green estate and other local residents, handed the petition to the Department for Communities and Local Government, Capco and TFL, which is a partner in the development.
'Localism in action' say residents who hand over petition to save homes.
FEARFUL of losing their homes, residents have handed over a 1,000-signature petition to the Government against the redevelopment of Earls Court.
In a coordinated programme of protests, residents of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estates first visited the Victoria headquarters of the Department for Communities and Local Government to hand in their petition to Secretary of State Eric Pickles.
They then visited the Mayfair headquarters of developers Capco; the firm's PR consultants, Endelman; Transport for London; and planning consultants DP9, unfurling banners and singing songs of opposition.
MP Andy Slaughter joined the tour and demanded a meeting with Capco officials, while staff from both TfL, who are set to sell their Lillie Road bus depot as part of the redevelopment, and Endleman were forced out of their offices to pacify the determined yet peaceful group.
Community organiser Jonathan Rosenberg hailed the day as a success and said it sent a clear message to the Government and the developers that residents will not give up their fight to save the estates' 800 homes from bulldozers, earmarked to be replaced with thousands of luxury flats and amenities.
He said: "This is showing the Government the majority of people do not want this. This is the Big Society, this is localism and people standing up and saying 'no' to the destruction of their community. We have got momentum and even had passers-by in Mayfair joining our protests."
Mr Pickles is set to make a decision on whether to approve both Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea Council's decision to sell their land in the coming days.
Keith Drew, chairman of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green Housing Association, urged the minister to come and see the estates for himself before a ruling is made on their future. "They are not dilapidated," he said, "They are not in a state of disrepair. If they were, we'd say, 'Knock them down' but there is nothing wrong with them."
A spokesman for Capco said: "We respect the right of this group of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates to protest. Over the past five years we have engaged widely with the local community and have seen both opposition and support for the development. We believe that Sir Terry Farrells consented masterplan will bring enormous benefits to London and the local area, creating 7,500 new homes and 12,000 new jobs. We have regularly invited members of the TRA to discuss their point of view in the past and we were pleased they accepted our offer today to meet with us during their protest. We look forward to continuing this dialogue in the future."
Mayor Boris Johnson is set to look at the overall scheme in the coming weeks, while the protesters are battling to get the project taken to the High Court.
Read more: Fulham Chronicle http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/fulham-and-hammersmith-news/local-fulham-and-hammersmith-news/2013/04/10/localism-in-action-say-residents-who-hand-over-petition-to-save-homes-82029-33152236/#ixzz2QHPQjqBw
Residents target luxury planners
Wednesday 10 April 2013 by Will Stone
Residents of homes threatened with eviction to turn them into luxury flats staged a series of flashmobs today across London.
Campaigners travelled by coach to the addresses of those responsible for the planned luxury development, which will see the destruction of West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estates, and also Earl's Court exhibition centres.
Activists held flashmobs inside buildings including the Department of Communities and Local Government, Transport for London, developers CapCo, planners DP9 and PR company for the project Edelman.
They distributed leaflets and copies of the petition against the plans and unfurled a 50-foot scroll of the petition already containing thousands of signatories.
The protests led to the lockdown of Edelman's premises in Victoria Street to stop anyone getting into the building.
RMT's London Underground engineering branch chairman Andy Littlechild highlighted that Lillie Bridge Depot is also under threat and warned of the massive impact on jobs for those employed at the depot and exhibition centres.
Hammersmith Labour MP Andy Slaughter expressed his disappointment in the local council and its councillors for doing nothing to stop the demolition, which he said would "destroy an entire community" with the loss of homes and arts centres in the name of profit.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles is expected to make a decision on whether or not to allow the plans to go ahead in the next few days.
Dave Hill's London Blog [The Guardian]:Earl's Court the Deloitte Detective Mystery
18th February, 2013
A flagship Tory council has decided there's no need to look deeper into claims of wrong doing made against it. But does the report it commissioned into the matter suggest otherwise?
Read the full blog post here
London Evening Standard: Council 'Whitewash Over Illegal Deals' in £8bn Earl's Court Scheme
19th February, 2013
A flagship Tory council is facing angry protests over the £8 billion redevelopment of Earl’s Court after deciding not to further investigate claims of wrongdoing.
Read the full article here
CFCtruth: New Year Update
1st January, 2013
CFCTruth have been looking into the residents at West Ken and Gibbs Green and their fight to have the land sale agreement between Hammersmith and Fulham and CapCo declared unlawful. Among three court challenges, they have issued proceedings for urgent consideration to be given by the court to the signing of the conditional land sale agreement that covers the two estates. They argue that the council were trying to hide the contents of the document and when they would sign it. Despite the claimant, who is a a resident of the estates, having lost his legal aid (a real David and Goliath battle, this one) they appear to have thwarted the signing of the deal until the court sits. Their challenge to the land sale is based on four grounds; unlawful consultation procedures, an unclear re-housing plan, breaches of human rights legislation and the most serious, that the demolition of the estates is a case of gerrymandering and bias.
Read full blog post here
meetpie.com: Earls Court Announces Staff Despite Demolition Plans
21st December, 2012
Evidently not overly concerned at the recent news that Earls Court [Exhibition Centres]’s future is in jeopardy, the London venue and its sibling Olympia have announced a raft of promotions and appointments.
Classic Sports & Car: Enthusiasts Campaign to Save Earl's Court from the Wrecking Ball
19th December, 2012
Spokesman [for West Ken & Gibbs Green Estates] Jonathan Rosenberg said: "The decision completes the alignment of residents and businesses who will be damaged by this greedy scheme.
rockol.com: A Petition to Stop Earl's Court Exhibition Centre's Demolition
19th December, 2012
Designed by Detroit architect C Howard Crane, London's Earls Court Exhibition Centre opened in 1937 and it was the biggest indoor space in Europe, with a capacity of 23,000 seats. It has hosted a wide variety of events, including music performances by the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Queen, Spice Girls and Madonna and now it's facing demolition.
Read full article here.
NME: Campaign Launched to London's Earl's Court Venue
19th December, 2012
The campaign to save London's Earls Court music venue and exhibition space has stepped up a gear.
Music Week: Petition against Earl's Court demolition goes live
19th December, 2012
The fight to save the iconic Earls Court music and exhibition venue from demolition under proposed development plans for the surrounding area has stepped up.
Nicky Gavron AM: Two blog posts
4th and 6th December, 2012
Losing Earls Court would be a huge set back for the London and UK economy. Earls Court brings in £1 billion a year, provides a shop window for UK industries and sustains thousands of long-term jobs in the local area. This economic benefit cannot and will not be replaced by a one-off construction project.
Exhibitions.co.uk: The iconic Earl's Court exhibition centre facing demolition
5th December, 2012
The plan to demolish Earls Court Exhibition Centre in West London was approved on Tuesday 20th November by members of Kensington and Chelsea’s planning committee, following on from Hammersmith and Fulham council’s approval on 12th September.
Read the full article here
The Financial Times: Industry raises alarm on Earl's Court plan
3rd December, 2012
Plans to demolish the Earls Court exhibition centre in west London will leave the city short of large-scale exhibition space and undermine the commercial opportunities generated by the Olympics, event organisers have warned.
Exhibition News: Earl's Court Area Action Group formed to fight demolition
28th November, 2012
A new action group has been established in a bid to derail the redevelopment of Earls Court.
The Guardian: Earl's Court: Kensington & Chelsea's go ahead can't hide the contradictions
26th November, 2012
Kensington and Chelsea approved the destruction of the Earls Court centre last week, nodding through the part of the wider Earls Court project plans that falls into its domain and bringing joy to almost no one except the developer Capco, neighbouring Tories in Hammersmith and Fulham (H&F) and Tory London mayor Boris Johnson, who is less likely to use his mayoral powers to impede the project's progress than Queens Park Rangers are to win the Premier League.
Read full blog post here
West Ken & Gibbs Green Estates have an excellent archive of stories relating to the demolition of both the Earl's Court Exhibition Centres and the West Kensington & Gibbs Green Estates. Visit their archive here.
TOGETHER WE CAN STILL SAVE EARL’S COURT!