Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Haringey Journal: "High rise scheme will ‘destroy’ Alexandra Palace views"

(click on either image for web site)


" 'Appalled' critics claim the ambitious Haringey Heartlands development - sandwiched between Wood Green and Hornsey, and due to go to a planning panel in the coming weeks - will completely destroy the vista from the Palace with 'Soviet-style' housing blocks up to 10 storeys high.

"Colin Marr, chairman of the Alexandra Palace and Park Conservation Area Advisory Committee, said:
"We do not object to height per se, and might have welcomed one or more higher buildings - it is the sheer bulk of the series of uninterrupted blocks that we find so objectionable.”

Enfield Independent and Enfield Advertiser

 (Click on the images to enlarge, and usually again to magnify)

Broken Barnet: Brian Coleman and the Strange Case of the Missing Friern Barnet Banner

Link to 'Broken Barnet'
(click on the main title wording to see all posts)

"The Chairman of directors of the 'Friern Barnet Summer Show' is a Councillor Brian Coleman.

"The charges for the use of local parks have been set by the Cabinet member for the Environment, who is a Councillor Brian Coleman.

"Is there a potential conflict of interest in this position, bearing in mind the popularly held belief that discretion is used over the decision to charge for the use of local parks, and the scale of charge? No. Mrs Angry is confident that any interest by any party was declared wherever appropriate, and that Friern Barnet Summer Show has always paid the full extent of the charge, and has similarly paid the full amount this year, as Finchley Carnival was expected to, before being obliged to cancel the show, which is why there is really no need to mention the matter now."

Mr Reasonable: "Barnet's Audit Committee - Stifling Public Scrutiny?"

Link to web site

"On checking with the Council this morning, I was told that the deadline for submitting public questions to the Audit Committee is 10.00am tomorrow, Thursday 1 September. 

"At 3.54 pm on Wednesday 31 August, these papers were published. So I have between now and 10.00am tomorrow morning to read 162 pages, and to frame suitable questions."

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Enfield LibDems: Dawn Barnes: "Wheelie bins are anti-recycling in Enfield"

Link to Dawn Barnes web site

"To encourage recycling and reduce general waste, as well as keeping rubbish out of reach of scavenging foxes, Enfield Council has started to roll out wheelie bins. However, for flats this means a reduction in kerbside recycling.

"In the meantime, it looks like more of my waste will be heading to Edmonton to be burned – sorry Edmonton, I try to send as little as possible your way. It’s no wonder that there is a need for another waste disposal plant on the borders of Enfield and Haringey – the very unpopular Pinkham Way - which will, if it goes ahead, see a huge waste disposal plant in a residential area and an increase in the numbers of vehicle journeys in the area of over 1000 a day."

"I regularly hear that people in Enfield are unhappy with the myriad wheelie bins outside their homes, particularly people who live in maisonettes and terraces and can’t easily put them in their back gardens. Enfield Council consulted people and informed us that they would give appropriate bins to people. This has not been the case and our streets are currently being blighted by a proliferation of large wheelie bins. I want the council to reconsider this scheme and try to give people reasonably sized waste receptacles.

"Meanwhile, the North London Waste Authority is seeking to build a large waste disposal site on the Enfield and Haringey borders at Pinkham Way, a section of the A406. In addition, Barnet Council intends to move its waste vehicle depot to the site. The result will be over 1100 additional journeys around the site; a smelly waste disposal site near people’s homes in Bowes, Southgate Green and Alexandra; and a risk of burning of waste on the site in future. The Pinkham Way Alliance is leading a campaign to stop this site from being used for waste disposal."

Saturday, 27 August 2011

[Reposted] Challenging the North London Waste Authority on Freedom of Information Act requests

Driftwood (struggling to read the fine print): It says the, uh, "The party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part." How do you like that? That's pretty neat, eh?
Fiorello: No, it's no good.
Driftwood: What's the matter with it?
Fiorello: I don't know. Let's hear it again.
Driftwood: It says the, uh, "The party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part."
Fiorello (pausing): That sounds a little better this time.
Driftwood: Well, it grows on ya. Would you like to hear it once more?
Fiorello: Uh, just the first part.
Driftwood: What do you mean? The party of the first part?
Fiorello: No, the first part of the party of the first part.
Driftwood: All right. It says the, uh, "The first part of the party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the first part of the party of the first part shall be known in this contract" - look, why should we quarrel about a thing like this? We'll take it right out, eh?

Bestway Holdings Ltd

Complaint under s.50 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and under reg. 18 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004



1. Bestway Cash & Carry Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bestway (Holdings) Limited (“Bestway”), the complainant. Their interests in the information are coincident and mutual.

2. Bestway Cash & Carry Limited and Bestway together own a freehold interest in property at Geron Way off the Edgware Road, London (“the Bestway Site”). The Bestway Site is located within the London Borough of Barnet (“LB Barnet”).The location of the Bestway Site is shown coloured green on the plan at Tab 1. Bestway has for many years carried on a cash-and-carry business at the Bestway Site, with a current turnover at that site of in excess of £50 million p.a. The Bestway Site provides a wholesale facility for local small businesses and it has more than 3,000 regular customers.

3. The North London Waste Authority (“NLWA”) is a waste disposal authority that arranges the disposal of waste collected in the seven London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest. The NLWA arranges the transport and disposal of waste collected by the seven north London boroughs.

4. According to the NWLA’s web-site:
“The NLWA works hard to ensure residents are kept informed about waste issues and are given the opportunity to input into decisions. Residents have and will be consulted where appropriate in relation to waste and waste planning.”
5. The North London Joint Waste Strategy (“NLJWS”) provides the strategic framework for municipal waste management in North London for the period 2004 - 2020. The NLJWS sets out the targets for reducing, reusing and recovering a greater proportion of the municipal waste which is generated in the North London Waste Authority area and for reducing the amount which is sent for disposal to landfill. The NLJWS completed the process of adoption by all eight partners (Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Waltham Forest and the NLWA) in February 2009. A summary of the strategy appears at this link. A complete copy of the strategy appears at this link.

6. As part of the NLJWS, the NLWA operates a waste transfer facility at Hendon (“Hendon Transfer Station”) which is in LB Barnet. Waste from the eight north London Boroughs is transported out of London by rail through the Hendon Transfer Station.

7. The Brent Cross Shopping Centre (“Brent Cross”) is within LB Barnet. The Hendon Transfer Station is opposite the Bestway Site, on the other side of the railway tracks to the east of the Bestway Site. Its location is shown coloured pink on the plan at Tab 1. LB Barnet produced a Unitary Development Plan which included a section dealing with the creation of a new town centre by the proposed expansion of Brent Cross: for details click. This was also dealt with in Supplementary Planning Guidance document to the UDP.

8. On 26 March 2008 a group called “The Brent Cross Cricklewood Development Partners” (“the Developers”) submitted an outline planning application to LB Barnet for the comprehensive regeneration of Brent Cross and the adjacent Cricklewood area (Application Number C/17559/08) (“the Development Proposal”). The Development Proposal covers an area of approximately 151 acres, which is defined to the west by the Edgware Road (A5) and the Midland mainline railway line and to the east by the A41, and is bisected east to west by the A406 North Circular Road. It is adjacent to Junction 1 of the M1 (Staples Corner) and includes Brent Cross and the bus station to the north of the North Circular as well as the existing Sturgess Park. It would involve the transformation of Brent Cross, the creation of up to 7,500 new homes, a substantial new commercial district, and a new high street with parks and some open spaces.

9. The Development Proposal proposes to relocate the Hendon Transfer Station — which is within the 151 acres of the Development Proposal — to the Bestway Site. In order to achieve this, LB Barnet would need to use its compulsory acquisition powers. LB Barnet has not, as yet, made any of the necessary resolutions needed to effect a compulsory acquisition.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Enfield Independent

 (Click on the image to enlarge, and usually again to magnify)

The Guardian: "Fusion power: is it getting any closer?"

Link to The Guardian

"For decades, scientists have been predicting that, one day, the same process that powers the sun will give us virtually unlimited cheap, clean electricity. Are they wrong?

"If only it were that simple. Fusion energy – in essence, recreating and harnessing here on earth the process that powers the sun – has been the goal of physicists around the world for more than half a century. And yet it is perpetually described as "30 years away". No matter how much research is done and money is spent attempting to commercialise this 'saviour' technology, it always appears to be stuck at least a generation away."

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Scientific American: "For Energy Savings, LEDs Outshine Solar Panels"

Link to Scientific American

"Homeowners looking to save electricity costs should replace all their incandescent light bulbs with LED-based lights instead of installing a small solar photovoltaic system, a report by J.P. Morgan shows. 

"Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, will become mainstream over the next 12 months as improving technology and performance and higher subsidies lead to a rapid drop in costs, according to the report."

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Guardian: "Recycling rates highest in fortnightly rubbish collection areas, study shows"

Link to The Guardian

"An English council has become the first to recycle more than 70% of residents' rubbish, according to a survey which shows the best performing local authorities are using fortnightly bin collections.

"The research by the website reveals that nine of the 10 English councils with the highest recycling rates have a system in which rubbish and recycling are collected on alternate weeks, with separate food waste collections."

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Guardian: "Community groups tackle Naples' rubbish problem"

Link to The Guardian

"Since the mid-90s, the southern Italian city of Naples and surrounding provinces have struggled with the proper disposal of trash. Tensions peaked during the hot summer of 2008, months after municipal workers refused to pick up any more garbage, in part because of overflowing landfills.

"But now Neapolitans are taking their city's trash problem into their own hands. Their activism could become a template for communities around the world where municipal budgets wither, infrastructure suffers, and residents tire of government inaction or ineptitude."

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

GAIA: "Incinerators: Myths vs. Facts"

Link to GAIA factsheet (PDF file)

"Incineration is a waste treatment technology that involves burning commercial, residential and hazardous waste. Incineration converts discarded materials, including paper, plastics, metals and food scraps into bottom ash, fly ash, combustion gases, air pollutants, wastewater, wastewater treatment sludge and heat. 

"There are 100 waste incinerators in the U.S. and most of these are used to generate electricity. No new incinerators have been built in the U.S. after 1997, due to public opposition, identified health risks, high costs and the uptake of waste reduction practices such as recycling and composting. 

"In recent years, the incinerator industry has tried to expand their sector by marketing their facilities as “Waste to Energy” (WTE), using misleading claims of “reducing climate pollution” and being a 'clean energy source'."

Enfield Independent

 (Click on the image to enlarge, and usually again to magnify)

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Independent: "Rethinking the Tube map: A design for strife"

Link to The Independent

"Harry Beck's Tube map is an undisputed classic, but a recent attempt to improve on it has derailed the consensus, as Chris Beanland discovers. 

"Beck was an engineering draughtsman whose radical idea to straighten out and simplify the Underground lines was way ahead of its time. It was pure modernism. And it has lasted, in different incarnations, right up to the present day."

Friday, 12 August 2011

Daily Telegraph: "The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Yesterday, the veteran Labour MP Gerald Kaufman asked the Prime Minister to consider how these rioters can be 'reclaimed' by society. Yes, this is indeed the same Gerald Kaufman who submitted a claim for three months’ expenses totalling £14,301.60, which included £8,865 for a Bang & Olufsen television.

"The Prime Minister showed no sign that he understood that something stank about yesterday’s Commons debate. He spoke of morality, but only as something which applies to the very poor: 'We will restore a stronger sense of morality and responsibility – in every town, in every street and in every estate.' He appeared not to grasp that this should apply to the rich and powerful as well.

"The tragic truth is that Mr Cameron is himself guilty of failing this test. It is scarcely six weeks since he jauntily turned up at the News International summer party, even though the media group was at the time subject to not one but two police investigations. Even more notoriously, he awarded a senior Downing Street job to the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, even though he knew at the time that Coulson had resigned after criminal acts were committed under his editorship.

"... The culture of greed and impunity we are witnessing on our TV screens stretches right up into corporate boardrooms and the Cabinet. It embraces the police and large parts of our media."

Twenty-five years, in Hackney

Link to 'Hackney : Revisited'

"Hackney : Revisited is a collaborative project between two urban photographers, who despite having never met, have come together to capture Hackney in different decades.

Berris Conolly lived and worked around Hackney in the 1980s.  Over the course of several years, he built up a unique collection of documentary-style photos.

Alex Pink lives, works and photographs Hackney & East London. He has revisited the places where Berris once stood, to document the differences."

Monday, 8 August 2011

Barnet Bugle: "Shoppers turned away from Friern Bridge Retail Park in Barnet"

"BBC London News reports that shoppers were turned away by retailers in Barnet for fear of looting and rioting."

[Updated] North Circular Road Regeneration

New opposition web site:

Link to 'Stop the A406 Flats' web site

"The plans are to build 140 homes in place of the existing 20 houses in the area by the new bridge, with an additional 39 homes planned for the area adjacent to Pevensey Avenue. The plans include a nine-storey tower block (on the corner of Wilmer Way and A406, overlooking Broomfield School) and a six-storey block (on the corner of A406 between Ollerton Road and Pevensey Avenue)."   

4 August: Enfield Independent:  

(Click to enlarge, and sometimes again to magnify)

Reposting of details of the scheme, from early July:


Notting Hill Housing welcomed people last weekend to an exhibition of the emerging plans for the regeneration of a number of sites, located on or nearby the North Circular Road.

The sites are part of an extensive portfolio of properties that were originally purchased to allow for a major expansion of the A406. This resulted in a lengthy period of blight.

Through its North Circular Area Action Plan, Enfield Council wishes to see the provision of quality new homes linked with improvements to local transport and community facilities. The Council’s ambition is to deliver well-designed, accessible and pleasant environments in this part of the borough.

Following recent initial consultation sessions with the nearest neighbours to a number of the sites, this exhibition provides a further opportunity for local residents, businesses and organisations to learn more and give feedback.

Notting Hill Housing is in the process of preparing planning applications which are expected to be submitted to the London Borough of Enfield from the Summer of 2011 onwards.

Members of the regeneration team would be pleased to answer your questions [even now, after the exhibition] as we would value your views. All comments received will be carefully considered, prior to the submission of the planning applications.


Notting Hill Housing is a social enterprise which has been at the forefront of vibrant urban regeneration since 1963. Notting Hill has over 25,000 homes across London and the South East and employs 800 staff.

Affordable homes for rent or part-ownership, as well as homes for sale are provided. Some £180 million was invested in 2010, completing just over 1,000 new homes.

The service offered by Notting Hill is flexible, local and personal. Housing officers look after just 125 tenancies, and they are responsible for all aspects of service and contact with residents, such as rent collection and repairs services.

In 2010, Notting Hill took on the renovation and regeneration of the North Circular Road sites, after the scale of local road improvements was downgraded.

Much has already been achieved by Notting Hill in transforming the local area including:
  • £10 million committed to refurbish over 250 homes, due to finish next year;
  • housing or re-housing 118 existing tenants, with remaining homes available for new tenants nominated by Enfield Council;
  • the eviction of a large number of squatters; and
  • the major clean up of derelict properties & rear gardens including hazardous waste & asbestos – estimated at over £450,000.

This exhibition shows Phase 1 of the proposed new development programme, that will complement the refurbishment of existing properties.

The new development programme seeks to:
  • deliver further high quality sustainable homes for rent, shared ownership and sale;
  • regenerate vacant and derelict sites and some existing properties that have been compromised by the road improvements;
  • provide new landscaping and tree planting to enhance the environment; and
  • Improve security and clean up eyesore sites.


(You will need to email for a copy of the complete display boards, for more details of the sites; see below.)







Alongside future phases, these proposals seek to respond to the aspirations of the London Borough of Enfield, and deliver the regeneration of an area that has suffered years of neglect. Taken as a whole, the sites will bring forward much-needed new homes, offering a mix of tenures along with a series of environmental improvements benefiting existing and new residents alike.

Future phases of the regeneration programme will include additional homes, as well as community and business uses.

Once developed, the new tenanted properties will be fully managed by Notting Hill Housing alongside the existing refurbished homes, meaning that there will be a long-term involvement in the community.

The team working on the redevelopment programme will review all of the feedback received during the consultation process, and finalise proposals in the light of this.

Planning applications will then be submitted to the London Borough of Enfield, from the Summer of 2011 onwards. These applications will be subject to further consultation by Enfield Council, and representations will be invited from the local community.

The current expectation is that decisions will be made on the applications from the end of 2011 onwards.

For a PDF file of the full display boards, and to pass on your comments, email Martin Hughes, of the agency that produced the exhibition, at

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Wales goes for 70% recycling; NLWA only says 50% (admittedly at an earlier date, but it's a much weaker target)

Link to North Wales web site

"As Wales has becomes the first country in the UK to set legally binding recycling targets, it is important to keep in mind that the service will not be a replacement for recycling. In fact, every council in the Partnership is committed to reducing waste as well as increasing their recycling levels to reach the Welsh Government’s target of 70 percent by 2025.

"The Welsh Government has also set challenging targets for the amount of waste that Welsh councils can landfill in future, with only 5 percent of waste allowed to be taken to landfill after 2025. Even after reducing waste and increasing recycling rates, there still remains some waste to treat in order to meet these targets."

Mr Mustard web site: "Democracy in Barnet and The Life of Brian - no, not the obvious one"

"Yeah yeah. But, apart from Safety, Democracy, Accountability, Advertising, a regular Spending Review, Eric Pickles's endorsement, Performance Appraisals, Free Error correction, Audit Services, Attending Residents' Forums, Saved Money, Minuted Meetings, Identified Waste, and Joined together in the Big Society, what have Barnet Bloggers ever done for us?"

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Enfield Advertiser: Councillor Silkin, Bowes Ward

27 July:

"Given our belief that the growing ecological constraint affects everyone, I try to keep this column unpolitical. The polemics surrounding Pinkham Way have sorely tested this vision, however, especially gross misrepresentations of my position by people pursuing their own agenda. This is sorrowful to idealists like myself. Our environment is too important for such gamesmanship.

"The starting point is society’s generation of excessive waste. Readers know that I’ve already started scrutinising retailer packaging. For the moment, though, today’s waste requires processing. We cannot pretend it away.

"The Mayor’s policy is that London may no longer send waste to landfills outside the M25. Not only have centuries of abuse exhausted this possibility, but it is wrong to externalise nuisances - and especially to let rich communities dump on poor ones. Such 'free riding' constitutes market failure, and lacks moral compass. Access to healthy environments is the new faultline in social inequality.

"Thus, even as Bowes Labour opposes Pinkham Way for its intrinsic defects (proximity to habitat, smog, and congestion), we disagree with the Conservative alternative, which simply adds to the disproportionate waste burden, that Edmonton already suffers on behalf of all Enfield. There are different ways to solve any problem, and our preferred solutions combine ecological with social justice.

"What strikes me here is how the 'North London Waste Plan' benefits Barnet to Enfield’s detriment. Hence the official representation that we, the Bowes Labour councillors, submitted, opposing a new waste plant at Pinkham Way or anywhere in Enfield, while suggesting that Barnet alternatives be explored.

"It’s been pointed out that Barnet also has areas of deprivation. I welcome such insights, and will discuss possible responses with Enfield Tories, or anyone else – as long as they promise to act in good faith. Ecology should unite Enfieldans, not divide them.

"At this late stage, however, it may be too late to reverse the tide – which is why it also behooves us to consider mitigation strategies like electric vehicles. Practical environmentalism involves complicated arbitrages, and it is unworthy to mock them. Some people don’t just talk sustainability – we fight everyday to implement it."

BBC: "On the trail of George Orwell’s outcasts"

Some 80 years after George Orwell chronicled the lives of the hard-up and destitute in his book Down and Out in Paris and London, what has changed? Retracing the writer's footsteps, Emma Jane Kirby finds the hallmarks of poverty identified by Orwell - addiction, exhaustion and, often, a quiet dignity - are as apparent now as they were then.

Link to BBC web site

"What was it that Orwell said? 'Change places and handy dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief?'

"I am instantly struck by the civility of the meal time. A tattooed and very inebriated punk knocks over an elderly lady's walking frame as he staggers to find a free seat. He apologises, asks if the seat beside her is taken and then appears to engage her in polite conversation. When he is served a plate of Mediterranean vegetable pasta by the charming French chef, he thanks her profusely and leaning towards the Polish man opposite him asks if he would kindly pass the salt?"

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Independent: "The elegant concourse to be unveiled at King's Cross"

Link to The Independent

"The elegant concourse – the key element of Network Rail's £400m modernisation of the station – marks not only its main approach, but the threshold of the £2bn King's Cross Central regeneration zone north of the station, where 67 acres of brownfield land is being redeveloped to create offices, retail, and thousands of new homes.

"Network Rail is to be applauded for commissioning such an adventurous design, a super-crisp brand for the modernisation of the station that will be completed before the start of the 2012 Olympics.

Evening Standard: "Boris Johnson seeks plastic bag 'scourge' ban"

Link to Evening Standard

"Boris Johnson has called for plastic bags to be banned in London stores, after retailers failed to cut sufficiently the number they give out.

"The Mayor called the bags 'an unnecessary scourge on our environment'."

BBC: "Arctic 'tipping point' may not be reached" (So it's not all bad news)

Link above to BBC web site

"Scientists say current concerns over a tipping point in the disappearance of Arctic sea ice may be misplaced.

"Danish researchers analysed ancient pieces of driftwood in north Greenland which they say is an accurate way to measure the extent of ancient ice loss.

"Writing in the journal Science, the team found evidence that ice levels were about 50% lower 5,000 years ago."

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Game from those car people at Nissan: "The Planet Zero"

(click above to meet your new friend, Plug)

The Guardian: "It's rubbish all right. But is it art?"

Link to The Guardian

"Inorganic waste, which does not decay, proliferates. And for at least a century, artists have been recycling it. Picasso was the first to stick pages of discarded newspapers, broken chair seats and bits of cloth to his paintings to invent the art of collage...


"The junkshop items that Robert Rauschenberg incorporated in his Combines, conjure nostalgic, surreal meanings – they are more redemptive than Arman's bleak portrait of consumer society...

"Rubbish is part of the modern condition, and it was artists who were the first to see it. But the poetry of rubbish seems a luxury now. The horror of waste has overwhelmed its beauty."

Croydon Greens on Incinerators


"It has come to light over the week-long public hearing for the 'South London Waste Plan' (SLWP) that not a single councillor (Conservative or Labour) from Croydon attended this crucial event, which will have far-reaching implications on health, future budgets, and the environment.

"It is understood that at the end of the public consultation process, an incinerator will be built on the borders of Croydon.

"Commenting on this revelation, the Green Party's Shasha Khan said,
"Whilst the Green party is concerned that no Tory councillors attended, it is of far greater concern that no Labour councillors were present - in fact it is shameful. They are the elected opposition, and their function is to hold the Council to account. They have failed the people of Croydon.

In the run-up to last year's election, Labour told the electorate that a health bombshell was on the horizon [first leaflet shown below] and warned residents that for miles around house prices will crash [second leaflet]. Now that we are three years away from the next election, they are nowhere to be seen."
"According to their own literature, it is the Labour wards north of the borough that fall in the 'central risk zone'.

Labour have a responsibility to their constituent. They need to explain themselves because it looks like they have simply taken their voters for granted. They have a responsibility to represent their constituents. Labour councillors are not going to be able to stop the incinerator by staying at home."

"The Green Party has been advised that two Tory opposition councillors from Merton attended the public examination of the SLWP. Even though the Green Party was not scheduled to speak at the hearing, members from Croydon and Sutton attended."

Haringey Journal

 (Click on the image to enlarge, and usually again to magnify)