North Kensington residents and local Councillors met on 17 May in the North Pole pub to start the fight to stop Sainburys turning it into yet another outlet.
The cross-party team including Councillors Pat Healy and Bob Mingay from St Charles Ward, and Cllr Todd Foreman from Notting Barns where the pub is located, met a huge and angry group of local residents at the pub to kick off the campaign. Concerns range from the threat to other local convenience stores, loss of a highly valued local amenity, to increased parking problems from ‘drive-by’ shoppers. Various ideas were discussed and will be pursued: a petition to Council demanding they refuse a change of use class is being organised.
Cllr Foreman said “The North Pole pub is a landmark in North Kensington and its loss would be a huge blow to the community. To make matters worse, if the premises turned into yet another chain supermarket outlet then the survival of nearby small businesses would be threatened.”
Cllr Healy said : ‘I have been approached by many local residents and shopkeepers who are outraged at this threat to the community. The degree of anger was palpable at the meeting as scores of people crowded into the pub to have their say.’
Cllr Mingay said: ‘The loss of the last remaining pub in this part of the Borough to an unwanted supermarket would breach RBKC’s Core Planning Strategy. We will pursue every avenue in Planning Law to stop what local opinion clearly regards as an outrage.’
British Telecom are planning to open new telephone kiosk ATMs on Portobello and Golborne Road Market.
Following the closure of the HSBC Bank and their ATMs in Portobello Road last December that was bitterly opposed by Councillors, market traders, shops and local residents, North Kensington Labour Councillors worked hard to have the lost ATMs replaced. Colville Councillor, Dez O’Neill, has worked with HSBC, the Council and several local property owners to find alternative ATM sites. And Golborne Councillor Pat Mason contacted other banks and providers including British Telecom who operate the public telephone boxes on our streets.
The HSBC ATMs were used every weekend by thousands of visitors to the Portobello and Golborne Market. These visitors often needed cash for small sales it was not financially viable for traders to make by credit card. And Golborne Road visitors and traders have long complained that there is no bank and ATM facility there.
This week, British Telecom made planning applications to RBKC to replace their existing telephone boxes at Talbot Road and Golborne Road with new models that will include an ATM service.
Colville Councillor Dez O’Neill said, “This is welcome news since cash machines assist visitors to spend their money on Portobello and Golborne Market, and are very important for the local economy”.
Golborne Councillor Pat Mason said, “Visitors now have less money to spend because of the recession, and if putting these new ATMs on the market helps them to spend more, then that will be a good thing”.