Tag Archives: Todd Foreman

RESIDENTS RALLY TO SAVE THE NORTH POLE PUB

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.’

LABOUR CANDIDATE FOR WEST CENTRAL BACKS CALLS FOR KIT MALTHOUSE TO QUIT

Cllr Todd Foreman, Labour’s candidate for the West Central London Assembly constituency, backed calls for Kit Malthouse to resign his position as deputy mayor for policing. The calls for Malthouse’s resignation have been made by Labour MP Chris Bryant and London Mayoral Candidate Ken Livingstone after it emerged that Malthouse personally intervened with the Commissioner of the Met to seek to shut down the police investigation into the ongoing phone hacking scandal.

The revelations about Malthouse’s intervention were contained in evidence to the Leveson inquiry from the former Commissioner of the Met, Sir Paul Stephen. Stephen said, “On several occasions after Operation Weeting had started and I had returned from sick leave, the Chair of the MPA, Kit Malthouse, expressed a view that we should not be devoting this level of resources to the phone hacking inquiry as a consequence of a largely political and media driven ‘level of hysteria’.”

Foreman is standing against Malthouse in the upcoming London Assembly elections on 3rd May. West Central includes the City of Westminster, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.
Foreman said today,

“Residents of West Central should be very concerned by today’s revelations about their London Assembly Member. It is completely unacceptable that Kit Malthouse sought to use his position to interfere in the police investigation of the phone hacking scandal. The phone hacking scandal is deeply serious, and the police need adequate resources to conduct their investigation. Furthermore, Malthouse’s intervention appears to be politically motivated. I agree with Chris Bryant and Ken Livingstone that Kit Malthouse should resign from his position as deputy mayor for policing, or Boris Johnson should sack him.”

Foreman added,
“West Central residents deserve much better than this sort of representation by Malthouse. Voters should send him packing in the upcoming London Assembly election on 3rd May.”

ENDS

Notes:
Contact Cllr Foreman on 07920 267 118. http://www.toddforeman.org.uk.
Sir Paul Stephen’s written evidence is contained here (see paragraph 89): http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Witness-Statement-of-Sir-Paul-Stephenson2.pdf

It’s a Mayoral Election not a Beauty Contest

As Labour’s GLA candidate for the West Central constituency (which includes Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster and my home borough of K&C), I am keen to run a campaign that focuses on issues that matter to the people of West Central. Between now and May’s election, I will be listening to the residents of West Central to find out about their priorities. I will also be promoting the issues high on my list, such as freezing public transport fares, promoting construction of more social and affordable housing in West Central, fighting Tory cuts to the number of police on our streets and promoting the London Living Wage.
Election outcomes matter. The choice that we make next year as Londoners will have a huge impact on public services in our city, and on the success of the Tory-led government in radically reducing the role of government. With Ken Livingstone, we can protect our public services and the number of police on our streets, freeze transport fares and promote the construction of more social and affordable housing. With Boris Johnson, we can protect the interests of the rich, cut public services and the number of police on our streets, pay higher transport fares and continue to see social housing in West Central disappear.
Like many thousands of Londoners, I’m an immigrant (I grew up in the United States). The last presidential election that took place while I was resident in the United States was the Bush-Gore contest of 2000. Though it seems hard to imagine now, many people said in 2000 that it didn’t matter whether Bush or Gore won because there was “no difference” between the two. Some people said that they were going to vote for Bush because he would be “more fun to have a beer with” than Gore. I think that history has proven that George Bush turned out to be a very different sort of President than Al Gore would have been. Bush’s disastrous administration demonstrates that the decisions that elected leaders make can have a profound impact on our lives. Likewise, many people are finding out that there is a great deal of difference between the Conservative and Labour administrations. If you want to find out whether elections outcomes matter, ask the students who have lost the support of Education Maintenance Allowances and are facing impossible university tuition; people who depend upon public services that are being cut; and people who are struggling to pay higher public transport fares.
And I’ve got news for anyone who plans on voting for Boris because they think he is the more likeable candidate: the chances of your ever spending time with Boris Johnson in a social setting are very small. If you think he is a fun guy, then maybe you should invite him to your next barbecue, but that doesn’t mean that he is the better choice for Mayor of London. Frankly, I find Boris’s Bullingdon Club background repulsive and I doubt I would have much in common with him one on one, but that is beside the point. I’m voting for Ken Livingstone because he has the policies, as well as the experience, that London needs in troubled times.
Todd Foreman is a Councillor for Notting Barns Ward in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Labour’s candidate for the West Central GLA constituency in 2012.

The Tories’ radical housing policy experiment

Val Shawcross, Stephen Cowan (Leader of the Opposition, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham), Ken Livingstone and Todd Foreman (Labour GLA Candidate for West Central) visit Hammersmith riverfront, where the the Tory Council is planning a luxury housing development (but no affordable housing) as part of a wider effort to change the demographics of the Borough.

As Labour’s candidate for West Central, I am standing in an area which is undergoing a radical experiment that is turning swathes of London into no-go zones for ordinary working people. West Central is made up of Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham, which have the 1st, 2nd and 5th highest mean average private rents, respectively, in England. Affordable housing is in desperately short supply, and housing tops the concerns of residents at my advice surgeries.

This week the Conservatives announced their latest housing policy; this will do nothing to help the worsening crisis in West Central. Thousands of residents have recently received letters telling them that due to new caps, their housing benefit will be cut drastically. For some this will mean a rapid spiral into debt; for most, this will mean that they will be forced to leave their homes and move to distant areas where they can find rental properties within the new benefit caps. Children will be uprooted from schools; workers will face impossible and expensive commutes to jobs; and families will be forced to move far away from friends, loved ones and communities. In short, we are about to see a massive social experiment that is part of a deliberate strategy by the Tories to turn West Central into an area that is only affordable for the wealthy.

And it’s not as if the local Tory councils are helping matters, either. Take Hammersmith and Fulham, which suffers under one of the most vicious Councils in the country, and where the Tories are in a race against time to change the character of the Borough before Council elections in 2014. Their strategy is Dame Shirley Porter 2.0. Housing owned by the Council is being sold off and legal loopholes are found to maximise profits at the expense of providing affordable homes. Stable communities such as the Hammersmith’s Queen Caroline Estate are labelled “not decent” by the Council and slated for demolition to make way for unaffordable private housing, without a guarantee to local residents that after ‘temporary’ decanting they will ever be able to return to the area.
Tory policies are increasing homelessness; in Kensington and Chelsea, statutory homelessness is up an eye-watering 41% from 2009-10 to 2010-11.

The consequences for West Central are terrible. Young people have little hope of staying in the area as they reach adulthood, and the socio-economic diversity is being squeezed from our communities.

The free market will never provide a solution to West Central’s lack of affordable housing, especially when government is actively making matters worse. We need a Labour GLA and Mayor who will prioritise affordable housing and use their planning powers to promote truly affordable housing developments and restore the affordable housing targets which Boris Johnson scrapped. And London’s regional government must lobby central government to encourage Councils to build more affordable housing for social rent. The scale of the challenge is immense, and it is critical that we elect a Labour Mayor and Labour GLA in 2012 so that we can begin to tackle London’s housing crisis.

Todd Foreman is Labour’s GLA Candidate for West Central and Councillor for Notting Barns ward in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.