the capital fanzine
online edition 4 - February 2009
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We're now in the middle of the London Development Agency's latest consultation phase for 2012 legacy planning. What goes where once the Games are over? How will new communities develop in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium? They'd like you to tell them. Hopefully a few more people will bother this week. I went along to a community session last week and turned out to be the sole representative of the community in attendance. I was able have some interesting discussions with the staff, but I'd say the event was more about them telling me stuff than them taking my feedback. Which sort of suggests that the LDA are going to go ahead and enact their plans anyway, and then claim that their chat with a handful of citizens ticked the community consultation box. A bit worrying perhaps, given that the published plans run to several hundred pages of detailed pdfs. The content of these documents looked convincingly positive to me, on a brief skim, and definitely forward-looking enough so long as we yank the country out of recession at some point in the next 30 years. If you think differently, please go and tell them so. There's a plate of uneaten biscuits in it for you.
Legacy plans here, roadshow dates here.
I was up on the Greenway last week, snapping my monthly photo of the upcoming Olympic Stadium, when a man in a suit crept up behind me. See that dangly white thing?" he said (or words to that effect). "That's the second roof truss, and if you stay for an hour you'll see a big crane lift it up into place on the roof". I couldn't stay for an hour because I have a life, but I thanked him all the same and watched him wander off to do another day's work with Team Stadium. And, what do you know, he was right.
My pre-truss pic here. Darren's post-truss pic here.
More general council hopelessness, this time from Marilyn Ashton, Harrow's Head of Planning. She wants to encourage London families to spend a long weekend (or 'staycation') in the northwest London borough, saving both money and the environment. With her best PR hat on she bleats...
"As well as offering 'unlimited legroom' in our expansive green belt and many parks and excellent restaurants, we also want to promote our heritage attractions such as the RAF Museum at Bentley Priory."
I do wonder what planet she's on. Why seek overnight accommodation in Harrow when the Metropolitan line could whisk you home for peanuts? Why go yomping across Harrow's green belt when Richmond's, Croydon's and Bromley's are so much nicer? Why make a special effort to go to a Harrow park or Harrow restaurant when there are perfectly good parks and restaurants where you live? And as for the heritage, well, sorry, it's a bit limited. No really. Harrow's one of the 20 boroughs I've pulled out of my jamjar, and I only just managed to keep myself amused there for a single day. Most of the interesting places require advance booking, or are only open occasionally or, in the case of RAF Bentley Priory, aren't yet open at all. So far in my random quest round London, only Sutton rates as more tedious. Sorry Harrow, but I think your ambition exceeds your attraction.
Visit the Visit Harrow website here.
A NEW BUS FOR LONDON
Remember Boris's competition to design a replacement Routemaster. Remember the designs that won? Well, now you can see an exhibition of these, and the runners up, in the basement at the London Transport Museum. Lots of the designs are by kids, so they're great but impractical. Most of the rest are by designers, so they're great but expensive. Expect to see a handful of features from a couple of designs in a prototype bus by the end of 2011, maybe. In the meantime, dream on.
Exhibition details here.
London-y album released today
It's called London Conversations, and it's a best-of compilation by Croydon stalwarts St Etienne. Worth considering, maybe, in case you haven't bought something similarly repackaged before.