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Southall Gasworks Air Quality Meeting outcome

Tue 16 Jul 2019
A public meeting was held on Wednesday, 10 July 2019, at the Dominion Centre, Southall, to listen to residents’ concerns about the Southall Gasworks Development.

The panel style public meeting had 21 people sitting on the panel for a 90 minutes meeting. Half of them did not speak. What were they doing on the panel?

Amongst those who spoke, a few of them could not understand simple questions nor had the ability to respond to them. The others merely gave out standard (irrelevant) responses.

The panel merely came to (show that they) listen and do nothing about the current situation.

A man on the panel introduced himself as Damian Leydon, Operation Director at Southall Waterside.

“You are not Damian, you are Karl” was the response from the audience.

The man speaking was Karl Whiteman, Executive Director of Berkeley Group and Damian Leydon was sitting next to him. Had the contaminated soil treatment work affected their brains?

Karl went to say “Both Damian and I (Karl Whiteman) are happy to be here this evening, no, seriously we are happy to be here this evening to listen, LISTEN to what you say and hopefully (with the help of colleagues here) alleviate your concerns.”

A lady from the audience speaks: “Can I direct this question to Karl. Hello, Hello. We meet again. You met me at my house. You said to me, you would put a monitor in my house, so you could monitor the air. WHY DID YOU NOT DO THAT? I want to know why? ”

Karl is seen consulting his colleagues, rather than answer the question.

Later on he says “We did say we would go away and consider putting in air monitor. I am NOT disputing that. I am not going to DENY that. We came away and sought advice ….”

The response from the audience was “You knew the levels were going to be high.”

He then tried to wriggle out of it by letting someone else answer the question.

“You answer” was the message from the audience.

Karl says “I am NOT technically qualified to answer the question” and passes the microphone to someone else.

Did he say he was happy to here?
Did he say he was going to listen?
Did he say he was going to alleviate the resident’s concerns?

The monitor was meant to reassure the residents.
It was meant to show Berkeley cared or were listening.
It is far EASIER for Berkeley to look in the other direction and pour in money to BUY some support, rather than where it should REALLY be spent.

Were Ealing Council, Public Health England and the Environment Agency any more understanding?

Ealing Council can AFFORD to hire security guards for the meeting but can’t afford anything (air monitors or health checks) to reassure the residents affected.

GLA member Onkar Sahota was in the audience but was not even acknowledged.

Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma sat in back, said nothing and hardly anyone noticed he was there.

Did any of the Southall Councillors on the panel speak?

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