Press release: LDA no show!


Monday 5th March 07. Immediate

Plot holders called to a meeting by the London Development Agency arrived on Sunday morning 4th March to find the LDA had decided not to show up.

Plotholders, including 83 year old Tom, currently suffering with bronchitis, put aside their Sunday commitments to turn up to a meeting they were invited to by the LDA. They were dismayed and expressed disbelief to find no LDA. Some who have worked their soil for decades buried their dogs, strewn relatives ashes and shared many happy times on the plots, shed tears as with no LDA there was no news of a reprieve on the eviction date.

The LDA had called the meeting to explain the current situation regarding the failure to obtain a relocation site for the allotments and imminent eviction. The understanding by plot holders was that they would also be telling the Society about their plans to resubmit the Relocation Planning Application to Waltham Forest Council and start an appeal.

Even though the LDA were absent it was a very productive meeting.

Many of the plotholders were particularly angered when they realised for the first time that the Olympic planning application - for which they are to be thrown off their land and see their beloved gardens destroyed by bulldozers ? will not have been approved until July Even though the acres of superfluous path for which they are expected to sacrifice their plots is infuriating, the idea that the plans are modified after they have lost everything is even worse.

Since July 06 a BBC film crew have been following Manor Gardening Society's story. The LDA have refused for meetings with them to be filmed as part of that story. Manor Gardening Society have accepted their request and no filming inside meetings has taken place to date There was to be no filming in the actual meeting itself on Sunday.

Julie Sumner, assistant Secretary of the Society, first knew about the LDA pull-out when an ITN London Tonight News Journalist called her on Friday 5pm to confirm whether the meeting was still on. No calls to the LDA for confirmation were responded to until Saturday pm.

The Chair of MGS, John Matheson, spoke to Vincent Bartlett of LDA on Saturday and was told they had pulled out because they were unhappy with the presence of locals with placards and media outside the building. Vincent Bartlett said 'This will not help your relocation.'

Given that the LDA are a public body claiming that the Olympic Development process is transparent, plot holders are left wondering why they should be so uncomfortable about being filmed not only inside but even outside meetings? Are demonstrations of support for plotholders regarded as threatening by the vastly powerful LDA?


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