TCOS attended an event at Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre last night orgainsed by Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB), the leaseholders of the land that the Garden Bridge Trust want for their concrete commercial building on the South Bank.
Ironically the event was called 'Designing Community Buildings' and the chair Amanda Baillieu began by giving a glowing endorsement of CSCB boss Iain Tuckett (pictured right) and what CSCB achieved in the 1980s when they successfully fought for the land to be entrusted to the community for genuine community use such as cooperative housing, open spaces and a public right of way.*
However local residents were questioned by panellist Stephen Proctor (architect) about their views on what community spaces mean to them and TCOS members (some being CSCB's own residents) informed the audience of around 50 delegates, of how CSCB has lost its moral compass in negotiating the lease variation that would allow the Garden Bridge building to be constructed at the expense of our community space on the Queen's Walk.
We pointed out that CSCB resolved to build 400 housing units back in the 80s but have only built 220 to date with no provision to build any more. However they have plans to build a 43 story tower block on Doon Street SE1 with 355 luxury apartments. The public gets random access to their swimming pool as a trade-off but no new community space.
Nevertheless, all of the delegates walked away more enlightened about the truth behind CSCB and what their own community thinks about them. Any idealised notions of CSCB's neighbourhood cohesion in the 1980s have been eroded for some delegates as they now realise that CSCB has a clear desire to build an empire for all the wrong reasons
All of the four cooperative housing blocks within Coin Street's own community have unanimously opposed the Garden Bridge development and have strongly expressed this to CSCB's board. To date there has been very little investment in CSCB's existing housing development and for its upkeep. CSCB have stopped listening to their own people. Their claims of acting in the interests of 'elected representatives' where the Garden Bridge is concerned is pure hogwash given that they are accountable to no one - except their own long-neglected community.
Help us to fight the new legal challenge against the Garden Bridge here everyclick.com/tcos
*Check out how CSCB won the day back in the 1980s but they have gradually turned from poachers into gamekeepers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWUPLlfAjew