The Westway is an experiment.
The construction of the elevated motorway that cuts through North Kensington came off the back of a failed proposal to build four motorways or 'Ringways' around London.
There is a line of thought that experiments are first enacted upon the most vulnerable in society.
In the 'Ringways' case, it is surely no coincidence that the only inner London sections to be built stand in two of the most economically deprived parts of London - North Kensington and Hackney (known as the 'Eastcross Route').
Only once they had permanently blighted these areas was it decided that these concrete monsters cost too much, caused severe pollution for too many and wouldn't alleviate traffic after all.
The experiment started with an Act of Parliament in 1963 that enabled wholesale destruction but, that led to a community intervention that brought about something genuinely new and exciting, with the potential to heal the wound.
That potential was hacked to pieces from the start by RBKC. Fifty years later even the Frankenstein's monster that was allowed to be born - an *experiment* which lurched from the North Kensington Amenity Trust into Westway Development Trust into Westway Trust - has been brought to a near standstill by people who would see us all governed to within an inch of our lives by virtual overseers.
A bloated organisation, with near impenetrable accounts is led by a man whose profile lists him as having a "strong interest in corporate governance" (interestingly, also "ethics"!!); a man who has overseen the production of those accounts for the past twenty years; and a woman who, funnily enough, hails from Hackney but spins her salary out of a community on the opposite side of London.
The 2012-14 experiment to establish the Trust as a property developer, with the Trustees to prove it, has brought us to a position where the Trust is being led up an expensive garden path, unable as it has been to see through its program of major development that has been thoroughly pulled apart and now lies in tatters at the feet of the Stiff-by-name-stiff-by-nature dead duck that is/was the Portobello Village Development.
QUESTION: How much money has the Portobello Village Development cost the North Kensington community?
Half a £MILLION wasted? Or are claims of up to and above £2MILLION true?
Can we trust a man who has overseen the accounts for twenty years?
Can we trust accounts that so many people (including Trustees) find so challenging?
IT DOESN'T NEED TO BE THIS WAY.
The Westway Trust is directed by Articles of Association - a constitution - like any other.
That document was changed once to run ahead blindly with the 'Destination Westway' strategy.
It can be changed again. This time to reflect the community's need to have an organisation that does what it was supposed to do fifty years ago - PUT THE RESOURCES OF 23 ACRES OF LAND IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY'S HANDS.
That is the thing about experiments. You are supposed to keep on doing them. Something different can be done with this monster.
The Westway Trust AGM 2018 is at the Maxilla Social Club on Tuesday 4th December at 11am.