Discussion in 'Brixton' started by :-D, Feb 4, 2015.
There's quite a bit about this year's Design Trail that make me feel a bit uncomfortable.
Some of that PR nonsense
Today I Iearnt that Brixton gets a mention in the bible.
But is not of the world.
I knew that already.
Anyway - I double checked today and all of those quotes are attributed to one of the businesses. No doubt the businesses will be grateful for the feedback on this thread, regarding the cringeworthiness of their words.
Beautiful Books is run by really nice people who really believed the NR nonsense about coming back on reduced rents , NR wanting to maintain the good vibe in Brixton etc , etc . The 4 remaining Traders didn't fall for the NR crap ! If NR were justified in the evictions why haven't they thrown the 4 businessess out ? Because the eviction clause is not valid when challenged
Do the remaining traders have the same leases as those who left had?
If NR misled those who were evicted about the terms of their leases then of course that's wrong of them to do so.
They weren't happy at all with Network Rail when I spoke to them.
Their footfall was so reduced and the Brixton Pillars campaign so useless they were forced to put up their own home-made adverts all over Station Road.
In desperation, they even built a billboard over their old shop which they were later compelled to take down.
And here's the evidence:
Brixton Arches evictions: long time trader Beautiful Books struggles to survive
Everyone had the same lease more or less , NR envolked a clause in the lease which covered redevelopment when they only ever intended to refurbish them ! They're not changing the Arches into something else although I'm sure they would love to if they could , Nu-Brixton hipster groove pads very close to Pop !
It's a proper fit up by NR using threats & scare tactics that's gone on now for 2 1/2 years !!
I'd like to understand in more detail about the leases and where those who have challenged the evictions have got to - are they awaiting a court hearing? This stuff is more important than endless photos of hoardings but the information is hard to come by.
What I still don't understand is that Network Rail insisted that all the arches had to be vacant for the work to go ahead - yet some businesses have carried on trading throughout.
And if they have to be empty, how come some of the units are now opening up in the passageway to the station for what appear to be arty/hipster ventures?
4 Traders are taking NR to Court and are still awaiting a hearing date as far as I'm told , NR will need to explain why they tried to end their leases on a refurbushment of the Arches but it was the only way to get them out by bullshitting that it's a redevelopment ! The others needed the compensation money offered & the ' promise ' of a return on a new 14 year lease with fixed rent increases throughout the period
30,000 signatures online 2 years ago and the negative press has kept the 'promise' of a return alive ( just )
No one I know is critical of businesses in the arches that are trying to come back. To try and imply that those who are critical of the hoardings are having a go at the small business evicted trying to come back is just a smear.
This whole situation has been caused by NR. The hoardings are PR for NR.
What I would like to see on the hoardings is an apology from NR for the ham fisted and bullying way they have gone about this "regeneration" project. An apology to the diverse community in Brixton for evicting these business. Since NR are making such a big deal about Brixton "diverse" and strong community spirit on the hoardings. An example being all the instant support the small business got when NR went ahead with this project. Against the community wishes. The community it's extolling on the hoardings. It's more than aggravating to see these hoardings . Put up to give PR for a company who have done a lot to try and destroy one section of the community.
Some of whom it's forgotten won't come back. Like the much loved deli. His business was destroyed by NR actions. I saw the distress it caused him.
Many people in Brixton I know did support these small business from NR actions. From the start. And still do.
Everyone I know feels the same. Fuck Network Rail and their shitty PR campaign. You'd have to be a mug to actually buy into the message it's trying to spin.
Jose told me that his takings had been dropping for a few years and that in a way the NR action had given him the excuse he was looking for to shut up shop.
Not saying that he liked or approved of the NR action, but the situation was more nuanced than you are suggesting.
I don't agree. I also talked to him. At one point he was one of the main people in the campaign to save the shops.
He was under considerable stress from NRs actions. He made a decision to go. I completely understand that.
It's not a question of whether you agree with me or not. I can assure you that he said exactly those words to me.
This article - in his own words - makes his story clear: Brixton’s A&C Deli: the inside story of a small business destroyed by gentrification, Network Rail & Lambeth Council
And I can assure you he didn't say that to me. He didn't want to go. But realistically didn't see fighting NR to the end would do him any good.
By allowing William Hill and HT Pawnbrokers to stay proved it was a selective eviction by NR to ' clean up ' the Road and to generate higher rents / rates for the 2 business partners in the central Brixton master plan .
NR were hellbent on getting everyone out by whatever means necessary ( lies , threats of removed compensation etc ) but didn't understand they were picking a fight in Brixton and returning back to an area where they had been the absent Landlord for 25 plus years
The farce continues. Some interesting points:
Brixton Arches and Network Rail: Cash from chaos as the shambles continues
From the latest hyperbolic article by Brixton Buzz's mystery correposndent:
I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation of hearing quite what they've done (and for that matter what British Rail did) but then the article ended.
Brixton Arches and Network Rail: Cash from chaos as the shambles continues
How can any of the NR staff involved keep their jobs after this fiasco ?
Why would this John Gordon guy risk being associated with ruining the street market by allowing the site deliveries through Station Road ?
At least this issue seems to provide a clear dividing line between those who give a fuck about what's happening to Brixton and its long term independent traders and those who think they should just give up, roll over and let the gentrification continue. It's depressing to encounter people who would rather ridicule and belittle those fighting to save an important part of Brixton's character and go along with NR's fact-twisting version of what's happening.
And despite all Network Rail's misinformation-laden shiny billboards, it's clear that we're going to end up with something that is blander and shinier and more corporate than what was there before. I guess some people will be looking forward to that
I don't know the answers but feel massively uncomfortable with John being pilloried without someone taking to him direct about this. He's a really good guy who only wants the best for the market. He's been there for many years as a trader and as part of the market federation and is lovely.
I imagine this is just what NR want (or have helped engineer): to have those affected fighting amongst themselves.
And this is the kind of thing that results from the approach of those who want to self-righteously simplify everything to a scenario where you have to be either 100% on board with everything written in support of the market traders or someone who actively wants to gentrify and destroy the soul of Brixton and who swallows everything Network Rail says unquestioningly. No room for it to be a complicated situation, no room to criticise articles presented as news which contain so much nonsense that they have the effect of making people think the whole campaign is probably based on similar hyperbole, who wonder if the legal moves being made by the remaining tenants, to challenge their eviction, are on similarly flimsy grounds. And no, I don't personally make that assumption about their legal grounds, and I wish them the best of luck because that's the kind of thing where the effort should be focused, not on spurious claims about the viability of safetly carrying out building works in a town centre location, something that happens every day throughout the country.
A year ago this Week NR ‘ talked ‘ most of the Traders into leaving as they were told their refurbished Arches would be ready to move back into by early 2017
Now Matthew Ball from NR is saying WH & HT were never part of the original Planning application
Lies , lies & more lies !!
Reading the last series of posts I think it's worth remembering the situation in Brixton Station road now is all down to Network Rail.
Those objecting to it aren't being "self righteous".
Network Rail decided to pullout out of talks to "co produce" a masterplan for the area.
Unilaterally without any community consultation they decided to evict the established business and "regenerate" the arches.
That's what's happened.
Indeed. People have every right to be angry about what's happened.
Separate names with a comma.