Discussion in 'Brixton' started by editor, Mar 27, 2014.
Some bits from the report...
I’d image that lawyers fees and fines would be included in management costs....
Ive looked in the "independent" evaluation report appendix A on consultation.
As I said it came up at last Brixton Neighborhood Forum. People present were surprised to hear that the Council had appointed "independent" report on Pop. Brixton Neighborhood Forum hadn't been asked. Nor had Brixton Society.
Appendix A gives four groups consulted . Tenants of Pop, Community groups operating in Pop, surveys of visitors to Pop and surveys of town centre business.
So no local community groups or local individuals not visiting Pop were actively sought out to ask there opinion.
This despite the Council officer at the Brixton Neighborhood Forum saying they had been given the opportunity.
Pretty poor for an independent report not to go out and ask locals.
It seems that they did speak to local businesses. But it does seem to dodge the questions about impact on local residents somewhat. Noise impact at night is mentioned but is not given many column-inches.
Lambeth's line seems to be that although the scheme is not making them any money (yet?) via the profit share, it's a success based on the various social (and economical) benefits it's provided. Their measure of the social benefit seems to rely quite heavily on the "Community Investment Scheme Programmes" and what they have provided. I find the detail in the report on what has *actually* been provided to be rather fuzzy. They mention total hours spent, and types of activity, but no more detail than that. It makes me sceptical about how usefully all these volunteer hours have really been used. It seems to me with these kinds of things that a lot of people can put in a lot of hours but unless the scheme is well organised and targeted it's liable to provide limited real benefit. Here's what they say about what's been provided:
So, how many hours have been spent supporting mentorship or apprenticeships that help people into employment that they might otherwise not have had access to?
And how many hours have been spent offering wine-tasting sessions?
For there to be any point to reports like this, they have to probe a bit deeper, I think.
There seems to be an implication that the writers of the report were not that convinced by the demonstrability of the scheme's effectiveness:
But the softly-softly language of "learning points" makes it clear that it's not a report that's prepared to make criticism of Pop or Lambeth very explicit.
My reading of the "learning points" conveys to me that although they don't say it outright, Lambeth somewhat screwed up the initial brief and financial forecasts. They also screwed up in appointing an initial team that wasn't realistically able to deliver what they wanted. The capital costs were way, way more than anticipated. The project has been a success in that it's been made to work commercially despite this bad organisation at the outset. They seem to think it has some level of financial sustainability although really only with this lease extension to give it enough time to start paying back its capital costs. There does seem to have been some kind of positive outcome for many of the businesses setting up within pop and the figures on the proportion of these owned locally, etc, don't seem bad. It seems there are some benefits for other local businesses resulting from increased footfall but only for certain types of businesses (mainly food and drink). There seem to be some genuine social benefits but the detail on a lot of it is a bit unclear. The negative effects on local businesses and residents seem to have been brushed under the carpet somewhat.
The Community Investment Scheme Programme was run by Brixton Pound. They pulled out of this in November of last year. Brixton Pound told Buzz that they understand that Pop is now managing this scheme internally.
I was under the impression that Pop Brixton told the Brixton Pound that there services were no longer needed.
I can't imagine many of the stalls and businesses surrounding Pop Brixton benefited very much from their presence, particularly given the fact that most of the traffic to the place happens at night when it turns into The Biggest Pub In Brixton ©.
Started to have a look at this long report.
If evidence based independent evaluation of Pop is needed then this is not it.
I have been looking for consultation with local community. There isn't any. References are made to local perceptions of Pop but , this beggars belief, the consultants don't seem to have actually talked to any locals. You would only need to go around market on busy Saturdays to get local views.
If they have no data how can these professionals make this claim?
( To add the consultants appear to have narrow take on users of Pop. ie it's special events and business start ups. Diversity is more than that. It's also about who uses it as place to visit and enjoy. )
It's just the perception of the consultants.
It's no more valid than my opinion.
Which was never asked for by consultants. Despite me being on Future Brixton email list, member of Brixton Neighborhood Forum, member of Brixton Rec Users Group.
I'm going to try and read this report. But glancing through it incenses me.
The consultants, as the sections quoted by Teuchter point out, appear to say in early stages of setting it up local community should have been involved more.
I can't help feeling the lack of wider community consultation in making this report wasn't an accident.
I've seen the way Council officers use consultants in the LJ master plan. Basically these reports/ consultations are done with officers breathing down ones neck.
Page 15 of report:
Though the report follows this with saying more food and drink is good for Brixton economy. The report is relentlessly upbeat even when consultation comes up with findings like this. They can't stop themselves thinking up rationalisations why above feedback is wrong. Which is why the report is so irritating.
It's just bullshit from start to finish. Ask any long term local about the 'diversity' of Pop Brixton and I'd imagine they'd have a good laugh.
One of the things I noticed from the report. They do say people's perceptions were raised early on.That as the project got started and evolved there was a " communication gap" that led to "perceptions" that Pop didn't "reflect" Brixton.
They also say that one of the positive things was the strong working relationships that developed between officers and Turner's team in getting the project going.
This implies to me that the project moved from one that had a lot of encouragement of community involvement. Remember people were asked there views and a competition was held to choose a scheme. The Council encouraged this.
When it came down to starting the scheme it was totally top down. That's how I read the report saying a strong relationship developed between officers and Pop team.
Myself I don't see that as healthy. The Council move from representing the people to being in effect joint managers of this scheme. Losing an objective distance from what after all is in theory a privately owned business.
Page 8 of the report. Section "Twenty lessons learnt through delivery".
The report misses the point here. It's saying what local people were concerned about was just disturbance like noise etc. It wasn't. This came later. Stakeholder groups ( not defined in the report) "raised expectations" weren't expectations. A competition was held. The winner was Grow Brixton. Reason. It looked the most community orientated entry.
The report skates over the Turner / EBS issue. It doesn't suggest , for example, that if Grow Brixton wasn't able to fulfill its objectives why the second choice in the competition did not get it.
As the "independent" consultants have looked at the whole project I would have liked more on what went wrong. The report gives impression just that Turner saved the project by "rescoping" it. A somewhat unusual word for changing the project.
A lesson to be learnt is that if a competition is held the winner should be kept to the plan. Or it goes to the next in line.
On "managing expectations". People like me who have long experience of Council consultations are wary now when taking part. ( See LJ master plan). Officers really hate this. Particularly when you might influence others.
Reading between the lines here. This section of the report is damning. People were mislead by the Council.
As the report says the Council " raised expectations regarding scope for community involvement"
Instead of increasing community trust in the local authority it did the opposite.
That's what me and you (and others) have said along. We were promised some sort of community focused initiative and instead got a multi-national trainer firm 'taking over the venue,' posh nibbles and bubbles and a cheap rent for a fucking Property Guardian company. Does the report make any mention of why the hideous capitalist property developers The Collective were welcomed on board?
So far in my reading of this report how the Collective got on board hasn't been explained. So don't know if it was Turner or Lambeth officers.
What I find interesting and isn't fully described in report is how the local authority stepped in to save the scheme. Grow won scheme then it all went tits up.
The Nu Labour Council are ideologically wedded to seeing entrepreneurship as good. The state/ local authority being an enabler rather then provider.
I t looks to me that the relevant officers and Cllrs ( Jack Hopkins) pulled out all the stops to get the scheme off the ground. The report can be read as how state intervention works. ( Lambeth being the local state).
Reading the report looks to me that a lot of officer hours were spent in getting this scheme working in practice. Makes me think that there should be estimated value of Council contribution to this scheme in terms of man hours ( officer time). If that was done it might show how much Turner scheme has been in effect subsidised by the local state. ( Man hours plus rent free site)
If I was Council Officer I might be miffed that Turner has got all the credit. That he's now looking at big status building scheme in Peckham. For him and his mates.
In a fair world Lambeth Council should be getting a profit share from Turner's Peckham scheme.
( Of course the cost of management will be set to reduce any profit share. Something Turner has learnt from Pop.)
^liked for your investigative work rather than the actual content, obvs
How can Lambeth unilaterally bring on a bunch of arch-capitalist Shoreditch property developers and never even bother to mention anything about them? Even running with the revisionist 'business park for local entrepreneurs' bullshit, they're anything but local and anything but a start up.
Given their track record, I'm not so sure that the Peckham scheme is going to be a success.
But Pop Brixton IS a success.
Listen and laugh.
Interesting that James says that this corner of Brixton was a "problematic area" before arrival of Pop.
From what Ive been hearing the opposite is the case. This was a relatively quiet bit of Brixton. I always saw it that way myself.
It becoming a "problematic area" is down to arrival of Pop/ the Beach ( now going) and Network Rail eviction of shops.
As someone said to me of the recent drug problems in Brixton Station road is that there is a demand there now. Pop and the Beach. Which wasn't there before.
A good example of entrepreneurship.
Sleepless in Brixton have also said Pop is a problem.
This really pisses me off.
There used to be the Canterbury Arms on the corner which rarely, if ever, caused any bother to anyone. There used to be lots of independent shops in the arches.
There was a widely used car park and then a popular ice skating rink. There was nothing 'troublesome' about that part of town, so he can fuck off with his revisionist 'look how we made Brixton better' bullshit and lies.
He's selectively trading off Brixton's past reputation to make shitty Pop Brixton look like it's been a positive contribution to the local community. The twat.
" Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur" according to James. Castaing had this "amazing vision". It was all Tom Bridgman's idea of meanwhile space.
Had me reaching for the sick bag.
How anyone can defend Pop Brixton after the deeply disturbing revelations in this excellent article sure beats me. The whole thing is a fucking farce.
Lambeth Council props up loss making Pop Brixton with two year lease extension to pay off private debts
The latest Buzz article is a bit better than the previous one.
I hope Emblematic Yellow Dungarees Man gets paid commission by Brixton Buzz each time his photo appears.
There's dead links in Jason's article (the ones linking to accounts which are hosted on an amazon.com domain).
It's a shame that no one else can be arsed to cover - or research - this story and so Lambeth residents are reliant on a non profit blog and people's audit to unearth what is really important information about their council's dodgy antics.
Would a quick Google and a link from moneysavingexpert.com do?
Read Jason article. It's good that local media outlet covers the other side of this,
I know a lot of people, who don't post here, who read Brixton Buzz.
In Loughborough junction people on the estate read Buzz. I know because they mention it to me.
So lets get this straight. Turner and Collective, on the back of Pop, are moving onto bigger things in Peckham, looks unlikely that Lambeth Council will get a serious profit share from Pop and supporters of Pop here are happy with that?
Separate names with a comma.