Pop Brixton (formerly Grow Brixton) Pope's Road development

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by editor, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Ive been continuing to read the consultants report on Pop.

    It's clear that Pop would have been financially unviable if it hadn't got the lease extension. Makeshift would survive due the to backing of hip property developers The Collective as they have Peckham levels now.

    Yet the Council report keeps repeating that Pop has a "commercially sustainable model". I just don't see it. And that's not because I dislike Pop. It's just the facts as Jason writes in the article shows its yet to prove itself as a sustainable model.

    Reading the consultants report it shows how the local authority has had to step in to keep Pop afloat.

    Early on in report it says there have been two steering groups to run Pop. The first a " Council focused steering group". Grow/ Pop almost ran aground at the start. The report implies that it was Council who really got Pop on a more stable basis. Then "entrepreneurism" came into play. ( See page 13 point 18 of report).
    ddraig, Tricky Skills and editor like this.
  2. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    And it's the same story of huge losses and council delusion at Croydon's Boxpark...

    ‘Successful investment’ Boxpark reports a £500,000 loss
  3. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    The above is a post on facebook from someone who's obviously been reading the Buzz articles.

    They seem to be under the impression that public money is paying for "it all".
    Mr Retro likes this.
  4. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Tricky Skills likes this.
  5. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    From what I remember of this thread the argument was that posters like me didn't understand business.

    Even if Edible Bus Stop had stayed involved inevitably it would have had to be more commercial than some of us ( who don't understand business) imagined.

    That the profit share would come online quickly to prove posters like me wrong.

    Well it's not happened.

    Nor is it commercial success.
  6. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    What you have quoted, Gramsci, is the buzz article quoting a Lambeth FOI response. The article's overarching message/narrative/emphasis is by no means "pop has paid back everything it owes to the public purse". It is a bit better than the previous one but still presents information in a confusing way. I'm not surprised people read it and come away with the impression the facebook poster has.
  7. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    It's perfectly clear to me and I'm just an average Joe.
    Tricky Skills likes this.
  8. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Also the Council has its own communications section. Who are paid to put out news of what the Council is doing. Ie Love Lambeth. The internet section of the Council news.

    Love Lambeth

    Up against the paid Council officers who put out news of what the Council are doing are the unpaid writers of Brixton Buzz. The Ed snd Tricky Skills.

    If the Council can't get it's message across with its paid staff then it needs to look at how it's communicating to local people.

    Something incidentally the consultants of the Pop report bring up. Better communication would have improved the perception of Pop.

    So I would not blame Brixton Buzz for this.
  9. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    You're hardly an average Joe! And I mean that as a compliment.

    This is the opening paragraph of the buzz article:
    The last bit in italics - what do you take the intended meaning to be?
    (a) The lease has been granted to allow Pop to pay back money owed to private sources, whilst not requiring it to also pay back money owed to Lambeth Council
    (b) The lease has been granted to allow Pop to pay back money owed to private sources, even though the lease extension is not necessary to help it pay back money to Lambeth Council

    To me it's ambiguous, and I wouldn't be surprised by anyone going with (a).

    You or I might then carefully read and re-read the following text, including the various links to FOI responses and so on, and come to the conclusion that Pop probably does not in fact owe any money to Lambeth Council. Most people wouldn't. Later in the article it's simply stated that

    But then it's not stated that this loan has been paid back. You have to click on the FOI link earlier in the article to find that out, where it's referred to as two separate amounts of 40 and 52k.

    All this is interspersed with a scattergun collection of figures relating to the losses of a company that is not, as far as I can see, involved in running pop Brixton, and details of selected portions of the amounts it owes private entities. Then we are given a figure of last year's loss, and its net liability. No attempt to explain what the latter means.

    I'd not be surprised if most readers of this article give up on trying to understand what all the numbers actually mean, and which ones are relevant.
  10. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I'm not sure anyone predicted that the profit share was going to quickly come online. I think there's been some scepticism from all sides from the beginning about how much it would end up being.

    Do you reckon, with EBS still involved, it would now have generated the profit share the original proposal promised?
  11. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I've had another read and it looks clear to me.

    If the company your refering to is Makeshift then from there website they have three projects. One of which is Pop.

    Our Projects

    Another thing is that Pop isn't liked in some quarters. Which isn't all down to Buzz.
  12. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I haven't trawled all through the old posts but definitely my impression was that profit share was predicted to come online in first years or so.

    My verdict of Pop. I've said this before. And now I'm more sure. If Pop was inevitably to become more commercial then the Council should have just leased the land to a commercial operator at market rent. Then used the income in the area.

    Pop experiment of mixing commercialism with social good hasnt worked.

    It's also caused resentment. Which the Council haven't been able to deal with. It's an experimental project that's divided the local community. In that sense it's failed.
    editor likes this.
  13. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    You've answered neither of my questions, but fair enough.
  14. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    Here's the crock of shit from their website. Where they promise a 50/50 share of the totally non existent profits.

    The line about the land being free only if the project delivers "local benefits to the community" is so gloriously vague as to be utterly meaningless. If they'd just rented the land to displaced arch traders it would have paid more money back (well anything is better than a big fat fuck all) and provided a tangible benefit to the existing community rather than gifting a load of NZ wine shifters, hipster food and drink outlets and property guardians a cheap base.
    Gramsci likes this.
  15. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

  16. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Yes it reads like Lambeth wrote the piece for the Independent.

    Pop didn't get lease extended because it's "so successful". It's not making money. No mention of the profit share.

    It is interesting that the reporters first perception of going to Pop is that it is a "makeshift food court". Not an urban oasis.

    The reason the Council aren't selling the land yet is that they are still working up plans for the area. There never was any intention of a quick sale.
    editor likes this.
  17. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    The article makes a lot of the community investment scheme. Using it in the headline for the article. I'm sure the consultants report has reservations about how well this has worked.
    editor likes this.
  18. Nanker Phelge

    Nanker Phelge Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

    Thread ends.
  19. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    But, sadly, Pop Brixton lives on.
    Gramsci likes this.
  20. Nanker Phelge

    Nanker Phelge Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

    For now
    Gramsci likes this.
  21. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I had a look at the journalist , Hazel Sheffield, who wrote this. I think she might be local.

    She's experienced journalist. Quite a big hitter from looking at her CV. Makes it all the more difficult to understand why she put her name to this propaganda piece for Lambeth Labour. Which is what it is. It's not so much about Pop as about how forward thinking the New Labour Council is.

    I thought she might be in Labour party but can't find anything.

    She has got funding to look at local economy initiatives.

    Some of which look interesting. Link to that on her personal website.

    Hazel Sheffield

    What's particularly annoying about New Labour/ Third Way is the way they will present themselves as anti bureaucracy bottom up Community led politics. See the same with now departed ex leader of Council Steve Reed on cooperatives

    It all sounds good until one sees the practice. Its right wing. I've heard Nu Labour Cllrs exhorting residents to pull their socks up and run services. Raise funds and run services. Like it's a morally good thing. As Steve Reed said way back the Council becoming an "enabler" rather than a " provider" ( of handouts presumably).
    editor likes this.
  22. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    People keep voting them back in though. I wonder what will happen come May.
  23. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    I politely tweeted her and asked if she'd seen the Buzz/Peoples' Audit pieces.
    That's the same kind of thinking behind the nu-Labour love of entrepreneurs. If you're struggling then it's your fault because you're not entrepreneurial enough, etc etc.
    Gramsci likes this.
  24. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Did you get any reply from her? Looking at her CV she is experienced enough journalist to look at other media sites like Brixton Buzz. The whole way the Independent article is written is like a rebuttal of the reading of the consultants report / lease extension posted here and in Brixton Buzz.

    The Nu Labour philosophy was love of entrepreneurs and the City. According to Tony the society was based around an "aspirational" middle with a small minority above and below. A super rich and what he called "hard to reach" section of society. That is the working class was dying out.

    This was all previous the economic crash. Though Tony Blair holds to it.

    Leading lights from the Nu Labour days are now distancing themselves from the now toxic brand of the "Third Way". Heard Blunkett on radio last week denying he was ever Nu Labour.

    The working class vote and the sections of the middle class ( those liberal minded types derided by people like Blunkett) never went away. They left the party but in Lambeth still vote Labour. Not Nu Labour but for the Labour party.

    The independent piece is example of how post Nu Labour is trying to position itself as a progressive alternative. It looks good in national press. It's only if one has to live in Lambeth that one see its not.
  25. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    No, not a peep. Or, indeed a tweet.
    Gramsci likes this.
  26. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Ploughing through the "independent" consultants report I'm yet again wondering how independent it ever was.

    Take this from pages 64 and 65

    As the consultants were aware of different views on Pop they should have gone out and researched them. It's pretty poor a wider sample wasn't used.

    On page 50 "local media platforms" critical of Pop are mentioned. Brixton Blog and Time Out are mentioned as examples of positive coverage. Urban75 and Brixton Buzz aren't mentioned.
    editor likes this.
  27. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    The information used by the consultants depends a lot on Pops own moniteering of its activities. So can hardly be seen to be independent or without bias.

    I notice a lot of the charts used and info is credited to Pop.
    editor likes this.
  28. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    Of course not. We're only the most popular Brixton news outlet and the most popular Brixton forum. :D :facepalm:
    brixtonblade and Gramsci like this.
  29. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Reading the consultants report I got the feeling that the consultants wanted to do wider consultation. That they had looked at Urban/ Brixton Buzz etc.

    They however had officers looking over there shoulder telling them that look Pop management have all this " moniteering" records. Why don't you cut and paste this in your report etc.

    Given that this report had Council officers you going over it with a fine tooth comb it still comes out as critical. Btw the reason the report wasn't published immediately after it was written was that as a senior officer said at the Brixton Neighborhood Forum that officers were going over the report themselves before it went out to public domain. Mmm.
    editor likes this.
  30. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    There seemed to be a bit of a flood earlier (4.30pm). Burst pipe presumably. Water cascading out from the Popes Road side and running down the gutter outside. Lambeth don't have much luck with their waterworks, what with Carlton Mansions and all.
    Wonder who'll pay to sort the Pop Brixton burst out? Is it down to the landlord, therefore more on the rates I wonder?

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