THE COUNCIL must tell the truth about its role in sabotaging White City's new health centre (Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle, February 26). The Richard Rogers-designed scheme for the UK's first polyclinic and around 150, mainly affordable homes, was agreed between the NHS and the previous Labour council and sent for planning consent in April 2006.
A technical legal issue delayed the application, but this was sorted out within weeks. However, by then the Tories had won control of the council - and the planning committee.
They refused to grant consent unless the affordable housing was removed from the scheme and replaced by luxury flats - despite promises to overcrowded White City tenants that they would be first in line for the new properties. With the election of Boris Johnson as mayor, the Tories got their way, as he removed any objection to the luxury scheme. But by then the health centre was two years behind schedule, and is unlikely to now be built until 2011.
The NHS has reluctantly decided to site the new services in temporary buildings on Canberra school land. This is hardly ideal but better than not having the services for another two years - and it does have the side benefit of giving Canberra the income to pay for a new playground and ballcourt. To add insult to injury the council stepped in again and tried to grab the money the NHS is giving to Canberra for its own coffers.
Andy Slaughter MP for Ealing, Acton & Shepherd's Bush