How does Portobello station sound to you?
FOR MANY MONTHS NOW, WE’VE BEEN WORKING HARD ON OUR CAMPAIGN FOR A CROSSRAIL STATION AT KENSAL AND WE HAVE HUNDREDS OF ACTIVE SUPPORTERS TO PROVE IT.
WE HAVE COMMISSIONED STUDIES INTO THE REGENERATION AND TRANSPORT IMPACTS WHICH DEMONSTRATE THE OVERWHELMING STRENGTH OF OUR CASE. WE HAVE ALSO OFFERED TO UNDERWRITE THE ENTIRE CONSTRUCTION COSTS.
IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS WE WILL RECEIVE THE RESULTS OF ANOTHER STUDY – INTO THE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY THAT WILL BE UNLEASHED BY A FULL DEVELOPMENT OF THE KENSAL SITE. WE HAVE ALSO BEEN THINKING ABOUT NAMES. UP TO NOW WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT A STATION AT KENSAL, BUT FRANKLY KENSAL DOESN’T HAVE MUCH OF A GRIP ON THE PUBLIC IMAGINATION. THE LOCAL NAME THAT DOES, IS, OF COURSE, PORTOBELLO.
IN HISTORICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL TERMS, NAMING IT PORTOBELLO WOULD BE TOTALLY JUSTIFIED. IN THE 18TH CENTURY, KENSAL SAT ON THE NORTHERN TIP OF PORTOBELLO FARM AND PORTOBELLO ROAD IS A VERY SHORT STROLL FROM WHERE THE STATION WOULD BE BUILT. WE THINK IT IS JUSTIFIED IN TRANSPORT TERMS TOO. PLAINLY THE NAMES OF STATIONS AND DESTINATIONS SHOULD, WHERE POSSIBLE, MATCH. OUR AMBITION IS THAT THE NEW STATION WOULD NOT ONLY CARRY PEOPLE EAST AND WEST TO NEW JOB AND LEISURE OPPORTUNITIES, BUT ALSO DELIVER VISITORS TO NORTH KENSINGTON AND, IN PARTICULAR, PORTOBELLO ROAD. THE FINAL DECISION RESTS WITH CROSSRAIL SPONSORS BUT, AS UNDERWRITERS, THE COUNCIL CAN EXPECT TO HAVE SOME INFLUENCE. WE WILL START INTRODUCING THE IDEA OF A PORTOBELLO STATION INTO OUR CAMPAIGN MATERIAL. CAN YOU SEE FLAWS WITH A PORTOBELLO CROSSRAIL STATION?
COUNCILLOR SIR MERRICK COCKELL
LEADER OF KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA COUNCIL
How many does it take to evict a quiet football fan?
Having attended QPR’s final home game of the season on Sunday as a Stoke City supporter, I stayed behind to witness the celebrations of the jubilant home fans.
Unfortunately stewards wanted me to leave. I explained I wished to applaud the team but one went to the police and six officers came to evict me. I stood at the players’ entrance with QPR fans and enjoyed plenty of banter with them and I was able to get pictures with players as well as Stoke City coach and QPR legend Gerry Francis.
It seems the days of mutual respect are gone and one football fan can take up the time of eight stewards and six police officers to enjoy his day out at a game.
Libraries to be enhanced by tri-borough approach
Contrary to the impression given by your anonymous letter writer (Library cuts to be hugely disproportionate, May 4), the Royal Borough’s library service will be enhanced by the council’s tri-borough approach.
Despite serious financial pressures, we are maintaining all of our six libraries and their opening hours. Residents can now also use libraries across the boroughs and make use of their specialist collections.
Yes we have made changes to staff structures and numbers, but this has been done in full consultation with staff and trades unions, and has been looked at across all three boroughs.
In creating a shared service, we have made significant efficiencies through streamlining senior management (four posts across the three authorities where there were 10), combining and reducing staff teams behind the scenes, and introducing new working practices to improve customer service while reducing costs.
Through tri-borough, we will continue to offer an excellent library service, with strong professional leadership and the right number of front-line staff, with a strong focus on innovation and development to meet our current and future needs.
Of course residents will make up their own minds. Perhaps those who came to the recent World Book Night celebration with author Sophie Kinsella, or who come to our Adult Learners Week events later this month, or the Summer Reading Challenge we are planning for younger readers later in the year, will think differently to our anonymous critic.
Our libraries will continue to play an important role in the borough. We are proud of them and I am very confident that by working closely with our neighbours they will thrive when library services in other parts of the capital are under pressure.
COUNCILLOR ELIZABETH CAMPBELL
Cabinet member for Education and Libraries
Kensington and Chelsea Council
The stark truth about peregrine chicks
You report that three peregrine falcon chicks are being observed on the roof of Charing Cross Hospital, thanks to high-definition cameras installed in the nest by ‘naturist Simon King’ (Three more births at hospital, May 4).
I do hope it wasn’t too chilly for him up there without clothes.
Hadyn Park Road