Big day today. Well over an hour of cross examination from Redbourne’s QC, trying to undermine the campaign, downplay the loss of the building and big up the proposed replacement.
The QC provided a helpful critique of this website, suggesting we’ve been using Fairview’s tower image as the basis to get people to object to Redbourne’s. It was politely pointed out that he was looking at the Background section and it is, err, background and at the end of a long history of 110 Walm Lane on that page. Also asked how we know followers on Twitter are actually local, implying all and sundry could be following us. We agreed, then gave a tutorial of what Twitter is and how we know local people care.
All this was intended to undermine what has been, so far, a well orchestrated and vocal campaign to retain the building by a group of people without the formality of meetings and constitutions. Our collective expertise has got us this far and the QC seemed vexed that we dare to tread into the realm of professionals and experts.
STQ bit back, asking where the guarantees are that a pub will actually open at the end of all this. Silence. STQ noted Brent’s dire record of pub closures (40% since 2001). Silence. Polical chaos and economic collapse. Silence. STQ asked if the contract between the pub operator and Redbourne carried a guarantee that it would actually open. Silence. The point finally landed that we have words on paper and no matter what the good intention, the signs are not good.
Later we cross examined Redbourne’s architect. Why weren’t Busy Rascals and STQ invited to the exhibition of the plans? Why weren’t parents at Busy Rascals engaged with? Bizarre response – not everybody likes to go to a pub. (Note, Busy Rascals runs from the pub). They claim the community space is great, but haven’t actually asked people who might be using it. Some light at the end of the tunnel; they’ve worked on a pub conversion before so we’re keen to hear how that might work.
Day 3 promises more technical stuff, but important if the Appeal is successful….