Churchill Councillors support residents in opposition to Nine Elms bridge

Churchill Ward’s three Labour Councillors have reaffirmed their opposition to the proposed Nine Elms bridge. At the Environment Scrutiny Committee on 18th January, Councillor Murad Gassanly, speaking on behalf of all three Churchill Ward Councillors, said:

 

“The Churchill Councillors have raised strong objections to the proposed bridge and ensured local residents views have been made clear to Westminster and Wandsworth Councils.

“We need the Council to be the voice of local residents – we need the council to reject the bridge at any landing point in Pimlico.”

“The report mentions the Pimlico Councillors present at the Bridge meeting but fails to mention that we the Churchill residents were also present and spoke at the meeting. The campaign against the bridge has been led by the Pimlico Alliance, a resident led campaign who have done sterling work in raising public awareness of the impact of the bridge. It is residents who have led this campaign and they who have said time and time again – no to the bridge.”

“If the bridge is a white elephant, a waste of money and unnecessary due to its closeness to another bridge in Pimlico Gardens then these concerns are exactly the same at the Grosvenor Rail Bridge.”

Churchill Gardens residents and ourselves as their Councillors have been clear from the start – we do not see any need for a bridge, our residents do not want a bridge and this is a highly expensive vanity project.

We have written to Wandsworth leader Cllr Govindia putting residents concerns and asking him to shelve this expensive white elephant – Cllr Govindia’s lack of concern and respect was shown by the fact we didn’t even receive an acknowledgement. Cllr Jason Williams spoke to the Wandsworth Guardian saying “We have Chelsea Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge further down, and two new tube stations, plus bus routes.It is probably going to be one of the most connected areas in the country. We want Wandsworth to reverse the decision, stop this in its tracks.”

Wandsworth’s approach to the bridge shows its disinterest, verging on contempt for those of us this side of the river. Rather than genuinely engage with local residents they have adopted a high handed approach enforcing gagging orders on those who sit on a judging panel and refusing to respond to local concerns. Wandsworth could have consulted and worked with local people but from their behaviour it’s obvious they’ve never really wanted to work with in Pimlico but force through a bridge which will have a major impact on Pimlico without even genuinely consulting them first. With Council
leaders from the same party we had hoped Westminster’s lobbying had been more effective,

“Wandsworth’ disrespect for local opinion can be seen by their much repeated claim that the bridge will enable Pimlico residents to visit the Nine Elms Waitrose as if this was the clinching argument. This says a lot about how they view Pimlico as well as their lack of insight to how Pimlico people feel about the bridge.

Let the message from this meeting be clear – Churchill Ward residents and their Councillors do not want a bridge anywhere in Pimlico – we do not want it it in Pimlico Gardens or by the Grosvenor Rail Bridge.”

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