Saturday 13 August 2016

response to TfL letter of ignorance

Please stop calling me Mr Sparks, I don't like the formality. I introduced as Chris, corrected you many times during the meeting. Also I sign my name Chris and type it at the bottom of e-mail correspondence. I like Chris. Also, stop assuming Amber's marital status.

I will try to respond to your letter with calm and keep it all in line with your points. Although you do state in paragraph 10, that you won't respond. Because of the amount of incorrect information that i can back up with an audio recording of the meeting, you may wish to reconsider. I will correct as I go, just so that we are on the same page. I will circulate these emails with your delivery of the consultation to the residents for you proposed loading bay.

One other thing before i start responding. When I left your offices, we spoke at your reception for about 5 minutes. You were friendly, shook my hand twice and left me believing that you understood what has happened and the poor way we have been treated all along. Seems you are not what you said, and either I was naive to your tactics or something else happened.

OK - in Para.1 you say to clarify your position on communication. It doesn't come until Para.10.

in Para. 2 you say you will consult and inform in due course. It should have been done along time ago. We have been negated, ignored, forced to jump though hoops. - you invited us in and we told you that it was un-consulted, bolted on for other reasons than were ever stated.

in Para. 3 you say I need to take up with Thames Water. I made it clear by email, in that meeting more than 5 times and in all other correspondence and newspaper articles, that i have done these things over and over for 5 years. It's Thames Water and your property and Islington BC. You all know about it, I have reported it in many different ways. We are waiting. it has been reported as leaking for 26 years. I was in the newspaper in January 2012 and received a response from the CEO of Thames Water. They are aware. You are aware. Everybody is aware.

in Para. 4 I can see you focused on only a few words in a very long statement. Someone will have to bury or support the first victims of the danger you are creating. I want to hold some of your money to be able to assist these people, when they need it. Call it what you like - I prefer insurance held on a risk, that you won't entertain or even do a risk assessment at a bottleneck you have created. Also I have never vandalised anything, nor intend to begin. Maybe you are a vandal. I said that i would expose gash works and particularly where the contractors have put new paving stones over the top of old, broken wonky paving. It should have been lifted, levelled and the then new. Cosmetic needs to be done right or you end up with the same shonky path.

in Para. 5 you say you don't want to buy the pub. I never expected you to. And I said get 3 surveyors reports and go with the middle one - why you made that sound like 3 times the value is great tactics, but not what i said or fair. I stand by fairness. I really do hope that all your resources have been allocated responsibly. I was making a point that we exist. You said you worked in a pub for 2 years selling Stella - I actually won't remark at how you sounded.

in Para. 6 you really did't listen to what i said and took a few words out to make it sound like I am going to stand in the road and be belligerent. Obviously call the police if you think I have done something to infringe safety or the law. I have never had this happen. If it were to happen then I think the police will want to know why. I would only imagine that being the case if: the plan was flawed, drawings were incorrect, danger was present or disregard for pedestrian safety on a busy road with new movements and pollution without consultation. So hopefully, you have nothing to worry about.

in Para.7 you say nothing about my requests for communication or consultation. Is that just a mistake? Or maybe it's just an awful taste, that it is all we have ever asked for and now it's not even worth lip service.

in Para. 8 you say whilst you are happy to work with me.. you don't care how we feel, what we think or even how we do business. It's nearly finished and you do not have a drawing. Quite bad.

in Para. 9 you infer that I have been threatening contractors and your project manager and the police have been called. They have not contacted me by any methods. I would like to speak to someone about this - this does seem like harassment. I am 1 skinny man, they have gates, security, 50 guys who work on a building site, phones etc. I have never caused any fear or danger. I have asked a lot of questions. So far not one serious, honest answer. The water still leaks, we still need to unload and i see risk on my door that you have created. Answers???

in Para. 10 You say "As we have reached a ‘stalemate’ we do not intend to continue to respond to further emails or contacts from you on the scheme. Any further comments made will not be responded to but will be logged without action." - odd word stalemate. means: a position counting as a draw, in which a player is not in check but cannot move except into check. - At least we can play again. Knights move !! - So you choose not to speak, discuss, communicate, consult, work with or even accept we exist. - Case officer, 2 emails, 1 meeting, stalemate, end. 

Thanks for the ombudsman's details. I hope it won't come to that.

You really should not walk away from concerned residents, business owners, school children, disabled and the elderly, you have a responsibility. I only ever wanted to help. You have shown to be friendly at the door and the throw knives in my back.

I did expect more from TfL. I don't know why, just thought, why would they invite me into talk?
I did not expect to see Maria Rafi snatching and fighting with plans. I did not expect to be not a member of the public. You have treated us like animals. and now the barriers have gone up.

All I have is an audio recording and 5 years of emails to everyone who needed to know.

 I would prefer you to respond. I can handle a change of opinion. 


Friday 12 August 2016

TfL's reply to my post meeting letter

I would just like to clarify that not everything in this letter is true. My response will reflect this.

 12 Aug 2016, at 17:51, CUSTOMERSERVICES@TFL.GOV.UK
Dear Mr Sparks and Ms Knight
Following our meeting last week to share our proposals for a new loading bay in the vicinity of your premises, I am writing to clarify some of the points raised and our position regarding communications going forward. 
Our revised proposals will be subject to consultation as we advised following your advanced viewing of the plans. We propose to circulate this to local residents and businesses in due course. 
You mentioned a water leak is a concern of yours and we appreciate the points that you raised, however, as we have advised previously, the pipes and any leaks from them, fall under Thames Water’s responsibility. It is therefore for them to investigate and repair any leaks or problems with their infrastructure. We continue to work with Thames Water in respect of the work we are undertaking but as for any other problems that you are aware of on Archway Road, you will need to refer these to Thames Water directly. Similarly your comments about the water being lost by the nearby school needs to be reported to them as they are responsible and we cannot intervene. 
We were surprised and concerned by your offer to accept an amount between £50,000-£100,000 as ‘hush money’ to allow us to complete the work. We will not agree to any payment with the intention that this would lead to us carrying out our work without disruption. We were further concerned that you advised that once completed, you would ‘lift the paving stones up anyway’. I should remind you that any intentional damage to our infrastructure would be considered an act of vandalism and reported to the police.
We have no intention of making you an offer for your premises and operating it as a business ourselves. We certainly would not consider a payment of three times the current market value as you suggested. We are a public organisation and we must allocate our resources responsibly. We cannot justify the cost of purchasing a business simply to facilitate the introduction of a change to the road layout without disruption. 
We were also concerned by your threat to obstruct the A1 for a period of three days in protest against our proposals and the revised layout. Your assertion that it would make you ‘millions’ in press coverage at the risk of a fine being imposed on you under the Highways Act 1980, is again a tactic that we do not condone or appreciate. Should you attempt to block the A1, the Police will of course be requested to attend and take action to ensure the highway is free of obstruction. 
Your request that the works be carried out correctly; safely, securely, environmentally sound, with communication and with consultation, will be carried out. We have a commitment to deliver the proposed improvements in line with our policies and general construction best practice. 
We feel that whilst we are happy to work with you and propose acceptable solutions to your concerns, you remain closed to any suggestion other than to leave the loading bay where it previously was, move the proposed crossing, leave the subway in situ etc. when we have already advised on several occasions that these options are not viable under the new scheme. 
I understand from the project manager that you have recently threatened our contractors and that they have had to involve the Police. As I have advised previously, unauthorised entry to the site, aggressive or threatening behaviour towards our staff or contractors will not be tolerated and if such behaviour does occur, we will request the Police to attend. 
As we have reached a ‘stalemate’ we do not intend to continue to respond to further emails or contacts from you on the scheme. Any further comments made will not be responded to but will be logged without action. 
You have asked if there is an ombudsman and you are free to approach the Local Government Ombudsman if you wish. I have enclosed their contact details below should you wish to do so.
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Or you can email them via their website at:
Kind regards
Gareth Long PMICS
Case Management Executive
TfL Customer Services
DO NOT DELETE.............................
DO NOT DELETE............................. 

Saturday 6 August 2016

Letter to TfL contact - post meeting at Palestra

Here is how Gaz will start his Monday morning : Gareth,
RE: the meeting last Thursday.
Firstly I would like to thank you for making at least real contact with a view to moving forward.
As I said many times in that meeting, we have only ever wanted to be taken seriously, contacted and have good, safe working relationship with all. We are an independent, free of tie, community pub, with fantastic customers.
The community are not pleased about the delivery of all the pre consultation letters were never delivered here. Instead, in Tuffnell park. This is cruel.
The audio recording of the meeting is very clear, and I would like to address many new issues. Maybe not all in this email.
You denied anymore guests than Amber (Co-owner), that I had to demand. But wasn't informed of the weighty side of the 4 of you. It was intimidating.
Why the introductions started 15 minutes after the meeting start is beyond me.
The lady who vehemently denied Amber from holding, photographing or taking a copy of the clearly last minute anti social plan without consulting with the residents. They are furious. They will be contacting you. We are a community and pub. Also, she said some awful things, I will take them up separately.
I'm glad you recognize some of the real issues and the time I have spent desperately seeking help before you infringe your own T & C's and further pollute this area by decreasing levels of safety and never repairing infrastructure. I have 100s of emails to support the non transparent and extremely ignorant methods of non communication and poor highway maintenance. Also hours of video. Most can be viewed at YouTube.
The communications officer, Elsa. Could you provide me with direct contact with her department head, please.
The other lady, could you provide her details also , please.
I'm not too worried about the tall guy constantly checking his watch, not really wanting to listen to the concerns. But he could show interest and possibly not interrupt guests while they are speaking. Please pass it on.
To sum up that meeting.
There is no final plan.
Pubs need extra special care.
No consultation was delivered
The 26 year Thames water leak is a disaster and dangerous. Diseases breed in warm weather and water.
The loading bay . Please let me draw you something, but I would like to use my own pen, at my own desk. I invite Max 4 people from TfL to watch magic flow into a reasonable solution. I will cover all hospitality and expenses. Any day soon, at any time is good, but this week is best.
The risk assessment we need to do to honour the new clear risk, danger and worry you have created with a cover up because of islington, developers and a bus station crisis. All could have been averted. You will gulp when I show you.
In my view there are too many errors. I will be more than happy to help you with any difficulties you may perceive.
Speed is of the essence. So far, after 5 years, I think you finally see that we exist and matter. Remember: If anyone I know is injured or killed by these works and the connected infrastructure, I will forward the families every single email pertaining to these issues. I hope you understand why I have methodically kept collecting and pursuing.
Please show me the finished plan. It's all I have ever asked for. How can you start without knowing where to end. Failing to plan, is the same as planning to fail.
We will get to the bottom of this.
Again, thanks for being the 1st person in 5 years to take the time to at least hear the voice of the community and understand the dangers.
I do hope you give me all I request.
A final plan
A meeting
The water leak to stop.
Less gash works.
A loading bay that never involves Despard Rd or the residents.
Remember we work more hours in a week, than you do in a month.
For me, the above tasks should have already been done. But I will give you till Friday
I only get one chance and a few seconds to get everything right, in my line and of business. Please step up and make the machine move quicker. You all email each other, have corporate responsibility and a watchdog. It's called an emergency meeting. They will come.
Looking forward to booking you in.
Kind regards