Just got back from the WISA meeting at Wimbledon Theatre. It was well attended (about 200) considering the timing, time of year, CK’s withdrawal etc. WISA were there (obviously) and so was Andrew Judge of Merton Council.
So, what went down? Well, all this is written without me making any notes and without gauging opinions since I’ve got home. Plenty of mistrust over CK about not turning up as you would expect, complete with the cheap pop during the Q&A about Judge Dredd having the courtesy to turn up (though somebody DID point out the irony of CK not turning up to a meeting that he himself suggested – wonder if he hadn’t have suggested the meeting in the first place would people have the opportunity to have a go? Worth considering).
There was mentioning about the Dog Track (Merton saying that it was the only site in Merton), “our” PL site (we COULD still have it, providing Safeway weren’t going to sell it off for housing), no other sites in Merton, Academy still going strong etc etc. Some things that did prick my ear : Beddington Lane could still be a goer (well it was in 1998) and could well be “pushed” towards CK. WFC are reportedly prepared to pay “over half” for any new site, money could come in share issues or other such fund raising activities. We supposedly are “up shit creek” when the SP lease runs out. Oh, and did I mention that Andrew Judge is a Man City fan? Well he ain’t getting my vote……
My thoughts? Initally at least, it maybe has worked out better that CK didn’t turn up to his meeting because we were at least spared the slanging matches that would have happened. We didn’t really find out much “new” other than what I mentioned above, though I am told that Judge Dredd was being a little bit two-faced after he left the stage. I’ll say no more, other than it seems to tie in with some stories I overhear about Merton’s real attitude towards WFC.
Obviously, CK did him and WFC no favours by not turning up, though IMO only he, Hauger and BRG have any real claim to represent WFC in these sort of meets. Thorley isn’t a WFC employee yet (if he was I’m sure he’d be the substitute today), and Reg Davis is too old/senile/crap/dangerous to represent WFC in anything. I guess Brunswick have their work cut out. Little things annoyed me, like people seemingly asking the same question 10 minutes after it was first answered. I don’t know, I guess I don’t really like public meetings, nothing really substancial happens in them. Are we any further forward? Not really, this wasn’t the “closure” I was hoping for, and certainly think WFC really needs. I’m sure “our” PL will be mentioned again in further campaigns and it will be dragged on, though whether this will really do us any good is anyone’s guess
One final thing I just want to point out, considering that many people are convinced that MK is a dead cert : if the basis for this feeling is based mainly on CK being vague and evasive about it, why was his answer about Tolworth just as vague and evasive? Namely “we are developing a working relationship with Kingston”. Hmm.
More later. Maybe.