How do you Goo?

Today (11th September) the Hounslow Chronicle carried the article below.

Click on the image article to enlarge
Click on the image article to enlarge

This article presented arguments about the proposed Nishkam school as a clash between two residents’ groups Keep Osterley Green (KOG) on the one hand and Give Osterley Opportunity (GOO) on the other. In fact there is no such clash because GOO is not a genuine residents’ group but a concoction of Nishkam. Its very poor website was set up by a Nishkam employee (Balraj Singh Burmy).

The online version of the article gives a picture of the group standing in the precincts of the current temporary Nishkam school

GooPeople

One of the figures in this picture is self-described on Linkedin as a Nishkam employee (we originally provided this person’s name but have removed it at his/her request). Of the others none appear to be known locally except one who is a parent of a child at the school and who recently moved away from Osterley. Apart from that we can find no one who is aware of these people. It seems highly likely that they are either Nishkam employees or parents of children at the school and that few or none of them live locally to the proposed site of the school.

The Nishkam employee mentioned above tried to join the KOG group a while back. The fact of now appearing in this picture plus the nature of his/her employment suggests that the reasons for doing so were disingenuous.

The first mention of the group that we are aware of came in a letter by Liz Fitzgerald who is the agent for the development (she works for Vincent and Gorbing). That letter, dated 10th August, to planning officer Stephen Hissett, refers to GOO as a residents’ group. How, we have to ask, did the agent for the development know about this supposedly spontaneous residents’ action group long before the slightest public manifestation of its existence. The answer is not far to seek.

It is a pure fiction that GOO is a spontaneous reaction of local residents to the work of KOG. It is an expression of panic of Nishkam, the Educational Funding Agency and Vincent and Gorbing at (1) the massive public opposition to the proposed school and (2) the detailed objections being developed by KOG based on the deep defects of the application in terms of planning guidelines and also planning law.

The EFA is a public body spending public money.  They spent £11,750,000 of our money to buy the White Lodge (Conquest Club) site with no consultation at all with local residents about the project (as required by guidelines at every level). We have yet to find out who is paying for the very expensive public relations firm Forty Shillings who has now been taken on (late in the day) to try to turn the tide of public opinion. We sincerely hope that this is not yet more public money.

The EFA and Nishkam clearly expected no serious opposition to this development. They thought it was a “done deal”. Their submission papers seem to have been produced on the assumption that no one would ever actually read them. Unfortunately for them we did. And what we found was sloppily produced material, poor arguments, nonsense and even falsehoods. Now they are getting into hot water and showing signs of panic. Their best bet would be to withdraw the application and think again. Too much public money has already been wasted.