Posts Tagged ‘Drive-Thru McDonald’s’

McPriceless

May 1, 2014

McPriceless: the most hated company in the world.

McTheft: stealing time from your low paid workers.

McJobs: mind numbing, soul destroying jobs at poverty wages that have to be subsidised with government payouts.

McTumbledown: a 1720s coaching inn demolished for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

McCouncillors: local councillors who do back room deals with the Fat Clown to destroy local heritage.

Fernburga: a town in the Fat Clown’s pocket.

And to tell the Fat Clown what you think, use the hashtag

#RonaldMcDonald

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Close all the pubs down now!

October 30, 2013

Brandon Lewis, the government minister for McDonald’s, thinks we should fill our High Streets with tacky fast food outlets like McDonald’s

Close all Pubs!

Close all Pubs!

Health, obesity? Bah, humbug, that is just some socialist namby-pamby Nanny State.

If the poor are too poor to eat bread, let them eat burger. That horsemeat shit is cheap enough. What do they expect at 25p for an industrial burger, prime rump steak?

Did me no good, and look at me, I’m as fat as a pig. Soon I will be a fat slob like my boss Eric Pickles.

A pickle, did you say? Yes, I will have one of those too, well ok maybe two or three.

It did not do Tweedledee and Tweedledum any harm being fat. Reminds me of the plebs casting their vote, a choice between Tweedledee or Tweedledum. Oops, not supposed to say that, but I cannot tell the two apart. Or as it plebs I am not supposed to say. It is so hard being a minister, knowing what one can and can not say. I am a new boy, did I tell you that?

Pass me the ketchup old boy. What’s this, what do you mean McDonald’s no longer do Heinz, something about a spat between them and Warren Buffett, Buffet appointed to head Heinz a crony from Burger King.

Did I tell you my mate Dave likes a burger? Or at least he was photographed holding one near his mouth. Looks good for the plebs. They did not tell you, did they, he threw up afterwards? Or was it Ed? I can never tell one from the other, they both spout the same bollocks. It must be something to do with going to the same school. Or was it Ed and Boris went to the same school, or was it Boris and Dave went to the same university? See what I mean, so much to get your head around, and always some pesky scribbler or journo trying to catch you out.

Oops, I was not meant to tell you any of that either.

Oh, it is so hard being a government minister, with no one telling you what to do or say, especially when you are the new boy. It is a bit like being School Prefect.

When I was little it was easy, we had Nanny telling us what to do. Then at school, it was Sir telling us what to do. I was not sure about the bit, taking down my trousers in his study. Oops, he told me not to talk to me about that.

I have got an outing to look forward too. It is not all boring stuff being a minister. I am going to a place called Farnburger. They used to have a stupid name like Farnborough, but they saw the new name had much greater appeal.

Farnburger twinned with McDonald's

Farnburger twinned with McDonald’s

Farnburger is my type of place. They are going to knock a dirty old pub down for a nice shiny new McDonald’s. Who wants these old buildings cluttering up the place, they look so untidy, no uniformity? And it was a pub. Who needs pubs when you can go to Tesco? They are about to open a 99P Store and soon an Adult Amusement Arcade (a gambling den between you and I).

I can see I am going to have so much fun as minister for High Streets and Pubs.

— Brandon Lewis

Farnburger

October 23, 2013
Farnburger twinned with McDonald's

Farnburger twinned with McDonald’s

Farnburger, The Rotten Borough of Rushmoor, twinned with McDonald’s.

Excellent subvert, for the McTown of Farnburger.

Three weeks ago, the McCouncil of Rushmoor, granted planning permission to demolish The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

The Tumbledown Dick: The fight has only just begun

October 16, 2013
Save the Tumbledown Dick

Save the Tumbledown Dick

Last Wednesday night (Wednesday 9 October 2013) we were witness to the unedifying spectacle of Rotten Borough of Rushmoor councillors prostituting themselves for McDonald’s, with planning officials acting as their pimps.

Councillors, with the honourable exception of Alan Chainey and Frank Rust, showed arrogant contempt for the 590 objections, to the thousands who signed two petitions, to the local community who do no wish to see c1720s The Tumbledown Dick, until its closure a popular live music venue, destroyed for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

The fight is not yet over, the fight has only just begun.

Big companies hate bad publicity.

Costa were granted planning permission for Totnes. Such was the level of anger locally, Costa were driven out of Totnes with their corporate tails between their legs.

McDonald’s have not forgotten the McLibel Trial which cost them dear. They must be looking with abject horror at the negative publicity that is being generated in Farnborough, negative publicity which can do them nothing but harm.

The day after the planning decision, local councillor David Clifford posted a gloating message on his blog, welcoming the decision to demolsih The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s. Not surprising, it attracted a large number of negative posts. He has now been forced to block further comments.

Not content with gloating, a few days later David Clifford posted a question: Did we want a live music venue in Farnborough? This was to rub salt into the wounds. Not surprising, further negative comments.

Having done a Gerald Ratner on the local community, David Clifford now appears to be practising the Joseph Goebbels School of Management. Repeat a big enough lie, often enough, and it will be believed. Only it is not working. No, demolishing The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s, is not McDonald’s saving The Tumbledown Dick, no matter how hard you try to convince the local community otherwise.

A storm of protest has erupted on the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor facebook page. The rare exception are known local trolls.

People are reposting on their facebook walls, re-tweeting, re-blogging, and being encouraged to do so, to send what is happening viral.

McDonald’s must be looking at all this with abject horror. Do they really wish to be associated with this bad publicity? Do they really wish to be associated with the bad practices of a thoroughly rotten Council? To face a possible boycott, which could go national and trend on twitter? They already have one Drive-Thru in Farnborough, what many already regard as one too many.

The wisest decision McDonald’s could make, is to pull out, and give the local community what they want, their pub back, their live music venue.

Pull out and leave the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor with egg on its face.

In his presentation to the planning committee, a senior McDonald’s suit, said how they are committed to giving to local communities. Well here is the chance, refurbish The Tumbledown Dick, then hand to the local community to run as a local arts and cultural centre, live music venue.

Note: A worldwide boycott of KFC has caused 70% drop in profits! What can be done to KFC, can be done to McDonald’s.

Note: Bolivia said no to McDonald’s. If one country can say no, the rest of the world can say no.

Goodbye Dick – hello McD

October 14, 2013
planning meeting

planning meeting

Last night the Development Control Committee, chaired by the young, talented and Tory Cllr Gareth Lyons had the task of considering the application to convert the Tumbledown Dick into a McDonalds restaurant and drive-through, which had been recommended by Rushmoor Planning officers for approval.

The meeting was, as expected, well attended by a little over 100 members of the public. Given the hype I was surprised there were no television crews present other than a cameraman from the poorly read Aldershot / Farnborough News Group (part of the Guardian group I believe) – I understand they have put details on their web site which I assume has more readers than their local rag. I have nothing against the local paper – just find it incredibly boring and unimaginative to the point I have stopped buying it. The Council also have details on their web site – http://www.rushmoor.gov.uk

The report prepared by officers was comprehensive and precisely set out the issues. The Chairman, Cllr Lyon, handled the meeting extremely professionally. Fran Beauchamp, Chair of the Friends of the TDD, spoke against the application and a representative from McDonalds spoke in favour. After a discussion the recommendation was approved 7 for and 3 against which means the plans can now go ahead. Which means McD now saves the TD Dick

I for one will be extremely pleased to see the area cleaned up at last, and the site used and enjoyed by local families. I’m lovin it….

— Councillor David Clifford, Rotten Borough of Rushmoor

When most people read what David Clifford had posted on his blog, they assumed it must be a parody, no councillor would treat people with this level of contempt, no one would express glee that that a local heritage building, one of the oldest buildings in Farnborough was to be demolished for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

What David Clifford has posted must rank alongside Gerald Ratner saying what we sell is crap, and John Gummer trying to shove a burger down the throat of his daughter at the height of the foot and mouth epidemic.

We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, ‘How can you sell this for such a low price?’ I say, because it’s total crap.”

Gerald Ratner added that his stores’ earrings were “cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich but probably wouldn’t last as long”.

Ratner in 1991 wiped £500 million from the value of Ratners jewellers with what has become known as ‘doing a Ratner’.

Foot in mouth does not even begin to describe this blog post and the attempts at justification.

When in a hole, it is always advisable to stop digging.

It is difficult to believe a ward councillor could be so crass, so out of touch with those in his ward, or express delight at the demolition of a much loved heritage building.

Though this delight is not new. Last year, in an e-mail exchange (dated 27 April 2012) between Rotten Borough of Rushmoor chief executive Andrew Lloyd, then borough solicitor Karen Limmer, and someone only identified as Richard:

Richard: This may be just what is needed … all in a gift wrapped un-solicited package … The sun is shining at last … Lots of potential for a great weekend with this package.

Andrew Lloyd: Well said!

Six months later, Andrew Lloyd, in an e-mail to councillors (dated 29 October 2012), denied all knowledge of the sale to McDonald’s!

What did David Clifford do to help save The Tumbledown Dick, a c1720s pub, until a its closure in 2008 a popular live music venue, a building that predates Farnborough, when all that existed was a few isolated buildings and tracks over a desolate heath.

Er, nothing.

Did David Clifford force enforcement action by the Council on the owners Bride Hall?

Not as far as we know.

Members of the local public tried. The Council refused to serve enforcement notice.

But what we do know, David Clifford and Gerald Howarth MP, went behind the backs of the local community and stitched up a dirty little back door deal with McDonald’s, to demolish the building and leave the façade, and even that will not remain untouched as the windows are to be changed.

He appears to be completely out of touch with the views of local people on the pub. They want to see the building retained, re-opened as a pub, live music venue, local community, arts and cultural centre.

If anyone thought re-opening the pub would cause problems of antisocial behaviour, then wait until a Drive-Thru McDonald’s opens, traffic congestion, litter, antisocial behaviour. Or visit Farnborough Gate, or read the police reports on Farnborough Gate, or see the objections the Metropolitan Police raised to a Drive-Thru McDonald’s opening near Croydon.

It is difficult to see how, in the light of appalling local health statistics, far worse than the national average, a Drive-Thru McDonalds is good for Farnborough.

A recent Public Health England report showed how bad the health and related statistics were locally, far worse than the national average.

  • 2,600 children in the Borough live in Poverty
  • In Year 6 children, 18.5% are classified as obese which is significantly above the – national average
  • GCSE attainment is significantly below the national average
  • Violent crime is significantly above the national average
  • Obese adults are above the national average

Health is a material planning consideration. At least one school is within the zone which national planning policy does not permit fast food outlets.

The Milestone Surgery (opposite the site), local doctors, a retired naval surgeon, two local head teachers had all raised concerns on health grounds.

Primary School Head Teachers objected – Mrs Sue Harris, Pinewood Infants and Mrs S Masters, Fernhill Primary. Both teachers eloquently stated how they are striving to help their school children understand healthy eating and that this undermines that, plus one of them mentioned the soft play centre and how it would encourage poor eating and less interactions within families. They both also mentioned traffic.. in fact EVERYONE mentioned traffic!!

Did David Clifford, as ward councillor, attend this important planning meeting?

From his comments, it would appear not. The chairing of the meeting by Gareth Lyon was appalling, the committee members sat around the table (with the honourable exception of Alan Chainey and Frank Rust) were a public disgrace.

Did David Clifford, as ward councillor, read the Agenda, bother to read the critical analysis of the Agenda, or take the trouble to read the 590 objections? It was necessary to read the objections, as all the Agenda contained was soundbites, and read as a PR exercise for McDonald’s, well argued objections, were not put before the committee.

Again, it would appear not.

Chairing of the meeting by Gareth Lyon was a disgrace. He came across as a clueless idiot. He was a puppet with unelected planning official Keith Holland whispering in his ear, telling him how to think, what to say.

He failed to keep order of the meeting. When councillors strayed of topic, he failed to bring them to order. When councillors lied, he did not correct.

He lacked impartiality. When councillors spoke in favour of McDonald’s, he did not ask officials to comment. When councillors spoke against, he asked officials to comment.

A chairman should have casting vote only. He declared he would be voting in favour of McDonald’s.

Gareth Lyon is a carpetbagger, hoping for a safe Tory seat. I trust any selection committee looks at the video of him chairing the planning committee, they will see how useless he is, and not wish to touch him with a bargepole.

The Farnborough News is an imprint of the Surrey Advertiser. Both are owned by the Trinity Mirror Group. I agree worthless rag, rarely worth buying, but I would expect councillors to buy it out of their tax-free allowance (something that should have been chopped in austerity).

John Wall buys it, so he can crow about a letter from his one and only supporter.

The report by planning officials was seriously flawed and read as a McDonald’s PR exercise.

The meeting was a disgrace, those councillors who spoke in favour of McDonald’s were a disgrace, they had not done their homework, did not know what they were talking about.

The two honourable exceptions were Alan Chainey and Frank Rust, who had bothered to do their homework, knew what they were talking about.

Far from people of Farnborough in favour of McDonald’s, 590 objections, several thousand signed a petition.

Local doctors objected on health grounds as did two head teachers.

The Tumbledown Dick did not cause a problem of antisocial behaviour, litter, traffic congestion. McDonald’s will cause all three.

65 de-skilled, part-time, low-paid, zero-hours jobs, subsidised by the State.

McDonald’s will drain money out of the local economy.

McDonald’s will externalise costs to the local and national economy: litter, traffic congestion, pollution, antisocial behaviour, health.

The site did not need clearing up, it was not a focal point for rubbish, though will be if McDonald’s occupy the site.

The building was in a very poor state of repair due to wilful neglect by Bride Hall and the refusal by the Council to serve enforcement action.

Serve a Freedom of Information request on the Council and you will see they refused to take enforcement action. That is assuming you get a reply as they are currently refusing all FoI requests, even though a criminal offence to do so.

There were more than sufficient planning grounds to reject McDonald’s, but councillors were told to ignore them.

It was perverse that the Council spent taxpayers money on legal advice to ignore planning policies, in order to push through an application on behalf of an American fast food chain.

No one asked why this was done. No one asked to see the legal advice or that it be placed in the public domain.

Planning has a quasi-judicial function. Can only determine based on the evidence. Asked to reach a decision on the basis of legal advice no one saw.

Since when was a heritage building saved by demolishing it?

I have yet to meet anyone in favour of demolition of The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s. I have though met many who are against.

Anyone passing through Farnborough, the only image they will now have is McDonald’s. Mind you, the few who visit, rather than pass through, will find it is such a dump, they will agree McDonald’s is an appropriate image.

In the summer, the clowns we have as councillors, fell over backwards to destroy four local businesses at Firgrove Parade, including an excellent Indian restaurant which one of these clowns referred to as a café. On Wednesday night (9 October 2013), the same clowns, fell over backwards to promote a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

The one thing we did not see Wednesday night was a well informed debate, we saw half-truths, lies, and personal prejudices come to the fore. No attempt was made by the useless chairman to bring any of these clowns to order. The two honourable exception were Alan Chainey and Frank Rust, two councillors who at least take their roles seriously and exercise informed scrutiny.

When we look around and see the state of Aldershot and Farnborough, then look at the clowns we have on the committee, it is easy to see why.

The comments that have appeared on David Clifford’s blog, indicate how out of touch he is. Probably the only time a blog post by a councillor has been read by more people than can be counted on one hand.

David Clifford has now blocked further comments on the grounds that they have become repetitive, ie they show how out of touch he has become.

But not to worry, you can write those comments here.

To add insult to injury David Clifford has today added a new post, calling for a live music venue in Farnborough!

You could not make it up if you tried.

Councillors vote to destroy The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s

October 14, 2013

Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt. — Mark Twain

Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. — Benjamin Franklin

When you watch this video of a planning committee meeting that took place at the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor Wednesday night of last week (Wednesday 9 October 2013), you can see why the smug arrogant head of planning Keith Holland refused to live stream the meeting over the net, and why he also refused to record how councillors voted.

We saw Wednesday night, councillors prostituting themselves for McDonald’s, with planning officials acting as their pimps.

Before watching the video, you may wish to read a critique of the planning Agenda, which was so baissed and pro-McDonald’s, that it read as a PR exercise for McDonald’s.

You may also wish to reflect on the fact that someone within the Council, has claimed £20,000 from McDonald’s, that is, someone within the Council had a vested interest in this being pushed through.

Note how the councillors batting for McDonald’s, are all singing from the same song sheet.

First speaker is Rod Cooper. He complains The Tumbledown Dick is in very poor state of repair. This is correct, there are holes in the roof, water is pouring into the building every time it rains. The building is in poor state of repair due to wilful neglect by offshore tax dodger Bride Hall. No one mentions the fact that the Council has refused to enforce repairs.

Where were they five years ago when the pub was initially closed? Could it be they were outside protesting at its closure?

Tumbledown Dick demo 2008

Tumbledown Dick demo 2008

Ignorance of Rod Cooper. Health, obesity and fast food restaurants are material planning consideration. Islington has this built into their Local Plan, unlike the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor, a backward local council with clowns as councillors, which does not, which possibly explains the very high number of fast food outlets and the appalling local health statistics, especially on obesity.

The A325, into which the Drive-Thru feeds, is already over capacity, at peak times stationary or at walking pace.

Rod Cooper insults those who fought hard to save The Tumbledown Dick, who are far better informed than he, and yet he takes great exception when later that evening they refer to him and fellow councillors as scum, along the lines of ‘look what the cat has brought in, they have got a bloody nerve’ And no, contrary to the malicious lies now being spread, these councillors were not subjected to a torrent of verbal abuse. Indeed, considering how the public were treated by their elected representatives and how uspset folk were, it is amazing people managed to remain calm and polite.

Far from ward councillors and local Member of Parliament working hard on behalf of the local community as Rod Cooper falsely claims, they went behind the backs of the local community and behind closed doors, stitched up a dirty little deal with McDonald’s to demolish the Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s. It is this grubby little deal, the councillors are doing their best to push through.

The day before the meeting, Gerald Howarth MP posted on his website what most have referred to as a load of bollocks, but then no one expected anything better from Howarth. What has surprised people is what David Clifford posted on his blog the following day, gloating at the result, it was so bad, many thought it to be a parody.

The post by Gerald Howarth exposed him as a hypocrite, as it contradicted with what he had said last year.

Demolishing the building is not bringing it back into use. George Orwell would be proud of this use of newspeak.

To the left of Rod Cooper (to the right as viewed) sits committee vice chairman Brian Thomas. He has declared in his Register of Member’s Interest, he is a pub landlord. He should have declared an interest and left the room. Not only did he fail to do so, not only did he remain, but he voted. This one act alone is more sufficient to have the vote declared null and void.

Publican and Landlord of La Fontaine Public House, 92 Windmill Road, Aldershot, Hants, GU12 4NJ

Sainsbury’s are referred to as a landowner who will not let access through (to the McDonald’s).

Er, why should they? Why should McDonald’s let their car park be a site of antisocial behaviour, litter, for the customers of McDonald’s?

John Marsh, congratulates Rod Cooper on going in to bat first (on behalf of McDonald’s). After all we are all for one, one for all, standing standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Roland McDonald against the great unwashed occupying the public gallery.

John Marsh goes on to show his appalling lack of comprehension of local heritage. He thinks the Fast Museum, Wind Tunnel, Farnborough Abbey are older than The The Tumbledown Dick. No attempt is made to correct him, or his later statement there is no evidence as to the age of The Tumbledown Dick.

Public try to correct the garbage from Marsh, and are told to keep quiet by the chairman.

Begs the question the source of garbage spouted by Marsh, possibly The Farnborough Society, or made up on the spot, either is equally likely.

How generous, the chairman is allowing the public to attend the meeting.

The public have a right to attend.

Marsh demonstrates that he has not even bothered to read the 590 objections. Objection were made on many grounds, that it was a McDonald’s was one of these objections, on multiple counts. Clearly McDonald’s were going to be the focus of objection in that they were the planning applicant.

Marsh peddles the same nonsense as Rod Cooper, health is not a planning matter.

Health is a planning matter, local councils have been directed by government that health is a planning matter, Islington has health and fast food built into their Local Plan, but the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor have ignorant cretins like Marsh who sit on a planning committee and know nothing about planning.

No attempt is made to correct Marsh.

Locally, poor health statistics, but who cares when when we can rail against Nanny State and blame Bad Parents.

A recent Public Health England report which showed how bad the health and related statistics were locally, far worse than the national average.

– 2,600 children in the Borough live in Poverty
– In Year 6 children, 18.5% are classified as obese which is significantly above the – national average
– GCSE attainment is significantly below the national average
– Violent crime is significantly above the national average
– Obese adults are above the national average

Marsh falsely claims there is no alternative for the site. The local community wish to buy the pub, it is listed as an Asset of Community Value but Bride Hall are refusing to sell, they would rather sell the site for redevelopment.

Demolishing the building for an unwanted Drive-Thru McDonald’s does not bring it back into use.

Alan Chainey: Inadequate parking, does not meet local planning policy, highlights local traffic congestion, highlights existing traffic problems at Farnborough Gate. Calls on Bride Hall to carry out the necessary repairs on the building and bring it back into use, or if not willing to do that, then sell to the local community as an Asset of Community Value. Turning The Tumbledown Dick into a fast food restaurant is totally inappropriate. Will not be supporting this application.

Chairman refers Alan Chainey to officials to comment. Unlike previous speakers who came out with total garbage, where no referral to officials to comment, no attempt to correct lies, half truths and what amounted to little more than personal prejudice (and that is even when they remained on topic).

Car parking policy is dismissed out of hand. No requirement for McDonald’s to comply. In the Agenda, it is suggested users of the Drive-Thru should park elsewhere in the town and walk to the McDonald’s, entirely missing the point that it is a Drive-Thru. Rely on McDonald’s for advice to ignore council policy on car parking.

We should not forget, that when the same committee in the summer rubber-stamped the destruction of Firgrove Parade and cutting down of healthy trees for an ugly 80-bed Premier Inn hotel with a Beefeater Grill on the ground floor, 7 car parking spaces were deemed adequate, with everyone expected to park in the town centre.

Nor should we forget that the reason there is spare car parking capacity on the town, is because this committee with its past crass planning decisions, has systematically destroyed the town centre.

The official who is talking nonsense on car parks, is the idiot who a couple of years ago installed parking charging in North Camp (until then free parking) which had a detrimental impact on the small businesses in North Camp.

Official claims traffic generated not a problem. To talk of almost 90 vehicles an hour, as one and half vehicles per minute at peak time, is extremely misleading, as assumes the vehicles are evenly spread out. The probability of which approaches zero.

Local taxi drivers are of the view the road cannot cope.

Roundabouts are at or near capacity. The A325 is stationary or at walking pace during peak times late afternoon.

a Drive-Thru McDonald's will feed into this

a Drive-Thru McDonald’s will feed into this

a Drive-Thru McDonald's will feed into this

a Drive-Thru McDonald’s will feed into this

What is important is not that the number of extra vehicles is low compared with peak flow, but whether those few extra vehicles are sufficient to reach a tipping point, and the local network gridlocks.

Brian Parker comes across as a blithering idiot. He starts off by asking what ages were those in the audience five years ago? This has no relevance, and the chairman should should have immediately brought him to order. No intervention by the clueless chairman. Parket is ridiculed by the public gallery, but no intervention by the chairman other than to demand the public be quiet.

Parker falsely claims The Tumbledown Dick was shut down due to lack of use. Shouts from the public, no attempt at correction by chairman or officials.

Parker claims the food was atrocious. Did he ever eat there? Of no relevance to planning application. Still no intervention by the chairman. He claims the food was bad, but welcomes McDonald’s.

For some reason what his grandson had to say, is of relevance.

He is against The Tumbledown Dcik re-opening, because of what two old ladies he met in Victorian Road told him.

If they fear, as he claims, the pub re-opening, then they are going to get a shock when a Drive-Thru McDonald’s opens with its anti-social behaviour and litter.

Parker a laughing stock.

Excellent presentation by Frank Rust on health and obesity. He emphasises that obesity is a big problem, cites local polices and has been instrumental in drawing them up. He is not against fast food per se, as there is good fast food, he is against junk food. He is appalled that the Agenda says little weight should be given to health, he says great weight should be given. He is a school governor of a school in Aldershot whose intake is a deprived area, major problems with obesity. He cites the government statistics on obesity, type 2 diabetes, self esteem, employment practice. More than half the population overweight or obese. The cost to the National Health runs into billions of pounds. On health aspects alone, cannot support the application.

Note: For Rushmoor the health statistics are worse than the national average.

Diane Bedford waffles, says she does not like McDonald’s, wants to save The Tumbledown Dick, and yet when the vote is taken, she votes for McDonald’s.

As with Alan Chainey, chairman refers Frank Rust to officials for comments.

Unbelievable, Keith Holland admits, that because they had so many objections on health, the Council took legal advice to see if possible to ignore health as a planning matter!

No one, not a single councillor, questions why taxpayers money is being spent to see how to circumvent health as a planning matter to aid a planning applicant McDonald’s known for the contribution it makes to obesity and poor health.

Keith Holland notes the site is classed as within the town centre where there are already a large number of fast food outlets. Reasons for not granting planning consent for one more, but perversely this is seen as grounds for granting permission for yet another, not only another, but one whose capacity will exceed that of all the others combined.

He misleads by saying no planning required for change of use to a restaurant, but omits, planning is required for Drive-Thru. He also fails to mention, if Article Four Direction was issued, all planning permission for the site could be quashed, and an application would have to be made for a restaurant.

He lies when he says not in close proximity to a school. It is in close proximity to St Peter’s.

Committee are told to ignore health as a planning matter, based on legal advice no one has seen, that has not been placed in the public domain, that is not presented to the committee by a legal officer, eg borough or acting borough solicitor.

The planning committee has a quasi-legal function, it can only reach a decision based on evidence put before it, which can also be seen and challenged by others. They are asked to act on legal advice that no one has seen, that is not published in the Agenda, that has not been placed in the public domain.

Roland Dibbs blatantly lies to the committee, claiming every time he went by, there was a police van outside. If, as Dibbs infers, there was such much trouble at The Tumbledown Dick, it would have lost its licence.

Dibbs, as well as talking garbage, comes across as a cultural Philistine. He objects that there is the West End Centre in Aldershot, which is heavily subsidised, therefore we do not need The Tumbledown Dick in Farnborough.

We have a commercial cinema in Aldershot. Why therefore do we need a commercial cinema in Farnborough, a commercial cinema to which the Council is subsidising with taxpayers money?

No one has asked for a pubic subsidy to run The Tumbledown Dick.

Lies from Dibbs, but no intervention by chairman.

Dibbs dismisses the traffic concerns.

Dibbs claims McDonald’s has a reputation for clearing up rubbish. Obviously he has never walked outside a McDonald’s. At the McLibel Trial, evidence showed the problems McDonald’s causes with litter. And their burger boxes are not recyclable.

Marsh has a second bat on behalf of McDonald’s. He asks why was the building refused a listing by English Heritage. Keith Holland answers in his summing up.

Chairman thanks officers for a very thorough report. Must be his idea of a sick joke, it was as thorough as his chairing of the meeting and read as a PR exercise for McDonald’s. He claims there has been a worthwhile democratic debate. Er, no, we heard garbage from councillors who did not know what they were talking about who clearly had not read the representations made by the public, who showed contempt for the public. Councillors who were a disgrace. The honourable exceptions were Alan Chainey and Frank Rust.

Unbelievable the claim from chairman Gareth Lyon that the officers and their report had not shown bias. He clearly had not bothered to read the detailed analysis by the local community.

Scrupulously fair and honest report from officers. Ha, ha ha.

A building at risk being retained. Er no, it is being demolished.

Summing up by unelected planning Keith Holland. He claims demolishing the building is saving it. No mention that the Council policy on building of local importance is that cannot be demolished.

Legal advice was sought to ignore that the building is an Asset of Community Value. This has not been tested in Court. Legal advice not presented by a legal officer, ie borough or acting borough solicitor

Legal advice that no one has seen, that has not been put in the public domain.

Issues raised by objectors, were not put before the committee.

Laughable that a Drive-Thru McDonald’s will contribute to the regeneration of the town centre.

The Tumbledown Dick would have contributed to the regeneration, a Drive-Thru McDonalds will not, it will drain money out of the local economy.

The only reason the town centre is in a dire state, is past crass decisions forced through by Keith Holland on behalf of developers.

The councillors voted seven to three to trash The Tumbledown Dick.

John Marsh, Roland Dibbs, Diane Bedford, Rod Cooper, Brian Parker spoke against The Tumbledown Dick.

Alan Chainey and Frank Rust spoke very eloquently and were the only ones who knew what they were talking about, were in support of The Tumbledown Dick.

Unlike their colleagues who were a disgrace, Alan Chainey and Frank Rust did their homework and exercised due diligence and scrutiny.

Later that evening, two of these clowns Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, had the nerve to appear in the Tilly Shilling. They were asked to explain their disgraceful behaviour. Their pathetic excuse, was that they were lay people and did not know what was going on (as apparent when Rod Cooper opens his mouth), and could only vote how they are told to vote by officials. In which case, why are they on the committee?

Tumbledown Dick group ran a very good campaign. They will equally run a very good campaign to rid the council of councillors who show arrogant contempt for the local community, and who forget whose interests they are elected to serve, and it is not the Fat Clown.

Tragedy for The Tumbledown Dick

October 9, 2013
planning meeting

planning meeting

Rushmoor this evening lived up to its name as the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor when the dysfunctional planning committee voted 7 to 3 to demolish the c 1720s Tumbledown Dick, a popular live music venue, for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

Before the meeting, the head of planning had demonstrated his arrogant contempt for the local community by refusing to live stream the meeting over the net, make adequate arrangements for the numbers wishing to attend. The planning agenda read like PR propaganda for McDonald’s.

The meeting was packed, the venue not adequate for the numbers who attended. The screens were not visible to everyone. The Farnborough News was filming. Hopefully they will upload all their footage to the net to enable everyone to see the disgraceful behaviour of the committee members, bar two.

Excellent presentation by Fran Beauchamp to REJECT the application from McDonald’s to destroy The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

McDonald’s sent a senior executive to address the meeting. He claimed McDonald’s provided good training, excellent job prospects, would create 65 jobs maybe 100 jobs and that McDonald’s was good for Farnborough. He claimed McDonald’s was good for local communities. He claimed McDonald’s cleared litter from the local vicinity. He failed to mention the 65 jobs were part-time, minimum wage, zero hours contacts. He failed to mention the externalisation of health costs, the cost to society of dealing with obesity, type 2 diabetes. His litter patrols would appear to miss a lot of litter.

The committee was told legal advice had been obtained, to ignore planning policy. No one questioned why such perverse action, waste of public money. No one asked to see the legal advice, to ask that it be put in the pubic domain.

The committee has to act on the evidence put before the committee. They were asked to act on legal advice they had never seen, did not know where it had come from, or who had given it. No one asked that the legal advice be put into the public domain.

The legal advice sought was to ignore that health is a material planning consideration and to ignore that The Tumbledown Dick is an Asset of Community Value.

The councillors who spoke, with the exception of the two who spoke against the application, did not have a clue what they were talking about, and often rambled about stuff that was of no relevance.

The councillors who spoke in favour of McDonald’s, clearly did not know what they were talking about (and often blatantly lied), had not bothered to read submissions from the public.

It was claimed a police van was often parked outside The Tumbledown Dick, that it was not viable and was not very busy or popular, that there was a problem with noise and antisocial behaviour.

John Marsh was as always a disgrace. He showed arrogant contempt for the local community. He claimed health and obesity were not a planning issue.

It was referred to that The Tumbledown Dick was sitting derelict. This is not only the fault of Bride hall, is also the fault of the Council for refusing to serve enforcement notice.

Councillor Alan Chainey spoke about the traffic and on several other issues. Councillor Frank Rust spoke on health. These were the only two councillors who knew what they were talking about and said they would vote against. These were the only two who seemed to know what they were talking about.

When Alan Chainey and Frank Rust spoke, eloquently and well informed, their comments were referred by the chairman to planning officials to comment on. This was not done for councillors who spoke in favour of McDonald’s, no matter how ill-informed or inaccurate their comments, no attempt was made to correct, the only correction came from shouts from the public, who were immediately told to keep quiet.

Milestone Surgery across the road from the site had an application to expand rejected on the grounds of traffic. The committee was told by officials traffic from the Drive-Thru would have no impact, it was even claimed it would not generate traffic, it would be cars passing by which would drive in.

a Drive-Thru McDonald's will feed into this

a Drive-Thru McDonald’s will feed into this

a Drive-Thru McDonald's will feed into this

a Drive-Thru McDonald’s will feed into this

Fact: The traffic on this stretch of the A325, a major arterial highway at peak times is stationary or walking pace, it backs up from the roundabout to the next roundabout.

It was claimed there was no traffic problems at Farnborough Gate, the location of a Drive-Thru McDonald’s a mile up the road.

Fact: Traffic backs up from Farnborough Gate onto the A325, this in turn backs up down the slip road leading off the Blackwater Valley Road.

The committee were told to ignore health issues, because legal advice had been obtained. Legal advice no one has seen, has not been placed in the public domain. Were told to ignore that Islington has health as a planning consideration when determining the location of of fast food outlets. The committee was told to ignore the health issue of fast foods, as people could exercise.

The committee was not told that local doctors, a retired naval surgeon, two local head teachers had raised concerns on health grounds.

Primary School Head Teachers objected – Mrs Sue Harris, Pinewood Infants and Mrs S Masters, Fernhill Primary. Both teachers eloquently stated how they are striving to help their school children understand healthy eating and that this undermines that, plus one of them mentioned the soft play centre and how it would encourage poor eating and less interactions within families. They both also mentioned traffic.. in fact EVERYONE mentioned traffic!!

Nor was mention made of a recent Public Health England report which showed how bad the health and related statistics were locally, far worse than the national average.

– 2,600 children in the Borough live in Poverty
– In Year 6 children, 18.5% are classified as obese which is significantly above the – national average
– GCSE attainment is significantly below the national average
– Violent crime is significantly above the national average
– Obese adults are above the national average

Health is a material planning consideration. At least one school is within the zone which national planning policy does not permit fast food outlets.

Councillor Frank Rust spoke eloquently on health, he referred to lots of policies and statistics, the obesity epidemic at a local school, the rise in Type 2 diabetes. Obesity was not only a weight problem, it led to low self-esteem, poor performance at school, low job prospects, mental health problems.

His comments were dismissed out of hand by official as not relevant, as little weight should be placed on health.

Councillor John Marsh demonstrated his level of ignorance, by stating health was not a planning issues, referred to a Nanny State, and it was the responsibility of parents if kids were fat.

Roland Dibbs came out with the perverse comment, that he could not see a need for a live music venue in Farnborough, when there was the West End Centre in Aldershot. And for good measure he objected to the West End Centre receiving public subsidy.

Fact: Aldershot is not Farnborough. The Tumbledown Dick never received public subsidy when it ran as a popular live music venue. The local community are not seeking public subsidy to run The Tumbledown Dick as a live music venue.

Fact: The Barn in Farnham, West End Centre in Aldershot, The Tumbledown Dick in Farnborough, would establish a network of live music venues, cultural art centres, running through the Blackwater Valley. Musicians need venues to play, artists need exhibition space.

If Dibbs cannot see a need for a live music venue in Farnborough, when there is one in Aldershot, then why is there a need for a multiplex cinema in Farnborough when there is one in Aldershot, and why is public money being used to subsidise a commercial cinema in Farnborough?

Note: Originally reported that Marsh made the comments on West End Centre and no need for a live music venue in Farnborough. It was Dibbs, and this has now been corrected.

And to reinforce that he is a blathering imbecile, Marsh claimed Farnborough Abbey, Fast Museum and the Airship Hanger were older than The Tumbledown Dick. And if the public had not yet got the message Marsh was a complete moron, he claimed there was no evidence for the age of The Tumbledown Dick.

No attempt was made to correct what Marsh or Dibbs had said, the chairman did not ask the officials to comment. The only time the chairman asked the officials to comment, was when a councillor spoke in favour of The Tumbledown Dick.

Most of the time, those who spoke in favour of McDonald’s rambled on matters of no relevance. One fool, wanted to know what age were the people in the public gallery when they visited The Tumbledown Dick! When councillors rambled off topic, no attempt was made by the chairman to bring them to order.

Tumbledown Dick demo 2008

Tumbledown Dick demo 2008

One of the dumb questions of absolutely no relevance to the planning application was where were the objectors in 2008 when The Tumbledown Dick closed? Could it be outside The Tumbledown Dick at a demo at its closure? Not that we would expect councillors to know this as they seem to be pretty clueless as to what actually goes on in Farnborough, let alone what people want. Though they seem to know what developers want (and be happy to give it to them).

The chairing of the meeting was appalling. The chairman was nothing but a puppet, with head of planning Keith Holland (an official) pulling his strings and all the time whispering in his ear, telling him what to say, how to think.

The committee was repeatedly told, a Drive-Thru McDonald’s was what Farnborough wanted.

Fact: 590 people sent in written objections, several thousand signed two petitions to object.

In what was a classic example of newspeak (George Orwell would have been proud), the committee was repeatedly told by head of planning Keith Holland demolishing The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s would save the building, help retain local heritage, that it was bringing the building back into use.

Whilst it is true, bringing a heritage building back into use, is the best way to safeguard a building, its demolition is not.

The best way to safeguard The Tumbledown Dick is to bring it back into use as a pub, live music venue, local community arts and cultural centre, which is what the local community wishes to do, but they are being denied the opportunity.

The Tumbledown Dick is listed as a building of local historical importance. It is contrary to that policy to demolish a locally listed building. No reference was made to the policy.

The committee were instructed by Keith Holland to ignore that The Tumbledown Dick was listed as an Asset of Community Value. Legal advice had been sought because the Localism Act was new legislation. No one has seen the legal advice. It has not been tested in Court. Thus worthless.

John Marsh praised local ward councillors and local Member of Parliament Gerald Howarth for the hard work they had done to save The Tumbledown Dick. Gerald Howarth posted similar bollocks on his website the day before.

Fact: Gerald Howarth and the ward councillors went behind the backs of the local community and stitched up a behind closed doors dirty little deal with McDonald’s. It was that dirty deal that Marsh and other low life scum councillors were determined to rubber-stamp.

When the local community tried to have a meeting with local councillors to discuss the future of The Tumbledown Dick, that meeting was vetoed by an official with the Orwellian title of Head of Democratic Services. You could not make it up if you tried. It also exposed the lie from Marsh and his cronies, that the local community had not done anything.

Why has the local community not done anything, was repeated by several of the councillors batting for McDonald’s.

Attempts to talk to developer Bride Hall, to discuss or negotiate the sale of The Tumbledown Dick have also been refused.

It is known, someone within the Council is claiming a fee of £20,000 from McDonald’s for this scheme. Who, we do not know as McDonald’s will not say. Someone within the Council had a vested interest in seeing these plans approved.

A year ago, in an exchange of e-mails (dated 27 April 2012), Rotten Borough of Rushmoor chief executive Andrew Lloyd, then borough solicitor Karen Limmer and someone only identified as Richard, could not contain their glee at the news that McDonald’s were to acquire the site, subject to Rushmoor granting planning consent.

Richard: This may be just what is needed … all in a gift wrapped un-solicited package … The sun is shining at last … Lots of potential for a great weekend with this package.

Andrew Lloyd: Well said!

WTF!

Six months later, Andrew Lloyd, in an e-mail to councillors (dated 29 October 2012), denied all knowledge of the sale to McDonald’s!

Rushmoor are denying all Freedom of Information requests on their dealings with Bride Hall and McDonald’s. A matter the Information Commissioner must investigate and if necessary, bring a criminal prosecution.

Following the planning meeting, a couple of the councillors had the nerve to walk into the Tilly Shilling. They took exception to being referred to as scum, though it was pointed out to them, that was how they had referred to the clientele of The Tumbledown Dick.

There was an attempt to have a reasonable conversation with them, to try and understand why they had behaved the way they had, after all they are our elected representatives. They did not though stay to talk as they clearly felt intimidated, though it should be emphasized, no attempt was made to intimidate. All what was learnt, was that they were lay people, did not understand what was going on, and felt they had to vote how they were told by officials.

If they are not up to the job then they should not be on the committee.

In Guildford, councillors on the planning committee, know their way around the planning system, know planning policies, and do not have officials telling them how to vote.

In Waverley the planning officials say they do not tell councillors how to vote.

There should be an impartial presentation of facts. This is not happening in the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor.

Where now?

There is probably grounds for a Judicial Review, the Secretary of State has been asked to look into what happened, how the meeting was conducted.

It is easy to see why it was not wished for the meeting to be live streamed over the net. Too many people to bear witness to the travesty that took place Wednesday night.

There should be an independent investigation into the dysfunctional planning department.

Head of planning Keith Holland should resign.

A boycott of McDonald’s?

John Marsh, Roland Dibbs, Diane Bedford, Rod Cooper, Brian Parker spoke against The Tumbledown Dick.

Alan Chainey, Frank Rust spoke very eloquently and were the only ones who knew what they were talking about, were in support of The Tumbledown Dick.

Top Story in The Digital Mission Daily (10 October 2013).