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Westminster Council’s ‘people’s awards’ idea is just a distraction

03 March, 2017

• WE hear a great deal about fake news and lies these days but nothing about their equally deceitful cousin, deception news.

That’s where “news” is used like a fairground conjuror’s use of a flamboyant assistant to draw the punter’s eye away from the truth.

An example of this can be found in the February edition of The Westminster Reporter, put out by Westminster City Council.

Here Councillor Robert Davis encourages us all to get behind great architecture in what he calls the People’s Choice Awards.

Here the people of Westminster are being urged to congratulate the suppliers of big, bright, shining buildings.

Why is this deception news? The simple fact is these buildings, many of which are likely to remain underused for a long time, are being highlighted to distract the eye of the punter away from the chronic affordable homes crisis that is destroying the social structure of the city.

Westminster has the most rough sleepers in the country possibly up to 300 at any time.

But worse still it has more than 2,500 families in temporary accommodation approximately half of which have been exiled by the council to other parts of the UK, away from family, friends and support networks. These buildings will do nothing to address this reality.

The awards are a sideshow, Bob. What the people and families of Westminster need are truly affordable homes to live in, not trinkets and baubles they can only stare at.

PAUL HEASMAN
Pimlico

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