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Local Issues to Shout About

Marion Gettleson on the RBKC Council and Portobello

By Marion Gettleson

I've been in the antiques business in Portobello for 50 years. RBKC has been Conservative (Tory) since the 1850s, when the area was farmland. The Council is run by a small 'Cabinet' of Councillors. In reality, power is largely in asingle pair of hands. To make matters worse, RBKC lacks political opposition; so is effectively a one party state.

Something serious is brewing down the Portobello Rd Market.

 
 
Unknown to most of us who live in the area, large parts of the Portobello Road Market have been bought up by one individual (disguised behind various Limited Companies) whose grand plan has included the eviction of longstanding traders and replacing them with a huge flagship chain store . At the end of December 2009 the first large-scale public salvo was fired; now the cat is out of the bag for all to see: All Saints on the corner of Portobello Road with Westbourne Grove, a warehouse style mega store the length of six shop-fronts along Westbourne Grove and four down Portobello Road, covering a total area in excess of 15,000 sq ft. In one single blow more than 150 traders and market stallholders vanished from the Portobello Road Market to be replaced by a giant fashion retailer.

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