Putting The Record Straight

This page is necessary in order to record the public opinions and actions of members of management who bulldozed through the regeneration of 2003.

Firstly, some facts.

 The Juniper Square was destroyed without a vote of the co-op, inspite of the radical change of use being undertaken, and the fact that management could not promise to replace the facility being destroyed.

The level of verbal and physical  intimidation offered by different management members in their haste and desperation to push through their personal plans was quite alarming. And the fact that LBS stood by and sanctioned it was even more disturbing.

The level of indifference to children's facilities displayed by Chair Nick Cattermole when the garages were still crawling with rats and full of industrial garbage was disturbing enough:

"I think the kids have got quite enough facilities now." 

Mr Cattermole also endorsed the outburst below by the then treasurer at a management meeting. A creative discussion about the building of a community centre for use as an office, nursery for working mothers, and as a play and support facility on the site of the derelict garages was under way when the treasurer loudly intervened:

"Community centre! I'll f****ng burn the f****ng thing to the f****ng ground!"

No member of the management team at the time or since has chosen to apologise for this outrageous act of bullying. It can only be assumed that they therefore endorse the sentiments expressed. They have been asked to dissociate themselves from the statement, and have refused.

The abuse and obscenites of the secretary at meetings became a regular tactic at meeting when the subject of a community centre was raised. On more than one occasion, she screamed obscenities at the entire meeting and ran out, clearly unable to deal with disagreement any other way. This was confirmed by the threats of violence offered by relatives and friends of the secretary at various times on staircases and in the forecourt towards any members who they did not agree with. An actual physical assault took place at a meeting.These attacks were reported to the police. 

Nick Cattermole again justified of the use of physical violence at the regeneration meeting of September 2003. The only response he offered to a victim of one of these unprovoked attacks, which he had not witnessed, was:

"I heard you had it coming."

Both Juniper Management and Southwark representative Ben Beck, who did witness the attack, subsequently refused to condemn it. And no apology was offered to any of the victims.

This unparalleled level of hostility, combined with the abysmal negativity of the management committee at the time, caused several members and residents to abandon any faith in the co-op as an institution, and has led to the expulsion by kangaroo court of one member, and the decision by others to simply move home. 

For the cost of the proposed football cage, it would have been possible to resite the existing tropIcal plants from their current traffic island site to raised beds on the garage area, and to re-lay the original square area with a child-friendly surface and screen the area from the nearest flats. This would then leave room for the vital community centre at the south east end of the site. But as Juniper management are personally antagonistic to the whole idea of being able to provide a complete service to residents, a succession of white elephants is all we can expect.