Camden on tsunami alert

THE council chamber speech of the week: Sally Gimson’s contribution to Thursday night’s planning meeting in which councillors granted permission for the new dams on Hampstead Heath. Speech of the week that is because, even in a debate as hotly contested as the dams, it seems to have split opinion more than most.

She is adamant that she needed to lay down in no uncertain terms why people “downstream” were at risk from a flood, and that it’s her duty to explain that, as much as nobody wants the majesty of the Heath to be spoilt in any way, lives are at stake. “Imagine the horror if pupils walking to the four large secondary schools near the Heath were swept away in the torrent and killed,” she warned. 

But opponents to the dam scheme were not happy with the journalist’s fearful language, as she described a family unable to outrun the surf. There were sarcastic laughs from the public gallery when she went on to describe the prospect of people dying in a ‘tsunami’.

Those laughs were all too much for fellow councillor Maeve McCormack, who was sat next to her. You can see the three-stage process on the webcast: shock, angry face, tweet.

For Sally’s part, she went on to explain the tension: “Those who live at the bottom of the hill who felt those at the top have taken a dismissive and completely unsympathetic attitude to their perfectly reasonable and understandable concerns.” Amid more disruptive rofling upstairs, she added: “Indeed it is, and you’ve just shown it.”

You can make your own minds up with the clip below… 



3 Comments on Camden on tsunami alert

  1. Paul Braithwaite // January 19, 2015 at 4:40 pm //

    And it was a very sound and fine speech by Sally G.

    I watched the WHOLE three and a quarter hours and it was democracy in action and a credit to Camden. If I’d still been on DC (and I was for eight years until May), I too would have voted to approve. But no plaudits for Maeve’s mediocre speech.

  2. This still leaves me … astonished that Cllr Gimson can make such ludicrous statements. They can only betray either gross misunderstanding of the whole project, and the nature of the risk of the flooding, what could cause it, and how it can be mitigated. Or a deliberate misrepresentation of the project. Either way, Cllr Gimson surely must be embarrassed by these kinds of assertions, in the cold light of day?

    But I can’t help wondering if Cllr Gimson has ever done anything before to try and save herself and fellow ‘downstream’ residents, and thousands of schoolchildren, from the constant, grave, mortal threat that she states has been hanging over them? If it’s been such a ever-present danger, wouldn’t you be doing all you could, as a Councillor and resident at personal risk from a tsunami, to get the impending disaster averted? Why have we not heard about this before? Unless…maybe it’s not such a huge threat after all?

    Baffled. Utterly baffled.

  3. Swallows and Amazons…swallows and amazons….

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