London Evening Standard 20/9/13 – ‘Faked’ emails support flats plan for library

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Fraudulent emails have apparently been sent to a London council supporting plans to turn a treasured library into private flats.

Members of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library campaign group — which unsuccessfully fought the closure of the library and five others by Brent council — say they have discovered that false addresses, as well as some of their own, had been used to champion the redevelopment.

The group claim they have evidence that addresses invented or used without consent have been given in online comments and that in one sample alone, 70 out of 78 submissions supporting the development were false.

They say that these have the potential to influence and mislead the public and would have been seen by the council’s planning committee, which will decide if the proposal goes ahead.

Internal correspondence between Brent councillors reveals that they are trying to trace the IP addresses of the online comments. Councillor Roxanne Mashari alerted colleagues to the alleged fake emails. She said: “Abuses of the planning system won’t be tolerated, and the results of our investigations will determine whether or not we involve the police.”

Keith Marks, of Ashburnham Road in Kensal Green, is one of dozens of residents whose addresses were used.

He said: “I was very pissed off. I was brought up here and always used the library as a child — it’s one of the nicest buildings we’ve got in Kensal Rise and it will be such a shame if it gets turned into flats.”

Andrew Gillick, director of Platinum Revolver Ltd and Kensal Properties Ltd, and his agent Nicholas Taylor were unavailable for comment. At last night’s planning committee meeting they said they had no knowledge of the fraudulent submissions.

The Friends of Kensal Rise Library want the building to be retained as a community library.

Taken from the Evening Standard: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/faked-emails-support-flats-plan-for-library-8829637.html

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