Imperial: Sorry if you couldn’t get in

Imperial College’s Deputy Rector Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz has written to Wye residents to apologise for the fact that some were turned away from the meeting to discuss the Concordat project on January 9.

‘We had an enormous level of interest and, unfortunately, on reaching our capacity of 550, we had to restrict access due to fire regulation and health and safety concerns,’ Sir Leszek wrote.

The college has promised to send a report of the meeting to the homes of every resident in Wye. Sir Leszek says he will try to answer any concerns or questions residents have, by email or writing. You can read the letter and view his presentation to the meeting in our background section here. The initial meeting is just the first of many ‘briefing sessions’ planned for the village and neighbouring villages, Sir Leszek says. More information will be published in due course on the college’s own website.

Comment… Someone needs to have a word with the triumvirate involved in this befuddled mess and explain a few basic elements of public relations. The bad feeling generated by vague deals put together in secret will not be dissipated by a few anodyne PowerPoint presentations and ‘briefing sessions’. Those affected by these plans — which are already threatening to blight both homes and jobs in the area — deserve to be heard. Imperial and its partners should set aside time for listening, not just talking, and institute a proper, formal, open consultative process as soon as possible.

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About David Hewson

Professional novelist, published in more than 20 languages. Creator of the Nic Costa series set in modern Rome. Most recent book the novel of the Danish TV series, The Killing.
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