They’ve been bleating about consultation, community involvement and keeping us informed for months. But, as some of us have suspected all along, it’s claptrap designed to make us feel all warm and cosy towards Imperial College.
The truth, in case you hadn’t already picked it up from Borys’s ‘let me put this in words you can understand’ comment on January 9, or David Brooks Wilson’s harrumphing impatience with members of Wye Parish Council, is rather different. So what do those ‘nice’ people at Imperial really think of Wye? This:
Nigel Buck is the acting director of estates at Imperial and was intervening in a debate between David Traske — the campus manager at Wye — and Kevin Cope, the property services manager. The ‘enemy’ that Mr Buck refers to is Diana Pound, Wye resident and advisor to the Wye Future Group, pictured right, who had the temerity to ask about the possibility of taking some office space on the campus for her company – Dialogue Matters. After a meeting with Mr Traske, Mrs Pound said that she wanted an office with ‘four desks, four bookshelves, a couple of filing cabinets, some storage, light and airy, loo nearby, access to drinking water for tea and coffee. Good decorative order, phone line/internet access or reduced rental to reflect the need to have it put in’. Mrs Pound said she would prefer something nearer the front of the college.
After some internal discussion, Mr Traske offered Mrs Pound the former Wyseplan building in Occupation road but admitted that it would need to be redecorated and was ‘a bit sub standard’ which is like saying that Fountains Abbey is missing a few peg tiles. It is at this point that Mr Traske realises who Mrs Pound is and decides that he ought to inform his superiors:
Mr Cope, clearly realising that he was on the brink of allowing a cuckoo into the nest, informs Mr Buck and washes his hands of it. Mr Buck then lets slip his true feelings about the Wye Future Group to Mr Brooks Wilson.
In the end, Mrs Pound did not pursue an office at Wye College, thus sparing the blushes of Mr Traske who, we assume, would have been given the embarrassing job of fobbing her off. Or perhaps somebody would simply have written to her, thanking her for her interest but saying that Imperial is not in the habit of providing billets for the enemy when there’s a war on.