Parents at St Mark’s primary school in Hanwell are campaigning to stop their school being knocked about by a badly thought out expansion scheme and instead build on adjacent land at 42 Lower Boston Road.
I have seen emails between London Assembly Member Onkar Sahota and a parent at St Markâ€™s Primary School in Hanwell regarding his ownership of adjacent land at 42 Lower Boston Road. The site is already part of the school plot and purchase of the land would make it much easier to expand the school. Instead the council is proposing to knock the original, locally-listed building about and rob the children of play space.
Sahota owns the land which was certainly known to all the Ealing councillors and senior officers back in November 2013 when the council was originally trying to buy the land from Sahota, see my blog dating back to then.
Unbelievably, in recent correspondence Sahota has been misleading about his ownership of the land. I say misleading but to tell such a direct untruth is to lie. According to Land Registry Sahota owns the land personally.
Instead of just admitting as much to St Markâ€™s parents Sahota has said:
Thank you for your email and for the opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings.
I write as a local GP and can confirm that the site you refer to was indeed purchased by the Family Health Practices Group (FHPG) a number of years ago. The plan was for the site to build a new community medical centre, and plans were submitted and approved by the Council for this purpose. Unfortunately, primarily as a result of the financial crisis which hit in 2008, funding for the project was delayed and ultimately fell through, however the ambition to develop a new medical centre remains.
Family Health Practices Group does appreciate that the ability to deliver a new medical centre is no longer as assured given the current financial climate. For that reason we are also currently in conversation with the Council about alternative uses for the site including for school expansion.
On a day to day basis I and my colleagues at the Family Health Practices Group have little to do with the management of this site and have professional advisors to do this on our behalf. I would however reiterate that in principle the Family Health Practices Group is not opposed to the idea of disposing of this site so it can be used to provide additional educational space. Either way, our intention is and always has been that this site is used for the provision of a community resource, whether that is educational or medical.
I hope that you will understand that it is important for me to keep my two roles, as a London Assembly Member, and as a GP at Family Health Practices Group, separate. If you have any more questions about this matter please write to me at the Family Health Practices Group, 322 Greenford Avenue, Hanwell, London, W7 3AH.
In these five paragraphs Sahota tells two direct lies and is probably telling a third.
- Lie 1: The site was not purchased by FHPG. It was purchased by Sahota himself on 12th May 2006 for Â£730K according to Land Registry. FHPG is not a legal entity so therefore could not own a property. The operating company that Sahota operates his doctorsâ€™ surgeries from is called Healthcare 360 Limited. FHPG is merely a brand or trading name of Healthcare 360 Limited.
- Lie 2: When Sahota uses the first person plural and says: â€œI and my colleagues at the Family Health Practices Groupâ€ he is trying to elide the fact that he is the sole decision maker. Healthcare 360 Limited is 100% owned by Onkar Sahota. The site is owned by him.
- Lie 3: According to these estate agents particulars Sahota tried to market the site for “alternative uses” at the end of May 2014. So unless this was just an artifact from an attempt at marketing the site that never went public Sahota’s talk of “provision of a community resource” is similarly misleading.
Why is Sahota at pains to obfuscate the commercial arrangements under which he does business? Sahota is sole owner and sole decision maker with regard to this site. No-one else needs to be involved in this decision. Indeed no-one else can be. If this site does not end up in community use there is only one person to blame. Sahota says he wants â€œto clear up any misunderstandingsâ€. You canâ€™t clear up a â€œmisunderstandingâ€ by lying.