These gates have now been opened. That much is True.
So True, funny how it seems always in time but never in line for dreams. Sound familiar? It should. And it might prompt you to ask yourself if Spandau Ballet were being strangely prescient when they performed those lines back in the 80s. Can it really be that Gary Kemp was gazing into the future and mulling over the challenges to be faced by Councillor Nicholas True who, having made it to Leader of Richmond Council at a very difficult time, must surely now be facing a real dilemma of having to deliver the dream of developing the riverside site against a background of budget cuts.

It’s an uneviable position for the Council. The previous Lib Dem preferred scheme involving lots of private sector involvement might now be appearing more attractive after all but it’s important to remember that any riverside development is for the long term. If that means leaving it derelict for another couple of years rather than rushing through an unwanted scheme then that is something the Twickerati will just have to accept, difficult as it may be.

In the meantime, Councillor True has opened the gates to a small part of the site. This move, a symbolic gesture, is welcome but doesn’t add much to the riverside experience. Meanwhile the Council are sounding out opinions and options for the next steps in the development but they need to be up front about funding and priorities in these difficult times (“ITDT”). And of course, ITDT, it’s important that the council communicate this quickly and honestly to residents. As Spandau’s Tony Hadley sang in 1983, “… oh I want the truth to be said”.

In other news, were the Human League correct about the future of off-street parking on their classic album Dare?