9 April 2013

Miembros No Números

Harry Stopes

There are a few hundred outsourced workers at Senate House and other University of London buildings in Bloomsbury, including the intercollegiate student halls. Most of the caterers are employed by Aramark; the cleaners, security guards and maintenance by Balfour Beatty Workplace, the services arm of the construction giant. Most are immigrants; from Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and, overwhelmingly in the case of the cleaners, Latin America.

8 February 2013

On the Learning High Street

Oscar Webb

It emerged last month that the GP surgery on University College London’s Bloomsbury campus is to be closed. ‘UCL has informed us that it has no plans to renew our lease when it expires in 2014,’ Dr Clare Elliot, a partner at the Gower Place Practice, told me. ‘It does not wish to provide a space for the NHS practice on the UCL campus.’ The closure is part of the £500m ‘Bloomsbury Masterplan’, approved by UCL Council in July 2011, which will transform the central London campus over the next decade. (There's an abridged version online.) The provost of UCL, Malcolm Grant, describes the plan as a ‘coherent vision’ to ‘enable institutional growth’.

7 December 2012

UCL and 'social cleansing'

Oscar Webb

On 29 November, forty students entered and occupied a room at University College London in protest against the college’s plan to build a new campus in East London. UCL Stratford will see the demolition of the Carpenters council estate to make way for a new 23-acre campus costing £1 billion. After a year’s negotiations the plans were given the green light by Newham Council in late October. All of the housing on the site will be flattened and the 700 residents ‘decanted’. Their ‘right to return’ promised in the residents’ charter published by the council ‘will remain subject to availability’.