27 June - 3 July 1996

Each week McSpotlight will bring you the latest news on worldwide protests and campaigning events against McDonald's and other multinationals.

"Anger at Plan by McDonald's"

29th May 1995,
Enfield Advertiser,
London, UK

A Drive-thru McDonald's restaurant is planned for genteel Winchmore Hill.

The Enfield Southgate Conservative Association is selling its Century House HQ on Green Lanes to McDonald's for the restaurant.

A planning application has been submitted to Enfield Council. If it is approved, work could begin later this year with the drive-thru open early next year.

Malcolm Tyndall, who is the Tories' agent, said "We have accepted McDonald's offer, confident in the belief that they will produce a high quality development sensitive to the character of the local area. I have no doubt that McDonald's will be a positive addition to Winchmore Hill."

But Lesley Newey, the secretary of Winchmore Hill Residents' Association, was left in complete shock when The Advertiser told her the news.

"McDonald's hears wrath of residents"

12th June 1996,
Enfield Advertiser,
London, UK

Steve Edwards hears residents' objections to McDonald's at a public meeting on Monday.

The function room at the Firs banqueting suite could hardly contain the huge number of Winchmore Hill residents who had come to vent their spleen at McDonald's.

Around 500 local people packed out the room on Monday night, with many having to stand at the back. Six representatives from McDonald's sheepishly faced the audience. "McDonald's have faced these difficulties," explained one. "And they would not be the successful company they are if they backed down on these sort of issues."

However, this sort of bold talk had no effect on residents, who, led by the Winchmore Hill Residents Association, promised to vigorously fight the proposals for a drive-thru in Green Lanes, on the site of the Conservative Association's Century House HQ.

The main concerns highlighted by residents included the increase in traffic the drive-thru would bring, the noise caused by this increase and what they called the "inevitable" spread of litter.

Peter Tasker, chairman of the Winchmore Hill residents' association said the association would try and see if it could list Century House and get tree preservation orders on some of the trees around the site that McDonald's need to fell.

Lionel Zetter, who is chairman of the Enfield Southgate Conservative Association, took responsibility for the sale to McDonald's. He said it had offered 100,000 pounds more than anyone else.

"I'm not ducking responsibility," he said. "My job is to do the best for the association."

"I'm never voting Conservative again," screamed back one reply.

[Photo of Michael Portillo dressed in a McDonald's worker's uniform eating McDonald's fries] Whether or not Michael Portillo is in favour of McDonald's buying his own Conservative association's Century House in Winchmore Hill remains the biggest unanswered question of all.

"Stop sitting on the fence, Mr Portillo!"

26th June 1996,
Enfield Advertiser,
London, UK

"Stop sitting on the fence, Mr Portillo! MP is told to make his views known on McDonald's sell-off"

The row over McDonald's coming to Winchmore Hill is creeping towards Michael Portillo's door as pressure mounts on him to give his views on the selling of Century House by his constituency association.

So far, Mr Portillo, the MP for Enfield Southgate, has kept a low profile on the issue that is in the forefront of the minds of people living in the Winchmore Hill area.

One local resident, Sebastian Messina, told the Advertiser: "I'm angry because Michael Portillo has done nothing for this area. He is the local MP, so he should at least have something to say about it. I've voted Tory all my life but I'll never vote for them again. They've broken a contract with the people of this area."

What angers Mr Messina is the way that the Conservatives, who are selling their Century House HQ to McDonald's, are putting money before the wishes of the local community. "How do you beat a multi-million pound company like McDonald's?" he asked.

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