Lambeth Council press officer's Streatham High Road tweet provokes furious response
A joke about Streatham High Road being covered in napalm demonstrates Lambeth Council’s contempt for Streatham, it has been claimed.
Lee Alley, who co-ordinates the town centre’s business activity, said a message posted on Twitter last week by the Lambeth Council press officer had left him “incandescent”.
The comment, by Sam Masters, a former south London journalist, was made in reference to recent efforts to regenerate the High Road and the Streatham Guardian’s campaign for town centre improvements.
His message, openly viewable on the internet on a public account which was deleted on Tuesday, said: “Having spent a considerable amount of time in Streatham, my solutions for supporting the High Road mostly involve napalm.”
Town centre manager Angelina Purcell was disciplined and gagged from speaking to the press earlier this month after criticising comedian Jo Brand for labelling Streatham a “s******e” on BBC’s Have I Got News For You show.
Mr Alley said: “People in Streatham know this is how Lambeth Council thinks about them. We are incandescent. The very people who boxed Angelina [Purcell] in a corner have done this.”
He said business owners were now focused on creating a business improvement district (Bid) for the town to give them greater control over local enterprise.
Ben Everitt, chairman of the Streatham Conservatives, added: “I do not have the words to describe how furious I am.
“He is a former journalist so he should know how Twitter works, and he works for the council so he should know how the council works.
“It undermines the attitude the council has towards Streatham – if this is what they think of us, then let’s be independent of them.”
But Mr Masters defended the remark, saying: “I’m continually amazed anybody would have any interest in what I have to say on Twitter.
“It clearly states my Twitter account ramblings are not to be confused with anything of importance, or views of my employers. What I say on it is generally irreverent.
“[The comment] was a joke, and I’m staggered that anyone would think otherwise.”
The council declined to comment.