Liberation front's Potters Bar cells launch commando actions
PUBLISHED: 18:02 28 July 2019
From a secret bunker in the Elstree hills, the Hertsmere People's Liberation Front is plotting to use its cells in Potters Bar for commando operations.
The group - which was previously known as the Elstree People's Liberation Front or Elstree Revolt - describes itself as a peaceful organisation, with no links to any political party.
"Any one you meet today could be involved in HPLF even though you don't realise it," one of the group's comrades said on behalf of the HPLF.
"You see, when we aren't conducting our revolutionary activities, we are just normal people getting on with our daily lives.
"This is why our motto is 'We are no one. We are everyone'."
The HPLF believes it represents ordinary Hertsmere people that "feel alienated, voiceless and disillusioned" by the borough council.
"We worry that if the people feel powerless then our leaders will get away with it," the group said.
"We are merely a conduit for the anger and despair that thousands of local people feel, but also a beacon for their hope that things will change and that the borough will one day run in the interests of the people."
For Potters Bar, in paticular, the group is plotting to prevent additional losses in bus services - after the withdrawal of the 298 bus service between the Cranborne Industrial Estate and Darkes Lane, the reduction of service on the 242 between Potters Bar and Cuffley and the loss of the 84b summer service by Hertfordshire County Council.
"We are also considering tactics and protest actions against these and to prevent further losses to our bus services," said the group, although they would not specify what these actions would involve.
HPLF Revolt might also carry out operations against green space development, "such as the beautiful fields next to Dugdale Hill, the golf course west of The Avenue and the countryside areas south of Park Avenue and Oakroyd Avenue".
A paticular point of upset has been an audit report - looking into expenses submitted by borough council leader Morris Bright and the use of council-owned properties by the Conservative Party - which found there were limited assurances that "effective controls" are in operation.
But noted things are starting to improve due to the work of the council and studio.
It also recommended as a "high priority" that allowances and expenses are published and codes of conduct are updated to state "improper political purposes" extends to council-owned property.
"In general, it angers us that Hertsmere Borough Council is run like a fiefdom," the mysterious group explained.
"The findings of the audit report are demonstrative of this, with Elstree Film Studios being used as a party political slush fund."
The report was leaked before it was due to be published on Monday and released publicly by the group.
"We gained possession of the leaked audit documents at the same time as they fell into the public domain," the group maintains.
"Comrade Frida uploaded it from the Borough Independents Group Facebook page and alerted the rest of us to it in an emergency assembly."
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Apart from highlighting leaked documents, the group also publicly shames councillors by sticking up wanted posters in Hertsmere,
"Our commando units conduct regular operations and, just the other day, Comrade Babyface carried out an action in support of LGBTQ+ rights when he temporarily changed a street name with paper and bluetac in an act of symbolic defiance."
The action was in response to accusations made by two Labour Potters Bar councillors that local Tories filibustered a motion on LGBTQ+ rights at the borough level.
"While we are independent and don't align with any party, we recognise that new Labour Party councillors Christian Gray and Chris Myers are doing smashing work in Potters Bar Furzefield and seem to be on the side of the people."
HPLF is also encouraging any citizens to establish a cell under their banner.
"The proviso is that any protest actions are peaceful and lawful, and seek liberate, local people from their exploitation and oppression," the group said.
"We know that other actions have been taking place around the borough by comrades whom we have never met.
"The revolt is spreading!"
A Hertsmere Borough Council spokeswoman said it was "disappointing to hear of these concerns".
"We undertake a number of consultation exercises on a whole host of issues, both large and small, as part of our commitment to being a council that listens," she said.
"Residents can also attend any of our public meetings, many of which are webcast, to hear key decisions being taken and they have the opportunity to raise questions in advance through an agreed process.
"We also have a compliments, comments and complaints system where residents can provide us with feedback about our services."
On the question of development of green space sites, the council said it cannot comment on individual sites.
But the spokeswoman said the council hopes "to have a draft Local Plan available next year, when there will be a further opportunity for the public to have their say."
The spokeswoman added that the authority commissioned the audit report to ensure that Elstree Studio use was "fully and robustly reviewed".
"As highlighted in the audit report, we've also already taken several steps to ensure that the issues that arose with governance at Elstree Film Studios do not occur again," she said.
A spokesman for Metro line - which operates the 242 between Potters Bar and Cuffley and ran the 84B summer service - said: "Route 84B was run by us during the summer of 2015 to serve Butterfly World at Chiswell Green.
"However, this attraction was permanently closed at the end of the 2015 season, and so route 84B was not reinstated."
"The frequency of our commercial service 242 between Potters Bar and Cuffley was reduced in February 2018, in order to better match the level of customer demand," he added.
The 298 bus service - operated by Transport for London - was withdrawn between Potters Bar station and Cranborne Road Industrial Estate following a consultation in 2017.