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Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Giving the public the real say on the future of Shire's green spaces

Last night I was at a meeting discussing the future of Shirehampton's Daisy Field and part of the Lamplighters land under the Council's Parks and Green Spaces Strategy. That's the strategy whereby areas of land are identified as 'low value', sold off for housing, in order to enhance remaining areas.

The hoards of people pictured here, however, are not the meeting. They are members of the public who were unable to get into the meeting - and to whom an unfortunate council officer gave an impromptu talk and took questions.

For a full version of what happened, read my Daily Mail blog HERE

But in short the whole thing has ignited great public anger -

1. Because asking the people of Shirehampton to sell off the green space they have left in order to 'enhance' the rest with things like sports facilities and a swimming pool, when there is the scar of the demolished old pool, and the mausoleum of the derelict Robin Cousins centre down the road seems to many absurd to the point of being insulting.

2. Trying to alleviate the public's concern about democratic procedure by asking the public to wait until the formal public consultation to put forward their views does not help: People in Shirehampton have objected in the strongest possible terms to so many decisions about their community to apparently no avail, that , as one lady put it, people wonder "What kind of public objection would it take to change decisions under consultation?"

3. In all the opinion gaining exercises the Council is conducting as to what people in Shirehampton want done with their green space, the overwhelming and simple answer is "Please, please just leave it alone! but reopen our closed facilities and maintain our land better". That's the answer. But it doesn't seem to be sinking in...

If you feel strongly about this issue, you can sign a petition online against the designation of The Daisy Field and Lamplighters land as 'low value' by clicking HERE.

1 comment:

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