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Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Residents turn out in force for Shire's public meeting


When I stood up amongst the crowd who had been refused entry to a meeting about the future of the Daisy Field and Lamplighters land, back in June, I pledged to get them a full public meeting to really discuss the issue.

Under the Council's Parks and Green Spaces Strategy, the Daisy Field and Lamplighters Land are amongst plots of land identified as of potential 'low value' to the community, and susceptible for being sold off for housing.

Three months, a petition, a 'write-to-the-council-campaign' and a Big Picnic later, the council officers responsible came to address a packed public meeting, chaired by Avonmouth's new Councillor, Siobhan Kennedy-Hall.

It is a very good thing we did get this meeting: The level of information, sound argument and strength of feeling displayed by residents at the meeting was impressive. The amount of 'new information' that the council officers gained by listening to residents, many of whom have lived in Shirehampton for many years, was significant.

We got some pledges of action by the council, and Cllr. Kennedy-Hall is following that up. Most importantly, council officers were exposed directly to the thoughts and feelings of the general public.

The decision has yet to go to consultation - but hopefully the campaign will have started early enough to prevent the Daisy Field and Lamplighters land from even appearing in the consultation document.

We have been determined to sort this out before the consultation process because residents sadly now have little faith that they are able to sway any decision that has gone to consultation - they fought to save their swimming pool, and the Robin Cousins Centre - to no avail. Let's hope this campaign, having got in early, is more successful.

And you can still do your bit!

1.
By signing the petition

2. Writing to the council: Send your letter, with specific comments on why the Daisy Field and Lamplighters should not be built on, to:

Rob McGovern
Area Green Space Plan Project Officer
Bristol Parks
Colston 33
Colston Avenue
Bristol, BS1 4UA

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