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Ealing and Northfield

Labour’s child catchers strike again

Fresh from their victory in delaying the Elthorne Park skate park for 18 months and moving it Gurnell Labour’s child catchers have now stopped another childrens’ facility.

Astonishingly at last night’s planning meeting the Labour group members voted en bloc against a council project to renew and expand the existing childrens’ playground at Churchfields Recreation Ground.

The apparently guilty parties are Cllrs Sitarah Anjum, Swarn Singh Kang, Shital Manro, Karam Mohan and Edward Rennie. Planning meetings are meant to be apolitical and certainly not whipped but this looks distinctly smelly. What has happened here is that the Labour councillors sided with two near neighbours who were making complaints against clear evidence of the desirablity of the project. 75% of people consulted were in favour. There is little point in the council sending out 883 consultation leaflets and 152 local residents going to the trouble of filling them in if the planning councillors are just going to ignore them. What a waste of effort? This is bad government. But, the planning councillors are just the tools of the real child catchers.

Apparently Hobbayne councillor Wendy Langan made a hand-wringing speech supporting Carolyn Brown and her one woman organisation Hanwell Community Forum against the new playground. We can nail this idiocy on Brown, Cllrs Langan and Ray and Lauren Wall. They think they own Hanwell and don’t like children. Child catchers one and all.

The playground at Churchfields Recreation Ground is looking past its best and the council has consulted widely on its replacement, getting 176 people to respond to its consultation, see here. The council is being coy about publishing the results of the consultation, I don’t know why.

The results, which I have found and uploaded to my blog here, make it clear that 75% who answered the question were in favour of the renovation of the play ground and 62% were in favour of extending it. This is a pretty clear cut result.

The planning report, here, makes it clear that the design of the new facility has been extremely careful to ensure that the near neighbours do not have their enjoyment of their homes reduced. This is not a new facility and these people bought homes next door to a RECREATION GROUND. The name gives it away!

Rather like the looney car park announcement of Tuesday this will be seen as a huge unforced error on the part of this Labour council.

Update: I know that at least one of the Labour planning councillors thinks I was a little harsh here. The Labour councillors did seem to be repeating the same arguments. I can add that LibDem Jon Ball also voted the scheme down on a technicality. A little strange. Trying to have his cake and eat it?

5 replies on “Labour’s child catchers strike again”

Phil, do you have an opinion on the government’s cuts to family benefits?:

– health and pregnancy £190 grant for pregnant mothers cut
– Sure Start Maternity £500 grant now for first child only
– child trust fund cut
– child tax credits cut for households earning over £40,000
– child tax credit for children under one cut
– child benefit cut if one parent is working and earning over £43,876 but not if two are working and earning under £87,750 or even if two are working and earning under £87,751 together but one person is earning over £43,876

It all makes me wonder: what do the Tories have against families? Do you support these cuts?

OK you may have views about Councillors, but having a go at Residents Associations who as groups are generally made up with people of all political persuasions is not going to cut the mustard.

Emily,

I am not sure how this is relevant to my posting. You are making some comments about national policy. I was trying to raise a local planning issue.

I heartily endorse the coalition programme. It will be miserable for many including me but we can’t go on living with a £150 billion deficit. That is the equivalent of every taxpayer adding £5,000 to their credit card bill every year. If we break our economy there will be no benefits for anyone.

George,

Hanwell Community Forum is not a conventional residents association. It is pretty much a vehicle for one Labour supporter who consistently comes out against facilities for young people.

I have to admit that expanding the recreation area seems a little inappropriate when the Council is closing down centres for the disabled and mentally ill. The appropriate action surely would be to replace/refurbish the existing facilties.

By the way what is happening with the Walpole Park childrens playground; is there any sign of that being fixed yet? If not, surely fixing and replacing what we have got is preferable to “robbing peter to pay paul”?
Mags.

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