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?