Skate Park - MP Accepts Petition
Park’s neighbours say it should be on a brown field site
Carolyn Brown writes;
Virendra Sharma, MP for Ealing Southall, this week accepted a petition from local Elthorne residents and community representatives demanding that Ealing’s new skate park be built on a brown field site rather than on a green field site in their local Park.
A total of 504 people who live closest to Elthorne Park, and who use it most frequently, signed a web- and paper-based petition stating that they believe that Elthorne Park is not the most appropriate site in Ealing for the building of the new skate park.
“We believe that we should be protecting our green spaces, not laying them down to concrete in this environmentally and climate change sensitive era,” says Carolyn Brown, Chair of the Hanwell Community Forum.
“We have supported the desire for a skate park for Ealing’s young people all along, and believe that the Council already owns derelict or unused brown field sites which are more central to the Borough, have better transport links making the site more accessible to a wider range of young people from all over the Borough, have facilities such as public toilets, and have a higher passing footfall for casual observation and better security than does Elthorne Park,” she continued.
In addition the proposed site is immediately adjacent to Elthorne Park High School. The Head Teacher and Chair of Governors have written a strongly worded letter to the Council, objecting to the proposed location of the skate park next to their library, classroom and science blocks.
“The new sixth form, to be admitted for the first time this September, will be afforded more freedom for personal study towards their International Baccalaureate than younger students, and will not be expected to wear school uniform,” states Margaret Majumdar, Chair of the EPHS Governors, “It is naïve to think that the skate park would not be a distraction, having a negative impact on the education of students,” she concluded.
In contradiction to the figures put out by the Council in relation to their formal consultation, an analysis of the signatories to the petition from the residential roads closest to Elthorne Park indicates that 70.37% of households in Townholm Crescent are against the location of the skate park in Elthorne Park. If the residents living opposite the park in Boston Road are included in the analysis, 64.86% of nearby residents are against it. Yet the Council claims that 61.9% of local residents are in favour.
Local residents claim that this calls into question the validity of the results of the Council’s consultation. The background information given in the consultation was misleading, led respondents to give certain answers, and contravened independent professional and ethical guidelines** on conducting such surveys. The consultation should not be interpreted as confirmed community approval for siting the skate park in Elthorne Park, they say.
The petition is still available for signature at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ealing-skatepark.html for people who have concerns over the location of the skate park in Elthorne Park.
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September 2, 2009