Park must stay in public domain
PUBLISHED: 15:57 10 September 2008 | UPDATED: 08:55 21 July 2010
THE Learning Trust argued at the July Downs User Group that the schools and community would benefit from a sports centre and changing rooms being built on Hackney Downs...
THE Learning Trust argued at the July Downs User Group that the schools and community would benefit from a sports centre and changing rooms being built on Hackney Downs.
As a regular user of the Downs, I see the pupils from Mossbourne Academy use the park. They come over kitted out for games and in a short period they go back, so why do we need changing rooms built on our park?
I see other schools having their sports days and there seem to be no problems about changing. If Mossbourne are so desperate for changing facilities, erect tents.
Teachers from this academy also raised the question of levelling fields for football.
Then we come to a sports centre being built. It would mean, if it happened, the Downs would cease to exist as a park as it has done over generations.
Let me be blunt. A privately-financed academy, backed by New Labour, stands to get itself a chunk of public assets.
All the public relations talk about the "community" benefiting is just that, a PR exercise.
The little carrots dangled of toilets and a café should fool no one- and why can't we have these facilities anyway? We had them once.
If Mossbourne, Stormont school and, no doubt, Petchey Academy, have their way, it would become de facto the schools' facilities.
This is a private Trojan horse tactic backed by The Learning Trust to move on to a public park.
The extensive consultation with the public maybe on the lines of the Dalston fiasco - a sham exercise. These people have a way of doing things.
The mayor regularly paints glowing pictures of developments in Hackney. In a recent column in the Gazette, he mentioned that Hackney Downs, among other parks, had received a green flag.
One wonders: is this the starting flag for The Learning Trust, the council and developers to rip the heart out of the Downs?
We don't need all this. Let's keep the park public property.
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