Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Council's shaky evidence for green sell-off revealed | News

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Copy of Bristol Green Party press release on green spaces issues. Well done to all Greens, Stockwood's Pete Goodwin and Southville's Cllr Tess Green [pictured] in particular, for their ongoing campaigning against green spaces flogging and exposing poor decision making on it.

Council's shaky evidence for green sell-off revealed News

Key Green Space documents have been released - months after consultation ended!

10 weeks after Bristol City Council closed its consultation on controversial plans to sell off so-called 'low-value' green spaces, documents showing how they were chosen have been revealed. The decision to sell was confirmed last week in the face of opposition from many individuals and groups and from Green, Labour and Conservative councillors.

The documents come in a delayed response to a Freedom of Information request from Stockwood resident Pete Goodwin, and have been placed on line on the "What Do They Know?" website .

Southville's Green Party councillor Tess Green commented:
"A quick look at some of the sites shows just how weak some of the recommendations were; there are too many assumptions made, evidence is disregarded, and public opinion seems to be something to be overcome, not to be weighed up as part of the decision."

"What we're left with is an over-hasty decision bulldozed through on the flimsiest of evidence, that will lose much valued green space without any great benefit to the remaining parks. If only the other parties had listened to the Greens before they agreed this disastrous strategy to pay for park improvements. People who value these spaces will now have to defend them using the planning process, or other legal moves."

Her fellow Green Mr Goodwin, who had put up a case against selling the Stockwood sites, added
"With no way of knowing why particular sites were judged as low value, it was very difficult to challenge the plans. That's why I lodged the Freedom of Information request. The information should have been made public much earlier, certainly in time for the decisions in council. The legal deadline was November 19, and the documents themselves date from summer of 2009, but it's only been released now. There can't be any excuse for that delay"

"It appears that a few Parks officers were set impossible targets, then had to cope with the massive public reaction to their proposals while still following a political mandate. The whole exercise has been a travesty."


Pete Goodwin, 01275 543280
Cllr Tess Green, 0117 377 2070