At a meeting of Ealing Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 5 October at Perceval House, Ealing’s Conservative and Libdem Councillors asked for the Labour Cabinet to think again about plans to close Perivale Park Golf Club and plans to build a new outdoor swimming pool or Lido.
The meeting attracted considerable interest, with a large crowd of Golf Club users peacefully demonstrating their disappointment at Labour’s proposal. Leslie Glancy, The Captain of the Ealing Park Golf Club, spoke elegantly at the meeting against the closure.
Cllr Julian Gallant questioned whether the proposed closure of the Golf Club would achieve any environmental benefit, instead demonstrating that the Golf Club already nurtured green space and biodiversity.
Cllr Gallant also said that Labour’s project was a smokescreen to cover a decision that had already been taken and that £75,000 had already been earmarked to pay for the closure and conversion of the Golf Course to parkland. Comments by Labour councillors during the meeting confirmed that they did not value preserving this 100-year-old Ealing facility.
Cllr Gallant also demonstrated that the closure of the Golf Club would negatively affect many lives, especially those of elderly players who preferred the modest 9-hole course at Perivale to the hillier 18-hole course at Brent Valley.
Cllr Gallant was the only opposition councillor to speak on the proposed Ealing Lido. He asserted that Labour’s proposal for a new Lido was not serious, and was simply a smokescreen for a lack of progress on the redevelopment of the Gurnell site.
An outdoor swimming facility would only be useable for a few weeks in every year and therefore have little impact on desired health outcomes. Labour Cllr Miriam Rice suggested that Lido publicity should include a photo of useage during the cold months!
Labour had originally proposed to site the outdoor swimming pool on one of Ealing’s parks, perhaps even on Ealing Common. During this Overview and Scrutiny meeting, cabinet portfolio holder Polly Knewstub rowed back on these plans, yet no new sites were suggested. Cllr Knewstub also declined to give an estimate of the capital cost of the Lido project.
The estimated cost for scoping the Lido’s viability would exceed £250,000. Conservatives believe that this sum should not be spent on a project that may well not happen. The Labour-dominated committee declined to refer the expenditure back for further discussion by Cabinet.
Promoted by Janet Young on behalf of Ealing Conservatives of 39 Broughton Road, London W13 8QW
Conservatives will continue to scrutinise Labour’s muddled and unachievable plans.