Friday, November 03, 2006

Sports Grounds in Southampton

Alan Whitehead MP pictured at the former Civil Service Sports Ground with the then Labour candidate Tom Flynn. Forgotten your tie Al?
picture courtesy

Last Thursday the Minister of Culture, Media and Sport, Richard Caborn MP revealed in a Commons written reply that 1000 applications for building development had been approved on small playing fields over the last four years despite the government's pledge to protect them.
The Lib-Dems nationally have launched a campaign to such playing fields. I hope this applies equally to the Lib-Dems in Southampton. At a recent public meeting, I asked the Lib-Dem in charge of the schools closure programme in the city if the future of the playing fields at these sites was assured. She pointedly refused to give any undertaking, making me wonder if one reason some of the sites were closing was their development potential, allowing existing green field sites to be concreted over?
On a related issue, Alan Whitehead MP has been campaigning to prevent housing being built at the former Civil Service Sports Ground in Shirley. As it is the last open space in the vicinity, quite right too.
However, he is being disingenuous when he says that,
“In 2004 the City Council approved the sale of the former Civil Service Sports Ground in Freemantle to a housing developer. They approved the sale despite a covenant dating back to the 1800s promising to use the land for sports activities, and the area being designated as a green field site in Southampton'scal Plan.”
The truth is that the Council did not own this land and therefore could neither ‘approve’ or ‘disapprove’ of the sale.
You may conclude that despite numerous meetings and briefings, Mr Whitehead is very badly informed or that he is just trying to score cheap political points. Personally I think the best option is for the site to be used by the adjacent St. Mark’s school, a proposal first suggested by the Conservative Councillor for the area, Jeremy Moulton.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi - don't have an email address but this UKIP guy has cocked up -

Heath never held the referendum - it was the Labour Government of Wilson in 1975 - if UKIP can distort the truth in their anti tory bile....

Dear Editor,
I am writing in response to failed Conservative general election candidate for Eastleigh Conor Burns letter printed in the Southern Daily Echo on 21/10/06.
In his letter he is quick to defend former Conservative Prime Minister Ted Heath and also point out mistakes in a previous letter from Fred Estell printed within your pages.
I would like to point out that Ted Heath admitted that he knew that the EU would become a political union but chose not to inform the electorate when holding a referendum on membership.
Former UKIP leader Roger Knapman was a minister in the Tory whips office when certain Conservative MPs used brutal methods in forcing the Maastricht Treaty through parliament. For reference Roger Knapman voted against the Maastricht treaty.
Conor Burns also points out that in 1997 Roger Knapman lost his seat in parliament. Would this be the same year that the Conservatives lost power and have been in dire straights ever since?
It was once said to me by a leading member of the Southampton Conservative group that all UKIP do is take votes from his party. Well if that is the case can I thank Chris Murphy UKIP candidate in Eastleigh for the last general election for costing Conor Burns the seat.
The fact that a leading Conservative in Southampton believes the above remark just shows the ignorance and bitterness of our local Conservatives.

Kind Regards

Ryan Newell
Vice Chairman
UKIP Southampton

11:55 am  
Blogger Matt Dean said...

I'm not going to deleate your post on this occassion but can we keep the comments 'on-topic' please?
While the letter below contains some interesting and debatable points, it has nothing to do with playing fields!

6:19 pm  

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