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Opinion: Ealing Council has been “deceiving” residents over closure of Perivale Park Golf Course

Angry Perivale Park Golf Club members will be staging a final protest outside Labour-run Ealing Council offices today (28 March 2024) at 6 pm in advance of a opposition party call in regarding the golf course closure decision by Ealing Council

In a statement, Dave Chapman, the golf club spokesperson said:

“Walk out of Perivale Park under the railway bridge along Stockdove Way. To your right there is a piece of rewilded green space. It’s featureless, the grass is rank and the only people who use it are dog walkers often professional walkers, exercising five or six dogs at a time. Local children have christened it poo park. This is what Ealing Council want to turn Perivale Park Golf Course into.

“Perivale Park Golf club has given them ideas for rewilding the golf course, shown them where more trees could be planted, even how to reduce the footprint of the course by one third. These changes would be at minimal cost and allow the golf course to remain an integral part of a regional park, but everything’s been ignored by Ealing Council.

“All they can do is keep pushing the ridiculous idea that by closing the golf course, they are creating a new park. They must think people are stupid and we don’t know it already is a park. Councillor Costigan even wants to rename it to further the illusion. The lovely innovative regional park ideas mentioned in their public consultation aren’t talked about now. Keir Starmer has had to ditch Labour’s £28bn a year green investment pledge so Ealing Labour have no choice but to keep quiet.

“This what will happen. There will be a flurry of interest in June when they close the course. They’ll probably step up the course maintenance so it looks good for a photo opportunity.

“By November it will be overgrown. The eyes and ears of the golfers will be long gone and all sorts of anti-social behaviour will be taking place in the more secluded areas of the park the course occupies. All decent people will avoid it. By that time the toilets and cafe will probably be permanently closed so there will be even less reason to go there.

“And that will be the legacy councillors Costigan and Knewstub leave to the people of Ealing. The closure of a 100-year-old social asset giving companionship and exercise to thousands of people every year and in its place a featureless nothingness that people will avoid because they don’t want to be mugged.

“During this whole business I have been posting frequently on social media. I have received only one negative reply out of hundreds of positive supportive comments wanting to keep the course open.

Ealing Council are deceiving us. They are saying that the results of the public consultation show that “Almost two thirds of residents (more than 62 per cent) said they supported closing Perivale Park Golf Club to make it into a park” That is total nonsense. What people were supporting were the wonderfully innovative regional park ideas that Ealing so keenly lavished on us through the use of colour photos. These are now relegated to vague ideas for the future.

“This decision is going to live with Councillors Costigan and Knewstub throughout their political careers. What they are doing in removing a 100 year old viable community golf course is a crime against working class people. They should be ashamed to even have their names associated with the Labour Party.

“What are our members supposed to do now? Struggle round Brent Valley golf course, that’s a hilly courses. Or perhaps they can join Ealing or Sudbury Golf club. Actually no, our members are mostly people who work with their hands, they drive trains busses and lorries and make things. They can’t afford the £4000 it costs to join those sort of private golf clubs.

“Our poor members are a real mixture of ethnic backgrounds some have suffered discrimination at work and finding somewhere to live, racism and violence.

Perivale is their home, somewhere where they can relax hold their heads up high and say I’m part of this and I belong here.”

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