“Ealing Council are callously and deliberately setting out to close our wonderful community golf facility used by generations of working class people by manipulating social media output.
“When Councillor Deirdre Costigan came to see us in December she said “a consultation is not a referendum”, and that other matters will be considered in the council’s decision to proceed with a regional park. This seemed to imply that Ealing Council will not rely on sheer numbers but consider informed opinion and factual feasibility studies.
“Yet three weeks ago following the public consultation they declared that 77% of respondents were not only in favour of the regional park but have also given tacit approval for building a cultural venue in the park.
“According to The Office of National Statistics the adult population of Ealing is about 246,000. The 6,000 respondents represent approximately 2% of the resident population which is hardly a ringing or “overwhelming” endorsement of the council’s plan. The group photograph of staff from Prior and Partners Ealing Council used to accompany the news cannot be passed off lightly as pardonable folly or an unintended mistake.
“The photograph was sourced and was a deliberate and calculated attempt to use a fake photograph to represent Ealing residents in favour of the regional park. That photo with the headline are still on Ealing’s Facebook page.
“They are playing the numbers game despite their assurance to consider other informed opinions and well researched study such as The Brent River and Canal Society warning of the dangers of building in a flood zone. .
“The preamble of the online consultation promised ‘to understand what is important to you about a new regional park so that in spring 2024 we can start a longer conversation with Ealing’s residents about specific ideas you have for the regional park’.
“However, the ‘specific ideas’ for the park including an amphitheatre have already been implanted in the minds of respondents.
“Without publishing the full details of the consultation, Prior and Partners have been commissioned to undertake a project which they describe as developing the masterplan but which Ealing Council states, is a feasibility report.
“Rather than seek to understand what residents and stakeholders want or prefer, the consultation has turned out to be a cover up exercise designed to seek validation of council’s preconceived plans.
“What cultural venue have the respondents chosen, and is that development to be situated in the flood zone, which Perivale Golf course is?
“Brent River and Canal Society has warned of the dangers of building on a flood plane. The course was completely flooded and closed for golf on nine days last year so we the golfers are confused as to what Ealing Council is doing.
“We know how passionate Councillors Costigan and Knewstub are about the park we admire their passion but we have to say to them you are trying to hoodwink us.”