Canterbury District Green Party

Monday, 22 October 2012

Kingsmead Field - Scrutiny Committee to meet this Wednesday morning.

Dear Kingsmead Field Supporters

Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday 24 October 9.30am (Guildhall)

The Executive's highly controversial decision on Kingsmead Field will be examined at a special sitting of the Scrutiny committee this Wednesday (we've been assured that it can't be postponed again!)  The meeting will take place in the Guildhall and commence at 9.30am.  It is open to the public, and we would very much appreciate your support, even if it's only for a short time.

The role of the Scrutiny committee is to critically analyse Executive decisions.  On occasions, it has managed to force the Executive to review their decision, so this is what we're hoping for where the Kingsmead Field is concerned.  The grounds on which the decision has been called in to Scrutiny are listed below (see 'Grounds for the Call-in')

Press Coverage

There is a full page article about the Kingsmead Field decision on page 10 of this week's Canterbury Times and an article on page 8 of the Gazette, as well as four excellent letters in the letters column.  These can be viewed on our press website:

Children still need Playing Fields

Sixty years ago, the importance of providing children with playing fields (not just parks) was captured in a 5-minute cinema advertisement by the Playing Fields Association.  It features a group of young boys appealing to the Duke of Edinburgh for a place to play football.  The style is postwar, but the message still resonates strongly today:

Best wishes


Save Kingsmead Field Campaign
Facebook:             Save Kingsmead Field

Grounds for the Call-in of Executive Decision

24 OCTOBER 2012

Grounds for the Call-in of Executive decision
on Kingsmead Field

1.         Non inclusion as a Key Decision (affects more than one ward)
            Called in by Councillors Baldock, Cartwright, Wratten, Perkins, Staley and Wood

•           Kingsmead Field is adjacent to Westgate and St Stephens Wards and in Northgate

•           Proven engaged objection from whole area of the city, reflecting effect on the wider community.

•           Executive Member living in St Stephen (Ellis) chose to exclude himself on prejudiced grounds due to the location of his home, proving this point’s relevance.

•           Reference to St Stephen’s Ward use of Kingsmead Field in the Open Space Strategy.

2.         Non compliancy with Policy (Open Space Strategy)
            Called in by Councillor Cartwright

•           It is recognised in the Council’s Open Space Strategy that Northgate has a deficit in open space, especially in this general area of the ward.  Loss of space is therefore contra to the strategy.

•           The Kingsmead Field is recognised as part of St Stephen’s Open Space, and loss as such is contra to the strategy.

3.         Failure to give proper reason (using / withholding information used to inform a decision)
            Called in by Councillor Cartwright

•           Two Executive Members (Councillors Gilbey and Vickery-Jones) referred in due process to ‘plans that could not be divulged’ in a direct way.  This indicates that the proper reasons were not full disclosed, in an open way, minuted in the meeting and disclosed (even if in a confidential note).

4.         Non-compliance with Policy (Open Space Strategy)
            Called in by Councillor Flanagan

•           Appropriation of the open space is in clear breach of the Council’s Open Space Strategy.  It reduces available open space.  It does not give details of like for like replacement.  It subverts the Development Brief.
•           The decision is invalid unless the replacement open space is clearly identified and its provision guaranteed.

5.         Non-compliance with a relevant policy or protocol without sufficient reason.  Failure to consider a relevant matter or having regard to an irrelevant matter.
            Called in by Councillor Perkins

•           Development Brief contained assumption that current Kingsmead School Field would become public open space.  Alll designations in the brief were predicated by the assumption.  All designations and therefore the brief are now redundant.

6.         Inadequate consultation
            Called in by Councillor Perkins
•           Counting / monitoring of field usage misleading and inadequate.  Incorporated on brief snapshots on two Saturdays and no Sundays.  Also ignores Council’s decision to withdraw Kingsmead pitches for public hire.

End of document.