Sad news from CCC Executive - but the fight goes on.
Last Thursday night was a sad night for Kingsmead, a sad night for open space in
and a sad night for local
democracy. At its meeting on Thursday, 11th October Canterbury
City Council Executive (all from the Conservative party, with not one member
representing the city of Canterbury
itself) voted unanimously to appropriate the Kingsmead Field for residential
There were 15 powerful presentations (including 3 impressive speeches by local children) in front of a packed Council chamber. However, the debate between the Executive members was short and weak; not one of the critical points raised in the presentations was seriously addressed. Campaign activists feel that the intellectual and moral battle was won, although the vote was lost.
The Executive's decision to appropriate Kingsmead Field was instantly called in for scrutiny by opposition councillor James Flanagan. This debate is likely to take place next Wednesday morning at 9.30am and is open to the public (more details to follow). After that, the Executive decision will have to be ratified by full council.
The Village Green application is still pending. No building can take place on the field until this has been heard, and this is not likely to happen until the middle of next year. Its chances of success are slim (because of the stringent criteria that need to be fulfilled), but the result is still uncertain, and no developer will want to buy the field until they know the final outcome of this application.
It is clear that the field is still greatly appreciated by local people and that there is a huge need for open space in this city. With a little vision and investment, the potential recreational value of the field to the local community could be immense. Hopes of this happening are fading, but are by no means extinguished; the fight goes on.
There was excellent newspaper coverage of the campaign in this week's local papers (front page in the Canterbury Times) and a large article on page 5 of the Gazette. Without doubt, there will be coverage in next week's papers too. If you were at last night's meeting, please consider writing a short letter to one or both papers: Gazette: firstname.lastname@example.org /