Council criticised for their failure to consult on development plans
Concerns expressed about the planned reintroduction of boating
Mayor Boris says: “it is important that the Council properly takes the views of the Friends of the Lido into account”
Friends Of Ruislip Lido: “We are awaiting sight of the environmental report (produced in April 21010) into the water level and quality. Until this is reviewed it is unclear how many of the the proposals are actually feasible. Once this is clear if it shows boating is a possibility we will begin a campaign and if necessary a petition.”
Council turn down request from Friends Of Ruislip Lido to see environmental report in clear breach of the Environmental Information Regulations .
Vicky Brownlee, Chair of the Friends: “We just want to be involved in this project not treated as if we will be told what the council feel we deserve to know”
In May Ray Puddifoot has stated in an e-mail to a resident that the Council will go ahead with the additional car park.
On June 2nd at the meeting to hear a petition against boating and the new car park , supported by the Friends of Ruislip Lido, a Council officer said that the new car park was only at the investigation stage. Any decision on boating and swimming, he said, would only be made after a flood risk and an environmental impact assessment.
Formal complaint made to Information Commissioner over Council’s refusal to release environmental report
“Don’t turn the Lido into Disneyland “ was the headline in the Gazette in January 2010 after the Council announced its plans to redevelop Ruislip Lido. There is widespread concern that they have not been thought through and have been drawn up without prior consultation with interested parties. The plans were presented at the Ruislip Lido Management Advisory Group (MAG) meeting on 19th January. Click here to meet the relevant section of the minutes.
The Council said there will be no public consultation on the proposals we will just be updated via the Lido MAG and the People Magazine. See correspondence between the Ruislip Lido Residents Group and the Council.
The newly formed Ruislip Lido Residents’ Group submitted a petition to the Council with over 600 signatures expressing concerns about the plans and asking for proper public consultation. A second petition with over 250 signatures was submitted by June Talbot who is particularly concerned about the impact on wildlife. A letter in in the Gazette of 24th Feb Mervyn Hogg nicely summarised peoples concerns about the lack of consultation.
A one sided People Magazine article has been correctly criticised by Ruislip Lido Residents Group (see e-mail) who have asked for the plans for the Lido to be subject to full consultation (e-mail)
The Gazette of 24th March included two letters about the Lido. In the first the Ruislip Lido Railway Society wrote that they have not yet received any details of the plans. This was quite amazing as investment in their “narrow gauge” (not “miniature” as Mr Puddifoot calls it) is part of the plan for the Lido.
The second was a copy of an e-mail from Hillingdon Watch to Ray Puddifoot criticising the way in which the plans were being carried forward and the lack of consultation.
It was learned that the Council had allocated £100,000 for improvements/rebuild of the Lido toilets (see Cabinet minutes of 7th Dec 2009)
The Friends Of Ruislip Lido April newsletter reports that their members were in favour of new toilets, help for the railway and an improved Woodland Centre. They were against boating, charges for non-residents and parking in the environs of the Lido. The Friends want more on site staff and better security. The Council have advised them that an Environmental Report into the water level and quality will be completed by 14th April.
Boris Johnson in answer to a question from GLA Councillor Darren Johnson said:
“I understand that Hillingdon Council is investigating the feasibility of a number of projects at Ruislip Lido with a total investment of £1.5 million, including the introduction of boating. The Lido, a 60-acre lake is set within Ruislip Woods nature reserve and is a fantastic recreational resource for the residents of Hillingdon and beyond. Making the lake more attractive to a wider range of users could bring a range of benefits, but it is important that the Council properly takes the views of the Friends of the Lido into account “
Vicky Brownlee, Chair of the Friends of Ruislip Lido stated on their web site “We are awaiting sight of the environmental report into the water level and quality. Until this is reviewed it is unclear how many of the the proposals are actually feasible. Once this is clear if it shows boating is a possibility we will begin a campaign and if necessary a petition.” However their request to see the report made on 23rd April was turned down by the Council.
Vicky has written to Cllr Corthorne saying “..I am confused as to why we have had to ask and ask and ask again for this. I say again this just raises concerns not only of what is in the report but community engagement should mean honesty and transparency in decisions. Not making people feel they are being a pain for asking, I have now asked a number of times and still feel blocked. We just want to be involved in this project not treated as if we will be told what the council feel we deserve to know. This is our Lido, our council and we just want to work together. It is almost as if either there is something they do not want us to see .... “.
Formal requests to see it have now been made by Hillingdon-Watch, Eastcote Residents Association and Ruislip Residents Association.
The opportunity was taken of the Friends litter pick of the Lido to write to Nick Hurd about the uncooperative attitude of the Council and the need for revenue as well as capital investment.
This photo was taken by a local resident showing the cars parked on double yellow lines in Reservoir Road. She wrote to Ray Puddifoot specifically about the Councils’ failure to enforce parking regulations. In his reponse he said “there is obviously the need for additional parking . She replied to say that her “e-mail was not to do with lack of parking spaces but the lack of enforcement of existing regulations”
Another local Lido resident has written to him about the parking chaos in Reservoir Road and Lakeside Close. In reply he has stated “We are planning to increase the car parking available to Lido users asap. Some people have objected to this but I will ensure that we now proceed as fast as possible. The case for additional parking is obvious regardless of what improvements are undertaken to Lido facilities”.
It seems therefore that Mr Puddifoot he is set on going ahead with tarmacing over part of the Lido for extra car parking without completing any consultation process or carrying out any traffic safety assessment.
June Talbot has submitted the following petition to LBH Planning Services:
We, the undersigned, strongly oppose the proposed programme due to the adverse effect on existing and future wildlife which will be caused as a result of:
•the provision of a boating area for adults
•the introduction of a paddle boating area for children
•the construction of a hard-surfaced area to accommodate an additional 200 cars.
Council is now in breach of the Environment Information Regulations 2004 by failing to provide a copy of the Lido enviromental report to the Friends Of Ruislip Lido within 20 working days.
At the meeting to hear the petition from June Talbot Alan Dalton, LBH Deputy Director Planning and Community Services said that:
A flood risk and an environmental impact assessment was being commisioned to be carried out by HACRO . It should be completed by 13th August when it will be submitted to the Environment Agency. It is expected to be published in mid to late September. It will form the basis of any decision on water level management, and the viability of boating and swimming.
The option to build the 200 place car park was, he said, just “under investigation”. It was pointed out by supporters of the petition that this position contrasted with that expressed by the Leader of the Council in an e-mail to a resident (see above).
The toilet block by the beach is to be refurbished. Concern was expressed that it would therfore be out of action during the peak demand in August.
A formal complaint has been made to the Information Commissioner against the Council’s refusal to provide a copy of their Lido environmental report. Details
Gazette reports Council Paranoid over Lido report. See article