'Hounslow Must Make Gunnersbury Resolution'

Lib Dems call on council to follow Ealing's lead with regeneration funding

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Hounslow and Ealing Liberal Democrats are calling on Hounslow Council to follow Ealing Council’s lead and identify the capital to fund their contribution to the regeneration of Gunnersbury Park of Gunnersbury Park, mansions and local history museum.

The local Lib Dems are now tabling a motion at Borough Council on 2nd March calling for a capital fund to be built up with a contribution of £1m per annum from Hounslow over the next 7-8 years backed by the local authority.

Cllr Andrew Dakers, Lib Dem Prospective MP for Brentford & Isleworth Constituency, said, “We were delighted Ealing Council finally saw sense in December and committed £5m to the project. We still do not think this enough as project consultants Jura have to date advised that the two councils each need to raise about £8m capital over a period of 7-8 years.

“As well as calling for £1m per annum to be set aside over 7-8 years by Hounslow Council to build up a capital fund, our motion also calls on the councils to address the crisis in governance at the park. The current organisation structure is not yet fit for purpose and must be urgently improved if it is to successfully deliver such a significant regeneration programme."

Hounslow Council dismissed demands from the Liberal Democrats for a similar financial commitment to Ealing's in December as being “out of touch with the real world.”

Councillor Becky Stewart, Lead Member for Leisure at Hounslow Council said, “I refuse to live in the fantasy world occupied by Cllr Dakers and the Lib Dems where forcing borough residents to stump up an extra £8 million in taxes is viewed as the easy option! In the real world we are determined to carry on doing whatever we can to preserve and develop a full range of local leisure facilities for future generations, and this includes our work with English Heritage and Ealing on Gunnersbury Park.”

Cllr Jon Ball, Lib Dem Prospective MP for Ealing Central and Acton Constituency, said, “We hope both Councils will also explain how the remainder of the funding required to get national funding bodies on board will be secured.”

January 27, 2010