|Gloves Off Over Gunnersbury|
Friends accuse Ealing's Cllr Dabrowska of 'destroying cooperation' between councils
Friends of Gunnersbury Park and Museum Chair James Wisdom has refuted claims made by Ealing Conservative Cllr Joanna Dabrowska that "Hounslow has not been willing enough to put money where their mouth is."
In a letter to Ealing Gazette titled 'Right, Hounslow, time for park action' she wrote, "As a passionate Ealing Common Conservative councillor, and as a member of the Gunnersbury Park Regeneration Joint Advisory Board, I am only too aware of the state of the wonderful assets that we share with our neighbouring borough.
"Through years of neglect and under-funding, it has come to the point of no return; something must be done. Whereas Ealing Council has always provided monetary support, our neighbour, Hounslow has not been willing enough to put money where their mouth is.
"Looking to the future, I am committed to restoring and improving Gunnersbury Park, but over my dead body will I ever give up any piece of the parkland to developers to help pay for it. Funds will be found to make sure that this thriving community amenity is restored to its former glory and better!"
In response, James Wisdom said, "I fear Cllr Dabrowska is misleading your readers when she writes (Right, Hounslow, Time For Park Action, Oct 29 2009): “Whereas Ealing Council has always provided monetary support, our neighbour, Hounslow has not been willing enough to put money where their mouth is.”
"There have been many occasions when LB Ealing has unilaterally reduced its support for Gunnersbury Park – for example, its cut of £20,000 in the 2007-8 budget, approved at full Council in January 2007 and confirmed at the Gunnersbury Park Joint Committee meeting of 9th February 2007, with Cllr Dabrowska present. Hounslow then matched the cut, as the joint ownership agreement demanded, and the impact was significant.
"Cllr Dabrowska supported holding the public consultation, knowing full well that the research behind it had established that the alternatives to the development proposal were not viable. She also knows that the public has voted in favour of this proposal, and she is now desperately attempting to lay the blame for past (and probably future) failure onto Hounslow.
"By destroying what cooperation there has been between the two councils, Cllr Dabrowska and her colleagues are consigning Gunnersbury Park to further decay."
The next meeting of the Gunnersbury Park Joint Advisory Panel which will take place on Monday 30 November 2009 at which results from the recent public consultation about options for the future of the park will be presented to the panel.