Thursday, 16 April 2009

Paralysis Hits King's Meadow Proposals

Furious political manoeuvering has been going on in recent days as the future of a piece of Reading's vanishing heritage and environment remains under discussion.

The farrago over King's Meadow pavilion has been dragging on for decades as successive Labour-dominated councils twiddled their thumbs, but with the reality of minority control now upon them moves have been speeded up as they try to reach a conclusion.

The recent recommendation by an alliance of Labour and Conservative councillors to proceed with intensive commercial development of the under-appreciated site was put before Reading's Cabinet for approval, but was called in for reconsideration by the CCEA committee as Conservatives began to get cold feet about the appearance of their support for the Askett Hawke plans.

Cllr Willis gives a basic report explaining the need to buy time to work out a more rounded policy.

LibDem Cllr Swaine provides helpful insight into the tactics of Cllr Willis' Conservative colleagues. In a strongly worded critique of his opponents he says they "are riven with factions" and "led by the nose," with only one common goal - "power at all costs".

Green Party campaigners have been itching to get in on the action. Rob White describes his experience as an onlooker and says the only hope is to "force a public enquiry".

Adrian Windisch thinks the council has been actively trying to destroy the baths "through neglect".

Local satirist Mick Spreader disagrees. He credits Labour with no malice, only indecision. Which can often be worse.

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