1,000 signatures reached
To: Leicester City Council
Abandon the sale of the EcoHouse and heritage school in Western Park
We want our Council to preserve our listed and unlisted local heritage, in our park, in public hands, for future generations. The council have a duty of care to the public in ensuring that the EcoHouse and Open Air School in Western Park are put to the best possible public use for our benefit. We oppose the privatisation of our land and buildings in Western Park.
Why is this important?
We, the Leicester public, are rapidly losing our green spaces – 6 acres of allotments off Saffron Lane were sold last year. The Western Park golf course has been closed down, Oadby golf course is for sale as are 14 acres off Loughborough Road, 5 acres on Abbey Meadows and now 5 acres in Western Park. Without parks, where will our children learn to play football or ride bicycles? Will they have to pay an entrance fee? Where will we walk our dogs and breathe unpolluted air?
We see our heritage privatised or gentrified, too. The Castle and its gardens, Wyggeston House, the City Rooms, the Pavillion in Western Park, Belgrave House, Braunstone Hall and now the rare surviving example of an Open Air School in Western Park. Heritage City, accessible only to those who can afford it?
We say enough!
Both the EcoHouse and the Open Air School are our heritage. Both were shining examples of progressive thinking, highlighting 'the way forward' in terms of public wellbeing and the health of the planet that sustains us. Clean air is a human right. The Council has Clean Air and Low Carbon policies. We want to see these put into practice - meaning the sell-off and building up of our green spaces has got to stop. As things stand, 20 houses will be constructed on the EcoHouse site. The heavily used carpark will be lost. Years of building upheaval will follow, as will the permanent transfer of our assets and park land into private pockets. This short term thinking - papering over the cracks of outdated 'economy first, people second' politics - is harmful to our rights and to the long term future of our city.
Leicester City Council have no management plan for Western Park beyond 2016. Does this bode the sell-off of all of our beloved park?
We, the people of Leicester, say no more selling off of our crown jewels! Our Mayor has pledged to build strong, resilient communities – how will he do this, if no space remains where those communities can come together? There are long term alternatives that put people and the future of our city before short term cash.
Leicester City Council, put your pretty policies into practice, please.