A letter sent to the leader of Hillingdon Council, Councillor Ray Puddifoot.
THERE has been much speculation recently about the future of the public car park in Long Drive.
As you very well know, the South Ruislip Residents' Association, on behalf of its members, wish the facility to remain in situ.
Your letter to me dated February 28, 2007, made it clear that there were no current plans to dispose of the car park.
We have not been consulted by yourself or by our elected representatives on this matter since your communication.
There are many reasons why we could not agree to losing the car park and now more than ever we cannot even consider the possibility because of the changes to the area that affect our members and others.
We are grateful to the council for introducing controlled car parking zones, and also the help we received from councillors to get CCTV installed at the Long Drive shopping area.
However, this has had the effect of removing parking other than for a short duration for visitors to the area, and customers of the local shops.
Many residents have pointed out to me that they use the car park if they are expecting to return late at night from London by Central Line.
They use their car to get home for personal safety reasons, and who can blame them, because unfortunately anti-social behaviour and danger of attack exists in the area around Long Drive shops, especially late at night. Hence the need for the CCTV mentioned previously .
Concerned local traders tell me that their customers often use the car park and are fearful of losing even more trade if customers were made to go through the superstore to get to and from their car. The Middlesex Arms public house, and the Days Hotel, who have evening dining patrons, use the existing car park, and it would be very bad for their business if this car park were to close.
I feel the need to point out to you that our neighbours in Eastcote, Ruislip and Ruislip Manor all have surface located car parks, so do we, it is a very good well maintained one, and we intend to keep it.
There are two linked issues that both have dubious merit; first the vexed question of the inducement being offered of a library in the Sainsbury's store - we do not support that proposition for a number of reasons.
The main one is we wish the current location to be the site of a redeveloped library, possibly with flats accommodation above.
The second is the highly questionable one of the council compulsory purchasing the old bank building currently used by Bonnells, using council tax payers' money to further the aims of a commercial company - Sainsbury's.
We very much look forward to consultation with you on the matters raised in this letter.
chairwoman, South Ruislip Residents' Association