A CONTROVERSIAL decision to stop recording the minutes of a board which meets behind closed doors to discuss the future of an historic park has been defended by Ealing Council.
Gunnersbury Park Regeneration Board came under fire from Health Minister Ann Keen earlier this month for meeting under a "shroud of secrecy", after leaked minutes revealed a significant area could be sold off for luxury houses.
Following the criticism, a decision was taken to abandon full minutes and record only decisions taken by the board, which includes members of Ealing and Hounslow Councils and which is looking at ways to plug a £10m shortfall in the park's regeneration budget.
Framing the move in a positive light, an Ealing Council spokeswoman said: "The Gunnersbury Park Regeneration Board has chosen to produce decision sheets after each meeting rather than lengthy minutes.
"This means that outcomes of the meeting will be available to the public much quicker than before."
Ealing and Hounslow Councils have historically shared responsibility for the management of the park but many of the buildings there have been allowed to fall into disrepair.
The regeneration board was formed last year to spur on the park's regeneration.
Residents were outraged when the leaked papers revealed the board had concuded that the "only alternative to doing nothing" was to offer part of the park for development, and suggested building expensive luxury houses similar to those in Kensington Palace Gardens.
Campaigner Victor Mishiku said: "The two councils hold this public open space on tust for the benefit of the general public.
"The council is not supposed to be acting like backyard developers or garden-grabbers selling off the family silver."