IT WOULD be easy to read Councillor Taylor's reported comment (Gazette, March 19), "If people have problems with youngsters playing near them then I'm not going to apologise for that", as straightforward, albeit vote-risking, arrogance, in the light of an abject failure to engage with the numerous local residents and groups who have voiced concerns about the proposed skate park in Elthorne Park.
A number of local residents, myself included, and the Hanwell Community Forum have commented on the proposal and have raised a number of, I believe, justifiable
questions. While I am supportive of an increase in leisure activities, particularly for our younger residents, one must question if the 'details' which Councillor Taylor seems intent to bulldoze are seemingly being ignored.
A number of residents have questioned the location of the proposed facility: Not only whether any more central locations have been considered, as example the redundant nature area in Walpole Park, which would be more accessible to more young people, but if the precise location within Elthorne Park, if this is the most viable position, is the most suitable.
The original consultation document noted that the campaign for a skate park 'in west Ealing', but neither the consultation nor the planning application make reference to any other sites considered and discounted.
The proposed location would necessitate the concreting of around 25-30 per cent of one 'side' of Elthorne Park. This area currently enjoys extensive, diverse use, including, but not limited to, football, Frisbee, golf, dog walking, picnicking, kite flying and just an area to simply sit and relax. It would seem inappropriate to designate such an area for a single use while ignoring more appropriate locations, including those within Elthorne Park, which witness little, if any, diversity of use.
Questions and observations about floodlighting, to which I admit I strongly object in a residential setting, installation of monitored CCTV and the provision of adequate first aid facilities also remain undebated and unanswered.
It is for this reason that I, among others, am grateful that the Labour group have called in the proposal for further scrutiny.
The devil is in the detail Councillor Taylor and the excuse "that we get on with things" is a simple disservice to local residents.
NIGEL BROOKS Boston Road