Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How Robert Wann has changed his tune over the environment

One notable feature of the controversy over the proposed development of Aylestone Meadows in Leicester has been the way that Robert Wann, the City Council's cabinet member for culture and leisure, Robert Wann, appears to have gone out of his way to antagonise those who are opposed to his plans.

He has accused them of being "selfish" and talked of "the alleged ecological issue at the proposed site". Overall, he has given the impression of caring only about football and having no sympathy for the natural enviroment.

This is puzzling, because in 1990 Leicester was proud to be designated Britain's first environment city. And until recently the Riverside Park, of which the Aylestone Meadows form part, was the city council's flagship environmental project.

Wann's recent pronouncements certaintly contrast with this passage:
Participation in green spaces in Leicester is high, with people getting involved in many different ways and for many different reasons. This has always been encouraged and with Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire (along with other organisations) volunteers help with the management of some of Leicester’s key nature reserves; people learn more about our natural heritage; and communities build ownership for their local green space..
That is part of the foreword from a document called Leicester Biodiversity Report 2008. You can download it from the Local Action for Biodiversity website. And the author of that foreword? It is Cllr Robert Wann.

Meanwhile there are concerns over the use of herbicides on the football pitches if the development of Aylestone Meadows does go ahead. How will this effect the surrounding nature reserve? Is it possible to maintain a football pitch without them?

More evidence that Aylestone Meadows is the wrong place for football pitches and all their attendant development.

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