Monday, 21 April 2014

Labour Shadow Minister Hilary Benn visited Lydiard Park on the 14th of April

Shadow Secretary of State for Communications and Local Government visited Lydiard Park last week as a show of support for the Labour Party's campaign to protect Lydiard Park for future generations of people living in and around Swindon.
Lydiard Park really is a delightful place, set in a glorious parkland and purchased by Swindon Borough Council in 1943, more can be found about it here.
Some of us concerned about the future of the Croft playing fields, and spreading the word as widely as possible about the council 's attempts to lease out the Croft Leisure Centre, fields, car park, and originally lane leading to it, on a 99 year lease, went along to meet Hilary Benn to hear his views on how we could protect these precious assets.
It was a glorious day, and we hung around the car park for a while and looked at the information board with an immense number of sponsors displayed on it.
There were masses of coloured horses, they may be overcrowded, but they appear to be in good condition.

It was finally decided that we should wait outside the front of the house where we enjoyed the sunshine and watching masses of families playing and enjoying the park. What a brilliant asset it is for the people of Swindon, on our doorstep.
I took a couple of photos of people playing in the wide open spaces, but all you can see if wide open spaces so I only included one:

 After hanging about for a while, Hilary Benn arrived and we were introduced as the Croft Field campaigners, and managed a chat over a cup of tea at the cafe. I am sure it was a lot to take in as we talked about 99 year leases, 3 year change of use clauses and our concern that decisions will be made to sell off our assets to those wanting to develop land.
Below Hilary Benn talking to Mark Dempsey Deputy Leader of Swindon Labour party..
The Oasis held up as a success story of a leisure centre sold 2 years ago, does not look like the sort of place you would set as an example of how well things are working. The swimming facilities leave a lot to be desired, it's worth visiting them if anyone is any doubt about what is happening at the Oasis. The former Clare's equipment site looks as though it might become prime development land rather than a deeply unsustainable ski park.
Basic details of the Croft Fields campaign appear on our leaflet:

Although the consultation has ended, you can join the 'STOP Croft Fields Being Sold' page on Facebook, and sign the online petition at

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