Council did not listen to residents

I WAS pleased to see the Herald article (July 20) headed, Council U-turn on Circus Plan, which gave details of the about-face the council had performed on the issue of placing the Moscow State Circus on the Five Acre Field. 

I am sure you will understand that as one of the elected representatives for the Sovereign Ward, I had been contacted by a considerable number of the residents who voiced objections to the proposal not only to move the circus to the field, but also to the granting of an alcohol licence on this heavily-used local recreation area. 

You will understand my surprise on reading the article which said an un-named council spokesman is reported as saying ‘Having asked local residents for their views about the location of the circus, the council has decided to use Princes Park, rather than Five Acre Field’.  

At no stage has the council consulted with the local residents about placing the circus on the field. Yes, the council held what they called a reconciliation meeting in the Strollers Cafe in Princes Park, but this was only to tell residents the circus WOULD be relocated.

Yes, there was a licensing hearing at which the public were invited to attend where local residents, as well as all the Sovereign councillors, spoke to the committee. But at the end of the meeting the licensing sub-committee voted by two to one to grant the premises licence.

On both occasions the council did not listen to the residents. On both occasions the administration portfolio holder for tourism, Cllr. Neil Stanley, did not bother to attend the meeting to hear residents views.

Maybe the prospect of an appeal to the Magistrates Court or a proposed request for a judicial review encouraged the council to think again because it certainly was not as a result of ‘asking local residents’ that the change of heart was made.

Cllr GORDON JENKINS

Sovereign Ward