SOS PRESS RELEASE- 4 MARCH 2010

Save Our Stow, the lobby organisation totally committed to bringing back Greyhound Racing to Walthamstow Stadium, the most iconic site in East London, today issue the following statement:

In light of the latest press release from London & Quadrant we totally condemn the acts of a social housing charity that has wasted millions of pounds of tax payers money. London & Quadrant has denied the Waltham Forest residents of local jobs, it has cost the area its night time economy and outside visitors investment as well depriving the public of a cheap night out for the whole family in a multicultural setting where, regardless of race, gender, age or creed, all were welcome and indeed the Stow was the central meeting place and hive of the community.

London & Quadrant has totally misled Councillors, MP’s and residents of the borough for the last eighteen months with false promises of Planning Application dates. All communications and meetings with councillors and MP’s etc were led by L&Q – these are now proven to be a sham.

At the recent Public Consultation it was L&Q staff who ran the event and indeed booked the event and yet they have failed to inform the residents of the outcome of that event and now try to mislead everyone again by saying that the site and consultation was under the control of Yoo Capital, their commercial partner, who they have now disassociated themselves with and seek to blame them for the total mess and devastation that L&Q has caused to the most famous heritage site that the borough of Waltham Forest possesses.

The Residents and Tax Payers in the UK call upon the Council to actively get involved and stop this sham from becoming a land bank any longer which is what L&Q have now achieved. The tax payer is no longer prepared to bear the brunt of the actions of this total shambles of a Housing Association and we want the Council to act quickly and decisively and the Mayor of London to honour his word and support the Greyhound Track for the good of the Borough. Indeed, in order to reflect the public interest in the returning of greyhound racing to the Stow and the fact that we are now in a ridiculous situation, we ask the council to consider a Compulsory Purchase Order against London & Quadrant.

We note that L&Q state that they know the Borough and have achieved great goals in the area. Well if that is true as claimed the actions on Walthamstow Stadium has wiped out any achievements they may have had and if they would listen to Councillors, MP’s and residents they would do the decent thing and sell the land to the Potential buyer.

L&Q state that they are sceptical about the viability of greyhound racing on the site. We have proven viability time and time again and we challenge L&Q to produce their non viability report as claimed at the recent public consultation for the public to decide. Indeed, with Yoo, L&Q’s commercial partner, out of the picture we are now wondering if L&Q actually have a viable commercial position themselves. Concerning an offer for the stadium, L&Q has taken financial references from the potential buyer, not Yoo Capital, who has never been part of any talks as the registered landowners of the land as shown on the Deeds are L&Q. L&Q has led this sham and mismanagement from day one – over three months ago they took up financial references yet only allowed access to Mr Budimir four working days ago and now state they don’t have an offer.

This again shows L&Q cannot be trusted with the truth and due to the deception and mismanagement of the public purse we call for the resignation of their Chairman Turlough O’Brien and the site director Jerome Geoghegan.

Save Our Stow is the voice of the borough’s residents and of that of the fourth largest sport of this country and remain committed to bringing back a multi use leisure stadium for the good of the Borough.

Rick Holloway, SOS leader stated ‘If, as led to believe, L&Q now have full control of the situation, they now have the opportunity to do the decent thing and end this farce here and now by selling the site back to leisure and greyhound racing use without delay. This is what all parties want, MP’s, councillors and most importantly, the residents that you claim to serve’

John Macklin, Deputy Leader of Waltham Forest Council stated “It is important that all parties and community representatives pull together to get the best result for the community. For years until it closed, people enjoyed spending their leisure time at Walthamstow Stadium. With more houses being built we need to preserve leisure facilities for residents to use. Waltham Forest already has far too many vacant sites being land-banked by developers hoping for an upturn in the market. We need to make progress quickly. The proposals backed by Save Our Stow give us the best chance of doing that at the moment.”

Stella Creasy, Labour Parliamentary candidate at the next general election stated ‘I welcome the fact that L&Q has acknowledged that they have mishandled the situation and have not considered the demands of locals in the Borough for the return of greyhound racing. The next step is to get around the table and take seriously the potential buyer’

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3 Responses to SOS PRESS RELEASE- 4 MARCH 2010

  1. anon says:

    “‘I welcome the fact that L&Q has acknowledged that they have mishandled the situation and have not considered the demands of locals in the Borough for the return of greyhound racing.”

    Am I missing something? They have never done this

  2. Andy Bishop says:

    Well done SOS, tell it like it is. I am a Londoner borne and bred and fed up with the heart of communities being ripped out like this. “Charitable status, non profit making and affordable housing”….dont make me laugh!!
    Waltham Forest Council stand up and be counted!!

  3. Tom Corderoy says:

    The recent turn of events do not surprise me in the least. It is plainly evident that due to the economic downturn L&Q have successfully hoodwinked all concerned in a vain hope the price of land and property rise steeply to recoup any possible shortfall in any future sell-off.
    Many more campaigns MUST be organised by the SOS group such as public marches, advertisement and above all media to ram home to L&Q that the public must get what the public wants and that is the return of greyhound racing back to where it belongs at Walthamstow, so the local community and people from all round the country can enjoy a lovely night out before it just becomes a pipedream.

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