Save Our Stow, the organisation consisting of local residents of Waltham Forest and greyhound owners, trainers and enthusiasts, plans to bring back greyhound racing and offer affordable housing on a multi use site. In its 75 year history the track provided jobs, inward investment, leisure and a true sense of community and heritage. Waltham Forest’s identity is the track and our new plans for the stadium are backed by Mayor Boris Johnson’s vision for the Stow, Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith (Minister for Jobs and Pensions), Stella Creasy (MP for Walthamstow), All Party Parliamentary Greyhound Group, local Labour , Tory and Lib Dem Councillors, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain , local Residents Associations and the vast majority of residents in the borough.
L&Q has not had any support for any of their schemes for the iconic site yet still persist, after two years, in putting residents who worked at the stadium out of work and on long term benefits, putting enormous strain on local Council resources and denying Waltham Forest of much needed inward investment and job opportunities. The stadium is viable and we have a company ready to start work for the good of the Borough but the only organisation that is holding everyone back is publicly funded London & Quadrant who are draining the public purse on both and national and local level.
Bob Morton submitted a detailed bid for the site that satisfies the wishes of the public-the same public that funds London & Quadrant.
Save Our Stow is outraged at L&Q’s reaction to Bob Morton’s bid for the Stow and, in particular, the stalling tactics employed. L&Q has created an eyesore for the Borough, misleading everyone and blaming all but themselves for the mess they find themselves in with regard to this site. Local MP’s, who represent the residents, made clear to L&Q the wishes of the Borough and demanded they meet with Mr Morton and that the site should consist of Greyhound Racing, yet L&Q still carry on the sham of now dropping from 500 homes to 300 homes for 18.1 million of tax payers money with no mention of a greyhound track. In fact the total building costs would put another 45 million on the bill for the tax payer. This is a total and utter disgrace with two L&Q Directors’ combined salaries alone taking over £450,000 a year out of the public purse. We call on the government to now intervene and follow their own Policy and stop funding L&Q.
London & Quadrant has misled the public constantly about when planning applications will be submitted to the council (ten dates up till now) and they will never obtain planning permission. Throughout this sham they have lost two commercial partners (Yoo Capital, K.W. Linfort). They are now on to their third firm of architects all paid for by the public purse and they acknowledge the complete mess they are in by now employing a firm of political Public Relations Advisors to work on the site PR, again paid for by you the taxpayer.
At the last public consultation L&Q was told by hundreds of people that they wanted the return of greyhound racing. The council received more than ten times more submissions to protect the Stow than any other site in the Borough’s history. L&Q are hearing this message but are not listening to it. It is beyond belief that they now want another public consultation paid by the public purse while ignoring and not issuing the results of the first one but blaming Yoo Capital for the fact they did not want to listen to the residents. L&Q is now exposed, isolated and still wasting more public funds on this site and Government must now intervene.
Bob Morton has tabled a genuine offer which deserves urgent and full consideration. It provides a solution that benefits all aspects of the community.
This farce must not continue any longer. It must stop here and now. L&Q must be prevented from speculating on the housing market using tax payers’ money. More than two years have elapsed without any plans being submitted or a single brick being laid and this will be the case for years to come unless action is taken now.
Bob Morton will provide the additional information requested by L&Q without delay. We ask that L&Q fully engage by contacting Mr Morton by Tuesday 31 August 2010 with a view to scheduling a meeting with Mr Morton and his team to discuss the proposals in depth.
If notice of this meeting is not forthcoming in line with the above timetable, then the campaign will recommence on a bigger scale starting with a march to L&Q’s main office. The march will be led by Stella Creasy MP and Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith and will have the full backing of the All Party Parliamentary Group and local residents. It will provide the platform for the local residents to demand that L&Q engage fully with Mr Morton.
We would repeat that we are calling upon L&Q to immediately and completely engage with Mr Morton for the benefit of the community by getting back to the negotiating table without delay as directed by the Minister for Work and Pensions the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith and Stella Creasy (MP for Walthamstow).
Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith today added :
“I am disappointed that L&Q has decided not to meet Bob Morton to discuss his offer in more depth, particularly in the light of my conversation with the Chief Executive of L&Q, who assured me that he would take seriously any offers made for the site. I urge L&Q to follow through on this promise and meet Bob Morton as soon as possible.”
Contact : Rick Holloway 07913 325674