Tories to Spend £1m of Public Money and Destroy Riverside Park to Build Dock for Queen’s Barge

A006 - CopyTory-led Richmond Council is facing protest from local residents after plans were discovered to turn a tranquil riverside park and children’s playground into a busy tourist centre and dry-dock for the Queen’s barge Gloriana…and use £1m of public money to do it.

The Plan

A006The idea is the pet project of Lord True (pictured above), the Conservative leader of Richmond council, and will use £1m of public money to build a tourist and heritage site with Gloriana as its centre, as a tribute to the vessel, its Richmond connections, and to the Queen. Plans include building a visitors centre and a café.

The first most local people new of the plans was when a giddy Lord True let slip at a dinner, and they were subsequently confirmed by officials.

But the wooded parkland of Orleans, earmarked as the vessel’s new home happens to be in a conservation area donated to the local authority in the 1960s for the enjoyment of local families.

The Opposition

A007Local residents and campaign group The Friends of Orleans Riverside said the plans would destroy a tranquil riverside spot with unmanageable numbers of tourists and require a well-loved children’s playground to be moved.

Local resident Paul Bigley,  52, a spokesman for the group, said:

“They are talking about cutting a canal into the wooded area to house the barge which is 95ft, so we’re talking about a large structure with a visitors centre and new café to go with it.

“It would also go through the children’s playground which would have to be re-located.”

And on the lack of public consultation over the project, Bigley said:

“We have all seen surveyors marking out the ground over the last few weeks but all we have heard is rumours the council would not confirm,”

“Now we find out they have been secretly planning and working away on this for a very long time and they have already got detailed plans drawn up…So people are very, very angry.

“We don’t want what is a beautiful conservation area, a tranquil, quiet and wooded place, to be turned into developed land. This area is like the riverside would have been before it was first developed in the 18th century. It is resplendent. It does not need a royal barge to be rammed into it in what amounts to a vanity project.”

Austerity? What Austerity?

A008Richmond Council has cut £33m from front line services over the last four years.  These cuts have directly impacted the authority’s most vulnerable residents – people who are elderly, disabled, ill or in the social care system.

The Council have raised the cost of meals at day centres by 10%, the cost of emergency alarms by 3%, and cut the care support budgets for disabled children and their families, adults and the elderly.

It was argued that these cuts, as unpalatable as they are, were unavoidable – the necessary outcome of an unbalanced budget.

Yet, Richmond can afford to take £1m out of the public purse to pursue a vanity project for the Queen and her gilded barge?

Pull the other one.

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8 thoughts on “Tories to Spend £1m of Public Money and Destroy Riverside Park to Build Dock for Queen’s Barge

  1. The money generated from the investment has likely convinced the council that this in fact is a project that can benefit the borough and bulk up the budget. Honestly, only in Richmond would people not want this. I think its a great idea and if Richmond doesn’t take it, trust me someone else will!

  2. What is more interesting having attended a council cabinet meeting last night is that there is over £4m in the bank due to efficiency savings – doesn’t quite add up based on the cuts detailed above!

    “Richmond Council has cut £33m from front line services over the last four years. These cuts have directly impacted the authority’s most vulnerable residents – people who are elderly, disabled, ill or in the social care system.

    The Council have raised the cost of meals at day centres by 10%, the cost of emergency alarms by 3%, and cut the care support budgets for disabled children and their families, adults and the elderly.

    It was argued that these cuts, as unpalatable as they are, were unavoidable – the necessary outcome of an unbalanced budget”

    Something is wrong here!

  3. If he wants to display the barge then he can put it in a shed on his own land or use some of the land around the royal palaces and not on public park land. As to the money, have a whip around the House of Lords I’m sure they’ll all chip in.

  4. Let the homeless live on it in fact let them live in all the royal families homes load room come on queenie get your finger out and give up some room it make you feel good!!! ha

  5. Pingback: Tories to Spend £1m of Public Money and D...

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