Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is, according to many, the very definition of insanity.
Well, it would seem that West Dunbartonshire Council’s Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development Committee are in need of an intervention from Nurse Ratched, as they voted today to approve the first stages of a plan to develop Posties Park into a pay-to-use managed leisure facility.
Did these Councillors and officials learn nothing from the last time they proposed to take the park away from the community? Just over a year and a half ago in the Denny Civic Theatre, in front of an audience of hundreds of concerned citizens, the very same Councillors issued a motion to dismiss the proposal to develop Posties, saying :
“[We] have taken into account the lack of support for the building of a new school on Posties Park; and the strong public desire to retain the open space.”
And yet, here we are again, facing another proposal to turn the open space into a restricted access site for school use during the daytime, and fee-paying club and group use in the evenings and weekends.
Of course, our Council leader-cum-spin-doctor sells this development to us as a “tremendous” proposal benefiting the “whole of West Dunbartonshire”. We’re all winners, apparently. And not one member of the IRED committee disagreed, with back-pats reverberating all around the room, even when it was made clear that your average Joe would no longer be able to trot around Posties for free, at anytime of the day. There was no mention of the losers in this proposal; the hobby-joggers who would rather fly to the moon than join an athletics club; the people who exercise during the daytime, but who aren’t still in school; and most importantly of all, those who just don’t have the money to shell out on a pay-to-use facility, and who rely on our parks being free and accessible.
Somebody coined the phrase ‘clowncillors’ to describe some of our local elected officials, and after today’s vote, I am left wondering how many of them have the Circus theme tune as their ringtones. I’m certainly developing a case of coulrophobia from just observing Council meetings.
I’ll post more details from the meeting in due course, including how the proposal to offload the Council-owned Marinecraft site to a local businessman for redevelopment sailed right through committee without a single question. Right now, I’ve got letters to write…