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Conservatives under-fire from Windsor Liberal Democrats

June 10, 2020 5:36 PM
By James Bagley in The Royal Borough Observer online - https://www.windsorobserver.co.uk/

THE Alexandra Gardens saga continues as the Liberal Democrats accuse the ruling Tories proceeding with development plans during Covid-19.

The Windsor Lib Dem led 'Save the Alexandra Gardens 2020' campaign group released a statement accusing the Conservatives of progressing development plans at the garden's car and coach park and awarding contracts to develop detailed plans for the area under the cover of the pandemic and before a public consultation is launched.

They claim this revelation came from a submitted freedom of information request on March 14 to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) Council - which was refused on the grounds it would "adversely affect the confidentiality of commercial or industrial information."

Back in March, the Observer reported the campaign was accusing cabinet members of having secret meetings on plans to develop the site - calling for any plans to be postponed until the public health crisis passes.

The council leader, councillor Andrew Johnson (Conservative: Hurley and Walthams), said there are no concrete detailed plans as the council will be looking at proposals to improve the car and coach park and an extensive consultation will be carried out sometime in the future - which has all been postponed due to the council's efforts to fight the coronavirus.

Cllr Johnson said: "We're certainly not in the position to start award a contract to anything at this time because we have no idea what we're awarding that contract for.

"There's absolutely no truth in the rumour that we are about to award contract or anything like that - even in a future point if we were in such a place then councillors, both administration and opposition, would be able to attend the said cabinet meeting to discuss it.

"We can't let any contract without going through cabinet first."

Julian Tisi, a Lib Dem activist, raised concerns that the Alexandra Gardens are too important to be sold off as a "quick fix for the Conservatives financial mismanagement".

He said: "Given that Windsor emphatically rejected the Conservatives at the last local elections and emphatically rejected Conservative plans for a multi-storey car park at Alexandra Gardens in 2008, its essential that current plans are scrapped and started again, involving local people from the very start."

In response, Councillor Johnson said: "I can assure you we're not going to flog it off or anything like that - absolutely not.

"It will form a comprehensive and holistic view of the town going forward both in economic development and sustainability perspective but also to maintain its position as a great place to live and work."

A spokesman for RBWM said: "The council has no plans to develop Alexandra Gardens. The council will in the future be looking at proposals for the coach park and car park with the aim to improve this part of Windsor. There will be extensive consultation with the public on any detailed proposals that come forward in the future."

Original Source:

Over time the original source of stories can get moved or removed online. For this reason we keep copies on our website. The orginal stoyr waspublished here: https://www.windsorobserver.co.uk/news/18506476.conservatives-under-fire-windsor-liberal-democrats/