Over the past few weeks the Liberal Democrats in Windsor have launched "Save Alexandra Gardens 2020" our campaign to stop excessive development at the Alexandra Gardens Coach and Car Parks.
As part of the Campaign we have:
issued a press release picked up by most local media
started a petition to have decisions made in public
Under the current Conservative Administration the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead's council have got into significant debt. To pay off the debt large amounts of our (residents') public assets are being sold off in what local Lib Dems are calling the "Fire Sale Flog Off".
Plans for development along Windsor Riverside, including at Alexandra Gardens appear to have been in development for over a year. 12 months ago an argument on social media between two prominent local Conservatives led to us asking for information on the plans by means of a Freedom of Information Act request. The council refused the request citing an exemption for decisions still in the process of being taken, however the refusal notice effectively confirmed that plans were being developed in secret.
More recently we issued a Press Release which was used as the basis for stories in local media. The Conservative response to this press release provided further confirmation that the secret plans existed. In parallel we have renewed our FOI request to have the plans made public.
Local Lib Dems don't believe in taking big decisions like this in secret, we believe the council should work for residents, not keep secrets from them.
Local Lib Dems believe the public should be involved from the start of the process, not presented with a fait accomplis near the end of the process.
Local Lib Dems believe that decisions should be taken with a strategic view of what is best for Windsor, not as a quick-fix to pay off Conservative debts.
Local Lib Dems believe more Windsor Councillors should be involved in the decision. The Council Cabinet is made up almost entirely by Maidenhead Councillors.
Local Lib Dems believe any plan for Windsor riverside should take a clear overview of all of the undeveloped land along the Windsor riverside.
Local Lib Dems believe any plans should emphasise open green puiblic space, pedestrians and cyclists.
Local Lib Dems believe any plans should try to create a motor traffic free space alongside the river.
In the abscence of proper, early, public consultation from the Conservative led council, in this survey we ask you what you think should happen to the land along Windsor's riverside and around Alexandra Gardens including these areas:
Alexandra Gardens car park
Alexandra Gardens coach park
Alma Road Car Park
Castle Car Park
Railway Arches adjacent to Alexandra Garden
Riverside Green space between Royal Windsor Way and The Cafe on the River
River Street Car Park
Windsor Leisure Centre car park
Most of these areas have been suggested in the past for development as part of previous Council plans or as part of the Windsor Link Railway proposals put forward by a former Conservative Councillor. We have included others because they are currently undeveloped (and consequently may be proposed for development at some future point) and form part of the Windsor riverscape.
In terms of constructing the survey our "Quick Answers" in the survey we have included every possible use of each site we could imagine. For the avoidance of doubt, the inclusion of any possible use for any given site does not mean that Windsor Liberal Democrats are advocating that use.
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