This Is CheshireWho is paying for riverside propaganda? (From This Is Cheshire)

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Archive - Thursday, 4 April 2002

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Who is paying for riverside propaganda?

Sir,-Since passing its own Riverside scheme on February 28th the council has issued a circular, written in its now familiar totalitarian-speak, advertising the benefits of the development. But why, since the circular claims that the majority of residents are longing for 46 luxury flats and a lot of redundant retail on their riverside, is it necessary to remind us of its many dubious benefits?

And who is paying for this advertising campaign? I am particularly alarmed by the following statement: "Whilst there is strong and vocal hostility from some near residents and associations, who would prefer the derelict town centre site to remain as a private backwater, there is strong support for the scheme from many residents and the local business community."

May I, for the record, correct this claim through your pages?

1) Not "some" but all the local environmental and residents associations have objected, as have many residents, including myself, who do not live near the site and will not therefore be directly affected by it.

2) All objectors agree that the site, which is in public ownership, should be developed for the public good. It is the Council's scheme that would make it a private backwater - for the residents of the luxury flats.

3) The riverside is not the town centre.

4) Many members of the local business community have objected on the grounds that there are already enough shops and restaurants in the town centre and that their businesses will be harmed rather than helped by increased traffic, difficulty of parking, and pollution, not to mention the sacrifice of our lovely riverside, which is Twickenham's main attraction.

The circular concludes with the usual threat that if we don't accept this particular destructive over-development the site may remain derelict for another twenty years (as indeed it has in the nearly twenty years of LibDem control of the Council).

Who says? Is the Council so certain that it will win the approaching election?

Should we vote for a party that stands for a choice between over-development in the interests of the few or nothing at all?

-Sheila Hale, Montpelier Row, Twickenham.

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