SIR, — Following the removal of the temporary ice rink from the Meadow in Verulamiun Park, St Albans, it has been with mounting concern that I have observed the after-effects from the rink and its associated structures. The ice rink was on site throughout
SIR, - Following the removal of the temporary ice rink from the Meadow in Verulamiun Park, St Albans, it has been with mounting concern that I have observed the after-effects from the rink and its associated structures.
The ice rink was on site throughout December 2007 until January 5, 2008. It was popular and well-used but the benefits enjoyed may be annulled by the repercussions and costs of restoration.
The fact that it has all but destroyed the area in the meadow opposite Westminster Lodge should lead to some searching questions being asked. Why for instance did the Environment Agency object to the planning application initially only to withdraw their objection at the last minute?
The area has been fenced off and out of use. Drainage is badly affected and much remains waterlogged so that maintenance contractors are unable to access the site to reconstitute the area.
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Amazingly and scandalously, no clause was added to the contract, by this Lib-Dem-run district council, with the proviso for recompense for damage caused.
This means that the considerable costs involved for the work will undoubtedly fall on the council tax payers, while the provider has ridden off into the sunset with a nice little income.
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And guess what! Although the area has been out of use for all this time, Zippo's Circus still arrives on the April 21 and it remains to be seen what further damage will be caused from their lorries, caravans, big top etc.
It would appear that it's business as usual and to hell with the consequences.
Apparently discussions are due to take place with Cousins Entertainment Ltd this month to determine if they are interested in delivering an ice rink in St Albans again in December 2008.
Maybe it is about time that serious thought be given to the fact that there is possible over-use of the area for events and some are just not suitable, before irreparable damage is caused to the meadow.
CLLR IRENE WILLCOCKS,
Verulam Ward, St Albans District Council.