Our councillors are proposing two very large barbeque areas. These will be covered with concrete slabs in the hope that people will rest their barbeques on them. It wasn’t made clear what will happen if people don’t use the slabs or if they barbeque outside the designated areas. They don’t know yet how much all of this will cost if it’s implemented.
10,000 survey forms are to be issued to all households within 800 metres of the park’s perimeter. Included with the survey forms will be prepaid return envelopes. The councillors who’ve made the arrangements for the consultation process are Councillor Penny Ewens (Lib Dem, Hyde Park and Woodhouse), and Councillor Jamie Matthews (Lib Dem, Headingley). At the meeting, there was a display illustrating what’s being proposed, and two Parks and Countryside officers were present to answer questions. Also present was a Students’ Union representative who explained why he believes people should be allowed to barbeque in the park.
While the consultation was going on, a bonfire was blazing on the Moor. Even though fires are currently illegal on the Moor, the people who instigated this one were able to enjoy their blaze with impunity. Given that no action is ever taken against such people, one wonders what the current consultation exercise is all about. Do they think that by making barbeques legal, the problem will go away ? If so, it reveals that for our councillors, the problem is not barbeques – it’s local residents complaining about them, and our council’s failure to uphold the law in our local park. To see photos of the bonfire and its aftermath, and read about it, please go to Woodhouse Moor Online.