meeting provides "a very depressing picture"
Director of CIP who met with a group of Chiswick residents recently is praised
for his frankness but offered little prospect of improvement to local services
Who are CIP?
are a not for profit company set up by Hounslow Council to take over the role
of the leisure services division
other things they are responsible for:
outdoor festivals, theatre, and community events
museums and historic houses
and green spaces – grounds maintenance including Chiswick House Grounds
& Recreation – including Brentford Leisure Centre, Chiswick New Pool and the Back
Common tennis courts
30 residents turned up to hear Julian Knott Director of Services at CIP answer
a series of questions about their services in the Chiswick area.
Knott gave an honest but not particularly encouraging view point on the current
situation with the central theme being that there was not sufficient funding to
give people the kind of provision they expect. One resident described it as "a
very depressing picture" although after the meeting most attending described
it as very constructive. Mr Knott said that he "admired the passion of Chiswick".
The budget that CIP has received has been cut every year since its inception.
Due to a half million pound overspend in previous years CIP will be making further
cut-backs or "right-sizing" the company in the near future with 28 jobs
of the discussion on the evening centred on the state of Chiswick House Grounds.
It was revealed that the annual budget for the maintenance of the grounds was
£155,000 which it was admitted was woefully inadequate. Gunnersbury Park
receives more than twice this amount because it is jointly funded by Hounslow
and Ealing Council. There is some prospect of the grounds receiving funding from
the National Lottery but without this further decline is not ruled out. Measures
have been taken to improve park security and stem the tide of vandalism but the
cost of regular security patrols has proven to be prohibitive. The toilets in
the grounds remain in their present state because the borough-wide budget for
public conveniences is £8000.
the subject of tree maintenance it was pointed out that an original tree maintenance
schedule of once every two years had been scaled back to every seven due to budget
cuts. In the Bedford Park area this contrasts with the trees in Ealing borough
which are maintained on a "as needed" basis. CIP pointed out that they
were capable of offering a similar level of service given the necessary level
was better news on Chiswick Back Common tennis courts on which the meeting was
told that the Secretary of State had received a letter on the change of designation
of the site and a positive response was expected soon. New courts could be up
and running by the spring.
are aiming to supplement the amount of money they receive by increasing income
from work in the private sector. Revenue from this can be ploughed back into exisiting
Eversden, who is a member of various local amenity groups, praised Mr Knott for
his frankness and said, "It cost LB Hounslow over £3 million in 1991
to provide the services that CIP have to provide and manage now. One would think
the cost would have risen to more than £5 million after eleven years but
Hounslow Council has decided to provide a grant to CIP to do the work of just
conclusion of many at the meeting was that CIP had been taking the brunt of criticism
for the failing standard of service when they themselves were victims of continuous
budget cutting. However, with Education and Social Services taking up the largest
part of the budget there was little prospect of major increases in funding for
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House Grounds Nursery Plans
critical of failings that led to tennis court neglect
on Planning Application for nursery
of Chiswick House