DESCEND ON DUKE'S MEADOWS
residents were shocked to discover this week
that a large group of travellers had arrived
on Dukes Meadows. They were in for a further
surprise when it was revealed that an officer
from CIP, the company which manages the Council's
parks and leisure services, had given permission
for them to stay
- Johnny Mathis and some misty,
early-morning shots of the volunteers
from FODM clearing-up the CIP-approved
scene. Why not turn the Meadows
into a natural childbirth centre?".
Local resident and former
TV and radio presenter Mike
first group of four travellers caravans were
already on Duke's Meadows when a CIP Officer
gave permission. This permission would not
have been given under normal circumstances
but one of the travellers was heavily pregnant
(and gave birth last weekend) and so the extenuating
circumstances led to special permission until
caravans belonged to the woman's immediate
family. A health visitor has visited the family
and said that they should stay for an extra
week whilst the new mother recuperated.
secondary group (of approximately 18 caravans
which moved into the boat house car park) were
not connected to the first group according
to the Council. Legal proceedings were initiated
as soon as this group was reported.
granting of permission to stay was greeted
with outrage by some as concern grew over the
level of damage to Duke's Meadows. Local resident
and former TV and radio presenter Mike Smith
commented, "Cue - Johnny Mathis and some
misty, early-morning shots of the volunteers
from FODM clearing-up the CIP-approved scene.
Why not turn the Meadows into a natural childbirth
Council spokesman defended their record and
said, "I would challenge you to find a
Council that could evict travellers as quickly
as Hounslow." The travellers had left
the site by Friday evening.
generally follow the main race meetings so
there are a number of groups in the West London
area at the moment, though mainly in Staines/Maidenhead
areas for Ascot.
there has been no proper assessment of the
cost of clear-up yet there has been damage
to the Pavilion reported. The Friends of Dukes
Meadows are planning to make this into an Art
are being considered to protect the Meadows
from unauthorised access but given the size
of the site this could prove difficult. A councillor
has proposed that bollards are put in to stop
this reoccurring and the Friend's of Dukes
Meadows are grateful to receive any offers
of funding for this. As an interim measure
they have managed to obtain a free supply of
logs which they may be able to secure the site
with if help from the Council or CIP is forthcoming.
Friends of Dukes Meadows hold regular clear
up days and are always looking for new volunteers.
They have been in receipt of several grants
and a development officer for the site is to
be appointed in the near future. Plans have
been drawn up for an ambitious scheme to regenerate
the site and reintroduce open air bathing which
used to be massively popular in the area.
of Duke's Meadows