Sunday, July 29, 2007

Marie Louise Gardens: Before and After Pictures

Following among other campaigns John Leech's brilliant coup in convincing many vulnerable cancer patients that the Christie Hospital was to be closed; his team's marvellous story telling, conjuring up a picture in my mind's eye of dozens of pensioners falling into open graves; and his ongoing battle to oppose a plan for fortnightly bin collections which never actually existed; LOL are impressed that Councillor John Leech MP (right) has identified himself so very closely with the seemingly laudable effort to "Save Marie Louise Gardens".

It seems our evil Labour council are to sell this 104-year-old park off to developers for building. Though it is hidden away, hardly used and in grave need of regeneration the very idea of selling off our parks wholesale doesn't bear thinking about.

And even though W Menzies Campbell has been urging Lib Dem councils to do far worse it is good to see Honest John standing up to be counted and making sure that not a single blade of grass, not a single tree and not a single park bench is harmed.

Hurrah! John was the fourth person to sign the petition to save the park; he has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) signed by some of the arguably 'alert' among his Lib Dem colleagues; and he has even spoken in the HoP, garnering advice from a Labour MP on how to stop these evil plans. Hurrah! And again hurrah!

Following three site visits, research into the park's history and legal status, detailed genealogical study, close inspection of the planning applications, and careful consideration of all the sight lines I have commissioned two artist's impressions which I believe accurate in most regards.

These are reproduced below as Before and After views. As ever readers may provide a list of all the differences. If anyone gets all of them there may even be a prize!

Given the differences illustrated above it is not hard to see why the local bull councillor Mark Clayton responded to the planning application with ... his approval. The fool felt at the time - when there were just a couple of objections and one supporting representation - that the very considerable investment in the park resulting was worth stomaching the above very grave difference in aspect. He has been persuaded of the folly of his ways.

The views shown are of around one sixth of these Gardens, being the North East corner. The main building is the lodge which was in effect a "Council House" sold under Tory right to buy legislation in 1998 (? one source says 1995 ?the start of the tenancy?). The North boundary wall runs around 15 metres behind the two buildings.

If you are confused by the many and various differences please do not hesitate to get in touch via comments or email.

As this is such a fascinating campaign LOL will come back to it and share detailed research findings.


Anonymous said...

Presumably the guy on the left is the MP? Not the untidy unshaven oik on the right?

Anonymous said...

you'd think wouldn't you. but no.

jailhouselawyer said...

In the first photo in the top left hand corner is Before in red type, and in the second photo there is After in green type. I have spotted the difference. Can I have my prize please?

Chris Paul said...

Surely you'll have to better than that John. It's a very good guess it seems to me but the art department have been very particular.

They have incorporated ALL the changes to the vista from this point in the park which the evil developer is proposing.

So there must be a lot more. Or there surely wouldn't have been a 7,000 signature petition?

With even children of five years old from London hearing about it and signing.

For the avoidance of further doubt could all contestants please note that the lettering is not included in the answer.

jailhouselawyer said...

So, I take it that was a no then?

Chris Paul said...


Anonymous said...

Can't see Cllr Clayton supporting the planning application. Can you prove that? It would be deeply hypocritical as he has been taking credit - with Leech - for the campaign. Even bragging about intimidating the owner of the lodge.

Chris Paul said...

Yes, anonymous, I have proof. And yes I think it is deeply hypocritical to accept a planning application and what is implied in it and then pretend to be opposed to it.

The proof about it is in the public domain. I'll blog about it more before long.

If you, or anyone can corroborate Cllr Clayton leaning on the owner I'd be glad to receive emails. I have had some information on this but "intimidating" sounds a bit foolish.

jailhouselawyer said...

Am I right in assuming that the before and after photos are the same? And now that you have added an after the after photo, I can see that this one is different from the other two. Moreover, I note that it all has something to do with a protest against selling a park off. With this political analysis, is there any chance I could replace Iain Dale who is so highly thought of as a political blogger?