Having got twice as many signatures as were needed, the Big Save Our Parks petition will be discussed at the full council meeting next Tuesday evening. The petitioners say that
"Neighbourhood Partnerships should decide on any green space disposals in their area – making sure local people are involved in the decision making, unlike the decisions taken so far by Cabinet."
No doubt the lead petitioners will ask their council colleagues to vote for a supporting resolution (which can't actually make any decision, only recommend that the ruling Cabinet go along with it).
And, judging by what happened at our Neighbourhood Partnership last night, the LibDems will want that resolution emasculated or simply defeated by weight of numbers.
Last night, (just the same as in December - before the Cabinet ignored public opinion and steamrollered through its decision to sell off the green spaces, including eight here in Stockwood) I asked our NP to agree to submit a Public Forum Statement to the full council meeting. In December, our Statement had asked the Cabinet to defer its decision. This one simply urges councillors to support the petitioners' contention that Neighbourhood Partnerships must consent to selling green spaces.
And, just as at the last NP meeting, just three people fought tooth and nail to stop the NP agreeing the Statement. They were, of course, Hengrove's two LibDem councillors plus their Stockwood candidate for the May election.
You'd think that Neighbourhood Partnerships might be pleased to have the say-so on what green spaces on their patch should be sold, but not these LibDems. We had a whole series of attempts to avoid a vote on it, including a desperate claim that we couldn't ask the council to do what it cannot do. (Answer A. We weren't doing that. Answer B. What's to stop us expressing a view, anyway?)
Anyway, we agreed to put the Statement in, the three LibDems dissenting. Just like we did in December. It's getting to be a habit.
It's still a mystery why our local LibDems should be fighting so hard against us getting these rights. Maybe they could provide an explanation here?