Cllr Barry Aspinell attended the council meeting last night at which the Crossrail/Friars Avenue Car Park issue was discussed.
At the meeting, the Conservatives voted down Lib Dem amendments to formally request Eric Pickles MP to back our stance not to sell Friars Avenue Car Park and another amendment asking for us to fight the sale and/or lease of the car park.
Cllr Aspinell, Leader of the Opposition, said:
"I was amazed and bitterly disappointed that the Tories rejected the amendments put forward by the opposition at last night's Strategy and Policy Board. The Liberal Democrats amendment put forward by Cllr Graeme Clark was to add to the refusal to accept the compulsory purchase of Friars Avenue car park that we also stated we would not lease or rent the car park to Crossrail.
"We need to protect this car park for the duration of the Crossrail construction because if we lease this to them so that the Council can retain its ownership as an alternative to compulsory purchase after the two year period it is very doubtful that there will be many shops left to benefit from it"
"I can understand Cllr Parker's logic between trying to negotiate and offering Crossrail the lease so that the Council benefits in the long term, but I am totally against this bargaining proposal as in the long term, the short term option will decimate Shenfield. This Council needs to send a clear message to Crossrail that we intend to protect our traders, our residents and our business and office employees."
Our petition, which firmly outlays our position that Friars Avenue Car Park MUST remain is available here.