(P.28) PRIVATE EYE - No. 994 Friday 20th January 2000

Crystal Balls
(letters - page 14)


It was good of you to mention my talk to the Vision for London study day.

Many of the world's great parks contain buildings. Crystal Palace Park started life as a commercial theme park and took its name from the huge glass building on the site that was burned down in 1936.

Restoration of the park includes finding a popular public leisure use in a building on the site of the former Crystal Palace. National level support for that came from the passing of the Crystal Palace Act in 1990. Since then our overall vision and the development scheme have received support from English Heritage and the Royal Fine Arts Commission, as well as local community groups and .

businesses who value the improved economic and social prospects for this sadly rundown area.

Surely it is better for Crystal Palace to be reborn for the 21st century rather than leave this nearly derelict site to slide further into decline?

Yours faithfully,

Director of Leisure and Community Services,

SPOT THE ECO-THUG (Rotten Boroughs - page 13)

BROMLEY'S director of leisure Robbie Stoakes, who recently made a speech in favour of concreting over 12 acres of Crystal Palace park to accommodate a 20-screen cinema and huge rooftop car park (Eye 993) has the full backing of his former boss.

Departing chief executive Dr Michael Blanch, off to be chief exec of the Falkland Islands, took the opportunity of a farewell speech to councilors to smear peaceful protesters who have objected to the scheme as "eco thugs". By an amazing coincidence, the Falklands has been having an environmental row of its own. A Stanley conservationist, Mike Bingham, who pointed out that the local penguin population had dramatically declined due to oil spills and the depletion of food stocks as a result of industrial-scale fishing, has been subjected to an extraordinary sequence of abuse, anonymous phone threats and trumped-up criminal accusations. Evidently the kelpers share Dr Blanch's distaste for environmentalists. He should feel at home there.

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Last updated 28 Feb 00