Politicians ignored us and fenced off part of a public park

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Politicians want our vote on May 5 but how can we have confidence in any of them?

They tell us once every few years that our voice is important but then ignore that voice once they’re in power.

Well my voice is important to me every day, not just election day. I told our politicians that giving away our leisure centres, parks and green spaces to London firm Greenwich Leisure Limited was not right.

I told them that the commercialisation of parks was not in the public interest. They ignored my voice.

Alongside other concerned rate payers, I consulted local residents and gathered evidence to prove that building a 3G pitch in the Falls Park was wrong.

We asked our elected representatives to listen to the evidence that giving away green space was financially unsound and environmentally unjustified, but again they ignored us.

Why not ask the people who own the park, the people of West Belfast, what they think we pleaded?

The politicians refused.

They refused to consult the people of West Belfast and now GLL will fence off a large section of our park to those who cannot afford to pay.

On top of this politicians will charge us, the ratepayers, £2million to build this synthetic pitch and an additional £100 per hour for the privilege to use it.

Only a Tory comedian could make it up. Private companies are plundering public property but yet our politicians tell us we’re ‘Better’ off.

Well I don’t feel better off and there are thousands like me. Given the recent media coverage about the serious health implications of 3G pitches and the loss of open green spaces, it’s time our politicians listened to the voices of concerned local residents and reconsidered their decisions.

They need to protect our parks and green spaces for future generations.

That would be a vote winner for me.

Frances Maguire, Belfast BT11