Erewash MP speaks about abandoned 'golf course' development meeting

Published on: Friday, 16th February 2024
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Maggie Throup MP

Erewash MP Maggie Throup joined local residents and campaigners to witness a meeting of Erewash Borough Council’s Scrutiny Committee, only for it to end in chaos after just 15 minutes.

The landmark meeting, held at Ilkeston Town Hall on Thursday 15th February, had been convened to discuss an application to “call-in” a controversial decision made by the Borough Council’s Labour Executive to sell of seven acres of Ilkeston’s Pewit Golf Course.

Until recently the prime parcel of public land, which was original acquired by the former Ilkeston Corporation over a century ago, had been set to be transformed into Erewash’s newest Nature Reserve after the previous Conservative Administration secured significant financial backing from the Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

Despite the Borough Council giving a written assurance prior to the meeting that those wishing to view proceedings in person would be able to do so, the Committee was abandoned shortly after it had begun at 6:30pm, with the Chair, Cllr. Pam Philips unilaterally declaring that the meeting would be reconvened at Long Eaton Town Hall for Wednesday 21st February 2024.

Maggie, who has spoken out against the proposed land sale in the House of Commons, subsequently wrote to the Borough Council’s Chief Executive to demand that the re-arranged meeting was again held in Ilkeston.

Speaking after the Committee meeting was abandoned, Maggie said: “The right of the public to view the proceedings of their elected representatives is a fundamental feature of our democracy, and so I was ashamed of the farcical scenes that we all witnessed at the Town Hall last night.

“Not only does the Borough Council’s Labour Executive seem hell bent on sell off the historic Pewit site, but it also appears that they now want to wave the decision through behind closed doors in another part of the Borough.

“This is a critical decision about the long-term future of Ilkeston’s largest public open space, and so the residents expect it to be made here in Ilkeston. 

“The feeble excuse that the Town Hall is not big enough just does not wash when the Borough Council itself owns many larger venues, including the Rutland Tennis Centre which is regularly used for election counts and is directly adjacent to the Pewit site.

“I have therefore written to the Chief Executive to demand that the abandoned Committee meeting is reconvened in Ilkeston and that all those wishing to view the debate are accommodated.”

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