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Monday, November 11, 2013

Swans and Wildlife will die in the Queens Park

We believe that’s swans and wildlife will die at the Queens Park as a new fishing club has been started from January. In the period of a month a Swan, a baby swan and a duck have suffered horrendous injures from being hooked by illegal fishing. The swan couldn’t raise its head or eat for days until the RSPCA  rescued it. There has been problems with illegal fishing for a long time with them causing criminal damage, fishing without a rod licence skipping school to fish and riding through the park with 15 ft rods on bikes with line and hooks  swinging about.


There has on average only been 5-10 daily doing this but the fishing club are to have 27 pegs its not clear how many rods per peg but a lot allow 3 rods that equates to 90 lines in the lake. Simple maths tells us if you have a lot of swans ducks etc and 90 lines some are going to be hooked up. There are special problems on the lake, we have Grebes and other wildlife that swim under water for great distances and would be unseen by fishermen until  its to late and as they are protected birds a fine of several thousand pounds could happen. The other problem is as soon as you go near the lake all the swans and duck come thinking you have bread for them.


What has caused problems and letter of complaints in the press is how this has been done in secret. I am on the friends committee and we new discussions were taking place with fishing groups and we would then expect to here proposals on fishing for us to discuss and raise any objections to. We would also expect the public to be able to have a say in this as 98% of people visiting the park come to see or feed the ducks many come daily and know each duck by name. These people have come to the park for many years on a daily basis in winter and summer to care for the ducks.


What has happened is that secret meeting have taken place as I and at least two other members of the committee were not told about these meeting or given the opportunity to go along we don’t know who attended these meeting or when they took place. The first we knew was kids at the skate park told us committee members that it had been agreed and would start in January. So who ever went to these meeting and they are refusing to name these people have made a decision for everyone that visits the park without the friends or member of the public been given the opportunity to object. It was discussed at the last friends meeting but not as an option to vote on but as a DONE DEAL it had been passed by these mysterious people. Apart from anything else democracy says that users of the park should be consulted and given an opportunity to put their case forward  but it seems we have a dictatorship in the park. This week its fishing what will be passed behind closed doors next week?


This is the letter sent to the papers others have also been sent
Dear Editor,
I am a regular visitor of Queens Park and have been so for many years. Apparently, as from January 2014, fishing will be allowed in the park, seemingly a decision made behind closed doors. I am filled with utter dismay. It reinforces my view that Cheshire East Council treats members of the public visiting the park with utter contempt. The West end of the lake has had no footpaths for over two years since the ridiculous re-opening of the unfinished park "ceremony", the Council have made no attempt whatsoever of remedying this with a low cost temporary solution. Additionally, since the ill conceived redundancy of the park Wardens, there has been an increasing level of lawlessness in the park. Kids on bikes, copious levels of litter, criminal damage. In the past year alone,
I have witnessed motorbikes being ridden across the lake bridge, and dog owners encouraging their dogs to attack waterfowl. And now it would seem that because the Council have been unable or unwilling to stop the unauthorised fishing in the park, there is a proposal to allow a fishing club to organise/regulate fishing in the park commencing in January.
I believe the park is an inappropriate site for this sort of activity for a multitude of reasons. Which include:
a) Health and Safety issues: Line casting near/on public footpaths. Absolute no brainer this one surely.
b) Paths, (Public Access): This should be pretty obvious too. For example, the public will be expected to walk through mud, or     wade through the gigantic puddle at the aforementioned west end of the lake to circumnavigate those fishing on the lake     edge until the paths (missing or inaccessible since 2007!), are installed in the Spring.
c) Wildlife: To me, this is the most important. Numerous families bring their children to the park to see or feed the Swans, Ducks     or Geese. There WILL BE continued incidents of waterfowl injuries due to this activity. In the last few months alone, the RSPCA     have had to come to the rescue of the Signets and a Duck several times, due to fishing line or pellet. This surely is unacceptable.     The lake is their home, and priority should be given to the majority of people who come to the park to enjoy the wildlife.
d) Everyone I have spoken to is of the opinion that the vast majority of people would be against allowing fishing in the Park.     Therefore, if this permission goes ahead, against the wishes of most people, serious questions would have to be answered. It is true that fishing was once permitted in the park many years ago, but that does not make it right, after all, cigarettes were once freely advertised on TV.
I urge the Council to have a rethink, or to conduct a proper and fair survey, listening to the views of people who visit the park. Negative publicity and public petitions against this proposal will surely follow if these people’s views are ignored.


He raise some good points mainly on safety as one old lady has been hooked up with fishing hook if they are using 15 ft polls and a lot do an area of 15ft all around the fisherman can be a danger area as they cast and as often this area will encroach on public paths there is a danger of children or dogs etc can be hooked up with careless casting. The clubs say they will have bailiffs but no one is going to come and sit there every day for 12 hours so that just isn’t going to work. I have asked for  the location of the pegs but so far that has not been forthcoming but from what we can see it will all be at the bottom of the lake and to get that many in it will block some of the footpaths or put people in danger.

Cllr Jones
This has now raised other questions about the park as Cllr Jones was informed incorrectly that the friends and ANTS had all recommended the fishing but this isn’t he case no vote was taken its your having it like it or not. Members of the ANTS confirmed today they didn’t know about the meeting with fishing clubs and no idea who went or any detail like were pegs will be, they certainly have not recommended it. Part of the problem seems to be that no one could be bothered to stop illegal fishing so to pass the buck to a club means they wont have to do anything and can blame the club if anything goes wrong this could be a legal issue as well that the club may be liable for any injury.


The Dog wardens and community wardens have office in the park but refuse to patrol it as they claims its not down to them and when dogs attack the refuse to act see here. Again they have made very little effort to stop the fishing and on one occasion a council officer was shown people illegally fishing and told me to go an sort it out and refused to do anything himself.


Cllr Jones Steps in
Problems with the park have all been blamed on CEC but now evidence suggest they  may not be the main problem.   After representation to Cllr Jones and he studied some other complaints he has taken action. It was pointed out to him that for instance a tree was cut down and the stump ground down and the rubbish left in a pile by the lake in August  then the ANTS cleaned the boat house and added their rubbish to it that was over a month ago. The rubbish then with the wind and rain spread all over the path making it a safety issue so the total time it had been there is over 3 months. Its not a big job or costing thousands to remove. Dangerous trees were reported in Tipkinder woodland  well before October and reported here http://www.queensparkcrewe.com/2013/10/queenspark-wildlife-group-action-plan.html. Nothing was done about those even though they were a danger.
Another dangerous tree over 30 ft tall in the park next to the road was reported and no action taken until I personally told the tree men in the town and they came and inspected it and took it down off their own bat as its was so dangerous. On both occasions this was recorded on Facebook and acknowledged  but no action was taken, mysteriously all these comments have now disappeared from Facebook so evidence has been destroyed WHY?

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Above one of over 10 ten dangerous trees felled after Cllr Jones stepped in.

 
Cllr Jones once he knew took immediate action and with 12 hours the rubbish was removed and the trees have now been felled. But here is another one for him recorded before anyone can  hide it. The rubbish from the tree stumps there is another pile that has been by the café from august but more importantly in August it was reported that there was a hole in the path by the lake. Surprise surprise its still there as you can see in the photo taken today it is very deep and I was nearly up to my knee in the hole. When I poked a 2 ft stick in it disappeared  into mud and the path if you are heavy and walk on it collapses. I am no expert but it seems there is a very good chance that the sewer or drain under the path could make the path total collapse in to the drain along with anyone who stood on it. Again this is a serious safety issue the whole as it is could easily break someone’s leg or worse.
It is not Cllr Jones job to organize work in the park but that is what he is having to do at the moment. He has promise to look into the fishing problem and move forward plants for the lake and wildlife. So with his help things are moving in the right direction
 

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The whole by the cafe and the weeping willow tree by the lake I believe its in danger of the whole path giving way. You can see how deep this hole goes

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A tree stump cut up in August and still there now

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