Herne Hill Velodrome
The following is taken from Londoncyclesport.com
300 people packed into the Half Moon Lane Methodist Hall on May 12 to show their support for the Herne Hill Velodrome & their disquiet at the present lock out. The present lock out of Herne Hill came about when the owners of the land Dulwich Estates refused to renew the lease held by Southwark Council, since February DE have been saying that they are seeking or talking with a 3rd party to run the site.
Since then DE have been unable or unwilling to enter an agreement to open the velodrome until a deal has been done with this 3rd party. When this had been done that party would then enter into discussions with the London Velodrome Trust & others. (see the links below for more info)
The event hosted by the London Veldrome Trust brought together a number of speakers; Chaired with panache by Phillip Kolvin, who told the meeting that DE had not taken up their invitation to speak at the meeting. We heard two excellent speeches by young riders Hannah Webb & Sam Fensterheim, which put the closure firmly into perspective as both highlighted that they were now having to travel 80 miles to ride the track. They also pointed out that many local young people were being denied the chance to ride with them on the track at Herne Hill.
Peter King (British Cycling) said that BC wanted to build a robust club structure at facilities across the UK & this included Herne Hill. He also said that in recent months BC had been able to provide money to upgrade stadiums elsewhere. He reiterated BC's support for Herne Hill.
Southwark Councilor Colomba Blango told the meeting that Southwark had put over £1 million in past years & that they were committed to the future of the Veldrome. Roger St Peirre took us down memory lane and underlined the important legacy of Herne Hill, although sadly he didn't tell us about his famous crash. A number of local residents spoke & the comments made by Neville Webb, Peter Beale, Angus Hanson & Tyrell Hanton not only showed that there was local support, but also the importance of local consultation.
Barry Mason who represents 6000 Southwark cyclist's rocked the house with a passionate talk that underlined the lunacy of the present closure & that non racing cyclist's valued the track. Andy Sacha representing Sport England gave their support, even though the day's of huge lottery awards might be long gone, but none the less they would use their good offices to support the Velodrome.
Val Shawcross, a member of the Greater London Authority & Lambeth Council whipped up the crowd by telling us that it was 'over her dead body' that the site would be redeveloped other than as a velodrome. She also said that the GLA was firmly behind the future of Herne Hill & could play 'hard ball'.
Rounding off the meeting Graeme Geddes said that the present lock out had made the LVT put aside previous plans & that they now had a clean sheet of paper & would plan in consultations with partners & stake holders. The meeting finished with questions from the floor. The next step would see Val Shawcross & Phillip Kolvin meeting with Dulwich Estates the following day to discuss the matter further.
The great support shown at the meeting energised the campaign to save Herne Hill & many people volunteered to work to that purpose.
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