In Response to the Velindre Trust Board

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We want to note the dismissive, distorting language used by the board in relation to our campaign. It demonstrates how little they have tried to work with us and the community. It shows they don’t understand – or don’t care – why we have come together in our thousands to try and save the meadows.

Many of us have used the meadows for years, if not decades. Yes, some people did discover the meadow during lockdown. But that doesn’t make their contribution any less valuable than if they had been walking there for years.

We are clear in the fact if people had discovered the site or not, it would still have been a significant community asset for mental health, wellbeing, the environment, sports, and recreation.

The Board also sees us as perpetrators of misinformation in the community. Therefore I would like to challenge the board to provide the business case for the new hospital to the public. We want to be clear on what exactly you want to do to the meadow, so we can keep the community informed.

I want to note this is actually VCC’s job as the developers. And it is yet another developmental failure that the onus is on a campaign run by volunteers to give the community the information they need.

We would also hope a public body would be truthful in its planning applications. But when new applications are submitted, changes and discrepancies appear.

Our clearest example is the estimated effect of building on forest farm. At planning in 2017, these were stated to be minimal. Now the area is facing medium to high levels of air, noise, and light pollution.

How are community volunteers – and not influencers by any extent (although we are flattered) – meant to provide accurate information when:

1️⃣ The information shared by the public body is distorted or false;

2️⃣ The community is given three weeks to analyse planning applications, of hundreds of pages and documents, as well as raising awareness of the issues in the community and objecting along legal lines;

3️⃣ Many in the community weren’t even aware the development was happening in the first place, despite living in close proximity to the site, a clear failure in communication and engagement.

As community members who will have to live with the development, construction, and operation for the rest of our lifetimes, we ask the board to not be as patronising or dismissive of our concerns.

Perhaps you don’t understand the stress of living on a main road coming off a busy motorway junction, or a small flat without a garden. Perhaps you don’t understand the difficulties of living with long term mental illnesses and the stress that comes with. Or perhaps you simply don’t care what the community is going through, and hope to press ahead despite the fact the world has changed due to Covid-19 and climate change.

Either way, we have repeatedly asked for greater community involvement in decision making, and for you to raise awareness with the community in an equitable way. What we see here and in your practice is an utter dismissal of our concerns.

We ask all community groups working in solidarity with us, to seriously question the public authority and it’s view of the public.

Allowing a blasé board of executives to hold such views of a community where they hope to build their centre – when many of us have been treated or know individuals seeking treatment ourselves – is disgraceful and must be treated as such.

You can find the full meeting bundle here

Flash Flooding will only get worse

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Today Whitchurch and Llandaff North suffered very serious flash flooding. Over-development of built up areas leaves heavy rain water with nowhere to go except through our streets and houses. Concreting approximately 10acres of the meadows will seriously impact the surrounding area as rainwater isn’t absorbed into the ground. No matter what developers attempt to say they are going to do to stop this happening, the only serious solution is to stop the overdevelopment NOW!! Starting with the scrapping of any construction on our meadows.

Velindre – PFI again?

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PFI again?

While there has been widespread opposition by the local community to the plans to site the new Velindre Cancer Centre on the Northern Meadows, there has been very little discussion about the proposed funding arrangement. The financing of the new Centre is through the Welsh Government’s Mutual Investment Model (MIM). This will be the first hospital in Wales that is funded through a public- private finance initiative, and sets a precedent in establishing hospitals as private entities, leasing out facilities to the NHS.