Lib Dem councillors have expressed alarm at news that Labour councillors are negotiating to turn popular sports facility Draper’s Field into a car park – just a few months after pledging to protect Waltham Forest’s green spaces and leisure facilities.The news has sparked anger among local Liberal Democrat campaigners, who say the all-weather pitch and playing fields are used by over 9,000 people every month.According to information received, Labour Council Leader Chris Robbins is actively negotiating to lease the playing fields to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) for possible use as a VIP car park or other Olympic use. As a result local children and football clubs will have nowhere to play in Olympic year while international elite athletes race for medals just a few hundred yards away.
Leyton councillor and Liberal Democrat Group Leader Bob Sullivan said:“To allow Drapers Field to be given over to the ODA and turned into a car park or other Olympic facility, would be a travesty for local clubs and schools. The Olympics should be used to encourage sport, not destroy it. Under Labour the council is in danger of missing a huge opportunity to gain Olympic benefits “Drapers Field is situated at the southern end of Leyton High Road. It has the only Council owned all weather astroturf pitch in Leyton and Leytonstone. Local Norlington School uses it four days a week and if it was to be closed down then this would be a disaster for the school.