Keep Birchmere Park and Bootfair Open
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We are not happy with the decision to close the Birchmere Park Bootfair in Thamesmead, south-east London. It is now supposedly closed whilst the park is being secured, although this wasn't the reason when it was cancelled. The reason why the Bootfair was cancelled was a weak one. Two Peabody employees became so paranoid that travellers might bother the Bootfair - a fear rooted in past events - that they cancelled it for two weeks' running. They said there were travellers in the area and the Bootfair could not go ahead until they left. No travellers bothered the Bootfair site over both weeks, nor were they on the same stage of Thamesmead as the Bootfair in the first place. Peabody also shut down Birchmere Park and are seeking legal advice. This could take months, as confirmed by one of the employees, who said "So be it".
We feel it is unfair to close the Bootfair, as all the necessary security could surely have been done in one week. We are now worried that it will be closed for good, as Peabody obviously didn't care about the feelings of the community when they closed it so why would they care now?
This has deeply upset many people in the community who like the Bootfair for the service it provides and as a meeting point for family and friends. We feel that it has been deliberately wound down to nothing by Peabody. There is also the concern that Birchmere Park itself could become a prime spot for Peabody to build a housing development or other installation there.
We want a guarantee that the Birchmere Park Bootfair will not remain closed, become an indoor bootsale or moved to another site at all. We want it to remain exactly has it as always been at Birchmere Park. We also want a guarantee that Birchmere Park itself will not be built on or turned into something different from the park that we all know and love.
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