said, he wished to ask the hon. Member for Bath, Whether the Metropolitan Board of Works, having power under "The Finsbury Park Act, 1857," to purchase 250 acres of land, have purchased only 130 acres; and, whether the said Board propose to sell for building purposes twenty acres of the reduced quantity—being nearly the whole of the frontages—whereby the benefit and use intended for the public will be further and most seriously prejudiced?
§ MR. TITE
said, in reply, that at the time when the Act was passed the Metropolitan Board were in rather happier circumstances than now appeared to be the case, inasmuch as Government had undertaken to defray half the cost of the Park. A very charming site was pointed out at Hornsey Wood House, where there was a beautiful lake with a very fine view. In consequence of the opposition of the House of Commons to the first Vote of £50,000 for the Park, the Board of Works had an extremely difficult task east upon them in the creation of a Park of such extent, as well as the keeping it up, as the whole expense fell upon the ratepayers. The subject was discussed at great length by the Board, and the result was that they determined to "cut their coat according to their cloth," and to purchase 130 instead of 250 acres. That they had done, and the ground was now being enclosed. The total expense incurred up to the present was £94,000, and the cost would exceed over £100,000 before the scheme was completed; in addition to which the Park would have to be kept up. Under these circumstances the Board had deemed it right to utilize portions of the land which lay at the lower part of the Park, and that might, he thought, be done without damage to the large area remaining, and the burdens on the ratepayers thus diminished.