Sunday, April 20, 2008

Visiting the Hindu Centre on Edge Lane, Kensington, Liverpool

Liam and I have been building links with the Hindu Centre on Edge Lane, Kensington, Liverpool over recent weeks.

We went this evening to meet some of the committee members and have a tour of the Temple, and a meal with the congregation.

I have to confess that my knowledge of Hinduism was fairly woeful but we had a very good grounding from the Hindu Priest. We took off our shoes, mainly he explained because the congregation sit on the carpeted floor and they dont want the floor to be dirtied by shoes. Makes perfect sense to me.

He said there were few rules in Hinduism, they ask that people concentrate on doing their best for each other and for peace and that is the main rule.

He showed us the Hindu Altar and explained the various incarnations of the one true God that are important in their faith. He also explained, while describing the beautiful paintings that local Hindus have endowed within the Temple, that Hinduism is a peace-loving religion, despite the fact that some of the incarnations had to fight and go into battle.

It was fascinating, and the food was pretty good too in the hall!

They have lost all of their council funding this year from Liverpool City Council, £33k at a stroke. We have promised to sit down with them after the election and work with them on securing some alternative funding to help them to carry on with their work as the only Hindu centre in Merseyside. We also discussed the possibility of holding regular surgeries there to supplement our existing services, after the election if Liam is elected and we have more capacity.

It was a very fruitful visit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amazingly, Mike Storey's foolish council orginally planned to demolish the Hindu temple as part of their 60s style Edge Lane widening.

Only the thought of around 1 billion objectors focused their minds!

Hindu temple may give way to £6m road scheme Jun 18 2004

By Mark Hookham Daily Post Staff

MERSEYSIDE'S only Hindu temple faces demolition as part of a proposed £6m road project, the Daily Post can reveal.

The temple, which is attended by 450 families from across the North West, could be pulled down to make way for a widened Edge Lane in Kensington.

City planners hope to create a widened expressway which will allow better access to Liverpool city centre from the east in time for Capital of Culture year 2008.

The planned widening near the Holt Road area would also see the purchase and then demolition of 250 terraced homes.

The controversial plans by Liverpool Land Development Company (LLDC) will be unveiled to residents on Monday as part of a two-day public consultation.

In the absence of agreed property sales homes will be served compulsory purchase orders.

The first demolitions would start in two years time if the scheme receives planning approval.

The Hindu temple, which is run by the Hindu Cultural Organisation, has been on its present site, a former Welsh Presbyterian Chapel, since 1978.

Temple manager Kiran Khaneja said she was "shocked" by the news.

She added: "All we have been told is that there are a series of meetings planned but nothing has been mentioned about this.

"I am shocked really. We have families travelling to us from as far as Chester. At the moment this location is not big enough for our needs but what will the alternative be?"

Dr Ajit Kumar, executive member of the Merseyside Council of Faiths, said: "There has been talk of the temple being demolished but no formal plans have been put forward yet."

Liverpool council leader Mike Storey said he hoped a settlement could be made with the temple managers.

He added: "While we have turned away from wholesale demolition, there are occasionally things that are upsetting. We will have to make sure we work things out for the Hindu temple."

The Edge Lane project would stretch from the Rocket junction to Hall Lane.

The first series of work would involve Edge Lane Drive from the Rocket to Mill Lane, which is blighted by cars parking on grass verges at the side of the road.

Parking bays will be created alongside the road by narrowing the central reservation.

Some trees will be removed and replaced by more mature types to create a European boulevard effect and a new cycle path will be installed.

A footbridge at the Rocket will also be taken down and replaced by a pedestrian crossing.

A new link road will also be built from the MTL site on Edge Lane into the city.

The public consultation into the plans will start on Monday at the Devonshire House Hotel on Edge Lane.

Cllr Storey added that he hopes Edge Lane can match the redeveloped Speke Boulevard in the south of the city.

He said: "At the moment as you come off the M62 it becomes more unattractive both visually and in terms of driving.

"This is one of the most important routes into the city and we want to make it a lot more attractive for visitors."

LLDC chief executive David Waugh said: "A significant amount of work has gone into developing these outline proposals and we are keen that local residents should be the first to hear about them.

"Clearly there has been a lot of speculation, so this is an opportunity to highlight the changes that are being proposed and the impact they could have on local residents and businesses."