Thursday, 26 April 2007

Why Punch and Judy politics are wrong

Today I had a council meeting.

We have set ourselves a target of August to find a partner for running the country park - there are thousands of signatures on a petition to save the park - I've had letters from hundreds of people - they care.

The words of the original motion say we have to find a "likely" solution by then... everyone who has ever bought or sold a house knows that negotations take a long time. The council is in the middle of loads of discussions with people from the National Trust right down to local trusts. I'm learning lots. We wont have a signed document by August, I believe we will have a likely solution.

But today the opposition stir. They say we are behind timetable and refuse to hear the original motion. That is misleading the public. I am cross.


QUASAR9 said...

Hi Vicky,
you talking about Milton Park?

What happened to the grandiose plans for other activities surrounding the park.

And Why does it have to close?

QUASAR9 said...

There are always at least two sides to any argument.

And any proposal, may generally have alternative proposals.

But poo pooing a plan, with no alternative on offer ...
is like poo pooing g-bus without even having the grace to offer an alternative £100 million scheme.

Having said that, I was struck the other day by how many tourists visiting Cambridge are completely dumbstruck by the Botanical gardens

Such Colleges, such gardens, such history and yet the Botanical gardens are definitely on the unpretentious side of interesting.

Maybe some of the University Colleges could 'adopt' Milton Park - if the County Council can't afford the maintenance

After all the Colleges have plenty of gardeners and ground maintenance staff ... and I presume at least some Darwinist or Botanists among the student population

Ellee said...

Who could have foreseen this when the park opened? Good luck.

Vicky Ford said...

Now you too have been taken in. It does not have to close- but the council doesn't have the money to keep running it at its old costs alone. Quite simply the council's finances dont add up - they get one of the lowest grants from central gov but one of the highest development pressures. If this years budget is achieved we will have halved the cost of running the park and that appears on track (good work I hear you say). If we find a partner who knows how to run parks to manage it and possibly even transfer it to a trust or another charity we will be able to insulate it for the long term against government funding pressures (whether local or national). Thats why I have until August to find out if there is a likely partner and are working with loads. Some of those partners have grandiose plans some just have quite good ideas and lots of experience.

I agree about the Botanical gardens. I was rather cross this year to see that it had been left out of all cross boarder strategies on both "green infrastructure" and cultural facilities in the region - I love it!