September 16 2014 Latest news:
Monday, July 21, 2014
A town council poised to take over a historic north Norfolk park held a public meeting to discuss its future and hear from park users.
Scores of people crowded into Cromer Community centre tonight to have their say at the first meeting of the North Lodge Park Committee.
Cromer Town Council is in negotiations with North Norfolk District Council to take over the running of the town’s North Lodge Park.
It is hoped the deal can be completed by September or October this year and a £150,000 grant from the district council can be match funded.
Tonight it was decided people could be elected to the committee, which is to be made up of equal numbers of councillors and the public, by a newly-formed Friends of North Lodge Park group.
A representative from Seaview Playgroup, tenants in the park, will also be invited to sit on the committee.
Speaking about the negotiations with the district council, committee chairman Councillor Phil Harris said they wanted to ensure its future as a green space.
He said: “We want a covenant put on to prevent it ever being used as anything else other than a park.
“We will look at what needs doing in the park and apply for grant money.”
Questions were asked about the decision not to form a trust to oversee the park and suggestions about possible volunteering and money-making schemes to assist with maintenance.
The town will get £150,000 from the district to help with five years of maintenance costs while it builds up its reserves, starting with an increase of £13,000 in the town budget for 2015 - £3 per household.
Question marks hang over the future of long-running facilities such as putting and bowls which might not be affordable as maintenance costs outweigh income.
The current park also houses a rose garden, model boating pond, and a disused tennis court/ children’s playground.
It was decided to hold committee meetings every six weeks, and the first meeting of the Friends of North Lodge Park will be facilitated by the town council.
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