Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Lessons learned?

Sadly few lessons seem to have been learned by Bristol City Council on flogging off green spaces as this Post report* demonstrates. We are not living in a city where people are genuinely listened to - and certain councillors dont know that they know almost nothing!!

* CRITICISM of the green spaces sell off plan has continued, despite Bristol City Council finally agreeing local people should have the final say.

There are 51 sites that are still under threat of sale, as part of the council's parks strategy.

The authority had hoped to sell the land to developers to raise money to improve other parks across the city, but there was a major public backlash from people who felt it was like "selling off the family silver".

After the Liberal Democrats lost their majority in last year's elections, they were forced to compromise and at Thursday night's cabinet meeting they finally approved giving the final say to Bristol's Neighbourhood Committees.

A timetable will now be drawn up for when these decisions will be made. Ward councillors for each area will have the final say, after they are discussed at local committee meetings.

But there are still concerns about the process, nearly two years after it began.

Avon Wildlife Trust has long called for green spaces with significant wildlife to be removed the process, but members are concerned they are still on the list of potential disposals.

Director of Community Programmes Steve Micklewright, pictured, said: "These include two Sites for Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) and 10 Wildlife Network Sites (WNS).

"This is one quarter of the sites proposed for disposal. This indicates that the council is still not taking ecological factors into full account during the process as advised by their own scrutiny committee...


1 comment:

  1. The Post report goes on to describe this bribe:

    ...the council has introduced an "incentive scheme", which rewards Neighbourhood Committees that go with the original officer recommendations to sell land.

    If they agree they will see a full 70 per cent of money from land sales to pay for parks improvements in their area.

    But if they don't go along with the recommendations they will receive less, although exactly how much is not specified.

    Executive member for waste Councillor Gary Hopkins said councillors were given the opportunity to amend the incentive scheme but no suggestions were made.

    He said: "This city has neglected its parks for 20 years.

    "This administration believes in investing in parks and we'll make sure we do it."


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