Apologies for a month of silence regarding the Park. Since the last update following the painful meeting at the beginning of June there has been little to report (unless you include lack of planting in the Park!), the Friends have not been involved as any activity has been in closed council sessions away from public view. Until now.
This week has seen two key decisions made.
- North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) formally confirmed at their cabinet meeting on Monday 6th July the deadlines given to Cromer Town Council would be the last, and that if the transfer is not complete by 21st July the Park will not be transferred.
- We have heard informally from two councillors that at the full council meeting (also on Monday 6th July) Cromer Town Council (CTC) confirmed they will proceed and have given NNDC their assurance that they will complete by the deadline.
This means that, unless any new issues should arise in the next 10 days, the Park will be under new ownership before the end of the month. We don’t know what this means, what the plans are, or how (if?) the Friends will be included in any planning or activities.
We do know that, whilst anything will be better than the neglected state the Park is in, CTC currently only have a budget to maintain the Park at a very basic level rather than the level it should be.
We are waiting a response to the serious questions we raised in early June; on Monday night CTC committed to providing a formal response – we hope this response will provide the community with the confidence we need for the future of the Park under the stewardship of Cromer Town Council.
You will be aware that the relationship between the Friends and CTC has been strained, and there have been some big differences of opinion. If the transfer does complete, for the sake of the Park, we must put that behind us and look forward. There will be challenges ahead – not least financial – but with the passion you have shown for the Park, if CTC want to work positively with the community we will find a way to make it work.
Come on Cromer Town Council – the ball’s in your Park.
Secretary, Friends of North Lodge Park.