Tiptoe through the tulips

north lodge park

North Lodge Park

 The community view

As you know, our report, based on analysis of almost 750 responses to the survey was presented to Cromer Town Council on 30th April, and at an open meeting on 14th May. We have been heartened by the positive response from you, at the meeting and elsewhere: there is definitely a passion for the Park in the community.

Thank-you to those who stayed behind at the open meeting to join the working groups to generate ideas and to commit your time to help with improvements to the Park. Anyone who couldn’t make the meeting who would like to join one of the working groups please let us know, email us on friends@northlodgepark.org.uk and we’ll let you know what is planned.

Tiptoe through the tulips

You will not be surprised that creating an equal working relationship with Cromer Town Council is not proving to be easy – there are two different cultures involved and the Council procedures seem designed to hinder progress. We still have major concerns, for example, about the budget and how prepared the Council is for owning the Park, but we are doing what we can to make it work.

At the open meeting, and elsewhere, we have emphasised that there remain challenges in moving forward: more than 15 months after it was agreed to transfer the Park to Cromer Town Council there still seems to be a stalemate in the process. We have dug hard at both NNDC and Cromer Town Council to try to get to the bottom of the impasse, and are now assured that if the transfer isn’t agreed by the end of June it will be stopped. At last we might get some clarity on the situation soon if not progress!

The next planned joint Cromer Town Council and Friends of North Lodge Park committee meeting is on 4th June. This will be a key meeting to resolve many of the constraints that are obstructing the establishment of a partnership with the Town Council. For the sake of the Park, we can not keep tiptoeing through the tulips.

The opportunities

The working groups at the open meeting brought forward many ideas that we are bringing together into a working plan alongside the recommendations and priorities that came from the survey analysis. We have developed a specification for a cafe operator and have offered to manage the process and work with interested parties over the coming month so that when the smoke clears in June we will have a preferred operator ready to recommend to the Park owners to take on the cafe at the earliest opportunity this summer.

Unfortunately there is little we can do without support from the Park owners – on your behalf we will continue to encourage the two councils to bring this sorry saga to an end – whether there will be any film rights to the story remains to be seen!

Remaining positive

Nelson Mandela said “It always seems impossible until its done”; we remain positive that with support from the Park owners, either the district or town, your enthusiasm will help us make North Lodge Park a real asset for Cromer. Walt Disney was right when he said “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”.

Let’s hope the fun from working with Walt Disney proves Nelson Mandela right.

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