Peaceful resolution in the battle of St Albans’ Clarence Park?
PUBLISHED: 18:31 04 November 2013
Decisions about the future of one of the city parks are to be taken at local level in future instead of by the council’s cabinet.
And with the new City Neighbourhoods Committee (CNC) taking up the management reins, it looks as though peace will break out in the area surrounding Clarence Park in St Albans.
The park was at the centre of a row last summer when the council announced that it wanted to update the trust deed for the northern side which led residents to fear that it could open the doors to a multi-million pound investment on their doorstep centring on St Albans City Football Club.
Not only did they form an action group to fight any such proposals but called on the Charity Commission to intervene over the issue as all the trustees of the charitable trust running the northern end of the park were members of the council’s cabinet which could give rise to a conflict of interest.
But in an effort to defuse the situation, cabinet has agreed to transfer responsibility to the CNC which will control management and budgets for the entire park and will take on responsibility for the trust.
The council’s portfolio holder for environment, Cllr Daniel Chichester-Miles, said last week: “This decision fits with the council’s strategy of devolving assets, where appropriate, so the local community can have a say about their future.
“It means that decisions about the park can now be made at a local level by a committee dedicated to managing non-strategic council-owned assets in St Albans.”
The decision was made after meetings with the Protect Clarence Park community group.
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