LETTER: Friends, lets put differences apart for benefit of Jubilee Park

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To all Friends of Jubilee Park.

I am one of the interim directors of the new company being formed to manage the Park for this current year following the refusal of the interim directors of JPWS to reach agreement on several clauses contained within the draft lease of the park.

I have been forwarded a copy of the letter from your Chair sent out to you all on March 19 relating to the current state of the Park Management. I have felt obliged to write to you all as there are several points raised in the letter which are factually incorrect and misleading.

With regard to the background of the matter as far as I am aware a working group was set up in March 2013 by the PC to discuss forming a charitable company to take over the operation of the Park.

It was felt important to have additional community presentation and Emma Brealey was asked to join along with two representatives from FOJP. Heads of Terms were discussed over the summer. Lawyers were then appointed and meetings took place, first draft of the lease was provided in October 2013. JPWS did not even contact their solicitor until November 2013 and it is unclear whether the lawyers were ever formally instructed as it appears no formal instruction were given or Terms of Business signed.

A range of comments and demands were received back from JPWS in November, dealt with by the PC in December. At a meeting in January JPWS grudgingly provided some details of their business plan, which was basically the same plan as was provided a year earlier when negotiations were taking place between the PC and an earlier group made up of representatives of FOJP.

There has never been any mention of any benefit for NHS patients, physiotherapy or rehabilitation. No mention of any grant funding either, which is strange as the majority of grant agencies would be looking for proof of significant community consultation and a letter of support from the PC.

The clauses in the Lease which JPWS were so adamant should be removed were in place to protect the Park and the Community. The point to remember is that the Lease will be in place long after all the current personalities have ceased to be involved with the Park.

The inclusion of the clauses means that the Park will still be protected in 30/ 40 years’ time when all of these debates and personal attacks have been long forgotten.

The new interim directors who have stepped in to take the matter forward are all well qualified to do so and are taking on this responsibility in the interests of the Park and the Community.

A charitable company will still be formed, in fact the only thing that has changed are the interim directors. The point to note here is that we are an interim board and elections will need to take place within a year.

The reference you have made to the PC still running the Park is incorrect and misleading. It has always been the intention to transfer the Park into a charitable community organisation. This process is still on track.

It is unhelpful to suggest otherwise as the future of the Park depends on this process being completed in time for the summer pool season. It is not a question of who does it but only of completing the process.

If this new company is derailed or does not take over the Park in time for the season then the Park stands to lose approx £17,000.00 in VAT refunds this year. This will place the Park in a difficult position from which it may be difficult to recover.

I would therefore ask all Friends of Jubilee Park to consider the above points and for the sake of the Park to put all differences aside and work together to support the new company and the Park.

I S Clarke

Interim Director Jubilee Park Leisure Ltd