So the Parish Council voted on 15 April to hand Jubilee Park to JPWS, despite the evident widespread concerns of many residents. Villagers packed the Annual Parish Meeting on 27th March, hoping for clarification about the future of their Park, but were given only vague platitudes; the chairman’s reaction to one concerned resident’s question was quite disgraceful.
As a result, most were put off seeking answers, not wishing to be treated with contempt, and the meeting was left confused and perplexed.
The Parish Council Newsletter (Issue 1 2014) revealed the core of the problem - having foolishly agreed to remove a key protecting clause from the lease.
Councillors were then forced, by the widespread concern in the village, to reinstate the clause at a packed Council meeting on 5th March.
The five JPWS directors were adamant that was wholly unacceptable and promptly withdrew.
So alternate interim directors were then agreed and promises made about future steps, including pledges to consult with the community - “it is your park and you will have your say” said the Newsletter.
But after a number of ‘closed’ meetings, from which press and public were barred, we now find that the five JPWS directors are now back on board, in spite of ‘that clause’, and there is understandable alarm in the community that some secret deal has been done.
There has been pressure from a small group to railroad the issue, Craig Leyland and others claiming that JPWS status as a charitable company gave the village the protection needed.
But there are countless examples of well-known charities where directors pay themselves obscene sums and after the ‘closed’ meeting of 15th April, which gave the Park to JPWS, the village is still confused.
The promises made in the Newsletter are obviously meaningless. Why is the village being denied clear information about their Park? Perhaps it’s time for David Clarke to consider his position.