This summary of public comments made at the JGA annual general meeting at Wesley Methodist Church on December 2, 2008, will form part of the meeting's minutes
Full minutes to follow
MINUTES ---------AGM of Jesus Green Association 2/12/08
Anne Garvey, spokeswoman for Don’t Make it Jesus Less Green, said her group had collected nearly 200 signatures against the HLF bid. She added “We do not like the scheme or any aspect of it” Questioned the need to bulldoze pavilions and urged the council to “conserve and preserve”, rather than press ahead with the plans.
Daniel Zeichner said the scheme was “grandiose” and should concentrate on what was good about the green. Urged council to listen to people more carefully.
Andy Smart asked why the plans were not on the internet, adding the consultation had been “a scandal”. Said council needed to do more to keep in touch with people.
Peter Constable said consultation had been a “mess” and felt the bid was “greedy” as it was a too large a slice of cash on offer for the whole country. Added it would be “worst thing ever to happen to Jesus Green”.
Neil Andersen said he was “horrified” at the scheme. Praised the current green’s use for varied groups and was particularly worried about the removal of trees. Called for more supervision of green.
Rupert Morgan said the skate park was falling apart and should be overlooked.
Susie Stubbs called the scheme “over the top” and called for improvements to the pool as it was too cold for most people.
Bronwen Hipkin questioned why council tree officers had been excluded from preparation of plans in favour of external contractors.
Boni Sones said lido should follow example of London pools which are heated and open all year round. Said plans overlook state of pool completely.
Jane Tienne said green was regarded as a garden by many residents without their own and urged them not to turn green into a “commercial theme park” for out-of-towners.
Richard Cook called for better maintenance of the green instead of current plans.
Jo Lushley said green was used by all ages, but needed more maintenance, in particular benches which had been damaged.
Sean Munro said the scheme would improve the green for a diversity of people and benefits should not be overlooked.
Richard Taylor questioned Cllr Julie Smith, executive officer for recreation, as to why the final plans were not available on the council website, despite assurances that would be. Concerns that claims over ‘dying’ trees were incorrect as he inspected them and they were healthy.
Cllr Smith admitted aspects of scheme did not have public approval and therefore may not get planning approval. Said it would be irresponsible to play down the bid as it could always be scaled back, but smaller bid could not be supplemented.
John Lawton, chairman of SOS, wondered how the consultation had translated into the current plans as they did not relate to his input, which focused on maintenance.
Cllr Clare Blair insisted councillors had scrutinised the bid, but admitted she had not read the final bid in full. Said consultation was ongoing.
Cllr John Hipkin said the logic behind the bid appeared to be putting in for “as much as you can” and scaling back scheme when the council inevitably receives less. Urged council to keep the open space character of green.
Cllr Tim Bick said the green was the ‘live and let live’ green and felt “outaged” that people were trying to close down the bid at this early stage.
Other speakers raised issue of cracked footpaths, broken benches and nature of proposed performance area..
Clarifications on bid process were offered by council officers Sarah Tovell and Debbie Kaye. Meeting also attended by two PCSOs, green spaces officer Alistair Wilson and council leader Ian Nimmo Smith