Berry Hill Park outcome sees positive reaction among Mansfield residents
News that Berry Hill Park will no longer be closing has been met with very positive reaction from Mansfield residents.
It was revealed yesterday (November 22) that Mansfield District Council, the trustees for Berry Hill Park and the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO) came to a positive outcome at a crucial meeting to decide the park's future.
The outcome means that the council will take control of the park's maintenance so that it can be enjoyed by the public whilst options are considered to secure its long-term future.
This will include the possibility of the council becoming a corporate trustee and consideration of the current liabilities in the future.
The trustees and the council have also agreed a regular programme of meetings to ensure that channels of communication remain open.
The meeting follows a protest at Berry Hill Park on November 10 as well as a petition which reached more than 7,000 signatures, demanding that the council takes over control and does not let the park close.
Readers on your Chad's Facebook page reacted positively to the news, touting "people power" as a factor in keeping the park alive.
Ben Perry said: "Great news but this wasn't a case of an evil owner wanting to shut park. No one really wanted to close the park but sometimes finances are everything, especially seeing it's had free parking."
Liam Wood said: "You mean the council actually listened to the local people?"
Wayne Brandrick said: "Maybe they should consider investing in other parks within Mansfield not just the more desirable locations."
Anne Marie Harrison said: "So it should. Well done to all for the campaigning to keep it open."
David Jones said: "This is fantastic news."
Kim Varley said: "This is great news, well done everyone."
Speaking following the meeting yesterday, Mayor Kate Allsop said that the news was the "right decision" for everyone involved.
She said: “We are delighted to be able to support keeping this stunning and much-loved park open for everyone to enjoy.
"It is the right decision for Berry Hill Park and the residents of Mansfield District.
"We are working towards becoming a corporate trustee and this could take up to six months so, in the interim, the council will maintain the park whilst it remains the responsibility of the current Trustees.
"The aim is for the Council to take a decision regarding the park’s long term future in the new year."
John Stevens, secretary to the trustees, added: "The meeting was very positive and it seems the outcomes for each party were what we wanted.
"The park will remain open for the foreseeable future."
The trustees had previously announced that unless a deal can be made to secure its financial future, the privately owned park could be closed to the public at the end of the month.
Berry Hill Park’s trustees run the green space for CISWO.
Its mission statement is to run the park for the people of Mansfield, however the trustees – who are legally liable for the park – said enough was enough and that they could not continue to run the park which is "haemorrhaging" money.
After a protest took place against the closure on November 10, Mansfield District Council, CISWO and the trustees agreed to meet today and mayor Kate Allsop also asked the trustees to keep the park open until November 30.