Redevelop

HANGSTONES Redevelopment: Sto-wey Road, Yatton. In February 2007 there was a press release, under a picture of the then chair of Yatton Parish Council, Faith Moulin, and councillor Brian Phillips outside Hangstones Pavilion, an-nouncing the parish council

HANGSTONES Redevelopment: Sto-wey Road, Yatton.

In February 2007 there was a press release, under a picture of the then chair of Yatton Parish Council, Faith Moulin, and councillor Brian Phillips outside Hangstones Pavilion, an-nouncing the parish council's plans to redevelop the site and create a new Leisure Centre/Community Complex.

Since its creation until September 30, 2008, I have served on the working party investigating and preparing plans for this development, both as a councillor and a member of the public since my resignation in March this year from council.

Last year the council sold Church View Cottage and the proceeds of the sale were 'ring fenced' (Council Minute COU179 of March 2007 refers) to help fund the project and provide evidence of the council's commitment when it came to applications for external funding. Indeed it was a recommended course of action from the incumbent clerk acting on advice that this was how the proceeds should be accounted for.


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At the council meeting on September 29 the council resolved to water down this commitment by agreeing 'that the proceeds of the sale of Church View Cottage be ring fenced for the development of recreational facilities (capital expenditure budget) in the parish, to include any future development at Hangstones'. This means that any project under the wider umbrella of 'recreational facilities' could have a call on the monies.

This new clerk, Richard Baker, stated that he felt this resolution would make it easier to obtain funding when that stage was reached in the Hangstones Redevelopment Project. He has instigated a revisiting of the rationale of the project, taking it, in my view, almost back to square one and possibly negating all the hard work and investigation/preparation already carried out by the working party.

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I do not believe it would make funding easier, rather the opposite as funders would see the 'release' of previously 'ringfenced' funds as showing a lack of commitment to the project by the council.

The parishioners of Yatton and Claverham need to see that the council is fully behind its intention to provide better facilities at Hangstones and the use of the Church View Cottage sale proceeds put to good use and not spread lightly across minor items.

The council should remember it is accountable to its parishioners who are the ratepayers providing the income for the council to carry out its duties.

To quote from my resignation from the working party: "what started out as a wonderful vision has petered out and been sidelined by a council that no longer has, in my opinion, a policy or even wish for the development and provision of leisure and community facilities for the whole united parish of Yatton and Claverham. The council's indecision and the divisive split between Claverham and Yatton both appear to be resurfacing.

D K PINNOCK - Horsecastle Farm Road, Nailsea

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