Parish takes over control of green
PUBLISHED: 12:37 10 July 2011
TRUSTEES of a long-standing community group look set to hand over their assets to Congresbury Parish Council, after villagers voted in favour of the transition.
Due to a drop in numbers on the Millennium Green Trust, the committee was forced to ask the parish council to take over control of the Kent Road site.
The move could only go ahead with support from villagers and, at a special meeting last week, residents agreed the change was the right option.
Chairman of the trust, Mary Short, said: “It’s very difficult to get the trustees as people these days are just too busy and haven’t got time.
“We have members who want to leave now and, to be honest, if the parish council did not take it over we all would have resigned and let Natural England take it over.”
Hundreds of millennium green trusts, funded by the Countryside Agency, sprouted up all over the UK in the late 1990s to create more open spaces for the benefit of the community.
The Congresbury trust, which raises money for and runs its own green within the bounds of the specific deed, initially had 11 members back in 1999, but over the years numbers have dwindled.
The current trustees are responsible for securing a new, revitalised play area on the green which is due to be completed this summer.
It used £12,000 of leftover money from housing developers to add the new equipment, including a slide, updated wooden wigwam and monkey rings.
North Somerset Council’s Congresbury representative, Tom Leimdorfer, said: “The trustees have done a fantastic job over the past 12 years to give the village a wonderful open space, which provides something for everyone to enjoy.
“Having developed a range of play facilities and cared for the copses, the orchard, the greens and the riverbank, they are handing over to the parish council a unique heritage.”
The parish council must now officially accept responsibility for the trust and it is expected it will become the sole trustee of the group by the end of the year.