(R72) CRYSTAL PALACE CAMPAIGN - IMMEDIATE MEDIA RELEASE - 2 July 2002
Bromley leader agrees to new local consultation
on future of Crystal Palace Park
The leader of Bromley Council has agreed to explore a new process of consulting local residents aimed at leading to community partnership in the future management of Crystal Palace Park. Councillor Michael Tickner (Conservative, Copers Cope Beckenham), council leader since last July, stated that he was ready to start with a “blank sheet of paper” and that he personally had no objections to sharing management of the Park with a friends’ organisation or a Trust.
The agreement came at an independently-chaired Workshop last weekend sponsored by the Crystal Palace Campaign. For the first time it brought together for serious discussion politicians and community representatives of the five boroughs adjoining the Park.
CPC Chairman Philip Kolvin commented:
"We have a platform for peace, a commitment to the process, and a mechanism to drive it forward. Credit for the success of the day must go to the local groups, who worked constructively, and the team of independent facilitators, but most of all to the London Borough of Bromley, whose Leader, Michael Tickner is demonstrating, in his early months in office, diplomacy, leadership, and a willingness to move forwards. There is much to do, and we mustn’t get carried away, but I look forward to the coming process with cautious optimism."
Cllr Tickner has agreed to attend the next stage, which will be a small task group, with 8-9 members nominated by the Workshop. Over the summer they will seek agreement on an agenda for a possible public meeting in the autumn where the consultation process will be discussed.
Mr Tickner will ask the Crystal Palace Partnership, a 30-member group which includes the five local boroughs, to provide funding for further independently-chaired consultation meetings.
Bromley was also represented at the workshop by Bob Neill (Greater London Assembly member for Bromley and Bexley), local Councillors John Canvin and Chris Gaster, and Mr Robbie Stoakes, the Bromley civil servant who heads Leisure and Community Services.
The concessions mark the ending of the 5-year stand-off between Bromley Council and thousands of local residents which last year climaxed in the abandonment of a massive multiplex which London and Regional Properties planned on the historic site of the old Crystal Palace. In the past year the Crystal Palace Campaign has conducted a survey of local residents views, with the outcome that large majorities favoured green solutions in regenerating the currently run down park.
It has also proposed a community trust to run the Park. Behind the scenes, the Crystal Palace Campaign has worked assiduously with local politicians to produce last weekend’s Workshop. Much of its success was due to the proceedings being conducted by an outside independent facilitator, Nigel Westaway, who succeeded in focussing the 60-odd participants’ commitment to a constructive and inclusive dialogue. The Workshop was also addressed by leading figures from the world of park regeneration and funding.
Crystal Palace Workshop - Saturday, 29 July 2002
Greater London Assembly member
- Bexley & Bromley
Boycott UCI Group
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2/7/02 Last updated 2/7/02