Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Outdoor gym plan could scupper Green Flag Award

MILL MEADOWS may not be eligible for a Green Flag Award this year because the town council is considering having

MILL MEADOWS may not be eligible for a Green Flag Award this year because the town council is considering having an outdoor gym there.

The issue came to light when the council’s Mill Meadows and river sub-committee considered a recommendation to install up to 10 pieces of equipment on the putting green at the riverside beauty spot.

The council was awarded a Green Flag for the first time last year for Mill and Marsh Meadows. The award recognises green spaces which offer a wide range of facilities and are maintained to a high standard.

Park services manager Gareth Bartle said there was a five-year management plan for Mill Meadows which made no mention of development. He said: “Members need to be aware that the likelihood of being able to change the management plan in Green Flag terms within six months would be looked upon negatively by the judges.

“I would suggest that if you choose to do this you withdraw this year or start working towards adult gym equipment for the year after, or the year after that, so it could be put into the management plan.”



Concern was also raised about an informal agreement that the Mill Meadows children’s nursery made with the council to use the putting green.

Nursery owner Sophie Taylor said: “My concern is with placing adult gym equipment in that area we would lose that access.”

Councillor David Clenshaw said: “I thought the putting green was a good idea until I heard this presentation from the nursery people. it does seem quite nice they have somewhere for the children to play outside.”

Councillor Elizabeth Hodgkin replied that the putting green seemed the perfect place for the gym equipment, adding: “I don’t think any space down there should be for one private group.”

Town clerk Mike Kennedy said: “What we’re trying to do is make the space available to everybody.”

On Tuesday, the council’s recreation and amenities committee unanimously recommended that the gym is not located on the putting green.

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