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14 December 2012 Beacon Park upgrade 'Lessons Learnt' views of our District Councillors

posted 14 Dec 2012, 02:36 by Andre Hefer   [ updated 15 Dec 2012, 09:24 ]

Lichfield District Councillors Scrutinise the upgrading of Beacon Park — feedback to our members

BSARA is pleased to report that on 12/Dec/2012 a Scrutiny Committee of Lichfield District Councillors met and examined the project to upgrade Lichfield's Historic Parks, including Beacon Park. The reason for the meeting is explained here. Councillors spent over 3 hours considering the post project evaluation report, presented by Chief Executive Nina Dawes, asking questions and listening to the views of the community groups (BSARA, Lichfield Civic Society and the Park Friends). The post project evaluation was honest and self critical and the Councillors did not pull their punches. The Chief Executive's post project evaluation report is available here and what BSARA said is available here.

Councillors emphasised the importance of learning lessons in the following areas:

  • Communication must improve. The District Council should do much more to ensure that the public are properly informed, regarding what is being proposed and how it will affect them;
  • Projects need to be better managed and the Project Steering Committee must be much more effective. This would ensure that construction work runs more smoothly and minimises the disruption to the public;
  • Councillors said they would like to be more involved after site work starts and think that the information they receive should be improved.

BSARA believes that Councillors have highlighted the most important areas and we think addressing these matters will help prevent similar mistakes occurring on the next project. We understand that Lichfield District Council is in the very early stages of planning a similar upgrade of Stowe Pool and its surroundings. The District Council and the Park Friends intend approaching the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a grant under the 'Parks for People' programme. We hope this bid succeeds. It will be an ideal opportunity to show that lessons have been learnt and that the community have a real voice during all phases of such a project.

The Historic Parks Upgrade project has provoked heated discussion at our last two AGM's. BSARA members will have an opportunity to express their views at our forthcoming AGM, to be held on the 17/Jan/2013. We will be inviting local councillors, members of the Cabinet, and Local Goverment Officials and we hope this will be an opportunity to bring this matter to a close.