So, the notes from the council meeting have been posted on the Save Walton Gardens web-site ( www.savewaltongardens.co.uk ).
While the tone is conciliatory, there's some points to be made:
The public WILL lose access to some parts, though less than feared. Is that good enough?
The council have behaved in an outrageous way in this matter, hiding negotiations and deals from the public. Can we trust them to ever make the next decisions with our best wishes in mind?
There is still no sensible comments on why they have not used one of the more obvious, and less restrictive funding options:
- Keeping the cafe open! (and on that note, why plan a new pub while pubs are dying across the country and the Walton Arms is just down the road, is this part of the investment we are being sold on?)
- Better (non council) management of the Golf Course
- Green offices (maybe in the old stables, access through golf club)
There are also many more issues now opened up:
- 5 years development, traffic, building, restricted access, damage.
- Ongoing access: Over the humped back bridges? Construction vehicles? Really?
Also, what is the going rate for a 125 year lease on such prime green belt? I bet it's way above the $25 million investment that is being quoted. Any property valuers on here? Maybe we could divvy up the difference as a rebate?!!
I still think this stinks. The council is giving away our birthright to pay for it's past, current and projected future mis-management of our taxes.