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Warrington's New Civic Society


Sha
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I was a bit surprised to see him there... personally I wouldn't trust any local councillor when it comes to being guardians of our heritage and personally I wouldn't have them anywhere near the meetings either.

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If these Councillors infest the civic society at its very beginning then it is an absolute waste of time having one.  They will control everything they want to and all independence is lost.  They should be asked to leave and if they don't they should be drummed out.  It is impossible for a councillor not to have a conflict of interests.

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I completely agree with all that has been said already and the Civic Society, in my opinion, needs to be totally independent and steer well away from any councilor (member) involvement during meetings.
The council members should be involved as and when is fitting but NOT all the time.

Sha, like you had had to read twice when I saw Bob Barr's name mentioned as I thought I was seeing things.  I remember him oh to well from the council meetings over the locally listed Stockton Heath Primary School and how he had NO interest at all even when the likes of The Victorian Society and English Heritage aired their concerns about the demolition and other things.  He just toe'd the party line and spouted a tirade of absolute untruths about just to get the result the council wanted.  In fact I may even go up in my loft tomorrow as I'm sure all the meeting notes are up there and I could 'quote' him and his lies and indifference but then again my blood pressure may go to dangerous levels!!

In 2008 Bewsey Old Hall, the Gate House to Bradlegh Old Hall, Hurst Hall in Glazebury and the Transporter Bridge were put on to English Heritages 'At Risk Register' again and Bob Barr was quoted in the press then.... his prize comments .......

“The transporter bridge was a great feat of engineering,” said Clr Bob Barr (LD–Lymm). “I want to find out what else people think should be protected in Warrington,” he said. For example, I have a bee in my bonnet about the high level bridge in Latchford, and I wonder what other people think should be preserved,”

The Latchford High Level Bridge has never been at risk so why the bee in his bonnet?..... maybe he could have pressed for something to be done about the others if he really DID care after all they are were all grade II listed and deserving of attention !!

On a positive note though maybe if he does go to the meetings he will finally get to understand what it's all about and the penny will drop as to why people get so annoyed and the need to retain our local heritage and buildings of importance.  Maybe the worm will turn with pressure from those within the society who do actually have the knowledge and determination needed to ensure that protection is given to what is important  :wink:

Maybe they should start with the old Packet House at the bottom of Bridge Street before it's too late for that and the council get to demolish it as part of their regeneration plans........
 

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Yes, and if those members of the public who are setting up this society are naïve enough not to realise this then they are wasting their time in trying to save our heritage!

 

Am I being cynical in wondering WHY AT THIS TIME has this society emerged? or been encouraged to emerge? Could it possibly be to attempt to ensure the smooth running of the Town Centre Regeneration Project? A tick by the right kind of society in the required box?

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I must have been writing at the same time as you Diz but you got your post in first!

My 'Yes' was in agreement to what Baz, Sid and PJ had written.

 

I also agree with what you have written except for your suggestion that perhaps Bob Barr will 'finally understand' that 'the penny will drop' and 'maybe the worm will turn'.

Bob Barr is not interested in saving local heritage, never has been, never will be. He understands perfectly well that destruction of heritage upsets many of the general public but he doesn't give a jot! He is a self interested, egocentric careerist. He has no sense of justice fairness or honesty as has been seen by his deceitful, behind closed doors dealings in the attempted sell off of Walton Hall and Gardens.

I believe any interest he shows in the Civic Society will be driven by ulterior motives.

 

Please don't insult worms again Diz, they are beneficial creatures who do no harm to anyone. Wouldn't 'slug' have been a better choice of word?

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I agree that the Civic Society does need to be an independent voice and the best way to achieve this is to have as wide a membership base within the town as possible. To be most effective however it will mean sometimes working alongside the council and sometimes opposing their plans or aspects of them.

 

I certainly would not want the group to be taken over by councillors and none have been elected to the committee. On the other hand I don't think that barring them from becoming members altogether is the best approach either, especially if we want to avoid the confrontational approach which has failed in the past. There is inevitably a conflict of interest if councillors are involved but other groups such as Warrington Arts Council and the Friends of St Elphin's Park have achieved much more through having councillors actively involved than they would have done otherwise.

 

Sha, Dizzy and Evil Sid, I'm not sure whether you have attended either of the meetings so far (I know Bazj and PJ have) but you are more than welcome at the next members meeting which will be held at the end of July. I will confirm more details nearer the time and if you would like more information it will be on our Facebook page or you can contact me by email (warrington.civsoc@gmail.com).

 

Regarding the reason/timing for the relaunch of the Warrington Society, I'm afraid it is a bit more straightforward. I have only lived in Warrington since 2012 and bought a house here at the end of last year. As I was trying to find out what had been on the site previously I came across Harry Wells' website which mentioned the original Civic Society's work. It sounded a worthwhile group but when I asked about joining I was told it was about to be wound up due to lack of members. Everything since then has just been an attempt to gather interest and get it going again. There is certainly plenty to be done and being proactive about Warrington's at risk heritage (including the Packet House) is something I have pushed for from the start.

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I certainly would not want the group to be taken over by councillors and none have been elected to the committee. On the other hand I don't think that barring them from becoming members altogether is the best approach either, especially if we want to avoid the confrontational approach which has failed in the past. There is inevitably a conflict of interest if councillors are involved but other groups such as Warrington Arts Council and the Friends of St Elphin's Park have achieved much more through having councillors actively involved than they would have done otherwise.

 

 

Spot on John - if we have councillors who are members and they are in the room it is better being able to seek their support or challenge them face to face, rather than trying to enter into dialogue via the corridors of power at the town hall.

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