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Walton Estate Advisory Group (WEAG) 'Official'


Waltonian
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As a member of WEAG representing the Save Walton Gardens campaign, I hope to use this forum in a positive way to help the Group make sensible informed decisions in the interests of the people of Warrington. It is easy to be cynical but WBC learned a lesson from the SWG campaign and are genuinely keen to hear from the public. The composition of the group will ensure this.

 

To clear up one error, there is plenty of time to submit your ideas. The Warrington Guardian has today corrected the timetable and though there is still a date (Dec 9th) by which time we hope people can submit ideas, we will still be open to suggestions after that.

 

So what do we want and where and how?

 

The main survey is available in all libraries in Warrington, and at the Contact Centre in Sankey Street. It is also available on-line at www.visitchesterandcheshire.co.uk/waltonhall. Copies are available from Karen Kellett at the Environment & Regeneration Directorate, New Town House, Warrington WA1 2NH or kkellett@warrington.gov.uk. It is long but to fill in any part of it would help the Advisory Group. You can also give your positive ideas through on-line forums like this, Warrington Guardian and Save Walton Gardens Facebook site or in writing to Karen Kellett.The Friends of Walton Estate website (http://www.fowe.btck.co.uk/) has a simpler survey.

 

Please be positive. The result achieved by the campaign and forums such as this have opened up the possibility of a better future for Walton Estate. If you don't contribute to the process, don't then blame the WEAG group.

 

Save Walton Gardens Facebook and website will keep up-to-date with developments

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To me it seems the issue is simple. The facilities must generate enough money to pay for the upkeep.

 

In that case we have to be certain that when people attend, they do in sufficent numbers / spend when they get there. So:

 

Transport:

 

The parking charge is too structured. It needs to be more flexible such as an hourly rate discounted for stays over a certain set of hours. In the summer a late rate say post 4pm to attract people there in the nice weather. I wont go for a few hours because of the parking fees. If it was more flexible I would.

 

Public transport has to be better. I stand to be corrected, but WBT dont provide a service there. I used to have a WBT pass for work but couldnt use it to get there so drove instead. Say the 48 is diverted or run a weekend only hourly shuttle via Stockton heath? Even paint to advertise this site (see chapelford bus as an example) Call it the Waltonian or Walton Connector.

 

Also less of the heavy handed approach with parking there. A lot of people out of the borough go there as well.

 

Entry charge:

 

Keep it free but how about donation facilities with a suggested sum. If you can pay people will . I dont like being dictated to but would gladly make a small donation when attending. However at the moment i feel I am doing this each time I park!

 

The Zoo could also benefit from this as well.

 

Facilities:

 

Needs more on the food front. Why not in the summer as well as licensing the ice cream van. liscense hot food stalls placed in a strategic place. See what they have at Marbury Country Park in Northwich. Alternatively and/or change the current "cafe" so it sells pre-packed stuff in the summer (for picnics) and hot stuff in the winter. Due to the lack of food, I usually shop before getting there. Loss revenue I think.

 

Long term, I think the pub is a good idea. Perhaps opening up the golf course to the hall and using those buildings as well making it a more integrated estate.

 

As for the greenhouses. I think times past on them. Alternatively a pub there in the style of the G/houses might be an idea and certainlty an attraction. Even better if its turned into a high class restuarant

 

Attractions:

 

I used to go the farmers markets. Make this an all year round sunday morning treat.

 

Open the same up for performances. i dont mean Muse and 40,000 there, but over the back of the hall is space for a small performance area. Charge to rent it and charge to get in.

 

The Hall could still be a wedding venue and/or hotel and / or restuarant but the land use issue remains a problem.

 

Hope this helps.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Agreed that is a good post Adrian...... however there is a slight flaw:

 

Warrington Borough Council would not be happy if the estate just paid for itself. They want it to make a profit so they can take money out of it to pay for other things.

 

Unfortunately that cannot happen with a few hot dog stands and a donation tin hence the reason why they favoured selling it off to private enterprise. Quick return and very little capital outlay

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............. It is easy to be cynical but WBC learned a lesson from the SWG campaign and are genuinely keen to hear from the public. The composition of the group will ensure this.

 

How could anyone possibly be anything but cynical?!!!

From the very beginning WBC have acted in none other than a decidedly underhand manner over this affair.

How could anyone describe a procurement process with only one offer in the running (Contessa) as genuine?

How could the 'misinformation' given over the amount of land which would be lost to the public re the Contessa proposal be described as genuine? The so called attempts to find alternatives such as the lottery bid ....that was never sent! The request to the National Trust.......which they said was turned down but when questioned further they changed this to "the National Trust didn't reply" (which seems hardly credible!)

 

Then we were told that the Walton Hall Estate was draining the council coffers to the tune of ?650,000 a year which after requests for details was altered to ?250,000........an over exaggerated claim by ?400,000!!!! Still to date no detailed information has been given on where the said ?250,000 is actually 'lost'.

 

I could go on.....and on......and on, but there is no need to because the most blatant example of WBC being anything but genuine was given, most publicly, in their heart rending speeches at the town hall.....wherein they promised not to progress any further before a full and open public consultation had taken place........within minutes they went behind closed doors and unanimously agreed to proceed as planned!

 

After all that has already happened how could anyone believe that WBC "are genuinely keen to hear from the public"?

 

The composition of the group will ensure this.

Waltonian, how are 2 representatives from the SaveWaltonGardens group and 1 representative from 'the Friends' group who together form a mere minority of the WEAG group going to be able to ensure the public voice is heard effectively?

 

Furthermore,

............. To clear up one error, there is plenty of time to submit your ideas. The Warrington Guardian has today corrected the timetable and though there is still a date (Dec 9th) by which time we hope people can submit ideas, we will still be open to suggestions after that.

 

Firstly, when other authorities conduct public consultations on their parks which are very widely publicised and consist of a wide range of activities spread over a period of more than one year why is a hardly advertised questionnaire, conducted over a few weeks (in the run up to Christmas) considered sufficient for the people of Warrington? Why are we operating to deadlines? ......which are in fact very little different to the timescales set originally for the Contessa proposal.

 

Secondly, how and by whom are the results going to be collated and interpreted? Will this process be open and transparent to the public?

 

Waltonion, whilst I believe that SWG and the Friends are genuinely trying to save our park I remain cynical about WBC?s motives and wonder if WEAG has been set up merely as a box ticking exercise.

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Sha,

Feel better for getting that off your chest? :roll:

Having a go at Waltonian is really very helpful.

 

To the rest of the knockers:

 

Give credit where it is due. He is trying to bring this to the attention of the public by posting on here. You and others having a go at him and others is not helping the cause, but helping the council by showing that no-one really cares.

 

We all know that the council are not up to the job, but people keep voting them in. Not many placard wavers on the Town Hall lawn objecting to any of the cuts in services, are there.

 

People like Waltonian (whom I have never met) need the support of the communities to stop the council riding roughshod over the residents of Warrington. It is hard enough fighting the bingo heads in the Town Hall without having a hard time on here, where he would hope for support.

 

Give him a break, if you want to have a go at the council, start another thread. :roll:

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Sha, I think what the moderators are saying is - 'Unless you have anything to say which is supportive and or positive keep your mouth shut'.

 

It is fast becoming a forum in name only. :roll:

 

Forum : A medium for open discussion or voicing of ideas, such as a newspaper, a radio or television program, or a website. : An opportunity for open discussion

 

Sha .... as a moderator I would like to point out that I would not have not told you to 'keep your mouth shut' ..... :? I am cynical of the councils motives too just as many people are but then again I have battled the council a few times with 'public interest' matters and seen how they 'work' :roll::evil:

 

However, I'm sure like myslef, any many others you too, you will still put your ideas and suggestions forward to the group and via the consultations in the 'hope' that the council will indeed listen despite any lurking 'doubts'. Like you say the public members of the group are genuinely doing all they can to save Walton Gardens and we should all support them and keep involved with the whole process.

 

As for Wolfie and Peter.... have you taken it out of context as having just read Sha's post the criticism and cynicism was not aimed at Waltonian, the SWG Group or the Friends of Walton .... it was aimed at the council.

 

It would be rather more productive if Waltonian's many attempts to get some constructive suggestions from here actually managed to stay on topic for more than a few posts :?:cry:

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.

 

The composition of the group will ensure this.

Waltonian, how are 2 representatives from the SaveWaltonGardens group and 1 representative from 'the Friends' group who together form a mere minority of the WEAG group going to be able to ensure the public voice is heard effectively?

 

Waltonion, whilst I believe that SWG and the Friends are genuinely trying to save our park I remain cynical about WBC?s motives and wonder if WEAG has been set up merely as a box ticking exercise.

 

Dizzy, I may well have misunderstood Sha's post, but the first quote above is not exactly supportive, whilst the second probably says what we all think about WBC.so no surprise there.

I guess it's the individual's interpretation of the written word. :wink:

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Help ...

 

Does anyone know where I can find the list of the names of all the members who are on the WEAG (Advisory Group) panel and which exact body they are from or represent ie council, private sector, public sector, other group, individual etc.

 

Also where are the details of the WEAG and any minutes or updates of what has been discussed so far etc.

 

Probably just me looking in the wrong places but I can't find anything and when when I searched the council website it said

 

"Your search - Walton estate advisory group - did not match any documents. No pages were found containing Walton estate advisory group."

 

Would be really interesting and usefull to know what was going on or being discussed at present and it may even spur us all on to come up with some with other ideas and serious and productive comments and discussion :wink:

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As for your last comment, what does that mean? The Forum is as good or as bad as the people who use it. :shock:

 

I think what Wolfie is saying is that on certain topics if posters don't toe the party line they get jumped on by the moderators.

 

Why do moderators come to the defence of some but criticise others; shouldn't they be impartial and certainly not include the word "moderator" in a post?

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If you would prefer me to be completely impartial and never defend or criticise on here again then I would now like to formerly 'resign' from being a moderator please....

 

I'm just 'me' and I'm not being stereotyped as being a heavy handed boring old fart with nothing better to do than watch what I'm saying (and yes I have to do that too and even I have been 'moderated' by another this week :P ) or to be accused of cherry picking other peoples posts depending on who and what has been said based on my own view of a subject :roll: ..... I wont mention anything else :shock:

 

Topic now completely off track again and why doesn't that suprise me :roll:8)

 

Before I go... does anyone know where I can find the info I was looking for :roll:

 

Good luck Waltonian you are going to need it :roll::wink: (if by any remote chance you are bothing to read the forum now... ) :

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I guess it's the individual's interpretation of the written word. :wink:

 

And how different it seems our individual interpretations are!

 

Peter, you seem to think the object of my post was merely to 'get things off my chest' and 'have a go at the council'. I wouldn't waste my time...as I believe them to be that thick-skinned and egotistical they are virtually impervious to criticism.

 

You infer that my post would give the impression to the council that 'no-one really cares' how you managed to interpret my post in that way is completely beyond me! I would have thought it was extremely obvious that I do care...very greatly what happens to Walton Hall & Gardens.

You also seem to think that I was in some way knocking the efforts of Waltonian, again you have totally missed the point.

 

You suggest that Waltonian et al need support 'to stop the council riding roughshod over the people of Warrington'

Waltonian's post to which I replied had contained the words,

"It is easy to be cynical but WBC learned a lesson from the SWG campaign and are genuinely keen to hear from the public."

My reply contained reminders of previous dealings with WBC as a warning to Waltonian as I fear WBC under the guise of 'genuineness' may well be taking both SWG and the Friends 'for one hell of a ride'!

 

One of the major contibutory factors why WBC were unable to continue with their efforts to off load Walton Hall & Gardens was because no adequate public consultation had been carried out.

I don't believe that the setting up of WEAG was to 'genuinely listen to the public'. I think it's more likely just a means of fulfilling their obligations.....whilst not really being much different to the 'consultation process' they had originally planned.

 

The contrived composition of WEAG wherein the 'public voice' is in such an ineffective minority, the secrecy within which the meetings are conducted...no public or press are allowed, no agenda or minutes published...is hardly what one could describe as an 'adequate' public consultation.

However, it may serve the purpose of getting WBC of the hook whilst WEAG (and ultimately SAG and the Friends) get the flack!

So I think it might be wise for Waltonian to be careful and somewhat cynical.

 

Another point I made was re the timescale, why has such a short deadline been set? If the council are 'genuine' about retaining Walton Hall & Gardens in perpetuity for the people of Warrington, then the years should stretch out in front of us wherein we can make improvements at our leisure, so why such a rushed consultation......unless of course there are objectives to which we the public are not privvy?

 

Lastly Peter, re your suggestion to me to start another thread, which I presume was because you thought I was going 'off topic'.

 

However, Waltonian began this thread with the words;....

"As a member of WEAG representing the Save Walton Gardens campaign, I hope to use this forum in a positive way to help the Group make sensible informed decisions in the interests of the people of Warrington."

 

My previous post was meant in a constructive way, hopefully to illustrate to Waltonian the need for some cynicism when dealing with WBC..as an aid to....."help the Group make sensible informed decisions in the interests of the people of Warrington."

 

To end my post Peter, may I now make a suggestion to you?

That before you post sarcastic and critical replies to other's comments, that you first read their post properly!.........oh, and perhaps improve your comprehension skills!

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Zzzzzzzzzzzz :roll:

 

I looked but I still can't find them... anyway Sha seems to have answered my question

 

....no public or press are allowed, no agenda or minutes published

 

So much for public involvement, transparenly and not really a consultation then if no-one else gets to know what is being discussed or suggested :roll:

 

Guess we will all just have to wait until the final report is submitted to the exec board and discuss, query or wonder about any ommissions or inclusions once the decision has been MADE.

 

Sod it... I'm past caring now and I only came on here to check for weather warnings :lol:

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Sha,

You have done what you accused me of. If you notice, I separated my comment to you from the others.

I think you know where I am coming from because of common ground between us regards the council and ANY activities involving them.

 

I felt that the original effort by Waltonian and our young MYP got derided by posters and that it was wrong because of the seriousness of the topic.

So let's stop falling out and get back to Walton. :wink:

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It's a first for Diz and she is already threatening to resign. :wink:

 

Send me a PM Wolfie and we can discuss your issues properly ... I only wanted to 'resign' so I could say what I really thought without having to 'behave' myself :wink::lol:

 

Now can we all please get back to Walton Gardens or shall we keep this 'new' thread going and move all the relevant Walton Gardens stuff to a new topic area ... :wink:

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