Thursday, 4 July 2013

Reply from Simon Rowley , SLDC

Dear Mr Dellow,

Thank you for your e-mail of 1st July regarding the above site and in reference to my letter to you of 28th June .
I do appreciate that the removal of the art work from within the park and its boundary fencing could be viewed by some as unnecessary or even unreasonable , but the reasons for their removal are clear and as  detailed in  my letter to you .

I do find the situation regrettable but the Authority must act on matters that are raised with it in respect of public safety and the issue that the fixing and display of the  pieces were not agreed to, prior to the display , which  would have allowed greater consideration ,communication and consultation with the wider community .  We have to take account of views and concerns from across the community.

The concerns raised by some members of the public were specific to the safety issues , that some of the pieces had sharp edges and points and some were already broken and again had sharp edges. Other  concerns raised were  that the park was being defaced .
On their behalf, these concerns were relayed via the ward member who also expressed their concern over these matters and the apparent lack of consultation and  communication with the wider community and any approval for this to take place .

I can confirm that the pottery has now been taken down and packed carefully in bubble wrap and  boxed awaiting collection .

I recognise the good intent of your group and the value of engaging communities with the management of their local parks and play areas.  I would like to reiterate that as part of the current review of facilities at Mill Dam (and its on-going management) the authority is keen to work in partnership with local residents and community groups to enhance and improve this play area and that this would of course include yourself and group .

Yours sincerely

Simon Rowley | Assistant Director Neighbourhood Services
South Lakeland District Council, South Lakeland House, Lowther Street, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4DQ
Tel: 0845 050 4434 | Direct Tel: 01539 793110 | Email:
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Our reply is that at all times the BUGs, the group formed at the suggestion of SLDC in mid 2011, made SLDC aware of it's intentions. In this case parks officer Tony Naylor was informed as recently as  June 5th of the intention to do some work in the park (a practice that has been repeated where any action is taken). Over a period of four years, 50 emails have been sent to keep SLDC informed of its actions. In the particular case of the pottery the same pottery was installed in early 2012 with no negative feedback from SLDC. The problem is on the part of SLDC officers who do not appear to communicate with each other. On the other hand there have been serious difficiencies in SLDC operation which can be illustrated where they have not taken prompt action that was promissed by them eg regarding the making safe the Seesaw that is causing several serious accidents.

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