Friends to split after five years
THE Friends of Wilton Park is to be disbanded just months after it celebrated the park’s centenary year.
And in a further blow, the News has learnt Kirklees Council will not be replacing the retiring park warden.
At a public meeting at the park’s bowling hut last Thursday, chairman Gerry Hird and vice-chairman David Gitton resigned from their posts – and no-one volunteered to take their places.
The group began in its current form in 2007, but there have been similar groups at the park since the 1990s.
Mr Hird said he was unhappy with the way the group had been running in recent months.
“It’s a sad day but I knew this was going to happen,” he said.
The group was asked for nominations for president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary but no hands were raised.
The voluntary group will meet for one final time on September 20 to decide how its leftover funds of around £2,000 should be spent.
Under the group’s constitution, any remaining funds must be given to another group with similar aims.
Mr Hird also blamed a lack of communication between the group and the council for his leaving.
He said he had never seen the accounts for the £49,400 Heritage Lottery grant awarded for the centenary of Wilton Park and Bagshaw Museum.
He said: “Their duty is to inform us, not for me to chase them. That’s one of the things I’m jacking it in for.”
He added that his regular meetings with the council to discuss the centenary project stopped six months ago for no reason.
A spokeswoman from the council said: “We are happy to work with the current Friends group or those which may be set up in the future.”
Mr Hird thanked the friends group and said they had made some ‘outstanding achievements’.
He also thanked the News for ‘supporting us 100 per cent’.
In a further blow to the park, it has come to light that there will soon be no dedicated warden.
Park warden Barry Daly is retiring next month and the latest plans for a new pavilion do not include a warden’s office.
A council spokeswoman said park rangers would give seven-day cover but they would no longer have a dedicated warden or warden’s office at the park.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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