Bring Berry Hill back to glory days

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It was good to read in Chad about the community effort organised by Mansfield Rotary Club to tidy up Berry Hill Park.

But the question must be posed, why was such an effort necessary?

The glory days of galas, trade and special events are long gone. The park is now a sorry shadow of what it once was.

Clearly the sad demise of the mining industry has affected the ability of the trustees of Berry Hill Social Welfare Centre, largely drawn from the Union of Democratic to carry out their duties.

Even their physical presence has disappeared with the sale of the UDM offices.

Operating a large asset such as Berry Hill Park is an expensive business and the trustees do not have the funds or professional expertise necessary to improve the service the public deserves.

The most recent financial figures for the Social Welfare Centre available on the Charity Commission website show it had an income of £3752 and an expenditure of £66,015 at the end of 2012.

The charity is way short of the amount needed to restore the park to what it was.

One group of beneficiaries listed by the charity’ are the disabled. My daughter, who is a wheelchair user, recently visited the park only to be confronted with a padlocked barrier near the cafe.

The necessary paved access for wheelchair and pushchairs is missing and it was only with the help of another park user that she was able to negotiate the unmade access. This is symptomatic of inadequate upkeep.

The cost of maintaining King George V Playing fields for 2013-14 was not much different to Berry Hill Park. But what a difference.

Mansfield District Council carried out the maintenance at their cost in the past.

That relationship does not seem to exist anymore since the breakdown of the relationship between Mayor Egginton with the Trustees.

Why can’t the Trustees and Mayor Egginton forget their past differences and help polish Berry Hill Park to be the gem it once was?

Graham Headworth

Berry Hill resident