This morning I was out delivering leaflets with Cllr Norman Lewis and Cllr Bernie Ryan in the West Didsbury part of Chorlton Park ward. While I was on Cavendish Road I went into the park to have a look at the trim trail that is being installed. The trim trail has caused some controversy because a number of local people were unaware that it was being installed and they woke up yesterday morning to find parts of the park being dug up.
The trim trail has been organised by the Friends of Cavendish Park. They had spoken to Leisure Services about consultation and had questioned whether they needed to send out leaflets about meetings to consult as widely as possible, but had been told that the notices that went up in the park and the South Manchester Reporter were sufficient. Unfortunately this has meant that some people didn’t know what was going on.
A similar problem occurred some time ago in Cavendish Park when the children’s playarea was installed. Four years earlier, as local Councillors, we had consulted with residents about local facilities and what people wanted to see. A lot of people had responded, saying that there should be play equipment for younger children, but unfortunately there was no money available at the time. However when the the redevelopment of the hospital site was going through the planning process I negotiated for some of the s106 money to be spent on the play equipment. By the time this money came through there were some people living in the area who were not aware that this was already in the pipeline (because they had moved to the area more recently) and questioned why they had not been consulted.
Of course everyone at the time had been consulted, but this was several years earlier.