Council pledge on the future of Greenhill Gardens

CONCERN: Chalets at Greenhill Gardens, Weymouth

CONCERN: Chalets at Greenhill Gardens, Weymouth

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Trainee Reporter

A WEYMOUTH councillor has spoken out to allay fears surrounding the future of Greenhill Gardens.

Councillor Ian Bruce, pictured right, spokesman for tourism and culture at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said councillors wanted to see the gardens maintained.

Cllr Bruce spoke after a petition secured a council debate on the subject.

A petition which amassed 903 signatures was presented to the borough council earlier this month calling on the authority to keep the gardens under public stewardship.

The borough council announced plans in November 2013 to sell off Greenhill chalets, Esplanade chalets, the Greenhill play gardens and chats, the Greenhill toilets and the associated facilities for a 125-year tender.

Cllr Bruce said the gardens would remain under the management, control and ownership of the borough council.

What has been and will continue to be debated is whether the council will remain the landlord of the facilities, according to Cllr Bruce.

He said: “They have directed their petition in the wrong way.

“If they want us to discuss how the chalets should be managed in the future, they should have said that in the petition. The issue of the chalets is something we have been consulting on for a long time. We are trying to find a solution which doesn’t involve people who don’t have a chalet paying for them.”

The matter will be discussed at the next full council meeting on June 5.

A consultation was held last month looking at factors including reported corrosions of the steel reinforcement to the Esplanade chalets which require an estimated £885,000 worth of remedial works.

The gardens were part of the Wilton Estate and were gifted to the council in 1902.

Cllr Bruce said: “We will be looking at the consultation process in June and making a decision on what if anything is going to be done in July.

“What we are looking for is people who will come forward and will find a solution to ensure the chalets are maintained.

“Nobody should believe it is already a done deal and that the council aren’t listening to what people want. We are looking for some solution which everyone is happy about.”

Geraldine Owen started the petition on April 3 and said the petition was about raising awareness of the future of a ‘calm and tranquil’ area.

She said: “It’s not about the chalets.

“It’s about the whole Greenhill Gardens area.

“I just started the petition because people didn’t know there was a consultation process.

“It was just getting the word out.

“My intention was to get the word out that there’s potential for redevelopment.”

Comments (8)

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8:12am Fri 16 May 14

Get a grip says...

This whole business is a typical council ****up
This whole business is a typical council ****up Get a grip
  • Score: 1

8:30am Fri 16 May 14

JamesYoung says...

"If they want us to discuss how the chalets should be managed in the future, they should have said that in the petition. "
What is it about councillors that they must, at every opportunity, and through weasel words, try to make the people who voted for them look stupid?
"If they want us to discuss how the chalets should be managed in the future, they should have said that in the petition. " What is it about councillors that they must, at every opportunity, and through weasel words, try to make the people who voted for them look stupid? JamesYoung
  • Score: 8

9:00am Fri 16 May 14

Woodgate says...

The amount of time officers spend on kicking the 'what shall we do with the chalets?' ball backwards and forwards is farcical compared the massively more important strategic and economic redevelopment issues facing WPBC. All this does is give a platform to vote chasing councillors and a small, self interest group who expect taxpayers to subsidise their patch of Greenhill indefinitely. Of course the gardens can (and should) be protected from unsightly redevelopment but for heavens sake stop deferring decisions, get a quick commercial grip on these huts and focus on the bigger picture.
The amount of time officers spend on kicking the 'what shall we do with the chalets?' ball backwards and forwards is farcical compared the massively more important strategic and economic redevelopment issues facing WPBC. All this does is give a platform to vote chasing councillors and a small, self interest group who expect taxpayers to subsidise their patch of Greenhill indefinitely. Of course the gardens can (and should) be protected from unsightly redevelopment but for heavens sake stop deferring decisions, get a quick commercial grip on these huts and focus on the bigger picture. Woodgate
  • Score: 7

10:41am Fri 16 May 14

iansedwell says...

Ian Bruce says, "If they want us to discuss how the chalets should be managed in the future, they should have said that in the petition."

Ian Bruce, I say you are mendacious, disingenuous and contemptuous. But why should you be any different from any other W&PBC councillor.

You and colleagues lurch from failure to disaster to incompetence. At every turn you bleat and whine and pretend it is somehow not your fault.

Now, you have the audacity to imply that residents of Weymouth & Portland have got it all wrong and that there is consequently no need for the council (I use the term loosely) to discuss the matter.

I say there is a clear mandate from the residents of Weymouth & Portland that you and your colleagues begin to listen to what the said residents are telling you to do. Remember, YOU represent US at OUR will to carry out OUR wishes.

W&PBC have been aware of the problems at Greenhill for the best part of decade. You deliberately ran down maintenance in the hope that you would be able to simply bulldoze the lot and flog it off on the cheap to some cowboy developer with which you all seem so enamoured. (Ah! the heady days of the Howerd Holdings fiasco.)

Well, that little plan was shot to pieces when it turned out that the chalets are listed.

Now you have to act like a council and act in a manner that is competent and professional. Tricky I know, but please do try to something positive that is acceptable to the residents of Weymouth & Portland - just for once.
Ian Bruce says, "If they want us to discuss how the chalets should be managed in the future, they should have said that in the petition." Ian Bruce, I say you are mendacious, disingenuous and contemptuous. But why should you be any different from any other W&PBC councillor. You and colleagues lurch from failure to disaster to incompetence. At every turn you bleat and whine and pretend it is somehow not your fault. Now, you have the audacity to imply that residents of Weymouth & Portland have got it all wrong and that there is consequently no need for the council (I use the term loosely) to discuss the matter. I say there is a clear mandate from the residents of Weymouth & Portland that you and your colleagues begin to listen to what the said residents are telling you to do. Remember, YOU represent US at OUR will to carry out OUR wishes. W&PBC have been aware of the problems at Greenhill for the best part of decade. You deliberately ran down maintenance in the hope that you would be able to simply bulldoze the lot and flog it off on the cheap to some cowboy developer with which you all seem so enamoured. (Ah! the heady days of the Howerd Holdings fiasco.) Well, that little plan was shot to pieces when it turned out that the chalets are listed. Now you have to act like a council and act in a manner that is competent and professional. Tricky I know, but please do try to something positive that is acceptable to the residents of Weymouth & Portland - just for once. iansedwell
  • Score: 8

11:17am Fri 16 May 14

Get a grip says...

Some very good point made here.

The message is loud and clear
Some very good point made here. The message is loud and clear Get a grip
  • Score: 1

4:28pm Fri 16 May 14

not too distant says...

Distraction technique...
Distraction technique... not too distant
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Fri 16 May 14

Get a grip says...

Mind you things could be worse just think if Portland Town Council were to be involved
Mind you things could be worse just think if Portland Town Council were to be involved Get a grip
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Sun 18 May 14

weymouthfox says...

Councillor Bruce speaks with forked tongue. He and his colleagues would be very happy to see a giant block of flats built over the tennis courts and the gardens. None of our counciollors have an ounce of positivity between them.
Councillor Bruce speaks with forked tongue. He and his colleagues would be very happy to see a giant block of flats built over the tennis courts and the gardens. None of our counciollors have an ounce of positivity between them. weymouthfox
  • Score: 2

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