That attractive new look for our parks being proposed by Bristol City Council.
After a couple of weeks of pooh-poohing claims from the Bristol Parks Forum that the Labour administration tried to sneak through a hastily assembled report at their last cabinet meeting (pdf) to flog over £200m of land from Bristol’s Parks to developers, the council has been forced to reveal that, er … The Labour administration is trying to flog over £200m of land from Bristol’s Parks to developers!
Hidden away in the agenda for a Physical Environment Scrutiny Commission meeting on January 31 is a report – the Parks and Green Spaces Strategy – Financial Considerations (pdf).
And what’s this? Why it only says that the minimum cost of land that the council will be looking to sell off is £166m worth.
But the report also claims £25m in contributions will be made by the developers of this park land for funding improvements to our remaining parks. However the planning department says this contribution is only realistically likely to be £15m.
That’s a further £20m worth of land that might have to be sold off to make up this £10m deficit then. This is because under Labour’s hastily assembled funding formula half of all proceeds from these land sales have go to directly to the cabinet so they can fund their own pet projects with the money.
A further £11m towards future park improvements has been budgeted to come from “grants”; although at present none have been applied for – let alone agreed to. That’s another £22m of land that may need to be sold under Labour’s formula.
So the grand total of land at risk? £208m. Slightly over the Parks Forum estimate that’s been slated by politicians and council officers for the last two weeks.
Meanwhile details of the actual land that will be disposed off are still being blatantly withheld by Bristol City Council.