No decisions over future management of Chasewater, says county councillor

A county councillor has insisted no decision has been made over the future management of country parks – but insisted selling sites such as Chasewater was not on the agenda.

Chasewater. Pic: Robin Stott

Chasewater. Pic: Robin Stott and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Four proposals for the way sites across Staffordshire operate in future have been drawn up ahead of a 12 week consultation later this year. They are:

  • A: Maintain council ownership and seek opportunities to increase income from existing sites by working with volunteers, community, third sector and private parties
  • B: Transfer management on a site-by-site basis to local community or voluntary sector groups, such as parish councils
  • C: Establish a partnership of landowners to manage all green spaces in a particular area
  • D: Establish a not-for-profit trading company to run and develop parts of the estate consultation
Cllr Mark Winnington

Cllr Mark Winnington

Cllr Mark Winnington told a meeting of Staffordshire County Council’s Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee that none of the options had been excluded.

“This is a true consultation,” he said. “No decision has been made beforehand and I hope once consultation begins next month, everyone who uses the countryside estate or who holds it close to their heart has a say in its future.”

If approved by the council’s Cabinet later this months, the options will be discussed with local groups and put out for consultation.

There had been rumours that sites such as Chasewater could be sold off – but Cllr Winnington was quick to insist a sale was not on the agenda.

“Ownership of the estate will remain with the county council,” he said. “This is entirely about looking for the best ways to manage the sites.

“It won’t be a one size fits all approach, it will be a cocktail of solutions and to my mind this combination of proposals provides the best way forward for the council and the people who use them.”

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