Monday, 3 August 2009

Green Flag Secret judges

How did Bute Parks get a green flag award?

Secret judges! Why is there no public report? Why all the secrecy? see their letter below..

I wrote to them to ask but the judges must remain a secret!
That makes me think that the judges may have undisclosed interests that make them bias towards the present park management. Otherwise there is no explaination for giving the award. as the key criteria are not met.

Healthy, Safe, and Secure
The reason given for the new bridge is that the present situation is not safe with so many pedestrians sharing a path with articulated lorries so why did the judges think this was ok?

Conservation and Heritage
Did the judges view the extreme damage caused by the work on the 'bridge/road' before planning permission and recent work affecting nesting birds also contrary to planning permission.

A management plan is about the future and policy and as on your own website states
'clearly and adequately addresses all the above criteria and any other relevant aspects of the park or green space’s management. The plan must be actively implemented and regularly reviewed. Financially sound management of the park or green space must also be demonstrated.'

The 'on going community involvement and partnership working' is sadly lacking as I pointed out that 5,000 people are not happy with the park policy and signed a petition. Another 1.600 on facebook object. These people have all serious concerns and have not been listened to.

All Lab cllrs, Tory and indepenent cllrs all oppose this plan.
Why is there no public report? Why all the secrecy?

From the green flag award...Paul Todd Green Flag Award Scheme Manager

Thank you once again for your email regarding Bute Park.
As a charity established as a private organisation, we are not covered by the FOIA, and therefore we are not required to provide the information you requested, i.e. the names of the Judges.
However, we do wish to be helpful and transparent in our dealing. I have therefore been in touch with both judges who assessed the site and shared with them the concerns that you have raised. They were able to confirm that the issues surrounding the development of the park were fully discussed with the parks management during their assessment.
The Green Flag Award Judges are asked to assess a site based on the management plan for that site and what they observe and discuss during their visit. Their decision is not based on future developments but on what is viewed at that point in time. The purpose of the scheme is to recognise well managed, quality green spaces that meet the needs of the users. If any future developments effect this in a detrimental way then future judges will take this into account when making their assessment.
This year both judges agreed that the park deserved a Green Flag Award for its high standards of maintenance, management practices, innovation and on going community involvement and partnership working, a decision which the scheme fully endorses.
I hope you find this information useful.
Kind regards
Paul Todd
Green Flag Award Scheme Manager
Keep Britain Tidy
Elizabeth House
The Pier
Tel: 01942 612611
Fax: 01942 824778
Web site:

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