Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1019/28315

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 November 2018

Mansfield council must step in to save miners' park

Berry Hill Park has been paid by a charity paid into by miners, photo David Hall-Jones/CC

Berry Hill Park has been paid by a charity paid into by miners, photo David Hall-Jones/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Jon Dale, Mansfield Socialist Party

The proposed closure of Berry Hill Park in Mansfield has led to a storm of protest. Around 300 turned out at a few days' notice to demonstrate. 7,000 have signed an online petition in under a fortnight.

The park, with its running track, football pitches and beautiful open spaces, is a vital service for the whole town, as well as hosting regional and national events.

Berry Hill Park is privately owned and run by a charitable trust, Berry Hill Social Welfare Centre. Its three trustees are ex-miners nominated by the breakaway 'Union of Democratic Mineworkers'.

The UDM emerged after the 1984-85 miners' strike, when most Nottinghamshire branch officials for the National Union of Mineworkers encouraged their members to work through the strike.

A small part of the park is leased by the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO) - a charity set up before coal nationalisation through a levy on coalmine owners. After nationalisation, miners contributed weekly deductions from their wages to CISWO, until the last (reprivatised) pits closed.

The park needs its facilities repaired and maintained, but the Berry Hill Social Welfare Centre is not getting enough income for this.

The Berry Hill Social Welfare Centre trustees wanted to sell the piece of land that CISWO leases in order to build houses in an area where prices are high. Mansfield District Council's planning committee rejected the planning application in October.

The builder had agreed 450,000 to buy the land. Of that, 190,000 was to go to the leaseholder, CISWO, for giving up its long-term lease. A further 70,000 would go on repayments for money lent to Berry Hill Social Welfare Centre in recent years to maintain the park.

The park trustees, Berry Hill Social Welfare Centre, would not have received the balance of the builder's payment directly, as under its constitution this would have to be paid to the bought-out leaseholder, CISWO.

CISWO was intending to set aside 50,000 for contingencies, and would then take applications from Berry Hill Social Welfare Centre to pay for a schedule of works out of the remainder. So the money would go to CISWO, and could only be used for work on the park.

Mansfield Socialist Party says the council should take the park over, as the trustees offered early this year. The council, controlled by 'independents', has not offered the 235,000 estimated to be needed for immediate park repairs, and had not agreed the deal.

Under pressure from the protests, the 'independent' mayor is meeting the Berry Hill Social Welfare Centre trustees on 22 November.

Selling off parcels of land for building, as was unfortunately supported by some Labour councillors on the planning committee, is no answer. The council should use its reserves and borrowing powers to fully fund park maintenance and all local services, while building a campaign to win the needed money from the government.

This park is used by former miners, their families and the community suffering from the loss of its mining industry. Successive governments have taken 3.5 billion from the miners' pension scheme since British Coal privatisation in 1994. How could the government claim it doesn't have the money?

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 21 November 2018:


What we think

Tories Out! General election Now!

May's government limps on... Corbyn and unions must call urgent, mass action


International socialist news and analysis

How can Trump be defeated?

Spanish state: Over one million students strike against sexism and for inclusive sex education

Political turmoil in Sri Lanka


News

Even UN slams Tory poorhouse Britain

Housing arrears double, suicide risk soars - scrap Universal Credit!

75,000 kids in foster care - and counting: end cuts and for-profit care

Them & Us

What we saw


Workplace news

Save the high street: public ownership, not ghost malls

'Worker's death could happen again' at Leicester plastic factory

Arriva Rail North under pressure after nineteenth Saturday strike

Indefinite dinner ladies' and teaching assistants' strike

Hamilton posties walk out against bullying

Tube strike solid against victimisation


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save our NHS - oust the Tory wreckers!

Solidarity with Irish rape trial protests

Thousands march against racism - now Corbyn and unions must take lead

Mansfield council must step in to save miners' park

Stop Nottingham Labour's cuts to disabled travel!

Step up fundraising for the Xmas Collectathon!


Opinion

Nothing to offer from the Blairites

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 21 November 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Mansfield:

triangleMidlands machine bearing makers launch all-out strike

triangleNewark NSK strike: "Even Victorian workers got a day off each week. We're expected to have just one weekend off every three weeks"

triangleMansfield: keep our park open!

triangleChesterfield & Mansfield Socialist Parties: 200 years of Karl Marx

triangleChatsworth ward victory shows we can save our NHS

Miners:

triangleObituary Joan Beale - Labour women's activist and Militant supporter

triangleTheatre: The Last Seam - a lasting tribute to Mary Jackson

triangleDurham Miners' Gala 2018

triangleOrgreave - no justice, no peace

Council:

triangleVictory for Birmingham bin workers

triangleSocialist Party's Sue Atkins wins big support for anti-cuts, socialist policies

Welfare:

triangleTories out. Scrap Universal Credit. Fight for living wages and welfare!

triangleRobbing the working class

Nottinghamshire:

triangleTheatre: Banner Theatre's Nottingham 'Free for All'

Councillors:

triangleTorbay & South Devon Socialist Party: The May 2019 local elections

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

3/4/19

Hackney

Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: The Winter of Discontent

27/3/19

Hackney

Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Reform or Revolution

20/3/19

EU

Trade unionists debate the EU

20/3/19

Pay

End austerity. Fight for a living wage!

20/3/19

PCS

PCS: Vote Yes to strike for better pay

20/3/19

Birmingham

Victory for Birmingham bin workers

20/3/19

Women

Stop cuts to women's services in Leicester

20/3/19

May Day

Help build the workers' press: send May Day greetings to the Socialist!

20/3/19

Socialist Party

Socialist Party Northern conference: Workers are sick of cuts and have the power to fight back

20/3/19

Racism

Union fightback key to movement against racism and austerity

20/3/19

Midlands

Midlands machine bearing makers launch all-out strike

20/3/19

Hackney

Hackney school bus workers walk out

13/3/19

Hull

Memorial to working-class fighters who fought fascism

13/3/19

Racism

No to racism - Fight for socialism

13/3/19

Southampton

Southampton: Socialist stand against cuts

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999