Posted by Dave M
Well done to those who organise the meeting at the White Lionon Wednesday evening. Also thanks to Fran Robinson for reporting so accurately the facts.
However, I do have concerns regarding the input of Mr David Fletcher. It was my understanding that the meeting was convened to "form an independent non-political group to watch over and voice concerns about future developments that are unsympathetic to the character of the town". Whilst acknowledging his wealth of information regarding local affairs. I feel that Mr Fletcher and his associates are responsible for many of these future develpments. In my opinion, because of his many vested interests, his further involvement in the future of this group should be carefully monitored.
From Andy M
Its surely best to have such an influential local figure on board and proceed without prejudice?
From Dave M
No problem with your sentiment provided a declaration of interest in any future development is made
From Cllr Janet Battye
Just a few additional comments to Fran Robinson's write-up -
1. Calder Holmes park - I heard strong support for ensuring that leisure facilities are replaced/retained there (tennis, bowls etc).
2. Information about what's happening - there seemed to be frustration expressed by a lot of people about finding it difficult to know what's going on. There are already some means of communication (HBT, Hebweb) but, again, I'm sure that this is something else that we've got to do something about ..
3. Parking - I have floated the idea with a number of people, in a number of different places, about a small multi-storey carpark on the station yard. Whilst I know that we'd all like to see more integrated transport systems, more use of public transport and less use of private cars, the reality that we're living at the moment seems to be increasing pressure on parking spaces.
This was a really interesting, lively meeting and I look forward to the next one !
From Nick Wilding
I understand that some people left the meeting because they considered that David Fletcher was dominating events, and some even considered that we had planted him there. Is it possible to put something on Hebweb that says that we had absolutely no idea he would be there, as organisers of it, and might have managed better, if we had decided how to cope with him. My attitude was that it was an open meeting, for anybody to attend and that if someone was there, with more information than we had, it was sensible to let them answer, there and then, what was being asked.
I, as chair, apologise that he was allowed to talk so much, but he was generally providing information to people, who had no idea what was being planned or why they were the victim of what he was planning. I did ask him to answer some difficult questions. I still feel that to have left him sitting there, knowing he was responsible for some of the issues being raised, would have been illogical and a bit ridiculous.
Whether it was his intention to undermine the meeting I have no idea, but leaving the meeting, as a result of him taking part, seems to me to play entirely into the hands of those forces that might like to strangle such a body that we were proposing, at birth.
In response to Nick Wilding I would say that it is quite right that anyone can attend an open meeting. It is also quite right that the meeting should benefit from experienced and knowledgeable attendees. However it is very important that this information or knowledge is prefaced by a "declaration of interests." Many people at the meeting had no idea that in fact David Fletcher had, or has, a financial interest in many of the developments that were highlighted.
From Graham Packham
I would be grateful for the opportunity to correct inaccurate information given at the public meeting about Hebden Bridge held at the White Lion on 3rd May.
I have heard from three separate sources that at the meeting I was named by David Fletcher as a representative of the arts on the Town Partnership, but that I never attended meetings. I formally resigned from this group over two years ago, and following my resignation discussed with David how a replacement might be sought. I tried, unsuccessfully, to find a replacement from within the arts festival board. It is, of course, the responsibility of the Partnership to fill vacancies, not the individual who leaves. Since then I have quite correctly received neither agendas nor minutes, and my only knowledge of the Town Partnership’s activities comes from the Hebden Bridge Times.
A charitable interpretation of these events would be that David Fletcher experienced a lapse of memory at that meeting.
On a more positive note, it has been my privilege and pleasure to have been chair of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival for some twelve years. We launched our programme for this summer’s festival on the 11th May, and postal bookings started on 14th May. I hope your readers will collect copies of this star-studded booklet from the TIC, pubs and shops; or check it at www.hebdenbridge.co.uk/festival; or call the festival hotline on 842684, and we will post you a copy.
From Nick Wilding
If anybody wants to contact me and make any suggestions before the second watchdog meeting at 7.30pm wednesday 13th june in the upstairs of the White Lion, I will carry on checking this. Anybody is welcome to come to the meeting.
From Fran R
Next meeting - Wednesday 25th July at 7.30 at White Lion, Hebden Bridge.
Application Forms for joining the Civic Trust can be downloaded here
Hebweb news: Report of meeting
Next Watchdog meeting: 13th June at 7.30 upstairs at the White Lion.