Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust is ‘on track’ to take over running of Newcastle upon Tyne’s parks and allotments in April 2019
The city council plans to transfer many parks and allotments to the new Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust. The new organisation will be responsible for developing and caring for future generations.
Valley and Little Dene not part of planned transfer
Not all green open spaces in Newcastle upon Tyne will transfer to the new Trust.
Green open spaces that are NOT scheduled to transfer include the well-used community asset known as the Valley and Little Dene, High West Jesmond.
The Valley and Little Dene (along with Little Dene Park which is owned by the Freeman) form part of the urban wildlife corridor through the north of Newcastle and continue to be well used and highly valued by local residents.
Read about the work of the Friends of the Valley, Little Dene and Little Dene Park (FOVALD) in caring for these open spaces in High West Jesmond.
NAWG minutes report
The minutes of the 7 February 2019 meeting of the Newcastle Allotments Working Group noted that:
“The meeting commenced with a presentation by James Cross, the new CEO of the Parks and Allotments Trust, who was pleased to introduce himself to the group, and Tony Durcan, NCC [Newcastle City Council].
TD updated the meeting on the latest progress. The Trust was now fully constituted, the Board was up and running having had a meeting in January and the new CEO James Cross had taken up his post on 3rd December 2018.
Its Constitution now activated, March 2019 would see the Trading Company section of the Trust applying for charitable status.
Key issues of work still to be achieved, include the agreement that is currently in place on the Duke of Northumberland’s land and a further meeting with the Freemen to discuss the ‘Wartime’ sites.
A Trust strategy meeting was being held on 21st March. NAWG [Newcastle Allotments Working Group] representatives would be invited. JC had begun visits to all allotments and asked for details of allotment waiting lists to assess the need throughout the City.
On track for 1 April 2019 handover
The Parks and Allotments Trust management was still on track for a 1st April handover.
Two NAWG representatives on the Community Representation Group were proposed: Paul Herbertson (west) and Donald Robinson (east) to be ratified during the normal business of this NAWG meeting. CRG findings would be reported to the Board each month. JC also confirmed NAWG as a constituted group which would continue to operate.
Budgets – there was a £2 million cost across parks and allotments per year. Any Council surplus has not been used elsewhere to date.
Under the Trust, funds raised from rents would be reinvested into Parks and Allotments, with priority being given to allotments when/where necessary.
JC confirmed any local revenue raised on allotments e.g. open days, trading hut, would be retained by individual sites. JC also confirmed that better resourced Trust officers responsible for allotments would have a defined budget with continued monthly reporting. JC also confirmed that he had had conversations with all potential key funders already.”
The extract above from the minutes of the Newcastle Allotments Working Group (NAWG) 7 February 2019 meeting was issued by NAWG and included on the NAWG website. It has been included here for information and does not necessarily represent the views of High West Jesmond Residents’ Association.