Monday 21 July 2008 8.26pm
This is an interesting thread.
I'm on the Shad Thames
Residents Association, and we have a member on the Trust's Board. (Not me).
It's a pity that the running of the Trust isn't better understood, as from what I've seen it really does try to take all these diverging views into account.
There is no mystery as to how the Park is run; the trust appoints an individual who is responsible for ensuring that enough monies are raised each year to maintain it to the high standard it needs - the footfall of visitors is, I think, in the millions each year.
I imaging getting the balance right will always be difficult and controversial, but at a recent public meeting with the Park director it was clear that he was trying to get the balance right between big, high paying events (like Vauxhall) and smaller community based ones. The obvious conclusion was that basically a small number of high paying events was probably better than lots of low paying events every weekend. (And there haven't been any repeats of David Blane since it took over).
And at this time of year its clear this isn't and never will be a local park in the traditional sense; its a major tourist location, and we have to accept that fact. Getting that balance right is always going to cause a lively debate.
But I personally think the Trust is showing that it's trying to get the balance right, is generating the revenue to maintain the park far better than Southwark would be able, and is open comments and opinions.
But I suspect there will be those who disagree with me...