Dave Nellist congratulates local residents on securing Charterhouse lottery funding

Dave Nellist congratulates local residents on securing Charterhouse lottery funding

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Dave addressing a rally of local residents campaigning to save the fields

Former Coventry Socialist councillor Dave Nellist had this letter published in the Coventry Telegraph this week congratulating Charterhouse residents on securing the future of The Charterhouse and Charterhouse Park. Dave represented St Michaels ward, which includes Charterhouse, on Coventry Council and was heavily involved in the residents campaign to keep the area a public space.

“The announcement of multi-million pound funding for The Charterhouse and Charterhouse Park is a wonderful success for the preservation trust, and all credit must go to them.

But equally so major recognition must be given to the years and years of work of local residents to preserve the area as a public park, which made everything possible.

Without over 40 years of campaigning to preserve public access to the land, we would not be in the position today to see the development of one of Coventry’s major historical sites married to an extension of public space for all communities to enjoy.

In particular the many hundreds of local residents whose active involvement in the Village Green application in 2011 both highlighted continual community use, drew attention to the historic nature of the land, and prevented pre-emptive plans to block access. Without them we wouldn’t be here now on the cusp of a great new park for Coventry.

Without the work of the local residents’ association kicking up a fuss when the former owner of the Charterhouse building put it up for sale this special piece of history could have been lost.

To those who tell local communities that protest, campaigns and active involvement in their areas are pointless and can never win, we can now point to The Charterhouse as living proof that when local residents get organised, things can really happen.

Now let’s do the same for our city’s libraries, community centres, children and family centres, and centres for adult education!”

St Michaels Socialist News – Charterhouse Fields Update

St Michaels Socialist News

January 2014

CHARTERHOUSE FIELDS UPDATE

Village green put on hold

 Shortly before Christmas former Cllr Dave Nellist, on behalf of the Charterhouse community, asked the City Council to defer any decision on the legal status of the Charterhouse Fields.  As long-standing residents will know Dave had made an application on our behalf for a “Village Green”. This was to give us legal protection for our community’s continued use of the Fields and to limit the expansion of Blue Coat’s control of the park.

The new Blue Coat Academy uses part of the area as a playing field.  Despite huge opposition from the local area, it was granted a formal lease from the Council in 2011 gaining new legal powers over land.  The Village Green application was seen as the only way to maintain our community access and prevent further development on our local fields.

Plans for a new Heritage Park

As a result of the successful ‘holding operation’ of the Village Green application, things have moved on. The strength of the residents’ organisation and the work done over a number of years by Socialist councillors paid off.

When the Charterhouse building itself was being disposed of by City College, working together we halted that sale.  Now the fields around the Charterhouse could form part of much wider proposals for a large Heritage Park being worked up by the Charterhouse preservation trust.

The determined campaign by residents supported by work of Socialist councillors was key to all that coming about – without them there was a real risk that the Fields would now be lost to us.

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Proud of this local community

Former Councillor Dave Nellist, told us:

“I am proud of the way this local community stood up for itself.  And because of residents’ principled stand the relationship with Blue Coat has started to improve over the past year.  The ambitious plans now for a fantastic new park centred on the River Sherbourne and The Charterhouse could benefit everyone.  There are serious proposals to relocate the school’s use of playing fields to south of the railway line. I am still working with local residents in a positive manner on these plans.  It seems only right that we defer consideration of the Village Green application to see whether those plans can be delivered.  

 But the Village Green application hasn’t gone away, merely put on hold. And if there is any threat to local people’s continued enjoyment of the marvellous mediaeval heritage of the Charterhouse Fields then, working again with local residents, we can and we will carry on down the Village Green route. Whilst the Council in the past often ignored what local people wanted, this issue of the Charterhouse Fields has shown that residents and socialists working together is the best defence to the real threat of the loss of green space we can all enjoy.”

Lets keep up the good work together!

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Interested in helping Dave Nellist and the Socialists campaign or joining the Socialist Party?   

Get in touch for info and details…

 07530 429441    coventrysocialistparty@gmail.com   

http://www.coventrysocialists.wordpress.com    www.socialistparty.org.uk

 Dave Nellist   

Ring  07870 294 237    Email: dave@nellist.net

Keep up with Dave on:     facebook.com/dave.nellist       Twitter: @DaveNellist