Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council has this week discussed its aspiration to take over Sutton Park.
A Council report identified the key issues that would need to be considered for the Town Council to take over the management and ownership of the Park from Birmingham City Council.
Councillors discussed the need to need to identify all the costs and income generated, together with the liabilities involved in running the Park. The paper also outlined the wide range of legislation that currently impacts upon the park that any future owner would need to comply with.
The Town Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee approved that relevant expert advice is commissioned to enable it to fully assess the implications of taking on responsibility for the park and to ensure all options are explored to make sure the unique features of the Park can be preserved for generations to come.
Councillor Simon Ward, Leader of the Town Council, commented: “We believe that Sutton Park should be firmly in the hands of the level of local government which is closest to residents – that is the Town Council. But we acknowledge that this is a complex issue and needs to be carefully managed. Birmingham City Council have encouraged us to come forward with a proposal.
“The first key task is to identify the true cost of running the Park and the total income generated. We are requesting more detailed information from Birmingham City Council to help us understand the financial picture in detail.
“We will also need to assess the many legal, environmental and operational issues that are associated with a site that is simultaneously a National Nature Reserve, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Registered Historic Park.
“We also recognise that there are many different organisations with an interest in the Park, not least surrounding the Commonwealth Games in 2022, and they would all need a voice in any changes. Having said all of that our Park needs a proper strategic plan and to be run by the Royal Town for its residents. We will not rest until we have achieved that objective.”