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Reaction to the Results of the Community Zip Wire Vote
Following the campaign against the proposed zip wires in Glenridding the local community was asked the question:
"Are you in favour of the proposed zip wire installations in the Glenridding Valley?"
The results were as follows:
In Favour 13
Total Votes 384
This vote was defined by the Community and included all residents over the age of 16, local business owners and second home owners. All voters were verified against the local electoral roll and property list. The poll was administered entirely by the local community with the minimal expenses being met by individual organisers. We would like to thank all those who took part from both sides.
You can read the reactions to the results below.
Statement from Mike Turner of Tree Top Trek
“Whilst I obviously regret not having been able to develop the concept into a proposal, the local community has made their views very clear and I will stand by our commitment not to pursue this any further in Glen Ridding. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to debate what was always going to be a contentious topic and in doing so have at least demonstrated that the zip wire concept is valid and broadly acceptable in the right location. I would like to thank the community again for their time. It is to their complete credit that they have been so unified in their response.”
My response to Mike
I would like to thank Mike for sticking by his promise and for his honesty and integrity throughout the process. I and all the people here wish him all the very best. Once again I would like to reiterate that I and many others are not against zip wires per se and they have a place in the National park, just not here. Thank you.
Statement from the Lake District National Park
“"This has been an unusual and complex potential planning application. Treetop Trek has listened to the community, taken on board the strength of feeling and announced that they no longer wish to pursue this proposal.
"Our priority is to balance the need to conserve our spectacular landscape, whilst securing vibrant communities, and being open to opportunities to enhance our economy and improve the offer we have for visitors. There is no special treatment for us or any potential applicant. If an applicant had been submitted it would have gone through the normal public consultation and decision making process to assess whether or not it is suitable development for this location.
The fact this proposal involved National Park land is not an untypical situation for us or any planning authority. It would be subject to the exact same process as an application with no commercial benefit. We want to continue to work with residents and businesses to explore options to meet the needs of visitors and the community to help improve the special qualities of this valley and help boost the local economy."
My response to the LDNP (I would have expected to be responding to Mr Leafe in person but there you go)
I am deeply disappointed at this lame statement from the National Park. Despite various direct and indirect communication with them throughout this process, including Richard Leafe's attendance at the last Open Meeting in Glenridding on the 3rd December, it is clear that they have learnt nothing from this experience. Richard Leafe acknowledged the widespread distrust exhibited at that meeting towards him and National Park management. He said "I will take that away with me from this meeting" but there is no sign from him or the park management on how they are going to address this very serious issue. Whilst his position may be very onerous and challenging particularly in the face of Government cuts, he cannot succeed without the public behind him.
What is becoming abundantly clear is that there is a real danger that Mr Leafe is taking the Lakes in the wrong direction, and what our campaign demonstrated is the need to look again at the whole purpose of the park, the governance structure and the way in which those responsible for the governance of the park are appointed and judged. It is time now for a wide ranging debate and central to this are a number of questions that need addressing: How many other communities within the Lake District are also distrustful of national park management? Is it time for a top down restructuring and change in personnel? Is it time for Government to address the role and structure of the Lake District national park authority?
Time for Leafe to leave??
My Statement to Our Local Community
A quick thank you from me to EVERYONE who's helped in all sorts of ways in this campaign. We've showed what the "community" can do when it needs to and I hope that we can harness that power into a positive force going forward to agree and implement changes in the future that we do want, and which will benefit the community.
Right now I'd urge all of us to help support the many local businesses who have put themselves in the firing line during this process -
Thank you all once again and Happy Xmas!