Friends of Graves Park under the Bully-boy cosh!

The park and the FRIENDS 

Friends of Graves Park under the Bully-boy cosh from Sheffield City Council !

This is where the park is:

Oh dear, oh dear, Sheffield City Council have come up trumps yet again in the playground bully-boy stakes. Instead of working WITH the local community – who fund them and who they represent they seem to find ways to wade into trouble with their size 15 wellies – yet again.

This week they issued the most weasel-worded ‘apology’ to the Sheffield Street-tree campaigners after the Ombudsman confirmed that the City Council and its partners had deliberately lied to the local community about their trees to be felled …….they have blamed the campaigners who somehow forced the Council to tell porkies!! This really is unbelievable. [There will be more on this to follow]

However, what follows is equally appalling and I would really appreciate if you read this, please pass it on, please donate, and please encourage others to network and support the LOCAL COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS.

OUR LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL DEMOCRACY IS RAPIDLY BEING UNDERMINED AND WE ALL NEED TO SUPPORT THOSE WHO CARE & ARE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION FOR ALL OF US AND FOR THOSE WHO FOLLOW………..

As you read what follows in the attachment, do bear in mind that the judge who presided (I am told) failed to read significant parts of the community group’s submission before reaching their judgement. Clearly the judge seemed totally unsympathetic to the community concerns, and had little apparent understanding of the matters presented.

THE ISSUE AT STAKE WAS AN ATTEMPT TO PREVENT THE FURTHER SALE BY SHEFFIELD CITY COUNCIL and its ‘GRAVES PARK CHARITY’ OF LANDS AND BUOLDING GIVEN ‘IN PERPETUITY BY ALDERMAN JG GRAVES TO THE PEOPLE OF SHEFFIELD ……….FOR ALL TIME.  

I am not really sure which bit of the above bequest is unclear to the Council or indeed to the Judge presiding……?

Furthermore, in this case the Charity Commission really needs to take a long hard look at how the Graves Park Charity, as opposed to the JG Graves Trust, operates, is appointed, (I am told) fails to record minutes of meetings, and is apparently so un-transparent to be downright murky, ………..is this really a charitable body and accountable to the community of local interest I ask?? Hmmmm ….. answers please.

Charles Dickens wrote that ‘…..the law is an ass’ – I will let you decide for yourselves.


The notes that follow are from the Friends.

WE LOST THE COURT CASE

The Friends of Graves Park are devastated by the judgment in court last week that we have lost our legal action to try and protect Graves Park and have had all costs awarded against us.

While we accept that this case was always going to be difficult, we were quietly confident (perhaps too quiet) that the legal documents protecting J G Graves’s gift were clear that there is no power of sale, ironically something repeated in the judgment.

As it stands, Sheffield City Council can make a case for selling off as much of Graves Park as they want, provided they spend those funds on the rest of the park.

The Friends now have to make a difficult decision. If we accept this judgment, we have to find £36,000+ to cover the court costs against us, in addition to which the council can continue to sell off bits of the park. If we do not accept this decision, then we still have to raise the money to take us to appeal.

What went wrong?

We always knew that this would be a David and Goliath situation. SCC’s legal team tried to put us off and make us withdraw from the case; even in the week before they tried to get our 2nd witness statement stricken from the record, because we had referred to the disposal of the tennis courts.
The Friends are shocked and disappointed by the performance in court and the way in which the case was conducted.

The Friends of Graves Park have taken this action on behalf of the citizens of Sheffield, to try and protect what was given to them in trust.

Governments and Councils come and go, there are lean years sometimes, but once this beautiful and rare gift is gone, it is gone forever. We must try and protect Graves Park, all of Graves Park from sale or disposal, because the past 20 years have taught us that those who wish to sell off the property of the people for their own gain will not stop and go away until they are stopped for good.
The Friends of Graves Park desperately need your helping funds!

We have to raise at least £40,000 to cover our legal bills and the costs awarded against us.
Please support us by giving what you can to take us to our goal.

We need to raise more funds to pay for our legal fees. We cannot go to appeal without your support.

Please show your support by donating what you can.

You can visit our account on the JustGiving website and make a donation:

https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/FriendsofGravesParkLegalFees?utm_term=2vWDQd2NN

If you prefer, you can send cheques, made payable to “Friends of Graves Park” to The Treasurer at 139 Mount View Road, SHEFFIELD S8 8PJ

STOP PRESS:

You can also register on:

https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/fogravespark/

If you register here, every time you shop online, you will raise funds for the Friends of Graves Park and it won’t cost you a penny.
PLEASE, please help us if you can.

Although this is daunting and we find the fight very stressful, we are prepared to continue the fight if you are prepared to support us. We have come this far and we are determined to pursue this to the end to ensure that Graves Park is saved forever for the people of Sheffield, as J G Graves wished.

Caroline Dewar
Chair, Friends of Graves Park
Charity number:1080407

JustGiving appeal on lost court case February 2019short version

[By way of clarification, and in case you are wondering – with the shoddy street-tree apology and the Graves Park ruling – there have been changes in Sheffield City Council at a political level and following informal meetings there have been much more positive attitudes coming to the fore. However, this sort of thing really does not help one iota – Ian]  

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3 Responses to Friends of Graves Park under the Bully-boy cosh!

  1. Gabrielle says:

    This is so sad to hear, I’ve grown up in Sheffield and always visited Grave’s park! I never even realized this was happening until I was recommended to look on here from Univeristy and has really shocked me. I will
    now be supporting Grave’s park by spreading awareness!

  2. Kirsty Chamberlain says:

    I’ve only just found out about this and am horrified that something left in trust can be ridden roughshod over. This Council are an absolute environmental disaster. I have given some change in the cafe.
    Have you tried doing a change.org petition or a crowdfunder to raise the money or a one off big fair etc?
    It sounds like the judgement needs to be appealed against. Good luck!

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