ProtectTheWilderness Open letter to Andrew McCartney (Glos County Council Property Oligarch)
the environment |
Wednesday February 01, 2012 22:24 by Apok
To who it may concern, open letter to Andrew McCartney.
Dear Andrew McCartney,
I would like to begin by thanking you for pausing to least consider our proposal, instead of automatically serving court papers as a reaction to our presence. I have been talking to Bristol and other Councillors and various groups like the Invisible Circus, who use temporary permission on disused buildings owned by Councils to put on community events- we know arrangements like the one we're proposing work elsewhere very successfully. Our public liability insurance is very close to being sorted out, and a more detailed business proposal including our sources of funding and a more detailed account of our finances and plans, will be finished soon- a statement of intend can be found attached to this email, along with our initial proposal. We ask that you consider these documents, and our willingness to negotiate on any detail of our plans.
On a personal note, since arriving at the Wilderness Centre we have shared a variety of critical skills and knowledge with dozens of children from within Gloucestershire, and many from elsewhere too. We have brought together local craftsmen, artisans, avid gardeners, forestry managers and environmentalists. We have rekindled interest in the Centre, and have been joined by home education groups, many district and parish councillors, local and national campaign groups, previous employees of the Centre, famous environmental authors and many hardened activists.
If we have to now focus on a nonsensical legal battle, even with the help of our legal team, which includes -I am told- some of the best human rights, environmental and property lawyers on the conscientious circuit, it will be an unfortunate distraction from our purpose here. All we seek to do, is keep what is quite likely one of the first environmental sustainability centres in the Country, a centre that has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people over the years and has no doubt served as a wonderfully potent agent for change in the world, open as it should to be.
We are not here to oppose the sale of the Centre, not here to merely inconvenience the Council -as was suggested in our meeting- we are here taking care of your property, the education centre was entrusted to you, if you "can't afford to run it" the honourable course of action would be to allow the community which includes the district council, forestry workers, local artisans, businesses, the friends of the wilderness, permaculture and reclaim the fields networks, as-well-as the friends of the Earth and numerous other environmental/ education groups, to take responsibility for it.
Your political leaders harp on about the "big society", here is your chance to help create a flag-ship example of what your party professes to mean by this, and you instead tell the media that "negotiations have failed", you haven't even come down to any of the meetings between us and the council. How exactly have the negotiations failed already? -they've barely started. We offered you a leaving date which could be in March, one more month would allow us to host four more skillshare events, then we'll hand the keys over to the Trust that will be running it thereafter. Surely that would be more in the public interest. We are as always more than willing to negotiate with you, we seek temporary permission within your bureaucratic/ legal processes, and will continue to keep the centre in use, whilst acting as de facto caretakers of buildings that were left empty.
I would like to reiterate our request for a seat within the meeting on February 1st, and a chance to influence the County Councils decision by talking to them ourselves.
Protect The Wilderness