A Veil of Secrecy Over Raincliffe’ – Published Scarborough News 25.Feb.2016
Why, I wonder is there a dubious veil of secrecy surrounding the future of Raincliffe Woods? In 2012 the council first demonstrated its forsaken commitment to the protection of this slice of our rural heritage. After the initial positive hype a wall of silence has been constructed around this toxic ‘Community Enterprise’. Yet four years on all we have is a decimated much loved community amenity that is being literally plundered for its timber resources. All this is without any viable consultation or consideration for the consequences of this wanton vandalism. Also including along Scarborough’s tree lined fringe where a potential onslaught of chainsaws is imminent with no regard for the aesthetic or practical implications for town or community.
Genuine questions have been asked by the public yet no answers forthcoming. The open letter that I sent to every Scarborough Borough Councillor has effectively been ignored, just like all the numerous emails sent to their publicly funded tablets!
Not only are we witnessing unprecedented destruction of our local rural environment but worryingly a blatant slur on every aspect of democratic principles. Democracy is not an easy ride these battles should be openly and fairly fought out in the council chamber. It is surely the duty of our Green Councillors in particular to speak up for these important manifestly ‘green’ issues on behalf of the community whom they are supposed to represent!
Meanwhile more mature and splendid trees are being earmarked for removal, with what sanction I ask? Are these woods now in ‘private’ rather than ‘public’ hands? What right has the council to effectively hand over a precious slice of our natural heritage to a commercially orientated enterprise that refuses to be accountable to anyone?
Time has proven the futility of this whole affair with only destruction to show over a three year period. Where are the improved footpaths and signage, where are the volunteers who used to do such amazing conservation work and improvements to access? Instead we’re left with the pointless desecration of a natural amenity and a ‘veil of secrecy’ with only a few pretty posters to reassure us all will be well!