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Mystery windfall boost for Darwen park improvements
A MYSTERY donor has offered to give thousands of pounds to improve Whitehall Park, which some local residents claim has been ‘all but abandoned’ by the council in recent years.
However, the project to clear the duck pond, renovate a fountain and work on footpaths and drains is on hold because the park’s supporters group said it wanted detailed costings before committing £5,000 from its own funds.
A similar sum had been offered by the borough council, taking the potential total to more than £15,000 for the project.
Speaking at the Whitehall Park Supporters Group’s annual meeting, vice-chairman Austin Molloy said it was not enough. He said: “We anticipate that the work will cost £40,000 so £15,000 will go nowhere.”
He said it was ‘a bit worrying’ who would be doing the work and added the group was ‘reluctant to ask the council to manage the project’.
Mr Molloy said the reason for a lack of action on the project was that ‘we can never get anything concrete. We want proper costings’.
One solution suggested at the meeting was for work on the badly silted duck pond to be a priority. Several people complained about the lack of flowers in the park and the state of some of the paths and ponds.
One man said: “Corporation Park in Blackburn is always a picture, but Whitehall Park has been all but abandoned.”
The group said it had almost £19,000 in its funds, but virtually nothing was spent in the past 12 months.
A suggestion was made that the group should buy some plants to brighten up the park. And Diane Davies, from the Friends of Darwen Cemetery, said schoolchildren and teachers would be happy to get involved in planting spring flowers at the entrance to the park.
Chairman John Starbuck said they would look into the suggestion.
Mr Starbuck was re-elected chairman and his wife continues as secretary. Mr Molloy was re-elected vice-chairman and his wife stays as treasurer.
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