Hotham Park will be protected by new committee after trust disbands

A charitable Friends of Hotham Park group has been set up this week after the heritage trust was disbanded.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 6:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 7:03 pm
Hotham Park. Photo: Kate Shemilt. ks190499-2

Hotham Park Heritage Trust was formally dissolved at an annual general meeting on October 9, and the new committee was set up on the same evening, before being finalised this week.

The trust, which had been running ‘for around 20 years’, had to be replaced because ‘fewer and fewer people’ were willing to become trustees, according to a spokesperson for the new committee.

They added: “The work of the trust had fallen on a very small number of people, and the workload had become too much, especially as there was still no one willing to come forward and help. The original plan was to close the trust at the end of October 2018, but the trustees agreed to carry on for one more year.”

The trustees are continuing on for a month or two to ‘clear the books’ of any projects outstanding.

New chairman Graham Cook said they will also be overseeing a ‘smooth transition’.

He added: “I put myself up as chairman as I could foresee a lack of interest and I didn’t want it to drag on. I haven’t worked for a while and I have just been a volunteer for the trust for six years.

“There was a bit of a lack of enthusiasm. I didn’t want to see the park slip in any way. I wanted to get the ball rolling but it is quite a task to take on.

“We have established the foundation of the new group. [At the meeting on Tuesday], we agreed the constitution to protect, conserve and enhance the park.

"The next step is to bring together an events organisation. We have all got a lot to learn. Everything seems to be ticking over at a good pace. It’s heavy but we are going to plod on and learn.”