Wellingborough Council has transferred a pocket park in Finedon to the parish authority ahead of the new unitary council coming in.
Councillors agreed the asset transfer at the resources committee last night after Finedon Town Council made the request for ownership of the park built on former quarry land.
In the argument put before the council the parish council said: “Finedon Town Council currently manage the Pocket Park on behalf of WBC and have done so since 1987 under deed. The council has been budgeting for and maintaining the pocket park without issue on behalf of residents of finedon since the time.
“It would be merely business as usual but with the added bonus of being able to take the pocket park to the next level on behalf of residents of Finedon. It is strongly felt by the council that the transfer of title would ensure the future of the pocket park within Finedon.”
The Findeon Feast Fair has been recently revived at the park which is also known locally as Tainty Field.
It is also an important natural habitat for wildlife and the pond is home to a rare colony of willow emerald damselflies.
The transfer was agreed unanimously by the council. It is being done before Wellingborough Council is scrapped in April 2020 and council services will be delivered by a joint unitary authority which will cover Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, East Northants and the surrounding villages. A final decision on the unitary councils will be made by the government soon.
Labour’s Cllr Andrew Scarborough said: “The key thing is in uncertain times, is what is the best way to preserve it? I think in this case it is handing over to the people – it will be much safer in the hands of local people.”
Cllr Tom Partridge Underwood said: “It would be quite horrifying to think it is in the safe hands of the people of Corby, East Northants or Kettering and therefore it needs to be left to the locals of Finedon?
Leader Martin Griffith said there was the possibility that the council could give the project a capital grant. The parish is considering an extensive upgrade of the pocket park and will be bidding for Big Lottery Funding.