‘Why we’re campaigning to save Dventry’s open space’

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THE Friends of Daventry Open Spaces (FODOS) is an organisation campaigning to retain green public space in the town and its current focus in the town is the Eastern Way playing field, earmarked for the district council’s marina development.

Questions about the group have been raised by some Daventry Express readers after Daventry Town Council recently considered giving it a second grant.

Here we give FODOS a chance to answer some of those questions.

Mike Fletcher, is a former town councillor and a leading member of FODOS.

He said: “The Friends of Daventry Open Spaces (FODOS) came about following the result of the town council’s referendum in 2010 on the canal/marina plans for the Eastern Way playing fields, and the way the district council was blatantly disregarding the 76 per cent rejection vote.

“As concerned members of the community we formed a group and approached the town council for support in getting legal advice on protecting this green open space in the town centre, at a time when they were also considering how to react to public concerns.

“The town council agreed in November 2010 to award us £850 in making an application for town/village green status for Eastern Way and Ashby Road Playing Fields – this being an action they themselves were considering. The application has been lodged with Northamptonshire County Council and is now being fiercely contested by DDC.”

He confirmed that FODOS has a membership of 10, who meet on a regular basis, but has been supported by 68 members of the public who signed affidavits as evidence for the town green application to prevent development on Eastern Way.

Mr Fletcher said none of the members are current town councillors, nor are any councillors actively involved with the group.

Although the friends do not have a formal structure or constitution, working on a basis of collective responsibility, the group does have a bank account.

Mr Fletcher said: “The town council saw the advice we got from the solicitors and the invoice when they agreed to the first £850 grant.

“So far we’ve received around £400 of that, which has all gone through the FODOS bank account with cheques raised to pay the solicitors’ invoice.”

Mr Fletcher added: “We are not against new development and in taking this action on Eastern Way playing fields we are looking to the future of the town.

“The town council continues to share the people’s concerns and give us support; without it we would have to throw in the towel!”

A decision from the town council whether to give the group more money is currently on hold, pending extra information from the group.

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