Doncaster Council 'committed' to future of town park after volunteers quit over cafe row

Doncaster Council has said it is ‘committed’ to a popular town park after the founder members of a volunteer group quit after questioning the authority’s long-term plans for the visitor attraction.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 3:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 1:06 pm

Husband and wife team Sandra and Don Crabtree last week quit the Friends of Sandall Park volunteer group they formed 15 years ago in frustration at council delays in approving and building a new cafe in the park to replace the exisiting one, which is in danger of collapse.

Sandra said her decision to quit the group – which has carried out hundreds of improvements to Sandall Park and introduced new play areas – was fuelled by the Council’s lack of long-term plans for the park or a commitment to spend money on new facilities.

Now the council has said they are ‘committed’ to working with the group – although there are fears it may fold at a meeting next month.

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Don and Sandra Crabtree have stepped down from Friends of Sandall Park.

Debbie John-Lewis, Assistant Director of Communities, said: “We are sorry to hear of this decision by Sandra and Don to resign and we would like to thank them for their wonderful support over the years.

“We have worked closely with them on many projects including projects that have brought a great deal of funding into the park and this partnership helped to make a real difference for Sandall Park.

“This strong partnership working approach helped us to deliver our comprehensive management plan for the park which saw us gain the prestigious Green Flag status which the park has had since 2017.

“We do hope this relationship will continue with the other group members in the future. The council is committed to the continued joint work with the Friends Of group.”

Sandra, who was chairman of the group, said: “We're worn out after 15 years of battling with them to provide a decent park.

“The group have worked tirelessly to rid the park of the crime and anti social behaviour that kept people away. The council do not have and have never had a plan for the park.”