Stonehaven Recreation Ground Trustees have said they are ‘disappointed’ after STP raised concerns over their long term future.
In a statement reported in last week’s Mearns Leader (June 12), Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP) expressed fears over the grounds coming in to the ownership of the Trustees, following changes to the law to be implemented this November, adding that they are concerned the recreation grounds could ultimately be lost if safeguards are not put in place.
Solicitor Gordon Ritchie has this week contacted the Mearns Leader on behalf of the Trustees with a response, which can be read in full on our letters page (p26).
The letter states: “It is disappointing that Douglas Samways and the STP have raised unnecessary fears over the Recreation Grounds, as nothing will change. The Trustees, who are members of the Bowling and Tennis Clubs, give up a great deal of time to ensure that the Recreation grounds are run for the benefit of Stonehaven. Many in the town may not be aware that the Recreation grounds are not run by the Council, they receive no financial support from the Council, but the Trustees work quietly in the background to ensure that Stonehaven has these excellent sporting facilities available. The Trustees should be supported in the work they do rather than be the subject of inaccurate comments and groundless fears from STP regarding the work that they do.”
The letter adds that there is ‘no danger’ of the grounds being lost.
The response continues: “The present Trustees and their predecessors have run the Recreation grounds for the benefit of the people of Stonehaven for well over 100 years. The Scottish Parliament passed the Long Leases (Scotland) Act 2012 which comes into effect on 28 November 2015 and has the effect of converting the Lease to ownership.
“However the Lease is not the entire picture as the Trustees are bound by the terms of the existing Trust contained in the 1902 Act and will continue to hold the Recreation Grounds as such, and for no other purpose. The members of the clubs who use the Recreation Grounds can ensure that the Trustees will retain the use of the grounds as a recreation ground.”.