PETITION TO Save Necarne From Our Council's Private Process.
This petition had 598 supporters
Fermanagh Omagh Councillors
C/o Councillor Mary Garrity Chairperson
2 Townhall Street
Regarding the Expression of Interest (EOI) Process for Necarne
Necarne is Vital Community Heritage, Community Recreation and Critically needed Community Wellbeing Asset, and should not be Leased to Private Commercial interests to service the Council.
There is established and evidenced local and regional need for Necarne to meet community needs, with 100s of current local users and 1000s more who need it.
Over £5 million of public funds has been invested in Necarne to benefit equestrian sport and our community.
The council has exploited this historic community heritage by selling off part to a private developer for over £2 million and further benefited from £500,000 from the lease to DARD. All profits made by the council from Necarne must be ring fenced to go back into Necarne for the benefit of the community.
The Council have failed to maintain our historic castle and ensure the maintenance of our top equestrian facility by holding the lease holder DARD to account over essential repairs, allowing the estate to run down deplorably.
The Council has set criteria that prioritises profit, excludes community needs and puts community heritage at risk by allowing the estate to be divided up and failing to set conditions to ensure the castle is repaired.
The criteria is also at odds with the Community Plan and Community Development Strategy and Government guidelines regarding Heritage - that monetary gain should not be the priority.
The criteria ignores the Councils responsibilities in the findings re Necarne from extensive local consultation in the FDC funded and endorsed 2012 Irvinestown Village Plan and the 2011 Built Heritage at Risk Northern Ireland report on Necarne - both suggesting Necarne should be owned and controlled by the community, to benefit the community.
A vital community asset paid for by rate payers, and funders to benefit the community, must not be leased off to any private investor. The much needed benefits from tax payers money invested in Necarne, must not be allowed to go to benefit a private investor.
The current council Expression of Interest Process is wholly inappropriate to community and heritage needs.
We call for the Council to abandon the current Expression of Interest Process.
We call for a new process that empowers, and supports community involvement, listens to and takes into consideration all needs, without competitive, commercial profit seeking criteria to serve the council.
We call for an open, inclusive community conversation, which brings the community, and all stakeholders, together.
We wish this to lead to the development of an appropriate community trust to hold the freehold of Necarne.
We believe as the council failed to care for our heritage, ensure maintenance of estate, and exploited the estate financially, and now fails to safeguard community needs, the freehold should pass to the community who care deeply for their heritage in Necarne and their community. This will ensure Necarne benefits future generations in the region.
We believe that this will create the most appropriate future for Necarne's heritage and community needs.
We believe this can restore equine facilities, provide for critically needed equine therapy, deliver a full range of community, sporting, recreation and events, as well as tourist attractions. We believe Necarne is a vital community asset. A Not for Profit Trust, without the burden of rent, or rates and meeting well documented wellbeing needs, would be in the best position to attract funding for both community needs and preservation of the castle.
We believe this would deliver the most sustainable option for the future of Necarne.
We believe in fostering community social enterprise. We believe a community social enterprise can generate profits from Necarne that will benefit our community. We believe in empowering our community to meet community needs.
We believe in the potential within our community to provide for our community.
We call for the Council to abandon the current secretive Expression of Interest Process that prioritises commercial profit at the expense of disempowering our community, and ignoring community needs and obligations to preserve heritage in its criteria.
Commercial interests must not be allowed to threaten, or override community health and wellbeing, the fate of vital rare community heritage, community recreation space, potential community wellbeing projects and community social enterprise.
We call on the council to practice their own policies laid out in their community plan. Community development strategy, equality and disability policies and other council obligations and not allow pursuit of profit to be the priority in Necarne, as it is a publicly funded vital community asset and precious community heritage.
Publicly funded assets used and needed by the community, must not be handed over to private investors.
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