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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 November 2018

Mansfield: keep our park open!

Berry Hill Park has been paid by a charity paid into by miners, photo David Hall-Jones/CC

Berry Hill Park has been paid by a charity paid into by miners, photo David Hall-Jones/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Mansfield Socialist Party

On 10 November, at only four days' notice, over 250 people joined a protest against the closure of Berry Hill Park in Mansfield.

A local resident learnt of the plan by the parks' trustees and called the protest on Facebook.

Berry Hill is owned by the Coal Industries Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO) - a charity miners contributed to from their wages every week.

For many years the park hosted major events. It still provides sports and athletics facilities and it is an important green space for dog walkers, family picnics, a youth football club and so on.

CISWO claims the park is too expensive for it to maintain but it is selling off assets it acquired when mining was a nationalised industry.

Just weeks ago, it closed the Derbyshire Miners' convalescent home in Skegness. It's as if former miners and their families no longer exist!

CISWO is acting like a property company instead of a welfare organisation.

Mansfield Socialist Party is calling for the district council to take over the park and put in the necessary investment to maintain and upgrade its facilities.

The council should demand the money needed from the government, who have taken 3.5 billion from miners' pensions since British Coal privatisation.

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