Viewpark Gardens must be saved, say councillors

Events like a flower festival have been held in this much admired area within Viewpark
Events like a flower festival have been held in this much admired area within Viewpark

A campaign to stop the closure of Viewpark Gardens has been stepped up – after the council said it could not longer afford to pay for the amenity.

All three Thorniewood councillors have said they will do everything in their power to stop the increasingly controversial shutdown.

The trio – SNP’s Steven Bonnar and Labour duo Bob Burrows and Norah Mooney – are presenting a united front on this issue – amidst fears that something precious to locals could simply be lost.

Councillor Bonnar said: “The decision to close a historical and well used botanical garden just yards from an area that the council has spent upwards of £250,000 building allotments so people can enjoy the outdoors is completely ludicrous.

“£20,000 is a small sum to save in comparison for the good such an area brings to the community here.

“I hope the obvious determination of all to resist its closure will be listened to by North Lanarkshire Council.”

Councillor Burrows, who is also the council’s finance convener, added: “This budget measure was approved on the basis that there would be getting the £20,000 coming in from the pupil equity fund, but this fell through.

“So we thought there would be a backup for the gardens, but it didn’t happen.

“This has been going on for a number of years and I’ve been involved all that time.”

Recently elected Councillor Mooney said: “I have met with the local committee who are fighting to keep these gardens open.

“These gardens are a vital resource in our community.

“Many residents of the Thorniewood area had their wedding photos taken there, myself included. A great many more residents have spent special days out there with family and friends It has given it an important emotional significance to the local people. 

“I look forward to working with the committee and the other local councillors, in fighting to save Viewpark Gardens.”

Some local volunteers are keen to see the garden taken over  by the community, although this process is in very early stages.

Adjacent Viewpark House and Walls date back to around 1840.

Neil McGrory - Local Democracy Reporter