I AM writing on behalf of The Marlow Society. Perhaps it’s worth restating what we are about? – our efforts are devoted to the preservation and development of Marlow and the surrounding villages and countryside.

In this context we are concerned at the terrible state of Higginson Park in the wake of the ‘Christmas in the Park’ event.

The funding of this ill-considered venture is clouded in mystery.

To give a bit of background – Higginson Park was purchased by public subscription by the people of Marlow from General Higginson on his 100th birthday.

The aims of the Higginson Park Trust – a charity (to quote them) are - ‘the provision and maintenance for the benefit of the inhabitants of the district of Wycombe, with particular regard for the inhabitants of the Town of Marlow, of a public park, ornamental gardens and recreation ground, with such facilities for physical exercise, training, lectures, classes and other forms of recreation or leisure-time occupation in the interests of social welfare, with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants as the Trustee shall from time to time think fit.’

This charitable trust now sits in the offices of Buckinghamshire County Council in Aylesbury.

There appears to be one trustee and the accounts show assets of over £7 million. We would like more clarity and accountability from the council.

The council manages the park and the trust with no openness or clear explanation of the public benefit or of decisions made. How much does it cost to “run” the park?

There appear to be various income streams – such as ‘Pub in the Park’ for example - and the requirement to have an event in December isn’t one that seems particularly necessary.

Why is the amount that was paid by the events company to the council for this event deemed “Commercially confidential,” to quote one councillor?

We ask that there is more accountability and open dialogue in future from Buckinghamshire Council.

For the time being the situation is far from acceptable and the idea of a midwinter event on a flood plain park can be avoided in future.

With increased engagement with the public we believe that there would be greater acceptance by the public for the decisions made by the trustee.

Andrew Wood, Co-Chair The Marlow Society.