Elephant in council chamber after high ropes silence

PUBLISHED: 06:00 07 August 2013

Harry the High Ropes Elephant with news editor Dave Burke outside the council chamber

Harry the High Ropes Elephant with news editor Dave Burke outside the council chamber

Archant

THERE’S an elephant in the room – and now in the council chamber.

Harry the High Ropes Elephant in the council chamberHarry the High Ropes Elephant in the council chamber

Since the accident on Welwyn Garden City’s high ropes course six weeks ago, the Welwyn Hatfield Times has been pushing for detailed answers about the facility’s future.

Unfortunately these have not been provided – and it is still yet to be discussed by borough councillors in public.

Now this newspaper has taken an unusual approach to try to get the issue addressed.

Harry the High Ropes Elephant will be joining reporters at council meetings, until members are given a public briefing on what is happening.

It comes after the Welwyn Hatfield Times sent reporters to several meetings in the wake of the fall, which left a woman with serious pelvic injuries, expecting there to be discussion which sheds light on the course’s future.

Not a word.

On one occasion, a reporter was told it would have been “inappropriate” to have discussed it.

We think differently, given that £500,000 has been spent on the course, and future development of the site will be funded by high ropes profit.

News editor Dave Burke said: “It’s sad we’ve reached the stage where we resort to tactics like this, but we feel strongly that there should be open and public discussion about what’s going to happen next.

“This has sadly not been the case, so hopefully Harry will be an elephant in the room that’s hard to ignore.

“He’ll be accompanying reporters to council meetings until it is discussed in the open, and in public.

“There are too many unanswered questions still.”

Dave added: “He’s already looking like he could be an asset to our team – he’s got a good nose for a story, and he’s happy to work for peanuts.”

For a list of questions the Welwyn Hatfield Times has put to the council, and the brief responses given, pick up a copy of this week’s paper, on sale now.


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