Neighbourhood associations out of focus group; Museum Park Vonk remains sore point

Museum park Vonk
Photo credit: Marco Vermeulen/Studio040

Neighbourhood associations Genneperzijde and Friends of Gennep are leaving the sounding board group of the Genneper Parken. The groups do not feel that they have been taken seriously by the Municipality of Eindhoven regarding the Museum Park Vonk file.

Late last year the city council gave permission for the arrival of the museum – an extension of the current PreHistorisch Dorp (prehistoric village) – to the park.

Neighbourhood association Genneperzijde says it will not participate in the sounding board group again until there has been “a balanced, joint reflection on the behaviour of the municipality and its methods”.

Friends of Gennep is also clear about the source of dissatisfaction. This was partly because of a report of a meeting of the sounding board group in May this year. Of the “fierce” discussions about Vonk’s parking plan and the sounding board group’s role in consultations around the museum park “virtually nothing was in the report”, the group writes.

A Van Abbestichting (Van Abbe foundation) board member who angrily left the meeting because he felt he was not taken seriously was also not mentioned in the report. In addition, municipality officials showed themselves to be anything but accommodating. The group reports feeling manipulated, forcing it to drop out of the focus group until trust is restored.

Although the timing of the groups’ departure may be remarkable, the fact that there is dissatisfaction, both about the arrival of the museum and the conduct of the Municipality of Eindhoven, is not new.

Urgent letter
In April, local residents wrote an urgent letter to the college because of concerns about the museum’s parking plan. A few days later, however, it was announced that the college was definitively taking over the site of driving school De Leeuw. The driving school’s land should ensure that Museum Vonk has enough space to expand. A quarter of that land is to be occupied by the museum.

Van Abbestichting
Besides the two neighbourhood associations, the Henri van Abbestichting – which also has a seat in the sounding board group – had already denounced the way the Municipality of Eindhoven acted.
In an opinion, the foundation writes that the sounding board around the Genneper Parken – the sounding board group was established in 2007 – was generally constructive.

However, that changed from the moment Museum Park Vonk was discussed, the foundation writes. For example, a letter signed by all groups, in which the groups expressed their reservations about the project, was not presented to the city council – the college allegedly forgot. And the foundation also speaks of “selective reporting of meetings”, and unanswered requests for information.

Whether the Van Abbestichting follows the groups and steps out of the sounding board group is not clear. The foundation is calling a meeting this week to discuss the situation.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Bob

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