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Mick Commons has recently resigned from the Lincoln City Commons Advisory Panel on which he served as the society’s representative for nearly 30 years. Mick, a professional footballer, became interested in the commons when he kept horses there.
The committee was established thanks to the society’s opposition to the city council’s Lincoln City Council Bill in 1984. The bill gave the city management powers over its three commons (West Common, South Common and Cow Paddle). We lobbied successfully for a committee to advise on the commons’ management, on which the society would be represented — without this the commons might have been lost to development. We also won a formal undertaking from the council that it would review annually the area to be enclosed under the bill, and that, when an encroachment was to exceed one hectare, the council would notify and consult the public.
Says Miriam Smith, an OSS member on the panel: ‘Mick Commons has taken a passionate interest in all the problems that arose on the commons. For the best part of 30 years he fought tenaciously for the welfare of these large open spaces that are such critical natural assets within the city boundary. Mick will be greatly missed, but he will no doubt still be consulted when problems arise.’
We recorded in Open Space, spring 1986, that Mick attended his first meeting of the panel in October 1985 and ‘his report indicates a haziness among city officials as to the status of, and protection afforded to, the commons, and a desire from the golf club to do some enclosing. This met with vociferous opposition’. There were many more threats to the commons during Mick’s tenure and he fought them all with energy and integrity.
In August the council held a civic reception in Mick’s honour at the council chamber in the historic (1520) Guildhall.