Thursday, July 17, 2008

Newsham Park refurbishment - the people's priorities

We had a meeting of the Newsham Park Forum tonight to discuss our priorities for a £4.5million Heritage Lottery Bid that will be submitted in September.

Members of the Friends of Newsham Park were present, and also the Secretary of the Fairfield Residents Association and the Chair of the Elm Park Residents, as well as councillors from K&F and Tuebrook and Stoneycroft, staff and artists from the Adult Learning centre, the Deputy Head of the school, two shadow councillors and various parks staff, including the head of parks, Paul Scragg. I would have liked more residents there but the ones that did come were at least all representatives of a wider community and are clear about what local people want.

And I can reveal what the meeting chose for its priorities exclusively here in my blog!

(And then I let the Echo know and they covered the story here

Lighting for paths and dark corners - a real must in the fight against anti-social behaviour and vital for security

Refurbishment of the Bandstand - it could be a really great feature if brought back into good repair and its surroundings improved

Public artwork and a water feature - I am holding out for a fountain or a jet of water like the one in the lake at Chatsworth

Entrances to be refurbished - the entrances on Prescot Road for instance are in a right old mess, although the one on Gardners Drive is quite nice

New signage - showing people what is in the park, you cannot see the lake, for instance, if you come in through Gardners Drive or Carstairs Road and might fail to walk over to that spot and miss its loveliness.

Improvements to the Lake - including enhancements for the fishing community

Play and fitness equipment - a new playground for the north side of the park, a fitness trail and possibly also a so-called "pensioner's playground"

Landscape improvements and planting - one of my personal favourites, the horticultural offering in the park is rubbish, we need more shrubs and plants and more trees that will be there in another 100 years

Improvement of paving

I am so excited about this! Now we have to concentrate on putting in the best possible bid and then keeping everything crossed that we win. Sefton Park has had its cash, now surely it is time for a northern park to get the same chance!


scouseboy said...

I note the residents priority regarding anti social behaviour, and their request for better lighting. In the industry where I work, we work under the discipline of "Keisen" which is Japanese for "small steps." These small steps are contributory to the succsessful competion of the end product, and the greater good of the project, and are submitted by any members or individual of that team I think the residents have ,in my industy terms, and also in my opinion, provided an excellent keisen initiative.

Robert said...

Newsham Park has already benefited from the Lottery insomuch as local people and the City Council are talking about the park and planning for its future. The fact that security is the No.1 priority does not surprise me. It has been the same in my part of Nottingham. The solutions proposed were open prospects around paths and getting more people into the parks.

I rather like the idea of a pensioners' playground — something I saw once on TV, but I had forgotten about until I read your posting. I hope you are successful.

My local park, which is outside my home, Lenton Recreation Ground, was closed for the two days Unison were on strike and the park staff had my full support. The GMB, my union, was not on strike, but neither my wife nor I would cross a picket line and I would have been critical if a manager had come along and opened the park.

What grieves me more in this situation is the attitude of our Labour Government to low paid workers in comparison to the way they treat big business and give cheap money to the banks so that they can continue to make profits.

The Government could raise billions by making those on £40,000 a year or more pay the full NI rate on all their earnings and by reducing the tax allowance on their pensions 20% like low paid workers get (if they are lucky enough to have a pension).

At the end of the day our parks should not have to rely on Lottery money to secure their future. As it is, where will the extra money needed for day-to-day maintenance come from? In Nottingham our parks need an extra £5m a year for maintenance alone. What is the figure in Liverpool?

Louise Baldock said...

We had a meeting tonight with residents to talk about the ASB particularly around the bandstand. It was a meeting called by the police and the Liverpool Anti Social Behaviour Unit rep, Paul, was present too.
They recognise the problem and are putting a package together to try to sort it out.
Underage kids getting drunk, peeing in public, getting into sexual activity, breaking bottles, vandalising, generally marauding, it is a very sad state of affairs - for the young people and for the residents. I do hope we can get on top of this.

Louise Baldock said...

Keisen sounds fascinating, I would like to know more, it sounds like the principle that we councillors work to in a lot of ways.