What Issues Should Be Examined As Part of Croydon’s Parks Consultation?

Croydon Council’s Parks consultation ends on Monday 31 October.

I have submitted a paper suggesting a range of issues that need further consideration when reporting to the Cabinet, particularly in the light of the findings and recommendations in the Heritage Lottery Fund report State of the UK Public Parks 2016.

In my submission I review these issues and have made the following recommendations.

  1. That the report to the Cabinet on the parks consultation should include a discussion of the findings and suggestions made in the Heritage Lottery Fund report State of the UK Public Parks. 
  2. That when the results of the consultation and the data investigation are reported to the Cabinet, that there be a further round of public consultation, the documentation for which should include a section on each park and open space setting out its specific data and any views expressed on it.
  3. That parks be classified by type according to their historical and geographical character.
  4. In order that the uniqueness of each park and open space in Croydon is better known, consideration be given to ensuring that each has a series of boards about their history, and that key anniversaries associated with them are celebrated. 
  5. That the report to the Cabinet on the outcome of the consultation should include a discussion of the funding concerns identified in the Heritage Lottery Fund report.
  6. That the discussion on the future of Council partnership with the community and voluntary sector in the report to Cabinet on the results of the consultation should included an assessment of the concerns about the economics identified in the HLF report.
  7. That the report of the Cabinet on the parks consultation should contain an assessment of any lessons to be learnt from the Co-operative Council approaches adopted in Lambeth and Wandsworth.
  8. That the report to the Cabinet on the parks consultation should contain a discussion on the issues about asset transfer identified in the Heritage Lottery fund report.
  9. That the report to the Cabinet on the parks consultation discuss the issues about volunteering raised in the Heritage Lottery Fund report.
  10. That consideration be given to any differences in the use of parks and open spaces in other countries from where an increasing number of residents in Croydon now come from.
  11. That the Local Plan Partial Review (Submission) be re-examined to ensure that all present and future allotment sites are protected from building development.
  12. That sites for additional allotments be identified, including in land owned by Network Rail.
  13. That a report be submitted to the Cabinet with an up-date on the Wandle Valley Partnership, and that community groups along the route and those involved in the Wandle Valley Forum be consulted during the drafting process.
  14. That the report to the Cabinet on the parks consultation include a discussion on the problems of drainage in and the potential role for increasing the capacity for water storage as a contribution to reducing flooding and excess surface water problems.
  15. That the Cabinet consider authorising the submission of evidence to the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee Inquiry on the future of parks supporting the need for a national inquiry, the creation of a statutory duty and for adequate public resources.
  16. That the Cabinet consider authorising the officers to calculate what percentage of the Borough’s acreage is devoted to parks and green spaces, and how this compares with other local authorities of a comparable geographic and population size, to see if the level of expenditure needed in the Borough is particularly higher than elsewhere, and if that is the case to include what this means for the Council’s expenditure in evidence to the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee Inquiry on the future of parks.
  17. That the Cabinet agree that it will not authorise the closure and/or sale of any park or green space because of neglect or disuse, or lease them to commercial or schools operators because that would limit public access.

The full paper is attached as as PDF here: parks-consultation

The report ‘The Future of Norbury Park’ mentioned in the paper is available on request by emailing sean.creighton1947@btinternet.com

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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