You Can Have Your Say on Local Parks

pollards-hill-fountain-2

Pollards Hill Recreation Ground Fountain

Norbury ward has four large  parks and open spaces: Norbury Grove, Norbury Park, Norbury Hall Park, and Pollards Hill Recreation Ground, as well as a few very small spaces.

After discussion in the Love Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee Norbury Avenue & Thornton agreed to take the lead role to develop a Friends of Norbury Park, and Scots Estate a Friends of Norbury Hall Park, the latter based on previous volunteering activities, including the active gardening group.

The Council is seeking the public’s views on the future of the parks and open spaces, based on a report that was adopted by the Cabinet in March. It is clear that it is seeking to place a great emphasis on Friends groups in the running of parks and open spaces as the funds it has to spend on them continuing to shrink under Government measures. The Friends groups across the Borough meet in their own Borough wide forum.

The Council’s on-line explanation and consultation on the future of all Croydon’s parks and open spaces up to 31 October.

https://www.croydon.gov.uk/leisure/parksandopenspaces/croydon-talks-parks?utm_campaign=redirect&utm_medium=alias&utm_source=talkparks

What follows is a summary of the questions being asked with the Council’s comments so that readers can see what they need to think about if they wish to complete it.

The Council starts the survey with the following statement:

‘We think our parks and green spaces offer exciting things to do! We have: great locations; a vibrant calendar of events (i.e. music, open theatre, outdoor cinema, fetes, festivals, cultural events etc.); good transport links (trams, cycle paths etc.); free park based activities (park gym, sports pitches, park runs etc.); natural beauty; parks available for hire for events and activities.’

Question 1. How you use parks and green spaces?

‘We are interested in how you use your parks and green spaces.’

‘How often do you visit Croydon’s parks or green spaces? Daily, 4-6 times a week, 2-3 times a week, weekly, several times a month, once or twice a month, I do not use Croydon’s parks, Other (please specify).’

Question 2

‘What do you do when visiting Croydon’s parks or green spaces: walk, walk the dog, take a break from the office, get out for some fresh air, get closer to nature, get some exercise, go to events, meet friends, fishing, boating, play organised sports, Other (specify).’

Question 3

‘What would encourage you to go to Croydon’s parks or green spaces more? Living or working closer to a park, having the time, feeling safe there; things to do in the park (eg sporting or cultural events), better facilities for young children and families. Better facilities for young children and families, anything else?’

Question 4

‘We’re interested in your views. Tell us about the types of events or activities that you would like to see (or see more of). You may talk about parks generally or mention specific parks in your answer.’

Question 5

‘Get active in our parks. Being outdoors, enjoying nature, walking and relaxing is good for us. With 125 parks and open spaces to choose from, there are so many ways to get moving: walking, cycling, playing; using our outdoor gyms; playing tennis, basketball or 5-a-side with friends; getting out to the park for a healthy picnic; getting closer to nature and soaking up some sun.’

‘What is currently in your park(s) that encourages you to be active? Feel free to name one park or more.’

Question 6

‘What would encourage you to become more active in your park(s)? Feel free to name one park or more.’

Question 7

‘Nature.  Being close to nature improves our lives. Climbing trees, rolling down grassy slopes, watching a ladybird or simply going down to the woods to explore are all great ways to enjoy our parks. Croydon has 125 parks and open spaces, ranging from: open countryside with flower rich chalk meadows; formal parks and gardens; sailing lake and woodland areas.’

‘How would you encourage more people to enjoy the nature that’s on their doorstep?’

Question 8

‘What can we do now that might support nature and wildlife in our parks and green open spaces for years to come?’

Question  9

‘Croydon is the second greenest borough in London and we have great opportunities to capitalise on our parks and open spaces. We could: host more events in our parks; look at sponsorship opportunities from Croydon businesses; encourage more sports league and activity providers to use our parks.’

‘What do you think of these ideas? Can you think of any other ways of generating income in our parks?’

Question 10

‘You can get involved in looking after our parks and green spaces by: growing food, planting trees, clearing litter, raising funds for new playgrounds,  joining an existing friends of group or setting up a new one for your park.’

‘Would you be interested in helping us to shape and improve our parks? What do you think of our suggestions, or is there something we haven’t thought of?’

Question 11

‘Would you be interested in getting involved with organising, or helping to organise, community events and/or activities in parks?’

Question 12

‘We want to make it easier for you to get involved and make the most of our parks, for example, knowing what activities are happening; how to join a group or set up your own; booking tennis courts/ pitches.  In your opinion what would be the best way of taking this forward?’

Question 13

‘Do you have any other comments about our parks or green spaces?’

If you do decide to submit your views to the Council please copy them to

sean.creighton1947@btinternet.com

so the Residents Associations can know about local residents views.

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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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