We are having an AGM in the China Walk Hall, on Lambeth Walk at 7.00pm on Monday 7 July.
We have a number of good new prospective Committee members, but could always do with more. Now we have a lease for the park and a management plan written, there is real opportunity to capture investment money and really make a difference.
If you are interested in the park, green issues more generally or in gaining funding expertise, do contact me. One of the barriers to us gaining regeneration funding is the fact the the local community regeneration fund is concerned that we as a group lack expertise and capacity. ********* of course but if anyone out there is up to speed we could do with your help. (I see Rabbie in a special 'guru' slot.)
PS we are about to have access to some buildings formally occupied by Team Lambeth. Maybe there will be space to store a cider press........
I think I have posted most of the history on the forum at various stages. However in brief.
- we started in 2000 to fight off proposals to build a private tennis centre on the park. Our aims are to preserve and protect the park and to encourage its use.
- discovered that the lease (Church Commissioners own, Lambeth has the lease) had run out and so the land was available for development, plus there was lots of regeneration and other money in the area.
- got a professional management plan drawn up which includes 40 proposals to update facilities in the park (cafe, toilets, smaller but better play equipment, safety features, and effectively make up for 25 years of no investment - for example the play equipment is now 15 years old when normal lifespan is only 7 years.)
- managed to pursuade the Church Commissioners that a policy of simply sitting there without a lease until they had the chance of developing the land was not a good policy as it was preventing any investment. (Simon Hughes and Kate Hoey asked questions in parliament and were preparing an early day motion.)
- now we are working with quite a lot of people to implement parts of the management plan.
We have done our best through consultation events, user interviews, and targetted questioning to make sure we have picked up the views and concerns of the range of park users. It has never been the intention of Friends of Archbishops Park to dictate what should happen, but instead enable park users to determine the future of the park.
Seriously a good turn out will help. We are in the process of trying to capture some of the money that is out there so that local kids can have a really good playground. Sounds simple, but round here things are never that easy.
So if you know anyone with kids, or are interested in supporting a straight forward community ambition do come along, or join our group. Post a message to me and I will send you an application.
Now we have a lease on the park, the playground is my only ambition. A memorial to the days when I decided to put my head above the parapet and campaign. Then a happy retirement with a gallon of Bankcider......