News

The meetings of the group are the main forum for airing public concerns about the way the Park is funded, managed and developed in the future. Whatever your main interest in the Park (playground, children, trees, wildlife, fun, football, tennis, running…) you can influence future developments.

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This is our first public meeting since the start of the pandemic

September 2021

25th September 2021

Attendees
Mark Forsyth, Delilah Jeary, Isabelle Gore, Julie Ibbot, Betty Manning , Liz Simpson, Paul Reynolds
Apologies
John Hudson, Caroline Millar, Theresa Bowden and Kath Willgress

AGM

Election of Officers
The committee were re-elected, and representatives reappointed as last year.
Mark Forsyth – Chair
John Hudson & Theresa Bowden – Vice chairs
Caroline Millar – Treasurer
Cath Willgress – Secretary
Delilah Jeary – Minutes Secretary
Matthew Jeary – Young people’s rep & SNS rep
Isabelle Gore – Website
Daphne Steele – Dogs and dog walkers
David – Cycling

Other representatives will be approached to check that they are prepared to carry on.

Some members of the committee will not be standing for election again, so if there is anybody who would like to get more involved, with a view to joining the committee at the next AGM then please let us know. You can email info@clissoldpark.com or add a message on our Facebook page.

Accounts
Income of £204
Paid out £108
Current balance £2,850.87

Accounts approved

Chair’s report
Since the start of the pandemic the park has been incredibly busy and there have been some conflicts between certain groups, but overall the park has been a godsend for the whole community during these very trying times and has found an equilibrium, allowing all groups to benefit from this fabulous resource. The chair offered thanks, on behalf of the whole User Group, to the park management and staff who have worked extremely hard to keep the park in such a good state despite the extra pressures during this time. The meeting also thanked the café staff for keeping the service running as much as possible over the past 18 months.

AGM was called to an end and the main meeting was opened.

Meeting

The meeting took a moment to remember Sylvia Anderson and Daphne Kemp, who were devoted park users and energetic CPUG members. Also, park user Tony, who didn’t attend CPUG meetings but was a popular park user who will also be sorely missed, particularly by the dog walkers.

Park Manager’s Report

Café and Clissold House
There is a new menu available with lots of vegetarian and vegan options, and a new local coffee blend available. The cafe is now selling birdseed in compostable cups, which is much better for the birds and the general environment than throwing bread into the lakes. A contribution is made to the User Group for every cup sold.

Clissold House has reopened for events and classes and has been the busiest venue in the Hackney portfolio. The house is still closed to the public but will be reopening soon. We will post updates as soon as we know more.

Splash Pad consultation
Over 1000 people took part in the public consultation on the proposed new splash pad to replace the old paddling pool. No decision on which layout has yet been finalised.

The hope is that work will start next spring on creating a splash park in the old bowling green area. The bowling green is thought to be a better location within the park than the existing paddling pool site, as it is further from the road and there are already toilets in the pavilion. The pavilion building can also be used to house the plant room.
Once a decision is made about the layout updates will be posted in the usual places (Website, Facebook, Twitter)

Flooding
The park management is still looking into ways to deal with the flooding issues in various parts of the park. This is a long-standing problem and several attempts have been made to resolve it, with varying levels of success.

Pleasure Garden (aka Rose Garden)
The flower beds in the Pleasure Garden have become overgrown and now require work. Gardeners are starting a trial to use horticultural vinegar to kill off bindweed, so over the next few months some beds may be fenced off or covered over with plastic sheeting for treatment. The beds will then be replanted, so by April 2022 the planting should be much improved.

Positive East provide free HIV testing taking place in the park on a regular basis.

Updates since the last meeting

The User Group hasn’t done much since the start of the pandemic, although the committee has been in close touch with the park management and the council regarding the issues which have arisen. It was suggested that we should mark our return to something like normality with pre-Christmas events of some kind, perhaps mulled wine and mince pies. Ideas welcome. It is not yet known if there will be a Christmas fair this year, but if there is going to be one, we could take a stall and use this as a chance to mark our return. If we do, we will need volunteers.

Due to the uncertainty around what will be allowed in terms of large gatherings the council has announced that there will be no fireworks this year.

Two food festivals are planned in the park on 15th-17th and 22nd – 24th October.

The butterfly dome was locked and inaccessible for most of the pandemic, but a lot of plant life has survived. It is currently being watered regularly but we need to start again on creating a habitat in there. Volunteer sessions will be organised in the autumn.

The litter picking sessions have become patchy – some teenagers doing the Duke of Edinburgh award did one and a group of younger children did one with the help of a couple of parents. There have been some adult sessions, but MF will look to organise a new litter pick, possibly monthly.

Loyalty cards from the café have wildflower seeds in them – a really nice thing.

Clissold Park has rewilded the area around the two big London plane trees between the house and the old church. Richard Crawford, the User Group Biodiversity Rep, organised a survey of the area and identified 52 species of plants and wildlife in this small area. This resulted in a small exhibition at the Newington Green Meeting House in September.

Some notices were posted on the Queen Elizabeth Walk gate detailing an injunction against protestors setting up a camp in Clissold Park against ongoing COVID restrictions.

A question was raised about the suitability of seating in the park for older users and whether there could be an area in the park specifically for the elderly? Many of the benches are on paths, making social distancing difficult, and are open to the elements. Some people also find the benches difficult to get up from as they are quite low. There is a quiet room in the house but it hasn’t been open in the lockdown. We will raise these issues with the council.

It was suggested that the user group should start a campaign to get a new bandstand in the park. Several years ago, there was a competition to design a new bandstand, but nothing came of it. We will discuss the options with the council.

Since the schools went back there have been several muggings of students in the park – there tends to be about one a week reported to the police during term times. We ask that all park users please be vigilant and make themselves available if young people need help. If it does happen to someone you know please report it to the police.

We will no longer provide printed copies of the minutes of our meetings. They will be available on our website, www.clissoldpark.com

Next meeting is Saturday 13th November
We are always looking for people to get involved, do please let us know if you would like to participate. The roles are not onerous, there isn’t a lot of work involved.

Contacts

Park Keepers: 0208 3566834. This connects to a mobile.
Park Manager: Quinten.geurs@hackney.gov.uk or call 020 8356 4215
Café Management: new details coming soon
Clissold House Venues and Events Officer, Christine Rupprecht: christine.rupprecht@hackney.gov.uk or call 020 8356 5505
Head of Leisure and Green Spaces Ian.Holland@hackney.gov.uk
Lead Councillor for Parks: feryal.demirci@hackney.gov.uk
Police: 0208 721 2923 / 07879 603106 / Clissold.snt@met.police.uk
Seargent in charge: Carroll Weeden Carroll.L.Weeden@met.pnn.police.uk
Clissold Safer Neighbourhood Team: 020 8721 2923

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