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Our next meeting is on Saturday 9th May 2020 from 11-12, Clissold House

Clissold Park User Group News March 2020

Meeting notes 14th March 2020

Mark Forsyth (Chair), Kath Willgress (secretary), Daphne Kemp, Kerry Rankine, John Hudson (vice-chair), Caroline Millar (ex-chair / Treasurer), Renée Willgress, Betty Manning, Sylvia Anderson (older people’s rep), Amir Dotan (history rep)
Apologies: Theresa Boden (vice chair), Daphne Steel (Dog walker’s rep), Isabelle Gore, Richard Crawford, Hilde Oord, Councillor Sophie Cameron

Minutes of previous meeting approved


Election of officers

In the absence of any other nominations the following were re-elected:
Mark Forsyth – Chair
John Hudson and Theresa Boden – vice chairs
Carline Millar – Treasurer
Kath Willgress – secretary
Delilah Jeary – minutes secretary

Specialist reps were reappointed:
Matt Jeary – children’s rep
Isabelle Gore – website
Sylvia Anderson – older people’s rep
Amir Dotan – History rep
Richard Crawford – biodiversity
Daphne Steele – Dog walker’s rep

Anthony Lavin, the Disabled people’s rep, David Pitcher, the cycling rep and Lee Stacy, the runners’ rep did not attend the meeting but will be contacted to see if they will continue in their roles

We still need a skateboard / wheels park rep

Annual Accounts

Caroline Millar presented accounts and went through protocols of managing the account. The account has a balance of £2765.59

One concern is the much lower income from sales of maps and postcards from the Café over the Christmas period possibly due to the Café revamp, withd cards and maps not visible to buy. The map is now on sale in Know and Love Church street. Growing Communities offered a free stall at their market.
Accounts were agreed

Chair’s report

In the past year CPUG have taken over running the Butterfly Dome and despite relentless rain a great family event was held in September coinciding with Open House Day where various committee members led tours. The Hackney playbus was consistently popular and we should invite them to future events.
Caroline Millar thanked all CPUG volunteers

Mark Forsyth asked why so few attend the CPUG meetings and is aiming to increase participation over the coming year.

Kerry Rankine suggested a note in Growing Communities weekly newsletter (which reaches about 2000 people) and we will also try some kind of outreach. King’s Crescent have announced a new community hall and an approach will be made through them.

The AGM was called to a close and the regular CPUG bi-monthly meeting was started.

Minutes of last meeting

Minutes of the previous meeting were agreed without amendment.

No Park Manager’s report has been submitted for this meeting and Quinten Geurs (Park manager) was not available

Sylvia Anderson praised the existence of the Quiet Room (behind main café space), which is welcoming to visitors who simply want to sit down.

Updates since last meeting

Mark Forsyth said that there was to be a volunteer session from 2-4 at the Butterfly Dome Sat 14th March. The meeting agreed to allocate £100 to buy native species caterpillars to populate the Butterfly Dome.

Woodcraft Folk want to volunteer in the Park, perhaps scattering wildflower seeds in designated areas, e.g. along the boundary track. Will need some seeds for shady areas. The meeting agreed a further £100 to purchase wildflower seeds.

The Café revamp is ongoing. The larger counter incorporates a dishwasher to increase efficiency and cut queues. A give and take library is planned and a mobile coffee stand is being trialed. The Café plans to sell cups of wildfowl food (seeds etc.) for families to feed the ducks and geese. CPUG will receive a donation and signage will link CPUG to sales of wildfowl food.

Caroline Millar suggested CPUG sells our maps, posters and postcards through the Café till system enabling people to pay by card. CPUG could offer a cut in exchange for promotion.

There have been numerous complaints about the bleeping devices that alert staff to where customers are sitting, the Café will try different options.

Clissold Park Development Board discussed the future of the Pavilion and asked if the meeting could suggest new uses. CPUG backs a return to the Pavilion being used for environmental education (as was originally intended in the lottery funding bid). An environmental education organisation could also handle event hire and venue management.

There have been requests for an older people’s gym equipment sited on the Bowling Green.

John Hudson has been contacting local schools to increase involvement and communication but had little response.

Walking Groups, including one from Statham Grove surgery which meets at the Clissold House every Thursday at 2pm, use Clissold Park regularly. We would like to re-introduce bat walks and hold regular, seasonal Tree Walks led by the Tree Musketeers to run for a nominal fee and/or donation.

A Community Safety meeting was held Stoke Newington School on Monday 9th March. Mark Forsyth and Matthew Jeary attended and learned that muggings are down on last year, perhaps because pupils are no longer permitted mobile phones in school. There are now almost 30 shops and businesses offering sanctuary for young people under the Safe Spaces scheme. Young people are encouraged to go to shops displaying Safe Spaces logo if they are feeling threatened and call police or parents/carers from there.

The next bi-monthly learning session will be with Sophie Verhagen from Growing Communities on 21st March, meet at Clissold House at 10.30. Come along and find out about this social enterprise and ask questions about growing plants in your home or garden. The previous session with dog trainer Patricia was very popular.

Volunteer litter-picking sessions will also happen on Saturday 21st March. Meet at the back door of the House at 1pm. Gloves provided.

Minutes and notices of events should be on the Notice Board, but these are out of date currently. MF to contact Park Manager.

A budget of £700,000 has been allocated to rebuilding the Paddling Pool, the old one no longer meets hygiene standards and needs constant, expensive repair. As yet no design or contractor has been finalised but the new design will include an underground reservoir and filtration systems. The pool will be out of action this summer which will disappoint many.

Park users insist the new pool area includes shade and dedicated toilets and misuse of the facility needs to be designed out. A public consultation begins in April.

Betty Manning asked about the proposed Monthly market. There will be a 3-month trial of the market starting in June.

Kerry Rankine from Growing Communities expressed concerns that impacts on the Growing Communities Farmer’s Market that has run in Stoke Newington for 17 years has not been considered. They are concerned that a large private operator, The Good Market Company, has been awarded the market which will negatively impact a small, local community organisation. They were not consulted until asked to submit an impact statement in December, though the potential market has been discussed since last spring. The Good Market Company will sell prepared food as well as meat, cheese and oil, produce already sold by the Growing Communities Farmer’s Market. MF will speak to the park manager.

BM repeated her – and some other CPUG members’ – opposition to the new market when shop closures continue on Church Street and St Mary’s church hosts a busy food bank and migrant centre.

Daphne asked when the next Reuse and repair session is scheduled. It will take place on Saturday 6 June, 11am to 3pm, Clissold Park.

Next CPUG meeting:

Saturday 9th May 2020, 11am to 12 noon.
Venue: Clissold House, Clissold Park


Park Keepers: 0208 3566834. This connects to a mobile.
Park Manager: or call 020 8356 4215
Café Management: new details coming soon
Clissold House Venues and Events Officer, Christine Rupprecht: or call 020 8356 5505
Head of Leisure and Green Spaces
Lead Councillor for Parks:
Police: 0208 721 2923 / 07879 603106 /
Seargent in charge: Carroll Weeden
Clissold Safer Neighbourhood Team: 020 8721 2923

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