To the Mayor, Sir Steve Bullock, the Cabinet and Councillors of the London Borough of Lewisham 9th February 2015
Dear Sir Steve and Councillors,
This letter is an urgent petition to you from the Lewisham Parks Forum, which was set up in January 2014 to represent all the Friends and User Groups so far established in Lewisham’s 46 parks and other green spaces. Our existence was well-known from the start to Lewisham’s Parks Regeneration and Green Scene officers – and to the Council parks contractor, Glendale – yet it was not until we were invited to a meeting on 25 October 2014 that we were consulted by the Council on the drastic cuts in parks expenditure, which have put our members into a state of crisis.
The meeting with Lewisham Council Officers, Cllr Onikosi and MP Heidi Alexander on the 31 July 2014 was very interesting. As a result of our representations the Council have made some
significant changes to their plans. But their proposal still doesn’t include building a cafe, which is obviously a massive issue for us. We will be meeting with Mehron Kirk of BDP on Wednesday 6 August to discuss options for the proposed play area improvements. We are still waiting to hear from Lewisham Council how their design Consultant, BDP designed a cafe building for us that went out to tender and received no responses from contractors. And that the returned tenders for the other two elements were up to 50% over budget, meaning that there was no money left for the cafe building. During the Council’s Mountsfield Park 2012 consultation phase for improvements, the new cafe building was preferred by a significant majority of those consulted.
BDP/Lewisham Council, Mountsfield Park design workshop 18-01-2014
Preliminary design layout agreed last Saturday for the Mountsfield Park community garden and new park cafe – Lewisham Council and their design consultants BDP invited local people that had previously expressed an interest in the Mountsfield Park community garden to a design workshop yesterday at Hither Green Baptist Church. BDP presented a sketch plan showing a community garden, new cafe building, refurbished children’s play area, orchard, wildlife area etc. The proposed general arrangement is based upon meeting the needs of the local community, results of previous consultation phases and what can be best achieved with the existing budget. The proposal is to provide a new 90 sq/m cafe building (including toilets) made from 4 shipping containers. Estimated completion of the improvements is by the end of 2014. The scale of each of the proposed improvements is still indicative. A sketch site plan of the community garden will be issued by Lewisham Council/BDP in the near future for further consultation.