On Thursday, 9 March 2006 there was a second meeting on the future of Moormead Park. Overall, it was a very positive meeting which included a broadbase of local interest groups including; football fathers, the St Margarets Residents Association, local Councillors Hambidge and Lamb, school PTAs and other local residents.
The following notes where compiled by Peter Mahnke with Claire Wood and Eve Risbridger adding.
Ideas were to plant a few new ‘mature’ trees, add more rubbish bins, dog waste bins and plastic bags. Add some more ‘well placed’ benches. Create a buffer of long grass, bulbs and flowers on the edges. Install improved lighting on existing pathways, including the bridge near Cole Park Road and the path near St Margarets Grove
Crucially, we need to support existing use: cricket, football, base and storage for St Margaret’s Fair. A professional estimate of costs are required. People felt that it should not necessarily be let to a professional, but possibly run by volunteers for local use, ire venue for children’s parties, possible use as a very low key place for young people to use (install a tv and a few games) for supervised early evening use. Key things are to fix its structural problems[Eve Risbridger] , consider reconfiguring the internal space and provide accessible toilets. There was support for cafe use, but not necessarily a commercial enterprise. Next steps Council to get a robust costing for improvements to the basic fabric of the building and look at ways of funding this.
A small group came forward who are prepared to work with Hamish Waugh, from the Richmond Council, to develop ideas further. The outcome of the discussion will be built into the specification that the Council will use to invite tenders. Goal will be to focus on providing a playground which meets Local Equipped Area for Play Standard — 5 types of equipment, safer surfacing and dog free. Most likely target age group is 3 – 10. It was agreed that provision for older children could be controversial and would need more consultation. Any future teen area should be located where it would cause minimal distrubance, though it needs to be safe for young people to get to otherwise it won’t be used positively. Next steps are for the Council to invite tenders and reconsult with the group on their return.
The council has identified £60K for the playground and has spent £20K levelling the pitches. The Council has also agreed to match on a £ for £ basis any money raised locally. There is commitment of support form St Margarets’ Fair and the St Margarets’ businesses. The discussion covered additional opportunities from Council based funds like Civic Pride, etc… Opportunities for involvement from local companies to help with Council matching schemes, and sponsor ideas like sponsoring a tree or bench. As for events, perhaps a ‘Picnic in the Park’ with music might be good, or a US style Rummage/Car boot sale. Next steps Claire to identify opportunities and ask for volunteers on specific initiatives.
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held after the Easter holidays in approximately six weeks time.