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Archive for Open Spaces

Confidential Report On Open Spaces

exclusion

The Council’s Executive – the ‘cabinet’ – meets on April 2nd.
There are two items – one is the “Rochford Growth Strategy 2014 -2017 ” , which we are still reading. It’s 21 pages on promoting economic growth in the District.
The second is “Draft Open Spaces Strategy”, which is private and confidential, so we can’t tell you anything about it….

The way the council is run at the moment, the only councillors who can speak at these meetings are the 8 members of the cabinet themselves, all Conservatives. Only one is from Rayleigh – Councillor Simon Smith.

A Good Meeting

Snowy Sweyne Park - photo by Lindsay Frend

The Friends of Sweyne Park had their Annual General Meeting tonight, and it was a good one. A decent attendance, good discussions and an enthusiastic new committee.

Look out for more information in the weeks and months to come.

Another Sweyne Park Mention…

Sweyne Park grass 2

One of our leaflet deliverer volunteers in the Downhall Park way area heard what sounded like a scramble motorbike on Sunday morning. Did anyone else hear it – was it inside Sweyne Park?

The Friends Of Sweyne Park Are Now On Facebook

friends of sweyne park

The Friends of Sweyne Park Open Space have a new Facebook page. Facebook users can find them by searching ‘Friends of Sweyne Park Open Space’.
They are looking to build up numbers so they can run some more fun activities for our community next year in the park, which is a great idea.
Find them on Facebook!

Paws In Sweyne Park…

First of all: The District Council is hoping to having the grass in Sweyne Park cut for hay in the next couple of weeks. If the weather is OK….

Secondly, there’s another event coming up in the park:

Felix Black on his 11th birthday.

A Timely Meeting…..

There’s going to be a meeting at 6:30 pm on Wednesday 17th July.

It follows a smaller scale meeting last month when some residents in the Priory Chase area met with representatives of the police , district council, Virgin Active and Essex Fire and Rescue. So we hope more residents will come this time.

It seems a very good opportunity to try to thrash out some of the problems, not only around Priory Chase and the open space near there, but the problems near Downhall Park Way and the playspace as well.

We have the OK from the police to publicise it – the only thing is, we don’t know the location yet. Probably at the café inside the leisure centre, but that’s not confirmed yet. It will be at St Nicholas School./

Sweyne Park Update

  • We have been told by RDC that high fencing will be going around the damaged equipment tomorrow .
  • So the padlock will go and the rest of the equipment will be available by tomorrow evening.
  • The equipment isn’t insured (pretty hard to get insurance for this sort of thing).
  • The good news is that the District Council has funds that can be used to replace it, and intends to replace it.
  • The bad news is that the suppliers of this equipment aren’t always quick to deliver.
  • So we have emphasised to RDC to how bloomin’ LOVED this equipment is and that if they can’t get an identical piece of equipment they should quickly install something else instead.
  • We know just how much children have adored using this equipment and we will let people know when we have some more news.
  • In the meantime any comments about things the district council or the police should be doing would be welcome.
  • Sweyne Park

    Some of the play equipment in Sweyne Park was set on fire last night.

    This is really really depressing and we will write in more detail when we have some feedback from the District Council.

    Angry About The Grass?

    There’s been some understandable anger from residents about the state of the grass in the little park near Hartford Close, Rayleigh. This is the latest from FixMyStreet today:

    FixMyStreet is still a good way to report things or to complain, and residents should be applauded for reporting stuff like this.

    Two New FixMyStreet Reports In Rayleigh

     

    There have been two reports by the public on the FixMyStreet website today.

     

    First of all, Sweyne Park:

    Bridle path in Sweyne Park very muddy

    Reported in the Parks/landscapes category by Stuart Tennison at 12:27 today
    Sent to Rochford District Council 3 minutes later

    It has come to my attention that the bridle path in Sweyne Park has started to fall into disrepair, which in the winter weather leads to deep puddles and large sections of mud. The bridle path is used by large numbers of school children walking to school, as well as commuters and leisure users.

    Is it possible for some additional gravel to be laid to repair the worst affected areas? The section from Downhall Park Way to Sweyne school rear entrance is particularly bad.

    Secondly, on London Hill:

    Partial Street Lighting on London Hill, Rayleigh

    Reported in the Street lighting category anonymously at 13:22 today
    Sent to Essex County Council 3 minutes later

    Noted that, in accordance with the partial street lighting project, that street lamp standard No. 8, on the ‘up’ side of London Hill, is switched off on different nights. It seems strange that this has been selected right on a bend whereas one would think that if any lamp had to be switched off it would be better on a straighjt portion of the road, further up, or lower down, the Hill?

    Good News And Bad News On Open Spaces….

    First of all, we know that quite a few people are unhappy at the state of Sweyne Park recently. We’ve been told that there have been some cases of dogs being taken to their vet with rashes on their legs because of the long vegetation.

    It’s been a difficult year for the District Council, with their contractor going bankrupt and the extremely wet early summer. But even so we are very unhappy ourselves that Sweyne Park hasn’t been maintained better. The latest response from the council is that if the weather shows no signs of improving the grass / vegetation will be flailed rather than cut for hay.

    On a more positive note, the council is trying to sort out a new contact for ground maintenance next year, and Chris Black is one of the small team of councillors looking at this. One of the things he has been keen to see is to have a few more people employed directly by the council rather than by contractors. This would help the council retain some grassroots knowledge of each area, and also provide a bit of flexibility. As a separate point, bringing back some old-fashioned park wardens would be useful. It’s difficult to blog about this when meetings are still taking place but we can at least quote from the council document on bye-laws that we mentioned in our previous article:

    These byelaws will be enforced by park wardens who are to be added to the establishment as part of the new grounds maintenance arrangements which should be in place from April next year.

    New Bye-Laws For Our Open Spaces?

    Sweyne Park October 1st

    Sweyne Park October 1st 2011

    The District Council seems set to start consulting a few local organisations on new bye-laws for our parks and open spaces. according to this report on the council website (130kb)

    The Council’s byelaws for the District’s open spaces date back to 1976 for pleasure grounds and 1946 for Hockley Woods. A number of issues have arisen over the years which mean that the byelaws are no longer fit for purpose and require updating….
    -
    Firstly, the Council currently has no power to enforce against activities, such as metal detecting, paramotoring, model aircrafts and the use of fire lanterns, which have become more popular over the years.
    _
    Secondly, since the original byelaws were published the Council has acquired land to create new Public Open Space and these areas are not covered by the byelaws. These acquisitions include Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park and Sweyne Park….
    ….
    In order to progress this matter, proposed byelaws were considered by the Member Advisory Group for Cherry Orchard Country Park. The most significant issue for the Country Park relates to control over fishing. It is relevant that there are no convenient car parking or toilet facilities near Cherry Orchard lake and that both nuisance and damage has resulted from fishing activities. It is, therefore, intended to consult on the basis of banning fishing in Cherry Orchard and all other open spaces apart from Rochford Reservoir and Ferndale Public Open Space.
    _
    The proposed byelaws are shown in the appendix.
    _
    It is proposed to undertake a 2 month period of consultation with the Parish and Town Councils, the Police, the Friends Groups and Fields in Trust, together with any local model aircraft and metal detector groups. Once the public consultation is completed we will make a formal application to the DCLG. A report will then be submitted to the Executive with recommendations that the matter should be determined by Full Council.

    The report says ‘The proposed byelaws are shown in the appendix’, but the appendix doesn’t seen to be on the website , and we haven’t seen it yet either.

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