Mint Street Park development (disgrace)

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Monday 8 June 2015 10.58pm
I'm a local resident and am horrified by the awful Mint Street works that have been completed by Conway and Southwark Council.

Nothing was followed through and the park looks nothing like it was supposed to in the plans. In fact, it looks awful.

There are many issues with park but an urgent one concerns the old loading bay area which is now a death trap with no wall or planting to protect small children from the dangerously busy traffic on Southwark bridge road.

From my understanding, 400,000 has been spent on this and yet it looks as if a lot of money had gone to waste on work that wasn't even approved!

If you feel the same or have any thoughts or suggestions, please do add to this thread. Thanks, C.
Tuesday 9 June 2015 1.23am
I completely agree and have also spoken to others who feel the same way, including some who work closely with the children in the adventure playground area adjacent. Continuing problems include:

1. Alcohol / drug abusers / rough sleepers (especially in warmer months) whose presence in the park, or whose dropped needles etc., sit uncomfortably with an area that is so populated by (very young) school kids every day. Why isn't the park sealed off and locked at night to prevent some of this problem and why aren't there notices, as i have seen in other local parks, warning people that abuse of alcohol will not be tolerated in this park ?

2. The redesign was supposed to make the park a greener place but it now seems to have even wider paths and still lacks sufficient benches, litter bins and dog poo bins. The new benches are also too low for some older and more infirm people.

3. The redesign works took far longer than they should have and the result is completely underwhelming. The council needs to account for itself !
Tuesday 9 June 2015 7.34am
Indeed. The rough sleepers is an issue as well as inconsiderate dog owners who do not pick up after their mess. These seem to be a specific few local residence (the majority are great) and a few of the transient population who have animals.

I don't believe the park needs to be locked at night however I do think CCTV camera's would be a great deterrent for those who insist on abusing the valuable community space.

On a different note - we were promised a greener space and now all we have is a huge runway of paving and an open end to the park which is very dangerous. It is a blind corner from both sides and nothing to stop kids running (or animals) directly into the very busy Southwark Bridge Road. People take that S bend in the road very quickly. The Marshalsea road entrance at least has a minimal barrier (not that it is really very safe either but people have to stop and move around).
Tuesday 9 June 2015 9.06am
Have the contractors been paid yet, has the work been signed off? If the contractors worked to the specification provided by the council you can't blame the I suppose. But who actually drew up the plans for a park on a very busy road on both sides. How long would it take to rectify. As for low seats for elderly or infirm ...
Tuesday 9 June 2015 9.08am
Yes I live opposite the park and the pointlessly wide hard sealed path the council have put across the middle of it looks like Heathrows third runway! We have so little green space in the Borough that every bit we can save from being covered over is to be treasured. The huge opening they have made onto Southwark Bridge Road is extremely dangerous for runaway children and dogs as well as creating a massive wind tunnel. On the plans the Council and BOST showed the residents back in 2014 there were wide metre high brick planters spilling over with wild greenery to form a proper safe entrance. What they have given us are a row of nine bollards and a massive sealed landing pad. Looks to me like its a job the council have not bothered to finish and really couldn't care less about. They should get their contractors back and dig up the swathes of hard seal, put the planters/planting in to make it safe and fit for purpose, give us the seats and bins we asked for as well as the loading bay they promised. Shame on Southwark Parks department! Its a disgraceful piece of state sponsored vandalism!
Tuesday 9 June 2015 11.12am
I do agree with the poor design of the works done, but I am more concerned by the kind of careless people that are coming to the park at night. There are notably 2-3 guys coming frequently which are loud, unconsiderate and have abusive behaviour. As an example, on Thursday last week, I saw one of them about to urinate at the entrance of the children playground. I told him to refrain from doing so politely and was then insulted. The guy did not eventually urinate in the children playground but did it on one of the gym machine while asking me if it was more appropriate...
This needs to stop. Camera shall be installed at the entrances of the park and the park shall be closed at night (like most parks - especially the ones with children playgrounds). I do not feel comfortable with my toddler playing in the park. I am too scared that it could find a used needle or else.

I also have to say that many local users are not cleaning after themselves and these people are not necessarily rough sleepers or alcohol/drug abusers. I can't help throwing away cigatettes butt, yogurt/ ice cream packaging and all sort of stuff littering the park. I would recommend to put a sign "DO NOT LITTER" so people, including careless parents may think twice before leaving their stuff or their children stuff behind.

Finally, I wonder why the park is considered by many as the local dogs toilet. There are very few greenspaces in the neighbourhood and these greenspaces shall be protected from dogs waste and urine. I can see the park from where I leave and in view of the number of dogs using it as public toilet everyday, I would not dare siting down on the grass... Besides, many of the dogs visiting the park are not leached and good be dangerous to young kids.
Tuesday 9 June 2015 2.09pm
BoroughResident wrote:

Finally, I wonder why the park is considered by many as the local dogs toilet. There are very few greenspaces in the neighbourhood and these greenspaces shall be protected from dogs waste and urine. I can see the park from where I leave and in view of the number of dogs using it as public toilet everyday, I would not dare siting down on the grass... Besides, many of the dogs visiting the park are not leached and good be dangerous to young kids.

Most dog owners think that grass is to be used for their dogs and they don't have to clean up after them. I live on a private estate in SE1 told many people passing through with their dogs that our grass is not for them. Really does make my blood boil that they forget to clean up after them.
Tuesday 9 June 2015 5.37pm
I wandered through today. Did the widened paths and some cycle rails really cost 400,000? Unless I'm missing something. It would be interesting to know what kind of tendering process Southwark uses and whether this is really what they consider value for (our) money.
Zoe
Tuesday 9 June 2015 5.52pm
I popped in on the way home and I'm a little surprised at the cost given the rather limited changes. Sometimes money is spent making changes that we are often unaware of, so perhaps there is something we just can't see......

Anti social behaviour is a problem in all parks, there really doesn't seem to be any easy answers.
Tuesday 9 June 2015 6.20pm
There was new pipes layed but most of the budget went on the top surface which if correct is very expensive.
There is no tendering process as all works are in house.
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