Jubilee Gardens Consultation

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Tuesday 21 December 2004 11.03am
Whilst fighting to preserve Archbishops Park I have met a number of really good people. One is Donald who has campaigned for over twenty years to save Jubilee Gardens, the green space by the London Eye. Finally the powers that be seem to have understood that one of the more attractive features of London is its network of good quality parks, and even tourists need some quiet relaxation and a place of their kids to let off steam.

But no sooner has the battle been won but it seems to have started again. (This is also true of Archbishops where we now have a fair amount of shadow boxing over the 'sports plan' for the park.)

In Jubilee Gardens case the argument now seems to revolve around who the park should be for with a major lobby envisaging it as a major entertainment venue, attracting up to 10,000 people. And - original idea this - having a city 'plage'. A company called CSC is carrying out a survey of potential users (tourists, employees and residents) but things seem to have gone awry and not many residents seem to be aware of the work, or have responded. Indeed till a couple of days ago when emails started to circulate even active members of the Councty Hall Residents Association appear to have been unsighted. Yet they will be most affected by having a large open air venue right next to them.

The consultation ends on 5 January. The web address is csclondon.co.uk. Their instructions for use are: Click blue ‘log in ‘ button on right menu bar. Enter user name Jubilee Gardens. Enter password ‘JGusers04' Follow on screen instructions. However I hear that these instructions do not work. Friends of Jubilee Gardens have also failed to find anyone west of Waterloo who has received the postal survey. So if you did want to make sure that your views were heard you might contact:
James McAllister
Senior Partner
CSC Regeneration & Research Consultants
19 Pepper St, Glengall Bridge, Docklands, London E14 9RP
Tel: (020) 7512 2345
Fax: (020) 7512 2626
E-Mail: jmcallister@csclondon.co.uk

(That said the emails seem to indicate - though I am not sure if I can believe it - that much of the survey work has been delegated to Coin Street.)

The use of the river is an important one for residents. As is access to green space and the quiet enjoyment of it. Stunts like the David Blaine box can cause real misery to residents and large crowds make the river bank less accessible to those with buggies or walking sticks. It is therefore important that as many people as possible contribute to surveys such as this. Otherwise the agenda will continue to be owned by the large employers and landowners.






Edited 1 times. Last edit at 21 December 2004 11.05am by sarah2.
Tuesday 21 December 2004 1.03pm
I have since heard that the password/ID are:

Username: JubileeGardens (No spaces between words).
Password: JGusers04

Good luck.
Thursday 13 January 2005 2.01pm
Just to highlight that Jubilee Gardens will be a main agenda item at the South Bank Forum on Thursday 20th January . 7pm -9pm, which will be held, on this occasion only, at **St John's Church**, rather than at King's College as previously advertised.

At this meeting, the steering group will update residents on progress to date and plans for this year, including the proposed design brief and cultural/events policy and the research results. There will be on-going consultation throughout the development. For example, two workshops will be held over the next couple of weeks where these topics can be debated in more depth. There will also be an exhibition - details will be posted as soon as available. It's also worth keeping an eye on http://www.opensouthbank.org/jubilee.htm.

To clarify a couple of points raised in the previous posting:

1) the Jubilee Gardens steering group represents both local and community interests. Members include Friends of Jubilee Gardens and WCDG. Both of these organisations, along with Waterloo Green Trust, are also helping lead the planned consultation events.

2) The steering group's overall vision for the park is for it to be "as soft and green as is sustainable".

3) The research undertaken was intended to establish a baseline and was made up of a structured, representative sample i.e. it was unfortunately not feasible to survey every household. The results were drawn from on the street interviews, postal survey (not coin street delivered) and an online questionnaire. Thanks to everyone who took part. The results will be presented on the 20th but it is important to note that the workshops later this month will provide a valuable forum for further debate on the community's aspirations for the park's usage and this information will be fed to the competing design teams.

The Steering Group urges everyone to come along to next week's meeting to find out more about the process. If you are unable to attend but would like to be involved in future events, then please complete the form on the 'getting involved' section of http://www.opensouthbank.org/jubilee.htm or on the flyer that will be delivered to your house over the next couple of days.

Saturday 15 January 2005 12.31am
As someone who has been involved in the process of the refurbishment of St.John's Churchyard, Alfred Salter Playground and, in the near future, Potters Field I would also like to encourage people to get involved in the consultation process. Relatively few people respond to these surveys so your voice will be heard.

There is a lot of pressure on riverside parks, such as Jubilee Gardens and Potters Field because of their potential to generate large sums of cash and this will increase as Councils look for alternative ways to fund their upkeep.

There is also a danger that when they are refurbished the Landscape Architect may see it as an opportunity to create a portfolio piece (given the prime location) that is very expensive to maintain. In the long term this will create funding problems to which kiosks and staging corporate events are the only solution.

The Jubilee Steering Group's vision of a soft and green park is a wise one although I would add low maintenance to that .
Sunday 16 January 2005 12.09pm
I hope my earlier post was not seen as over negative. My aim was to alert people to the consultation, and I agree with everything Philip says above.

This issue was not about Friends of Jubilee Gardens are on the steering group. They are. And I assume they agreed to and probably pushed for the wider consultation. Concerns were raised when they discovered that a number of local people, including active members of the County Hall Residents Association were not aware of the consultation, had not seen the postal survey nor had been approached by street interviews. Accordingly they emailed around and I thought I would help the process by alerting members of this forum.

I understand that there were problems with the postal survey. My earlier post did not mean to imply that Coin Street were responsible for this. The impression I picked up were that they were doing some of the street surveys - but this may also be wrong.

There have been consultations in this area which appear to be designed to 'prove' whatever the commissioner of the survey wants proved. For this reason it is very important that local people are both aware of consultations and take part.

In this particular case, given that ideas about hard-standing and events have been floated, I think that special efforts should have been made to include 'neighbours' as a unique group. What I, as someone who lives 10 minutes away from Jubilee Gardens, may want to see there, may well differ from what people next to the space. (The reverse might hold true for Archbishops Park which is across the road from my house.)

London is a busy place, and pockets of green and calm are important for tourists, workers, visitors, and residents. Jubilee Gardens' prime location does increase the risk that it will fall prey to other agendas. As Philip suggests we all need to make sure that our views are thrown into the pot.

I should also say that I have come across CFC, the consultants, in a professional capacity and have a very high regard for their work. They tell me that they are aware of some of the communication problems, which I don't think are down to them, and that they will be splitting out the consultation so that local views can be clearly identified. They are not able to extend the consultation period. The issue then remains that others along the river, either near Bernie Spain or perhaps further along by Tower Bridge might be delighted if Jubilee Gardens were identified as the main event space for the South Bank. But its for County Hall residents to take this one up.
Tuesday 18 January 2005 12.33pm
Just a note to flag up that papers for the Forum are now available on http://www.opensouthbank.org/jubilee_getting_involved.htm

See links at the bottom of the page for a general update on the development and then briefings related to the design brief, cultural policy, the formation of the trust and the research. These documents will also be available on the night at the South Bank Forum.

Dates are now confirmed for two workshop sessions which will enable further discussion on these issues. Both sessions will discuss the same themes so you need only attend one of them.

25 January 2005 Workshop, 5.30pm - 7.30pm, Living Space, Waterloo Road

27 January 2005 Workshop, 5.30pm - 7.30pm, Waterloo Action Centre, Baylis Road

It is indeed vital that all opinions are thrown into the pot, particularly at this early stage, so if you can spare the time please do go to one of the workshops.
Wednesday 19 January 2005 11.36pm
Will there be any scope for people who don't work in the area and so can't get to a 5.30 workshop to also contribute?

Friday 21 January 2005 9.51am
Hi Sarah

Yes, there's a couple of other ways you can contribute:

- Post your opinions via the getting involved page on the web site (mailing list form link)
- Attend the exhibition (schedule to to confirmed shortly) and fill in the questions on the briefings papers
- Fill in the questions on the briefing papers distributed last night and return to 103 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UL

Also, the workshops run until 7.30pm - please do feel free to drop into the workshops at any time. I know it is not ideal as you will miss some of the discussions but your input would be appreciated.

Thanks



Saturday 22 January 2005 3.35pm
I would love to be involved. I did not receive anything at the Forum, so am taking the posting option.

Parks are important to local families. Especially if you don't have a garden. However between getting home from work and putting kids to be 5.20-7.30 is a pretty busy time., for me and for other local mums. (This is a real issue for our group as one of the WCRT requirements for Archbishops receiving WCRT funding is that the Friends play a more active role in the local community by attending more meetings, and though we are doing our best it is really difficult.)

In particular, and it is something I have been calling for for the past 4-5 years, is that there shoudl be an informal group of local people and workers interested in green space issues. The original idea was that it might be based round the North Lambeth Town Centre process, but this now leaves out Waterloo. (And so, much to my frustration, does the Greening Vauxhall process even though it is spending S106 from Albert Embankment even though Archbishops is the park that serves that area.)

Both the Jubilee Gardens and the Archbishops consultations confirm - to no great surprise - that people, whether toursits, workers or residents, want 'safe clean and green' in parks. Plus cafes and toilets. And people with kids want play.

It would be really worthwhile sitting down to discuss the individual ambitions for each space to ensure that the provision will be complementary, so that local people can enjoy a range of facilities.

For example with play.

Millennium Green/Living Space offers play for the over 8s, though access is difficult. Archbishops offers play for the under 5s though the equipment is 15 years old and degrading fast. The Jubillee Gardens play equipment is nice and challenging and works for kids of different ages but it is inundated in summer.

My own view was that Archbishops would the best site for the area's main playground. Consultation bore out the fact that people with families do want to see beter provision, and especially some provision for the over 5s. Unfortunately the Groundwork consultation confirmed that play is not a particularly high prioity the majority who visit the park without children. Instead the Whitehall Football League and others prefer better football facilities. The upshot is, put simply, is that a 150,000 bid written by the Friends for new play equipment that would allow the playground to be expanded to cater for the over 5s failed to get Lambeth support when it mattered and so got rejected by the WPB/WCRT appraisal panel. I understand, though I have not seen it, that as a result WCRT, the local community regeneration fund does not anticipate any funding for play equipment in next year's delivery plan. Instead there is funding for a trim trail, which I assume will be 'improvments' to the oval path that runs round the park so that it is more suitable for runners and joggers. (The actual trim trail is being funded by the North Lambeth Area Committee this year.)

All this has led to an Archbishops Steering Group decision that the focus should be on implementing the four top park user priorities, cafe toilets, planting and a football pitch, and until all these have been funded , other proposals such as the play provisin for over 5s will have to wait. (Lambeth will continue to replace individual items of the under 5 equipment when and if they fail health and safety.)

Archbishops is never going to attract the sort of funding that Jubillee Gardens with its 'world city' location is going to achieve. Frankly I would be surprised if the S106 that is likely to flow from the Founders Place Development does more than pay for half of either a football pitch or cafe or the cost of reopening the changing rooms. I find this really disappointing, as I think most local parents and schools would prefer the main play provision for the area to be in Archbishops because it is better sheltered from main roads and is less hectic. (It is easy to lose sight of small children in Jubillee Gardens and pushing buggies along the Thames Path in summer is a nightmare.)

If the area is to get the sort of range of play that we need, the choices are either to improve the access to Millennium Green and add in something for the 0-8 year olds. Or persuade the powers that be (eg Lambeth, WPB and WCRT) that Archbishops is the right place and that play needs to be a community priority if we are to raise kids who feel included within our community (it is the Lambeth Community Strategy so I don't really understand why they are taking a different approach in Waterloo) Or put the principle accessible play space in Jubillee Gardens.

I like the idea of suggesting the latter as it might concentrate minds along the South Bank. Judging from what I saw at the South Bank Forum, the South Bank Centre seem mainly focussed on what they want, and didn't seem particulalry bothered about what the community as a whole might need. And this seems to be the case for other large organisaitns stakeholders in the area.

Sorry this was rather long, but you did ask me to post my views...... I
still think that it would be good if Donald (|I assume that it is he who is hiding behind the 'Jubilee Gardens Steering Group Banner' ) Philip and others involved in green space in the area, including some of the local workers. (I know the people behind Friends of Geraldine Mary Harmsworth, but not Friends of Millennium Green - unless it is the same as the local TRA.) Better still would be to have a more formal green space group attached to the North Lambeth Area Commitee which could bring Friends of Lambeth Walk Open Space and so on. The Lambth Parks Forum is great, but there are issues specific to north Lambeth which we should be working together on.

I really don't think I can make the consultation unless one of them is extended a bit, or someone feels like paying my babysitter. (I was far from the only person at the South Bank Forum who arrived late, breathless and hungry.) However, I could ask my au-pair if she could take the children for the early part of the meeting, as they too have strong views on the need to balance children's needs with those of, say, the Civil Service Football League. (Grrrr to the latter - why oh why was the day time consultation carried out at lunchtime!)

Sunday 23 January 2005 10.30am
I am sorry about the intensity of my last post. But four years of fighting for local kids to have somewhere to play has worn me down.

We hear lots about obesity, anti-social behaviour, and isolated mums. I would have thought that decent play facilitieswas a no-brainer particularly given the amount of money that is supposed to be in the area.

I don't think it is important whether I personally am involved in the consultation. I am lucky because I can both afford to pay the babysitter to attend things like the South Bank Forum and because I have a background of speaking in public meetings. The way I use the South Bank and Jubilee Gardens probably very similar to that of other families in the area. Eg the playground is a destination for a Sunday or school holiday walk, or a stopping point if we are coming home from further afield. (Though lunch at McDonalds is now off the menu as I got the Supersize Me DVD for Christmas.)

I am keen to see proper linking between local aspirations for the various green spaces in the area, but in terms of useage of Jubilee Gardens I would be equally content to see consultation at, say, a local playgroup or after the morning school run at Johanna. (Though filtered by an awareness that it would be perfectly reasonable for those living by Bernie Spain Gardens to want events moved further south!) All to often evening meetings in Waterloo seem dominated by a specific demographic, and the refurbishment of Jubilee Gardens represents a great chance to encourage the many local people who don't see the South Bank as anything to do with them over to the other side of the railway tracks.

I will try from now on to be less intense.........perhaps time for TLMJJ to take me out for a drink. Or even Deidre when she is next in London.

The good news is that the CFC consultation seems to have drawn the conclusions I would expect it to have drawn. EG people want a park not an events space. The only issue was that there was no seperation between residents and neighbours. But since nobody seemed keen on a major events this probably does not matter.
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