Unlike the arguments about Berkeley Home's proposals, this one actually has about a million quid of real money committed to it and will take place next winter. So, if you care about the park's future, do try to get to the meeting.
There was apparently also a presentation on the plans to the Bermondsey Community Council on 11 May. Any feedback available from someone who attended?
read about 're-landscaping a pocket handkerchief park' with interest..if only Southwark Council would apply some of that thinking to St. Georges Gardens which is regularly 'annexed' by local vagrants who shut the gates and let their yapping dogs run free, which obviously discourages other people from using the place. Considerable volunteer effort has gone into the upkeep of the planting there recently, but the flower beds acquire a daily pile up of tin cans, bottles and plastic bags and needles despite the provision of rubbish bins a few feet away. Expect the warm weather evenings to encourage the re-appearance from last year of bored, shrieking 'yoof' who will add their own layer of cans, broken glass and destruction through the night - they even frighten off the vagrants as well as disturb the local residents, but at least the vagrants don't usually smash the bottles. Now, there is a planning proposal to add an access ramp and sculpture wall to Angel Place [the mis-named, scummy little alley adjacent to the library] - but my view [you'll have gathered by now I'm not an optimist on this issue] is that this will only encourage more vandalism and the gardens deserve more than window dressing of this sort.
Jane, part of the idea of the second access to St Georges Gdns was to increase the number of non-drinkers and non-vandals using the park, thereby making it less attractive to the troublemakers. Its more intimidating going in knowing theres only one way out where you could be running the gauntlet of a group of people you'd rather avoid. Also the park would then become a through-route for the library, tube stn, shops etc, again increasing the number of people passing through it and hopefully making other users feel less isolated and vulnerable, and putting off the vandals etc.
Of course it remains to be seen whether or not this idea works. Not everyone is happy about it.
It sounds sensible - even i have stopped using it - although that could correspond with my stopping smoking and no longer needing somewhere to skulk off to from the office to puff away in ("aaaah, deep breath in now")
It is a gorgeous little park and it is a real shame, you even see people stepping off the pavement to avoid the hard-drinkers standing by the gates. (it is a very quiet road - link to other posts)
I hope it works - you could also improve the lighting around there at night, but you are, I think, on the right track - if more people actually use it then it will be seen as a less dodgy place and even more people will.. (well, you get the idea).
TUMJ - I can understand the rationale behind the second access as you explain it - I just recall a time last year, on the one occasion when the police roared up to the only gate to the gardens at about 10pm, after several hours of screaming mayhem from our local teen invaders, who then panicked once it dawned on them that there was only one entrance / exit! So - give them an alternative escape - I just fear it will not put an end to the anti-social behaviour and will ruin the hard work by other, caring locals. That park needs other measures [lighting, timed access, patrols????] to make it into an amenity for everyone. In saying that, I do not exclude the vagrants and teens - but somehow we need to get all potential users to buy into the idea that such a precious local amenity needs to be treated with respect - for itself and other users.
[I'll now get down off high horse, and return this post to Potters Field!]
I really dont know what the answer is for St Georges, perhaps its possible there isnt one, but lets try this and see.
Back to Potters Fields. I went along to todays consultation for a short while, and got the impression that a rare thing had happenned: the consultants had listened to local people saying they wanted lots of open space with grass, and a few bits of nice planting, and given them what they wanted! I'm pleased that the space is not so broken up as it was, and like the idea of a high-up grass area where you can lie down and still see the river, but would have preferred a little more planting and a few unkempt areas tucked round the edges as a refuge for birds and other wildlife.