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Mint Street Park development (disgrace)

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Monday 15 June 2015 10.32pm
Just found a used seringe with the needle on the pavement close to the football pitch. This is the second one I find and throw away in 2 weeks time in and around mint street park. This is very worrying for the kids playing everyday in the park or on their way to school.
Monday 15 June 2015 10.55pm
Well done, BoroughResident, for having the guts to pick it up. It is indeed worrying and in my eyes the scum who left it there in the first place, if caught, should be charged with attempt GBH. The consequences don't bear thinking about.
Monday 15 June 2015 11.50pm
It sounds as if a needle exchange program (NEP) initiative is ripe for being advertised on Mint Street park.

Don't hate the users, hate the authorities who fail to protect the community at large.
Tuesday 16 June 2015 12.05am
I am a responsible dog owner and whilst picking up my dog poo I have seen the following on the grass:
Other dogs poo, human faeces, soiled nappies, soiled pants, used syringes, broken glass, bottle tops, drink cans, discarded food ,mouldy bread (for birds I assume), pen tops, bottles, sweet wrappers , chewing gum, newspapers etc etc. I have also seen adult men urinating openly in the park I use.
This litter is a danger to dogs, children and adults. There is very little green space in SE1 but what space we have should be looked after and used by humans and dogs together in a responsible and considerate way.
There are always going to be irresponsible people using the parks some of whom will be in charge of dogs and / or children . Banning dogs from small parks will punish the responsible dog owners leaving the irresponsible adults free to litter the park as they wish.
I don't know Mint St Park ; my local bit of green space is Hatfields Green and my heart sank when I went to visit it this week after its long awaited revamp. The rubbish bins were overflowing and litter was strewn all over the park. It looked like a rubbish tip. There are no longer any dog bins and I am told that the fenced off bit that was for dogs ( no bins)has been locked due to rough sleepers at night.So is this another waste of money ? It's certainly a huge disappointment.
Tuesday 16 June 2015 11.48am
We all have to do our part parents and dog owners alike. However I would like to re-inforce what was said earlier, this problem seems to get worse in the summer with the added use.

It is true that the dog owners do seem to use the park more often, as they are the ones out in it several times a day (in the dark) in the snow in February when there isn't anyone else to speak of. So banning dogs would be detrimental, if nothing else it is the owners who keep an eye out year round and report problems.

A needle exchange programme would be a welcome addition. Perhaps we can also organise a large local community clean up day for MSP? There is a local group which will have a newsletter on should you wish to have updates on developemnts and responses from the council as we recieve them.
Tuesday 16 June 2015 11.56am
Thank you for the invitation Banskside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) to respond.

I hope you have the patience to read to the end! There is a long history here as you can imagine. For example, the post quoted on BOSTís website was made in 2009. Quite a lot has changed since then.

The current Ďimprovementí works at Mint Street Park (MSP) Phase 4 were carried out by Conway on behalf of Southwark Council. BOST was not involved.

MSP Phase 1 was the first capital project undertaken by BOST in 2002/3. The redevelopment of the park came in response to a very active 'friends of' group that used to meet up in Charles Dickens School.

For the first and second phase of the redevelopment BOST consulted widely on improvements, selected a designer through a fair process and tendered the construction contract.

I think the changes to the park were well received by the community and in addition BOSTís previous Director, Vicky, set up the ĎPutting Down Rootsí initiative with St Mungoís where rough sleepers were encouraged to garden in the park. This incredibly successful initiative has now been rolled out around London.

After a few years use it was clear that the runway as it came to be known was not fit for purpose. It was originally designed as an assembly space for events and community gatherings however these didnít happen as regularly as we had thought. Furthermore the size and the position was not great and the material inappropriate.

When Southwark Council compiled the first Project Bank of community led schemes in 2005, BOST campaigned for MSP to be included. It became a priority as this area of SE1 had been officially designated as deficient in Open Space. It took until 2010 for Council funds, from Section 106, to be officially designated to the park. This was a fluctuating amount between £360k and £400k

At this time BOST were heavily engaged seeking My Place funding from the Lottery to redevelop the Adventure Play building. In order to mitigate for the increased size of the building we had the idea to capture the hammerheads and the redundant streets, include them in the park and green them. Closing streets is a long and difficult business, so instead of waiting for this to happen, we fundraised for the Fresh Mint project (MSP phase 3) to improve the runway and stage area.

A steering group was set up and a landscape designer was selected through a fair process. The brief was to green the runway, increase the planting beds, replace the 'tank tracks' at the Marshalsea entrance with bollards, replace the concrete area behind the tank tracks with planting. Southwark Council agreed to add some of the Section 106 to the funds we had raised however they insisted that we use their designer so the future works to the rest of park could be co-ordinated. However we were still able to tender the contract to 3 Landscape Contractors who carried out the work.

When we commenced on the enabling works for Fresh Mint we found that the park walls around Caleb and Mint St were unstable. Section 106, rather than emergency capital repair, funds were used to carry out this work which was extensive. The Fresh Mint contract was reduced and so we werenít able to remove the 'tank traps' and plant up the coloured concrete area. Sadly the MSP Steering Group and by extension the community were not able to secure the reduction in width of the new resin bonded path across the old runway. The Councilís designer was adamant that it had to be the width we see today. However even with the reduction of the budget we did manage to get some more grass and we did secure a beautifully planted rockery lovingly put together by volunteers and our friends at St Mungoís.

With the reductions in the Section 106 bBudget, Southwark embarked on a consultation exercise for MSP phase 4. BOST hosted the Council design team at two of our events and then finally set up a meeting in March 2014 for them and the Steering Group where they presented their design. Observations were made by the Steering Group. Some, but not all of these comments were included in the planning application.

Conway, the Councilís contractor have now finished the works on site and these were project managed by the Councilís in-house team. The works differ in many areas from the planning application drawings. BOST and the remaining members of the Steering Group asked Adele Morris (the Ward Councillor) to set up the meeting last week and we will be writing to the Council to reinforce the letter that has already be sent by Adele.

In the many consultations that have been carried out over the years there have been three fundamentals that have been requested by the community time and time again:

-Remove hard surfaces,

-More greening,

-More colourful planting.

The present Council contract has failed to deliver any of the above.

On a personal note, Iíve been involved, with others, trying to make this park a better place since 1998. Although the recent refurbishment work is depressing and a retrograde step, I am really heartened to see that so many people care about this park and have made their feelings public. BOST was founded on this community passion, BOST belongs to you. We would be very pleased to look at management of the park on behalf of the community and to achieve the plans asked for by users and the wider community, just as we do in other nearby places, such as Redcross, Marlborough and Crossbones.

Tim Wood
Chair BOST
Tuesday 16 June 2015 12.29pm
Hi Rhea, thanks for the feedback about Hatfields, I agree that the rubbish is so annoying (I wondered if you meant Hatfields just from the description you gave!). The friends group are working with Lambeth to try to improve several of the problems, including litter and bins (you can use any bin by the way, not just dog ones). We also want to get the locked area opened as soon as possible.

It would be great if you got involved in our friends group as the more of us to put pressure on Lambeth the better.
Tuesday 16 June 2015 12.53pm
2 kids in recent times have been bitten by dogs,and they were dogs that looked lovely and harmless.
That's why parents are upset with dogs running around off the lead.
Tuesday 16 June 2015 12.55pm
Tim Wood wrote:
Conway, the Councilís contractor have now finished the works on site and these were project managed by the Councilís in-house team.

Aye, there's the rub.
Tuesday 16 June 2015 1.26pm
Don't ban dogs but there needs to be certain areas in the park that dogs are not allowed to go.
I see it every day dog shitting around the gym equipment, in the flower beds, on the sports pitch and in the kids play area.
Need to remember even if dog **** is picked up the
Desease is still there for over a year.
Bad owners.
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