All posts by Sue Britton

Volunteer Day – Wednesday 13th March 10.00-14.00

Following on from the success of our January Volunteer Day, we have arranged another get together for 13th March. The main focus of activity will be to move the cuttings from the coppiced hedge next to the Glan Aber tennis courts to a couple of locations: the new dog walking area and the gaps in the hedge next to the pathway by the golf course.

In addition, the following will be tackled:
clearance of the path edges from the car park to the cafe area
the installation of footpath slabs or stones by the white gate on the pathway near to Glan Aber Tennis Club.
If you are able to volunteer please could you advise us in advance. If you know of anyone else who would like to help with this effort, please pass on this note.

Look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on that day. It will help to make our well appreciated open space even better.

Steve Telford,
Chair, Friends of Westminster Park

Volunteer Day

Many thanks to all the helpers who turned up for our FoWP Volunteer Day on 13 January and put in a tremendous amount of effort. There were 40+ volunteers in attendance during the 3 hour period and a lot was achieved including the clean-up of the Lache Lane and Cliveden Road entrances, removal of the nettles within the young children’s play area, clearing of the pathways next to the play area and the fence which protects the young children’s football pitches, and planting of a large number of daffodil bulbs. As a result of this tremendous response we shall be planning a further Volunteer Day later in the spring.

FoWP Volunteer Day Sunday, 13 January 2019 10.00-13.00

The Friends of Westminster Park are appealing for your help on a Volunteer Day (Sunday, 13 January 10:00-13:00).
The main aims will be:
to spruce up the Lache Lane entrance to the park
to remove the nettles in the Children’s Play Area
to remove any litter in that area of the park

Andy James, our CWaC Park Development Officer, will provide litter pickers and bags and bring along some loppers, spades, forks etc. though you would be very welcome to bring your own equipment (e.g. edging tools, trowels, hoes, extra spades). If we get lots of volunteers and/or make significant progress we might be able to move onto the Cliveden Road entrance too.

If you are able to volunteer please could you advise us in advance. If you know of anyone else who would like to help with this effort, please pass on this note.

Look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on that day. It will be great to start the year in this way, helping to make our well appreciated open space even better.

Steve Telford,
Chairman
Friends of Westminster Park

FoWP December Update

In the last newsletter I mentioned that there were increasing comments and complaints about a noticeable decline in standards of upkeep in Westminster Park with grassed areas being cut less frequently and looking untidy, weeds spreading across paths, the children’s play area and BMX track, and damage from vandalism. We have been discussing these issues with Council officers who recognise that standards have declined this year but are under increasing pressure from constraints on public spending. They have undertaken to clarify and define standards and implement them more rigorously next year. Some damage from vandalism has been repaired and there were also a couple of volunteer events late in the season to catch up on a backlog of work. However, financial constraints are unlikely to be relaxed and a greater contribution is going to be needed from local volunteers to uphold standards in the future. All of us greatly value the park and its facilities so if you are able to contribute some of your time to help with tidying the park, do please get in touch with our secretary, Sue Britton, at brittonfamily@btinternet.com .

We have also been discussing improved preventative and security measures against incursions by travellers and vandalism. One possibility has been installing a height restriction barrier but a traffic survey has shown that a large number of taller vehicles come to the park entirely legitimately. In addition to the inconvenience caused, a barrier could result in detering visitors or unwanted parking in front of houses on adjacent roads. Other possibilities include reinstating CCTV cameras, installing internal barriers to prevent vehicle access to the sports pitches, and closing the park gates at night. These are still being considered.

Refurbishment of the changing room area in the central café block is still in hand and, with no additional funding available, the Council is seeking to establish working arrangements with potential user groups to look after opening and closing, regular cleaning and replenishment of supplies.

On the positive side, the café now being managed by Golfstorehouse has been offering a much improved range of food and refreshments and is being used by an increasing number of visitors to the park and groups including mother and toddler, Scrabble and ukulele. We have also been most grateful to receive the donation of another seat in the park making a total of four this year in addition to two picnic benches last year. And once again, the wide variety of trees in the park have been showing their delightful autumn colours. 

David Guyton

AGM 22 November 2017

FRIENDS OF WESTMINSTER PARK

www.westminsterpark.org.uk

Secretary: Sue Britton, 24 Lache Lane Chester CH4 7LR

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Annual General Meeting will be held at 8.00 pm

on Wednesday 22 November 2017

at

  Westminster Park Community Centre,

Five Ashes Road, Chester CH4 7QS

Agenda

Welcome and apologies

Minutes of AGM on 30 November 2016

Chairman’s Report by David Guyton

Treasurer’s Report by Jenny Szczyglowski

Election of officers and committee

Chairman

Secretary

Treasurer

Committee members

Current issues – general discussion

Any other business

Subscriptions

Subscriptions for 2017-2018 are now due

Westminster Park with its wide range of recreational and sporting facilities is a valuable asset for all residents living in the area. The Friends of Westminster Park represent all organisations and local residents with an interest in Westminster Park and your membership is immensely helpful in discussions with the Council and helping to raise external funds for improvements. The annual subscription is £2 per household and your support is much appreciated.

FoWP September Update

Despite rather mixed weather, Westminster Park has been a hive of activity during the summer months. Local residents and visitors have been making good use of the wide range of sporting and recreation facilities. Clubs and sports groups that meet in the park have all had full programmes of games, league matches, training and coaching, and the children’s play area and BMX track have been busy throughout the holiday period. Even on grey, damp days, there are always hardy dog walkers and exercise enthusiasts to be seen. And everyone has welcomed the improved range of food and beverages at the café.

In July there was a national Love Parks Week to celebrate public open spaces and recreation areas. As its contribution to the event, the Council sent out members of its Green Space team to local parks with special heart-shaped notice boards for park users to write their own personal message “I love my park because … ” The team happened to visit Westminster Park when a weekly croquet session was in full swing. Mustering all their literary skills, the players gladly obliged and were duly photographed displaying their completed heart-shaped notice boards.

Following unauthorised incursions by travellers last year and again earlier this year, a height barrier and other preventative measures are being considered by the Council and we are waiting to hear the outcome. The Council has also initiated a project to renovate the changing room area in the central café block but as yet there is no information as to when completion is expected and how it will operate.

In response to incidents of vandalism and anti-social behaviour, park users will have noticed increased patrols by our local police, PCSO and community safety wardens.

Looking ahead, the main challenge is how the attractiveness and standards of the park can be maintained in a context of ever tightening constraints on Council spending. There has been an increasing number of comments and complaints about falling standards of upkeep: grassed areas being cut less frequently, nettles and other weeds spreading across paths, the children’s play area and the BMX track, and maintenance and repairs taking a long time or not being done. Greater community involvement by volunteers may be a way forward but volunteers will undoubtedly want a say in how the park is managed.

David Guyton
Friends of Westminster Park