Calling all FoWP volunteers!
We are arranging another FoWP Volunteer Day for Wednesday, 25 March from 10.00 to 15.00. This date will coincide with the planting of a number of trees across the park by a group of Lloyds Bank volunteers in association with the Woodland Trust.
Our FoWP volunteers, working in small groups, will provide a Spring tidy-up to the park, including clearing some of the pathways, cutting back overhanging branches and bushes, litter picking and “painting” the balustrade around the patio area by the café.
If you could help, would you let Sue Britton know, and on the day bring along any appropriate tools (wheel barrows, hoes, clippers, secateurs etc.).
Look forward to seeing you then. Initially we’ll meet at the Golf Shop/ Cafe but drop in any time and find us working in the park.
Thanks in advance,
CWaC have an opportunity to do the hedge lowering around the park. This is to advise residents and users that cutting may start as early as week commencing 10th February and the height of the hedge will be 8 foot. This will make for easier future maintenance.
Many thanks to those who attended our second Volunteer Day on 15th March. Although we managed to achieve our main objective, the removal of the brash from the coppiced area next to Glan Aber Tennis Club, it was clear that this activity involved far too much heavy lifting for our volunteer workforce. Accordingly, we have had some discussions with our Park Development Officer, Andy James, and the FoWP committee and we have agreed that we need to better target the use of our volunteer resources in the future. For example, we might look to set up our next Volunteer Day for tidying the flowerbeds at the back of the car park and in front of the cafe. This activity is much more in line with our successful inaugural Volunteer Day when we tidied up the Lache Lane and Cliveden Road entrances.
If you have any ideas or questions on volunteering, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards, Steve Telford (Chairman, FoWP)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
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.
Following my previous report about another unauthorised encampment by travellers in Westminster Park, I am pleased to say that they departed earlier this afternoon, Friday, 7 April.
This was achieved as a result of commendably prompt and efficient action by the Gypsy and Traveller Team at Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Police. The travellers were known to the Police and notice was able to be served rapidly because of previous transgressions and restrictions. Local residents and park users are very grateful for this speedy response and comments from Council staff that more permanent protective measures will be considered again in the light of this latest incursion.
Friends of Westminster Park
I am sorry to report another unauthorised encampment by travellers in Westminster Park yesterday evening, 6 April, this time comprising three vehicles and two caravans which are parked in front of the café block. The council and police were informed straightaway and they are now dealing with the matter. As trespass is a civil rather than a criminal issue, the council will be seeking court authorisation for eviction as soon as possible.
Coming only nine months after the previous incident, renewed questions are already being asked by local residents and park users as to whether more permanent protective measures are appropriate such as access barriers or a permanent injunction.
Friends of Westminster Park
Following a succesful bulb-planting working party in November, another working party was organised in December. This time, we were pleased to be joined by an enthusiastic group of children from Belgrave Primary School and their teachers. The planting was filmed by publicity staff from Cheshire West and Chester Council and the video was shown at a Council event in January to record appreciation for the contribution of volunteers in local communities across the county. We can now look forward to a splendid display of daffodils in the spring between the car park and café block and around the sculpture next to the children’s play area. Thank you to everyone who took part in both plantings.
In response to requests for more public seating around the park, particularly for people with mobility difficulties and families with young children, three new park seats have been ordered and are now installed in time for the longer days and better weather in the spring. We are most grateful to a local resident who has donated one of the seats and to our local councillors for contributing towards the cost from their members’ budgets. If any other residents would like to donate a seat or picnic table, we would be delighted to make the arrangements.
Several sports and exercise groups in Westminster Park have expressed their desire for the changing rooms in the café block to be refurbished and brought back into use. Possibilities for doing so are being examined by the Council, Golfstorehouse as operator of the golf course and cafe, and the Friends. Everyone is aware of the financial constraints affecting all public services and the challenge is to find a workable way forward.
Friends of Westminster Park