All posts by Sue Britton

‘Clean for the Queen’ 5 March 2016


As part of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, a nationwide ‘Clean for the Queen’ campaign has been launched to clean up public spaces such as parks, waterways and beaches by removing litter and other debris.

The Friends of Westminster Park with support from Cheshire West and Chester Council will be holding a litter picking and clean-up session in Westminster Park on Saturday 5 March starting at 10.00am at the cafe in the centre of the park. The Council will provide gloves, black plastic sacks and litter pickers.

Please come with family and friends to do your part in sprucing up Westminster Park. Litter tends to congregate at the bottoms of hedges and in long grass so do wear working clothes and boots or stout shoes.

We plan to split into small groups to tackle the boundaries, working inwards to the car park/ central area.

Update February 2016

The new operators of the golf course and café, Golfstorehouse, are continuing to work hard to improve the facilities they took over in April 2015. Repairs to leaks in the roof have enabled the walls and ceiling of the café to be redecorated and new kitchen equipment has been installed ready for the new season. Plans to refurbish the changing room area for use by local sporting groups and a new Golf Academy and to re-instate a putting green are being developed and applications are being made for grant funding by Sport England and other organisations. New junior, public coaching and corporate golf sessions are planned for 2016, all with the aim of raising the level of interest and activity in golf and restoring the golf course to a prime facility in Westminster Park. Golfstorehouse have also taken over management of the public toilets on behalf of the Council and regular daily opening and cleaning are much improved.

Continuing discussions are taking place with Cheshire West and Chester Council about park maintenance and catching up with a backlog of repairs. The overall quality of the park and its enjoyment by a wide cross-section of the local community remain very high and continuing attention to outstanding issues will help the park to retain its position as a premier sporting and recreation location. Meanwhile all the clubs that meet in the park are continuing to thrive and are offering a wide range of activities for all ages and abilities. There is something for everyone – make the most of it during the coming spring and summer!

David Guyton

Update on Golf Shop & Cafe

We are delighted to welcome Golfstorehouse as the new operator of the golf course and café in Westminster Park. The owners live locally and two of them grew up learning to play golf in Westminster Park and now play off handicaps of two and scratch. They are strongly committed to reviving the golf course as a family-friendly community golf course with a strong emphasis on providing coaching and playing opportunities for junior golfers from the locality and from local schools and colleges. They also plan to reinstate the putting green. They are keen to develop the café and to make it a more attractive venue with a wider offering of food and beverages for all users of the park. After several years of drift and neglect, these improvements are bound to take some time to implement in full but the new owners have been working hard since they took over responsibility for the facilities at the beginning of April. Your support will be much appreciated.

Despite much needed refurbishment last year, the public toilets have continued to be a source of frustration and disapointment with regard to cleanliness and irregular opening hours. Although they are located in the same central building, the toilets remain the responsibility of the Council rather than the operator of the café and golf course. Following a mounting series of complaints and intervention by our local councillors, we have recently received assurance from the Council that new and improved arrangements are being put in place for further refurbishment, more frequent cleaning and more regular opening hours. We shall continue to watch the situation closely as clean and reliable toilet facilities are essential for a public recreation area that is as popular and well used as Westminster Park.

David Guyton

Chairman

WESTMINSTER PARK GOLF COURSE AND CAFE

The Council has announced that Golfstorehouse has been selected to manage the golf course and cafe in Westminster Park in succession to Brio with effect from 1 April. Norman Trott and I have met the directors of Golfstorehouse. We have expressed our keenness to help the new venture make a success of both the golf course and the cafe and are planning to meet them again shortly now that their appointment has been made public.

As with Brio, the arrangement does not include responsibility for the public toilets.

David Guyton
Chairman FOWP

Message from the FOWP Chairman

Westminster Park has enjoyed another good year. A fine spring followed by an unusually warm and sunny summer and then a very mild autumn has resulted in the park being a hive of activity. There was one sunny weekend in September when all the football pitches were in use with lots of spectators, cricket was being played, there were croquet and bowls matches in progress, the Glan Aber and the newly refurbished public tennis courts were fully occupied, there were people exercising in the outdoor gym and in the multi-use games area, a bevy of energetic cyclists on the BMX track and lots of children, parents and grandparents in the children’s play area. The grassed areas and the fine turf lawns and pitches have been well maintained, the annual plantings at the Hough Green entrance and in the café area have looked very attractive, and the foliage on the park’s wide variety of trees has looked particularly splendid in the spring and autumn sunshine.

In addition to ensuring that standards are maintained at a time when council finances continue to be squeezed, the main challenge facing the park is the future of the café and the nine hole golf course. Both have been managed by Brio but have not lived up to earlier expectations. Our understanding is that the Council is currently reviewing other options for future management of these core assets. There is a high level of local voluntary participation in the various sports clubs that meet in the park and it would be nice to see the formation of a similarly active and enterprising community golf club as well as a café offering a much more attractive range of food and beverages. The door is wide open for local initiatives but, unless new ideas and proposals are forthcoming, there is a real risk these facilities will wither on the vine. To repeat the message in the last newsletter, if anyone has an interest or knows of anyone else with an interest in developing these facilities, the Friends of Westminster Park would be delighted to hear and to discuss possibilities. Keep in touch and feedback is welcome though the FOWP’s website at www.westminsterpark.org.uk/ .

David Guyton – Chairman

Notes from FOWP July Meeting

Summary of issues discussed at the Committee meeting held on 13th July 2011.

 Following the recent grant award to Westminster Park through the Queen Elizabeth Award scheme gym equipment will be installed on the area between the tennis courts and the play area. It is hoped to be in place by September following the supplier contract award by the Council.
 The Council will be updating local Bye-Laws to ensure that ‘dogs on lead’ restrictions in certain areas of the park are complied with.
 Action being considered by the Council to fell a number of trees in the car park awaiting necessary funding.
 Updating of Café facilities requested from Council.
 Green Flag award continued for a further year.
 The Chairman,Vice Chairman and Secretary are undertaking a series of meetings with Council heads to progress the FoWP having greater involvement in the management of the Park.
 The Croquet/Bowls Pavilion area to have all reclamation work completed by year end.

The following issues are being pursued with the Council

No lights working in the Car Park
Gate opening and closing times not be adhered to
Damaged hedges not being replaced on a timely basis