A new children’s playground has been installed on the grass in the north east corner of the park instead of the old tennis courts due to the expense of removing asbestos from underneath the old tennis court surface. When resources permit, the council will seal this are with a new surface.
The new playground is not fenced off from the rest of the park, giving children easy access to the play equipment from the surrounding grassed areas. Dog owners are kindly requested to make sure that their dogs do not enter the play equipment area.
Paul Smith, chair of the Organising Committee for the Friends of Spencer Park, contacted The Guardian newspaper about the impact of austerity measures on our parks and their amenities. Read the letter he wrote:
The Council is having to make a lot of cuts to local services due to their reduced funding from central government. Our parks are one of the areas most threatened. In Spencer Park the flower beds will be grassed over. It is likely that the flat bowling green will not be maintained. There may be no staffing in the park in the Spring and Summer months which will impact on tennis provision.The pavilion is threatened with closure.
Friends of Spencer Park have obtained funding for the children’s playground which will be installed in the late Spring. We have also improved the west border and planted bulbs in the park and the Recreation Area. We would like to see the further development of tennis and bowls activities in the park which will be facilitated by the proposed changes to parking by the park. We will also be seeking funding for a multi-use games area on the recreation area.
The Council would like to devolve management responsibility for parks (and libraries) to community groups. We are not sure this is a role we could or should take on.
Could you please follow the link to the Council’s budget consultation, watch the video and fill in the online survey.
Click on this link and watch the video. Do get in touch with the Council about these proposals via the online survey – they could have a very detrimental impact upon all of Coventry’s parks, but particularly the smaller parks such as Spencer Park.
PETITION ON WITHDRAWAL OF SERVICES FROM SPENCER PARK
Friends of Spencer Park have drawn up the following petition in view of the threatened cuts to services at Spencer Park. It appears likely that the park will lose both the tennis courts and the bowling greens and the pavilion will not be staffed at all so there will be no toilet facilities.
The petition is available online via http://epetitions.coventry.gov.uk Please sign it if you want to preserve the facilities at the park.The deadline will be the end of March. It states:
WITHDRAWAL OF COUNCIL SERVICES FROM SPENCER PARK.
At a time when the number of people using Spencer Park is increasing, the City Council is planning to close its unique historic Pavilion which celebrates its centenary this August. If unused, it will be a prime target for vandalism. The flat bowling green will also be closed and the tennis courts will not be open to the general public.
We, the undersigned, call on the City Council to keep the Pavilion open for at least part of each week in the 2015 season and to re-open the tennis courts and the flat green.
Paul Smith: Chair of Friends of Spencer Park, writing in a personal capacity, has prepared this Statement on Cuts.
PETITION AGAINST THE CUTS
We have gathered well over 1500 signatures on the petition against the cuts to Spencer Park services. We were unable to present the petition to the Council as they cancelled their meeting. We are therefore continuing to collect more signatures and will be expending the deadline for the online petitions. We hope to present the petition after the Election.
Meanwhile, it would be useful if as many people as possible contacted their MPs, councillors and Election candidates pointing out the threats to the park and asking for their views. As we were collecting signatures we found that a lot of people had no idea about the threats to the park. Already the flat green has been closed and the bowlers asked to transfer to the Memorial Park. The pavilion will not open at Easter and will not be staffed so the tennis courts cannot be hired and the crown green bowlers have no access to their equipment. We are very concerned about the potential for an increase in anti social behaviour in the park. Without staffing a lot of damage could be done to the park and the pavilion undermining all the recent work to make the park a pleasant safe hub of the community. When the children’s playground is installed there will be no toilet facilities during the summer.
Letters should emphasise the importance of the park in the community, the importance of the pavilion as an attractive
local building, the improvements made to the park by the Friends Group and the regular family events during the summer.
Members of the Friends Group will raise the future of the park at the hustings so please feel free to contribute to the debate. We do not want the park to deteriorate.
Consultation on changes to the amenities in the park
The Friends of Spencer Park want to ensure that any plans that are made for changes to the amenities in the Park and Recreation Ground are open to consultation. On this page you can view the Consultation Strategy , designed to ensure that the views of all who have an interest in any proposed developments are taken into account.
We conducted a survey to seek your views on the development of recreational facilities in both parks. The survey report is available here (PDF 0.3 MB). If you want to look at the questionnaire, click on survey (PDF 0.4MB). Participants in the survey were entered into a prize draw. Dawn Pattison won the prize which was presented to her in Spencer Park by Paul Smith, the Chair of the Friends of Spencer Park.
Click here (PDF 2 MB) for an aerial view of the park. You will see the area which we would like to develop into a children’s recreation ground.
These photos (PDF 4 MB) show the area we would like to develop in more details.
Further information was on display at our stall at the Earlsdon Festival on May 6th, and will be available at events taking place at Spencer Park during the summer. (See Events)
We have received ideas from suppliers of play equipment and put their posters on display at the Earlsdon Festival (see below).