Friends of Ruskin Park have announced that, following public consultation in June and July, playground refurbishment works will begin on the 18th September and last for approximately 12 weeks. Lambeth Council will be responsible for these works.
Some small design changes have been made in response to feedback.
The Lambeth statement reads:
“The new playground will feature all new exciting and challenging play equipment, safety surfacing, interactive and imaginative play for all ages and abilities.
Following public consultation during June and July the design has been revised to:
- include a replacement for the very popular trampoline
- install additional benches (including some with backs)
- incorporate more natural materials (including wooden benches
- incorporate planting for shade around the perimeter
- reuse equipment at other sites where possible.
We also received positive feedback on the proposals for the landscaping in front of the kiosk and eastern entrance. There will be a further update when these proposals have been finalised.
If you have any questions please contact project manager Rob Kelly .”
Lambeth are planning to introduce a Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Order. A consultation is in progress but – apologies – I have only just heard about this and the consultation closes tomorrow, Sunday 26 March.
I guess this will be welcomed by most dog owners and park users who have seen that dog walkers often have too many dogs to care for and sometimes lose control.
There is also an explicit warning on dog fouling and penalties for owners who permit this.
The rules would extend to all public places in Lambeth including roads and pavements.
Four’s Your Max
One element of the PSPO proposal is that maximum number of dogs a person can be in charge of is four. An exemption will be in place to allow any official licensed commercial dog walks to continue walking up to six dogs.
In addition they propose that there should be no more than two dogs off their lead at any one time.
The consultation details are online, and there is a survey which residents are invited to complete. If you agree, or want to suggest amendments, why not do do today?
As always, of course, the challenge will be enforcement.
The Friends of Ruskin Park have circulated an update of their programme of summer and autumn concerts at the bandstand.
It can be found here. This Sunday features the South London Jazz Orchestra from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.
Paddling Pool has temporarily closed for urgent maintenance
Unfortunate timing but the paddling pool had to be drained today, Friday 12th August due to the jets being blocked.
Volunteers are working hard with Lambeth Council to resolve the issues, which are made worse by the extreme weather. They’re not currently able to say if the pool will be open over the weekend but will keep us updated
The excellent Ruskin Park Fete is happening this Saturday, from 12 to 6 pm.
Lots to do and watch and eat and drink and hear.
The popular paddling pool in Ruskin Park is reopening for the summer holidays, the Friends of Ruskin Park have just announced.
The paddling pool should be open again on 24th July until 5th September. The pool is run by volunteers, backed by a community partnership of Urban Village Homes, Lambeth Landscapes, and the Friends of Ruskin Park.
A full refurb for the pool is planned at the end of the year.
If you are able to volunteer with cleaning and other tasks, please see details here or join the Save Ruskin Park Paddling Pool group on Facebook.
The series of fortnightly band concerts at the Ruskin Park Bandstand will, as announced, start next Sunday, 4 July, but with a different band – The South East London Folk Orchestra.
They play and sing tunes from a variety of folk traditions, deploying a variety of instruments including fiddles, accordions, concertinas, whistles, bodhrans, guitars, mandolins and flutes.
All we need is some fine weather.
Urgently looking for financial talent
The Friends of Ruskin Park are an outstanding local charity and play a vital role in keeping the park a vibrant and much treasured asset. In recent months their highly valued Treasurer very sadly died and they are desperately looking for someone to replace him. Obviously with any charity, particularly this one, it’s a vital role. They are struggling now with governance/finance know-how to meet their minimum commitments as an entirely volunteer run charity.
They are looking for a person with some accountancy experience, maybe with charities, and who is a supporter of what they do for Ruskin Park. This is an important and rewarding voluntary contribution to our local community and it will need regular commitment.
On top of that, the committee’s vice-chair has also stepped down recently for health reasons. That’s another post that needs to be filled as soon as possible.
If you are able and willing to help, or know anyone else who might, please contact the Chair, Lucy Hadfield.
It’s the nearly concert season in Ruskin Park
When summer and sunny days return (they will, won’t they?), the bandstand in Ruskin Park fulfils its purpose as a showcase for musical entertainment on Sunday afternoons.
The first concert is on 4th July (3:00 – 5:00 PM), with an appearance by The Sonnet Wind Orchestra – a musically exciting ensemble numbering some 35 players. Mostly retired professional musicians playing an extensive and eclectic repertoire from arrangements of classical favourites, via selections from stage and screen, to the Beatles, Bowie and Queen. Many of these arrangements are by members of the SWO.
More concerts follow, right until the middle of October. The summer programme can be found on the Friends of Ruskin Park website.
A neighbour reports that they have received a letter from Lambeth advising that a revised application has been made for the notorious Twin Towers project at Loughborough Junction, which we reported on back in 2020: see our summary then, which contains a link to the Herne Hill Society’s magisterial objection.
Fully conscious that their original application blatantly breached Lambeth’s own policy regarding tall buildings, the developers are now, it seems, trying to breathe new life into the proposal by persuading the council to override their own policy.
We have no doubt that the Herne Hill Society’s planners are now gearing up to return to the charge. Hopefully the Brixton Society and the Loughborough Junction Action Group will also spring into action.
Meanwhile, what isn’t remotely clear is why Lambeth have advised (as far as we know) just one household on Fawnbrake Avenue. Surely they’re not trying to keep this cheeky new application secret, are they?
We can still comment on Lambeth’s application for a performance/food/drink pop-up on and around the Ruskin Park bandstand this summer. But Wednesday 10 March is the cut-off date.
The performances and other events would happen 5 days a week including evenings and weekends all through spring to autumn (29 April – 12 September 2021), presumably blocking off the long-established summer weekend concerts traditionally organised by the Friends of Ruskin Park (FoRP).
The Friends’ explanation and comments can be read on their website here. Others might think, on the contrary, that this is all a wonderful idea.
We can give feedback to Events Lambeth by Wednesday 10 March 2021.
There’s a natural tendency in Lambeth Council (as in others, probably) to assume that “no comment”/silence = either approval or indifference.
So if we feel something is wrong (or right!) it could make sense to take five minutes to feed back our comments. Lord knows, it doesn’t always make a difference but if we stay silent when things we don’t approve of look like happening, we can’t really complain afterwards if they do. End of homily.
Friends of Ruskin Park (FofRP) have released information about a series of events – The Open Arms – that Lambeth are proposing to host in Ruskin Park across the summer. The events, and supporting installations, would mainly happen around the Bandstand.
Sounds fun, maybe – but as the FofRP comment, “This is too much time for one organisation to be effectively taking over the popular bandstand area. It is more like a concession, not an event.”
The proposal – ‘pop-up’ or concession?
Lambeth’s proposal explains that “The Open Arms is a performance-led pop-up occupying Ruskin Park Bandstand (ideally) for summer 2021. As a recipient of the Arts Council England’s ‘Culture Recovery Grant’, they will be looking to bring to life an activation that celebrates and supports the rich pool of talent living within the borough. They will provide a stage for local performance in the midst of rapid venue closures. Alongside a Food and beverage offer.”
Full details of the proposal are in a PDF accessed via the FoRP website
FofRP initial comments
The Friends of Ruskin Park committee has already raised some initial points with Event Lambeth.
They are not opposed in principle to appropriate new ventures for entertainment and refreshments that benefit Ruskin Park and local people.
However, they have several concerns:
- that this is too much time for one organisation to be effectively taking over the popular bandstand area. It is more like a concession, not an event.
- about the installation of two semi-permanent pavilions and toilet structures in the area surrounding the bandstand and their impact on the landscape.
- about the size of the event levy and what would actually be spent on Ruskin Park.
- about risks of noise and size of audience.
- about the overall balance of these facilities, as proposed, with the calm and natural character of the park.
- that this is an untested format so there should be monitoring and revision stages during the 5 month contract.
- that the business model of the organiser should be transparent and the assets of the public park are properly valued in any such transaction.
Feedback and deadline
Anyone – and particularly, perhaps, those of us who live nearby and use Ruskin Park – may lodge comments with Lambeth.
Please visit The Friend’s excellent web page for further information and advice on opportunities for public comments to Lambeth by the consultation deadline of 10th March.