Council ready to consider Morden Park recommendations

Initial findings from the Morden Park consultation were published this week citing 28 recommendations to develop a park which has something for everyone. The recommendations will feed into a comprehensive report to be ready for councillors’ consideration at the 9 November cabinet.

Residents made clear that they would like to see a green open space that is sympathetically landscaped to accommodate wildlife and leave natural habitats undisturbed. At the same time they want to see a place where community events, history and heritage are publicly celebrated.

Those taking part in the consultation left no doubt that there is a need for sports and recreational facilities and that they should be located in the playing fields area. In addition to new sporting facilities, residents supported the refurbishment or reconstruction of Morden Park Pools in its current location should funding become available.

Residents saw the need to locate information boards in prominent places around the park about its wildlife and natural history. They also recommended that local schools should be encouraged to use the park for after-school programmes of activities about the park’s history and heritage.

On the subject of play, there was a demand for traditional play facilities for children as well as the provision of facilities for older children such as a skateboard park or BMX circuit.

When asked about access to the park, there was support for improved hard surfaces for people with disabilities.

Recognising the lack of council capital funding to finance maintenance of any potential recreational facilities, residents suggested the possibility of setting up a community trust. .

The recommendations were published by independent specialist communications agency Local Dialogue and are available at http://www.merton.gov.uk/mordenparkvision

Local Dialogue’s Max Camplin said: “As we were carrying out the consultation, it was clear that people value the park as a beautiful open green space as well as a resource for residents to use for sport, recreation and learning. However, the difficulty for the council is its lack of funds to provide or maintain any sports provision. Once the full report is available, councillors will be in a position to consider the recommendations residents have made and decide on those which they can realistically take forward for the benefit of all.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors
1. The consultation was open to residents, businesses, community group members and anyone with an interest in Morden to contribute their hopes and aspirations for the future of Morden Park – including Morden Park playing fields. As part of the consultation, four sessions were held at Morden Assembly Hall during the summer, addressing different issues affecting the park:
– Sport, recreation and play
– Landscaping and open space
– Leisure pursuits and events
– Expressing preferences for use of land and developing a vision for the park

2. To find out more about any aspect of the consultation contact Max Camplin at Local Dialogue on 020 7357 6606 or email max.camplin@localdialogue.com