What you can do to fight for a better deal for your park

What you can do to fight for a better deal for your park

2021-07-07 0 By Editor

We continue to campaign to convince Islington Council to keep Wray Crescent an open space, rather than giving the majority of the space across to one activity at the times of day (evenings and weekends in summer) most people need access to that space.

To support our campaign we have two petitions, which we urge you to sign:

Please sign both – and please, please share them with your friends and on social media.

What we want

We are campaigning for a fair balance of use, particularly evenings and weekends, between cricket players and the wider community.

We are also campaigning for Islington to change its proposed plan in order to make a truly multi-use building.

The current proposal is dominated by one activity, with no serious facilities for anything else:

  • The area they brand as the ‘community space’ has no privacy,
  • There is no separate entrance for other uses,
  • There is no storage for football kit, community gardening or anything else.
  • The kitchen area fails to double up as a community kiosk café
  • There is no work being done to tidy up the storage area.
  • The plans don’t even feature storage for football goals or for the park’s volunteer gardeners.
  • The council seemed unwilling to change its plan to meet any of those needs.

These failures make it plain that this building has one use. Just because Islington insists on calling the structure a “community space”, it is not. It is a cricket pavilion focused solely on the needs of the cricketing community. All other uses are compromised at best.

We are not opposed to cricket, but we do champion the wider needs of the whole community – as we believe the council should.The building should respect the needs of the community it is in, which begins with making a credible commitment to a building capable of serving multiple needs.

In their current form these plans do not do that.

Take Action

 You can take action to protest these plans, and we urge you to do so.

1. Sign the petition

To support our campaign we have two petitions, which we urge you to sign:

Please sign them both. (We understand the council petition is hard to sign).

2. Tell us what you want

We are also attempting to survey park users to get some idea of what they want.

Please take a few moments to contribute to this survey here.

Part of our problem with the current plan is that Islington Council has never run an effective survey into what park users need. That means we need to try to do it ourselves.

3. Tell the Council what you think

Islington is accepting feedback on its plans until July 14, so please take this limited opportunity to tell them what you think.

You can write to Islington Council at the following email address

wraycrescentparkbuilding@islington.gov.uk

You can also make a submission using this simple form. This has three questions, none of which truly engage with local need and none of which involve input into the building design or the decision itself. We think that’s inadequate, and it has forced us to protest.

4. Write to your representatives

Please write to our MP and councillors to explain why the plan is such a poor deal for the community.

The feedback seems to be that our councillors support the current iteration of the plan, but they are our community champions and we must try to convince them to push for a better proposal that meets the needs of the many, not just the few.

We do not yet have an email address for newly-elected councillor, Mick Gilgunn.

5. Contact Sport England

The Sport England document detailing the funding provided for this project describes it as a: “Cricket and Community Pavilion” that will be used for “Multi Sports”, including “Basketball, Cricket, Association Football, Exercise & Fitness, Sport participation and capacity building, Sports development, Sport and Physical Activity”.

Yet, as mentioned above, the design of the building is focused on serving one primary need, with all other needs compromised and no significant community amenity.

In a related note, Sport England in its recent Getting Active Outdoors guidance wrote: “New sporting infrastructure needs to accommodate the maximum possible number of sports so that people have the broadest choice of how to be active.”

We do not think the plan does this. Nor do we think it meets the needs for “Multi Sports”, or for “Community”.

You can contact Sport England to see if they agree at: funding@sportengland.org

6. Help get our voices heard

The council seems to want to pretend we are a small group of people who object to this plan.

This is not the case. We are local people who see this as a plan that will erode community amenity and remove access to a much-needed resource, green space.

We need your help to be heard.

Please sign and share our petitions, please speak with your friends, please write to councillors, newspapers or anyone else you think might make a difference.  Please tell the council you don’t agree using their form.

We’re not asking for an end to the game in the park, we are simply battling for a better compromise to the benefit of all park users, and a new multi-use building that truly meets the needs of the many communities reliant on this precious open space, rather than focusing on just one need.

We also have a leaflet for the petition. Please print this to place in windows, in workplaces, and please share our petition on social media. Please tell your friends to get involved.

Who we are

We are from the community. It is because we speak to everybody that we know the extent to which local public opinion is opposed to the current proposals. The council does not seem to want to hear those voices and we feel they should be heard.

Please join the Friends of Wray Crescent to get involved in this campaign and our future work in the park.