Elmhurst for Everyone
Elmhurst for Everyone
ELMHURST GARDENS FOR EVERYONE!
As local residents we are asking Redbridge Council to ensure that the empty bowls club in the centre of Elmhurst Gardens becomes a resource that is open to everyone in the local community and not just a select few.
Vision RCL are a charity that manages Redbridge Green Spaces. They exist to promote and preserve good health and provide facilities to all members of the community particularly elderly people, people with disabilities and those facing economic challenges. Instead of furthering these objectives. Vision has chosen to award a contract to a private business that excludes the majority of the local population.
The re-purposing of the bowls club presents a wonderful opportunity forsomething positive to materialise in our community and in recent surveys many residents have said they would welcome a café and community space.Residents are extremely disappointed that a private nursery K-Gems global limited is the preferred partner to occupy this space currently. As a nursery, it already has a monopoly on park buildings in two other Redbridge parks.
We would like to raise the following concerns with Vision and Redbridge Council:
• We would like to see a space that is accessible to everyone in our community. The bowls club that served elderly members of the community has closed and should be replaced with something that will also benefit elderly people who face disproportionate isolation and loneliness.
• The Maybank Community Association, Friends of Elmhurst and Elmhurst Playground Association have offered to represent the views of local residents in the decision-making process and have asked for a community use project but Vision has rebuffed offers of involvement in the process and failed to respond to emails from residents until they had made a decision.
• Vision and Redbridge council should be working in partnership with long standing community groups who have helped care for and raised funds to improve the park space.
• This private business will put increased pressure on parking in the surrounding streets and could lead to traffic calming measures or a parking scheme being put in place.
• The Council clearly advertised the tendering opportunity for the small park keeper’s hut publicly within the park but no such advertising was done for the bowls club. They suggest that this hut, in a darkened area of the park, next to the public toilets would be an ideal spot to serve beverages, food and ice cream. This does not in any way satisfy what the community are asking for.
• There was no invite to tender and therefore no selection criteria to assist any potential bidder, making it difficult to understand how Vision would evaluate the tenders.
• Renting public property to the highest bidder does not conform with Vision’s charitable objectives, particularly when it is aiding the expansion of a private enterprise that isn’t accessible to the majority of the community.
We are fully aware of the pressure on Vision and Redbridge Council to make cuts or generate income in public spaces but would argue that a café / community hub would be a financially viable suggestion for a business.
If you wish to add your voice please sign this petition. Many thanks