Category Archives: Parks

Friends of Thornbury Park

Will meet on Wednesday 26 July 2017 at 7.00 pm by the Outdoor Gym, Thornbury Park, London Road, Isleworth

Grapes and berries in Thornbury Park

Since the reforming of the Friends of Thornbury Park, visitors there will have noticed some better attention paid to this important but occasionally neglected local recreation space.

When we first met in November 2015, there were many ideas discussed and proposed to improve Thornbury Park.  At the time, there was no council resource to help make any of them a reality apart from holding the parks maintenance contractor to their schedules and encouraging the police to up their patrols to address varied anti social behaviour.

I was, however, as a councillor, able to submit bids to the unspent S106 planning gain fund insomuch as historic developer contributions could be applied to a) schemes local to Spring Grove developments and b) for parks type projects.  In 2016 I was teased with an award of £4,200, which, in the scheme of things, was almost not worth getting off the swings for.  Persistence paid off in January 2017 with a second allocation of £75,977 making a total of £80,177 to start to realise some of the November 2015 ideas.

Hounslow Council’s Parks Team and the parks contractor Carillion have now produced proposals and costs for improvements at Thornbury Park over and above the maintenance contract.  Details can be found on the spends spreadsheet here and trees and shrub reduction and new pathways suggestion here.

Readers will note that so far, a proposed spend of only £25,839 has been identified and these are listed on the spreadsheet, leaving decisions to be made for the remaining £54,338 and that is why it would be good to see as many Friends and users of Thornbury Park next Wednesday.

Should anyone be unable to make it to the meeting, please email me with any comments to tony.louki@hounslow.gov.uk

You may also wish to follow Friends of Thornbury Park on Twitter and Facebook.

As always, am happy to discuss.

TL 21.7.2017

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Filed under Events, Leisure, London Road, Neighbourhoods, Parks, Reports, Spring Grove, Thornbury Park

Wyke Green: Traveller event

Information about travellers pitching up on Wyke Green prompted a reccy on Thursday 9.6.2016. Toured the area by a neighbour, around the green where they had first located then across to Wyevale but advice from their car wash crew was that the vans had cleared off the day before.

160609 Wyke Horse sign copy

Later that morning Hounslow Council’s parks team advised of the actions taken to reclaim Wyke Green including by way of this notice of direction.

A missing post allowed easy access to Wyke Green recently

A missing post allowed easy access to Wyke Green recently

Residents near Wyke Green raised how easy it had become to access it due to a missing lockable post by Jersey Road; glad to say that by the afternoon the space was more secure with a replacement.  Carillion were also asked to remove a few black sacks, left relatively tidily.

Lockable post now in place at Wyke Green to limit further incursion

Lockable post now in place at Wyke Green to limit future unexpected visits

Coincidentally the next day, Councillors, in our weekly update bulletin Members Matters, received a briefing on Travellers which can be found here.

The advice included details of who to contact if you become aware of travellers camping in the borough.

Police: call the police non-emergency number 101

Parks: Carillion, the council’s parks contractor who’ll make the initial assessment, telephone 0845 456 2853 or email Hounslow.info@carillion.services.co.uk

 

TL 13.6.2016

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Filed under Council Business, Leisure, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Parks, Wyke Green

Osterley Park: Exhibition of bike trails proposals

The National Trust have made contact to tell of  an exhibition of proposals for new bike trails on current footpaths at Osterley Park and Gardens.

Osterley Park Trails proposal

Osterley Park Trails proposal

The trust are preparing to submit a planning application to Hounslow Council later in the year.  They aim to apply to change the surface of some existing paths and create a space suitable for children to learn to ride their bikes within Osterley Park.  More detailed information can be found here.

They will also be hosting three drop in sessions open to all, to listen to visitors’ thoughts on this issue in the Osterley Park & House Stables Brewhouse on: Saturday 4 June from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm, Monday 6 June from 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm and Friday 17 June from 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm.

TL 18.5.2016

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Filed under Events, Leisure, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Parks, Planning, Wyke Green

Some cream for Jersey Gardens

The late and great Richard M Nixon often spouted the etymological fallacy that the Mandarin word for crisis was interchangeable with the word for opportunity.

JG Sign

One of my first trips out after the council elections in May 2014 was being shown around Jersey Gardens by one of its Friends. Tales of some neglect, past failed ambitions and thieving of the ornate. Crisis? Perhaps, for some but never insurmountable.

Another alert at that time was from Councillor Theo Dennison, the council’s cabinet member for finance and other things, announcing that bids were being sought for the large pot of S106 developer planning contributions in the council’s account. Opportunity? For sure.

From my eighteen bids made on behalf Osterley & Spring Grove Ward and other parts of Isleworth in November 2014, one made it on to the May 2015 cabinet report. Theo saw the merit and £76,600 was allocated for, “Improvements, restorations and repairs to boundaries at Jersey Gardens. Sustained practical support for Friends of Jersey Gardens and other groups interested in its improvements.” Met with a little scepticism, it took a couple of emails to convince the FOJG Chairman that the cash was real before he was prepared to pow wow.

Stolen gate on St Mary's Crescent to be securely replaced

Stolen gate on St Mary’s Crescent to be securely replaced

We met on site before Christmas with Gaye from the council’s parks team, Jim and Unsa from parks contractor Carillion and John Love from Thistleworth Tennis Club, the latter to see whether there was scope to combine some joint fence works. Notes from that meeting can be found here.

Reconvening at Osterley Library in February 2016, Carillion came back with a scheme for this phase of works which was agreed by the Friends and includes:

Wood Lane to Ridgeway Road North fencing to be replaced

Wood Lane to Ridgeway Road North fencing to be replaced

  • Replacement and renovation of the most deteriorated pathways within Jersey Gardens and a cleaner and flatter ramp up to the playground area
  • Refurbishment of unused original gates currently facing Great West Road securely relocated to St Mary’s Crescent and the Ridgeway Road North access New double gates by the tennis court
  • Improved access points to the play area
  • Replacement and repair to low fencing along the Ridgeway Road North footpath and along the footpath towards Wood Lane.

These works are due to start later this month, March 2016 and other Friends and residents have also been advised via the latest newsletter which can be found here.

Jersey Gardens south eastern view with Osterley Hotel on skyline, 1932 photo courtesy of Hounslow Libraries Local Studies Section

Jersey Gardens south eastern view with Osterley Hotel on skyline, 1932 photo courtesy of Hounslow Libraries Local Studies Section

There is certainly plenty more to do to realise the long standing ambitions to restore Jersey Gardens, a unique and beautiful by product of the construction of the Great West Road in the 1920s.

Following a call for the next round of S106 bids, a request for funding of a potential second phase was made in January 2016 for,

  • Footpath illumination from Wood Lane to Ridgeway Road North
  • Improvement of paving to the playground
  • Horticulture and landscape apprentice project in conjunction with LBH Skills and Employment Team, Carillion, Hounslow Highways, National Trust, Capel Manor College and others to restore the Sunken Garden.

The outcome of this and another 16 bids (see my responses for both calls for bids here) will be shared when known later in the Spring 2016. Should there be similar success in securing funds, I shall continue to work with the Friends and others help progress further works in Jersey Gardens.

As always, happy to discuss but in the meantime, if not already a supporter, please make contact with the Friends of Jersey Gardens either by e mail to its Chairman, colinhume131@gmail.com or leave letters c/o Friends of Jersey Gardens at Osterley Library, St Mary’s Crescent, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4NB.

TL 5.3.2016

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Filed under Great West Road, Leisure, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Parks

Thornbury Park: some progress – out there again on Monday 1 February 2016 at 10.30 am

Following a good explore with a dozen friends late November 2015, a fair list of actions was compiled and shared with the Hounslow Council Parks Team and contractors Carillion. A record of the walk on 21.11.2015 can be seen here.

Folk out on the Thornbury Park walk on Saturdaymorning 21 November 2015

Folk out on the Thornbury Park walk on Saturday morning 21 November 2015

Some matters have been addressed but there is still a reasonable amount to attend to.

To progress, and with apologies to those unable to make it on a Monday morning, the parks team and contractor have agreed to meet me and anyone else able to attend, to go through the list.

Meet by the play area at 10.30 am on Monday 1 February 2016.

Whether able to make it or not, there is good news for those who had previously made requests for the installation of outdoor gym equipment in Thornbury Park.

Example of outdoor gym equipment, pigeon optional

Example of outdoor gym equipment, pigeon optional

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Filed under Events, Health, Leisure, London Road, Neighbourhoods, Parks, Spring Grove, Thornbury Park