Clissold Park User Group (CPUG)
The User Group is a local community group which gives a voice to park users and works with Hackney Council and others to make sure that our views are taken on board.
Although we work closely with the Council, we are NOT part of the Council and are completely independent of them. Our funding (which is minimal) comes from small project grants and donations from local people. The group is run entirely by local volunteers who help out with fundraising for the park, running free public events, maintaining our website and social media presence as well as coming to out meetings to share their views and ideas. We are very grateful to all of them.
We all know that people’s interests sometimes conflict. We make it a priority to try to find consensus and reach sensible compromises when needed, respecting different points of view and experiences.
What is most important about the park is that it is open to absolutely everyone in the local community. As park users we need to recognise the importance of sharing this public space together and encourage considerate use of the park whether walking a dog, riding a bike, using the wheels park, sharing a picnic or just enjoying a peaceful moment in beautiful surroundings.
In recent years we have:
- Worked closely with the Council’s project team on the Restoration Project
- Successfully campaigned to stop the closure of the paddling pool and deer enclosure
- Raised funds and organised summer programmes of activities for children and young people
- Contributed to and run a number of consultation events which informed the park development plans
- Worked with park staff and Hackney tree specialists to promote a more substantial tree-planting programme
- Lobbied Councillors to increase funding and staffing
- Worked with the Council to secure a large grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Big Lottery
- Run a series of free guided walks of the park looking at the restoration works and the trees and wildlife
How we work
Each year at our AGM we elect a number of people to help run the group.
We also have several volunteers who take the lead on particular issues. These people will be meeting regularly between our main public meetings to take forward issues raised by park users.
Sometimes we set up small, time-limited working groups to carry out particular jobs and we will invite others to help with this. In 2015/16 we are setting up working groups to look at:
- fundraising for additions to the park that have been requested by park users
- running a series of free events in the park in 2016.
Please let us know if you would like further details of who is involved or if you are interested in helping out yourself.
While the restoration project was going on, the User Group was represented on a Stakeholder Forum which includes a range of other groups who are involved in the park and our reps also sat on the Council’s Project Board.
Now the project is complete, the Council has established the Clissold Park Development Board to oversee the future development of the park. Its main focus at this point will be to ensure that the targets of the Heritage Lottery Fund are met in terms of audience development, volunteering, heritage, education etc. This will be a strategic body which will meet quarterly. Day to day business will continue to be dealt with by the user group working with the park management team. The user group Chair and Vice Chair sit on the group.
Where we stand
The User Group has never claimed to be the sole voice of all park users – now well over two million a year. It is simply a group of local volunteers who care about the park and want to make a difference. No more, no less.
Find out more about how we work by reading the CPUG constitution [PDF]
Our long-standing chair, Ken Worpole, resigned in March 2011. In recognition of his many years of dedicated work on behalf of park users, the group agreed to create the post of Honorary President and invite Ken to take on this role.
Read Ken’s farewell message to the User Group [PDF]