The meetings of the group are the main forum for airing public concerns about the way the Park is funded, managed and developed in the future. Whatever your main interest in the Park (playground, children, trees, wildlife, fun, football, tennis, running…) you can influence future developments.

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Our next meeting is on Saturday 13th May 2017 from 11-12, Clissold House

Clissold Park User Group News May 2017

Meeting notes 13th May 2017

Mark Forsyth (Chair), Delilah Jeary (Minutes), Kath Willgress (Secretary), Imogen (Growing communities), Clive Carter (Haringey Councillor and FPUG) Tony Davies (FPUG), Lisa Lambert (Quakers). Plus other park users.
Apologies: Ken Worpole, John Hudson, Matthew Jeary, Theresa Boden, Caroline Millar, Richard Crawford.

Minutes of previous meeting were approved.

Fundraising for new swings in the playground, via crowdfunding website, didn’t reach the target – we had pledges of £1020 out of hoped for £8793.  This means that we will not be having any new swings. £260 was donated by a winter wellness group – we now need to discuss with the people who donated it what we do with this money.

Tom Price has offered to organise a comedy night in Clissold House to raise money for CPUG. We currently have no fund raising volunteers in the group so if anybody is able to help with this please let us know.

There is currently no Park Manager.  Eleanor Potter returned from maternity leave and immediately handed in her notice. Laurence has retired.  Applications have been received and interviews are taking place during the week of 15th May. Currently Sam Parry from the Council is filling in. The park manager should be in place by next meeting of CPUG.

Anti-social behaviour in Clissold House is being reduced. There is more staff in the house now, and they are patrolling and more visible and this has helped. Policy now is to call the police if it is appropriate. There is some limited CCTV.
It was pointed out that the Sergeant in Charge of the Safer Neighbourhoods team which covers the park has changed. Correct contact details are to be put on the user group website and minutes.

The quiet room in the cafe is currently being used as a buggy store during the week, but should be returned to seating use for the cafe. There are potentially 50 covers. There is substantial damage done to the fabric of the house every month, much of it by buggies, and options are being considered for better solutions. It is hoped that an outside buggy store can be built, where buggies can be securely left. This will require listed building consent and planning permission. It is hoped that there will be no need to ban buggies from the house, but the current situation is not sustainable.

The toilets in the house get locked at 4pm – a system is being trialled where the café lock the toilets so they can be open longer.

The Pump House is still closed, but there is a tender ready to go for when the new Park Manager starts. The pavilion is also not being used very much, and we would like to see the new Park Manager get more events going on there, the same for the bowling green. Could it be rented out for childrens’ parties?

Goats – people have been worried about their health. There is a vet monitoring them but they are quite old and there is a general feeling that we would like to replace them when they pass.

Butterfly dome is opening soon with native species.

The Growing Communities area of the park is open on Mondays. Growing Communities does do an outreach programme but couldn’t do a long session and haven’t got any groups coming in at the moment. CPUG wants to encourage visits by school groups. Schools can liaise with Growing Communities head office if they want to organise visits.  It is hoped that the new Park Manager can also look at this.

Ernie the gardener wants to organise some events including bird and bat walks, and hopes to get going once the new Park Manager starts.  Will keep us in the loop and we can supply volunteers.

There has been limited progress with the park survey. The raw data is in but there has been no detailed analysis. Again, another one for the new Park Manager.

Feedback from the Clissold Park Development Board

Representatives from the CPUG are invited to this meeting with Councillors and Council officers to discuss developments in the park. Mark Forsyth, CPUG chair, attended the meeting on May 10th.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has made its final payment from the lottery bid. We will get no more money from them.

The decision by the new management of the house to not allow community groups to store equipment in the house was discussed and is being upheld. The storage of equipment was becoming a health and safety issue and taking up space which should be available to rent out.

There is a business plan that says the house can break even and the new management has been given three years to make that happen. After three years the council will stop paying the £100k+ a year it is paying.  Rental costs have been frozen for community groups until the end of this financial year (April 2018). CPUG still gets the room for free for its bi-monthly meeting.

Vaults are being waterproofed.


Some park user finds the cafe unfriendly and noisy. The acoustics are bad and people with hearing difficulties find it particularly hard. It was felt that if we can sort out the buggy problem and reinstate the quiet room this might help. The cafe is keen to do this. Could there be a quiet place outside too?

Complaints were made about the café food – some users find it bland and badly presented. Users are encouraged to send it back or write in the comment card if they feel the food is poor.  If you don’t tell them they don’t know.  Many people feel the leisure centre food is better.  But the number of transactions in the café is rising.  Other outlets that company of cooks runs are considered to be better.


There were two events in the park on the day of the meeting – a food festival and the Anatolian festival.

People are generally happy with the food festival.

The Anatolian festival has undergone big changes as a response to feedback.  It is now only 5 days long, and there is a professional project manager.  They have advised people not to bring cars, extra bins have been provided and people will be monitoring the event.  The festival organisers have hired the school car park for the duration of the event and have a noise management strategy.

Friends fest – has now been approved for September for a fortnight. This breaches the Hackney events policy because of its length, but it will bring desperately needed money to Hackney parks, is low key and well managed. Can we ask the Council to pay a percentage of the fee directly to Clissold Park rather than it going into the Hackney parks central pot?

Friends of Finsbury Park

Two representatives from the Friends of Finsbury Park attended the meeting. They felt that CPUG have a very good relationship with Hackney Council. Finsbury Park has many more and much bigger events each year compared to Clissold – Wireless attracts 45,000 people and is really noisy.  The last four summers have had a lot of very noisy events and a considerable impact on the local community. The Friends of Finsbury Park took Haringey council to court for contravening a 1967 Act of Parliament on limits to events in London parks. The case was won by the Council but an appeal is being made. The CPUG will keep a close eye on this since it the outcome has an impact on us, and all London parks.

Visit  for more information and fundraising.


A CPUG music event is being organised for July by Theresa Boden. It will follow the format of last year’s events, with free entry and local musicians. Dates are being confirmed and we will put details on the website and social media.

Questions were asked about clearing the new river of duck weed. It is thought that something is being done; more details will be available for the next meeting, where Richard Crawford will be talking about biodiversity.

Park user talked about aggressive cyclists in the park and how Enforcement Officers are not often about.  Users are urged to contact the Safer Neighbourhood Teams if you feel threatened.

Next CPUG meeting:

Saturday 8th July 2017
11am to 12 noon.
Venue: Clissold House, Clissold Park


Park Keepers: 0208 3566834. This connects to a mobile.
Interim Park Manager: or call 020 8356 4215
Café Management:
Clissold House Venues and Events Officer, Richard Parker: or call 020 8356 5204
Head of Leisure and Green Spaces
Lead Councillor for Parks:
Police: 0208 721 2923 / 07879 603106 /
Seargent in charge: Carroll Weeden
Clissold Safer Neighbourhood Team: 020 8721 2923

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