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 March 2017

Meeting notes 11th March 2017

Caroline Miller, Laurence Pinturault, Mark Forsyth, Isabelle Gore, John Hudson, Ken Warpole, Amir Dotan, Lee Stacey, Sylvia Anderson, Kathy Willgress, Anna, Daphne Steele, Richard Crawford, Yvonne Hill, Theresa Boden, Sophie Cameron and baby, Silas Eldridge C from Friends of Finsbury Park. Plus other park users.


Minutes of last AGM approved

Caroline Miller (CM) stepped down as Chair and Mark Forsyth was elected to replace her.
Chair – Mark Forsyth
Vice chairs – John Hudson and Teresa Bowden
Secretary – Cath Willgress
Minutes secretary – Delilah Jeary
Treasurer – Caroline Millara

Specialist reps:
Fundraising – no volunteers
Website – Isabelle Gore
History – Amir Dotan
Children and young people – Matt Jeary
Older people – Sylvia Anderson
Events – Teresa will continue, but looking for help
Biodiversity – Richard Crawford
Dog walkers – Daphne Steele
Skatepark – It is hoped that John Dye will continue
Access – Anthony Larvin
Cycling – David Pitcher
Running – Lee Stacey
Annual report and accounts

Chair’s report
Money and future funding
Account of select committee is that parks are not a statutory obligation.  Money for parks is dwindling, but Hackney is committed to parks despite dwindling funds.  CPUG will continue to push hard to ensure the park is looked after. HLF funding is now finished. CPUG needs to keep an eye on management and money going forward.
Overall CPUG income is £3,000, more than previous years

Free music events are successful.We’d like to run another free music event.

£500 committed for swings– do we want to commit more?

Plans to invest in a miniature map of the park.  designer has been found and has started work.
Can we put £1,000 towards this project? Council may fund in which case it would be free. If CPUG funds it we can sell it. It would cost about £1 to print with the money being for the illustrator. 

Sylvia (CPUG rep for older people) wants a raised area in the old bowling green but the Council said no, not safe.

NB There are some errors on the back page of the 2016/17 Accounts.

Thanks to Caroline Millar
CPUG thanked Caroline for her hard work over the years – she was presented with flowers and chocolates and some very special gin. She has put in an enormous amount of time and effort into the park during her tenure as chair.

This was the last meeting for Park Manager, Laurence Pinturault, she has been great to work with and thanks were passed on from the group

Minutes of previous meeting

Matters arising:
The trees in memory of (and for which funds were raised) Arthur and Christine Disney have been planted, but one is diseased and is being replaced.

Work has begun on the map of the park. A draft should be available for the next meeting.

Caroline will write to Stoke Newington School about anti-social behaviour by pupils. LP set up a partnership with school, police and youth service. There has been quite a lot of anti social behaviour such as smoking, drinking, breaking glass  and refusing to leave. The school will monitor litter and anti social behaviour at lunch time, but the presence of school staff tends to displace the problems rather than stop them.
Lee Stacey has spoken to the school but we are not sure what response he got.
The youth service may be willing to help in the evening.
Several options are been looked at to tackle anti social behaviour of all sorts in the park, not just school pupils. This includes the use of CCTV at night when there is known to be drug taking. But all services are overstretched at the moment and there are other priorities in the area.
Larraine Worpole asked that all park users report this sort of behaviour when they see it. There is no real police presence in the park at night as there is no budget. As a rule they can only turn up for serious incidents.
It was pointed out that there are many people in the park at night, not just young people.

Bins aren’t fit for purpose. More and bigger please.

A business plan for Clissold House is being discussed at the Clissold Park Development Board in May. Members of the life drawing class were invited to feed into the the discussion about future funding and use of the house. It is a closed meeting but CPUG board members will attend and will report back at the next meeting
The house is currently running a deficit of over £100,000 a year and is being subsidised by the Council.

Bird walk around the park: this shouldn’t take place before mid April.

Crowd funding for new swings has a  target of £8,000. It is running the until end of April. To date less than £1,000 has been pledged.
It was agreed that the profile of the fundraising would be raised by displaying posters in the playground and by trying to get some press coverage.

Park managers report

Dean Hadasi is a new member of the facilities team.

Resurfacing of some pathways has taken place.

Survey of the house vault has been done – awaiting for report.

Paddling pool will reopen in May.

Flowering beds being reinstated.

Roses have been planted to the front of the house and have been dedicated to Caroline Miller in recognition of her work with the user group.

Trees: major tree pruning is being done to rejuvenate the large trees. 20 new trees are being planted, including eight memorial trees.

Butterfly dome:  will reopen in spring.

Island management will happen next autumn so as not to disrupt breeding birds.

Rat management is underway.

Gym equipment quote is in but there is no funding available. 

If we want new picnic tables they also need to be fundraised for.

Dog drinking fountain has been requested – this would need fundraising too.

It was stated that drones are not allowed in the park as they can be dangerous. There is a  bylaw which says ‘no person shall land in any open space any aircraft’ but legislation is still unclear. It is being discussed at national government level.

John Hudson extended thanks to Laurence, on behalf of the whole group for her work in the park

The Pump House is still empty and CPUG see this as a failure of procurement by the Council since it is a potential income stream. CPUG are happy to help in any way.
A tender document is ready – it needs to go to tender and procurement team has helped, but there is nobody to run the procurement in the Council or at the house. It will involve a lot of work. CM has emailed Sam Parry at Hackney, they are trying to get someone to take it on.  

There is a good long term plan in place for the trees in the park, but concerns were raised about flagship and priority species.

Could the  woodland walk area be left alone to improve biodiversity, and more focus be given to wildlife? LP has made this point with the gardener.

Wood chipping in north end of park? Not sure when it is being dealt with, LP will look into it.

More signs needed about feeding bread to the ducks being harmful –  permanent signs have been commissioned for April. 

Signage about contacting the park staff is on the notice board in front of the house. Do we need more?

Removed some benches by the house as they were a magnet for anti social behaviour.  Ken Worpole and other members of the group were not happy about ‘designing out’ crime –  can we reinstate the benches please? Will be discussed again at next meeting

The park survey will go on website when it’s completed, and will be discussed at the next meeting.

Events in the park

Nick Thompson from the Hackney events team was not able to attend the meeting, but he sent information that Theresa conveyed to the meeting.

The following events are planned in the park this year:
8th April: Relay
21-23rd April  / 29th April- 1st May: Mannings funfair
11-15th May Anatolian festival, including set up (comments on how this is now better managed)
12-14th may food and drink market
13th June 5k run
17-18th June Carters Steam Fair
2nd July Daymer Festival
11th July Evening 5k run
15-16th July  Yoruba festival
8th August 5k run
15th oct Relay

There is a proposal from Friends Fest to run it from 15-24th September plus set up days. If approved it will take up about half of the ‘Circus field’ (the large triangular field by Green Lanes). There is a concern that it will run for a long time, but it is expected to be fairly low key.
Friends Fest has not yet been approved but is already claiming to have sold out. This is potentially a  large earner for the Council – possibly up to £30,000 – but any income would go into a central pot and not dedicated to Clissold park. Tickets are thought to be £26 each.
Officers to discuss the proposal in conjunction with the Events policy.

The Events policy will be discussed at the next CPUG meeting.

CPUG events for this year
Talks on Sundays in Clissold House:

Anna Barbauld ‘In bad times’ 26th March. Information is on the website. Tickets available from Eventbrite for £5 including a glass of wine.

Tree tutorial fundraising event

Cafe garden concert in July

No quiz tabled this year – looking for volunteers to organise.

CPUG stall at the May food fair

Concern about noise pollution on Green Lanes from park events.
Leaflets will be sent to residents on that side with event details and information about how to complain. 


A question was raised about whether the New River will flow again.
The pump is working, but the flow is not constant.


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: Sue Wright
Clissold Safer Neighbourhood Team: 020 8721 2923

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