Want to help Charlton Park skate park get lights? Here’s how

Charlton skate park
The Friends of Charlton Park wants to see the skate park lit on winter evenings (photo: Neil Clasper)

Last month, we reported how Greenwich Council says it can’t afford to pay for lighting around the skate park and gym in Charlton Park.

The Friends of Charlton Park aren’t giving up, though – and are looking to get funding from elsewhere. If you’re a regular visitor to Charlton Park in the afternoon or evening, you can help them.

If you pass the skate park and gym between 3pm and 9pm, keep an eye out for how many people are using them – and please fill in this form.

The friends group hopes to be able to demonstrate what should be blindingly obvious – but needs underlining to people who can give money – which is that more people use the skate park and gym when there is light.

Want to help the Friends of Charlton Park put on Parksfest?

The group is also putting on a Parksfest festival around the skate park on Saturday 22 June – if you want to help raise money for it, there’s a Curryoke event on Saturday 16 March at 8pm at Cattleya on Charlton Church Lane. Tickets £25 are email elizabethrj001[at]gmail.com for details.

Curryoke flyer

And if you can spare some time to volunteer on the day of Parksfest itself, feel free to drop the group a line too.


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We can’t afford floodlights for Charlton skate park, Greenwich Council says

Charlton skate park
The skate park opened in October 2017 – but has no lighting (photo: Neil Clasper)

Greenwich Council says it doesn’t have the money to install floodlights at the skate park in Charlton Park, after 344 people signed a petition calling on the authority to light up the facility.

The skate park, which opened in October 2017, currently has no lighting so can’t be used safely after dark. It was built with £365,000 of money from developer Berkeley Homes after it built on a previous facility in Woolwich.

But the Friends of Charlton Park and Greenwich Skatepark Cooperative raised safety concerns about the poor lighting in the area, and presented a petition to the council in December calling for low level lighting to be installed. Safety concerns have increased since then following the break-in at the Old Cottage Cafe last month.

However, the response to the petition says the council “has no funding for the costs of installing the lighting”.

Instead, the council has suggested that the Friends of Charlton Park seek external funding for the floodlighting. “It was agreed in principle subject to public consultation, planning consent and that planning and installation costs being secured by the Friends Group that floodlights for the skate park and outdoor gym could be installed,” a report to be presented to next Wednesday’s full council meeting says.

“However, it was recognised that this could take a couple of years to achieve due to uncertainty regarding funding being secured.”

The Friends of Charlton Park has also been asked to monitor usage of the skate park and outdoor gym to demonstrate how busy they are.

Security in the park has also become a bigger issue after the break-in at the Old Cottage Cafe last month.

The response, however, is likely to generate even more disquiet about how the council spends funding from developers – known as Section 106 money, which is used to mitigate the impact of development in an area and contribute to community projects and facilities.

Greenwich Council is currently sitting on hundreds of thousands of pounds from developers of schemes nearby which could fund improved lighting. Figures released this month show that the construction of Primark and other stores on Bugsbys Way, for example, means £125,000 is available for public safety projects, with £41,752 for public realm projects (“30 Bugsbys Way” in this document.) Meanwhile, £53,000 is available for public safety projects following the construction of the new housing at the end of Fairthorn Road (“40 Victoria Way”) – a figure agreed seven years ago. (Those figures will be discussed at a cabinet meeting this evening.)

The petition response will be discussed at the full council meeting on Wednesday 27 February. If you wish to ask a question about it, or any other matter in the borough, email committees[at]royalgreenwich.gov.uk by noon today (Wednesday 20th).


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Charlton’s skatepark officially open: photos

Unperturbed by Storm Brian, a decent crowd showed up in Charlton Park on Saturday morning to witness the official opening of the skatepark. A downpour mid-morning meant a bit of delay in proceedings but by 11.30am skating was underway, after a short speech by Denise Scott-McDonald, Greenwich Council’s cabinet member for Culture, Creative Industries and Community Well-Being, who encouraged the crowd to “to get skating, whatever your age!”.

The skatepark is located next to the outdoor gym, close to the Old Cottage Cafe. It features a bowl, plus a street skate area, and was being used by people on skateboards, BMXs, and microscooters when we visited.

You can read Greenwich Council’s press release about the skate park launch here.

    

     

Did you go along this morning? Have you tried the skatepark? Let us know what you thought of it in the comments below.