One of the best things about Croydon is the number of parks and green spaces (according to the Council, there are 127). Nearly a third of the borough is Green Belt or open land. However, some of our parks don’t compare particularly well with those in neighbouring areas.
Our Conservative-controlled Council has just announced a new scheme to do something about that. ‘Parks to be proud of’ to make significant improvements to between six and nine parks across the borough (two or three in each of the three Parliamentary constituencies). The Council has identified a budget of £2.25 million and hopes to secure external funding as well, making this the biggest single investment in our parks for decades.
And it is keen to involve local people in deciding how this money is spent. So instead of Council officers deciding which parks will be improved, everyone can have their say from a shortlist of 15, five of which are in the Croydon Central constituency (Ashburton Park, Lloyd Park, Milne Park and Mickleham Way, Parkfields and South Norwood Country Park). You can vote online here up until 24th December.
Early in the New Year, everyone will have the chance to choose which three improvements they would like to see in the successful parks from a range of options like cafes, new or refurbished toilets and baby-changing facilities, CCTV, play facilities, outdoor gyms, sports pitches, running tracks, tree planting, paths, seating, bins, lighting, signage, wi-fi access and maybe even urban farms.
It’s great to see the Council investing in something that everyone will benefit from. Parks are a great place for families to spend some quality time together, to meet people from your local community, to play sport or just get some fresh air. Better facilities will encourage more people to use them, which will help to make them feel safer. At the moment, many people tell me that they are put off by groups of kids hanging around. It's time we reclaimed them.