FoEP: Improving the Park for the benefit of the whole community
The Friends of Eastfield Park (FoEP) have a 'vision' for the Park but it is continually being revised and improved as circumstances change and advances are made. We regularly propose measures to enhance the Park and, with the Eastfield Park Management Committee, draw up action plans to make the proposals a reality.
Some of the ideas we receive from the public have to be rejected as being impracticable or too costly to implement but many of the early suggestions were formulated in our ‘Proposals for the Regeneration of Eastfield Park’ produced in August 2008 and submitted to NBC the same year.
The Proposals were well received but never fully accepted by NBC. We were told that our suggestions needed to be considered and implemented piecemeal.
The entrances to the Park were improved, at our request, in 2011; bollards were installed and information boards and signs pointing to the Park from local roads erected.
Following further consultations in 2012 we requested the Borough Council to make improvements to the Park's drainage. This suggestion was turned down on the grounds that there would not be sufficient public benefit for the cost involved.
We therefore turned to the second most popular suggestion from the 2012 consultation: an all-weather cross-park pathway from Eastfield to Lakeview. This time the Council responded positively to our request and work on the new pathway (Mallard Walk) commenced in February, 2014.
In 2014 the Borough Council set up Management Committees for many of its parks including Eastfield Park. The Eastfield Park Management Committee (EPMC) includes Councillors and Council Officers as well as representatives from local Residents Associations and the FoEP. The prime objective of the Committee was to produce, maintain and oversee the implementation of a Management Plan for the Park.
A lot had happened in the Park since 2008 so, in 2014, the FoEP carried out a comprehensive review of the 2008 proposals taking into account progress already made, public response to consultations about possible improvements, a better understanding of the structure and use of the Park and residents’ comments and criticisms about the Park in general. The revised suggestions were submitted to the EPMC and largely incorporated into the Management Plan and later Action Plans produced by the Committee.
For example, since the completion of Mallard Walk in 2014, the FoEP have carried out two public consultations: one of the possible provision of play equipment for younger children, the other on the possible construction of all-weather pathways across the Park. Reports on both consultations were submitted to NBC through the EPMC, resulting in the construction of a Junior Play Area on the Park in 2016 and acceptance, by NBC, of the desirability of having more pathways if funding becomes available. The FoEP and EPMC are now considering possible external souces of funding.