PERSISTENCE has paid off for Southend councillors who fought hard to win a package of improvements in Southchurch Park.
Work to put in new lights, better paths, a ramp leading to the lake, better drainage and other improvements to make the park feel safer is now being carried out by the council.
The aim is to create a better atmosphere for park users.
Council parks officer Paul Jenkinson explained: “We have been carrying out various work in Southchurch Park to improve facilities for visitors and make it even more accessible to everyone.
“We obtained funding from Cory Environmental Trust for a ramp, which, together with a new platform, will make it easier for those with mobility issues to get to the lake, at the model boating end.
“We have also added lighting to certain sections of the park and as part of improvements to paths in parks across the borough, we have resurfaced the path along the Shaftsbury Avenue side of the park, using a porous material to help water drain away.”
Thorpe ward councillor Ron Woodley was one of those who lobbied for the work to be done is please with progress, but said: “Over a number of years, we’ve been speaking to officers about things we need in there. It’s a lovely park and some of the improvements are a huge success.”
All three Thorpe ward councillors, Mr Woodley, Mike Stafford and Alex Kaye, also urged the council to improve the Southchurch Park East car park to deter boyracers and antisocial behaviour.
In response, the council is revamping the area, by planting more bushes, putting in wooden bollards and metal rails and resurfacing the car park.
The council’s head of planning and transport, Peter Geraghty said: “To improve the car park, we developed a scheme, in conjunction with ward councillors, to redefine the parking area to reduce antisocial driving and provide a landscaped area.”
Mr Woodley said the other big improvement he wanted to see was the refurbishment of the park toilets.
He added: “A lot is being done, but it’s a case of softly-softly, catchee-monkey. Officers have been very responsive working with us to get things done.”