Southchurch Park revamp campaign pays off

Ron Woodley in the park

Ron Woodley in the park

First published in Southend by , Senior reporter

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.”

Southend Standard:

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.”

Comments (7)

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10:01am Sat 12 Apr 14

scrounger‎ says...

I saw the new lights yesterday and wondered why they were there as the park shuts at sunset.
I saw the new lights yesterday and wondered why they were there as the park shuts at sunset. scrounger‎
  • Score: 5

4:37pm Sat 12 Apr 14

John Bull 40 says...

I didn't know there were monkeys in Southchurch park, there used to be
parrots and small animals.
I didn't know there were monkeys in Southchurch park, there used to be parrots and small animals. John Bull 40
  • Score: 4

11:14am Mon 14 Apr 14

DonaldUnpleasance says...

Did my eyes deceive me over the weekend? Had the need to siphon the python and I'm sure that they've installed a cctv camera in the Gents overlooking the urinals. Why do they need to monitor my urinary flow? Perhaps I'll have to take advantage of the new bushes rather than have some council appointed weirdo having a gander at my movements......
Did my eyes deceive me over the weekend? Had the need to siphon the python and I'm sure that they've installed a cctv camera in the Gents overlooking the urinals. Why do they need to monitor my urinary flow? Perhaps I'll have to take advantage of the new bushes rather than have some council appointed weirdo having a gander at my movements...... DonaldUnpleasance
  • Score: -1

7:00pm Mon 14 Apr 14

badrumma says...

You can tell it's almost election time!!! Surprised that the Echo actually printed this propaganda BS. What our wonderful Councillors actually did was dig a bloody great hole in the path, then leave it dangerously fenced off for 9 weeks without any further work being done. At the same time the part drained the lake, making it unusable. Then, in their perceived wisdom, dug a trench for the lighting cables, back filled it poorly & placed safety barriers along its entire length, making the use of the pathway almost impossible & dangerous to the disabled they are allegedly trying to help. The they have the cheek to get their mug shot in the paper saying how pleased they are with progress, we are so good please vote for us. Well if this is the best the council can do with a simple project, I hate to see what a total mess they will make of something complicated. we would be better off electing the chuckle brothers !!
You can tell it's almost election time!!! Surprised that the Echo actually printed this propaganda BS. What our wonderful Councillors actually did was dig a bloody great hole in the path, then leave it dangerously fenced off for 9 weeks without any further work being done. At the same time the part drained the lake, making it unusable. Then, in their perceived wisdom, dug a trench for the lighting cables, back filled it poorly & placed safety barriers along its entire length, making the use of the pathway almost impossible & dangerous to the disabled they are allegedly trying to help. The they have the cheek to get their mug shot in the paper saying how pleased they are with progress, we are so good please vote for us. Well if this is the best the council can do with a simple project, I hate to see what a total mess they will make of something complicated. we would be better off electing the chuckle brothers !! badrumma
  • Score: 5

7:51pm Mon 14 Apr 14

deedlebod says...

This work in progress is disgraceful! With a construction site in such a heavily used local park to be 'abandoned' for this long there are many residents left surprised that a serious accident hasn't happened up until now.
The Easter school holidays are upon us and it's uncomfortable to say the least sitting in the park by the lake watching infants struggling to balance and lean extensively over the edge of the lake to use their fishing nets almost to the risk of falling in where the water level has been reduced so low. And looking at the poor condition and lack of attention the lake has had over the past few years, I wouldn't want my child falling in.
And for those residents to read a rosey article in the newspaper about this embarrassment of a project only displays those councillors and southend council as out of touch and **** right neglectful. I dare say many do not even use these local recreational amenities so they are considerably ignorant to just how many people and families actually frequent the park! I'm pleased to say they 've lost a few votes this year. I only hope they take on a sense of urgency with these ongoing works and give the residents back their park!
Utterly disgraceful
This work in progress is disgraceful! With a construction site in such a heavily used local park to be 'abandoned' for this long there are many residents left surprised that a serious accident hasn't happened up until now. The Easter school holidays are upon us and it's uncomfortable to say the least sitting in the park by the lake watching infants struggling to balance and lean extensively over the edge of the lake to use their fishing nets almost to the risk of falling in where the water level has been reduced so low. And looking at the poor condition and lack of attention the lake has had over the past few years, I wouldn't want my child falling in. And for those residents to read a rosey article in the newspaper about this embarrassment of a project only displays those councillors and southend council as out of touch and **** right neglectful. I dare say many do not even use these local recreational amenities so they are considerably ignorant to just how many people and families actually frequent the park! I'm pleased to say they 've lost a few votes this year. I only hope they take on a sense of urgency with these ongoing works and give the residents back their park! Utterly disgraceful deedlebod
  • Score: 4

9:03pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Bargee26 says...

Does Councillor Woodley really want to be associated with such a badly managed project as this? The site he is so proudly photographed in front of has been left abandoned in an absolutely disgraceful and dangerous state for at least the past two months. If this had been a commercial venture in the private sector the HSE would have served an Improvement Notice, if not a Prohibition Notice, on them weeks ago. The situation has been made even worse by the excavations for the street lighting now being installed, and why do we need lighting anyway when the park is supposed to be closed at night? What planet are these people on?
Does Councillor Woodley really want to be associated with such a badly managed project as this? The site he is so proudly photographed in front of has been left abandoned in an absolutely disgraceful and dangerous state for at least the past two months. If this had been a commercial venture in the private sector the HSE would have served an Improvement Notice, if not a Prohibition Notice, on them weeks ago. The situation has been made even worse by the excavations for the street lighting now being installed, and why do we need lighting anyway when the park is supposed to be closed at night? What planet are these people on? Bargee26
  • Score: 4

8:39pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Parkvisit says...

Parkvisit says
Are the councillors aware of what's happening at Southchurch park or are they kept in the dark like the user's and rate payer's of this area.
The current attempt to create a disabled ramp and lighting in the park is nothing short of a diabolical mess by council/ contractors a like.
The user's of this facility have endured 10 weeks of utter chaos impounded by planning and contractor issues.
To be quite frank the situation borders on nothing short of incompetence by all departments, if this was in the private sector certain heads would roll along with a H&S prohibition notice.
Its about time the council and councillors came clean and save face by letting the rate payer's and electorate of this area know what's going on with emphasis on : who what when and why?
Disgruntled park user.
Parkvisit says Are the councillors aware of what's happening at Southchurch park or are they kept in the dark like the user's and rate payer's of this area. The current attempt to create a disabled ramp and lighting in the park is nothing short of a diabolical mess by council/ contractors a like. The user's of this facility have endured 10 weeks of utter chaos impounded by planning and contractor issues. To be quite frank the situation borders on nothing short of incompetence by all departments, if this was in the private sector certain heads would roll along with a H&S prohibition notice. Its about time the council and councillors came clean and save face by letting the rate payer's and electorate of this area know what's going on with emphasis on : who what when and why? Disgruntled park user. Parkvisit
  • Score: 4

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