Newsletter – Nov 2021

Clean up of the park Sunday 14th November at 2pm

This is probably our last hands on event of the year (for obvious weather related reasons) and in the event, weather may indeed put paid to it.  However, if we are lucky enough to have a reasonably dry(ish) day, please do join us in a tidy up.  We provide sanitised litter pickers, heavy gloves, disposable gloves and hand sanitiser. Many hands etc …

New Town Quarter

Consent has been granted for the latest planning application (for 84 (so-called) affordable rented homes in Dundas Street). Also the developers’ agreement with the Council, regarding their legally obligatory Section 75 financial contribution to the common weal, has been finalised.  The park will attract funding of £122,000, of which £75,000 will go towards upgrading play equipment, with the rest allocated to general work on the park, including resurfacing of paths. 

Shared cycle/pedestrian path

Unfortunately one of the paths is to receive a form of attention which is highly unwelcome.  The existing path along the southern boundary of the park is to be extended by a metre to a width of 3.5 metres and will serve as link between Dundas Street, by way of the new entrance which will be formed in the south west of the park, and the National Cycle Route at the foot of the path down from Royal Crescent.  It will be shared with pedestrians.  The Friends have repeatedly made clear their opposition, and that of every park user we have canvassed, to any increased cycle access through the park, which appears to us to be perfectly adequate as it is.  In this we are grateful for the support of the New Town and Broughton Community Council.  However, a foremost component of the Council’s transport policy is to promote cycling – ergo, it is necessary for us to accept that a few extra metres of cycle-friendly track in the city are a desirable feature, even if it is to the distinct disadvantage of existing traditional users of our small park.  Given that the developers, Ediston Orion, are hardly the most popular people around it is only fair to let them off the hook in this respect.  This use of their funding is Council-driven.

Website and Social Media

At the recent AGM the committee was strengthened by the election of a number of social media-savvy and technically adept members and we now have a Comms Sub-Committee.  The website www.kgvsy.org.uk has been sadly underused for many years and it has now been radically re-vamped.  It is much more comprehensive and a great deal easier to navigate.  As such it should provide a really useful repository of park history, a source of information about the Friends’ group and a running commentary on what is happening in and to the park.  For a start visit the Gallery page, which contains an archive of views of the park as it currently exists, pre-development. They are the work of a Friend, Torrey Edwards, and they promise to go on to provide a sad record of the changes we can anticipate as the development on the boundary gathers pace.  The website now contains a Social Media Page, and links to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest are accessible on the sidebar visible on most pages.  You should soon hear direct from the Comms Sub-Committee, inviting you to investigate the possibilities these platforms open up – the start of regular conversations.    Drop in often and help to build up a body of regular followers.

If you haven’t yet signed up to become a bon fide Friend of the Park, the website provides clear guidance about how to do it for the princely sum of £5 pa. 

Demolition

It has been reassuring to find that Safedem, the firm responsible for the (conspicuously ongoing) demolition of the existing buildings on the ex-RBS site is responsive, co-operative and helpful.  We expressed concern about gaps in the Heras fence to the west of the park and, gratifyingly, within twenty four hours the boundary had been secured.

Under current discussion by the committee

  • An approach to Stockbridge Primary School regarding the possibility of a bulb planting session;
  • Finding a keen gardener or gardeners interested in making use of the raised beds en route to the Rodney Street Tunnel (anyone out there?);
  • Removal of a small amount of graffiti tagging on the substation before it attracts more;
  • Seeking a review by the Waste Management Team of the provision of litter bins in the park;
  • Approaching Scottish Water to find a way of introducing a supply of water into the park, where none currently exists, possibly using their Top Up Taps scheme which aims to set up outdoor sites offering convenient access to water, thereby helping to reduce use of plastic bottles;  
  • Exploring the potential of Love Your Network, a Scottish Government fund, to provide a grant which could enhance the existing stretch of the National Cycle Route as it traverses the park
  • Continuing to liaise with the relevant parks officer about choice of play equipment in the older kids’ play park.

If you do not want to receive further communications from the Friends of the Park, please let the secretary know – secretary@kgvsy.org.uk – and your name will be removed from the mailing list.