Hurlingham Park neglected

Conservatives call for improvements and action against anti-social behaviour.

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Local Councillors Greg Hands, Amanda Lloyd-Harris and Emile Al-Uzaizi are calling on the Council to rejuvenate the popular Hurlingham Park, following their failure to recognise its opening fifty years ago last Saturday.

Unlike the champagne celebrations of the centenary of South Park earlier this year, the anniversary of Hurlingham Park has been entirely ignored by Labour, say the conservatives. The park and playing field were opened by the London City Council together with the National Playing Fields Association and The Variety Club of Great Britain on 11th September 1954. A sign outside the park attributes the opening to “leading artistes of Great Britain and America who have generously provided funds.”

Further to this, residents have been concerned for a considerable time that the Council have not been maintaining the park properly. The paint is peeling off the surrounding railings; the toilets closed for months due to vandalism; and the club house only opened at specific times, causing local bowls groups to go without any facilities. Equally, there is a growing problem of anti-social behaviour around the park.

Despite a lottery grant to make improvements to the park, including re-laying a running track and improving lighting, the Council has failed to spend the money on what it was intended for, instead installing a long jump pit and hammer throwing area. At a recent meeting with council officials, a member of the Direct Services staff even indicated that he had no idea the running track had not been re-laid!

This May, Cllrs Lloyd-Harris and Al-Uzaizi launched the Hurlingham Park Users Group, to liaise with council officers on improvements to the park and are determined to get a better deal.

Commenting, Cllr Lloyd-Harris has said: “The state of this park is a disgrace and it is high time the Council spent the money they have been granted by the lottery in the manner it was meant to be spent. It is ludicrous that Labour seem to think a hammer-throwing pit will be more popular than a properly maintained running track.”

Greg Hands has added: “With so many local residents upset at the state of Hurlingham Park, the Council should take action and do so now. It illustrates the Council’s neglect for the park that the jubilee was simply forgotten.”

September 19, 2004