16 July 2021
Islington Council has announced its plans to push through the construction of a new cricket pavilion at Wray Crescent Park in Tollington with no constulation, as part of a multi-million pound investment in local parks and green spaces.
Islington has the smallest amount of green space per person of anywhere in the United Kingdom and Tollington is one of the most densely populated wards in Islington. It is also one of the most deprived and the majority of residents have no outside space at home.
This means that Wray Crescent Park is an essential local amenity for everyone in Tollington. Especially through lockdown, it is an important place for the community to meet and support each other.
Unfortunately the council has drawn up the plans without regard for local people and the variety of activities they might enjoy.
Community and faith groups, and schools, with their limited sports and outdoor facilities, should also be consulted on the kinds of facilities they could use.
The council’s proposal excludes improvements to other facilities for the park, focusing only on cricket. The plans unfairly privilege cricket over a diverse range of more inclusive activities for the wide range of residents.
A survey by the Friends of Wray Crescent found that park users are interested in facilities for all kinds of sports including football, running, bowling and outdoor gym equipment. Gentler activities, such as gardening, yoga and tai chi are popular.
Many wished to see more community events such as markets, festivals, boot sales, fun days and movie nights. Improvements to the playground, more seating areas, and a bandstand, were also suggested.
I am calling on the council to rethink its plans, consult on a community vision for the park, and bring forward an ambitious proposal that offers more to help strengthen our local community.
Islington Green Party