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A group of concerned locals, Friends of Stationers Park, Parks representatives and Veolia representatives met last night at the Hornsey Vale Community Centre to thrash out a solution to the thorny problem of Veolia's presence in the park.

When Veolia took over the street cleaning contracts for the borough in April 2011, part of Haringey's remit was to provide areas where Veolia could store their carts.

Unfortunately for Veolia this co-incided with stinging park maintenance cuts which meant that no replacement was sought for Reg the Park Keeper who'd carefully tended Stationers for many years.  After the rapid decline of the upkeep of the park following his departure, Friends of Stationers Park met with the Parks' department to try and find ways of keeping the park well maintained using local volunteers and a lot of goodwill.  Some ideas for maintenance were to acquire  litter-picking equipment and tools for keeping the water feature in check which could be stored in Reg's hut. We had also discussed letting the Safer Neighbourhoods team use the hut as a base, thus creating a much needed presence in the park to deter the increase of anti-social behaviour witnessed around the park, particularly with regard to a group of people bringing rather aggressive dogs into the park to foul.

However, with no consultation with the Friends of Stationers Park (who had been working tirelessly to raise funds for regenerating the decaying fort and secure the play area for future generations), an alarmingly stark and unwieldy looking 10ft fence complete with metal spikes was erected round Reg's hut. This we were told, was to house Veolia's rubbish carts and act as their depot. Eyebrows were raised as to the nature of the structure, given that the school fences that protect children and a school are only half as high and blend into the shrubbery just a few metres away.

Although a blow to plans for ongoing park maintenance and despite the foreboding appearance of the construction, we'd hoped this arrangement would create a mutual benefit for the park.  It would solve the dramatic increase in littering in the park and hopefully a presence would deter anti-social behaviour. We presumed too that the money for renting the area would help boost the maintenance coffers.

Not so. No contract was sought to clean within the park, and with only a peppercorn rent being paid to the council, Veolia's presence in the park was of no benefit. Just an unwelcome, imposing fence totally out of keeping the with nature of such a small park and a noisy early morning intrusion in such a densely populated area.

Various solutions have been put forward in the months since Veolia's arrival (mature shrubs to be planted in front of the fence and wattle cladding to be placed in between the railings). Ultimately the solutions were untenable as Veolia wanted the fence and fence spikes visible to deter trespassers and Friends of Stationers wanted the whole ugly mess obscured. 

It was clear from discussion last night that Veolia wanted to mend the fractured relationships between them and local residents and secure a good working relationship for the next 14 years.  With considerable grace from their lead representative, they offered to relocate their depot to a more suitable site.  Result! We accepted their offer with enthusiasm and gratitude.

In the next couple of weeks we shall be meeting again to timetable their departure and ensure the hut is restored to its former incarnation so we can go forward with plans to maintain our beautiful park with volunteers and have a presence from the Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

A big thank you to the unerring pressure of Kle Savidge, Chair of Friends of Stationers Park in looking for a solution to this problem and all the Friends and residents who supported the campaign.  A pleasing victory for people power in the community.

Tags: Friends of Stationers Park, Stationers Park, Veolia

Views: 542

Replies to This Discussion

Brilliant!

Hi - big congrats to Kle Savidge and all concerned. Very impressive. I am delighted to have found out about this also, so thanks for posting this info here. Most interesting!

Official Haringey Response

Barrows to leave Stationers Park

Publication date: Wednesday 23 November 2011

A sub-depot housing the street cleansing barrows belonging to waste contractor Veolia will be moved from Stationers Park in Hornsey after discussions with the Friends of the Park.

Following a series of meetings between Veolia and Friends of the Park, the council agreed this week to move the depot in a way which should not affect the street cleansing operations.

Cllr Nilgun Canver, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:

We have listened to the concerns of the Friends of the Park and have decided to move the sub-depot.

The Friends wanted changes to the depot fence which we feel would have compromised health and safety. Also, I took account of the fact that in this small park the introduction of the new depot has had a disproportionate impact on the park, unlike the purpose built depots in other, larger parks.

Taking all these factors into account I informed Veolia that given the situation I think it not unreasonable that we move the depot. We listen and learn and I thank the Friends for working with us in good faith to find a solution.

The depot will be dismantled shortly and the area brought back to its original state within a couple of months.

 

I have added an event to the diary to remind us http://opinion8.ning.com/events/barrows-to-leave-stationers-park

So, any idea where the new Depot will be in order to keep the streets of Crouch End clean? Or are we to have no Depot at all?

There were various suggestions of more suitable sites - I forget exactly where but the streets will still be cleaned!

That's just the problem, my street's a tip. Always has been.

Don't understand how the streets can be kept clean with no Depot.

There is a depot. They are still in Stationers Park and will relocate to another one in a couple of months. We are not going to be depot-less. That was not part of the deal.  If your streets a tip, you need to contact the council - it has nothing to do with the depot or lack of.

Unfortunately that's where you are wrong. Having no proper local Depot is everything to do with having filthy streets.

But there IS a local depot. It is in Stationers Park. When that closes it will be rehoused elsewhere. Why are you saying there is no depot? There are also depots in Finsbury Park and Priory Park that would amply cover the area in between.  We were positively assured by Veolia that moving the depot would have NO DETRIMENTAL EFFECT on the cleanliness of the streets.

 

From Haringey's Response above:

The depot will be dismantled shortly and the area brought back to its original state within a couple of months.

 

If your street has always been a tip, that can't have anything to do with the depot, can it? The depot is still there.

Once again, the lack of proper local Depot facilities is everything to do with sub-standard street cleansing.

 

You seem to be confused on a number of points.

 

Firstly, the small storage yard and old portacabin in Stationer's Park does not a Depot make. With no garaging for street sweeping vehicles, let alone vehicle access. No gritting store for winter roads, no store for tools. Where do the streetsweepers take their rest breaks? No lunch room, no locker room, not even a toilet. I don't understand why we expect our streets to be kept clean when no proper facilities are provided locally to do the job.

 

Secondly, you seem to be confusing the role of Parks Staff and Street Sweeping Staff. They are completely separate as you seem to be aware from your experience in Stationer's Park. Why would the Park's Dept. in Finsbury (hardly local) or Priory Park be responsible for street sweeping?

 

And finally, as has been acknowledged, as part of the contract awarded to Veolia to sweep the streets of Haringey for the next 14 years, Crouch End will be provided with a local village Depot within the Crouch End/Hornsey/Stroud Green catchment it serves.

 

So, back to my original question. Any idea where the new Street Sweeping Depot will be located? Anyone?

 

Well, if you're going to nit pick the depot in Stationers was a sub-depot. I think there are larger depots in Finsbury Park and Priory Park.   I don't think I've said the Parks department are responsible for street cleaning - I'm just saying that Veolia have depots for the street cleaners there.  

 

As to your final point, there were several locations mentioned at the meeting but I don't recall exactly where they were. I think one may have been where the current council recycling centre is off Hornsey High Street.

Perhaps you could contact the council and find all the answers you are looking for.  I'm afraid I'm not the council and can only report (rather badly it seems) on the provision that currently stands.

My interest was just not to have them in Stationers Park as it is clearly too small to house even a sub-depot. 

As long as it's not in my backyard.

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