Bromley Council’s Executive Committee has approved plans to form an Executive Board for Crystal Palace Park. The Park Executive Board is a stepping stone towards the formation of a not-for-profit trust to take over the park within the next couple of years. There is concern that Trusts can lack accountability and can become estranged from the community. We would have preferred Bromley Council to fully meet its responsibilities towards the Park. However, a Trust provides the most likely way forward for CP Park in the current economic climate and the reduced interest from the LDA. Trusts have been shown to work in other boroughs. (Just nip down the A2 to Hall Place and Danson Park in Bexley.)
It is important that the right structure for a Trust is found. There will be a Community Stakeholder Group and stakeholder groups need to play an active part in influencing this process. The Chairman of the Community Stakeholder group will be the community representative on the Executive Board. The council also decided to increase the number of ward councillors on the Park board. We also put down a marker for the Park to have its own dedicated budget, keep any income generated by the Park and, if a Trust is formed, for the Park to take with it a substantial dowry from the council. Those details to be worked out and agreed by the Board, though.
And why still no water in the waterfall? A Park Ranger has told us: The electrical supply and the water pumps have been repaired and tested. The fountain and cascades work but unfortunately, because of the low level of water in the lower lake, where the water is drawn from; we cannot leave the pumps running as they will burn out. As the lakes are closed water systems we rely on rainfall to keep the levels topped up. The water level on the lakes has always been a problem during the summer time and it has been a regular occurrence during my 17 years at CPP for the pumps to be turned off during long dry spells. Be assured that as soon as we have enough rainfall to top up the water levels in the lake the pumps will be turned on and the water falls will flow.