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The AGM on 25th October was well attended, but numbers were lower than last year. There was lively discussion on the various issues affecting the park.
Our speaker, Colin Cooper of SWLEN spoke on the important place parks have in the general wellbeing of people and how friends groups can influence and connect with local authorities.
Chairman Amanda Lloyd Harris stood down after 14 years at the helm; however she will still be around as one of the Councillors of the ward in which the park lies.
Melanie Healy and Rowena Vaughan were voted in as Co Chair. All other positions remain the same.
Cllr Wesley Harcourt (Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport & Residents Services) was the keynote speaker at our recent AGM. He assured all present that while LBHF was, like other local authorities, cash-strapped, he would be doing all he could to maintain the quality of Bishops Park. Questions from the audience ranged from inevitably, the situation regarding the proposed FFC development to cyclists and lighting in the park.
“…We have been involved in consultations about the suggestion of leaving Bishops Park open at night. This got a resounding NO from all parties including the Metropolitan Police, Palace Riverside Safer Neighbourhood Panel and residents that emailed me directly. The main concern is about the potential increase in anti-social behaviour and that if the park is open 24hrs then other individuals will start congregating in the park from other areas of the borough…” Extract from Chairman’s AGM report.
This year we were very lucky to have two diverse speakers. Miranda Poliakoff, the Curator of Fulham Palace, and Darren Preston, COO of Fulham Football Club. Miranda spoke on the current exhibition entitled ‘From Bishop’s Home to People’s Palace”. It was fascinating and it is a must see exhibition for all the local community. If you have any pictures or items that might be helpful for this type of exhibition then Miranda would love to hear from you. The Museum is a marvellous local asset, so do try and visit.
Virginia spoke eloquently and in depth about the struggle prevent commercialisation of and encroachment on public open space; especially at Hammersmith Park. This serves as a wake-up call to residents as to what might happen to other parks nationwide. We are already seeing attempts at the same in our own Bishops Park.