?Planning permission has been granted for the Twickenham Riverside Terrace Project which will create a park at the existing swimming baths site on the Twickenham embankment.
It is understood that the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Council is already running a review programme for its parks and open spaces. According to their Best Value Performance Plan for 2001/2002, this review started in April 2000 and is due to finish in Sept 2001.
Their Performance Plan gives the total area of Parks and Open Spaces as 461 hectares, and it states that they are regularly used more than twice a week by over 70% of borough residents. The creation of a further park on the Twickenham pool site will increase that area and will help to bring the Borough’s provision into line with its commitments.
The Performance Plan review has resulted in a Draft Parks Pledge stating a possible service standard to be expected for parks and open spaces. It is claimed that these draft pledges given under separate headings Clean, Safe, Green, and Information/ Communication/Customer care, provide a basis for assessing the current service and possible improvements.
Clean: parks and open spaces will be cleared of litter to meet EPA/Tidy Britain Standards. Other pledges deal with dog mess, and graffiti.
Safe: all parks and open spaces will be visited by the Parks Constabulary regularly. Other pledges cover park keepers, incidents, problems and a parks helpline.
Green: LBRuT will
• aim to provide a playground to meet LEAP standards within 400 metres of each resident;
• aim to provide a wildlife site within 500 metres of each resident;
• aim to provide an area of public open space within 1km of each resident, and a District Park within 2km;
• aim to recycle all green waste provided by the service;
• maintain one site of horticultural excellence on each side of the River Thames;
• provide one major outdoor sporting area on each side of the river Thames.
Information/Communication/Customer Care LBRuT will provide a one stop shop/helpline for all enquiries about all things “green”: parks, open spaces, trees, nature conservation, and grounds maintenance in line with the implementation of the access to services review.
Other pledges cover enquiries, site management, events, resident surveys and a varied range of sport and recreation opportunities.
It is evident that the creation of the Twickenham Riverside Terrace will both benefit from and reinforce these pledges. In particular the draft pledges given under the headings safe and green. The Best Value Performance Plan 2001/2002 now resolves the perceived problem of safety that was first voiced at the Council meeting in February and was the main objection to the proposed Riverside Park tabled at that time.