Brockwell becomes Lambeth’s first cooperative park!

At the end of October, the BPCP and Lambeth finally come to an agreement, which is now official Council policy, that a Strategic Partnership Board for Brockwell Park will include formal representation for the community in the form of the Community Partners (aka Brockwell Park MAC). This is a long-sought recognition of the role that park users and stakeholders play in supporting the park and the first time that the community has been allowed a formal voice at such a senior level.

The Strategic Management Board will take decisions about the future of Brockwell Park. The Board will comprise two elected councillors, including the Cabinet member for parks, two Lambeth officers, at present Kevin Crook, head of service for parks and Lee Fiorentino from Lambeth Events team and two representatives from the BPCP. The Chair and Vice-chair will attend the inaugural meeting; the BPCP has to decide how it will organise its representation in future; there is the capacity to co-opt members from the BPCP or other third sector organisations. The inclusion of an officer from Events does point up the difficulties that park groups will have in the future with Lambeth’s ambitions for making money from our parks but it also reflects changes inside the council which are aimed at bringing parks, sports and events closer together to reflect the management structures used by other boroughs

The inclusion of councillors is vital. Parks have been seen as a strictly operational issue for far too long. Added to this the fact that the Council has no statutory responsibility for parks has led to the downgrading of their importance in the minds of many, including councillors. It is our job to educate them of the importance of parks in the lives of our communities.

For those with the stamina to read it, this link will take you to the full Lambeth document:

A lot of it is concerned with formal internal consultations but it does feature our Brockwell Park Vision Statement and the description of the Partnership Board is contained in Appendix 1. This broadly incorporates the policy which BPCP has been working to have adopted since 2013.

Lambeth have agreed to trial this arrangement for two years; if they judge it to be successful it will be rolled out to other Lambeth parks that are interested to take the offer up.

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