Labour’s idea of a walk in the park

It is three years since I highlighted the dreadful condition of Hornfair Park and while the Labour Council reacted to my criticisms with a complete overhaul of the whole area, the truth is that other parks around the borough are a complete mess.  This weekend I ventured into Queenscroft Park where all the signs of long-term neglect were completely apparent.

As you approach the park, the gates don’t shut properly and are bent apart with a padlock chain which looks like it might occasionally be used to try and shut them.

As you enter the park which is described by London Parks online in the following terms:

“Queenscroft Recreation Ground was provided by Woolwich Borough Council after WWII for the growing population of the Eltham area, following building of its new housing estates such as the Middle Park Estate south of the park. The name is taken from an early C18th house of that name in Eltham. The land had been one of three deer parks within the estate of Eltham Palace, which was later farmed and then purchased for housing development in the 1930s. Some of the mature trees in the park pre-date the municipal layout, which included a popular model boating lake and paddling pool.”

However, only a little further on the old paddling pool is empty and unloved, filled with weeds and other rubbish. 


Not far away I guess this is what remains of the model boating lake:

But of course Greenwich Council has put in place an outdoor gym, playground and basketball court.  But unfortunately the maintenance of this equipment is as important as installing it.  The view from the gym down to the paddling pool is below:

While the sign introduces you clearly to the way the Labour Council’s legacy for Queenscroft:

Further round the benches are decayed and when you look at the playground in more detail there are missing pieces of equipment which make large amounts of it unusable:

To top it off, I guess the graffiti covered building was probably the toilets but is now a sort of bunker of dereliction in the middle of the park. 

This park should be a space which people from across Eltham and the Middle Park Estate can enjoy, but instead it is a mess.  The Labour Party at every level need to stop spending money on vanity projects like the £2.5m on the Tall Ships Race to ensure that the basics are done properly.  Whether it is damp in Council housing, stopping the weeds growing on the streets and pavements, providing enough school places or looking after our parks, the things which government at every level should be able to do is simply not being done by Labour in Eltham or Greenwich more widely. 

It really is time for a change if we want to improve the area where we live.