Friday, 11 March 2016

Walthamstow Leisure Centre Parking Battle



For 40 years or more Walthamstow Leisure Centre and Kelmscott School have cohabited amicably but out of the blue, during half term, Greenwich Leisure installed parking machines and signs saying parking would be £1 an hour and for only 3 hours. The school was unaware of this take over of the car park. After many wasted management hours and fury from the staff an expensive compromise has been reached. 

The result is the school staff, who occupy the majority of the car park, can continue to have free parking as in other schools in Waltham Forest. Unfortunately the solution means the children lose one of their play areas which will become a car park and the smaller of the two existing car parks will be handed over to the school. This will leave the larger car park with 70 spaces for the Greenwich Leisure to make what money they can. 

Meanwhile expensive modifications to the play ground and the installation of a barrier to say nothing of the issuing of passes and the management time to set all this up will have to be paid for, presumably by the council as part of their Mini Holland plans to reduce the number of cars on the roads. 

A much bigger issue is the additional pressure this puts on already stressed teachers in a rapidly changing education world and the reduction in play space for the pupils. How can this be benefiting anyone?

From: Ian Harkins [Ian.Harkins@GLL.ORG]
Sent: 11 March 2016 11:38
To: Adrian Stannard
Subject: Waltham Forest Car Park

Adrian

Thanks for taking the time to contact GLL.

This is a joint decision between London Borough of Waltham Forest and GLL.

The idea of this is to deter non users parking in the facility and improve access for those parking to use the centre. Unfortunately this improved service comes at a cost that needs to be covered. We can not continue with disabled users being forced to park half a mile away from the centre and customers being forced to park anywhere, on pavements, grass or in some cases in the middle of the road. GLL and LBWF have decided to act on the complaints and our own observations and believe this is the best option to achieve what we are looking for.

These pay and display car park management systems have been introduced successfully within a number of facilities across GLL and has proven to be a success with parking easier for customers when attending the centre. I understand there is a financial element to this however GLL are a not for profit organisation and any money made within the partnership is re invested in our leisure facilities. Proof of this is shown with the significant GLL and LBWF capital being invested over the past 3 years in upgrading the leisure provisions within Waltham Forest. 2016 will see continual investment within the partnership with the launch of the new Waltham Forest Leisure Centre and continued local investment.

I am currently in negotiations with Lynette Parvez in relation to the effect this will have on Kelmscott School and it’s staff.

Regards

Ian Harkins
Partnership Manager
Waltham Forest

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