We are proud to announce that we have been nominated as one of the UK’s best parks in the Fields in Trust competition to find Britain’s Best Park! If you love Ellington Park, warts and all, please please vote for us for this prestigious award. All you need to do is go to http://www.fieldsintrust.org/bestpark/nominations and select the “South of England” tab. Make haste! Do not delay as the closing date is almost upon us! (Wednesday 25th November at 5pm)
Fields in Trust is the only national charity that protects the parks, playing fields and playgrounds that you love. Founded in 1925 by King George V they currently protect over 2,500 outdoor recreational sites from development.
Thank you very much!
As many of you will know, the Ellington Park Regeneration Trust, of which the Friends of Ellington Park are leading members, has submitted two bids to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in the last two years to help bring about the full restoration of Ellington Park to its stunning former glory. Written in the early 1930s, Ward Lock and Co’s travel guide, Ramsgate and North-East Kent, refers to the Park as “the choicest of its kind in the Country”. With this in mind, the bids included:
– The total restoration of the Victorian Bandstand;
– The re-introduction of refreshment facilities, i.e. a cafeteria, with integrated toilets;
– Victorian railings around the Park;
– The paths (currently unsafe and unsightly) being restored.
And much more besides – all designed towards making Ellington Park the focal point of the community and a great place to spend time in.
Sadly, the two previous bids were both turned down. These rejections have been very disappointing to us, as we feel we have done everything we possibly could to make the bids a success. But ultimately, for the bids to have succeeded, the HLF needed to see clear and substantial support from the Park’s landowner, Thanet District Council.
We are only able to submit three bids to the HLF, so Ellington Park has one last chance. We have therefore launched a petition – running from now until 30 September 2015 – to show Thanet Council how much the people of Ramsgate – and further afield – care about Ramsgate’s favourite open space!
Scores of people have signed the petition within the first 24 hours (thank you guys!) and we need you to do the same.
The petition reads:
“We the undersigned ask the council (Thanet District Council) to support the Heritage Lottery Fund bid for the regeneration of Ellington Park, Ramsgate”.
Over the coming weeks, we will be out in the Park and on the streets asking people to be generous and sign. If you think you can fill a page (or more!) of signatures, please do download and print off a copy of the petition below.
Thank you very much!!!
We are pleased to announce that after a six-month funding campaign, we have finally raised enough money to install four CCTV cameras in Ellington Park, as asked for by regular users of the Park and Ramsgateonians.
We’ve put together some frequently asked questions which we hope gives a comprehensive explanation of the new camera system.
1. How many cameras will there be in Ellington Park and where will they be located?
There will be four cameras initially – but with capacity for more to be added if and when required. The first four cameras will look over: the Play Area; the Bandstand; the Ellington Road-Grange Road entrance; and the Pond.
2. Who will monitor the cameras?
No-one. The cameras will be recording on a 30-day loop. The footage will only be examined if there is an incident during that period; so if, as hoped, nothing untoward happens, the content will never be seen.
3. Who has access to the footage?
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, the footage being recorded must be kept secure. The data will therefore be password-protected. Mr Alan Linfoot – of the Friends of Ellington Park – will be the designated Data Controller. He will ensure that only Kent Police, Kent Fire & Rescue Service and Thanet District Council (the latter as landowner) are able to access the footage in the event of an incident taking place. Victims of crime may also request the footage. They will have to pay an administration fee of £10 and the data will be provided within 40 days, in accordance with the 1998 Act.
4. I’m worried my privacy will be invaded when I visit the Park. What safeguards are in place to make sure my privacy is not breached?
As mentioned above (#3), in the absence of any incidents in the Park, nobody will be looking at the data. Access to the footage will be password-protected, and in accordance with accepted best practice and human rights law, the footage will be destroyed after 30 days, never to be seen again.
5. Will there be signs telling visitors about the CCTV?
Yes. By law, we must have signage informing visitors to the Park that there are CCTV cameras in there. The contact phone number of the Data Controller will also be provided for further information.
6. Can you have “dummy” cameras to add further deterrence?
Not without expressly saying they are dummies. We could be liable if somebody is the victim of an offence and sought to rely on camera footage which turned out to be non-existent! So we’ve avoided this by not having any dummy cameras.
7. What if I witness a crime taking place in Ellington Park?
You should call the Police: 999 if a crime is actually in progress; 101 if it is not urgent. The cameras are not a substitute for the law enforcement authorities and are not monitored by the Police unless someone reports a crime.
8. Who will be installing the cameras? Will you need to dig the Park up to put cables in?
We’re very pleased to confirm that a local man, Paul Smith, of PTS CCTV, will be responsible for installing the cameras. He will be using a WIFI-based system so no digging will be required. In order to ensure the cameras get a good view of the area they are intended to be protecting, a few tree branches may need removing, but this will barely be noticeable, if at all, and the trees will not suffer any long-term damage.
9. How has the “Smile – You’re on Camera!” Project been funded?
We have received funding from a variety of sources and our very grateful thanks go to: the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner; Thanet District Council; and Ramsgate Town Council for their generosity in helping us make the project feasible through their grants. We would also like to thank Ms Tegwen Barsley, who managed to raise £500 – a significant proportion of the money – from her forecourt sales outside her house, all in the space of a few months! A special “well done!” to her and to those who donated books, bric-a-brac and other items for us to sell!
As many of you will know, we have been fundraising in recent months to get CCTV installed within Ellington Park.
Our campaign began earlier this year, after a spate of crime in the Park, most notably two arson attacks of the Children’s Play Area and vandalism to the wood-carvings. Although we might not have initially been in favour of CCTV, it became very clear to us that the overwhelming majority of park users and Ramsgateonians wanted cameras installed so that they would feel safer when visiting Ellington Park; they also felt that the presence of CCTV might have a deterrent effect (or failing that, an evidence gathering role) in combatting crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.
Well, we have an update on how our “Smile – You’re on Camera!” Project has been progressing, and are holding a public meeting this coming Thursday, 20 August at 6:30pm in the Park. Alan Linfoot, a Friends’ committee member, has been co-ordinating the project and will be speaking about the cameras. Paul Smith, of PTS CCTV, will also be on hand to talk about how he will be installing them when the time comes.
Below is a poster advertising the meeting. Please feel free to share it with anybody you feel would be interested in attending.