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Calder Holmes Park

From Lulu B

Friday, 12 February 2016

Walking to Calder Holmes park today I noticed a sign upon the playground gate stating that three cherry blossom trees are to be felled, along with bushes, to provide a new gated access in the corner overlooking the old bowling green space and cafe.

These trees are mature 'living' idols, when in full bloom highlight the park area with an almost incandescent confidence.

Is this not what a park represents? Trees,flowers,wildlife,glorious phenomena at its best?

We need to nuture our trees more than ever.

They should remain untouched and uninfluenced by any social constraint or civilization.

From Gwen Goddard

Saturday, 13 February 2016

My home overlooks those cherry trees and I look forward to them in bloom every spring. They really do light up that part of the park.
I understand that parents using the Park Life Café want to make sure their children are not leaving the play area but I think the proposed gate could be installed just a little further from the corner, necessitating only the removal of a few shrubs. What do the Friends of the park feel?

From Simon Carrington

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Come on Friends of Calder Holmes Park.

Where are you on this??

From David Tut

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

First of all I have to say I am not a 'friend' of the Hebden Bridge park. Having been born and bred in Hebden Bridge and now in my sixties I have seen many changes in this town and most of it for the better but when it comes to the park all I can say is, how? It's an eyesore to look at. The place is a breeding ground for all kinds of activity that I don't need to go into and yes some improvements have been done but for me too little too late.

From Bob Deacon

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

I am given to understand that the cutting down of these trees is to facilitate access to the playground site to construct the new gate facing the cafe! Surely the new gate can be accessed from the grass area despite the uneven surface.

The repositioning of the gate for safety reasons seems perfectly sensible.

The cutting down of the tress seems thoughtless.

There is a notice on the site announcing it. I suggest emails to the email address given on that notice.


From Kim Blackburn

Thursday, 18 February 2016

I'm not a massive fan of getting into discussions about what should be done on forums I much prefer to speak to people face to face so come down to the park and I'll be happy to chat with you.

I would however like to point out a couple of things;

As part of the ongoing works to improve the look and use of the space outside the cafe we are doing more than cutting trees down. There are actually another 11 being planted.

We do not live in a perfect world with limitless funds and capacity in our local council. Although we can organise ourselves around issues important to us and take action for ourselves. That is where The Friends of the Park comes in. For the last few years, the meetings have been very poorly attended despite publishing rallying cries in the local papers calling for new membership which we are desperate for to move things on.

The next meeting is at Park Life Cafe on the 1st March 7pm, it would be great to see you there.

I'd also like to take the opportunity to point out that if you had been down the park over the last couple of years you would have noticed that there has been a cultural shift, it's a lovely environment for children and families to enjoy. The negative comments about it being a breeding ground for negative lifestyles is extremely damaging and not true.

Sorry for the brief message but we're busy trying to recover from the floods and re-open the cafe as soon as we can.

From Claire Hildreth

Friday, 19 February 2016

The gates could easily be moved to directly face the cafe. There is no need for these lovely mature trees to be destroyed. Please email michael.harrop@calderdale.gov.uk if you agree and let him know.

From Cllr Dave Young

Friday, 19 February 2016

That is where we wanted the new entrance to go in the first place but unfortunately that is not possible. Calderdale Council need Vehicle access into the Playground to clean it by machine - So a compromise had to be made. It is not ideal but at least it will be a lot safer for our Children who use our lovely Playground.

From John Greenwood

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Like Mr Tut, I was born here in the 1960s and I have to agree with every word he says. Anyone who cannot see what goes on in the park must be blinkered.

From Jonathan Marsh

Saturday, 20 February 2016

As a responsible parent I am always concerned for safety of my young child but I have to disagree with the councillor and state that his issue is of a low danger and irrelevance as surely cleaning or access would be planned thus park users notified.

I have never heard or experienced any real consternation regarding childrens' safety. Indeed Mr.Tut and Mr. Greenwood you would have both seen many changes.

As a family without a garden, we use the park and continue to feel very safe and thankful to have all of this. But what are we actually talking about here the presevation of three beautiful mature trees or potential incidents that really lie in the parents' domain?

A playground/park is not a place to just leave your child and go get a coffee.

Does the gate essentially need to be moved? And how many vechicles will be accessing the park daily?

We need to preserve not destroy.

Please help to conserve our green urbanism.

We need it all no matter how small.

From Julie C

Saturday, 20 February 2016

How about as a compromise, leave the old gates for vehicle access, just lock them and give the padlock key to the Park workers. Then, make the new entrance for the children opposite the old bowling green, ie, a works entrance plus a people one.

Be sad to lose those trees. I always look forward to the sea of wonderful pink blossom in early spring.

From Kez Armitage

Saturday, 20 February 2016

I can't understand Cllr Young's comments that the playground "will be a lot safer for children".

Safe in what what way, Councillor? Is is about the possibility of kids falling from the equipment, and allowing parents, as they drink their lattes in the cafe across the bowling green, to keep an eye on their offspring, rush over, and pick them up? If that's the case, all those laurel bushes and railings will have to go. The proposed gates will only give a very limited view of the playground area - heaven knows what harm kids could be coming to behind that shrubbery!

Or is is because there might be paedophiles lurking by the old gates, luring kids with sweets and puppies? But, honestly, is there any evidence, in the entire history of the park, of this kind of activity? Isn't it just utterly over-reactive nonsense, which denies the family-based origins of most child abuse and perpetuates the 'stranger danger' aspect of this unpleasant subject?

Most responsible parents will, quite rightly, accompany their kids into the playground area, keep a watchful eye, and be ready to help where necessary. That's how it's been for decades, and it's always worked. But for inexplicable reasons, it's no longer acceptable.

There is absolutely no need for those two cherry trees to be felled. (Go and have a look at them. They're the ones coming into blossom with crosses painted on them to mark their demise). I'm sad that anyone who claims to be interested in the park could possibly think otherwise.

From Michael Murray Elder

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Children's safety has become one of those shibboleths against which all protest is vain. It justifies all acts of authority however inane they may be. It's like the security officer in the shopping mall. - you can't photograph your children here. Why - security. End of discussion, end of reason.

From Kez Armitage

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Michael, you are absolutely right. The 'health and safety' card is so often played. How many kids have been denied a proper childhood as a result? The ever present fear of litigation - one of the less acceptable imports from the USA - means that everything defaults to the ultra safe, the anodyne and, quite frankly the utterly boring. Heaven help children brought up in such circumstances. How does it prepare them for the risks and dangers they'll face in later life!

But back to the matter in question. The most sensible post on this thread comes from Julie C. Build the new gates by all means, but keep the old ones for vehicular access, firmly padlocked until needed. No need to cut those cherry trees down at all.

Sadly, I suspect intransigence will rule, and the trees will go.

From Tim B

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Two of the row of cherry trees are in a very poor condition. Unfortunately not the ones marked for removal. The tree on the other side of the gate from the marked trees appears to have heartwood rot and the one at the end by the Little Theatre has grown into the railings giving an intrinsic weakness.

Like Lulu B, I think there should be more area where trees can remain "untouched and uninfluenced by any social constraint or civilization". For trees to grow, die and rot in situ is the best thing for wildlife. However a busy park is not the place for this.

As Kim says, several new trees have been planted which will replace all these cherries in time. Cherries are not generally trees that live for a long time. Although their blossom is bonny at this time of year, for the rest of the spring and summer the foliage is a depressing dark purple.

From Mark W

Monday, 22 February 2016

After reading the signs in the park and seeing the marks of death on the trees it does seem this has not been thought through very well.

The 2 trees marked for removal seem to be very healthy and bring a little bit of brightness and beauty to the park at a time of year when it can and does look dull and dreary.

I cannot see how they are in the way an obstacle to the placing of a new gate assuming one is even needed at all.

As previously suggested, if you do need a new gate for pedestrian access and also need vehicular access then why not place the new gate in the gap in the shrubbery where the bench is placed at the moment moving the bench to another location and lock the current gate.

To be honest, the need for a new gate completely escapes me. Most responsible parents,myself included, with children playing in the park want to keep a close eye on them and will be in there with them. If I wanted a coffee then I would purchase it before we went in and sit on one of the many benches in there.

Is the idea that we more responsible parents will now be given the job of safeguarding the other children and in the event of an accident, be it minor or major, become responsible for tracking down the parents having a natter and a coffee at the cafe 50 yards away on the other side of the shrubbery, fence and bowling green.

My 8 year old daughter is horrified at the thought the trees will be removed and cannot see the need for this at all and I am in total agreement with her.

If, as suggested, this is due to the lack of "limitless funds" is this really the least expensive option?

Surely the least expensive option is to leave the gates as they are and to re-allocate the funds to signs requesting children are not left unaccompanied in the park.

From Graham Barker

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Like others here I don't see any good argument for creating a new gate, especially when Calderdale claims to be so strapped for cash. I agree with Mark W that this scheme hasn't been thought through and that easier access from playground to café will tempt some parents/carers to leave small children unsupervised - which is illegal even for brief periods, because Sod's Law says that's when bad things happen. Surely anyone doing a child safety risk assessment would recognise the potential for distraction and argue for leaving things as they are.

I'm also not clear whether the new gate would be additional to or a replacement for the current gate. If the former, then that too reduces safety as it means two exits for parents to keep an eye on.

I bet it all looks good on paper but there's no way it can be sold as an improvement in safety.

From Lulu B

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Just a reminder- Park meeting Tuesday 7pm. 1 March
Please try to attend, if you care a little or a lot.