Freedom Of Information Request Reveals Under-Investment In Estate

Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators reveal issues in the grant application

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The successful application by Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators (WPCC) and Wimbledon Museum for £126,100 to the Heritage Fund sets out in stark details the years of under-investment in the Commons.

Nick Evans, a Putney resident and past Conservator has obtained the document through a FOI request (click to see the redacted form), he said he did this: "So that it can be seen by all levy-payers and users of the Commons".

In the application the WPCC identify under-investment in the Richardson Evans Playing Fields stating: "“Our facilities are struggling to provide the services required by the user groups; the sports pavilion built in the 1930s is used by numerous different groups and is not currently fit for purpose and not compliant with the Equalities Act. The pitches themselves are used by leading clubs such as the London Cornish RFC are being taken out of play because of the drainage issues. The result of this lack of investment is the risk of damaging those long-established partnerships, with organisations seeking better facilities.”

Another area that the WPCC identified in the application is access over the winter months: “Accessibility across and around the site presents an increasing challenge, particularly during the winter months when many of the made shared-use pedestrian and cycling paths are impassable. Horse rides used daily by the local stables are not fit for purpose, presenting a risk to the riders.”

WPCC have been asked to comment, as yet they have not responded.

October 15, 2019