User forum Feb 2012   

Filter Beds and Walthamstow Marshes User Forum held at the Ice Rink on Tuesday February 21, 2012.

Greenspace Manager at Lea Valley Regional Park Authority Martin Page was in the chair and smiled throughout, which either proves he's good at doing shark imitations or that he's comfortable handling some fairly robust criticism.

Among other things, he announced that LVRPA was now co-ordinating a process known as Nature Improvement Areas. Although this sounds unlikely (after billions of years at work on the Earth, Nature scarcely needs improving but could rather do with being let alone), in practice it seems to mean funding for some highly laudable projects.

Specifically, the prospect of a water quality project was held tantalisingly in front of us.

The details were not spelt out, but there seemed to be a genuine belief that things could be done to improve the Lea Navigation. This is urgently needed between Tottenham Lock and the weir opposite the pub that had a sex change, the Princess of Wales. Laurie Wortley was on hand to suggest that the problem was associated with raw sewage and Deephams.

We were told that despite hugely expensive work on Sandy Path just a year or two ago, there was now a need to spend yet another £100k or so on the path. I can not work out why it is going to cost so much (since I was banging my head in frustration) but it has something to do with water movement and national regulations.

Better news was the promise that when the practice basketball court is removed from Porters Field in the Autumn, the road foundations would also be dug up, and the soil restored.

The mini golf course (behind the Waterworks Centre south of Lea Bridge Road) was a less happy story. This is going to be used as a camp site for the duration of the Olympics. Martin Page said: "It would be daft not to look at it as an opportunity to look at other possibilities."

Clearly the end is nigh so far as golf in Lea Bridge Road goes. Just another example of how, far from there being a legacy from the Olympics, the event is actually causing harm to sport in north east London.

Jonathan Brind
Golf Course Saved. Hackney Counillors Barry Buitekant and Ian Rathbone lobbied LVRPA chief executive Shaun Dawson in May 2012 and during the meeting Shaun Dawson announced that the golf course would be reinstated after the Olympics.
Lea Marshes Bridges