Agenda item

Petition Requesting The Introduction Of Lighting In Stonefield Park, South Ruislip


The petitioner addressed the Cabinet Member, and highlighted the following points:


·         Safety was the main concern and reason for submitting the petition.

·         Children and adults attending the nearby school were required to cross through the park. The park was unlit, and particularly during winter months, was very dark.

·         A number of offenses had been seen to take place within the park, including drugs and other antisocial behaviour.

·         The park was used for a number of activities, including after school clubs, gym, and for travelling to events at the school.

·         In addition, parents attending the school in cars and parking in Cedar Avenue were restricting access to the park.

·         Lighting was required, though it was suggested that this could be at certain times of the day, rather than 24/7.

·         Making the park better lit and more welcoming would promote greater use among the community.


Councillor Burrows read a statement from Ward Councillors, who were unable to attend in person. Points highlighted included:


  • Local Ward Councillors knew Stonefield Park extremely well, and had been very involved with the police in the Stonefield Park area, taking part in several knife sweeps and noting the clear evidence of potential drug dealing in the area. The Ward Councillors were regular visitors to the school for concerts and Christmas productions.
  • The local members of South Ruislip Residents Association monitored the park closely, and had been active in working in conjunction with Green Spaces to develop the children’s play area, the adventure equipment for older children, and the outdoor gym.
  • The ASB team were not always available when they had been contacted by the residents, therefore there had been no clear collection of evidence about safety issues concerning children going to and from school.
  • Ward Councillors felt that the Council should take into consideration the views of other stakeholders and the general principles used by the Council in similar parks in the Borough, to avoid setting a precedent.
  • This park was unique as it had 5 open access/exits and Cedar Avenue was the only access to the school by road. Because of width and congestion, the road was not suitable for children to be dropped off and collected by parents and guardians.
  • From examining the petition, alongside the supporting information of the report, it was clear that although the petitioners had a strong case for safety considerations, there were other elements to consider, for example:

o   The impact of street lighting on wildlife in the area;

o   The impact of leaking light pollution into the surrounding neighbourhood;

o   Dog walker’s views, who made regular use of the park;

o   Any RAF issues that could arise leading to lighting disturbing the landing of aircraft;

o   Further feedback from the SNT;

o   Financial implications.


·         In addition, it appeared that the school had only very recently taken up the offer of using the School Travel Team to investigate parents/guardians potential concerns about safety travelling to and from school.

·         It was unclear whether lighting would be a positive addition to the safety and well-being of all stakeholders.

·         Considering all points raised, it was clear that there was more work to be done to reach an amicable solution that involves all who used Stonefield Park.


The Cabinet Member listened to the petition, and addressed their points as follows:


·         Regarding instances of crime recorded by the ASB, serious crimes such as drugs and violence would be recorded and dealt with by the Metropolitan Police.

·         It was agreed that further work was required to ensure that all stakeholders were being consulted on how best to address the issues raised. This included RAF Northolt, who were holding a public meeting in the near future.


RESOLVED:  Meeting with the petitioners, the Cabinet Member for Planning, Transportation and Recycling:


1.                    Listened to their concerns regarding Stonefield Park;


2.                    Noted that the Council, in common with many other local authorities, generally does not retrospectively introduce artificial lighting within its established parks and open spaces;


3.                    Noted that the allegations of drug dealing have been referred to the Police, as set out in the body of the report;


4.                    Whilst welcoming the early engagement with Bourne Primary School referenced in the body of the report, asked Ward Members to further encourage the school to work with the Council's Road Safety and School Travel Team;


5.                    Encouraged the petitioners themselves to offer to engage with the school as part of this further dialogue.


Reasons for recommendations


To allow the Cabinet Member to discuss with petitioners their concerns and, if appropriate, add their request to the parking schemes programme.


Alternative options considered / risk management


These were discussed with petitioners.



Supporting documents: