Special areas have been established in two borough parks as part of a trial allowing people to use disposable barbecues in the open spaces.
Barbecue stations – large tree trunks with metal plates fixed to the top – have been installed in Wandsworth Park, off Putney Bridge Road, and Fred Wells Gardens, in Battersea, to enable members of the public to use disposable barbecues while outside enjoying the summer sunshine.
The initiative is due to begin later this week purely on a trial basis to see whether it proves popular with local people. During the trial, disposable barbecues only are permitted to be used on the barbecue stations.
Three barbecue stations have been installed in Wandsworth Park while Fred Wells Gardens has one.
In all other parks across the borough – and elsewhere in Wandsworth Park and Fred Wells Gardens – a byelaw remains in place prohibiting fires being lit or barbecues being used. Anyone who contravenes this byelaw could be prosecuted and fined.
Barbecues tend to leave behind a scorched area of grass, which spoils the area for other visitors and creates unnecessary work for the parks service – and there is a risk that some of the bigger ‘cook outs’ could get out of hand. The barbecue stations have been designed to prevent such problems.
Wandsworth Council’s cabinet member for environment and culture, Councillor Jonathan Cook, said:
“Residents have expressed to us a desire to be able to enjoy summer barbeques in our parks and we have duly listened.
“Having finally had some long-overdue sunshine, and with the Olympics arriving in London, I hope to see people celebrating and enjoying themselves in our open spaces.
“However, I must urge people using the new barbecue facilities to do so responsibly. I would remind them to only use disposable barbecues on the barbecue stations provided and please take any barbecue litter home to dispose of it safely. In past incidents, park-goers have put their hot barbecues in the public litter bins when leaving and this has sparked fires. The result is a lot of flames a lot of smoke and a damaged litter bin that has to be replaced at taxpayers’ expense.”
Public notices will be put up at Wandsworth Park and Fred Wells Gardens explaining the trial further.
To register your views as part of the trial initiative consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8871 7530.
The consultation runs until the end of September. All personal information will be treated in the strictest confidence.
July 30, 2012