17 May 2012

Slam dunk

a slam dunk, not a dank slum

Mr Mustard is more likely to write about dank slums than slam dunks in terms of Barnet Council but they sat up and took notice and must get full credit for it.

Avid readers may recall that he was pestered by local teenagers to see if he could get a basketball hoop and a skate park in High Barnet ( as otherwise occasionally he has to help out and bus them to Potters Bar, St Albans etc i.e. not Barnet ).

Mr Mustard wrote about this on 16 April and sent an email to Pam Wharfe. Pam delegated to Mrs Bishop (Mr Mustard has met Mrs Bishop and she looks like she would be as comfortable on a skate board as Mr Mustard i.e. not all all; far too dangerous, Mr Mustard will stick to high speed motorcycling) and Mrs Bishop then passed the matter down to JW, a greenspaces manager ( not sure JW if you are above or below the senior office pay threshold so have left your name out for now. As Mr Mustard is going to say nice things about you you might want your full name here so just let him know if you do), who gave the matter some thought.

Here is the reply which Mr Mustard forwarded to J, 14 who was amazed and said he must ring L, also 14. Mr Mustard has cautioned the boys that this will still take some time.

Dear Mr Mustard

Thank you for your email to Pam Wharfe which has been re-directed to me to review and respond, please accept my apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

The concept of a basket ball hoop in Old Court House is certainly something that we would give due consideration to, indeed in 2007 some of the six tennis courts were earmarked for basketball and football, however due to opposition to the proposals this was not followed through at the time.

We are now some years on and there is an apparent demand for this facility, and we would therefore propose that one tennis court (the first one that you arrive at when leaving the main body of the park into the tennis court area) is changed to a multi-sport court for basketball and football. This proposal would need to be put forward for consultation with the Friends of the park, Ward Councillors, park users, and neighbours and we will commit to undertaking this exercise.

With regards to a skateboard park this is not something that would fit with Old Court House Recreation Ground; an alternative location would need to be identified along with funding for any proposals, which would then be subject to consultation depending upon the scale of the proposals. A more fitting location for a skateboard park within this area would be Barnet Playing Fields, Duck's Island or part of the Dollis Valley Greenwalk at the bottom of Leeside. There is funding that can be secured for facilities such as this that the Council would welcome the opportunity to work with local community groups to develop proposals and secure funding to facilitate their delivery.

I trust the above answers your query.



Local teenagers are delighted at the prospect of the possibility of some sports facilities which are not too far from home and Mr Mustard hopes that local people will embrace the idea. Mr Mustard will give the consultation some publicity at the appropriate time.
Well done Barnet Council for listening and for starting the process. Mr Mustard hopes that no-one will object to a neglected sports facility being given a new lease of life. The kids have got to play somewhere and they don't stop existing just because you object to their presence. It is far better that they use their energy on basketball or skating than roam the streets aimlessly.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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