Community Garden Statement - 3rd February 2021

We are aware of a petition started concerning the community garden in Larkhall Park.  The petition has attracted a lot of interest and we're pleased that there is such strong affection for the community garden which FOLP have always been very supportive of.  The community garden was established in early 2012 by Thrive and handed to the local community on the 21st March 2015. Over the last six years, the garden has flourished and expanded in size and scope thanks to the generous time given by many volunteers working under a number of different community garden leaders. The group established their own constitution some years ago, allowing them to operate independently of FoLP whilst still retaining ties to and support from the wider group.

 

This worked well for many years but, unfortunately, a significant dispute arose among its members a few months ago, resulting in the exclusion of some longstanding members. FoLP attempted to help mediate the situation but despite best efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. At this point, we sought advice from Lambeth Council (as the managers of the land and all associated leases) on how to resolve the situation.

 

As a result, the Friends have been asked to oversee the community garden to ensure it is an open, inclusive and positive space for all who want to be involved and we look forward to rising to that challenge. The exact details of how the community garden will be managed have not been finalised yet - we are waiting for the new licence which the Council are working hard on, and once we have seen that will be able to progress, consulting widely with the local community. In addition, the Council has confirmed to the Friends that the lease for the new tenants of the One O'Clock Club contains provision for ongoing access and use of the parts of this premises that the community garden currently operates out of. This is very welcome news and we look forward to working with the new tenants in developing a strong partnership going forwards.

 

We hope to be able to help resolve the remaining queries very soon and look forward to the community garden continuing to grow and flourish in 2021.

Best wishes,

The Friends of Larkhall Park Committee