Victoria Recreation Ground

13 years ago...

Kingston Council recently carried out extensive works to Victoria Recreation Ground, locking the Effingham Road gate for around 18 months and causing considerable inconvenience. A fence was erected around half of the park, and turfing carried out across the middle where people used to walk, presumably so local residents couldn't use the park to its full extent, for no apparent reason. Within a few weeks the fence was being kicked down and residents were again walking across the park on their way to Surbiton. I am not at all surprised to see that the whole fence has now been taken down by Kingston Council and the park is back to normal. What a waste of public money. I was under the impression that a park was for people to walk in, either for leisure or for getting from A to B. Someone was obviously sitting at County Hall twiddling their thumbs wondering what to spend our taxes on.


It would seem Sara / Smurfchops that you have an interest in Victoria Park which is good. We may not agree which is also good. I've been to two Surbiton Neighbourhood meetings, signed a petition, done the survey, and attended the first Friends of Victoria Park (FOVP) meeting in December. It would seem though that members of the FOVP are going to be thin on the ground. Maybe you should contact Marie-Claire Edwards the Service Manager (Green Spaces) at either 020 8547 5372 or email her at:

Once you are fully aware of some of the decisions that have been going on you might want to join. I don't want you twiddling your thumbs as well :)



I see they published your comment in the Surrey Comet. Same mistakes though.

CranesPark what is your problem with this forum post? No one likes a clever dick

Anonymous/ Sara Stone/ Smurfchops/ whoever, are these forums here just so that we can agree with each other? If so then they're not real forums. My motivation isn't simply to be liked - maybe that's all some people care about? Honesty and integrity are among the things that I admire.

My problem with this topic is that it contains obvious inaccuracies and half truths that were repeated in the local press - the usual disparaging argument that "The Council" is wasting money for no reason, when it's evident - and it was recorded in the committee meeting minutes - what was trying to be achieved and why.

The grass on the playing field was worn away because of the pedestrians walking across it instead of using the purpose-built all weather footpath. This was the "no apparent reason". The gate on Effingham Road was closed for the same reason. The council's contractors tried repairing the playing field but people/ yobs/ whoever removed the temporary fencing and carried on regardless.

The playing field is there for people to play on, and if there's a great bit grass-less footpath across it, playing football or cricket or whatever on it

Of course no one is employed at County Hall or for that matter the Guildhall twiddling their thumbs and wondering what next to spend revenue on - it isn't the case and there's no evidence in Smurfchops' posting or Sara Stone's letter that there is. I'm wondering whether the 'Smurf' thing is referring to the colour 'blue' and whether the original posting was simply politically motivated? Frankly the confusion between County Hall and Guildhall just illustrates a naivety.

It think the same applies to you if you're interested, contact Marie-Claire Edwards the Service Manager (Green Spaces) at either 020 8547 5372 or email her at:

Just for the record in case anyone is wondering. I'm not 'blue' or 'orange'. Used to be an 'orange' and the park issue was one reason why I left. Just want the park to be as good as it can, peaceful, with all ages enjoying it. Cheers Cranespark :)

"Someone was obviously sitting at County Hall twiddling their thumbs wondering what to spend our taxes on."

Kingston Council is based at the Guildhall, not County Hall. Surrey County Council is at County Hall, and has no direct access to Kingston Council's Council Tax receipts.

Did you complete the consultation survey smurfchops?:
See appendix D at

47% respondents wanted the gates locked at night, 45% wanted them not to be locked at all. - presumably the conclusion of the consultation was to open the gates again.

You could join the "Friends of Victoria Park".

cranespark, sorry I got the wrong address, I am sure there are people at County Hall twiddling their thumbs as well. And Yes, I did fill out a survey, I seem to remember it was, but that had nothing to do with the complete waste of public money putting up fencing and then taking it down again a few months later. It would be nice to get an explanation from the Council, but I am sure any amount of emails would not reach a conclusion, a 'sorry' or even a reply. They got it wrong. I agree that the gates should be locked overnight by the way.

A complete waste of money. If they feel that people are "cutting across" the park, then build a bloody path. It's this lack of common sense that means we aren't really upset when civil servants jobs get cut.

Impressed that the Thames Ditton/Surbitonites 'rioted' to such an extent ... take that The Good Life.

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