Lambeth Parks and Open Spaces Briefing

Why the fountain in Vauxhall Park is still not running – please see below


Lambeth Landscapes, our new Grounds Maintenance DSO, is responsible for: managing 65 parks and open spaces totalling 770 acres; 55 buildings within parks; grounds maintenance of 65 highways verges, roundabouts, shrub beds and rose beds; ecology services and chargeable grounds maintenance at sites managed by other departments.

Locking parks

Following further review and discussion the decision was taken to continue locking up parks as usual.

Water Play, Fountains and Paddling Pools

There are six water play and paddling pool facilities in Lambeth parks, which operate from the last May bank holiday until the end of September each year. In addition there are a number of ornamental fountains in operation. All facilities are managed by Lambeth Parks and maintenance is being carried out by the council’s facilities management contractor, Engie. Property Services are responsible for compliance testing costs and Lambeth Parks fund any commissioning and subsequent repair costs.

  • Brockwell Park Water Play – there were some delays with getting the water play running on its recyclable system, initially due to repairs being required to the LDC control panel, and then a subsequent fault with the balance tank pump. However, the system operated on mains water from the start date to avoid delays for park users. The LCD control panel has been replaced, but Engie have yet to carry out the repair to the balance tank pump. The system is continuing to run on mains until the pump repair is carried out. The estimated time frame for the repair is Friday 23 June
  • Norwood Water Play – opened and operational on 27 May. The village pump feature no longer works. Engie are looking into alternatives for replacing the pumps with another feature, as we are not able to accommodate their replacement within existing budgets. This system suffers from sand clogging the pump, filters and pipework
  • Myatt’s Fields Water Play – opened and operational on 27 May. Engie have recognised a number of ongoing problems which they will quote to repair. This includes a leak in one of the pumps and a replacement lid needed for the balance tank
  • Clapham Common paddling pool – opened and operational on 27 May
  • Ruskin Park paddling pool – opened and operational (in partnership with the Friends) on 27 May
  • Streatham Common paddling pool – opened and operational (in partnership with SCCoop) on 27 May
  • Agnes Riley paddling pool – investigative works underway with the aim of reopening it in partnership with the Friends. However, the pump will need replacing and works to the electrics may be needed. We also need a commitment from Property Services that they will meet the compliance testing costs
  • Drinking fountains – all shut down as part of the budget cuts; if Property Services can confirm they will cover water checks from the compliance reserve we will re-commission all fountains this summer
  • Windrush Square fountain – opened and operational on 27 May
  • Vauxhall Park fountain – delayed opening due to a fault with the pump. The replacement pump specification has changed from the previous pump and so the housing and base requires modification to fit in the new pump. The fountain was due to be operational before the Friends of Vauxhall Park’s Summer Fair on 18 June
  • Brockwell Park walled garden fountain – opening delayed due to the solenoid needing replacement. The solenoid controls the water level in the fountain and the part is awaiting delivery. The fountain has been manually filled and has been operational from Wednesday 14 June. It will continue to be monitored daily by Engie’s contractors until the new solenoid is fitted
  • Matthew’s fountain – we are aiming to restore it and switch it back on as part of the capital programme.

Toilet Cleaning

  • Service transferred in-house from Engie on 9 June and through use of a wider pool of staff involved we hope to provide a better service

Repairs and Maintenance

  • The new in-house team is proving extremely successful and are busy working through an enormous backlog of repairs.


Lambeth is unusual among London boroughs in having no enforcement activity in our parks. We are currently in discussion over the following actions:

  • Wandsworth Parks Police – ad-hoc use for major incidents, e.g. travellers, on Clapham and Streatham Commons
  • A full-time park patrol service from a professional company such as ParkGuard
  • Regular park patrols via the new APCOA contract
  • Creation of a Public Spaces Protection Order for our parks
  • Making enforcement of our Byelaws more flexible to allow FPNs to be issued.

Management Plans

Only Green Flag sites have management plans and these are very large documents which are five years old. We are gradually creating and implementing new management plans for all sites. For most sites these will be annual plans written in close liaison with key stakeholder groups. Green Flag sites will have new, slimmer plans covering the accreditation criteria, but also with a concise annual action plan. Small sites will have a basic three-year plan.

Waste Action Plan

Currently finalising three-year Waste Action Plan which includes a number of improvements including:

  • Wider roll-out of recycling to Clapham Common, Kennington Park, Archbishop’s Park and Streatham Common
  • More use of bulk bins
  • Increased mechanisation of litter clearance
  • Education campaigns
  • Replacement of older litter bins and dog waste bins; our standard litter bin in non-heritage parks will be the same as the new on-street litter bin
  • Trial removing litter bins from one small site
  • Enforcement activity to include Fixed Penalty notices for littering in parks.


  • Retained all 12 Green Flags in 2016/17
  • Applied for 15 Green Flags in 2017/18 (new sites Palace Road Nature Garden and Eardley Road Sidings; and Heritage Green Flag award at Brockwell Park)
  • Entered London in Bloom against 10 categories this year compared to 2 categories in 2016. Judging in June/July. We have entered the following categories:
    • Large City – London Borough of Lambeth
    • Large Park of the Year – Brockwell Park
    • Large Park of the Year – Kennington Park
    • Walled Garden – Brockwell Park Old English Garden
    • Walled Garden – Kennington Park Flower Garden
    • Small Conservation Area of the Year – Eardley Road Sidings Nature Reserve
    • Common of the Year – Clapham Common
    • Heritage Parks & Gardens of the Year – Brockwell Park
    • Churchyard of the Year – St. John’s Churchyard
    • Large Cemetery – West Norwood Cemetery
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