Plan to improve historic park

Sub-council has approved a motion to establish a steering committee for Trafalgar Park.

A sub-council meeting has given the nod to a motion to set up a steering committee, which, it’s hoped, will pave the way for new projects to improve the historic Trafalgar Park.

Ward 115 councillor Dave Bryant tabled the motion at Sub-council 16’s virtual meeting last month. It was supported unanimously. He has since met on site with mayoral committee member for community services and health, Dr Zahid Badroodien.

“A steering committee exists for the Company’s Garden and a similar committee will serve as an important management tool for Trafalgar Park,” Mr Bryant said.

The Friends of Trafalgar Park said the move was an important step in the renovation of Trafalgar Park. Chairwoman Andrea Couvert said Trafalgar Park was a large and significant park with a rich cultural and archaeological heritage.

“With the help of the communities of Woodstock and District Six, an integrated management framework (IMF) for Trafalgar Park has been developed which would help to drive the vision for the landscaping and heritage upgrades of the entire park. However, over the years, the park has not been used optimally. Some upgrades have been done to the heritage resources, swimming pool and fencing but the new emphasis is on integrating the entire park which would encourage a sense of community ownership and increased use of the park by law-abiding local residents and the community as a whole,” she said.

Mr Bryant said the committee would meet quarterly.

“Some of the main challenges relate to usage and accessibility which can be improved upon by developing partnerships and coming up with new projects to enhance the space. The park is very central and has a great deal of historical significance for the surrounding communities of District Six and Woodstock. It is also the site of an old fort which has unfortunately been fenced off for a number of years due to safety concerns. It is also directly adjacent to the Trafalgar Public Swimming Pool,” he said.

Sub-council meetings have been virtual after council went into recess when lockdown started at the end of March.

City of Cape Town speaker Dirk Smit said council, sub-council and portfolio committee meetings were being held on Skype in accordance with the council calendar and agenda.

“At this point in time, the public unfortunately cannot access any meetings of council or the sub-councils. The minutes of these meetings are available for scrutiny by the public. Utilising virtual platforms for meetings of council is still a relatively new concept, and our aim is to look at streamlining our facilities and council systems in this regard,” he said.

In accordance with the council calendar, the 24 sub-council meetings have been scheduled for July 20, 22 and 23.