Completion of the Hardings Park Project

An official celebration of the completion of the Hardings Park project and the creation of a leisure hub for Gillingham will be held on Saturday, 15th July from 11.30am till 4pm. The event will be hosted by Gillingham Town Council in partnership with the RiversMeet Leisure Centre.

The skate park will be officially opened with a ‘Skate Jam’ from 12 noon with numerous prizes on offer.

The outside table tennis facility and multi-use games area will be officially opened at 11.45am. RiversMeet Leisure Centre will be providing a BBQ and Italian ice cream at reasonable prices.

The table tennis facility will be dedicated to the late Mr Alan Hislop – a veteran international table tennis player who died earlier this year and was an enthusiastic ambassador for the sport and keen to see a table tennis facility included as part of the refurbishment of Hardings Park.

The multi-use games area is suitable for football and basketball and free to use. As part of the celebration, we hope that ball skills will be demonstrated by local football and basketball players.

The Adventure Play Area nearby was officially opened last June and has been extremely popular with local families and visitors.

We invite the whole community to join us for this celebration.



An Avenue of Oak Trees

On Monday 27th February 2017, the final sixteen oak trees were planted to finish off the avenue of trees project that was started last spring on the open space adjoining King John Road in Gillingham. The avenue of trees commemorates the 500th anniversary of Gillingham School as well as a reference to Gillingham’s past as a Royal Forest. The newly planted trees will help to irrigate the local area, improve the water quality of the River Lodden, which flows through the site, and reduce surface water run-off to help prevent flooding further downstream. The trees were purchased from funds held by the Town Council and donations from Gillingham School and local residents.

Website Photo

The Mayor of Gillingham, Cllr Barry Von Clemens with Town Council staff, Dorset Countryside, Gillingham School and local residents.



School Councils Linked to GTC

The Mayor of Gillingham, Cllr Barry Von Clemens championed the initiative for local school councils to link with Gillingham Town Council.   At the beginning of his Mayoral year

Cllr Von Clemens had stated that “young people have a voice and we are here to listen”.


Representatives of Gillingham School’s council attended the Gillingham Full Council meeting held on Monday, 23rd January 2017 and presented a report of their current activities.   Members of the town council welcomed this report and agreed that Gillingham School Council and St. Mary’s Primary School Council, who had asked to join this initiative, should be invited to send written reports, on a quarterly basis, up-dating the town council of their issues and concerns. This will provide a platform for the young people to engage with the first level of local government, to experience how democracy plays it’s part in their everyday lives.


Cllr Von Clemens hopes that in time all the School Councils will join this initiative and he would very much welcome their involvement. He stated “The young people are the future. This will be their chance to become part of Gillingham’s future development”.

Volunteer Community Flood Warden

Volunteer Community Flood Wardens for the Gillingham area.

Storm Angus visited us last week, depositing significant amounts of water across the area leading to river levels rising and flooding in parts of the town. This is the first of many winter storms this year that are large enough to be named.

During incidents such as this local volunteers play an important role. The Gillingham Community Flood Warden scheme has been in operation for the past sixteen years. Local volunteer Flood Wardens work in partnership with the Town Council and Environment Agency and provide vital local information during flooding.  Mayor of Gillingham, Cllr Barry Von Clemens, said “We are very fortunate to have several dedicated volunteers but we need more local people in the local communities within our Town to come forward and volunteer to assist during times of need when these storms hit”.

Community Flood Wardens are appointed by Gillingham Town Council and act under the authority of the Council who will provide public liability insurance and training in the roles and responsibilities. The Environmental Agency acts as co-ordinators of the flood wardens, advising and supplying them with information, to assist them during times of flooding.  Flood Wardens are the first point of contact for residents during a flood event and give advice and information during dry periods. They are also the local response co-ordinators during times of flooding and are a conduit for dispensing information from the Environment Agency and emergency services to local residents, and vice-versa.   They compliment the emergency services, not replace them.  The Flood Wardens can be seen as offering “flood first aid”, however, they must not put themselves or others in danger.

As the town has grown in size there is the need for additional volunteers to help.  Gillingham Town Council is looking for volunteers to come forward who fit the following criteria:

  • Reasonably fit and able to notify neighbours.
  • At home during the day or working close to home.
  • A good communicator – able to explain and pass on information.
  • Interested in the local area and the river environment.
  • Ideally not living in an area at high risk of flooding.

As well as flood wardens, volunteers are also needed to help in their local community during times of emergencies, including those willing to give short term shelter to those who have been affected during an event.

If you would like to volunteer or learn more about becoming a Flood Warden please call at the  Gillingham Town Council office, Town Hall, School Road, Gillingham or telephone: 01747 823588 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thumbs up for a goal end at Church View

Gillingham Town Council has recently provided a ‘Teenzone’ goal end for youngsters at Church View following requests from local residents to provide a facility for ball games. The Mayor said “the new equipment will encourage the youngsters to play ball games in a safe environment away from the roads.” Local children and residents, seen here with the Mayor of Gillingham, Cllr Barry Von Clemens and his escort, Alison Gale, gave the facility a ‘thumbs up’ seal of approval.

Church View PRESS

Hardings Park - A New Play Area Fit For All

Harding Park

A new play park in Gillingham was officially opened this week by the Mayor of Gillingham, Cllr Barry von Clemens. This is the first project of the redevelopment of the old recreation ground into the new Hardings Park, which will offer sports, leisure and a play destination park for children and young people of all ages and abilities.

Sixteen sensational pieces of play equipment have been carefully chosen. A toddlerzone shop and slide unit will thrill toddlers, a cableway and space net will challenge children, a Viking swing and sling shot will attract adolescents and wheelchair roundabout and boat swing offer accessible and fun play equipment. Roy Allcock from Sutcliffe Play was also on hand to explain how the equipment has been designed to cater for all.

The Mayor of Gillingham said ‘I am delighted to open this fabulous new adventure play park, a flagship project for a growing town, providing a leisure hub for people of all ages to enjoy. This is an exciting time for the town with new leisure facilities and improved access to our green open spaces and rivers providing affordable and accessible ways to improve our health and wellbeing. I look forward to the future development of the Park including a state of the art skate park and multi-use games area to be installed in the coming months.’

The long awaited play equipment was chosen after two years of consultation with children and young people from local schools, Hipp!!Bones, Youth Club, nurseries, playgroups and with the wider community. The majority of the funding for the adventure play area has come from the Town Council with support from: Dorset County Council Inspired by 2012 Health and Wellbeing Legacy Fund, One Stop Shop – Carriers for Good Causes, The Three Rivers Partnership Unity Lottery, Waitrose and local fundraising events.

Jeni Green, the organiser of Hipp!!Bones commented that ‘Hipp!!Bones feels very privileged to have been involved in the consultation phase of Harding’s Parking; it is a marvellous asset for the town of Gillingham, and one in which ‘accessibility for all’ is a key focus.’

Get Involved With Gillingham's Open Spaces & Play Areas

A call for all to get involved with

Gillingham’s Open Spaces and Play Areas

Have you ever thought about getting involved with a project to help develop the full potential of Gillingham’s open spaces and playgrounds?

Gillingham Town Council’s commitment to build a destination play area for the town at Hardings Lane and the aspiration to achieve Green Flag accreditation for all the larger open spaces, a new volunteer group is now being launched on Sunday 15th May at RiversMeet. The aim of this group is to work alongside the Town Council to develop fun ideas to promote use of the public open spaces with ideas such as:

  • nature series - pond dipping/bees and butterfly planting,
  • test your limits – events for older kids involving more adventurous play,
  • orienteering,
  • a trail that links some of the play areas,
  • outdoor arts events,
  • secret spaces trail/teddy bears picnic,
  • old fashioned village green games and activities for all.

It is hoped the group will include all ages, especially those who like to ‘play’ outdoors, to share skills and organise fundraising activities and, above all else, to encourage greater enjoyment of the outdoors.

Please come along and meet us and share some of your ideas on Sunday 15th May between 12 noon to 3pm as part of the RiversMeet leisure centre open day to launch their new soft play and café. Alternatively, get in touch via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact Cllr Ms Anna Baker mob: 07789 742 031 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


King Edmund Green Rolls Bridge Gillingham