Minutes of Meeting January 2014


Venue: Kinveachy Gardens
Date: Thursday 16 September 2013

Present: (13) Tim (chair), Steve (secretary), Gulle (treasurer), Alan, Jason,  John, Hazel,  Evelyn, Catherine, Edna, Ronnie, Nigel, Pat.

1. Apologies: Andrew (vice-chair), Chris Brown, Mickey, Paul, Liz and Steve, Christine.

2.  The minutes of the November meeting were approved.

3. Clear Up Days and Volunteer Day reports:
The wet leaves in Maryon Park were considered to be dangerous underfoot. Tim had cleared them off from 105 steps. Storm damage had included the peacock art installation in the Community Garden. Christine and Gulle had done good work on clearing the path by the troublesome trench near the foot of the Maryon Wilson steps.
Flooding: Andrew had tweeted a photo of the Thames overflowing the bank that was retweeted some 200 times, reaching an estimated 500,000 people.
We had had a walkabout with Jeremy Shearmur of the Council. Main points:
In Maryon Wilson:
-          An order was out for brambles to be cleared in the triangle opposite the old toilets
-          The trees on Little Heath would be surveyed for damage/disease
-          Tim needed to chase up Vougar re renovating the toilets
-          Stream by the bus shelter had been cleared and the damaged shelter removed
In Maryon:
-          Toilets could be renovated by end of financial year but the surveyor had left
-          The steps in Gilberts Pit, near the level crossing, would be properly dug out
-          Area by Woolwich Road gate would be cut back as previously promised and left as grass
-          Water fountain to be mended
-          Tree stump by Mickey’s house to be eco-plugged.

4. Community Garden:
It had been a quiet period. A lot of wood had been obtained, which would help repair the fencing after the gale among other things. Alan was working on a beanpole and a sink.
The wildflower area was to be increased. There was some hope of funding for the childrens’ area for rubber matting and a sandpit from a corporate volunteers day. Funding applications have been also been made to Grow Wild (Big Lottery Fund / Kew Gardens) and The City of London Growing Localities Awards. The toad in residence was still there.

5. Greenwich Parks Forum:
Gulle reported on two meetings. In November, Dawn Squires, the head of Parks, and Rob Goring from the Parks department had been present. Dawn Squires had promised Council support for the Maryon Wilson Animal Park until it could stand on its own.
The Forum is now a registered Charity. There was a certain amount of finance available from the Forum for Friends groups. The role of the borough’s 23 park-keepers was being reviewed.
At the January AGM, Dave Morris from the London Friends’ group spoke and said councils had no statutory obligation to maintain parks. He asked Friends groups to be vigilant as councils could easily be tempted by developers.
Gulle was thanked for attending these meetings, which she will no longer be doing. We will still receive the minutes. A volunteer was sought for representing our group at the meetings.

6. ID membership badges
Tim produced a specimen of the badges we could use when, for example, on Clear-Up days. It was felt they should be very simple, perhaps with just the logo and name of the group. Badges were approx £8 per 100 and lanyards £30 per 100.

7.  Report from MWAP meeting:
Liz had sent in a report from having been our observer at the latest Maryon Wilson Animal Park meeting.
Extra animal tours are planned and there was a discussion about CRB checks.
The draft business plan proposed a contribution of £3 per child per visit to the animals. With 25 people on four tours per week, this would raise £15,000 per year.
The treasurer had recently resigned.
They intend to get estimates for renovating the pond.
They would be writing to Vougar, who was interested in renovating the toilets.
One sponsor had been confirmed at £5,000 and others were being approached.
Animal adoption will be reintroduced.
Fund-raising activities were discussed but nothing concrete was agreed.
Carol Kennard of Riding for the Disabled was in favour of the proposed cycle path, which our meeting had opposed. She believed it would provide a firmer footing for the ponies.
Our meeting felt that the financial projections were over-optimistic and that £3 was too much to charge.

8. Royal Greenwich consultation on Parks byelaws:
The Chair has submitted a response from the Friends that includes the following suggestions;
Adding a byelaw to ban bird-box traps.
Adding an alcohol bad to the new byelaw banning smoking in childrens’ playgrounds
Adding a byelaw to prevent damage to turf and grassland by contractors’ vehicles and waste skips.
Our queries were: how would the smoking ban be enforced? how/where would the byelaws be displayed?; which Council officers would enforce them?

9. Website: – www.friendsofmaryonparks.org
Photos had recently been added including some of the storm damage.

10.  Treasurer’s Report:
We had sold £455 worth of calendars (there were 9 left), making a profit of £71.
The balance was £1,162.44 plus the calendar money.

11.  Correspondence:
Andrew sent in a report from the Charlton Society committee meeting on January 13th.
There is an Open Gardens Saturday in June in aid of Bexleyheath Hospice. Anyone interested in opening their garden to visitors – including the Community Garden – please contact Andrew.
The Charlton Society is in the process of getting a £5,000 grant for a campaign to see if there is sufficient interest in a Charlton Community Council. It would push for improvements in Charlton.  Please contact Andrew if interested.

12.  Any Other Business:
A feasibility study was being done into setting up a Heritage Trust for the whole of the borough.
Two of our officers were invited by the Council to a Volunteers Meeting on February 21st.
One of the nets on the tennis court had been damaged but was now repaired.
Sadly, Grace Hills, one of our founder members had died just before Christmas.
13.  Date of next meeting:
Thursday 20th March at Kinveachy Gardens,  7.15pm for 7.30.
Next clear-ups: Saturday February 1st and Saturday March 1st, meet at Flamsteed Road entrance to Maryon Wilson Park at 10am. Black sacks supplied. Bring gloves.
Steve (Secretary), Email: friendsofmaryonparks@gmail.com