Minutes of Meeting, July 2010

Venue: 49 Kinveachy Gardens

Date: Thursday July 15th 2010

Present (13):  Tim  (chair), Gulle  (treasurer), Steve  (secretary),  Edna ,  Paul, Mickey, Pat ,  Jason,  Nigel, Hazel, John , Ashleigh, Catherine.

Apologies: Richard (new stockman), Michelle, Cecil, Grace, Roden, Elen, Roger, Christine, Carol.

Welcome: Tim welcomed those present and offered apologies from Richard, the new stockman who had been hoping to join us.

Minutes of last meeting: Accepted.

Clear-Ups: Although many people were unavailable, Mickey and Liz had done their bit on the first Saturday of July. Christine had checked out Barrier Gardens and MP playground. Steve said there was an awful lot of new litter on Thorntree Hill, partly because there was still no bin at the bus stop; Jeremy had promised this was in hand. Mickey said there had been a number of parties in Maryon Park and that foxes made a mess of the bins but that on Sundays there did seem to be tidying up going on. The August 7th clear-up will include blackberry-picking if they are ripe.

Proposed donkey derby in Maryon Park: Mickey had been unable to contact Eileen from the scouts though she had met Rob and Alan from the Council. Rob was having trouble locating donkeys as the man from Greenwich Park could not offer any until September. Riders would have to be experienced. It was agreed that the lack of donkeys was something of a handicap for a donkey derby and with time running out for the Parksfest it was reluctantly agreed that we would not be able to contribute this year. Suggestions for next year included a dog show, with Metropolitan Police dogs and “Bark” providing free micro-chipping. Ashleigh suggested an acoustic music performance. A working party should be formed so that an event takes place next year.

Christmas Card: Despite appeals, we had not located a suitable photograph for the Christmas Card. Anyone in possession of one should email Gulle. Edna will take a new picture or two in the park during the next week, after which Tim, Steve and Jason will meet on Thursday to select one. All details and artwork must be at the printers in Cambridge by the end of July to qualify for the 20 per cent discount. There was a discussion about what we would use funds for, a water fountain being one suggestion, although Jeremy has rejected this before. Catherine said there was a new movement across London to encourage these, partly to cut down on the number of plastic water bottles. Publicising the parks and us by updating our leaflet was another suggestion. Our aims/mission statement should be considered at future meetings.

Website and mobile phone: Gulle was now in possession of the phone. The number is 07599 299934. This number will be put on our poster and on other publicity so that messages can be left. Jason would put the number on the website. Jason also keeps our website www.FriendsofMaryonParks.org up to date and Tim will update our page on MySpace. It was pointed out that there was a Maryon Park page on Facebook, although it had not been updated for some time.

Growing food: Paul had received a certificate from Capital Growth although we were still waiting for a detailed application form. Catherine mentioned seeing a simple but effective fruit and vegetable patch in a High Street made with raised beds.

Bats and swifts (sightings of): Catherine reported sightings of bats in the next door garden in Kinveachy Gardens. Montcalm Road was another sighting. The RSPB is keen to know where swifts are nesting in order to help preserve and protect them. Gulle to forward the email to members so that those interested can participate in the survey.

Friends Forum meeting: Gulle had attended and reported back. The new government was cutting £1.2billion from local councils and Greenwich would suffer a cut of £70m. Cllr John Fahy had said he would do his utmost to prevent cuts to parks services. Two per cent of parks users were guilty of some form of vandalism (which may include litter offences); the council and Friends groups should try to engage them. There had been problems with the firm from which some groups hosting Parksfest events had leased marquees, claiming higher fees than agreed.

Bids and funding: Tim reported two opportunities. 1) Changing Places based around Olympic sites. Tim had applied for £1,000 for rubbish-clearing tools. 2) Wildlife grant via the Lottery Fund which would include tree walks in the park. The main Heritage bid based on Charlton Estate had been submitted and we are awaiting news.

Events Co-Ordinator: Tim suggested that an events co-ordinator would be useful. It was agreed that we should appeal via the website and that it might be suitable for a work placement. Steve to chase the University of Greenwich and University of East London regarding their event management courses.

Treasurer’s report: The Open Day in May had raised £223.70 through a combination of plants, bric-a-brac and Edna’s teddy bear tombola. This contributed to a healthy surplus of £812.92 in the bank with £28.98 of cash. Expenditure involved renewing the domain name for the website for another year for a small sum.

Any other business: Re. Maryon Park refurbishment, the Council had told Mickey that Lee  was working on tenders for the refurbishment of the tennis courts. Travellers had been moved on from the Barrier Park; thanks to John who had alerted us to their presence. The Council then moved fast to remove them. Mickey volunteered to arrange cleaning of the notice board in Maryon Wilson Park. The Council would consider removing the trees blocking out light at the back of 133 Kinveachy. Cllr Fahy had requested a meeting, which we were unable to attend, to discuss a resident’s complaint about overhanging bushes in Flamsteed Road. Gulle to leaflet the lady in question and encourage her to join us.

Date of next meeting: Thursday September 23rd at 7.30 prompt, Kinveachy Gardens.  This will include BRING & SHOW – bring something from the parks to show the rest of us.

Steve Tongue, Secretary