Minutes of Meeting, July 2011

FRIENDS OF MARYON AND MARYON WILSON PARKS

Minutes of meeting, July 2011

Venue: St Thomas Church Hall

Date: Thursday July 14th 2011

Present (15): Tim (chair), Steve (secretary), Gulle (treasurer), Edna, Mickey, Jason, Nigel, Sarah, Carol, Sheila, Ashleigh, Evelyn, John, Catherine, Christine.

Apologies: Paul, Andrew, Pat, Ronnie, Liz, Hazel.

Minutes of previous meeting: Accepted.

MWP Animal Care Centre campaign:

Edna and Sheila had been active in collecting signatures opposing the closure of the Animal Care Centre as part of Council cuts. The total was now approximately 7,500 after further support at events like the Teddy Bears Picnic, Horn Fair and Shrewsbury Park fun day.

The daily blog on this website is recording continued support and developments. It is understood from sources close to the Council that the officers may not have intended to nominate the ACC for closure but that they were merely looking at alternative ways of funding it. Senior parks staff have plans to improve the staff yard, the bothy and the classroom area, knock down the old toilets and provide an eco-styled cafe. We have been led to believe that an announcement will be made within the next couple of months in response to the STAMP petition. We understand the Council will be reviewing the staffing budget and that an animal Education Trust could be set up which would be able to apply capital funds not available to local government. The STAMP petition campaign will, however, continue until the future of the ACC is secured.

Several local publications had already responded to the latest press release about the new deer that had been born and the uncertainty over their future location.

Maryon Park redevelopment: A sum scaled down to £169,000 of lottery money has been allocated for refurbishing the tennis courts and toilets and improving the steps to Cox’s Mount. It was reported that smoking of dope and camping had been observed there, which the local Safer Neighbourhood teams would be notified about.

Open Day report: Another successful annual open day had been held in Maryon Wilson Park on Saturday May 21st, at which we had raised £224 and collected some 200 signatures for the ACC petition.

Feedback from Clear-Up days: There had been two, in June and July, the first well attended, the second less so. Gulle and Catherine had spent a long time cutting back brambles etc on the path from Charlton Park Road along McCall Crescent which the Council do not recognise and therefore do not maintain. Next one: Saturday August 6th meeting at Flamsteed Road entrance, 10am.

Website: Jason said he would add a direct link on the front page to the blog updating the ACC campaign.

Food group: It had been decided to wait until the next round of Capital Growth funding at the end of the year as a proper constitution and bank account, separate from the Friends group’s, were required. Mickey had visited the Derek Cheeseman Neighbourhood meeting where it was suggested that we should have a notice board in Maryon Park (previously ruled out because of cost). It was agreed to lend £20 to the food group as a start-up if required. We should investigate Council waiting lists for allotments.

Tree Walk Project: Nigel had on show a provisional map showing two possible walks, with tree identification. Jason said there would be a website version and possibly an I-phone app and even a Kindle version! Carol was working on the design of an A3 leaflet. Ashleigh volunteered to cast some labels in stone for the trees but we were not sure that the Council would agree to this.

Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project: Carol had been busy researching and talking to local groups. There had been a talk to Thorntree School children about war memories. Some interviewing of local residents had begun. There was a new version of the leaflet about the project available, which a number of members agreed to distribute to local houses. Training for interviewers will take place in September.

Bats: Catherine and Gulle had attended a bat detection course and taken part in a walk near Charlton House. A bat walk is planned for a September evening. A national project has been set up aiming to record total numbers of bats.

10th Anniversary Celebration in November: Suggestions included making the AGM more of a social event with a cake and possibly an alternative venue.

Correspondence received:

Fairy Hill Park in Eltham, had requested the votes of any Co-op Members among our Friends group for their Woodland trail.

Following our walkabout in May, Jeremy Shearmur of the Council had promised to put the following in hand:

In Maryon Park:

- nets for basketball court (monitor how long they last)

- see if it is possible to mow the bottom tier of the terraced shrub beds alongside Woolwich Road that had been badly pruned

- see if workers locking the gates towards the level crossing can do so on foot so as to avoid churning up the grass with their vehicles

- have soil dug out on the steps from level crossing to Gilbert’s Pit

In Maryon Wilson:

- cut back brambles on the woodland walk

- investigate the rubbish and new gate to the rear of Guild Road

- clear the weeds on the steps

- clear weeds from the bench on path to Charlton Park Road

An email from Jeremy on July 7th said “I have issued a works order for most of the issues discussed and some of the work should already have been completed.” It has also been agreed to use a different cutting machine so that the areas being cut do not continue to become smaller each time.

Friends Forum: We had been unable to attend the latest Friends Forum meeting. It was noted that £40,000 had been allocated for the 2012 ParksFest and that Hornfair Park had received a £4m grant for a heated lido, BMX area etc. Tennis was “being developed” in the parks, which augured well for our tennis courts at last. The Parks department was being reorganised with more efficient staffing, concentrating on times that parks were busiest. The Management Plan had finally been signed off.

Treasurer’s Report: The balance of our account was £3,547 including the £2,650 grant for the tree walk project.

Any other business: It was suggested that there should be dedicated barbeque areas in the parks –something the Parks Forum might discuss.

Date of next meetings: Thursday September 15th, 7.15 for 7.30 at St Thomas Church, Nellie Raven Room. AGM: Thursday November 10th at venue tbc

Steve, Secretary