Minutes of Meeting July 2016

FRIENDS OF MARYON AND MARYON WILSON PARKS
Minutes of Meeting, July 2016

Venue:  Kinveachy Gardens, SE7
Date:  Thursday July 7
Present: (7) Christine (chair),  Steve  (secretary), Gulle  (treasurer),  Catherine,  Liz, Ashleigh, Carol Kenna. 

1. Apologies: (9) Alan, Andrew, Evelyn, Mickey, Jason, Pino, Raj, Nigel, Ronnie.

2. Minutes of previous meeting: The sheep-shearing in Maryon Wilson appeared to have taken place a couple of days before the meeting. We were disappointed not to have been told, so we could help publicise it.

3. Clear Ups: Thanks to those who turned out in May (Catherine and Jason), June and July. June’s work concentrated on Maryon Park, where this year’s Green Flag inspection does not yet appear to have taken place. In July work included weeding the steps in MWP. Suggestions for future work, including cutting back brambles, overhanging branches etc would be welcome ahead of the next Clear Up on Saturday August 6. We are also keen to hear whether more people would turn out to help on a Sunday instead of Saturday, or at 11am instead of 10am on either day. Please email Friendsofmaryonparks@gmail.com to let us know.

4. Maryon Wilson Animal Park: On June 22nd, 16 months after our open letter to the Council asking them to take back control and financing of the Animal Park, a cabinet meeting finally agreed to do so.
The Council report said that MWAP Ltd would be dissolved and become a Friends group, “concentrating on raising funds for capital projects and organising and delivering activities in the park”.
We will now contact MWAP representatives to see how they view their role going forward and in particular their choice of name to avoid any confusion among the general public between the two groups.
Our meeting expressed some concern about the forthcoming review of expenditure on the site being undertaken “with a view to reduce costs incrementally” when many feel that what is required is increased investment in facilities.
We will send a letter to the leader of the Council, plus officers Dawn Squires and Jackie Smith, copied to our local councillors, expressing how pleased we were with their decision.

5. Park projects and issues: a) While awaiting the final decision on the future of the Animal Park we had not pursued the idea of a feasibility study on renovating or removing the disused toilet block in MWP. We will now apply for some of the ward funding grant to undertake that study. There was a discussion about some sort of pop-up café in both MWP and Maryon, especially at weekends.
b) The main steps in Maryon Park had been repaired, although there was still one damaged one at the steps near the level crossing.
c) Lesley, Rod and Peet had cleared up a fallen tree in MWP which was completely blocking the path down from Cemetery Lane.
d) All park users had been encouraged to fill in the Council questionnaire about parks usage before last week’s deadline.
e) The event organised by the Charlton Parkside Community Hub in Maryon Park on Sunday June 12 had gone well. Thanks to Christine and Liz for representing us, gaining five new members and raising money from sale of tomato plants.
f) Christine and Steve joined the Parks Forum stall at the Armed Forces Day in Woolwich on Saturday June 25, where we were one of three Friends groups represented.
g) After representation from the Friends, the Parks department apologised for grass in MWP having grown to record levels. Shortly afterwards it was cut. This week, Sandy returned with his rotivator, encouraged by Richard the stockman, and made great progress in cutting back areas overgrown with brambles, and opening up new and old pathways through the trees.
Carol said it was disappointing that fallen trees were just left as deliberate policy, encouraging brambles to grow round them and often creating an intimidating atmosphere for walking.

6. Gilbert’s Pit: Friends members have been invited to visit Gilbert’s Pit via the new steps next Saturday, July 16th, from 11am-2pm. An expert from the London Geodiversity Partnership will be on hand to answer any questions. If you would like to attend please email us: friendsofmaryonparks@gmail.com . There will be another opportunity for Friends and local residents to visit at a later date.

7. MP Community Garden and Forest School:
Two trees that fell on the picnic table area have been removed. A permanent rain shelter is planned and an open reception area is to be built by the front gate.
A very successful Big Lunch was attended by 120 people and £50 was raised.
The Garden was selected to take part in Capital Growth’s “Grow Well, Feel Well” day on July 9th.
A local child minders group and the Community Outdoor Art Therapy Service are regularly using the Garden and Forest School respectively.
The next Community Garden meeting will be at Kinveachy Gardens on Tuesday September 13th at 7pm for 7.30.

8. Treasurer’s Report: The balance remains £838.16 plus petty cash now increased to £25.11.

9. IT Report: Steve will write some notes on the Council’s Animal Park decision for Jason to add to the website www.FriendsofMaryonParks.org

10. Other groups: Gulle and Steve attended the Greenwich Parks Forum meeting at the end of May. We received apologies from the Council’s Rob Goring that (1) there had been so little notice of plans for a Maryon Wilson Open Day (subsequently abandoned) and (2) that we were not invited to the opening of the Gilbert’s Pit steps in May.
The Friends of Fairy Hill Park (Sidcup) expressed their opposition to Council plans to keep open seven parks that are currently locked at night. The Friends of Fairy Hill Park believe this will encourage vandalism etc. The Council say it is not a cost-cutting measure but a better way of deploying man/woman power. Maryon Park is not affected and will remain closed overnight.

11. Any other business and diary dates:
There is a dog show in aid of Riding for the Disabled in Charlton Park on Sunday July 10th at midday.
Our next meeting: Thursday September 8th at Kinveachy Gardens, 7.15 for 7.30pm. 
AGM (to be confirmed) Provisionally Thursday November 10th.
Clear-Ups: Saturday August 6th and Saturday September 3rd. Meet at Flamsteed Road entrance to Maryon Wilson Park, 10am. (Bring gloves).

Steve Tongue, secretary
Email: friendsofmaryonparks@gmail.com