Minutes of Meeting May 2016

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

Venue: Kinveachy Gardens, SE7
Date: Thursday May 5

Present: (14) Christine (chair), Steve (secretary), Gulle (treasurer), Rod, Lesley, Catherine, Alan, John, Steve G, Liz, Pino, Pat, Ashleigh, Jason.

1. Apologies: (8) Evelyn, Andrew, Tim, Edna, Nigel, Ronnie, Hazel, Mickey.

2. Minutes of previous meeting: Tim and Edna requested clarifications and additions about Community Garden items: The request for volunteers (item 7) was nothing to do with Alan being unavailable; Community Garden accounts had been audited and an audit certificate issued; the Big Lunch event in the Community Gdn on June 12 (item 9) is nothing to do with the Queen’s Birthday.

3. Clear Ups: Thanks to those who turned out in April. Gulle, helped by Pino, had cleared up kindling from where the poplar trees had fallen in Maryon Wilson, so that the grass could be cut more easily and the grass was now coming up there. Gulle and Catherine had attended the successful Woolwich Common clear-up, although Greenwich Time managed to mix them up in its coverage.

4. Park projects and issues: There were a large number of items to discuss.

a) Jeremy Shearmur having left the Council, our new point of contact is either David Willoughby, who is slowly getting to grips with Jeremy’s work, or Paul Martin, who has more detailed knowledge of our local parks. The Council had provided a new organisational chart and list of contacts for specific topics, which the meeting studied.

b) Steps down to Maryon Park had been closed off briefly for repairs, which are now complete, if a little wobbly.

c) Gilbert’s Pit steps have been completed to assist work on the cliff face by London Geodiversity and Natural England. Unfortunately other people are also taking advantage of using them.

d) There was a long discussion about possibly seeking some of the £30,000 grant available to each Council ward, in order to either demolish or renovate the toilet block in Maryon Wilson. This has not been used for an estimated 25-30 years and was described by members as ‘ugly’, ‘dangerous’ and ‘an eyesore’.
Tim and Edna had sent a note saying they were against demolition as it is ‘a historic part of the park, built to meet covenant requirements between the Maryon Wilson family and the LCC’.
(It should have been pointed out at the meeting that the Council themselves commissioned architects’ plans in 2011 for demolishing the toilet block, making that into a picnic area, and erecting a café opposite with toilets inside.)
Other suggestions included cutting back the surrounding trees and bushes; fixing the roof; approaching Viscount Gough; checking the covenant; and investigating other grant possibilities.

e) Update re future of animal park: Andrew emailed to say that Jackie Smith had only just completed her report recommending the Council take back control, which will go to cabinet shortly. Noted reports that Cllr John Fahy, who has been a big supporter of the animal park, will no longer be deputy leader of the Council.

f) Work by builders at a house in Kinveachy Gardens had caused considerable damage in Maryon Wilson Park. Following complaints by members of the Friends, the Council had ruled that parks could no longer be used for access.
Steve and Liz, being neighbours, were upset by an independent Twitter post with a photograph that showed how vulnerable the houses now were. They have requested it should be deleted.
(It was confirmed that the Friends have never had an official Twitter account, although one could always be set up.)

g) Christine had reported seeing a drone in Maryon Park and had it confirmed by the Council that these were not allowed in parks.

h) The Parks department had surprised us by suggesting at short notice that they would like us to be heavily involved in organisation and bookings for the annual Open Day in Maryon Wilson Park, provisionally scheduled for Saturday May 21. Our request for offers of help to all 190 members produced no response and we will therefore reply that this is unfortunately not possible. It is likely there will still be a public sheep-shearing, though the date is to be confirmed.

i) Thanks to Rod and Lesley for continued outstanding work on the water meadow, where all the concrete has now been removed and grass seed planted. The work had received special commendation in a post on the Charlton Parkside Community Hub. Rod will speak to Paul Martin about more regular mowing.

5. MP Community Garden and Forest School:
All the plots have been taken or reserved for the 2016/17 season. There are several new plot holders this year.
Over 100 people attended the Big Dig, where £130 was raised. The garden is receiving funds for hosting corporate team building days and from the Community Outdoor Art Therapy Service, which is running a series of Saturday afternoon outdoor art workshops based in the Forest School.
There will be a visit in June from Marjory McClure Special College, and young people from the NCS Challenge will be working in the garden on July 22.
The Garden has spent the £1,000 grant from Greenwich Parks Forum on the fruit cage for the orchard, and additional fencing for the forest school. The Garden is looking to raise £10,000 via grants to improve the fencing and food security. The next meeting will be at 141 Kinveachy Gardens on Tuesday May 10 at 7pm for 7.30.

6. Treasurer’s Report: The balance remains £838.16 plus petty cash of £12.11.

7. IT Report: There were 66 page visits to our website in March and 55 in April. Pages have recently been updated, so please have a look: www.FriendsofMaryonParks.org

8. Other groups: The Greenwich Parks Forum met in March. They announced that the Friends of Charlton Park had reformed. The Council’s Parks budget has been cut to £4.5m.
The Charlton Parkside Community Hub are organising a summer event in Maryon Park on Sunday June 12, the date of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration. They propose children’s races, possibly donkey rides etc. We will have a stall, and would like volunteers to help with manning it. Please email Friendsofmaryonparks@gmail.com

9. Any other business:
Rod had met a woman in Maryon Wilson who had been accosted by half a dozen youths who tried to steal her mobile phone and took her glasses.

10. Diary dates:
Next meeting: Thursday July 7 at Kinveachy Gardens, 7.15 for 7.30pm.
Clear-Ups: Saturday June 4 and Saturday July 2. Meet at Flamsteed Road entrance to Maryon Wilson Park, 10am. (Bring gloves.)
Friday May 20 at St Thomas Hall, talk on Spring and Summer Gardens by Chelsea Flower Show gold medallist Joe Woodcock.
Saturday May 21 Charlton Society talk by John Beckham on Wildlife, 2.30pm, Charlton House.
Sunday July 10 Friends of Twinkle Park summer festival.

Steve Tongue, secretary
Email: friendsofmaryonparks@gmail.com