AGM 11th June 2013 – minutes

Minutes of
THE FRIENDS OF WANDLE PARK ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON 11th JUNE 2013
(click here for a copy in pdf)

VENUE: OLD TOWN YOUTH CLUB

IN ATTENDANCE:
Councillor Tony Harris (Host/Guest), Meike Weiser (Croydon Council/Guest), Ally McKinlay, Andrew Dickinson, Ann Johnson, Michael Johnson, Elizabeth Moore, Michael Khan, George Wright (minutes), Irma Upex-Huggins, Jacky Wilson, Janet Jones, Simon Jones, Imtiaz Ul Haque, Salma Haque, Nick Barnett, Pierre Nouvelett, Rei Lopez Trueba.

APOLOGIES:
Tom Sweeney, Councillor Simon Hall, Claire Bedford (Wandle Trust), Suzy Rich

1. PRELIMINARY MATTERS:
15 attendees subscribed and signed in as members prior to the meeting. It was agreed that George would chair the AGM.Councillor Tony Harris welcomed everyone and explained the background to The Old Town Youth Club and his own links with the Old Town / Wandle area. The Chair thanked Tony for all his support. Special thanks were extended to Julie Honey, former Secretary, for the many years of excellent work she had carried out for the Friends (as well as the Scouts). The meeting fully endorsed the fact that her presence is greatly missed and extended their best wishes for the future to her. Thanks were also extended to Tom Sweeney for the professional and friendly way he has developed the Regeneration. The meeting recognised that the task was certainly not easy and involved dealing with many conflicting demands.

2. CONSTITUTION:
The meeting recognised that before proceeding to the Elections, the Constitution required amending to reflect the enhanced number of interest groups who useThe Park and to recognise the time demands on Committee members.

Clause 9.1 of the Constitution allows such amendment at AGM’s, by majority vote.
The following changes to the Constitution were passed unanimously :

7.2 .The committee shall consist of the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and at least 4 but no more than 7 other members

7.8 The Committee shall hold committee meetings at a minimum frequency of 4 times per annum, the date of a following meeting being fixed by vote each time.

7.9 ‘Full membership meetings’ (outside of the AGM and Special General Meetings) shall be determined by the Committee if and when the need exists. ‘Full membership meetings’ shall be open to members and guests with committee members and members having priority if space is short

The meeting recognised that now the Scout Hall at the park is closed, there is no venue to meet until the Cafe opens in The Park.

3. ELECTIONS
The following were elected to Committee posts (also their area of interest is shown in italics)
CHAIR: Nick Barnett (South Quarter)
SECRETARY: George Wright (Dog Walkers / East side residents)
TREASURER: Simon Jones (East side residents)

Committee Members:
Elizabeth Moore (Assisting Treasurer/ Dog walkers/ South side residents)
Ann Johnson (South side residents)
Ally McKinlay (Young people/creative work in park)
Andrew Dickinson (Environment/ Wildlife/ conservation)
Michael Khan (I.T/ Communications/South side residents)
Irma Upex-Huggins (Arts&Culture/East side residents/Dog walkers)
Pierre Nouvellet (East side residents / Dog walkers)

4. EXAMINATION OF PREVIOUS AGM MINUTES
Not available. At the time the Committee anticipated very little activity whilst the Park was being closed and renovated

5. EXAMINATION OF ACOUNTS/ TREASURERS REPORT
Elizabeth (former Treasurer) made a current statement available to Simon, showing the Friends account at Santander was in credit to the sum of £359.61 and there was no expenditure since the last AGM. Meike mentioned in another context that there is a small budget of £5,000 for the Council to assist in one off items such as equipment but this is shared among 20 parks.

6. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Imtiaz Ul Haque explained that he lives in the Vicarage Rd area and is a retired industrial chemist. He raised several important issues:-

6.1 River Pollution.
Since the river has been opened up he has noticed a lot of noxious ‘effluent’, particularly at the outlet. He mentioned that many midges breed there and spread out onto cars etc in his street. He has reported this to the Council but he believes that due to cuts in staffing, the Environmental Health Section are not equipped to deal with this. The Friends have noticed the state of the river, which was initially reported to the Council in February. It is Thames Water’s responsibility to address this and clearly so far they have failed. We will continue to press for a remedy.

6.2 Skate Park.
Mr Haque feels this facility has attracted some young people who have no regard for pedestrians as they skate along the pavement by his house. He also mentioned that visitors to his house were intimidated at Wandle Park Tram stop by young people. The meeting advised Mr Haque they had no role in events outside the park and either the Police or Enforcement Officers need to be contacted. Equally a log of incidents and contacting his local councillor might be productive. For untoward events in the Park both Ally and Simon felt that an incident log would be helpful. Ally pointed out that another park gateway in the Skate park vicinity, going through South Quarter, is to be opened. This issue links in to the absence of a Park Ranger at present.

6.3 Children’s Play Area.
George raised the question of the need for fencing around the play area. He has already approached his local councillors and MP and has been told the Public Realm Director will investigate health and safety issues arising from the area being unfenced. The main concerns are very young children dashing out on the adjacent path and getting hurt, dog mess and wandering off into the nearby river. There was a lot of debate but no unanimous view. In these circumstances George said perhaps just the toddler area could be fenced. However because of the divergence of opinion the Friends as a body would not adopt a petition or campaign but some would assist George in canvassing the views of park users.

6.4 Bandstand / Cafe.
Irma offered to act as a culture / arts person on the Committee, with a view to getting local performers (musicians, poets, story tellers, dancers etc) to use the bandstand free for public entertainment to express the range of arts and culture in the area. Meike felt there would be no public liability issues if it was done as a spontaneous thing i.e. not advertised. This fits with the busker type model (but without the seeking of money from the audience) that Irma has in mind. Meike mentioned the Council were due to appoint a Family Learning Officer exclusively for Wandle Park who could also support these activities. Ally will also speak to the Manager of the Green Dragon to see if any of the artists who perform there might like to assist. The meeting unanimously approved Irma’s proposal.

6.5 Wandle Park Revival.
This is the official opening of the park on 6.7.13, from 1100 to 1800. The Friends will have a stall concentrating on the History of the Park. The Committee agreed to assist in staffing this.

6.6 St Edmonds Church.
Andrew raised the question of this historic and beautiful Victorian Church which is falling into disrepair. Simon and Janet related their own efforts to stop developers over the years, where some of the proposals would have generated a traffic overload on the narrow, local streets. It was felt that it could have made a superb cafe and / or visitor education centre. At present we believe the owners (The Diocese) are trying to hive it off into some form of Charity with a view to long distance disposal. Pierre mentioned that bats (larger than pipestrelles) are probably nesting there and Janet confirmed she had also seen these. The Committee agreed to support every effort to get it locally listed / environmentally protected.

6.7 Website/ email communications.
Michael (Khan) is an I.T. specialist and he would be happy to revitalise the website as we are likely to get wider penetration with this. The meeting gratefully accepted his offer and George will forward all the email addresses that were collected today.

7. DATE OF NEXT MEETING.
The new Committee will meet at 7 for 7.15 on Tuesday 2nd July 2013, venue to be notified.

CLOSE OF MEETING. George thanked everyone for coming, stating the revitalised Committee would be able to build on and safeguard all the positive things the Park now had to offer.

Minuted by: George Wright, Secretary.

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