Committee meeting 13th March 2014 – minutes

FRIENDS OF WANDLE PARK COMMITTEE MEETING
13TH MARCH 2014
(Click here for a pdf copy)

IN ATTENDANCE: Nick Barnett (Chair), George Wright (Minutes),
Michael Khan, Liz Moore, Ann Johnson, Simon Jones, Andrew Dickinson, Ally McKinlay, Irma Upex-Huggins

APOLOGIES: Pierre Nouvellet

GUEST PARTICIPANT: Tom Smith

AGENDA:

1. Member concerns. Several Committee members have been approached by general members who were complaining that they were unaware of any benefits accruing from their membership. Activities such as river monitoring, an ‘open’ bandstand meeting and supporting Tom’s events have been happening but it was agreed that feedback was poor due to the lack of a viable website but this was now being addressed (see item 8). Members also have voting rights but we do need an open meeting to involve both them and potential new members.

Agreed:
Next meeting should be ‘open’
Minutes to be available on website and also, if possible, in new cafe
Constitution to be changed to include website posting

2. Transparency and Openness in Committee: Michael expressed concern at a lack of communication by some Committee members whereby the new website seems to have become a fait accompli. After considerable discussion it was agreed that a core group consisting of the Chair/ Treasurer/ Deputy Treasurer/ Secretary/ Membership Secretary need to agree any urgent matters if these arise between meetings and the Committee should be emailed in to proceedings. As the matter was getting too protracted the Chair ruled that we take heed of Michael’s concerns but move on with the Agenda.

3. Art Material needs: Ally raised this in connection with wall decoration, signs and ceramics around the park. He works with young offenders who could undertake the work. Tom explained the tramway wall was owned by TFL but he was trying to
negotiate use of this. Equally he has a budget which is primarily for schools but he was interested in developing an art worker:

Agreed: Ally and Tom to link up on this.

4. Green Flag / Grow Wild / Up Your Street sub- committees: These are initiatives and schemes that could be applied to the park. Nick wondered if they would develop better if a sub-committee took responsibility. It was agreed to keep the focus in this Committee but if the enthusiasm grew then individuals might find the time in future to set up small groups. Simon mentioned his participation in the Community Gardens and, responding to comments, said he went simply as a neighbour via reading notices put up by Tom throughout the Park inviting community participation and certainly not from any ‘insider’ knowledge. His link and feedback was much appreciated and there could be a late summer barbeque event for The Friends around this facility?

Agreed: Via Facebook, invite skate park users to Committee meeting

5. Play options for under 5’s: Ally raised this but a number of parents have also made the point to Committee members that the equipment in the play area is too big for really small children. He suggested a small area for items such as ‘basket’ swings, small slide etc perhaps in the clearing to the south of the Cafe, where parents could easily supervise them. . Tom’s budget is spent but the Committee could fund- raise if the Council agreed in principle to using that area. There is the problem of dogs roaming into the existing area.

Agreed: George and Michael to look at approaching nearby stores / Barrett’s etc for sponsorship and Council consent.

6. Gateway to Park from New South Quarter: Tom said he believed that the present situation is that installing the gateway is on hold due to safety concerns while builders lorries are in the area, so the issue is with Barrett’s and Tramlink. It could considerably increase park use once open.

7. New Cafe: Bidders are being considered. No opening date as yet.

8. Website proposal: Tom confirmed this is up and running. It is already fully formatted as the Friend’s website and not Croydon Council’s. He is happy to give access for putting on material to a Committee member, provided it is not used in any political way or to attack the Council. It was felt that promoting the park and the interests of the Friends can be done without resorting to anything like that. Simon,
Irma and George saw it immediately before the Committee meeting and felt able to recommend the proposal, which is free.

Agreed: Irma would act main administrator for the Committee with Nick as back up, as from now.

9. New members: George handed over all the hard copies plus a supply of membership detail slips and receipts to Michael. It was agree that collecting that £1 membership fee was a bit problematic. Solutions might be collecting most of it at the AGM, asking the Cafe to take payments.

Agreed: George will publicise membership via the website and we will set up an email address to be publicised there and on Face book page for the Secretary to respond to all issues but directing membership ones to Michael.

10. Wandle Park Poetry Page: Irma is collecting and putting poems relating to our park on the website.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS
a. Park Ranger: Tom believes a person has just started in post but he has not met him/ her as yet.

b. Light pollution: Irma drew attention to the large glaring lights that are left on all night on the outside walls of the cafe. These are causing the birds to confuse night and day and is very wasteful. The Council could surely look at motion sensor controls and save money in the longer term.

c. Tennis court/ Cricket pitch/ Bandstand: Usage has not been high enough as yet to justify a booking programme or fee. Presumably the new Ranger will be key to monitoring/ arranging this if necessary. Irma enquired re poetry / music on the bandstand. Tom said his management were keen for this to happen now summer is arriving. He can liaise with Irma about this and he does not see any public liability concerns if events are not advertised.

THE MEETING ENDED AT THIS POINT. DUE TO THE AMOUNT OF BUSINESS CONDUCTED IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE TO FIND TIME TO AGREE A DATE FOR THE NEXT MEETING. THE CHAIR WILL ATTEND TO THIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BY EMAILS AFTER THE MEETING AND THE COMMITTEE WILL BE INFORMED ACCORDINGLY

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