Committee Meeting 26.02.07
Date: 27th April 2007
Draft meeting of minutes 26 February 2007
Attendees: Sue King (chair). John Webb (secretary), Laurie Baker (treasurer), Diane Broughton, Jason Green, Alan Harvey, Paul Higgs, John Kennett, Marion Kennett, Bryn McNeill, Viv Stevens, Bernadette Vizena, Mark Wall Jane Webb and Jonathan Bangs (Greenwich Parks)
1. Sue welcomed Mark Wall, editor of SENine to the meeting.
2. No apologies were received.
3. The minutes of the meeting of 8 January were approved.
4. Update on grant applications
- John Webb updated the meeting on the Breathing Places application; an alternative independent referee had been requested and the Greenwich Wildlife Trust had signed the necessary forms. A result wasn’t due until May but a meeting had been requested of P&OS to plan for the eventuality of a successful outcome in order to plan a time-table for spending the money to best effect.
- John Webb reported on the application made to the Co-op Community Fund for money to improve communications, in particularly paying for the website for future years and a range of ‘trail’-style leaflets. Also, he had had an extremely positive meeting with the Co-op manager, who was enthusiastic about the Pleasaunce and said the shop benefited greatly from its increased usage. There was an agreement to work together; the Co-op would be willing to provide help with prizes etc for events, there was also the possibility of the Co-op agreeing to allow a Pleasaunce notice-board on its wall and removal of the graffiti from the new shutters would be actioned.
- Jonathan Bangs reported on progress on the Barefoot memorial; the opinions of the Council’s Conservation Officer and English Heritage were being sought; the Friends agreed this was essential. The options were for replacement or renovation, the advantage of replacement being it would be easier to clean in the event of further graffiti attacks. The Friends felt that renovation was the best option, even if it was more difficult; the stone had only been graffiti-ed once in 70 years and the community shouldn’t be seen to give in to those elements. Also, it would be very difficult for a new plaque to be ‘in keeping’ with its surroundings. The use of anti-graffiti paint was suggested. JW said that a Greenwich Pride grant had been applied for to assist in the work.
- It was suggested that the John Arnold connections of the Pleasaunce provided the possibility of a major feature involving a sun dial. It was agreed that this should be explored.
- Alan Harvey said he was keen that usage of the Pleasaunce should be promoted through events; also through ‘picnicking’ by families. JW said it had been reported that the P&OS were to place benches in the woodland glen to promote this.
5. Finance and Membership. Laurie reported the balance stood at £190.03. This includes the £113 that had been held by P&OS. He had sent a signed constitution to Alan Pett requesting the £250 start-up funds from Greenwich Council to be transferred. The current membership stood at around 60. Laurie and John would compare lists of members.
6. SENine. Mark reported that the magazine was going well; the circulation had expanded to 6,500 for March, was taking in new areas and now has 32 pages. More advertising was coming in. The magazine represented an opportunity for the Pleasaunce to advertise its activities and he was keen to assist ‘not for profit, community interest’ groups. The monthly column was being included and an article on the Barefoot memorial was in the next edition. It was agreed that the Friends should continue to work with Mark to promote itself, the group and the park.
- Lee Beasley had kindly agreed to attend the Garden Day on May 20. Di and John would meet to discuss the format of the day, how to promote it and the numbers involved. It was felt a walk with more than 25 people would be unmanageable; two separate groups, with an overall attendance of 50 might be the best outcome, with refreshments.
- Tudor Fayre May 27. It was agreed the Friends needed to have a presence.
- E Nesbit evening; it was agreed this might usefully be joined with an AGM in the autumn.
- Art Day; a suitably small-scale day in which art tuition could be provided to a group of around 20 in the summer would be a good idea; JW knew some art teachers willing to donate time to this. A link-up with existing art groups would be desirable.
- Winter event; the Friends would input into arrangements for next year’s event through the management committee’s events sub-committee.
- A Hallowe’en story-time in the Woodland Glen might be organised either with the Library or the Greenwich story-telling group.
- An ‘Away Day’ to a park with an active Friends group. JW had contacted the Friends of Peckham Rye Park, which had also received a substantial lottery grant, with a view to an enjoyable visit where notes could be swapped.
8. Bowls. Alan Harvey reported that there were various concerns for the coming season for bowlers. The facilities were in general very good. However there were concerns:
- access for mobility-impaired members was poor because of the lack of parking and long walk to the green through the park. There should be use made of the side entrance; also better ambulance access was essential; there were car parking facilities on E Nesbit Walk which should be utilised.
- communications in the case of emergencies were a problem. The phone in the pavilion was disconnected and some arrangements for this needed to be put in place.
- he was concerned that the sprinkler system would be inadequate for hot weather and that an expensive ‘cracking’ of the green might occur; he himself had moved the sprinkler around each morning to prevent this.
The Friends noted these concerns which would be taken forward by Jonathan n conjunction with P&OS who would report back to Alan in time for the bowling season opening in mid-April. The Friends were enthusiastic about the role of bowling in the overall Pleasaunce scene and suggested that the bowls groups made use of SENine to attract new members. They were grateful for Alan’s suggestion that the bowls pavilion should be used by others when not being used by the bowling groups (i.e. winter and mornings in summer).
9. Gate openings; the timings needed to be made clearer for visitors; at the moment the clocks were inconsistent both with each other and with when the park was actually closing. Consideration of longer opening times both in the summer and now that the days were lengthening should be looked into.
10. Management Committee. JW reported on the management committee meeting where he had represented the Friends’ frustrations on various housekeeping issues. He was pleased to report there had been some movement on this and signs that a more responsive approach was being taken by P&OS and the pub lessees to these concerns. In particular, graffiti had been removed and duckweed reduced in coverage. The lessees had promised to tackle the problems in their area of responsibility and there would be a report-back to the management committee on progress that had been made. It was essential for this to be maintained.
JW reported that Sue and he had discussed with P&OS the possibility of the Friends helping to maintain the wildlife pond; they had been agreeable in principle, subject to the necessary safety considerations. The views of Greenwich Wildlife Trust had been sought. In discussion it was agreed that the Friends should pursue the idea of a monthly (last Saturday of each) ‘work morning’ which could utilise the bowls pavilion for refreshments, preferably 10am – 12pm. We would aim to start these on 31 March.
11. Signage. It was agreed that some extra signage to explain the various features of the park would be beneficial; this would be taken forward at a future meeting.
12. Road noise; there was enthusiasm for a screen against the motorway to reduce noise and visual intrusion. This could be combined with extra tree cover (as per the Breathing Places grant application). This would greatly add to the attractiveness of the park. John said that TfL were reviewing the A2 in the near future and the Friends would liaise with the Council in putting forward a submission requesting the screening.
13. Tudor Barn. There was a short discussion on how the problems associated with the pub usage could be tackled. The usage during park opening hours by drinkers was a major negative factor for many people. It was noted that there was a 25 year lease for the pub. The officers would consider how best to take this forward so that the Barn could be used to attract and not to discourage park users. Concern was also raised about the effect of the Smoking Ban moving smokers outside of the pub. Brian should be approached about contingency plans for this.
14. Meetings. The schedule of meeting was agreed; the next one would be a committee-only meeting on Monday 30 April and then an open meeting on Monday June 25.