The last Friends of Mountsfield Park Meeting was Wednesday 23rd April 2014, Cafe of Good Hope.
Rory McNally (Chair of Friends of Mountsfield Park) (RM), Sandra Plummer (Lewisham Council Mountsfield Park improvements project Manager)(SP) Cllr Helen Klier (Lewisham Councillor for Rushey Green) (HC), Anne-Marie (Lewisham Gardens) (SH), Sue Hodge (SH), (AE) Audrey, Barbara Veale (BV), Carrie Blackman, 4 other local residents (names to be added), Glendale agreed to be at the meeting but didn’t attend.
Apologies: Peter Ranken, Martin Hyde.
• BV asked whether all the money that had been allocated for the improvements at Mountsfield Park was to be spent on the current proposals. RM suggested that all of the money (Close to £500K) would be spent on the current proposals – café building, community garden and play area.
• RM explained that last year FOMP rented a stall at Lewisham People’s Day for £40 and sold plants to raise money and publicise the group. RM suggested that we do the same for People’s Day 2014 (Saturday 12 July 2014 from 12 noon to 8pm in Mountsfield Park). There were no objections raised. Action: RM (book a stall for People’s Day) RM & SH (Source plants for the stall)
• The Council’s proposed park plans were tabled and discussed. The plans included: Landscape masterplan layout, café floor plan, which includes 4 tables each with 4 seats, play area plan, community garden plan, designer’s visualisation of the proposed café. SP explained that because of the complex nature of the work and the amount that’s being spent, London Borough of Lewisham framework design consultants were invited to tender for the commission. Consultants that win a place on the Lewisham Council framework are subject to a rigorous selection process in line with the European Union (EU) Procurement Directives (OJEU). BDP were awarded the commission to prepare the designs and run the contract because they qualify as a Lewisham framework consultant for work that includes a combination of architecture, engineering and landscape design and they submitted the best tender in terms of price and quality. SP described that because of the complexity of the project the consultants fees for the improvements would be as much as £65,000. Separate tenders are being undertaken to engage both a cafe manufacturer and a Landscape/ Civil’s contractor. SH asked for more information about the detailed design of the building, SP explained that the café building details would be included in the current planning application drawings, and would be subject to the Borough’s planning conditions and what the specialist container building contractor could offer within the constraints of the existing budget (and planning consent). SP also added that objections to the planning application may lead to a 2 month delay in programme. SP also suggested that the community garden needs to be in use by January 2015 because of the funding constraints. Several people at the meeting commented on the poor condition and quality of the existing play area equipment that the Council plans to reuse as part of the refurbished pay area. SP said that the reused play equipment would be checked to make sure no defects and then re-painted to look ‘as good as new’. SP was asked whether it would be possible to retain the existing play area floor surfaces and use the money to replace the equipment. Action: SP
•CB stressed the importance of involving local school children in the park and wants to promote school involvement in the proposed community garden and use of the playing fields for sports days Action: CB
• It was noted that there was a lot of litter in the park on Tuesday afternoon from the bank holiday weekend. BV reminded us that litter in the park has been discussed during many meetings attended by Glendale over many years and the adequate provision of well designed litter bins has still not been addressed.
•It was also noted that the Mountsfield Park signboard near the bandstand was knocked over, removed and hasn’t replaced. Action: Lewisham Council/ Glendale
• BV said that people were concerned when the blossom trees were felled on the site of the proposed cafe without explanation. We discussed how the improvements and tree removal should be better explained and publicised in the park. Laminated display to be posted in the park. Action SP & RM