Friends of Mountsfield Park Annual Report and AGM Minutes

2018 Annual Report and AGM Minutes

The last year has again been full of challenges and triumphs at Mountsfield Park. The park continues to be transformed – FoMP are delighted that Mountsfield is the venue for the Saturday morning Catford ParkRun.

Catford ParkRun at Mountsfield Park

Catford ParkRun at Mountsfield Park

The new avenue tree planting is also a very popular addition to the park, funding was provided by the Mayor of London Greener City Fund and Rushey Green Assembly. With the help FoMP volunteers we planted 39 avenue trees along the main path between the George Lane and Brownhill Road entrances. Just six of the trees didn’t survive and we will be replacing those this November/December. Please let us know if you can help plant them – email mountsfieldpark@gmail.com

Tim planting one of the 39 avenue trees at Mountsfield Park funded by the Mayor of London Greener City Fund

Tim planting one of the 39 avenue trees at Mountsfield Park funded by the Mayor of London Greener City Fund and Rushey Green Assembly

Demand continues to increase for a cafe building with toilets. In 2015 the Council under pressure from local people, our MP and Councillors invited tenders from cafe operators to build and run a cafe at Mountsfield Park, with £50,000 of the Council’s money set aside to invest in the building. People often ask when is the cafe going to be built? Earlier this year we were sure that it was about to happen. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons summarised below, the Council has been unable to come to an agreement with any of the cafe operators that submitted tenders to build and run a cafe at Mountsfield Park:

The cafe operator that was due to build and run a new cafe at Mountsfield Park has now unfortunately withdrawn for a variety of reasons that include:

a) The cost of repairing the existing drainage system without any contribution from the Council,
b) The Lewisham planning team’s requirement for a BREEAM Excellent rating as a planning condition which added substantially to the design and build cost of the building,
c) Council departments taking weeks to respond,
d) General lack of support from the Council for a new cafe at Mountsfield Park with indoor seating and toilets,
e) Lewisham’s corporate assets team withholding a rent free period, even though there is a historic precedent for this at Hilly Fields.

We will continue to campaign for a proper cafe building with toilets at Mountsfield Park. Many thanks to Ahmed and Hadija for their wonderful work keeping the current temporary container cafe going!

What has remained consistent  – is the tireless commitment of the local community, especially all of you as Friends of Mountsfield Park. Through our collective efforts we have held the Council to
account for the decisions they have made; pushed for (and secured) further funding for the park; organised events and committed to campaigning for our wonderful park to be enjoyed by people of all ages and from all parts of the community.

We would encourage all Friends of Mountsfield Park to email the following recipients if you have any suggestions or concerns about the way Mountsfield Park is maintained, poor safety or lack of facilities (deadline 28th Oct):

Cllr_Sophie.McGeevor@lewisham.gov.uk (responsible for parks) , nick.pond@lewisham.gov.uk (Lewisham parks strategy lead)
greenscene@lewisham.gov.uk (Lewisham parks and open spaces team)
damien.egan@lewisham.gov.uk (Lewisham Mayor)
janet.daby.mp@parliament.uk (Lewisham East MP)

And please complete the following Lewisham parks and open spaces consultation with your comments about Mountsfield Park (Deadline 28th Oct 2018)

https://consultation.lewisham.gov.uk/environment/newparks/

Credit  due to you, to achieve Green Flag status, a park needs to be a welcoming place, it needs to be healthy, safe, and secure, and it needs to involve the local community. In other words, without your efforts, without the respect you show for the space, without your commitment to enjoying and improving the park, the Green Flag would not be flying above Mountsfield Park now.

Dynamo Football Foundation at Mountsfield Park

We are looking forward to exciting times for Mountsfield Park in the year ahead. We will continue to push for further funding and improvements and will continue to organise events and campaigns.  We can do this safe in the knowledge that you, as Friends of Mountsfield Park, will give your support and, most importantly, continue to enjoy the Park we all love.

FoMP AGM 7th Ocober 2018 Minutes

Present                                                                                 Apologies

Barbara Veale                                                                      Tim Fogarty

Hadija Saggers                                                                     Ros Wheeler

Rory McNally                                                                       Max Calo

Danielle Shaw

Carrie Blackman

Rivke John

Financial Summary

Income from Grants                                                                            £6,388.00

Total

Payments                                                                                             £5143.00

Sundry garden purchases                                                                    £322.00

Left in account (balance)                                                                      £923.00

Election of FoMP Committee

All existing Committee members were re-elected unopposed

Chair:                                      Rory

Communications Lead:           Carrie

Treasurer:                                Max

Secretary:                                Rivke

Community Garden Lead;      Tim

AOB

Progress of Proposed new cafe building.

The cafe operator that was due to build and run a new cafe at Mountsfield Park has now unfortunately withdrawn for a variety of reasons that include:

  1. The cost of repairing the existing drainage system without any contribution from the Council,
  2. The Lewisham planning team’s requirement for a BREEAM Excellent rating as a planning condition which added substantially to the design and build cost of the building,
  3. Council departments taking weeks to respond,
  4. General lack of support from the Council for a new cafe at Mountsfield Park with indoor seating and toilets,
  5. Lewisham’s corporate assets team withholding a rent free period, even though there is a historic precedent for this at Hilly Fields.

It was suggested that the council is placing too stringent conditions on awarding the cafe contract/licence agreement and planning permission for a cafe building at Mountsfield Park. Lewisham’s corporate assets team insists that the Council must generate income from the cafe even though the cafe building and ongoing costs would be paid for by the cafe operator.

In the interim all progress is stalled and we are still suffering from lack of any official presence and no access to a park toilet during most of the week.

A suggestion was made that funds raised during People’s Day should be used to finance the salary of a full-time park keeper, as the lack is an ongoing cause for concern.

Another suggestion is the possibility of the council owned Lodge at Stainton Road, being converted to a cafe.  Not an ideal solution as a purpose-built cafe with space for community activities would not only increase the footfall but generate income.

FoMP Tree Planting in the Park.

Money has been raised from the London Mayor Greener Cities Fund for the planting of trees in the park.  It is felt that another grant should be applied to establish new fitness equipment for children.

Not everyone is happy with the extra trees in the park, some residents of houses backing onto the park have expressed reservations as they are concerned that their view will be blocked and that the Woodland Trust shrubs and trees planted by FoMP will encroach on their properties.

The deciduous Woodland Trust native shrubs and trees have generally been planted at least 6 metres from houses and will not form a dense screen. Less than 20% of the saplings are likely to survive and the trees have been carefully chosen to provide wildlife habitat, improve air quality and soften views of nearby buildings from the park.  However, the trees will be carefully monitored during their growth.  Rivke will contact the concerned residents so that we can come to a resolution with them.

Community Garden Signage

The community garden signage was discussed briefly. It was agreed to reinstate the community garden signage that describes how FoMP maintains the Mountsfield community garden as a young family friendly space with flowers, meadow, fruit, vegetables, herbs and free of drugs, dogs, litter and BBQs etc.

FoMP Christmas Carol Service

It has been agreed that we will once again run this popular event,

Proposed date, 16 December at 2pm.

Carrie will invite the Quaggy Community Choir to appear,

Hadija will once again provide hot beverages and cake,

FOMP will serve mulled wine and mince pies.

This year the points of service need to be separate.

Proposed Group Outings

Rivke raised the idea that we arrange outings to visit other parks and gardens and will draw up a calendar of proposed venues and dates.

Meeting closed at 12.30pm

 

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