Agenda and minutes

Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee - Monday, 21st November, 2016 10.00 am

Venue: Nonsuch Mansion House

Contact: Sandra Dessent - 01372 732121  Email:

Note: Rescheduled from 17/10/2016 

No. Item


Public Speakers

Prior to commencement of the meeting a period of 15 minutes will be put aside to allow members of the public who have pre-registered to do so, the opportunity to ask questions.


For further details, contact Sandra Dessent, Democratic Services Officer, on 01372 732000.


Mr. Pinchbeck of Parkrun addressed the Committee.  He outlined Parkrun’s volunteer involvement in Nonsuch Park, for the benefit of the new members of the Committee, and extended an invitation to attend a Parkrun meeting which were held on Saturday (adult) and Sunday (junior) mornings.

He also informed the Committee that following parking issues in the Sparrow Farm Road car park, the number of Marshalls had been increased, and no further issues had been reported.


Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in respect of any item of business to be considered at the meeting.


Councillor Mary Burstow informed the Committee that she had been employed as a Regional Communications and Engagement Officer for the Woodland Trust.  Councillor Mary Burstow and Councillor Mike Teasdale indicated that they were members of Friends of Nonsuch.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 99 KB

The Committee is asked to confirm as a true record the Minutes of the Meeting of the Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee held on 27 June 2016.


The Minutes of the Meeting of the Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee held on the 27 June 2016 were agreed as true record, and signed by the Chairman subject to the correction of minor typographical errors, and the following amendments, agreed by the Committee:

Minute no. 78, page 2, second paragraph, line 4 add: ‘Income excluding precepts was £144,658, £21,502 less than budget.’

Minute no. 80 page 4, last paragraph to read:  ‘…volunteers who undertook such valuable work and to Sally Williams of the Meadow Project who was sadly moving to pastures new.’

Minute no. 82, page 5, second paragraph, first line to read: With regard to pond maintenance, the JMC was informed that the Lower Mole Project…’


Restoration of the Round Pond pdf icon PDF 97 KB

This report seeks the approval of the Committee, on behalf of the Lower Mole Project/Future Woodlands, for a phased approach to the restoration of the Round Pond.


Following a report submitted on behalf of the Lower Mole Project in January 2014, the JMC had been active in exploring the best way to restore the Round Pond to enhance its wildlife value.  The Committee received a report setting out a scheme for a phased programme of renovation, which was in line with the recommendations set out in the Habitat Management Plan. 

The Committee was asked to consider the proposal as set out below:


Phase 1

During the autumn/winter 2016 after the bird nesting season, in order to reduce shading, some tree cover on the south side of the pond should be removed, whilst retaining the rest of the trees and scrub as habitat.

Phase 1 result

The return of emergent and marginal vegetation due to additional light.

Phase 2

During spring/summer 2017 the construction of a post and rail fence around the pond, with stock fencing and a field gate for tractor access.

Phase 2 result

To allow the pond weed and bank side vegetation to return and become established, minimal disturbance would result in a decrease in turbidity as the water clarity improves due to the sediment settling.  This would enable the great crested newts to return and use the pond as an egg laying site.

The importance of involving all residents who could be effected by the plans was highlighted, in particular the dog walking community. It was suggested that openness and transparency were key to ensuring that park users had the opportunity to comment on the programme, and it was noted that Facebook would be an appropriate vehicle to open up a conversation and spread the word.

Members were urged to view other ponds in the area that had been enclosed by fencing.  Ponds in Bookham and Epsom Downs were suggested as good examples.

Accordingly the Committee agreed:

(1)          to the proposal to carry out Phase 1 works (tree works) over the autumn/winter 2016 and agreed in principle to Phase 2 works subject to further consultation with Nonsuch Watch and the dog walking community.

(2)          that the formation of a pond in Sparrow Farm road dog free area be explored and a further and a report be submitted to the JMC to consider at a future meeting.


Vandalism in Nonsuch Park pdf icon PDF 80 KB

The Community Police Officer responsible for Nonsuch Park will attend the meeting to discuss security issues relating to Nonsuch Park and the Mansion House. 

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report and accompanying photographs which detailed incidents of vandalism over the summer months.  Great concern was expressed at the level of damage that had been sustained to plants, trees and structures such as brick walls, fences and seating.

It was noted that  Nonsuch Voles had been diligent in reporting incidents to the Police, and very active in repairing damage sustained within budget constraints.  Also the Chairman had instigated a meeting with Surrey Police to seek ways of reducing anti-social behaviour in the park.  The advice from the Crime Reduction/Crime Prevention Design Advisor was noted.  The use of CCTV had been suggested however it was agreed that fencing around the Formal Gardens would be a more suitable option.

Epsom and Ewell Streetcare Manager, Sam Whitehead informed the Committee that an opportunity had arisen to obtain and recycle 78m of fencing that was currently being used in Ashley Avenue and had been due to be discarded.  Ways to remove the fencing without damaging it were being explored and it was possible that the reinstallation costs could be met through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s fund where bids of up to £9,000 were accepted. 

The Committee supported the proposal to secure the rear boundary of the garden utilising the recycled fencing together with a mixture of planting and to apply for funding of the project as necessary.

All those present were also urged that if they came across any graffiti/vandalism damage to take photographs and forward them to the Police and to update the Committee at the next meeting.

Having noted the advice from the Crime Reduction/Crime Prevention Design advisor, the Committee agreed to support:

(1)            the proposal to secure the rear boundary of the garden using a mixture of planting and recycled fencing where possible

(2)            an application for the funding of the project, as necessary.


Events in the Park pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To note the current events calendar for 2016.

Additional documents:


A report setting out events approved to date for 2016 were noted.  All events were required to be covered by public liability insurance and a risk assessment.

There was one forthcoming event, as follows:

·                 St Raphael’s Santa Dash – 11 December

Nonsuch Park Awareness Day 2016: The Committee received a report outlining the day’s programme and noted the success of the event. It was supported by over 1,000 members of the public who enjoyed a day out in the sunshine enabled by the hard work and efforts of many volunteers, officers and outside agencies who gave up their time to help organise the event.

The date for the next awareness day was confirmed as 10 September 2017, and everyone was encouraged to put the date in their diaries and volunteer to get involved to help the events team. Any ideas to bring to the public awareness the diverse range of activities in the park and to ensure the continued success of the event would be welcomed.

Age Concern Vintage Festival:  An application from Age Concern to host a vintage style event on 2 July 2017, to celebrate the group’s 70th anniversary was discussed, and the Committee noted the details of the Event Management Plan.  The Streetcare Manager informed the Committee that the event was likely to attract in excess of 1,000 people and the planned Dog show was likely to be a popular draw. 

The Committee noted the event calendar, and the success of the Nonsuch Park Awareness Day 2016, and agreed the recommendation to support the proposal for Age Concern to hold a Vintage Festival in Nonsuch Park.


Progress Report - October 2016 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

A report to update the Joint Management Committee on the progress of matters considered previously and the activities of Volunteer Groups.

Additional documents:


A report was received and noted by the Joint Management Committee which updated members on the progress of the following:

·                 South and South East in Bloom Award

·                 Update from Volunteer groups

South and South East in Bloom Award: With the Committee’s support Nonsuch Park had submitted an entry to the South and South East in Bloom Award.  The judging session took place on 18 July and lasted 2 hours.  Nonsuch Park achieved a silver award, just one point off a silver-gilt award, and it was noted that Peter Holman of South and South East in Bloom had agreed to come back to the Park to offer advice and tips to help the Park achieve a gold award in the future.

The Joint Management Committee wished to record congratulations and thanks to all those involved in this prestigious event.

Update from Volunteer Groups:  An update from Nonsuch Voles was appended to the report.  In particular Mr Airey reported that they were making good progress restoring the wall in the greenhouse area. However in the formal gardens it was to be noted that regrettably time spent repairing the damage due to vandalism was increasing.

Updates on bird observation, (prepared by Peter Camber), and the Nonsuch butterfly surveys, (prepared by Bill Downey, Transect Co-ordinator of Surrey and SW London branch of Butterfly Conservation working with Sarah Clift) from Nonsuch Watch were appended to the report.  Ms Wright, secretary of Nonsuch Watch was sad to reflect that sightings of birds had decreased along with butterfly sightings in the Park.

Mr. Smith of Friends of Nonsuch provided a verbal update at the meeting.  He reported that the museum had been closed in preparation for opening in April, however the Nonsuch gallery was now open every Sunday from 11am until 3pm.  Mr. Smith also reported that the new seat had arrived commemorating brothers Charles and Harry Farmer, two soldiers who lost their lives in the first world war.  They were nephews of the former owner of Nonsuch, Captain Farmer.

The Joint Management Committee wished its thanks to the volunteer groups recorded;  Nonsuch Voles, Nonsuch Watch, in particular Sarah Clift for her work on the butterfly survey, and Friends of Nonsuch.


Mid-Year Budget Monitoring pdf icon PDF 84 KB

This report advises the Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee of the mid-year financial position for 2016/17 and the forecast budget position for 2017/18.

Additional documents:


The Committee was presented with the mid-year budget monitoring report and informed that the accounts for 2015/16 had been closed.  The reserve figure was £123,585.  It was noted that after the first five months of 2016/17 there was a £5,000 net underspend forecast for the year against budget (resulting from a £10,000 underspend on grounds maintenance, and a £5,000 overspend on the mansion house maintenance).  The Committee was advised that any available underspend could be more accurately predicted at the end of the third quarter.

The Committee:

(1)            Noted the mid-year financial position

(2)            Agreed that further discussion on the preparation of the budget for 2017/18 would take place after the meeting, and reported at the next Committee meeting.


Heritage Lottery Funding pdf icon PDF 97 KB

This report seeks approval from the Joint Management Committee to progress with the development of a Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) Parks for People bid for the park, subject to sufficient funding match being secured.


The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) had a number of different grant programmes to fund heritage projects across the UK.  The Parks for People grant programme offered grants for historic parks projects of up to £5 million.

The Committee received a report outlining proposals to develop a first-round application for the park, the timescales involved, and the financial implications.

The report sought the Committee’s approval to allocate funds to appoint consultants to support the preparation of the HLF bid application.  The Committee were advised that the London Borough of Sutton had recently been successful in securing lottery funding for Beddington Park and considered that appointing a consultant to prepare the required detailed and accurate information played a large part in the success of the bid.

The Committee was informed that the proposed figure of £15,000 requested to appoint a consultant was an estimate and that the sum of £10,000 identified in paragraph 5.4 of the report as being offset against this estimated cost referred to the projected budget savings for 2016/17.  However, it was again stressed that any savings to be achieved could not currently be accurately predicted.  It was agreed that the Committee would be updated on the position at the next meeting.

The Committee agreed that the HLF bid was an important project that, if successful, would help to secure the long term future of Nonsuch Park.

Accordingly, the Joint Management Committee:

(1)            Approved in principle the proposal to progress with an HLF Parks for People bid.

(2)            Agreed to allocate up to £15,000 from the 2016/17 Joint Management Committee revenue budget to appoint consultants to support the first round preparation of the HLF bid application.

(3)            Agreed that the submission of the first round HLF bid application would be subject to the identification and allocation of sufficient match funding towards the Parks for People bid, and would be the subject of a subsequent report to the Committee.


Maintenance Plan Update pdf icon PDF 81 KB

This report provides an update on the priority works and outlines the works proposed to be undertaken in 2016.

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report detailing the up-to-date position on priority works, and was asked to authorise the carrying out of urgent health and safety works to windows at both Sparrow Farm and Castlemaine Lodge and electrical testing in Nonsuch Mansion and the Tractor shed.  The Committee agreed that it was important to ensure the work was completed before the cold winter months. 

The pathway from Sparrow Farm Lodge was also discussed as Members had concerns that it could become icy and slippery in the winter.  The Committee was advised that it was scheduled to be repaired/renovated in the next financial year but in the meantime alternative funding would be investigated and reported back at the next meeting.

Accordingly, the Committee agreed to authorise the following urgent health and safety works as follows:

·                 Windows at Sparrow Farm Lodge

·                 2 windows at Castlemaine Lodge

·                 5 yearly electrical tests for Nonsuch Mansion and the Tractor shed

It was further agreed that the above works would be funded as follows:

·                 £2,756 from the maintenance budget

·                 £6,394 from the Nonsuch reserve budget


Future Dates of the Joint Management Committee Meetings pdf icon PDF 61 KB

This report seeks the agreement of the Committee to the dates for future meetings of the Joint Management Committee for the 2017/18 Municipal year.


The Committee received a proposed list of meeting dates for 2017/18, and agreed to the following:

·                 Monday 26 June 2017

·                 Monday 30 October 2017

·                 Monday 29 January 2018

·                 Monday 30 April 2018

Meetings will be held at Nonsuch Mansion House, commencing at 10am, unless the Mansion House is not available and the Committee/public would be advised accordingly.

It was also agreed that the report deadlines for future committees would be circulated to all members.


Exclusion of Press and Public

Under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Committee may pass a resolution to exclude the public from the Meeting for Part Two of the Agenda on the grounds that the business involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 to Schedule 12 A to the Act (as amended) and that pursuant to Paragraph 10 of Part 2 of the said Schedule 12A the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.



The Committee resolved to exclude the Press and Public from the meeting in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that the business involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act (as amended) and that pursuant to paragraph 10 of Part 2 of the said Schedule 12A the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.


Progress Report on Confidential Items exempt from Publication - November 2016

This report has not been published because the meeting is likely to be closed to the press and public in view of the nature of the business to be transacted/nature of the proceedings.  The report deals with information relating to the financial or business affairs of the Joint Management Committee and third parties and the public interest in maintaining the exemption currently outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.


The Committee agreed a way forward as set out in the Minutes

Note:  The details are considered officially sensitive at this time and the Minute for this item will be exempt from publication.