Agenda and draft minutes

Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee
Monday, 26th June, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Nonsuch Mansion House

Contact: Sandra Dessent, tel: 01372 732121  email:  sdessent@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chairman 2017/2018

Minutes:

Councillor Mike Teasdale was appointed Chairman of the Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee for 2017/2018.

2.

Adjournment for Public Speaking

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 Fiona Cotter, Democratic Services Manager, on 01372 732000.

Minutes:

Councillor Mary Burstow addressed the Committee with an update on Warren Farm and was pleased to report that at least third of the meadow land had been cleared of Golden Rod thanks to the commitment and efforts of volunteers from Woodland Trust and Parkrun.  She was also happy to confirm that Sky Larks have returned to the farm.

The Committee also expressed a special vote of thanks to Roger Hawkins for his continued commitment and work at Warren Farm.

3.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 113 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 24 April 2017 (attached) and to authorise the Chairman to sign them.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting of the Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee held on 24 April 2017 were agreed as true record and signed by the Chairman, subject to the following amendment:

Minute 115, Matters Arising from Previous Meetings and Other Items of Interest – Marking out boundaries of the Old Palace, add the following text:

Nonsuch Watch were given assurances that no trees would be destroyed as a result of marking out the boundaries of the Old Palace’.

4.

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.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made by Councillors in items on this agenda.

5.

Final Accounts 2016-17 and Budget 2017-18 Update pdf icon PDF 92 KB

This item comprises of a report on the Joint Management Committee final accounts for the financial year 2016/2017 and a budget update for 2017/2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the final accounts for 2016/2017 detailing the variances on income and expenditure budgets which has resulted in an overall surplus of £19,515.  Taking into account the surplus and a change to the brought forward working balance, the balance carried forward into 2017/2018 was £134,287, and following a review of the budget for 2017/2018 the projected contribution to the working balance for 2017/2018 was £16,815.  The Committee noted that should the Heritage Lottery Fund bid go ahead the estimated consultancy fees agreed by the Committee of £15,000 could be funded from the surplus.

The Committee considered the explanations for the revised 2017/2018 budget, and made the following comments/observations:

·                 Following a revision on the purchase of Memorials’ budget, the Committee discussed the existing procedures/guidance for supplying and placing memorial benches in and around Nonsuch Park and Officers agreed to undertake a review and report back to the Committee.

·                 It was noted that the fluctuating costs of fuel made forecasting difficult and the reduction in the petrol, diesel and oil budget had therefore been based on previous year’s consumption.

·                 The budget for the emptying of dog bins also included the cost of providing general litter bins.

Accordingly, the Committee agreed the recommendations as follows:

(1)            Received the final accounts for 2016/17

(2)            Approved the revised changes to the 2017/18

6.

Maintenance Plan Update June 2017 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

This report provides an update on the priority works for 2017 and seeks the Committee’s approval to proceed with urgent health and safety works.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee was advised that six areas of health and safety works had been prioritised, as follows:

·                 Pathway between Nonsuch Mansion and Sparrow Farm Lodge:- It was noted that the most cost effective and appropriate method of repair would be a rustic pathway consisting of crushed concrete encased by kerbs.  Officers proposed a phased replacement starting with the most damaged areas and agreed to investigate the possibility of widening the path.

·                 Separation of Services for Friends of Nonsuch:-  The separation of the services would ensure accurate charge back to Friends of Nonsuch.

·                 Nonsuch Mansion/Tractor Shed Electrical Remedial Works:-  It was noted that these were classified as urgent health and safety works which we were duty bound to rectify under legislation.

·                 General Window Repairs:-  An estimate to be obtained for repairs and redecoration to high level windows at the back of the flats on the museum side including the bell tower.

·                 Flooding to access road and outside nursery (Cheam gate):-  The Committee noted that remedial works had been undertaken to clear the blocked drains that had caused the flooding, but a permanent solution was necessary for which a budget allowance of £20,000 had been made.

·                 Nonsuch Mansion Fire Protection Works:-  Following inspection, these works had been recommended by Surrey Fire and Rescue, for which a budget allowance of £10,000 had been made. Officers were pursuing firm quotes and Councillor Alex Clarke offered to pass on the contact details of a reputable company used by other local authorities. The Committee were assured should any fire regulations be revised as a result of the recent events the Committee would be informed.

Having noted the contents of the updated maintenance timetable and proposed priority works, the Committee agreed to the carrying out of prioritized health and safety works as detailed in the report and noted the sum of £9,936 set aside for unforeseen works.

7.

Nonsuch Park and the Green Belt pdf icon PDF 102 KB

This report summarises the position of Nonsuch Park in respect of “Green Belt” status, in light of the recent Green Belt Study undertaken on behalf of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report summarising the position of Nonsuch Park in respect of ‘green belt’ status in light of the recent Green Belt Study undertaken on behalf of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council.  Initial investigations had revealed that a 1939 deed entered into by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, Surrey County Council, London County Council and Sutton & Cheam Borough Council had referred to the intent that Nonsuch Park should be green belt land, although the land had not appeared as such on maps.  No further evidence had come to light to suggest the green belt status has been changed.

The Committee was advised that a wider area than that specified in the deed had been designated as Strategic Open Space which had given it a high degree of protection.  It was noted that should the park’s green belt status be confirmed it would not detract or lessen the degree of protection associated with Strategic open space/site of nature conservation (SNCI), however it would engage the relevant national planning policies and would come before the Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s Licensing and Planning Policy Committee for consideration. The Committee were assured by Councillor Graham Dudley, Chairman of the Licensing and Planning Policy that the Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee and Nonsuch Watch would be included in any consultations arising from proposed changes in the designation.

Accordingly, the Committee noted the status of Nonsuch Park and agreed that Officers be instructed to undertake further investigations, and take such further action as they consider appropriate.

8.

Progress Report pdf icon PDF 85 KB

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

Minutes:

Update from Nonsuch Watch

Frances Wright advised the Committee that a report had been received regarding the Warren Farm butterfly sightings and a report from Nonsuch Park was still awaited. 

A reply was awaited from Transport for London following a written request for the 293 bus service to announce Nonsuch Park at the bus stop nearest the gates/entrance to Nonsuch.

Update from the Friends of Nonsuch

The summer opening was in full swing and Friends of Nonsuch recorded over a hundred visitors on Sunday 25 June, from destinations as far away as Mexico.

If was hoped the dairy would reopen in the not too distant future, following the removal of a bees nest and the roof being re-felted.

Update from Nonsuch Voles

Further to the written report submitted by Nonsuch Voles the Committee noted of the two Yew trees that had been replanted as a result of vandalism, one was thriving but there were concerns that the other one had not taken.

It was further noted that the Nonsuch Voles had undertaken 809 hours of volunteer work since the last meeting amounting to a cumulative total of 1,782 since January.

The Shelter planning application had been submitted and was due to be considered by the Planning Committee at the next meeting on 20 July.

The Round Pond

The Streetcare Manager reported that following the creation of a test pond the results from the scrape had proved positive and the pond appeared to hold water well.  The next stage was an on-site meeting with all interested parties to discuss the optimum location prior to creating the new pond.  It was agreed to provide an update at the next meeting.

Vandalism in the Park

The Streetcare Manager informed that she had met with a representative from Surrey Police who advised that whilst they had limited resources and other higher priorities they continued to urge witnesses to call 101 to report any incidents and in particular homelessness and tents, and request that the information be passed to the Safer Neighbourhood Team.  In the event of a life or death situation or the witnessing of a crime in progress, 999 should be called.

It was noted that the Surrey Police were made aware of Committee dates and invited to attend all meetings.

Drones

It had been agreed at the previous Committee meeting to display Drone code posters as an interim measure whilst further investigations into amending the bylaws to include a drone ban were undertaken.  The Committee discussed the potential for drones to intrude into personal space and disrupt the peace and tranquillity of the park whilst acknowledging that a ban would be difficult to enforce.  Friends of Nonsuch and Councillor Graham Dudley reiterated their request to ban the drones. 

It was agreed that officers would submit a report outlining the process, costs and implications of changing the bylaws to include a ban on drones, or alternatively introducing a public space protection order.

9.

Events in the Park pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To note the current events calendar for 2017.

Minutes:

The Streetcare Manager presented the updated events calendar, and reported that the Nonsuch Town and Country Show had taken place and was well attended.  It was hoped that a similar bigger event would be held next year.

The forthcoming Awareness Day on 10 September was discussed, and it was emphasized that Committee members presence would be welcome, as the event attracted regular users and created an ideal opportunity for members to interact and engage with the public.

A proposal to hold a Sport Relief event in 2018 was discussed and it was agreed that past events had been well organised and provided an ideal opportunity for the public to become involved in sport and wellbeing activities which were strongly supported by the Committee.

Accordingly, having noted the Events Calendar the Committee approved the proposal to host the Sport Relief 2018 event in Nonsuch Park.

 

10.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The Committee is asked to consider whether it wishes to pass a resolution 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 involves 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 outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

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 paragraphs 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.

11.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting - Progress Report on Items Exempt from Publication

The Committee is asked to confirm as a true record the restricted Minutes of the Meeting of the Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee held on 24 April 2017.

 

These Minutes from the meeting of the Nonsuch Joint Management Committee held on 24 April 2017 have not been published because the meeting was closed to the press and public on the grounds that the nature of the business to be transacted/nature of the proceedings dealt with information which could identify individuals and relating to the financial or business affairs of the Joint Management Committee and a third party and information in respect of which legal privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.

Minutes:

The Minutes from the meeting of the Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee held on the 24 April 2017 have not been published because the meeting was closed to the press and public on the grounds that the nature of the business to be transacted/nature of the proceedings dealt with information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

12.

Progress Report on Confidential Items Exempt from Publication - June 2017

A report to inform the Joint Management Committee on the current position regarding various property matters.

 

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

Minutes:

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.