1. Welcome & Introductions
Stephen Alexander (Chair) introduced himself and the other Committee members present. 3 local Councillors: Geoff Acton, Alex Ehmann and Ben Khosa as well as Siobhan Oktay, Community Links Officer, LBRuT and 20 Friends of Moormead were present. Apologies from David Allister, Head of Parks LBRuT and Barney King
2. The minutes of the 3rd AGM, held on 27th April 2016 were adopted.
3. Nominations and re-elections of the committee
The existing committee has offered to stand for re-election. The current members of the Committee members are:-
- Stephen Alexander - Chairman
- Mandie Adams McGuire - Vice Chair
- James Bishop
- Peter Bloom - (alternate Rosie Bloom)
- Nikki Gouldstone
- Harry Jacobs
- Barney King
- Moir Leslie
In addition, Liza Nischal is offering to stand for the Committee
- Proposed by Pete Smith
- Seconded by Bill Cameron.
4. The Pavilion
Stephen stated that last year's AGM was largely taken up with listening to those who had expressed an interest in the Pavilion. There are several other initiatives that are either ongoing - areas of wild flowers and grasses and long term plans for improving the River Crane - or are stalled. The really vital work is on the Pavilion and Stephen invited Gariesh Sharma to provide the AGM with an update.
- Gariesh provided a re-cap of last year's AGM position. He stated last year's consultation resulted in 70% of the responses in favour of a sports facility and a community café.
- The project was then approved to go ahead. Since then Gariesh has set up a new charity 'Moormead Community and Sports Pavilion'. It is in its infancy, and has a Facebook page with the same name. Gariesh invited the attendees to join this group and to participate in some of the activities.
- There is a vision statement that is completed. The goal for this project was provision of toilets, a coffee shop, sports storage, St Margarets Fair storage and community space for activities such as yoga / chess club etc. Gariesh confirmed that space would be fundamental for provision of community activities.
- Gariesh confirmed this is a registered charity and not a CIC. The charity has 3 trustees who would be responsible for the project.
- The Project has got active support from the local schools: Orleans, St. Stephens, St. Marys, St.Stephen's Church, Moormead FC. Work continues to get more supporters.
- Gariesh then took questions from the floor, a summary of which is below
- What is the reaction from the Council? Working closely with David Allister and Gariesh keeps him updated.
- Will the Council provide some financial support? Council has not said they will not, subject to match funding and planning permission adherence.
- For community space i.e. Yoga/ chess club this would require significant money and time. Is this sustainable and financially viable? It is something the project would like to consider, but don't have all the answers at this stage. Requirements and funding is the next fundamental step in the project.
- What timeframe are you working on for completion? 3 years
- Will the existing pavilion be demolished? Broadly yes, will revert to the Council (David Allister) but initial recommendations were it would be a waste of money to renovate.
- What materials will you use for the rebuilt pavilion? Will be based on Planning advice, but rest assured we would keep it aesthetic to the local area.
- What is the impact on parking? The pavilion / café is meant for the local community and not a Starbucks type coffee shop. Discussion on the impact of parents dropping kids off especially on the weekend, it can get very busy.
- The Pavilion in the park on North Road was paid for by the Council, why are we trying to raise funds? Confirmation from the table that Sport England and FA supported them. Cllr. Alex Ehmann mention there is less spending in the council. Not sure if this will change going forward. Council will need convincing if a bigger footprint was suggested. Gariesh Sharma stated that it is the duty of the 3 trustees to try to get the funding. Focus now is to get governance and project for formally initiated. Council have said the demolition would cost £30k
- What have you agreed with the Fair reference storage? Confirmation we have committed they would have storage in the pavilion.
- Will the footprint be larger than current? There was a sentiment amongst all that a larger footprint would not necessarily be welcomed as with it come other issues such as parking. There was a view that a squaring off would be accepted. Council support for a bigger footprint would be difficult
- Have we considered the redevelopment of TW station / the building of a walkway to the park as a means to secure additional funding? In consideration
- Rob Gray from Friends of River Crane Environment said he was there as an observer and said he was supportive of concept if FOM were. Said it was worth visiting Kneller Gardens in Twickenham which started out as Moormead, remodeled with council support. Friends of Kneller Gardens would confirm footfall improves with Café, probably too much now.
- Would this at some stage turn into a commercial operation with hire out facilities? Gariesh confirmed this is not in the plan and will not have a full license for parties/ alcohol etc. The project is for a café operation and community space.
- There was a general discussion on how the group felt the project was progressing. There were some active supporters for the work that Gariesh has done to date. There was a general agreement by all for Gariesh to provide a business case and get the requirements nailed down in a year's time and bring it to the next AGM. There was an appreciation that this is an aggressive timescale as charity funding activities tend to move slowly. Gariesh thought it was a good milestone to aim at; Finance is a priority for them.
- An active discussion pursued about the current state of the Pavilion. It is a health and safety hazard. There are kids that make their way to the roof. There was a lot of anxiety about the risk of the pavilion causing harm to the kids. There were police in attendance a few days ago. There was confirmation that should a kid get injured from climbing the pavilion, then it would be the Council's liability. Some of the windows now broken through. There was an agreed action for the chair of the AGM to get the Council via David Allister to undertake an urgent assessment of the facility and undertake actions to make it safe.
- There was a view that the water at the pavilion is contaminated based on a preview water report. Cllr. Geoff Action confirmed that this was not the case. The mains are fine but internal storage is contaminated.
- RFU will have a booth at the St Margarets Fair. Gariesh and team should use this as an opportunity to see if they could support the project and consider Moormead as actively supporting mini Rugby as well as football.
- Are there artist impressions of the project available to share to get more local support from neighbours? This could be useful at the St Margarets Fair. Gariesh confirmed this is not yet available.
The chair then brought this discussion to a close and moved to the next agenda item
5. Vision plan & trees
Stephen stated the committee have produced a Vision Plan for the medium and long term future of the park and its trees. We have been advised that, whilst it won't produce funds in the short term, at least it gets us in the queue for future funding from the Council - i.e. S106 monies
6. New path from Twickenham station to Moormead.
This will not be implemented before 2019
7. Siobhan Oktay (Community Links Officer) reference Village Planning Fund
Siobhan said the council has a Village Planning Fund for community infrastructure projects. We belong to the St Margarets and East Twickenham cluster that is paired with the wider Twickenham and Whitton cluster. There is around £77k currently in the fund, it is a rolling fund. It is for capital expenditure and Infrastructure spend only. 6 month turnaround for projects to start within a year. 2 applications welcomed a year, next application window is in March. Siobhan invited the group to take leaflets which provide more detail.
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