Claire, Bron, Cristophe, Diane, Pat, Rachel, Maggie, Annie, Tora, Geraldine, Andy, Alex Knox, Nikki Efstratiou (guest)
The June Minutes were approved.
Butterfield Green update
Following several emails between Alex Knox, BUG, and Nikki Efstratiou during the summer break regarding the park and in particular the Children’s Playground, and a meeting between Alex and Nikki, Maggie outlined the main issues that BUG feel are a priority for the park.
- Further to emails from the Police and Council regarding cutting back some of the woodland area, Maggie emphasized that BUG would like Russell Miller, acting as our advisor, to meet with the council arboricultural responsible.
- The stream pump came on very late this summer, despite the fact that it had been agreed that it would be on from end of May. We would like to avoid similar disappointment next year. Nikki agreed that maintenance of the pump has been an issue.
- There should be a management plan for the park, which we would like to see. Nikki reported that she is still waiting for the Green Flag comments, and will follow up on this.
- There is a manhole above the water feature by the stream which is missing its cover. This needs to be replaced asap.
Nikki then went on to outline some of her main priorities and what is happening with the park.
- MUGA: this is a main priority; £25,000 has been put aside from the council budget, but a lot more will be needed. Nikki is currently applying for additional funding (2 submissions made, one more pending). BUG emphasized that we will continue to lobby for this with councilors and potential petition.
- The basketball court is also on the list of priorities, and the issues (such as trees growing up through the concrete) have been noted.
- Signage: Hackney wishes to replace park signs with new corporate ones showing in symbols what is in the park and has set aside a sum of money to cover this. We would welcome the old, oversize signs being removed, but new signs are far from the priorities for this park and are not relevant for such a small neighbourhood park. We would welcome customised signs including information about design and natural features. Niki to investigate.
- Temporary fencing around Allen Road: this consultation has already taken place. We had asked for a lower fence – Nikki to investigate this.
- Potential for having a café in the park was discussed but it was decided that BUG would prefer not to compete with local cafes and the pub, which have been very supportive of events in the park.
- Nikki raised the possibility of introducing traffic calming measures on Shakespeare Walk. BUG/SRA are fully supportive of this and planting or raised ground were suggested, as well as making the crossing between the orchard and the playground buggy and disability friendly. To fully pedestrianize the street would, however, while significantly improving the park, be very difficult as it would restrict car entrance and exit to the estate.
- Gardeners’ hut: BUG no longer uses this for storage; it is occasionally used for electricity supply during film nights or other events.
Alex brought up the problem with dog fouling in the park and possibilities for sectioning off the playground area were addressed. Nikki has committed to installing a fence which would enclose the playground, thereby making it easier to keep dog free. Furthermore, one of the bins in the playground is loose as the front cover has been removed. Nikki informed the meeting that the bins will be repaired during the winter refurbishment, but she will do her best to get this fixed as soon as possible. The surfacing in Wordsworth road playground has been rubbed off from wear and tear and needs to be replaced. A wider issue of the longevity of materials and designs used by the council was raised and it was agreed that more research would need to go into this. This also includes the park gates. Nikki will revert on this.
Other issues raised included the potentially toxic ‘Common Nightshade’ plant which is next to the playground and should be cut back.
Cycle storage update
Rachel reported that there were serious issues with the contract she received after signing up for a storage space in the first cycle hangar. While she managed to get Cyclehoop to correct its online contract with users, anyone who signed up earlier may want to check that their own Service Agreement is with Hackney (not Lambeth) and for £30 (not £42). Contact Cyclehoop Rentals at firstname.lastname@example.org. The hangar has attracted a lot of attention and interest but is lacking any information on how to sign up for a space in a potential expansion of the scheme. The Council have said there are no new spaces available. However, if residents want to ask for some, or to go on a waiting list, try writing to the Council and making the case for more hangars. Council contact: Amanda Holden at Amanda.Holden@Hackney.gov.uk.
Film night planning
It was agreed that we would not arrange a film night this autumn, but rather postpone it to the spring. Planning will start in the winter.
Apple Day planning
It was decided that Apple Day will be held on Sunday 20th of October.
Diane, Andy, Rachel, Tora, Bron, and Annie volunteered to help organize and run the event. For next meeting (9th of October) everyone should come up with suggestions for children’s games. Annie and Bron will contact musicians. Bron will put up posters (same design as last year). Specific tasks and roles will be assigned at the meeting on the 9th.
Ideas for raising our profile
Maggie suggested that we do something to raise our profile locally, in order to get more people to come to the Community Gardening sessions and attend events. It was agreed that Geraldine would draft a design for a A5-size leaflet which could be distributed to shops in the area as well as handed out during events. This will be reviewed and discussed during next meeting.
Christophe will organize the change of signatories. It was agreed that we should have 4 authorized signatories: Christophe, Annie, Claire, and Tora.
Diane gave an update on an issue with an overgrown tree in Church Walk which forced people to walk into the road to get around it. This has now been resolved by the council.
Rachel gave an update on the Anti-Sainsbury’s campaign, which is now collecting funds for a judicial review. This is organized by Stokey Local (http://stokeylocal.org.uk).There may be further leafleting, as well as film nights and other events in Abney Park Cemetery to raise funds. It was noted that a positive side effect of the campaign is that it has brought the community together.
Geraldine told the meeting that she had been worried about a rough sleeper and contacted www.streetlink.org.uk, from whom she received very quick and professional help and who helped the person in question to a shelter. Alex also highlighted the excellent work being done by North London Action for the Homeless (www.nlah.org.uk). It was agreed that these websites could be posted on our facebook page to help anyone in a similar situation.
Dates for Diaries
· 9th October – SRA/BUG Meeting
· 13th October – Community Gardening
· 20th October – Apple Day
· 10th November – Community Gardening
· 13thNovember – SRA/BUG Meeting