Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Joti Patel on 020 8583 3356 or Email: joti.patel@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

21.

Apologies for Absence, Declarations of Interest and Any Other Communications from Members

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were noted from Andrew Smith

 

The Chair was not present and Councillor Tom Bruce was appointed Chair for this meeting.

22.

Minutes of the meeting held on 5th September 2012

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 5th September 2013 were agreed as an accurate record.

 

Matters Arising

 

 

Page 3 Item 19

 

Chris Slack updated Trustees on the progress of the project.  Following consultation with interested user groups there were 3 proposals approved for projects of £50k and 100K.  The large project funding was through S106 and details were sent to Andrew Smith in February.

 

 

 

23.

Budget for 2013-14

Minutes:

See Budget Report – Agenda Item 3 presented by Robert Meldrum, Finance Manager, Pensions, Treasury and Capital.

 

Robert Meldrum tabled copies of the Outturns Report and highlighted that the actual costs from Laing’s had increased.  This could be due to catch-up from previous years and the budget for 2013/14 needed to be increased.  He suggested for now that the budget is set based on the figures in the report; when he had an explanation for the increase this would need to be reviewed and include details of the reason for the increased costs.

 

Trustees raised the following questions:

 

-     If there was a need to review the contract to establish how much the increased costs should have been year on year.

-     If the budget needed to be revised.

-     If the park had stopped issuing fishing licences.

-     Why there was no representative from Laing’s at the meeting.

-     Why there was no representative from Leisure and Culture at the meeting.

 

The following replies were given in response to the questions raised:

 

Robert Meldrum would e-mail any revised budget to members for review and approval at the September meeting.

Robert Meldrum confirmed that the income from fishing licences was not included in the budget.  Chris Pate added that the fishing club had left due to poachers and night fishing.  They had asked for a night watchman but this was refused by Colin Stuart at Laing’s but as of today (25th April 2013), the Fishing club would be back from June 2013.  Another issue was that Laing’s representatives tended to be consultants and frequently changed.  The last consultant had been in place for about 2 months.

It was noted that Andrew Smith had sent his apologies for this meeting and enquiries would be made regarding a representative from Laing’s to respond to questions raised regarding income streams.

 

Resolved:

 

1.      Following review of the actual outturns the Budget for 2014/13 was approved subject to any revision required in September 2013.

2.      Leisure and Culture to arrange for a representative from Laing’s to attend meetings.

 

 

24.

Update From Laing's

Verbal update on current issues from Chris Pate and Chris Slack.

Minutes:

Chris Pate, Head Park Ranger, and Chris Slack, Senior Ecologist, provided a verbal update on current park activities.

 

Chris Pate provided the following update on General Park Issues:

 

-          It had been a quiet winter due to bad weather. The worst winter on record. 

-          All winter work had been completed.

-          The south side of the Park was up and running with no issues.

-          The number of volunteers was growing and Asda supermarket had donated £500 to support volunteer activities.

-          There were Issues with Husky dogs fighting in the dog area.  Dog Wardens had met with other dog owners and will be patrolling the area regularly.  Dog Wardens will also be patrolling to ensure that the new bye-law requiring dogs to be kept on leads outside the dog area, coming into force on 1st June 2013, is enforced.

-          Bridges were checked and are okay.

-          Car parking had been increased.

 

Chris Slack provided the following updates on Wildlife:

 

-     All habitat management work completed for the winter

-     Grazing continued on the south side for cattle and sheep

-     Bird migration was odd due to the cold winter with more birds arriving late.

-     Insects were also coming out 2/3 months late.

-     Bats activity continued to increase in the Nature Reserve.

-     An invasive species of Japanese knotweed was under control with money from S106 and will be reduced over the next 3 years. ensure

-     Roots had been cut off 2 giant hogweeds

-     Ducks that had used the lakes for a long time had also returned.

 

Asked if there was any danger from Ash sickness from the Ash trees in the park, Chris replied that this was being monitored as there were a lot Ash trees in planted areas.  New planting had been stopped until it had been established how bad the issue would be.

 

A question was raised about getting the roads and pathways up to standard leading up to the main entrance to the park and for a notice to be placed at the main entrance asking lorries to use an alternative entrance.

 

Action:

Leisure and Culture Services to respond.

 

Councillor Gupta commented that the feedback was good and thanked the staff and volunteers at Bedfont Lakes for their hard work.

 

The Chair thanked Chris Pate and Chris Slack for their updates.

25.

Any other business

Minutes:

There was no other business.