Hounslow Council


Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: The Terrace Room, The Small Mansion, Gunnersbury Park

Contact: Carol Stiles Tel: 020 8583 2066 or email:  carol.stiles@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair and Vice Chair for the Municipal Year

Decision:

Councillor Mel Collins was nominated and seconded as Chair of the Panel for the Municipal Year and this appointment was agreed.

 

Councillor Yvonne Johnson was nominated and seconded as Vice Chair of the Panel for the Municipal Year and this appointment was agreed.

Minutes:

Councillor Mel Collins was nominated by Councillor Johnson and seconded by Councillor Lee as Chair of the Panel for the Municipal Year and this appointment was agreed.

 

Councillor Yvonne Johnson was nominated by Councillor Collins and seconded by Councillor Walker as Vice Chair of the Panel for the Municipal Year and this appointment was agreed.

2.

Apologies for absence, declarations of interest or any other communications from Members

Decision:

Apologies had been received from Councillor Joanna Dabrowska and Councillor Myra Savin. Councillor Sachin Gupta, Lead Member for LB Hounslow had also sent apologies.

 

Councillor Seema Kumar, LB Ealing attended as an observer.

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

Councillor Yvonne Johnson and Councillor Mel Collins noted that Vanda Foster, Curator of the Museum, had retired since the last meeting. They outlined Vanda’s career and paid tribute to her hard work, forbearance through difficult times and significant contribution to the Park and Museum. They acknowledged that the Panel owed Vanda a great deal and in particular expressed their gratitude for putting the education programmes in Gunnersbury firmly on the map. The Panel wished to put on record their thanks for all Vanda had done and acknowledged that she would still be offering support in the background as they moved forward with the project.

 

The Panel also congratulated Val Bott MBE on her award which was well deserved for her contribution to local heritage. 

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Councillor Joanna Dabrowska, who had a prior commitment given the change from the original date proposed and Councillor Myra Savin, who was away. Councillor Sachin Gupta, Lead Member for LB Hounslow had also sent apologies.

 

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, as Lead Member for LB Ealing was present as a guest.

 

Councillor Seema Kumar, LB Ealing attended as an observer as the Shadow portfolio holder.

 

The Chair welcomed Councillor Patricia Walker as a new member of the Panel.

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

Councillor Yvonne Johnson and Councillor Mel Collins noted that Vanda Foster, Curator of the Museum, had retired since the last meeting. Councillor Johnson read out a prepared tribute, the full text of which is set out as an additional item below. The members outlined Vanda’s career and paid tribute to her hard work, forbearance through difficult times and significant contribution to the Park and Museum. They acknowledged that the Panel owed Vanda a great deal and in particular expressed their gratitude for putting the education programmes in Gunnersbury firmly on the map. The Panel wished to put on record their thanks for all Vanda had done and acknowledged that she would still be offering support in the background as they moved forward with the project.

 

The Panel also congratulated Val Bott MBE on her award which was well deserved for her contribution to local heritage. 

2a

Retirement of Vanda Foster, Curator Gunnersbury Park Museum

Minutes:

ADDITIONAL AGENDA ITEM

 

Retirement of the Curator, Gunnersbury Park Museum

 

Vanda was born in Ealing and brought up in Abinger Road Chiswick. She graduated with honours in English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds before completing a Post graduate Diploma in Museum Studies at the University of Manchester.

 

She has published several works and was the Keeper of the Gallery of Costume at Manchester Museum and the Senior Assistant Keeper, of Costume and Textiles at the Museum of London before coming to Gunnersbury.

 

Working, first in part time and voluntary roles at Pitzhanger Manor, Southall Manor and Gunnersbury, Vanda became the part time assistant curator in 1997. From 1998 she became the Deputy Curator to both Sean Sherman and Jill Draper. When Jill left in 2006 Vanda took on the role of acting curator.

 

During this time Vanda managed not only the collection, exhibitions and learning programme but also much of the management of the building, a period when both staff numbers and the condition of the building fabric was in decline. Numerous floods have required a significant collection of buckets and prompt action in order to save the collections and building from serious damage.

 

From 2008 an updated acquisitions policy, and a lack of adequate storage facilities, has led to stricter controls of what is added to the collection. A key acquisition though were the Dennis Morris photographs, which Vanda acquired from the artist telling the story of 1970’s Southall, an area missing from the collection until then.

 

In 2010 Vanda was officially recognised as lead curator and has been instrumental in the bid to the Heritage Lottery fund for the redevelopment of the museum. Together with Val Bott MBE a local historian they developed the themes and stories which the museum is able to tell through its rich and diverse collections.

 

This detailed knowledge and enthusiasm for the collection has remained a core value of our project to inspire and develop future visitor’s interest in both formal and informal learning programmes. If our bid is successful it will be in no small part due to the dedication of Vanda Foster and we wish her every happiness in her retirement.

 

 

3.

Minutes of the meeting held on 4 April 2014 pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 4 April 2014 were confirmed.

 

There were the following matters arising from the minutes:

 

Item 75, page 3, paragraph 3: Buildings in the Park

James Wisdom queried whether the Potomac Tower was or was not included in the present Heritage Lottery Bid. Jonathan Kirby would clarify for the next meeting.

 

Item 75, page 4, paragraph 5: Heritage Core

James Wisdom informed members that a Park User Group meeting in June had rejected the idea of a cycle route through the centre of the park. Confirmation was given to the Panel that no decision had been made on a change to paths to accommodate cycling. However, Ealing members were aware of proposals for a cycle way through Ealing which would continue over the border into Hounslow.

 

It was agreed that Richard Gill and the Clerk would clarify with Mark Frost whether this cycle way would impact on the park.

 

Members also suggested it would be helpful if the notes of the user group meeting might be shared with the Panel so that members were aware of these issues, perhaps circulated electronically before the next meeting.

 

It was also proposed that the impact of cycling in the park was a matter for the Panel to discuss at a future meeting.

 

Item 75, page 5, paragraph 8: Catering in the Park/Catering Strategy

James Wisdom asked whether the full details of the bid remained confidential and whether the Panel would be able to see it. Jonathan Kirby explained that some aspects remained commercially sensitive. It was agreed that the information could be shared with the Co-opted Member on the basis of signing a confidentiality statement and with elected members on the basis of ‘red’ papers where the restrictions on discussion were understood by councillors.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 4 April 2014 were confirmed.

 

There were the following matters arising from the minutes:

 

Item 75, page 3, paragraph 3: Buildings in the Park

James Wisdom queried whether the Potomac Tower was or was not included in the present Heritage Lottery Bid. The minutes suggested that it was. Jonathan Kirby explained that originally the Potomac Tower had been included for minimal works under priority 1. It had been removed later but was now understood to be included for priority 3. Jonathan Kirby would clarify for the next meeting.

 

Item 75, page 4, paragraph 5: Heritage Core

The minutes referred to shared surfaces being funded by the ‘Greenways’ project. James Wisdom informed members that a Park User Group meeting in June had rejected the idea of a cycle route through the centre of the park. Confirmation was given to the Panel that no decision had been made on a change to paths to accommodate cycling. However, Ealing members were aware of proposals for a cycle way through Ealing which would continue over the border into Hounslow. It was not clear what route the cycle way would take once it entered Hounslow.

 

It was agreed that Richard Gill and the Clerk would clarify with Mark Frost whether this cycle way would impact on the park.

 

James Wisdom explained that the presentation to the Park User Group on cycle routes through the park had felt like propaganda and had led to clear rejection of a route through the centre of the park. Councillor Mahfouz pointed out that a lot of paths were in a bad state. This had been clear during the recent Park Ride through the park. He considered that here was an opportunity through additional funding to get resurfacing of pathways around the park to improve routes for cyclists and pedestrians.

 

James Wisdom wanted to make it clear that cycle routes in the park was a contentious issue. It was one he was willing to discuss but the concerns from park users needed to be part of that discussion.

 

The Chair agreed that Mr Wisdom had raised an important point. He had attended the user group meeting and was aware that this particular item took an hour of the meeting. Members suggested it would be helpful if the notes of the user group meeting might be shared with the Panel so that members were aware of these issues, perhaps circulated electronically before the next meeting.

 

James Wisdom wished to make clear the distinction between the need to discuss the impact of cycling in the park and plans to repair paths. Councillor Mahfouz declared an interest as a regular cyclist but also pointed out the benefits of investment in path improvements for buggies and wheelchairs users. James Wisdom confirmed that he was keen to improve the paths but anxious that the wider issue of cycling in the park should not be debated in this context.

 

It was proposed that the impact of cycling in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Project Progress Report - Heritage Lottery Project - Update pdf icon PDF 275 KB

Decision:

The following actions were agreed by the Panel:

 

  1. Members congratulated both authorities for swift action in dealing with the Traveller incursion.
  2. Members proposed that officers ask the Safer Community Teams in both authorities to be involved in considering the security of the park to avoid problems for the future.
  3. It was agreed that the regular project update to the Panel should include an item on security to each meeting.
  4. Members asked officers to consider levying a small charge for future events with funds raised going to the park.
  5. Members wished to have the following agenda items with reports for the October meeting:

·        The Mela

·        Sports in the Park

·        Events and where income generated has been attributed.

  1. Members also asked for feedback on action taken in respect of the incident on 27 June of broken glass deliberately perpetrated in the children’s playground.

Minutes:

See the Project Progress Report – Agenda Item 4.

 

Parks for People Bid

 

Richard Gill, Development Manager, LB Hounslow, introduced the report.

He reported that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) had awarded the project £4,671,000 in June for the Parks for People bid. The Chair asked what had happened to the remaining £359,000 which had been part of the original bid and was informed by Jonathan Kirby, LB Ealing that this had been spent as part of the development of the bid.

 

Richard Gill continued to explain that the funding would be used to restore the parkland, relocate the pitch and putt, restore the Orangery and recreate the West Horseshoe Pond. Public boating would be reintroduced to the round pond, the café would be rebuilt, listed structures restored and a community garden established. There would be new footpath links and new habitats for wildlife. Entrances would be improved and there would be signage and interpretation across the whole park. There would be an activity plan to engage with park users.

 

With regard to staff, there would be four appointments as part of the project – a Head Gardener, an Outreach Officer, a part time Learning Officer and horticultural apprentices (one at a time).

 

Councillor Johnson welcomed this as all good news. The Chair referred to the presentation on the Parks and People bid.

 

James Wisdom, Co-opted Member, picked up on a point which he knew to have been of concern to Councillor Lee in the past, namely that, looking at the restoration plan, it would make it more difficult to hold massive scale public events. The pitch and putt would take up space on the large field and the sports plans would make it harder to use the field for another large event such as a pop concert. So funding was likely to come from different type of events such as events in the Museum or Orangery and on the lawns. He expected to see more on this but these were not the sort of events constituents were likely to be concerned about.

 

Councillor Lee accepted and welcomed the point. He acknowledged that in practice the park had not had any such massive scale events but there had been a threat of these. His concern about the Mela was that it might be considered as a gateway event to others of large scale. He agreed that the proposed landscaping would make any very large scale event difficult.

 

Traveller Incursion and Security

 

Councillor Lee commented on the Traveller incursion. It was a tribute to both the local authorities that this was dealt with quickly. The incursion was resolved over three days at which point the group moved to Blondin Park, but the problem was criminal damage. These were not traditional travellers and there were concerns about security. He had heard reports from neighbours about the travellers entering the park via Gunnersbury Avenue when the gate was open. Whilst there was excellent work done to remove the travellers there was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Dates of future meetings

      Options for meeting dates proposed previously:

 

       Friday, 10 October 2014    or Friday, 17 October 2014

 

       Friday, 23 January 2015    or Friday, 30 January 2015

 

       Friday, 10 April 2015          or Friday, 17 April 2015   (Easter is Friday, 3 -              Monday, 6 April 2015)

 

Decision:

The following dates were confirmed for future meetings:

 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday, 30 January 2015

Friday, 17 April 2015

 

All at 6.30 p.m.

Minutes:

Members discussed the options set out on the agenda front sheet.

 

The following dates were confirmed for future meetings:

 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday, 30 January 2015

Friday, 17 April 2015

 

All meetings would start at 6.30 p.m.

6.

Urgent Business

Any business which the Chair agrees to accept on grounds of urgency.

Decision:

Members noted:

 

  1. The potential use of the Small Mansion for the education programme, in the event of refurbishment of the Museum.
  2. That progress was being made on the issue of a gang accessing the site after hours with mopeds.
  3. That Popes Lane would be closed for road works in the near future.

Minutes:

1. The Chair asked whether there was any information about future plans for the Small Mansion. Richard Gill explained that if the Heritage grant was awarded to refurbish the museum, the Small Mansion would be used to retain an education programme on site whilst the Large Mansion was refurbished. In the long term, Jonathan Kirby reported that there might be the opportunity to bid for an alternative type of HLF grant, an Enterprise Grant, to benefit the Small Mansion.

 

2. A member of the public had raised concern about the activities of a gang of youths who accessed the park after hours via a gap in the fence. They created a disturbance through the use of mopeds in the park. The police and local ward councillors were aware of the problem and were making progress in achieving a solution.

 

3. The Panel also noted that Popes Lane, bordering the park, would be closed for a number of weeks including over the date of the Mela.

 

Resolved:

 

Members noted:

 

  1. The potential use of the Small Mansion for the education programme, in the event of refurbishment of the Museum.
  2. That progress was being made on the issue of a gang accessing the site after hours with mopeds.
  3. That Popes Lane would be closed for road works in the near future.