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

13.

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

Decision:

Apologies had been received from Councillor Patricia Walker and Ealing officers, Jonathan Kirby and Chris Bunting.

 

There were no declarations of interest and no other communications from members.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed all present to the meeting.

 

Apologies had been received from Councillor Patricia Walker and Ealing officers, Jonathan Kirby and Chris Bunting. It was noted that Councillor Walker was unable to attend because of a recent bereavement and agreed that it would be appropriate to send condolences from the Panel.

 

There were no declarations of interest and no other communications from members.

14.

Minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2014 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2014 were confirmed.

 

There was the following matter arising :

 

Item 8, page 1  : Minutes of 18 July 2014 – Matter Arising

James Wisdom had raised concerns that he was not permitted to see the Lottery bid at the last meeting but had not had any further information on the matter. Sarah Ruane reported that, as requested by the Panel, she had checked with Jonathan Kirby at LB Ealing if there might legally be an amendment to the standard confidentiality agreement but the response had been that this was not possible. Sarah Ruane had asked Jonathan Kirby to discuss this with James Wisdom.

 

Mr Wisdom clarified to the Panel that once he signed the confidentiality agreement as it was currently worded he would be bound not to speak about any part of the Lottery bid as the wording demanded that the whole Lottery bid documentation remained confidential. He did not believe that this was what was intended as this restriction would include information he already knew, information in the public domain and information he helped to write.

 

Councillor Dabrowska queried this as it was her understanding that the confidentiality agreement only covered the financial information. Mr Wisdom explained that the wording covered everything, which was his concern. Sarah Ruane advised that the agreement was all encompassing for a reason but would not include information which was already in the public domain.

 

Members sought to recap and clarify exactly what the problem was. Councillor Lee understood that Mr Wisdom, as a Co-opted member, was not able to see financial information which was available to councillors. Yet the Panel had confidence in Mr Wisdom’s discretion as he had served on the committee for many years and had in the past had access to confidential papers to the committee. It was understood that Mr Wisdom was prepared to sign a confidentiality agreement but not the present template.

 

Councillor Lee asked what the differences were between the statement which Mr Wisdom had drafted and was prepared to sign and the standard template. It was explained that the legal advice was that the full template should remain as it related to the full Business Case.

 

James Wisdom explained that all of the Heritage Lottery application was on disc but he understood that some appendices were financially sensitive in that they involved letting contracts. He was prepared to sign a document to confirm that if he saw all he would not talk about the parts which were commercially sensitive but the wording prohibited him from talking about any parts of the bid. He acknowledged that some elements were already in the public domain but what was in the public domain was not coherent.

 

Members explored whether there was a summary document which might be prepared without the sensitive financial figures. There had been a summary to the Ealing Cabinet which could be sent to James Wisdom. Mr Wisdom also confirmed that he did not especially want  ...  view the full decision text for item 14.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2014 were confirmed.

 

There was the following matter arising:

 

Item 8, page 1  : Minutes of 18 July 2014 – Matter Arising

James Wisdom had raised concerns at the last meeting that he was not permitted to see the Lottery bid but had not had any further information on the matter. Sarah Ruane reported that, as requested by the Panel, she had checked with Jonathan Kirby at LB Ealing if there might legally be an amendment to the standard confidentiality agreement but the response had been that this was not possible. Sarah Ruane had asked Jonathan Kirby to discuss this with James Wisdom.

 

Mr Wisdom clarified to the Panel that once he signed the confidentiality agreement, as it was currently worded, he would be bound not to speak about any part of the Lottery bid, as the wording demanded that the whole Lottery bid documentation remained confidential. He did not believe that this was what was intended as this restriction would include information he already knew, information in the public domain and information he helped to write.

 

Councillor Dabrowska queried this as it was her understanding that the confidentiality agreement only covered the financial information. Mr Wisdom explained that the wording covered everything, which was his concern. Sarah Ruane advised that the agreement was all encompassing for a reason but would not include information which was already in the public domain.

 

Members sought to recap and clarify exactly what the problem was. Councillor Lee understood that Mr Wisdom, as a Co-opted member, was not able to see financial information which was available to councillors. Yet the Panel had confidence in Mr Wisdom’s discretion as he had served on the committee for many years and had in the past had access to confidential papers to the committee. It was understood that Mr Wisdom was prepared to sign a confidentiality agreement but not the present template.

 

Councillor Lee asked what the differences were between the statement which Mr Wisdom had drafted and was prepared to sign and the standard template. It was explained that the legal advice was that the full template should remain as it related to the full Business Case.

 

James Wisdom explained that all of the Heritage Lottery application was on disc but he understood that some appendices were financially sensitive in that they involved letting contracts. He was prepared to sign a document to confirm that if he saw all he would not talk about the parts which were commercially sensitive, but the present wording prohibited him from talking about any parts of the bid. He acknowledged that some elements were already in the public domain but what was in the public domain and what was not was not coherent.

 

Members explored whether there was a summary document which might be prepared without the sensitive financial figures. There had been a summary to the Ealing Cabinet which could be sent to James Wisdom. Mr Wisdom also confirmed that he  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Project Update pdf icon PDF 274 KB

Decision:

Officers had included all of the sub items on the agenda into one report.

 

Resolved:

 

  1. Members agreed that the Panel should receive a report to a future meeting on the overall vision and purpose of the Museum and that the item should allow sufficient time, possibly via a dedicated meeting, for the Panel to discuss this matter fully. 
  2. Members were concerned that decisions were being made by the Project Board without consideration of issues and comments made by the Panel. Other items such as the possible loan of one of the carriages were matters where the Panel felt it would be helpful to be consulted. It had been agreed at an earlier meeting that the minutes of the Panel’s meetings would be passed to the Board. The Panel now asked that the Board should report back to the Panel on points raised so that the Panel could fulfil its overview and scrutiny function through a two way exchange.
  3. Members agreed that it would be useful at a future meeting to receive an update from the Project Board and look at plans in more detail.
  4. Members noted that any comments in relation to the café/carriage store proposals which were not planning related should be sent to Richard Gill or Bridget Gregory to pass to the Project Board for consideration.
  5. It was agreed to provide timescales from the contractors in respect of risk assessments for water in the park.
  6. It was agreed to circulate attendance details for the 2014 Mela with the minutes of this meeting.
  7. It was also proposed to bring an item to the next meeting for preliminary discussion on the Mela going forward and possible charging.

 

 

 

Minutes:

See the report by the Development Manager - Agenda Item 3

 

Officers had included all of the sub items on the agenda into one report.

 

Richard Gill, Development Manager, introduced the report. He informed the Panel of the Stage E review by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The project was at the point of providing information to contractors to price the works and HLF were very positive about the proposals. HLF supported the proposed change to the café/carriage building. The design team were preparing tenders so that the works could be put out to tender the following week. This would allow the contractor to be in place by May 2016.

 

In respect of the works to the Large Mansion, the external works would be undertaken first and then the internal works. The museum had shut on 24 December 2014 to pack the collections which consisted of 40,000 objects. A bespoke store in Oxford, run by a not for profit trust, had been identified to hold the collection, pending the works.

 

Councillor Savin asked whether the storage costs would be paid for under the lottery funding and was informed that costs would be paid for three years under the HLF project and then storage costs would be built into the Business Plan. The choice was for more room to be available in the Large Mansion so that more events were possible. This would be achieved through the use of an off site store for the collection. The proposals for the museum were led by Invigour, a museum consultant. The consultant and two temporary curators would determine what was on display and what would be in storage. A permanent curator would be sought and that recruitment process would start in February 2015.

 

The works on the fabric of the building should be completed by August 2016 and then the museum would be fitted out in order to open in March 2017. The official opening would be in May 2017.

 

Mr Gill explained the status of provision whilst the museum was shut. There had been nervousness about the use of the Community Interest Company (CIC) by the museum regulators so the management of the collection and its ownership remained with the local authorities and the collection development policy also remained with the Councils. Then once the regenerated museum was open, the authorities would seek full museum accreditation. HLF was happy with this approach.

 

Councillor Dabrowska asked about the date of the establishment of the CIC, as a report had been considered by the October Cabinet in LB Ealing. Councillor Johnson advised that it had been agreed by the Ealing Cabinet that the Advisory Panel should continue to exist until the works were finished. She understood that both the London Borough of Ealing and the London Borough of Hounslow had agreed the continuation of the Panel until the project had been completed.

 

Sarah Ruane, Head of Preventative Health and Leisure at LB Hounslow, clarified that their criteria did not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

15a

Security in the Park

Minutes:

The Panel continued discussion of the Project update report; focusing in this case on the matter of security in the park.

 

Councillor Dabrowska recalled members’ concerns about the quality of the security consultants’ report. One question which had arisen was how much that report had cost. She wished to know whether the project had paid for this report in the end and whether the project had a new revised version of the report. Richard Gill confirmed that the report had been revised and was paid for. He noted that there had been feedback from the Panel. However, Councillor Dabrowska noted that members had not seen the full report and was surprised that the project had paid for something which was at the low level she had seen.

 

Councillor Johnson understood that it had been necessary to provide a security report as part of the HLF bid but the Chair pointed out he had asked for a discussion of park security as of now, since many matters about security were reported to him as a ward councillor.

 

Councillor Johnson recalled that at one meeting of the Panel last year, Councillor Mahfouz, as the Ealing lead member, had offered the loan of a mobile camera. Councillor Dabrowska recalled that had been when the LB Hounslow Safer Neighbourhood police team attended the meeting and there had been a discussion of security matters in the park.

 

Councillor Johnson asked what had happened since that discussion and what the project might be doing differently. Richard Gill advised that they had taken on board the security consultants’ report. For example, in the design of the museum they had introduced sensitivity alarms for the windows and doors and upgraded the locks and the lighting for the building and the café. They had introduced vehicular bollards at the entrances so that cars and caravans could not get in, but this did not affect pedestrian access. The security arrangements for the museum had been upgraded now that it was shut. The Ealing security team had been employed to provide patrols, plus there would be a full time caretaker in the museum whilst the collections were decanted.

 

With regard to the missing railings near the entrance at the top of Lionel Road, an order had been placed with a metalwork company and it was hoped that the work would be done in the next three months. The Chair noted that the access to the park in Lionel Road after hours had been used by people on bikes who were frightening people.

 

The Chair was also aware of dumping after Christmas. Councillor Savin reported that she had been unable to get into the park via the second gate in Lionel Road because of the dumping of netted Christmas trees. There had been around 200 trees. Dumping had been witnessed and Sarah Ruane understood that there had been one company fly- tipping. The trees had since been removed.

 

The Chair and Councillor Savin were aware of anti-social behaviour in the form  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15a

15b

The Mela and Events

Minutes:

Councillor Johnson advised members that LB Ealing had made a decision to charge for events in their parks so that there was no cost to the park. Sarah Ruane explained that there had been a preliminary discussion on this point and they would bring consideration of this back to the next meeting, which would be better timing. She also advised that she had received that morning a report of the number of attendees for the Mela in September 2014 and suggested that this information could be circulated with the minutes.

 

Councillor Dabrowska advised that there had been an issue in Ealing concerning displacement of cars at the time of the Mela. Cars which had been blocking access had been moved to other roads but had not been moved back. This concern had been raised by one resident.

 

Sarah Ruane informed the Panel that there had been only five complaints received about the Mela.

 

 

15c

Phase 2 Proposals Update

Minutes:

This matter had been discussed at Minute Item 15 above.

 

15d

Sports Facilities Update

Minutes:

Richard Gill informed the Panel that there had been two expressions of interest in respect of the sports facilities. These were from Sports England and the Football Association. He also advised of the refurbishment of one of the tennis courts, as several local residents were keen to use the courts.

 

Councillor Johnson noted the request at the last meeting for green gyms and pointed out that this was very successful on Ealing Common.

 

Considering cycling in the park, the Chair asked whether money was still available and was informed that it was. A scheme had not been decided but this would be pursued in the next financial year. A couple of improvements to the entrance in Lionel Road had been suggested.

 

Councillor Dabrowska was aware of Local Improvement Plan (LIP) funding from Transport for London for improvements in Popes Lane. She suggested that the project might seek to co-ordinate other improvements with this work.

 

Councillor Savin considered that the website was poor in the information provided on access to the park, especially from Lionel Road. She suggested that there should be a template on the website to give directions. 

15e

Update on Governance Arrangements

Minutes:

Most governance matters had been discussed at Minute Item 15 above. However, members wished to discuss fund raising.

 

Councillor Lee felt that there was some ambiguity about the role of the Development Trust and its expectation to raise funding. There was mention in the report of a fund raising work stream and applications being made for grants. There was also reference to a Fund Raising officer looking at funding from other public bodies and seeking grants from other places in the public sector. He asked whether there were enough potential pots of money. Sarah Ruane replied that there had been a similar exercise for Pitzhanger Manor which had been very successful and raised around £1m.

 

Councillor Lee noted that there had been previous attempts to involve the Rothschild family and connections but they had not engaged before. He noted the proposals for a loan to Waddesdon Manor and asked what Gunnersbury would get back in return. Sarah Ruane advised that it was about building a relationship.

 

Councillor Lee shared the wish to get the Rothschild connections involved but approaches over the years had not been successful. Richard Gill explained that the starting point was the Rothschild Archive. They hoped to get information to lend to the museum to get a steer on stories of people who had lived in the house. There were local history collections but this would focus on the story of the Rothschilds who had lived at Gunnersbury.

 

Councillor Lee questioned whether it would be better to have contact with an historian of the Rothschilds rather than the family and was informed that the Rothschild family had their own archivist who had met with officers from the project the previous week. The archivist had been able to show the diary of a gardener working at Gunnersbury. This would tie in with information for the community garden and other activities and would be another story to tell for the park. There would be a short report to the Rothschild Archive Board. Family members sat on this board and so would learn more about the project and could then advise what they could do in respect of the archive.

 

The loan of the carriage was a different project. Waddesdon Manor would like a long term loan and this was being considered as an alternative to storage. The relationship with another important Rothschild property was also a good relationship to develop.

16.

Dates of future meetings

The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, 17 April 2015 at 6. 30 p.m.

Decision:

The date of the next meeting was noted as Friday, 17 April 2015 at 6.30 p.m. in the Terrace Room, Small Mansion, Gunnersbury Park.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was noted as Friday, 17 April 2015 at 6.30 p.m. in the Terrace Room, Small Mansion, Gunnersbury Park. (This date was subsequently moved to Friday, 5 June 2015 because of election activities).

17.

Urgent Business

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

Decision:

The Chair asked that for future meetings the layout of the agenda should match with the report.

Minutes:

The Chair asked that for future meetings the layout of the agenda should match with the report. There was no other urgent business.