Hounslow Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Chiswick Town Hall, Heathfield Terrace, Turnham Green, Chiswick, W4 4JN

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

Note: Please note because of problems with access to the Small Mansion during ongoing works the meeting venue has been moved to Chiswick Town Hall 

No. Item


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


There were no apologies for absence.  Councillors Joanna Dabrowska, Adrian Lee, Myra Savin and Patricia Walker arrived late.


The Chair thanked Kay Duffy, Committee Services, Hounslow, for booking the Committee Room at Chiswick Town Hall for the meeting, as the Small Mansion at Gunnersbury Park was unavailable.



Minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2016 pdf icon PDF 91 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2016 were agreed as a true and accurate record, and were signed by the Chair. 



Sports Hub Update


Marilyn Boyle informed Members that there had not been much activity since the last meeting.  The Planning Application was being processed.  Funding should be confirmed by the end of May 2016.  Although there was an embargo on releasing information, £2m+ had been agreed from two key funders.


A bid for £500K had been made to the London Marathon Community Sports Trust; a decision would be made on the London Marathon weekend (24 April 2016).


It was proposed to move the Tender process forward for June/July, and to send design options to Councillors and the Chair of the Planning Committee.


[Councillors Joanna Dabrowska and Patricia Walker arrived at 6.43pm]




Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Capital Project Progress Update


a)    Update on works

Bridget Gregory advised Members that many additional discoveries were coming to light as the work progressed. Whilst these were exciting, they were also challenging. 


One challenge had been the discovery of historic water pipes, which had to be re-routed under the café.


Under the Parks for People project, excavations of the middle bridge had unearthed five arches, not three, which had affected the design work for the Horseshoe Lake.  The water had been drained from the round pond, which showed that the walls were in poor condition.


A meeting would take place on 19 April 2016 with the HLF; there had also been many meetings with Historic England (HE), who had been very supportive.  The Gothic scheme and rooms have been taken out of the bid with HLF, as this work, together with the terraces beside the small mansion, will be funded by HE (£470K, with the remaining £30K funded by the London Borough of Ealing).


As part of the investigative work, a problem had been discovered in relation to the strength of some floors.  This had necessitated the redesign of the Museum, moving some galleries to the top floor, and the archive room and volunteer space to the first floor.  To have strengthened the floors above the state rooms was too high a risk and too costly to achieve; hence, the reorganisation had been made.


b)   Staffing

The following posts had been agreed:

Ø  Head Gardener – a five year funded post – Chris Ellis

Ø  Community Officer

Ø  Public Programme Officer – Sharon Walters (this post will concentrate on outreach work)

Ø  Curator – Julia Tubman

Ø  Museum and Learning Programme Manager – Susie Batchelor (a CIC Appointment, funded by HLF for 1 year)


c)    Site visit

Members noted that, at the meeting held on 22 January 2016, Jonathan Kirby (London Borough of Ealing) had proposed arranging a site visit, which had not yet happened.


Members requested that this should be arranged as soon as possible.


Mr Wisdom explained that it was difficult to organise a visit, as the architects were only on site between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.  He suggested that he should liaise with the architects and agree a date and time with them, to which Panel Members would be invited.  It was agreed that this course of action should be followed.


d)   Guided Park Walk – Friday 29 April 2016

Mr Wisdom reminded Members that a guided walk had been arranged by the Friends of Gunnersbury Park and Museum, to take place at 10am on 29 April 2016.  It was hoped that the new Head Gardener would join participants.  Members were welcome to attend, if they were available.


CIC & Development Trust Update pdf icon PDF 7 KB


Members had received an update report, attached to item 5 of the Agenda Pack.


a)    Bridget Gregory also advised Members of the following:


i)     Appointment process for Director

An advert had been placed in the Guardian (and other media) for the post of Director. GatenbySanderson Ltd had been engaged to assist in this rectruitment.  Members believed that it was important to have someone with expert knowledge on managing large estates on the interviewing panel.


Resolved that:

Bridget Gregory (London Borough of Ealing) would ask the CIC Board if there would be an expert on managing large estates on the Appointments Panel for the post of Director. 


ii)            Appointment of Legal Team

Bridget Gregory confirmed that Winckworth Sherwood LLP had been appointed to provide legal advice and support.




b)   Update report from the Gunnersbury Museum and Park Development Trust – item (4) Fundraising Activities


Members noted that the Friends of Gunnersbury Park and Museum had applied to both the JB Allen Trust and the Foyle Foundation (not the Christina Foyle Foundation) on behalf of the Development Trust.  Grants received until the Development Trust achieved Charity status would be paid to the Friends of Gunnersbury Park and Museum.  Mr Wisdom was disappointed that this had not been recorded in the Update Report.



c)    Visit of the Chief Executive of the Foyle Foundation

Ms Val Bott informed Members that the Chief Executive of the Foyle Foundation had visited the Museum in connection with the bid for funding made to the Foundation.  Following his visit, he spent a further 25 minutes giving advice on other charitable foundations that might be open to bids for funding for the Museum.  A decision on the bid for funding would be made at the end of April 2016.  It was looking positive that the bid would be successful; Members noted that, if this was the case, other funders could be minded to make grants as well.


d)   Grant from the City Bridge Trust

Members noted that a bid will be made to the City Bridge Trust for £100K to fund a lift in the Museum.





Dates of future meetings

To be agreed at the meeting.




The date of the next meeting was agreed as Friday 15 July 2016, at 6.30pm. 


Afterminute: the venue has been confirmed as the Board Room, Ground Floor, Chiswick Town Hall.


Urgent Business

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


a)    Outstanding Heritage Lottery Fund grant

Mr Wisdom reported that the Heritage Lottery Fund grant that had been applied for approximately two years ago had still not been received, even though he had completed the appropriate form for the money to be released.


Resolved that:

Bridget Gregory would request Jonathan Kirby to pursue this.


b)   Painting acquisition – Gunnersbury Park by Maxwell Armfield

Mr Wisdom informed Members that a painting of Gunnersbury Park in the 1930s had recently come up for auction.  As there are very few paintings depicting the Park in this era, it was agreed to try and purchase the painting.  Hounslow and Ealing Councils made some funds available: the Friends of Gunnersbury Park and Museum feared that this would not be sufficient to achieve a purchase, and approved the use of their own funding to hopefully secure the painting.  In the auction, the purchase price was much lower than had been anticipated, so funds from the Friends will be used to pay for conservation and a new frame. A copy of the painting is included at the end of these minutes.


[Councillors Myra Savin and Adrian Lee arrived at 7.10pm]


c)    Lack of Written Reports to the Panel prior to meetings

Councillor Adrian Lee complained that too many reports to the Panel were made verbally, and believed that there should at least be outline skeleton reports provided prior to the meeting.  Members noted his complaint.


d)   Fishing

Councillor Mel Collins had written to Jonathan Kirby in the last week with a query on fishing on the Potomack Pond and security of the park.  As this was casework, he asked for an interim response to be sent to him, so that he could advise his constituent accordingly.


Marianne Boyle reported that Heritage and Parks had met to discuss the anti-social behaviour in the Park.  She confirmed that there was a “No Fishing” bye-law in place, and that no permits had been issued.  As fishing also required a Rod Fishing Licence, the Environment Agency could become involved.  In the short term, more prominent signage would be installed and the locks would be changed.


Resolved that :

Jonathan Kirby should respond to Councillor Collins as soon as possible.


e)    New vehicular gates on Lionel Road

Councillor Myra Savin reported that a new set of gates had appeared on Lionel Road, which were clearly not heritage design.  In addition, one of the gates opposite Lionel Primary School was in need of repair.


Resolved that:

Marianne Boyle would investigate this and take appropriate action.


f)     Security

Members were disappointed that no update had been received from the police following their presentation at the last Panel meeting, and asked that they be given regular updates on park security.  Although contact details for the police had been given to Panel Members at the last meeting, Councillor Dabrowska had made contact, with no response – despite following up on numerous occasions.


Resolved that:

PC Dinesh Pillay be asked to give regular updates on park security  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.