Friends of Archbishop's Park - post-AGM

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Monday 27 November 2006 7.22pm
I have closed the two ongoing Archbishop's Park threads in the hope that we can make a fresh start in discussions on this subject to coincide with tonight's AGM.

All post-AGM discussion of Archbishop's Park and its Friends group should be in this thread.

Please:

- try to keep the discussion as civil and constructive as possible.

- try to concentrate on facts rather than speculation, and issues rather than personalities.

- declare any interests in/affiliations to organisations you write about. This is required by the forum rules.

In particular anyone who is a FoAP committee member (past or present) should say so when they post here - even if they choose not to post under their own name, which is fine.

Thank you in advance.

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Monday 27 November 2006 10.27pm
I'll leave it to others to post their reports of the meeting, but just a few bits of info.

I reckon from a (very) rough count there were about 60 people there, including non-members like me and the various speakers from outside bodies. The voting figures would suggest that about 50 members were present, and roughly the same number voted by proxy (or were these really postal votes rather than proxy votes? I wasn't clear on that).

For the record, the following were elected as officers:

Chair - Helen Lees
(Helen Lees received 76 votes; Sarah O'Connell 22 votes)
Secretary - Kate Payne
Treasurer - Clare Wilson

Results of the vote for ordinary committee members (I think there were seven vacancies - can someone confirm? My note-taking has failed me)

Maisie Payton - 89
Joss Brushfield - 75
Cathy Golding - 73
Jonathan Male - 71 *sorry - I missed JM off the list first time around*
Dr Lyn Pilowsky - 70
Janet Simpson - 71
Merja Myllylahti - 68
Linda Barrett - 29
Sarah O'Connell - 26
Anu Mitra - 26
Dawn Assadar - 20
Shaun Milton - 18
Katrina Chapman - 16
Peter Robathan - 13
David Toothill - 10
Jennifer Wood - 7

A motion calling on the incoming committee to oppose the appeal by Guy's and St Thomas' Charity against the decision of Lambeth Council to refuse planning permission was defeated by 21 votes to 26.

(It seems instead that FoAP members will be consulted before a decision is reached on how the group will approach the appeal.)

It was the strong recommendation of Cllr Truesdale as chair of the meeting that the incoming committee ensures that the group has a much more robust constitution in time for the next AGM; he described the current document as "defective".

Maybe someone else can sum up the various presentations from Lambeth Parks/Southbank Mosaics/SBEG/SAZ/Groundwork on what has happened in the park in recent times?

As an outside observer it seems to me that the two big issues for the park in the short to medium term will be a) Founder's Place and b) the proposed upgrade/consolidation of the sports facilities and the question of floodlighting.

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Tuesday 28 November 2006 12.05am
Do you have a breakdown of the above votes by proxy/ votes in person?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I have no affiliation with any of the groups or parties involved in this matter.

Having been a member of the forum for several years, I have read very many previous posts about Archbishops Park, and that is why I am interested in this debate.

Obviously, being an active member of this forum, I have met Sarah. However, the views I express, and the questions I ask, are my own.
Tuesday 28 November 2006 8.27am
TLMJJ,

About c.50 people voted on the night on the Founders Place issue, and the maximum number of votes of c.90, I would guess there were around 40 proxies. Of course there could have been non-Founders voters there last night too.

My summary of the evening:

Having heard what the last time was like, it was with some trepidation that I went last night.

Thankfully, Peter Truesdale managed the agenda with skill and humour, and it was a very well ordered meeting.

The main issues were as highlighted by James above, and I summarise what I can recall as follows;

Chair's Presentation
Talked about the Phase 1 of the Children's playground (c.172k all in), the Trim Trail (with thanks to Sarah given), the planting around the Toilet Block (c.60k), the new planting at the southern end, new Plane trees being put in and new benches. Also mentioned that they are past the 1st phase bidding for Lottery money for the Phase 2 of the playground, but that they had lost out on money to do up the shelters.

Lambeth Parks
Ran through the amount invested, including maintenance to paths and fences, refubrishment and reopening of Changing Rooms (c.30k) and the Toilet Block and planting. Also explained why the Cafe couldn't happen, as the only site identified is leased to the wider Lambeth Parks contractor who have also invested in the buildings.

Southbank Mosaics
Explained their "Tree of Life" mosaic, where it will go and why different elements have been included - being installed in March.

SBEG/SAZ
Talked about the sports programmes and the substantial refubrishment/replacement costs of the Netball court with a general use court, and the football pitches with a smaller new version.

They explained that they could not get funding for the new football pitch unless they were floodlit and acknowledged the concerns of residents of York House about light pollution. Later, a Friend noted that the British Astronomical Society could provide advice on keeping light pollution to a minimum, and they suggested a trip to other parks where directional floodlighting, which doesn't leak light like the old stuff, is installed.

Groundwork
Talked about the planting scheme at the southern end of the park. Later, one of the Friends said she hated the whole design, and they replied that the site would bed in as the planting established itself. They suggested that anyone with concerns meet them, and that they would explain the design and how the planting will work on site.

Founders Place
The chap (Mike?) from WCDG produced a two-sided summary on how and on what grounds to object, even though his group is in support of the scheme.

I am in the property profession and it was a very clear, well written and accurate summary.

A Friend (N Walsh?) put forward a motion that the FoAP should object to the development. This was defeated by a vote. The Secretary also put forward a draft consultation to go to all members so their view could be canvassed, which essentially will ask:

1 - Object on All Grounds
2 - Object on Grounds Affecting the Park
3 - Work with the Developers to Maximise the benefit to the Park

Presumably this will be sent to members shortly.

The vote was also held for the committee, as shown by James above.

I was elected, and will do my level best to continue to provide an objective and independent view for the benefit of the Park.

Regards,

Loafer
Tuesday 28 November 2006 10.26am
I'm not and never have been a committee member of the FoAP but I should declare that I supported Sarah in standing for Chair and I also put the motion on opposing the Founders Place development to the meeting.

The fact that the AGM was civil and orderly throughout was a huge improvement on the last meeting and is the main positive I took away from last night. Hopefully it will be a fresh start for everyone involved.

I do have reservations about some aspects of the meeting but I don't think going over them here would be the most productive way of dealing with them.

I agree with James that the two major issues for the park are Founders Place and the proposals for the sports facilities.

Obviously as I put the motion on Founders Place I feel strongly that the Friends should be opposing the Charity's appeal. In fact I think it's slightly bizarre that the Friends have to ask themselves whether they oppose it or not - to me it's like a football supporters club asking itself which team it's going to support in the next match. The plans were rejected by the quasi-judicial planning committee on the grounds that they will "harm the setting of the park" and to me it's a no-brainer that the Friends should oppose the plans for the same reason. However I made this point last night and it didn't convince the meeting so that's the end of that! The matter has been deferred to consult all members (by post presumably?) so hopefully this just means that the Friends' decision to oppose the appeal has been deferred. (If the motion had just asked for an indicative opinion on Founders Place last night I'm sure it would have carried - some people will have voted against the motion presented because they support the development but some - most? - will have voted against it because they felt it needed more consultation.)

On a minor matter - I think the figures show that at least 98 people voted in total (from the figures for the vote on the Chair) whereas 47 voted on the motion at the meeting (though as Loafer points out some non-members may have voted). I think that means slightly more people voted by proxy (51) than in person (47) though obviously those numbers are not exact as people may have left /not voted etc.
Tuesday 28 November 2006 10.45am
James Hatts wrote:
A motion calling on the incoming committee to oppose the appeal by Guy's and St Thomas' Charity against the decision of Lambeth Council to refuse planning permission was defeated by 21 votes to 26
... um, so :
Lambeth refused planning permission,
Guys and St Thomas's are appealing,
a motion was called to opose this appeal,
and the motion was defeated.

so the Friends want G&S to appeal against the refused pp.

so Friends want PP to be granted.

is that right?
Tuesday 28 November 2006 10.51am
JonR wrote:
... um, so :
Lambeth refused planning permission,
Guys and St Thomas's are appealing,
a motion was called to opose this appeal,
and the motion was defeated.

so the Friends want G&S to appeal against the refused pp.

so Friends want PP to be granted.

is that right?
No - but there is the risk that people will interpret it that way.

Defeating the motion doesn't mean that the group won't oppose the appeal; it just means that they haven't yet decided whether or not to do so.

As Neil says, the officers of the committee have said that they will consult members on what approach FoAP should take, and a draft consultation letter was available last night.

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Tuesday 28 November 2006 11.02am
No, I think we want to make sure that any new planning proposals are looked at before opposing without consideration. The area needs redevelopment (I think the majority agrees with that) lets make sure its the right redevelopement rather than chucking the baby out with the bath water!
Congratulations Helen on a very positive meeting, it was great meeting you and I look forward to the continued improvements - maybe we should grass over the football pitch and kick out the footballers - I think those 'without a house in the country' and opposed to the 'gravel pit' might like that.
Tuesday 28 November 2006 11.11am
medic2007 wrote:
No, I think we want to make sure that any new planning proposals are looked at before opposing without consideration.

I don't understand you. There are no other proposals - just the proposal which was rejected by the planning committee. If the appeal fails then any new plans would have to be more sensitive to the Park in order to secure planning permission. I think this is fairly self-evident. Are you afraid that Guys and St. Thomas' will come back with an even worse proposal if their appeal fails? They could do I suppose but there would be zero chance of it getting planning permission so it shouldn't trouble the Friends too much.
Tuesday 28 November 2006 11.18am
Neil,

I think the question on the development is subjective rather than objective.

You put your point of view very well at the meeting I thought, and you were obviously confident that you would win from your speech.

However, I think that the members who pointed out that these plans will evolve through negotiations as we move towards the appeal means were right and that your proposal failed because the majority thought that taking an entrenched position now won't help anyone.

For some people the issue is the mass of the development, for others the lack of benefits to the park, still more are unhappy about the impact on existing residents, even though this is not an issue for FoAP.

Consultation of the whole membership as to the approach has to be the best, and most democratic, way forward.

Loafer
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