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Posted: Oct 13 2007, 11:34 PM
Member No.: 2
Joined: 8-June 07
MINUTES OF THE FRIENDS OF BOSTALL HEATH AND WOODS
MEETING HELD ON 3rd OCTOBER 2007
AT THE PAVILION, BOSTALL GARDENS, ABBEY WOOD
Kenneth HOBDAY (Chairman)
Wendy WARD (Treasurer)
Cllr Angela CORNFORTH
Cllr Steve OFFORD
Brian REIDA E SANDALL
Cllr Jagir SELKON
Marolin WATSON (Secretary)
1. The agenda was handed out and apologies received.
2. Councillors Steve Offord and Jagir Selkon were welcomed to the meeting as well as visitors Jeremy Cotton, Frank Goddard, Julie Scorer and the Vyse-Waughray family. Councillor Angela Cornforth arrived while the meeting was in progress and was welcomed.
3. The following corrections to the minutes of the meeting of 5th September were noted: Lesley Burch was present; Jean Weston was not.
4. Treasurer’s Report
Wendy had e-mailed Alan Pett and Jeremy Shearmer about insurance and had received no response. She had been informed just before the meeting that Jonathan Bangs had assured the Secretary that the Council’s promised £250 would be paid into the Friends’ bank account upon receipt of bank details.
5. Discussion between Friends and Councillors
The following issues were raised:
· The lack of co-operation and support that the Friends of Bostall Heath and Woods had received from Council staff, despite attempts to involve them
· The inadequacy of the draft Management Plan that had been submitted to members for their comment (too general and not accurate)
· The lack of commitment by the Council to Bostall Heath and Woods as evidenced by the forcible retirement of a committed park keeper and his replacement with agency staff
· The ongoing problems of inappropriate use of the Woods (motorbikes and joyriding) with no system in place to deal with this
· The failure of the Council to act even on the advice of its own park keepers in respect of, for example, repairing steps and creating a fire break round the hospice
Speaking for the Councillors, Steve Offord made the following points:
· Friends groups are set up because the Council lacks the resources to maintain its parkland and relies on voluntary groups to fundraise for this
· Councillors can influence but do not control the Council
In order for the Friends group to make progress the following measures needed to be taken:
· Councillors and Council staff needed to walk round the Heath and Woods with Friends members so that necessary work can be pointed out and recorded
· Representatives from the Council and Councillors should attend at least some of the Friends meetings
· The Management Plan needed to be rewritten specifically for Bostall Heath and Woods with long and short-term objectives identified
· Insurance needs to be arranged so that a Working Group can begin conservation tasks (the Shooters Hill Friends and Les Nez group should be consulted for advice)
· Tools and support were needed for the Working Group
· Benches need to be provided as promised and Friends consulted as to positioning
Steve Offord said that he would write to the Director (of?) and enumerate the support needed by the Friends from the Council and would copy this to Ken.
The Councillors were thanked and left the meeting.
6. Special Meeting
Given the general dissatisfaction amongst Friends with the lack of progress made after many months of meetings, it was decided that the leadership of the group needed to be reviewed. A vote of ‘no confidence’ was carried 8 to 4 against the Chairman, Ken Hobday, who had been invited to stand down before the meeting.
Nominations were received for the post of Chairman:
Neville Williams – nominated by Lesley Burch, seconded by Wendy Ward
Kieran McDonnell – nominated by Marolin Watson, seconded by Jean Weston
Neville received 15 votes and was appointed Chairman
Nominations were received for the post of Vice-Chairman:
Kieran McDonnell - nominated by Marolin Watson, seconded by Jean Weston
Ken Hobday – nominated by Ken Hobday, seconded by Les Coucher
Kieran received 12 votes and was appointed Vice-Chairman with the understanding that he would stand in for the Chair when his work duties prevented him from attending meetings.
Ken Hobday was thanked for his time as Chairman and invited to continue taking the lead on Conservation issues.
Malcolm Bales would be invited to sit on the Executive Committee of seven members as required by the Constitution. Lesley Burch later volunteered to be the seventh member of the Executive Committee.
The meeting was closed.
Next meeting to be held on the 7th of November. Members were invited to submit items for the agenda prior to the meeting.