Minutes 20 April 2016

FRIENDS OF HIGHLANDS GARDENS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – 20 APRIL 2016

Present:     Apologies:
Duncan Macdonald (Chair)
Helen Oubridge (Treasurer)
Anna Cordell (Secretary)
Angela Lodge
Patrick Gaskell-Taylor
Charles Wicksteed
Ken Davidson
    Rebecca Hanley
David Nyman
Ian Wilson

1 Treasurer’s report

£3,169.12 at the beginning of the year. Not as many subs. Subs and donations have covered us.

Insurance is slightly down, now £186. We pay membership for Trust of Conservation Volunteers, £38. Not sure whether we need to be members anymore because we pay insurance separately now.

Celebration expenses.

We have £2,972.75 left over - money left over for the grant.

2 Feedback on events

12 September 2015 party went well. About 75 people attended.

3 Gardening Club

Meets every first Saturday of each month. We try to keep inside fence clear and we weed. We take out rubbish from the pond. Council does the rest - all outside the fence.

4 Works in the park

  • Meadow - 15 different flowers in there.
  • Need to talk to the Council about the house that has taken their fence down.
  • In March we did a litter-pick -‘Clean for the Queen’.
  • Helen’s husband will help with litter-picking at the gardening club.

5 Pond

Pond still has two minor cracks. Refurbished it 3 years ago. We paid for some, Council paid a lot. We had grant from Lottery Fund. It has been painted with plastic paint. Two cracks have opened again.

The pump will be replaced. Stream bed has been redone. Should now be water-tight. Though section with island, water was leaking out.

Replaced pipe at the pump house at top of the lake, now pump isn’t strong enough to push water through. That should take water to top of stream. Fingers crossed for new pump this year. Hopefully, Council will sort it.

6 Archway

The archway was cordoned off. When Rob Wiltshire from the Council was away, they declared it ‘unsafe’. It looks like some of it is falling apart. Rob is looking at taking it down. If keeping, must keep the top on. It might be fenced off and have it planted up and change the pathway, which would improve wheelchair access. Charles suggested applying for a grant to repair it. Rob wants to keep it anyway. They have to keep it safe.

Tesco are doing grants. HO will look at these. Some of the money for the pump and Highlands Gardens is given to Barnet Council for housing. (section 106). HO

7 Responsibilities for FoHG committee

Agreement to remain:

Charles, first point of contact

Helen, Treasurer (still would like to step down. Volunteers to replace her would be welcomed)

Anna, Secretary (would like to step down - volunteers welcomed - added to minutes outside the meeting)

Duncan, Chair

8 Benches

HO got quotes, she asked for three. They are ones which Rob thinks will do what we want:

  • Steel Fabricators. If benches damaged, Council goes to them to repair. They re-drew them but the wrong way around. HO drew them.
  • Taylor Made Castings Ltd: £2,200-3,380 each.
  • Furnitubes: If we got Council to buy them and we reimburse, we wouldn’t have to pay VAT.

Someone suggested to Helen that we put a hat around to pay for them. Or sponsor a bench.

Steel is more durable and in keeping with the gardens.

If the benches wiped us out, we couldn’t pay for food for the party.

Ken will look for park benches. We would like them to be like they used to be - 4 sides, one open. KD

9 Proposed events

- Gardening Club continues.

- Anyone who would like to do guerrilla gardening is welcome.

- Picnic - Was agreed that September is a good time to do it - first week kids go back to school - Saturday 10th September 2016, 2-4pm, FoHG picnic, games, etc.

10 Patrick’s observations

Grafitti on loo and upper pond and pumphouse. Tarmac is cracked and bumpy. (Rob wants pump going and then will see to that). Patrick counted 10 different flowers.

Top gate stays shut. Top bridge - little steps seem trippy. (Rob has talked of making it into a slope as it’s not buggy-friendly. Stepping stones have been repaired)

Lots of goldfish in the pond. Rest of paths are good, they have been done.

11 Other

New member, Ken, asked whether the fence is responsible to the Council. He wants to know whether he could gain access to the rear of his property. This is a matter for Public Engagement. He was advised to contact them.

Ken’s daughter asked whether we could have a duck house. HO will see whether she can find one. Ken noticed that the tadpoles have developed. HO

12 Newsletter

The newsletter will come out of the minutes to highlight the party.

Ken offered to design the newsletter. HO suggested that he look on the website at the newsletter PDFs. KD

13 Date of next meeting

Wednesday 6 July 2016, 8.00pm @ Charles’ - 18 Abbotts Road, EN5 5DP