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Venue: Hope Centre at St Mary's Church, 201 High Rd, Loughton, IG10 1BB

Contact: Leanne Murphy  Email: leanne.murphy@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Verderer Dr Joanna Thomas, Benjamin Murphy and Verderer Melissa Murphy.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

2.

Declarations

Minutes:

Mr Paul Morris declared an interest that _ (sorry I didn’t catch what Paul said).

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 101 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 24 January 2018.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 3.

Minutes:

RESOLVED, that the minutes of the meeting held on 24 January 2018 be approved as a correct record

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Minutes of the Epping Forest & Commons Committee

Minutes:

4a

15 January 2018 pdf icon PDF 170 KB

To receive the minutes of the Epping Forest and City Commons Committee meeting held on 15 January 2018.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 4a

Minutes:

The Committee noted the minutes of the Epping Forest & Commons Committee held on 15 January 2018.

 

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 4a

4b

12 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To receive the minutes of the Epping Forest and City Commons Committee meeting held on 12 March 2018.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 4b

Minutes:

The Committee noted the minutes of the Epping Forest & Commons Committee held on 12 March 2018.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 4b

4c

14 May 2018 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To receive the minutes of the Epping Forest and City Commons Committee meeting held on 14 May 2018.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 4c

Minutes:

The Committee noted the minutes of the Epping Forest & Commons Committee held on 14 May 2018.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 4c

5.

Epping Forest - Superintendent's Update for December 2017 to March 2018 (SEF 25/18) pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Report of Superintendent of Epping Forest.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 5.

Minutes:

Members received a presentation from the Superintendent of Epping Forest and noted his report summarising the Epping Forest Division’s activities across December 2017 to March 2018. The following comments were made.

 

Staff and Volunteers

·         The Superintendent advised Members that a number of positions have now been filled.

·         The Epping Forest Chingford Golf Course and Wanstead Flats Sport turf teams have been successfully restructured to provide more structure and assist with management.

Budgets

 

·         It was noted that indications suggested that Epping Forest was likely to record a small overspend of £46,000 (1.69%).

Weather

 

·         The Superintendent advised that wet winter weather and unseasonable storms had had an impact on the Forest. The cold and wet conditions extended the Closed Riding season which moved to Open Riding from 5 May. 

Open Spaces Act 2018

 

·         The Superintendent advised Members that the Bill received Royal Assent on 15 March 2018 and that work was now underway to explore and prioritise new powers of enforcement and licencing letting of vacant premises.

 

Forest Services

 

Fly tipping

·         Members were advised that fly-tipping for the period of December 2017 – March 2018 had had a 42.4% reduction in comparison to the same period 12 months ago and this impact was attributed to the enforcement of fines and carpark improvements.

Rough Sleepers

·         Members were advised that the number of rough sleepers had fallen dramatically by 80% and that the City of London Corporation is continuing to work closely with the Police, homeless organisations and the local authorities to resolve rough sleeping on the Forest.  

Buffer Land deer count

·         Members were advised that the buffer land deer count was lower, and the cull figure was moving proportionally down.

Licences

·         It was noted that a total of 62 licences for events were issued during the four months being reported.

 

Heritage, Landscape and

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Cyclical Works Programme Bid - 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Report of the City Surveyor.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 6.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted a report of the City Surveyor regarding the 2019/20 Cyclical Works Programme Bid which set out a provisional list of cyclical projects being considered for properties under the management of Epping Forest & Commons Committee under the “cyclical works programme”.

 

The Superintendent advised that the bid (totalling £999,100) would be a three-year investment and, if approved, would continue the on-going programme in the maintenance of the property and infrastructure assets.

 

RECEIVED.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

London Borough of Culture Opening Event (SEF 28/18) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 7.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage regarding the London Borough of Culture Opening Event (SEF 28/18) and the following points were made.

 

·         Members were advised that the first ever London Borough of Culture has been awarded to London Borough of Waltham Forest for 2019. The Borough would like to host the opening event on Epping Forest at Chingford Plain, which falls within Waltham Forest.

 

·         Members were pleased that this event would be in the north of the borough.  

 

·         A Member queried whether this would be a one-off event. The Head of Visitor Services stated that only one event was in discussion but there was potential for ancillary installation in the future.  

 

·         In response to a query regarding who was managing the event, stalls, etc, Members were advised that the London Borough of Waltham Forest would be managing everything. A Member suggested involving the Chingford Common community and the Head of Visitor Services saw this as a good opportunity to work with the north of the borough.

 

·         A Member raised concerned over the date (1 January 2019) and the high potential for a large footfall in the area. Members were advised that the London Borough of Waltham Forest were being made aware of the practical concerns involved with this event and were looking at issues concerning numbers and infrastructure.

 

·         In response to queries regarding whether this free event could cope with the high numbers it would attract, Members were advised that the organisers have worked on a number of successful big events and ticketing was being considered. It was noted that all decisions would be scrutinised by the Safety Advisory Group and the City of London Corporation would insist on regular updates.

 

·         Members requested an approximate capacity figure as this free event would attract people

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

The Jubilee London Plane Avenue, Woodford Green: Future Management Proposals (SEF 27/18) pdf icon PDF 405 KB

Report of Director of Open Spaces and Heritage.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 8.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage regarding future management proposals for Jubilee London Plane Avenue in Woodford Green (SEF 27/18). The following points were made.

 

·         The Head of Operations advised Members that action was required following an arboricultural assessment of the trees on Jubilee Avenue. The assessment established that the Black Poplars were near the end of their lifespan and the longer-lived London Plane trees had not established well and were of poor form making them increasingly susceptible to Massaria Disease in the future.

·         Members were advised that the assessment recommended a staged replanting of Jubilee Avenue over ten years as the most effective method of maintaining this landscape feature which would cost £20,000. This would require public consultation and Conservation Area consent.

·         The suggestion to set up a public sponsorship scheme to fund replanting of the renamed Churchill Avenue was noted.

·         The Head of Operations asked the Committee for recommendations on which type of tree should be planted and noted that there was no policy on tree species at Epping Forest.

·         Members received an update on potential tree options for their information which considered the different impacts of different species including: the aesthetic of the tree, seasonal elements, native versus other species, height and density, disease and climate, root growth and fruit and allergen concerns.

·         A Member noted that local sponsorship of trees was sought at Theydon but that locals were upset when they did not receive acknowledgement of this as promised. It was recommended that there be clarity on what is involved and promised. The Head of Operations understood the emotional investment of sponsorship and agreed this needed to be managed and acknowledged properly.

·         A Member felt that it should be a local decision on the tree species decision, particularly if this

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

The Woodford Green Chestnut Avenue: Future Management Proposals (SEF 29/18) pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 9.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage regarding future management proposals for Woodford Green Chestnut Avenue (SEF 29/18).

Members were advised that the City of London Corporation were working in collaboration with London Borough of Redbridge, who is responsible for the maintenance of the Avenue, to act on the deteriorating condition of the Woodford Green Horse Chestnut Avenue where only 64% of the original planting now survives.  

It was noted that further work is planned to raise public awareness over the plight of the Chestnuts, together with public consultation, to initiate a discussion on potential replanting options for existing gaps and likely future tree failures.

 

RESOLVED – That Members support:-

·         The joint commission with the London Borough of Redbridge of an Arboricultural Assessment of the Chestnut Avenue, considering options for the future management and possible replacement of the Avenue;

·         Public consultation, alongside similar engagement on the Jubilee London Plane Avenue, on preferred options for the future management of the Chestnut Avenue;

·         The inauguration of a sponsorship appeal in partnership with the London Borough of Redbridge to raise funds to meet the cost of replacement trees and their establishment.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Wanstead & Manor Flats Scrub Management Strategy (SEF 26/18) pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 10.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage regarding the Wanstead & Manor Flats Scrub Management Strategy (SEF 26/18). The following comments were made.

 

·         The Head of Operations advised Members that scrub forms an important part of the biodiversity heritage and aesthetic at Wanstead Flats. However, ongoing problems with scrub associated anti-social behaviour and rough sleepers has caused a need for a revised scrub management regime and strategy to deal with issues in the area.

 

·         A Member was pleased that the focus on aesthetic remained important but was unsure regarding the percentages presented in the report and what the impact of change would be. Members were advised that not all areas of the community required scrub and 25% was an approximate figure based on the overall structure which varied.

 

·         It was noted that it was hard to get the balance right at the Flats and difficult to manage as the scrub area provides an important biodiversity resource.

 

·         A Member suggested finding imaginative ways to reduce antisocial behaviour in the scrub by ensuring that it people would be visible through sight lines through the scrub.

 

·         In response to queries, the Head of Operations confirmed that habitat scrub work would be more gradual and the structured approach of the plan would ensure scattered work each year.

 

·         A Member noted that Friends of Wanstead Parkland would appreciate an update on this matter.

 

RESOLVED, that Members support the introduction of a revised scrub management strategy for Wanstead and Manor Flats.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Epping Forest Play Policy (SEF 31/18) pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 11.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage regarding the Epping Forest Play Policy (SEF 31/18). The following comments were made.

 

·         The Head of Visitor Services advised Members that Epping Forest provides a valued (and in some cases the only) green space for a range of communities which has led to ongoing requests for facilities such as play areas on Epping Forest land to service these local communities.

 

·         It was noted that there was currently no policy statement regarding the position on play facilities on the Forest but that most locations would go against the natural aspect of the land.

 

·         Members were asked to consider a Play Policy for Epping Forest in an attempt to interpret the sometimes-contradictory intentions of the Epping Forest Acts and set out a policy position for the Committee to use in relation to future requests.

 

·         Members welcomed clarity of the policy and guidance on the restrictions.

 

·         A Member suggested changing the wording to consider opening the request to understand a license agreement with a local authority. Legal advice was recommended by Members.

 

·         A Member highlighted the need to ensure that the Forest/City of London Corporation does not become liable for any problems that occur and ensure that licenses are clear that the site will be cleared if issues occur as protection.

 

·         A Member suggested publicising natural trees falling down for dens. Members were advised that there were plans for guides to be published.  

 

RESOLVED, that Members support approval of the Play in Epping Forest Policy Statement attached as Appendix 1.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Proposal for a play area at Wanstead Park (SEF 30/18) pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 12.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage regarding the proposal for a play area at Wanstead Park (SEF 30/18). The following comments were made.

 

·         The Head of Operations explained that this report presented an exceptional case for the construction of a natural play area on Forest Land at Wanstead Park and this progress proposal outlined the commitments that would be involved. He made it clear that a decision had not been made and that the Committee was being asked for consent in principle for the proposal before it develops.  

 

·         It was noted that local authority play policy had previously identified a lack of play provision in the Ward, together with a lack of suitable Local Authority Public Open Space on which a play facility could be sited. The formal parkland setting of Wanstead Park was considered to be a more appropriate setting for a children’s play area and would be funded and maintained by the London Borough of Redbridge under a licence agreement. The play area would complement proposals for an improved visitor offer around the Temple and meet long standing community desires for a play area in the vicinity.

 

·         A Member noted that Wanstead Park was the logical choice for a play area but not the other two parks.

 

·         Some Members felt that the Forest itself was a play area and that it should be made clear that it is a Forest and not a park. A Member felt that energies should be focused on teach children how to play in the Forest and engage with natural structures rather than building a park.

 

·         A Member queried whether there was a policy to prevent the development of playgrounds. Members were advised that there was no such policy on playgrounds and it was noted that the

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Proposal for Experimental Traffic Regulation Order on Fairmead Road, High Beach in partnership with Essex Highways (SEF 32/18) pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 13.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

----

RESOLVED - With two hours having elapsed since the start of the meeting, in accordance with Standing Order No. 40 the Committee agreed at this point to extend the meeting by up to thirty minutes.

----

 

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage regarding the proposal for Experimental Traffic Regulation Order on Fairmead Road, High Beach in partnership with Essex Highways (SEF 32/18). The following comments were made.

 

·         Members were advised that the Epping Forest Transport Strategy (2009-2016) proposed the closure of selected minor roads within Epping Forest to reunite areas of Forest previously dissected by highways, making more of the Forest both tranquil and safety accessible to the public. The proposal to close Fairmead Road was modified in September 2013 to leave 500m open to motor traffic to retain access to the Fairmead Bottom Car Park. The partial closure has seen fly tipping and Anti-Social Behaviour previously experienced along the length of the road concentrated across the remaining 500 metres open to motor traffic.

 

·         Members were asked to approve the proposal to introduce an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) on the remaining section open to motor traffic to extend the benefits seen upon the 700m of highway closed under a Traffic Regulation Order in 2012, to the entirety of the road length. This action would improve visitor experience, increase safety for the Forest cattle and enhance protection of the SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and SAC (Special Area of Conservation).

 

·         A Member voiced concerns that closure would be a detriment to disabled visitors who park here and view this as a key area. The Head Forest Keeper advised that other areas were deemed to be more suitable for disabled visitors.

 

·         A Member noted that local residents had requested that the road remain

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Questions

Minutes:

A Member queried if there had been any changes to the Committee’s Terms of Reference since the last meeting. The Epping Forest Business Manager advised that there had been a suggestion to allowing any member of a represented organisation to attend. However, due to GDPR risks, it was decided that this could not be incorporated but that the Town Clerk would try to accommodate changes if a Member was unable to attend. Members were encouraged to make comments regarding the Terms of Reference.

 

Following a query from a Member, the Town Clerk advised that any suggested agenda items for Committee meetings be sent to the Town Clerk who would liaise with the Chairman for their approval.

 

A Member queried the licensing scheme fee issue with Theydon Bois regarding the Donkey Derby and the short notice provided. Members were advised that there had been ongoing dialogue on this matter for three years and a proposed fee had been given. The next step will be to inspect the accounts and take this to the Licensing Committee for approval. A Member voiced the Theydon Bois & District Rural Preservation Society’s support for the Donkey Derby.  

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

The Epping Forest Business Manager noted that the Committee currently had three Verderers and that a space was available for a fourth Verderer. It was noted that Verderer Murphy had taken the spot which was advertised at the beginning of the year, but another space was now available.

 

Members were advised that the person must be a resident of a Forest Parish and cannot be a member of the City of London Corporation’s Court of Common Council. The role would be advertised in the summer on the Verderer page of the City Corporation website and Members were asked to contact the Epping Forest Business Manager if they had any queries regarding the role.

 

Members were advised of the month-long event celebrating 130 years of golf at Epping Forest taking place at the Royal Epping Forest Golf Club and Chingford Golf Course starting 16 June 2018.

 

Members were advised of a biodiversity event taking place at the Wanstead Flats with 14 activities.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Date of next meeting

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting is 10 October 2018 at 7.00 pm.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

 


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