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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 Deputy Philip Woodhouse (the meeting was chaired by Deputy Chairman Graeme Smith), Martin Boyle, Tim Harris (James Heal represented the WREN Wildlife & Conservation Group), Verderer Dr Joanna Thomas and Verderer Melissa Murphy.

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

2.

Declarations

Minutes:

There were no declarations.

 

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

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 13 June 2018.

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED, that the public minutes of the meeting held on 13 June 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

9 July 2018 pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To receive the minutes of the Epping Forest and Commons Committee meeting held on 9 July 2018.

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

Minutes:

The Committee noted the minutes of the Epping Forest & Commons Committee held on 9 July 2018.

 

 

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

4b

10 September 2018 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To receive the minutes of the Epping Forest and Commons Committee meeting held on 10 September 2018.

 

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

Minutes:

The Committee noted the minutes of the Epping Forest & Commons Committee held on 10 September 2018.

 

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

5.

Superintendent's Update April/May & June/July pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Report of the Superintendent of Epping Forest.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Staff and Volunteers

·         The Superintendent advised Members that recruitment was underway to address a series of staff shortages. It was noted that the team had sadly lost Russell Staffurth and Peter Williamson.

Award winners

 

·         Epping Forest has received the prestigious Green Flag Award for the 15th time in a row and a Green Heritage Award for 2018/19 from the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

Weather

 

·         The Superintendent advised that the wetter than average April and the very dry and hot summer had had an impact with the Forest reflecting 2% lower than normal on a heat map.

Parklife

 

·         The Football Foundation has provided a grant of £34,777 to enable the City of London Corporation to develop plans for a hub at Wanstead Flats football.

Forest Services

 

Fly tipping

·         Members were advised that fly-tipping and littering had significantly increased over the hot summer months.

Rough Sleepers

·         Members were advised that there had been a number of rough sleepers at the Forest over the summer months and that the City of London Corporation was working to find better outcomes to resolve rough sleeping on the Forest.  

Deer vehicle collisions

·         Members were advised that the number of deer related road accidents was moving proportionally down from 2017.

Fire

·         The Superintendent advised that the extremely hot weather and lack of rainfall had led to 37 forest fires throughout the summer reaching a damaging burn of approximately 60 acres at Wanstead Flats. The Police and Fire Services were still looking investigating suspected arson at the flats.

·         Annual training with the Fire Authority is due to take place in the spring.

Heritage, Landscape and Nature

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

6.

Wanstead Park - Briefing note for Members pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage.

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

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage providing Members with an update regarding Wanstead Park. The following comments were made:

 

·         The Head of Operations advised that the aim of the report was to update Members on the progress of the Parkland Plan and introduce the implications for the Plan of the notification by the Environment Agency in December 2017 of a statutory revised High-Risk category for the three Large Raised Reservoirs with rectification costs currently estimated at £10 million.

 

·         Members were advised that it was recommended that a Project Board be established to support the preparation of a combined LRR and Parkland Plan project proposal to be submitted to the Project Sub Committee for December 2018.

 

·         A Member noted that there was a lot of frustration in the local community but was grateful that the strategy work had identified and would ensure necessary works and improvements would take place.

 

·         A Member voiced concern over the suggestion to pump up to 294,000 cubic metres of water from the chalk aquifer underlying London querying how this was justified. The Superintendent explained that the request for water had been carefully considered by agents and the Environmental Agency. The aim of the Parkwood Plan was to address reserving water and help to avoid localised flooding.

 

·         In response to a query regarding wider consultation of the plan, Members were advised that consultation had already taken place with key stakeholders and the plan would come to the Committee for feedback.

 

·         The Superintendent gave thanks John Kryer for his input which had helped development the plan to move forward.

 

RESOLVED, that Members support the preparation of a combined LRR and Parkland Plan (Gateway 1/2) project proposal be submitted to the Project Sub Committee for December 2018.

 

 

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

7.

London Borough of Culture May Day Event on Chingford Plain pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage.

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

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage regarding the London Borough of Culture May Day Event on Chingford Plain and the following points were made:

 

·         The Head of Visitor Services advised that the London Borough of Waltham Forest had become the first London Borough of Culture for 2019 and subsequently the Borough was planning to host its opening event on Epping Forest at Chingford Plain.

 

·         In response to a query regarding how attendees would be prevented from taking a shortcut across golf course land or using it to park cars, Members were advised that the event would be managed by experienced crew with stewards managing the crowds on a pre-route.

 

·         A Member queried whether the Team’s staff could cope with the extra pressures caused by this event which would have a knock-on effect on other areas. Members were advised that if it was decided that extra resources were required following receipt of the final plan, then these would be requested from the organisers.

 

·         A Member was concerned that bad weather plus the extra footfall could have a detrimental effect on the land. Members were advised that protective matting/tracking would be used if there was bad weather and that all routes would not be on the Forest except the event itself.

 

·         The Head of Visitor Services advised Members that all concerns would be factorised in the due diligence checks and that detailed planning for the event would come to the Committee. It was noted that the event would only be licensed if the organisers could demonstrate that all expectations would be managed.

 

RESOLVED – that Members support the:-

 

·         Agreement for the London Borough of Waltham Forest use of Chingford Plain for an opening event for the inaugural year of the London Borough of Culture, on

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

8.

Epping Forest Licence, Produce and Sports Charges pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Report of the Director of Open Spaces & Heritage.

(N.B. - A3 hardcopies of Appendix A will be available at the meeting including details of All Charges which was removed due to document size)

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage concerning the performance of charges levied for licenced activities, produce sales and formal sports in the last full financial year 2017/18 and the following points were made:

 

·         A Member noted that golf was a competitive industry but was pleased there was stability across the Forest Clubs adding that the proposed charged helped with marketing plans.

 

·         A Member suggested that the Forest Golf Clubs had a forum to discuss common interests. The Head of Visitor Services noted that there had been regulated meetings with the four clubs to discuss options and hoped this would continue in the future to look at joint operations, marketing, etc, across all four sites.

 

·         A Member felt that the sports day fees were positive as they would alleviate pressures on schools.

 

·         In response to a query regarding the high costs of car park licensing, the Head of Visitor Services advised that this report covered up to April 2018 and the costs regarding newer car parks would be reported in the next report.

 

·         Following queries regarding the Burial Road Car Park, Members were advised that this high profile site was behind schedule and would hopefully be finished soon.

 

RESOLVED – That Members support:-

 

·         the proposed charges for 2019/20;

 

·         the continued subsidy for association football.

 

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

9.

Application for major event on Wanstead Flats: further detail for approval pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Report of the Director of Open Spaces & Heritage.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage concerning the Application for a major event on Wanstead Flats for approval. The following points were made:

 

·         The Head of Visitor Services advised that major event organisers MAMA & Company are proposing a series of large-scale music concerts to take place on Wanstead Flats during the summer of 2019. This was in accordance with the recently approved Open Spaces Events Policy Parts 1 and 2 and the City of London (Open Spaces) Act 2018.

 

·         Members were advised that proposals for two concert series were approved in principle by the Epping Forest and Commons Committee on 10 September 2018.

 

·         Members voiced a number of concerns regarding the scale of the six-day event, the impact and damage it would have on the Forest and wildlife, the impact on the local residents and the precedent this could set for encouraging similar sized events on the Forest in the future.  

 

·         Members were particularly concerned that the organiser did not have a good reputation and it was noted that there was a reason that the promoter was looking for a new location to host its events. It was clarified that this report was proposing a new event and not an existing event.

 

·         Friends of Wanstead Parklands were not against events in principle but were against this proposal as it contravened the rules on having an event on two consecutive weekends. There were also concerns regarding 1) the impact a large-scale and long duration event would have on the Forest and wildlife; 2) the limited consultation period and; 3) the negative track record of the promoters.

 

·         WREN Wildlife & Conservation made a statement opposing the proposal in full on the basis that 1) the Wansted Flats are an important location for bird nesting and breeding in

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

10.

Commercial Wayleaves Review pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Report of the Director of Open Spaces & Heritage.

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

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage concerning the Commercial Wayleave Review and the following points were made:

 

·         The Superintendent explained that a commercial wayleave was a legally recorded personal licence agreement for passage across a public highway/Forest land involving an exchange of money and a set of conditions.

 

·         The Open Spaces Wayleave Review 2015 identified 25 wayleaves granted for non-residential access, including business premises, liveries, public houses and residential park homes. It was agreed that a mechanism was needed to manage the charges allowing access across the Forest

 

·         The Superintendent advised that the recommended charging model to apply on all 25 commercial wayleaves was to base the revised wayleave fee on a percentage of the rateable value for businesses and a multiplier based on residential wayleaves for park home sites.

 

·         Members were advised that the report would go to the Epping Forest and Commons Committee on 19 November 2018 for approval.

 

·         In response to a query regarding illegal activity, the Superintendent advised that as a charitable trust the aim was to always ensure the land is being used correctly and it was working on a process to clarify and protect the Forest’s rights. The aim was for a fair and consistent policy which would also provide an income for the charity.

 

·         The Director of open Spaces and Heritage noted that the historic process had not been updated and therefore the rates had not increased gradually over an extended period. He stated that wayleaves were valuable and needed to be calculate fairly.  

 

·         Members supported Option 4 - Using consultant’s advice apply new Wayleave fees immediately based on either rateable value or a council tax formulae, applying further increases by Committee approval using a recognised multiplier formula.

 

RESOLVED – That Members support the:

 

·         approval of

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

11.

Epping Forest Consultative Committee Terms of Reference and Schedule pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Report of the Director of Open Spaces & Heritage.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces and Heritage concerning the Epping Forest Consultative Committee Terms of Reference and Schedule. The following points were made:

 

·         The Business Manager of Epping Forest advised that a deadline of the fourth meeting had been set to finalise the Epping Forest Consultative Committee’s Terms of Reference and more complete terms were being proposed for Committee approval. These now covered outstanding elements including determining how many members are required to hold valid proceedings (quorum) and the agreement of a code of conduct for Members.

 

·         A Member felt a key element needed was to allow for the general public to input and suggested a framework that allowed time on the agenda for Members to discuss other issues raised. Members were advised that any questions/requests to add something to the agenda needed to be submitted to the Town Clerk and Chairman in advance of the agenda being published. It was agreed that this should be done two weeks prior to the agenda being published (four weeks before the meeting date). 

 

·         A Member felt that one week was not long enough to process the contents of the agenda pack and recommended circulation of the agenda two weeks prior to the meeting date to allow groups to review it. Members agreed the Chairman approved this request.

 

·         A Member noted that there was no youth representation on the Committee and it was suggested that one or two members of the Epping Forest Youth Council be co-opted onto the Committee. It was noted the meetings took place at 7pm and this would be challenging and a safety concern for young people to attend evening meetings. The Business Manager of Epping Forest stated that all relevant groups were invited to join the Committee, and some chose not to be

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

12.

Questions

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.

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The following questions were raised:

 

Deer culling

A Member stated that despite the Epping Forest Forum campaigning regarding deer hunting two years ago, there still had not been any feedback or outcome. He argued that as this public issue, all consultation needed to be made public and not come to the Committee for rubber stamping later. The Superintendent advised that the Terms of Reference had taken longer than expected but they would be published on the website next week and a report will come to the Committee following public consultation.

 

It was argued that the timescale had been too long, and the lack of engagement meant that the general public were not aware of what was going on in the background. Th Superintendent advised that this work would go out to tender and run for six weeks and would be followed by public consultation in February 2019. Members agreed that the timelines for this public sensitive subject should be made public and the Superintendent agreed that this would be added to the website.  

 

Closure of the Temple

A Member voiced concern regarding the length of time the Temple had been closed which had severely affected the programme of events. Members were advised that the Temple was closed due to the ceiling had falling down and could not be reopened until surveys had been carried out to establish the cause and contractors had completed the work. It was noted that this had now taken place, but the Temple required redecoration works before it could be reopened, and this would be advertised on the website

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

13.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

There was no other business.

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

14.

Date of next meeting

Minutes:

Members were advised that the 2019 meeting dates would be circulated by the Town Clerk in due course.  

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

 


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