Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Katie Odling
tel. no.: 020 7332 3414  Email: katie.odling@cityoflondondon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Chris Townsend (Surrey County Council) and Pippa Woodall (British Horse Society).

 

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

2.

Members' Declarations under the Code of Conduct in Respect of Items on the Agenda

Minutes:

There were no declarations.

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

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To agree the public minutes of the meeting held on 2nd July 2012 (copy attached).

 

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

Minutes:

The minutes from the meeting held on 2 July 2012 were agreed as a correct record.

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

4.

Superintendent's Update

The Superindendent of City Commons to be heard.

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

Minutes:

This Item was taken in conjunction with Item 7.

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

5.

Audit of Entrances and Rides pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Report of the Superintendent of City Commons (copy attached).

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Superintendent of City Commons, which presented an Audit of Entrances and Rides undertaken by two of the Ashtead Common volunteers, with support and guidance from the Superintendent and Ranger Team.

 

The Committee expressed its thanks and appreciation for the work of the volunteer authors in producing the report.

 

In response to a Member’s query, Members were told that since the Olympics, cycling on the Common had increased.  It was explained that whilst an official count hadn’t taken place, Rangers and staff on the Common suggested there were more cyclists, especially casual cyclists and family groups.  When Rangers found cyclists off the authorised routes, it was often established that the cyclist had lost their way, and this was often attributed to a lack of clear signage.

 

Members noted from the report that future work would include improvements to both the condition of some of the footpaths and concessionary rides. . The work itself would be done by volunteers in the summer months, with the support of the Ranger staff.

 

Responding to a question from a Member, the Committee heard that the final colour scheme of the map was not yet finalised, and the next step would be to approach a graphic designer to create the map.  This map could then be resized to fit the various signs found around the Common.

 

RECEIVED

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

6.

Consultative Committee Review pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Report of the Superintendent of City Commons (copy attached).

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

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Superintendent of the City Commons regarding the effects of the City’s governance review on consultative committee arrangements.

 

Members heard that little noticeable operational change for the committee should come out of the proposals, and that the intention was that the proposed formal meeting would continue to be held in January, and the proposed annual community consultation meeting would take place at the Common in the summer.

 

Members emphasized the importance of having a meeting at the Common, to see issues on the ground.

 

Members also heard that a report would be submitted to the committee at a later date, discussing options for the involvement of interested public groups at the annual community consultation meetings.

 

RESOLVED : - That,

·         formal consultative committee meetings be held once a year for each of the 3 charities – Ashtead Common, the Coulsdon Commons and the West Wickham Commons.

·         an annual community consultation meeting be introduced by the City Commons Division for each charity.  (These meetings would be tailored to local need and outcomes recorded for presentation to the next formal meeting or the next Epping Forest and Commons Committee.)

·         the terms of reference for the Ashtead Common Consultative Committee be reviewed and terms of reference for the Coulsdon Commons and West Wickham Commons Consultative Committees introduced.

 

 

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

7.

City Commons Management Priorities for 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Report of the Superintendent of City Commons (copy attached).

 

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Superintendent of City Commons, relating to the management priorites for the City Commons Division that will guide the annual work programme during the period 1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014 inclusive.

 

The Chairman led the Committee in commending the new format presented in the report.

 

The report was taken in conjunction with a verbal update from the Senior Ranger, during which the following points were noted:

 

·         The staff at the Common were aware of the rise in tree disease noted recently around the country. It was emphasized that monitoring of the trees in the Common would be increased, but staff were also careful not to make any rash decisions.

·         Young cattle were to be introduced to the Common in the coming year, although there will not be an increase in grazing.

·         As the volunteers and staff work across the Common replacing the signage, et cetera, as outlined in Item 5, it will provide an opportunity to find and upgrade dead hedges and clear areas around veteran trees to improve light and space.

·         Bracken and the associated fire risk would be managed in the year ahead with a mixture of cattle, rolling and cutting.

·         Scrub areas are to worked on to create a 50/50 ratio of grass to scrub, a ratio recommended in Natural England guidelines.

·         The excavation works around the Roman Villa were entering the final year of the seven year project, with a report outlining the findings to follow.

·         The system of hardstandings and paved routes were to be addressed in a prioritised manner, after the completion of the signage works.

 

Members were told of the important work done by the volunteers to bring this all to fruition. The Committee also heard that in the autumn, several of the volunteers underwent

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

8.

Questions on matters relating to the work of the Committee

Minutes:

A Member wished to express his gratitude for the work of the staff and volunteers at the Common over the previous year.  The Chairman led the Committee in joining in this thanks.

 

In response to a Member’s question, the Committee were briefly updated on the status of the Newton Wood area currently up for sale.  The Committee were reminded that the Corporation were unfortunately not in a position to procure the land itself.  The Superintendent’s staff were maintaining communication with the agents for the land, and whilst working to prevent complacency, they were also bearing in mind the Site of Special Scientific Interest status the area enjoyed.

 

The Members also heard that any public subscription to purchase the land was best arranged by the locals and concerned parties themselves.

 

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

9.

Any Other Business That the Chairman Considers Urgent

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

 

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

10.

Date of Next Meeting

To be held at 6.30pm on 1 July 2013 in the City Commons Estate Office, preceded by a visit.

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

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as being the 1 July 2013, and the Superintendent’s staff undertook to update the Committee on the time for the meeting in due course.

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