Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual meeting

Contact: Leanne Murphy tel. no.: 020 7332 3008  Email: leanne.murphy@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Graeme Joshi-Smith and Ruby Sayed.

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

2.

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

Minutes:

There were none.

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

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 180 KB

To agree the public minutes and summary of the meeting held on 11 March 2020.

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED, that the public minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2020 were approved as a correct record.

 

The Chairman advised Members that her three-year term as Chairman had come to an end. Members were advised that due to the current pandemic restrictions, April Court had been unable to go ahead to reconstitute its Committees for the year and there would be no 2020 elections for the Chairman. Subsequently, the current Deputy Chair would become Acting Chair until the elections could take place. The Chairman thanked Members and Officers for their support during her tenure which had been humbling. Members and Officers thanked the Chairman for her great support and leadership over the years.  

 

The new Chair thanked the outgoing Chairman and noted that she was keen for the elections to go ahead as soon as possible.

 

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

4.

Vote of Thanks for the Outgoing Chairman

Vote of thanks to be read by the most senior Common Councilman.

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

Minutes:

Alderman Jones paid tribute to Karina Dostalova, the past Chairman.

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: 

THAT Members of the Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park Committee wish to place on record their sincere appreciation to

 

KARINA DOSTALOVA

 

for her outstanding service during the last three years as Chairman of this Committee.

 

DURING her tenure as Chairman, Karina has dealt with often contentious issues with tact, diplomacy and an unwavering dedication ensuring that Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park have remained among the front rank of London’s public open spaces.

 

ISSUES that Karina turned her attention to include legislation, namely the promotion of a City of London (Open Spaces) Bill in Parliament, and of course the ever present need to be vigilant to ensure planning applications on the fringes of Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park do not have any adverse impact on the public enjoyment of those open spaces.

 

PUBLIC open spaces that are so intrinsically important to the communities who rely on them for sport, leisure and relaxation can often provoke strong feelings, and it is the measure of a Chairman that on those occasions when feelings run high that the issue is resolved through measured consideration and appropriate compromise. With that in mind, the Committee wishes to place on record its particular thanks for the way in which Karina handled the development of the Heath Vision and the Hampstead Heath Management Strategy 2018-2028 providing the overarching framework for the Heath for the next ten years. Karina also supported the development of a High-Level Asset Management Plan which has informed the development of capital projects to improve public toilets, swimming facilities and visitor access.

 

ACCESS to leisure and sports, in support of mental and physical health and wellbeing, have been issues that Karina has championed and she has always

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

5.

Covid-19 Update

Oral update on the latest position.

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

Minutes:

The Committee received a verbal update from the Superintendent relating to issues and matters concerning the Covid-19 pandemic. The following comments were made:

 

·         The Superintendent gave thanks the now Deputy Chairman on behalf of the Team for her support during her chairmanship.

 

·         The Superintendent thanked all staff for their ongoing hard work throughout the lockdown to keep Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park open to the public as they had become of more significant importance to the physical and mental health of all that used it. It was noted that just the local communities were using the open spaces at the beginning of the lockdown which had been much easier to manage and share safety protocol with the public. However, since 13 May 2020, the numbers were now significantly larger, and waste was a key issue.  

 

·         Regarding communications, social media remained a quick and proactive way of engaging with the public and receiving information about incidents on the ground.

 

·         All of the Heath’s carparks have been opened to the public and discussions continue with the NHS for a phased withdrawal from the Fairground site.

 

·         Waste and recycling continue to be a huge issue and was now considered an emergency response requiring £18k. Messaging has continued to call on the public to take their rubbish home.  

 

·         A Member highlighted that litter was a huge issue across all of the City Corporation’s Open Spaces with lots of people being at home/not at school/the desire to go out/alcohol/etc creating a “perfect storm”. Staff on the ground were commended for all of their efforts; however, the Member did not feel that staff should be responsible for clearing up the huge quantities of rubbish left every day which was a big commitment and suggested banning bins completely.

 

·         The Member felt the public needed to

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

6.

Swimming Facilities Update pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Open Spaces concerning the Hampstead Heath Swimming Covid-19 temporary arrangements and the following comments were made:

 

·         The Chair acknowledged that the report was late but reminded Members that the Team was extremely busy and working with the Swimming Associations to progress on these complex issues.

 

·         The Superintendent confirmed that conversations with the Swimming Associations had been helpful and the next step was to engage with swimmers. Officers also continue to work in collaboration with other swimming facilities in London.

 

·         A key challenge remaining for the facilities was what system to implement to monitor the number of swimmers.

 

·         The Superintendent stated that there were short and long-term plans in development. In the short-term, an existing platform would be used for online booking and payments and in the long-term an app would be introduced which would link integrated wrist bands and lockers. It was noted that it was currently difficult to trial and test the new technology as site meetings with providers were not currently possible, but that progress was being made and the Team were working with the Director of IT to progress these matters.

 

·         The Director of Open Spaces confirmed there had been Gold and Silver Group engagement concerning the swimming facilities and advice had been received from the Director of Public Health concerning Government guidance. Leisure centres were expected to open under step 3 and guidance would be announced for step 3 on 4 July. It was noted that this announcement would begin the next steps but opening facilities would be a phased process once the Corporation’s had agreed upon a safe operational model for staff and the public which would need to be tested first. 

 

·         The Chair stated that whilst this was a challenging process with numerous factors to

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

7.

Questions on Matters Relating to the Work of the Committee

Minutes:

The Chair noted the HHCC minutes from their meeting on 18 May 2020 and the request for a legal note from the City Solicitor on the relationship between the Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee and the Hampstead Heath Management Committee and the provisions within the 1989 Order. This was requested as HHCC Members were disappointed that the Grand Committee did not support their recommendations during the swimming review decision in March. The Town Clerk agreed to follow up on this request.

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

8.

Any Other Business That the Chairman Considers Urgent

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

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

9.

Exclusion of the Public

MOTION: That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act.

 

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED, that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A of the Act.

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

10.

Non-Public Minutes

To agree the non-public minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2020.

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED, that the non-public minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2020 were approved as a correct record.

 

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

11.

Report of Action Taken

Report of the Town Clerk.

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

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Town Clerk summarising the public action taken outside of Committee meetings under Standing Order 41.

 

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

12.

Non-Public Questions on Matters Relating to the Work of the Committee

Minutes:

There was one question.

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

13.

Any Other Business That the Chairman Considers Urgent and Which the Committee Agree Should Be Considered Whilst the Public Are Excluded

Minutes:

There was one item.

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