Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: First Floor Meeting Room, Queen's Park Cafe, London NW6

Contact: Fern Aldous  Email:

Note: Special Meeting 

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Helen Durnford (Queen’s Park Area Residents’ Association), Councillor Eleanor Southwood (London Borough of Brent) and Councillor James Denselow (London Borough of Brent).

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


Initial feedback and learning in relation to the engagement and consultation with café users


The Committee received a presentation from Jon Sheath Associates who were undertaking a consultation exercise on the procurement process for the five park cafes across Hampstead Heath, Golders Hill Park, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park.


The Committee were updated on the background of the café procurement project, noting the following points.


-       Three of the Cafes (Parliament Hill Café at Hampstead Heath, the Golders Hill Park Café and the Highgate Wood Café) had been awarded to the franchise Benugo in 2014 after they had won a tendering exercise.

-       The transition had not been completed in the face of large local opposition, and the withdrawal of Benugo from the process.

-       Following extensive negotiations the winning bidder for the Queen’s Park Café had also withdrawn from the process. The tenant at the Lido café had been operating, but has since ceased trading. All five cafes were currently on tenancy at will agreements with the original providers.


Members discussed the reasons why the first procurement exercise had not been successful. It was felt that the initial process had failed to identify questions that would demonstrate the provider’s ability to recognise the social aspect of the café.  To address this issue, the consultation process being undertaken would inform the questions that would be included in the next procurement  to address this issue. It was also anticipated that members of community groups would form part of the assessment panels to further assist in capturing local desire. The Committee further discussed the reasons behind the decision of Minkies to withdraw from the Queen’s Park Café. Members felt that the costs associated with the TUPE could be seen as prohibitive for a small local business; however the Superintendent assured the Committee that the costs were reasonable and viable for the establishment. The extension of the

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


Review of final designs for the Queen's Park Playground sand pit


The Group received a presentation from Erect Architects on the plans to upgrade the sandpit and surrounding play area at the park. It was reported that Erect Architects specialised in urban play and had completed significant designs at Kilburn Park and the Olympic Park. It was felt there was a lack of enthusiasm for sand in urban play and many sand pits had been replaced due to the ongoing maintenance costs associated. The architects saw the sandpit at the park as an asset and were excited to work with it.


A consultation event had been conducted and all the initial designs presented had all been positively received. Members discussed the results in detail and the following points were noted:


-        The sand was very popular and seen as a safe place to play, however a few users had felt that the sand was dirty, and had noted that the underlying membrane was on show. Sand also leaked onto the path.

-       Users liked the size of the sandpit area.

-       The play vehicles were a popular offering.

-       Direct access to the toilets was strongly supported.

-       Users liked that the play area had only one entrance.

-       The water play design was very popular.


The architects had a budget of £50,000, and the services of Members of the Open Spaces team to assist with the labour. The design presented had incorporated as many of the positive elements from the consultation process as possible within this budget. Water play, mounds, textures, tunnels and slides were included. The triangular grass section would be developed to include a toddlers swing and additional picnic seating. A horse and cart and tractor would replace the play vehicles.


Members queried the maintenance regime for the sand and whether it was treated to maintain hygiene. It

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


Any Other Business


There was no other business.

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


Dates of Next Meetings


The date of the next meeting was noted to be 14 June 2017.

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