Agenda item

Open Spaces Departmental Business Plan 2015-18 summary

Report of the Director of Open Spaces.


The Committee received a report of the Director of Open Spaces that provided details of the Open Spaces Departmental Business Plan 2015-2018.


Members requested that a summary text of the Business Plan and Risk Register, including references relevant to the Heath such as tree disease and the sports programme, be presented to the Consultative Committee in future. In response to a member’s question regarding possible surplus assets, the Superintendent advised that the City Corporation was currently undertaking an operational property review that may result in various huts, cabins, tool sheds etc. being deemed surplus to requirement in order to alleviate pressure on the repairs and maintenance budgets.


The Remembrancer addressed members regarding the proposed changes to the legislation governing the Heath, which could be sought through a City of London Corporation (Open Spaces) Bill. The Bill would be deposited in Parliament as a Private Bill in November 2015 subject to the approval of the Policy and Resources Committee in July and the Court of Common Council in September or October. The Remembrancer noted that interested parties could petition against the Bill during the Select Committee stage in Parliament, but expressed the hope that a consensus could be achieved through prior discussion. Members agreed that it was best for their views to be discussed with the Open Spaces Department and the Remembrancer’s Office prior to the Bill being deposited.


Members representing the Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents’ Association and the Heath and Hampstead Society expressed concerns that the conservation and preservation aspects of the Hampstead Heath Act 1871 should be maintained. Members also suggested that the Consultative Committee be given the opportunity to scrutinise eventual changes to management powers such as the terms of any future proposed lettings or licences.


Meetings could be scheduled with relevant officers upon request and members were encouraged to express the views of their organisations in writing to the Open Spaces Department and the Remembrancer’s Office as soon as possible.


RESOLVED – That the Open Spaces Business Plan 2015-18, including the changes to management powers, income generation and enforcement which might be sought through the promotion of a City of London Corporation (Open Spaces) Bill, be noted.


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