Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.
The Group received a report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath that provided an update on the operational work and accomplishments of the Queen’s Park Team since June 2015. Members noted and considered the following matters:
Ecology and Environment
· Councillor James Denselow (London Borough of Brent), recently appointed Park Champion for Queen’s Park by the Group, had put the Park Manager in contact with an Officer at Brent, who had now resumed collecting the Park’s green waste.
· The Park often received many discarded Christmas Trees following Christmas and the New Year so the Park Manager had contacted Veolia to co-ordinate the collection and recycling of Christmas trees left by LBB residents, to ensure that they would be disposed of at no cost to the City of London Corporation.
· Christmas Trees would not be mulched and chipped for use at Queen’s Park as this would provide little benefit to the Park and the process comprised too much staff time and resources.
· Since its installation in March 2015, the donation post in the Children’s Farm had generated £1,475.00.
· The old cast iron bins were recycled, which generated £830.40 for the Park.
· The tender for a new three year lease of the Queen’s Park Café would close on 18 December 2015 and meetings with some of the 12-13 prospective interested parties had been scheduled.
· Members noted that three offenders had been caught breaking into the Café at night by the Park Manager and were later arrested and charged for that and other similar offences by the Police.
Sports and Recreation
· A successful partnership agreement with the Lawn Tennis Association would provide access to an online booking system and the provision of new and different types of tennis coaching sessions.
· In response to Members’ questions, the Park Manager advised that the online system could be implemented from February 2016 and users without online access could continue to book tennis courts in person at the Pitch and Putt booking office.
· A bid to seek funding from LBB to convert the Petanque pitch for Trim Trail equipment had been unsuccessful so the area would most likely return to grass following consultation with local users.
Children’s Play Area
· Volunteers from the Queen’s Park Area Residents’ Association had applied for funding to install some swings in the children’s sand pit area and play area, for which the Park Manager thanked Helen Durnford for her efforts.
· In response to a member’s (Queen’s Park Area Residents’ Association) question, the Park Manager advised that a recently appointed Open Spaces Department Projects Officer would provide support to the Park Team in the provision of a new suitable replacement safety surface for the sandpit area, which would include consultation with regular users.
· The Superintendent added this may include a phased repairs approach whilst specifications and costs were sought.
· The member (Queen’s Park Area Residents’ Association) added that the need for urgency be noted to ensure the area was not closed for repairs and replacement during the busy spring period 2016.
Visitors and Community
· Children from local schools had attending bulb-planting events during the last few weeks, which had seen over 3,000 bulbs planted.
· A member (Queen’s Park Area Residents’ Association) added that a parent from one of the schools had offered to provide some free bulbs to the Park, which the Park Manager noted.
· A Member thanked the Queen’s Park Area Residents’ Association for another successful Queen’s Park Day event in September 2015.
RESOLVED – That the Superintendent’s Update report be noted.