Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.
Members considered an update report of the Superintendent and the following points were made:
· The Superintendent advised that he was seeking Member’s views on 10 topics.
Hampstead Heath Management Strategy 2018-2028
· Members were advised that the Strategy was approved but the Superintendent welcomed comments regarding the layout and graphic design of the document. It was noted that there were two versions, one for hard copy and the other for online.
· Members liked the design but felt the size of the print was difficult to read. It was also felt that the colour of the print made the text difficult to read and a darker shade was recommended. However, a Member (Hampstead Rugby Club) suggested that larger text would resolve
· A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) felt that the Heath Vision needed to state that it was developed by the community and not the City Corporation.
· A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) suggested that an extra page demonstrating the connection between the Hampstead Heath Management Strategy and the Corporate Plan would be beneficial. The Superintendent noted that this alignment was reflected in the Summary of the Hampstead Management Strategy 2018-28 diagram, in the section About this Strategy, and on the last page of the document stating the links. He confirmed that that continued work was happening with the Corporate Strategy Team to link in other documents which would include further development with the Corporate Plan.
Divisional Plan 2019-22
· The Superintendent stated that he had been reporting on the progress of the Plan throughout its development. He drew Members’ attention to the Transition Sheet – Project Record Schedule which tracked the transition of numerous projects to alignment with the four Outcomes.
· Members were advised that the Divisional Plan would remain accessible to track progress following comments from members at the last meeting.
· It was noted that the date column required a completion date and the final result regarding outcome needed updating.
· The Superintendent asked the Committee if the pipeline projects for coming years were prioritised correctly.
· A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) raised a previous query regarding the amount of work to be done in a short period of time (2019-20) and requested a calendar of when the projects would take place.
· A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) highlighted the shortness of the section for Vision Theme: The Heath is inclusive and welcoming noting that it currently only dealt with accessibility and cafés. He felt that that the Theme should be expanded to include culture, diversity and inclusion and how to encourage wider groups to visit the Heath. The Chairman agreed that this had been discussed but not captured. The Superintendent agreed that this gap would be captured by the measurement framework and an action plan would follow.
· The Superintendent stated that there were commitments to reaching wider groups and that specific groups were being focused on. It was agreed that wider engagement was required, and the Superintendent suggested a forum for open discussion that could feed into the HHCC.
· With regards to pipeline projects, it was noted (Richard?) that Finsbury Park was celebrating its 150th year in 2019. The Chairman emphasised the need to look at other similar events.
· In response to a query from a Member (Highgate Society) concerning local schools’ representation, the Chairman stated that there was a similar situation with the HWCG but that the QPCG had school representation. It was agreed that schools would be approached again for representation on the Committee.
· A Member (Highgate Society) noted the 2021/22 pipeline project for future ecological surveys regarding the Hampstead Heath Ponds. He stated that a wider range of surveys were needed and requested that the project have a (1) added to the title to enable the opportunity for other surveys in the future. The Superintendent advised that a commitment had been made to do a further survey at the Ponds. He noted that routine ecological studies were carried out by the Ecology Team and it would be for them to take future opportunities. It was queried whether grants could be sought, e.g. English Nature, to fund other surveys with moths being suggested as a potential area of interest. The Chairman welcomed Members and/or volunteers to lead on such projects.
· A Member (Mansfield Conservation Area Advisory Committee & Neighbourhood Association Committee) felt that a series of events should be promoted to raise outreach and emphasize the Heath’s role in City culture and history. The Member noted that she had an idea that she would bring to the next meeting for discussion.
· A Member (Chairman called him Richard throughout the meeting but I know this isn’t R.Sumray – younger man on the right) felt that there was confusion between the Key Milestones and Outcomes noting that the final results presented in the Milestones should be Outcomes and that the Milestones should explain what is expected and delivered.
· Members agreed that the Milestones needed dates.
· It was noted (Dartmouth Park Conservation Area Advisory Committee) that there should be more publicity regarding Hampstead Heath going green, e.g. the commitment to green vehicles. The Superintendent agreed that there were branding opportunities with the vehicles.
· The Chairman was concerned that there was too much detail with the different overlapping plans which were becoming plans of plans. She reminded Members that they can always request additional information on particular areas that did not necessarily needed to be added to the Divisional Plan.
· In response to a query regarding dogs (Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee), the Superintendent advised that this was an urgent concern listed on page 71 that required prioritisation along with fitness instructors. With regards to dangerous dogs, he advised that a code of conduct was in development and would form the principles of the licenses from the new licensing powers.
· The Director of Open Spaces advised that Local Authorities across London were looking dog walking with most agreeing to a four-dog maximum policy and licenses for professional dog walkers. It was hoped that this paralleled approach and common consensus would provide more control across London to deal with poor dog company operators.
· A Member (Friends of Kenwood) highlighted the estates boundary with Kenwood and recommended liaising with the Kenwood Manager.
· With regards to the future educational projects listed, a Member (Highgate Society) commented that the Heath had already added to national art and culture which should also be emphasised within Management Plan. The Chairman agreed noting the numerous historical cyclical works which highlighted the achievements of the Heath and should be included to promote conscious awareness.
· A Member (Mansfield Conservation Area Advisory Committee & Neighbourhood Association Committee) noted that the Heath was also captured in literature and cinema. The Superintendent suggested evolving the Cultural Strategy to capture these areas.
· Members were advised that the Management Framework for Hampstead Heath was 84 pages long and comprised of the Management Strategy, Divisional Plan and Annual Work Programme (AWP).
· Members were encouraged to provide comments via email and the deadline to provide feedback was 25 February 2019.
· A Member felt that clarity was needed between projects and cyclical works and recommended providing map references. The Chairman drew Member’s attention to the triangle diagram (p. 49) which reflect how everything worked together. The Superintendent clarified that the projects page provided the newer projects and that cyclical works covered routine work. He agreed to provide clarity between the works and add a map.
· With regards to the waste recycling project, a Member (Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee) raised concerns regarding bins/containers being rejected if they have over 5% contamination and questioned how this could be ensured, especially in the busy summer months. The Superintendent stated that this was a big issue at the Heath but there was a commitment to recycling. The Heath is working with Keep Britain Tidy and testing ideas which would be piloted at the Heath. It was noted that issues such as the inability to have large vehicles on the Heath made this more problematic.
· Members discussed different options including limiting the recycling options and public education. It was generally agreed that longer term public education would encourage change over time and evaluation of research and the pilot scheme was supported.
· In response to a Member’s query (Heath and Hampstead Society) regarding whether the smaller vehicles being used were electric, Members were advised that options were being considered regarding the use of electric, hybrid, then diesel vehicles. The Director of Open Spaces confirmed that from 8 April 2019 the centre of London would become an emissions zone and thus the vehicles used by the Corporation in the City centre would all become environmentally friendly. This would include a movement of Corporation vehicles to different sites. It was noted that some diesel vehicles were cleaner than others but that the City Corporation had ruled these out.
· A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) queried how the Heath compared with other Open Spaces regarding waste. The Director of Open Spaces confirmed that the Square Mile had high waste targets and was focussed on business. He noted that there was still more to do with regards to the public realm and and the use of recycling bins and green waste.
Constable’s Branch Hill Pond
· The Superintendent advised that he was working in partnership with Redington and Frognal Residents Association who successfully secured funding to the sum of £35k for the restoration of Constable’s Branch Hill Pond. The Superintendent agreed to keep Members informed as the project progressed.
· The Chairman highlighted to Members that a local neighbourhood organisation had managed to secure these funds and encouraged local groups to attempt the same for projects they wanted to pursue.
· A Member commented that it was important that this project caused minimal ecological damage to the pond.
· Camden Eruv, 2016/1436/P. The Superintendent advised that planning permission had been granted subject to a S146 agreement.
· North Westminster Eruv, 2016/2892/P. The Superintendent advised that planning permission had been granted subject to a S146 agreement.
· Jack Straws Castle, 2017/2064/P, 2017/2211/L, 2017/2171/P. The Superintendent noted that the London Borough of Camden did not determine the case
· Garden House, 2017/2885/P.
· North Fairground Site, 2017/4346/P. It was noted that this application would start on 12 February 2019.
· South Fairground Site. It was noted that this application would start in April 2019.
· 55 Fitzroy Park, 2018/3672/P. Members were advised that the London Borough of Camden were completing a survey before making a decision on this application.
· The Water House, Millfield Lane. 2017/3692/P. The Superintendent advised that September 2019 had been set as the completion date.
· Parliament Hill William Ellis School, 2018/1270/P. The Superintendent advised that he had joined the local community group.
Asset Management Plan
· Members were informed that the draft Asset Management Plan (AMP) for Hampstead Heath set out five priorities.
· The Superintendent advised that the first priority regarding the Parliament Hill Triangle was been explored and a feasibility study would be carried out to determine the best use of the facilities. It was noted that there were constraints on the footprints and the height of the building.
· Members were encouraged to provide comments via email and the deadline to provide feedback was 25 February 2019.
· A Member (Richard?) stated that there were a number of important projects and was concerned by the lack of mechanism or plan for how decisions were made on prioritising projects. He felt that the Committee should be involved in the prioritisation process. The Superintendent advised that the AMP tried to address this with its five priorities.
· It was noted that projects went to the Projects Sub Committee for approval and were judged on merit and not generally prioritised. The Director of Open Spaces added that there was currently high pressure on the funding of projects and the City Corporation was reconsidering how projects were prioritised.
· The Chairman stated that Members were always able to raise projects that they felt strongly about. She hoped that when the dates were set, monitoring could then be highlighted in the Divisional Plan.
· Members agreed it would be useful to understand what the priorities were. Dates were also requested.
· A Member (Highgate Society) felt that Priorities 3, 5 and 7 were subsects of the same issue.
· Members discussed the limited building options at the Heath due to footfall. The Chairman emphasised the need to reformat facilities for best purpose.
· The Chairman noted that there was a tasteful, wooden education centre at Epping Forest with a small shop which had been funded by Heritage Lottery funding and was a good example for what the Heath were trying to achieve.
· The Superintendent noted the concept design at Appendix 5 and hoped works would go out to tender in February 2019. Members were happy with the concept design.
· The Superintendent drew Member’s attention to the proposed draft Terms of Reference for the Café Working Group and requested feedback to take to the Café Working Group on Wednesday. Members were happy with the proposed Terms of Reference.
· The Superintendent noted that the Café Working Group planned to broaden its membership.
Highgate Men’s Bathing Pond Accessibility
· The Superintendent advised Members that the Team were continuing to work on the project to make the facility accessible (Appendix 7). He commented that there had been ongoing difficulties to resolve the water access issues, but a plan was formulating which would include better access and a dog tethering area.
· A Member (London Council for Recreation and Sport) noted that the long history of sport and famous sports personalities at the Heath was not included under the History section.
· With regards to the Objectives section, it was noted that there was no mention regarding access to the facility on physical terms or how it would be managed, e.g. heath and safety, lifeguards, etc. The Chairman added that the lifeguards could not view the entrance.
· A Member (Richard) suggested defining the role of the Café Working Group with explanation of its “advisory” status.
Golders Hill Park Accessible Car Park
· The Superintendent advised that a questionnaire had been designed to consult with current users and visitors of the Golders Hill Park car park to and sought Member’s feedback.
· It was felt that the questionnaire was too long and had too many questions which would affect engagement numbers.
· A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) questioned the reasoning behind question 8 asking what the purpose of the visit was and why this information was necessary.
· The Superintendent advised that a joint request had been received from the Parliament Hill Bowls Club and Hampstead Heath Croquet Club to extend the lease for the Parliament Hill Bowls Lawn for a further ten years and sought Member’s view on the proposal.
· The Chairman queried who would fund the requested new lawn which was regarded as key to determining support for the proposal. The Superintendent confirmed that the clubs had access to their own grants and that this would not receive capital investment from Hampstead Heath.
· A Member (Heath and Hampstead Society) questioned the need for a 10-year lease and asked if there were plans in place to increase the low membership of both clubs. The Superintendent stated that clubs were measured by participation rather than membership and there would be benefits from the clubs working together. He noted the lease would be subject to review and that there could be opportunities for other groups to also use the facilities.
· A Member (Richard?) noted a creative idea in Glasgow of set targets for small sports clubs that could be used in this instance as the clubs had potential.
Hampstead Heath Constabulary
· The Superintendent updated Members on the proposal that Body Worn Video (BWV) cameras be introduced for the Hampstead Heath Constabulary for the purposes of evidence gathering, safety and reduction of crime.
· Members felt that it was good for the Constabulary to have evidence and supported the proposal.
RESOLVED – That Members:-
· Members provide feedback on the print version of the Hampstead Heath
Management Strategy 2018-2028 (Appendix 1).
· Members provide feedback on the draft Divisional Plan 2019-2022 (Appendix 2).
· Members provide feedback on the draft Annual Work Programme 2019-2020 (Appendix 3).
· Members provide feedback on the plans to restore Constable’s Branch Hill Pond (Appendix 4).
· Members provide feedback on the Adventure Playground concept design (Appendix 5).
· Members provide feedback on the proposed draft Terms of Reference for the Cafe Working Group (Appendix 6).
· Members provide feedback on the outline brief for the Highgate Men’s Bathing Pond (Appendix 7).
· Members provide feedback on the draft Golders Hill Park Accessible Car Park Questionnaire (Appendix 8).
· Members provide feedback on the proposal to extend the lease for the Parliament Hill Bowls Lawn for a further ten years.
· Members provide feedback on the to introduce BWV cameras for the Hampstead Heath Constabulary.