Agenda item

Draft Hampstead Heath Management Strategy 2018-2028

Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.


Members considered a report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath regarding the draft Hampstead Heath Management Strategy (formerly Plan) 2018-2028 and the following points were made:


·         The Chairman advised that the draft Hampstead Heath Management Strategy 2018-2028 would be presented to the Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood & Queen’s Park Committee for approval on 28 November 2018 so this was the last opportunity for the Committee to input into the strategy. Members were encouraged to provide comments via email and the deadline to provide feedback was mid-November.


·         Members were advised that there were four outcomes, 11 priorities and 41 commitments.


·         The Superintendent noted that there was still some duplication from the foreword to the text within the strategy which he had attempted to keep brief.


·         The Superintendent consulted widely on the strategy which included discussions with the previous Chairman and Superintendent of Hampstead Heath. 


·         Members were advised that a stronger reference to the 2007 Management Plan would be made. The Superintendent would also ensure all actions from the transition document would be cross referenced into this strategy.


·         It was noted that the strategy needed to be more assertive regarding how completed actions were dealt with.


·         The Superintendent noted that a Member (London Council for Recreation and Sport) expressed that sporting was not represented as well as it should in the commitments for Priorities 4 and 5.


·         Priority 11 was edited following advice from the former Chairman that gender-neutral language should be used throughout the strategy.


·         It was noted that Appendix 3 was still in development.


·         The Superintendent advised that he had sought legal advice of the legislative framework of the strategy which incorporated the new Open Spaces Act 2018.


·         With regards to resolving conflict and dealing with commitments not being achieved, Members were advised that reports would be brought to the Committee to address any issues arising. It would be assessed which of the four outcomes the activity fell under and Members would discuss how it would deal with the outcome to hold the Corporation accountable. It was noted that cycling would be a problem.


·         In response to a query from a Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) regarding whether future drafts of the Divisional Plan would take outcomes and themes from the Management Strategy and address specific aspects, the Chairman advised that links between the different plans and the Management Strategy would be made and they would become clearer when all aligned. The Superintendent explained that the Divisional Plan needed to be aligned with the outcomes in this strategy rather than the departmental strategy. These would be grouped by year for the next three years.


·         The Chairman stated that she was pleased with the strategy which would evolve over time as necessary.


·         A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) stated that things from the Management Plan, e.g. veteran trees and cycling, needed to be addressed in the strategy within a structure that recognises ongoing policy work and informs how the strategy would work. He argued that one paragraph was not enough and recommended expanding this to link with other important things not covered in the Corporate Plan.


·         With regards to commitment 41 under Priority 11: Responsible Management, a Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) suggested adding that the City of London Corporation would take appropriate action if necessary as it was the responsibility of the Corporation to enforce responsible management. The Chairman suggested reordering the list so that the commitments did not end on a negative point. The Superintendent noted that there was a stronger sentence explaining the Corporation’s powers under the Opens Spaces Act 2018 under Priority 3.


·         A Member (Highgate Society) noted under the parameters of the Heath Vision (p33) that “together we care for the Heath”; however, he felt the issue was that not all people did care for the Heath and the aim was to strive to encourage everyone to care and learn from each other. The Superintendent agreed to strengthen the wording in the introduction of the Theme (p42) to explain this.


·         A Member (Friends of Kenwood) felt the wording in paragraph in the foreword after the bold sentence required a change in tone to a milder phrase. 


·         In response to comments from a Member (London Wildlife Trust) regarding the Commitment 1 under Priority 1 concerning natural habitats and reference to the 2009 General Botanical Survey which was nearly 10 years old, the Superintendent advised that the reference was to bring reassurance and he was advised by ecologists that this was the most relevant survey available.


·         Following a comment from a Member (Heath and Hampstead Society) regarding conflict resolution which he felt should be a priority and come to the Committee, especially matters with competing issues (e.g. model boating), the Chairman agreed that this needed to be implicitly stated so external bodies were aware the Committee would review these issues.


·         A Member (London Wildlife Trust) stated that Commitment 2 under Priority 1 was vague and inarticulate and should include reference to the Heath’s heritage and archaeology. 

·         The Chairman thanked the Committee for their feedback into the strategy and invited Members to provide additional written comments.


RESOLVED - that:-


·         Members provide feedback and comments on the draft Hampstead Heath Management Strategy 2018-2028;


·         The views of the Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee be conveyed to the Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood & Queen’s Park Committee at their meeting on 28 November 2018.

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