Minutes of the meeting of the Friends of Downhills Park, Sunday 20 November 2016

Friends: Chris Currie, Martina Koepcke, Sylvia Oland, Clare Parry, Ray Swain, Helen Thomas, Stephen Whittle

Apologies: Jonathan Ringshall, Brenda Whittle, Rod Wells

1. Minutes & matters arising

Minutes of the meeting held on 25 September were not available at the meeting & would be carried forward for approval at the next meeting.

2. Wood Green Memorial

Ray Swain was thanked for coordinating the gathering at the Wood Green Memorial to commemorate Armistice Day. The Friends of Downhills Park had made a contribution to the commemorative wreath.

3. Cafe

Everyone welcomed the enormous difference the café being open makes to the park & congratulated the team running it on an array of events that had been put on over the half term holiday. It was noted that the current lease had been extended but that the longer term lease would still go out to tender. The café has now transferred to the Parks Service under Andrea Keeble.

It was noted that the Friends of Downhills Park no longer have a full set of keys for the café.

It was also noted that the MOU between the Friends of Downhills Park & Haringey Council in relation to the café still existed & had been shared with Simon Farrow following the recent Friends of Parks Forum meeting where the café & the MOU had been raised with Council representatives.

4. Landscaping

There had been widespread comment and dissatisfaction with the landscaping strategy adopted by Haringey Council & trialled in Downhills Park. It was noted that this was largely intended to reduce maintenance required in the park & that the benefits would be seen in 12 – 18 months time. It was acknowledged that Sarah Jones and James Hunt had shared information about the landscaping with Clare & Sylvia. People had been encouraged to take up their objections with James Hunt directly.

5. Keston road development

It was noted that 212 objections to the proposed development between Keston Road and Downhills Park had been submitted to Haringey Council. A new deadline of 9 December for objections had been issued although there was no change to the development plan. The issue of use of Metropolitan Open Land and ‘swapping’ land is contentious and sets a worrying precedent. It was suggested that it would be helpful to understand if there were deeds of covenant in place that protected the park.

6. AOB

The next meeting of the Friends of Downhills Park is scheduled for: Sunday 29 January at 4pm.