As you know, the Pavilion on Moormead recreation ground was previously used as a sports facility with changing rooms, serving area, small kitchen and toilets, but is currently in need of full refurbishment.
The Council and the local community has an aspiration to bring the building back into use with a focus around a good quality community facility. The council would like to invite expressions of interest for the regeneration of this facility. We are currently seeking expressions of interest only and there is no commitment on any party to move any proposal forward
The details of how to submit can be found on the council's website
Notices will also be erected on the pavilion itself in the next 48hrs to notify site users and in the next few days a press release will be issued.
Expressions of interest are to be submitted in writing / email to the Council Offices by noon on 2nd December 2015.
Held on 11th May 2015 at the Turk's Head, Winchester Road
1. Welcome & Introductions
Stephen Alexander ("SA") introduced himself, the other committee members present and David Allister ("DA") Head of Parks LBRuT and Bill Reed ("BR") Community Liaison Officer for Village Plans for LBRuT
Apologies were received from Mandie Adams-McGuire and Moir Leslie
In order to attend another meeting BR spoke first. He gave an insight into the Village Plans consultation. He distributed a contact sheet, a flyer and short questionnaire.
The point of the Village Plan is:-
a) To assist with planning policy so that new building is in line with existing character and to protect the environment, and
b) For residents to make suggestions for development by the Council or other groups.
The crucial period for involvement is now, following the meetings held in February 2015. Now, post election, LBRuT is ready to go ahead. A pamphlet has and is being distributed to all houses to inform and invite people to comment. There is an exhibition at Twickenham Film Studios this Saturday and a walkabout in East Twickenham and St Margarets on this Sunday.
2. Annual Report from the Chair
SA said that he had distributed his report by email to all registered Friends. He did not read it out but said that the main points would be covered by other agenda items.
3. The minutes of the last AGM, held on 14th April 2014 were adopted
4. Nominations and re-elections for the Committee
Those offering themselves for re-election were proposed by John Monhemius and seconded by Harry Zutshi.
The members of the Committee are:-
- Stephen Alexander - Chairman
- Mandie Adams McGuire - vice Chair
- James Bishop
- Nikki Gouldstone
- Harry Jacobs
- Barney King
- Moir Leslie
5. The Pavilion
DA was then invited to talk about the Pavilion and other matters relating to Moormead.
"Contracts for management of parks were changed 2 years ago. As a result of these changes LBRuT is recognised nationally as a leader in parks management. To allay fears of safety in parks there has been a programme of cutting back hedges and lifting tree canopies. The overall satisfaction levels in parks has gone up from 93% to 94%, the highest in the country
The current contracts expire in January 2017. Tenders for new contracts will go out in late 2015/early 2016. The contract start date has been changed from April to January to reflect the natural growing season.
Moormead specifically hasn't been on the radar with problems. But the drain cover, next to the tennis courts, has been fenced off to try to discourage noisy groups of youths. The fence has already been cut and, as of today, hasn't been repaired. There is concern that youths may continue to abuse it but experience shows that their issues in parks tend to be of a cyclical nature and they may cease to abuse it.
Regarding the Pavilion, 3 years later we are still talking about it. It is not fit for purpose and is an eyesore. There have been many different approaches re the possibility of siting a cafe there.
Recently there have been 2 fresh approaches, one from a nursery provider who would make a small extension with a cafe and toilet facility. Another is from a local resident who wants to run a cafe.
It will cost 80k plus to 100k to restore it to its previous use. It is not functional as it is. To change its use, from a planning perspective, would be difficult and it is unlikely to be allowed to extend beyond the current footprint. The possible change of use to a nursery may cause some problems. There may be some objections. There is concern that any permission given now may be open to change in the future through new planning applications, changes of staff etc.
Regarding cafes - all cafes in parks struggle to stay in business. LBRuT has not yet been shown a viable business plan for a café.
The biggest problem for any enterprise is the amount of investment needed. A nursery or cafe would require at least £100k. A bank would require certainty of 20 years business and would not be flexible. If the Council were to put in £100k, in these times of austerity it would have to have a very strong business case and would be in competition with other projects. £100k with rent at 6k then cafe won't work.
So, what to do?
An early survey by the Friends of Moormead suggested that what the public want is a place to buy a cup of tea and ice creams, a seating area and toilets.
An option is to knock the building down and erect a small prefabricated hut for a cafe with toilets.
Another proposal would be to offer a mobile café on the site to see the take up. DA said he had names of possible operators".
There was then a general discussion.
Councillor Ehmann suggested that there is a different approach. There are proposals on the table that could present viable outcomes. The Council should have a look at what has been put forward by local residents. He suggests widening the pool of ideas and putting it out to competition. DA agreed, with caveats, that it is a way forward.
Councillor Ehmann suggested that the Council should consider a nursery; that there should be a specification document with other business models suggested. Then it could be seen what local residents will support.
The revenue from the building is zero at present.
A member said there has been a change in the local population and there is now a definite need for a nursery and cafe.
Harry Jacobs asked what is the ideal lease term that LBRuT offers. DA said 3 years plus 4.
DA was asked if demolition had been costed. He said that it hadn't yet been considered but he thought that it would be in the region of 30-40k. To rebuild would be 80k - 100K.
A member expressed concern that Moormead would be overwhelmed by a nursery. DA said that was a possibility but there are 2 or 3 other nurseries in parks in the borough where it seems to work well.
It was then suggested that there should be a show of hands for three different options for the pavilion. There was voting but it had to be abandoned as there was no precision or consensus on what was being voted for.
Harry Jacobs then suggested that ideally he would like to see a social enterprise running a cafe. DA responded by saying that it would take a very strong core group of volunteers to run something like that.
Liya Rickards ("LR"), a local resident, then spoke about her proposal for a nursery with community use of the building outside nursery centre hours. SA asked about numbers of children. Answer was 20 to 24. LR said that most of the clients would be from a few streets away.
A member opposed the idea of a nursery.
It was agreed that DA will meet with the 3 local Councillors to talk through how to move forward.
Moving on from the Pavilion a member asked if the Crane can be naturalised. DA said this is an aspirational thing. The Crane Valley Partnership is coordinating the whole Crane development. Money is tight. FORCE is the immediate party who are working on developments. There needs to be a significant biodiversity gain if any proposal is to be funded.
A member then expressed concern that there is nothing for older children to do.
DA said teenagers want to be safe and they want to be seen. He asked for suggestions.
Suggestions were - a facility for basketball, lit areas with seating, youth shelters, and fitness props. .DA "One to one" basketball is available in some parks.
A member said that the younger sections of the community don't have a voice. DA suggested consultation through Youth Service.
A member asked whether there could be planting inside the wire around the concrete block? DA said it can be looked at. SA suggested pyrocantha which when fully grown could allow for the removal of the wire.
A member who has spoken to the youths who congregate around the concrete block said that they are angry about the cage. They were not consulted and questioned the attitude of the council to people like them. Councillor Ben Khosa said that the police are unhappy about it. Drugs paraphernalia has been found inside the cut open wire. A member said that at least it was safe for teenagers there. Only one house in the row opposite complained.
On a positive note a member said it was lovely to see all the flowers.
A member asked if the council could ask teenagers in schools what they want. If they were involved then they will respect the area. DA said that schools are too busy. There is a local Youth Parliament that could be consulted.
Barney King asked for assurance that the proposed meeting with the 3 local councillors will actually take place. DA said it would be within the next few weeks.
Councillor Ehmann then asked the hall whether there would be any objections to youth facilities. There were no objections.
SA then wrapped up the meeting by saying that there is a tension between the 2 main uses of Moormead, namely Peace and Quiet and some sort of development of the pavilion.
5. Any other business
This item was covered by the general discussion
6. Date of next meeting
SA said that Friends would be given notice of the next AGM in Spring 2016
SA closed the meeting. He expressed thanks to everyone attending and especially David Allister, Bill Reed and Councillors Geoff Acton, Alex Ehmann and Ben Khosa.
Held at the Winchester hall, Turk's Head on 14th April 2014
- Stephen Alexander ("SA") Chair
- Mandie Adams McGuire Vice Chair
- Barney King
- Moir Leslie
- Lloyd Wilson
- Councillor Geoff Acton
- Colin Cooper ( South West London Environment Network)
- and X9 Friends of Moormead
- Nikki Gouldstone
- Harry Jacobs
- Maddie Menzies
- London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
1. SA welcomed those present.
2. Annual report - SA had already emailed a report to the Friends. He made the additional points
2.1 There are 120 Friends
2.2 The Friends of Moormead ("FOM") was set up at the instigation of LBRuT at the time that the Parks contracts were being let; groups which wanted to be involved in the direct maintenance of local parks could bid for a contract. Those groups solely interested in the maintenance standards and use of their parks were encouraged to set up Friends groups whom LBRuT could consult. SA reported that there had been very little consultation. The most important matter of interest is the state of the pavilion. David Allister told SA in June 2013 that he would commission a condition survey. This had not taken place. On the morning of the AGM, SA received some comments on his Annual Report from Ishbel Murray (Assistant Director Environment LBRuT). Given the lack of time to distribute these comments, SA read them to the meeting. Ms Murray's comments on the pavilion were:-
A programme of condition surveys of all Council properties is underway. Regrettably, the prioritisation of the Moormead Pavilion was not made clear when the programme was agreed. In response to your contact, a separate instruction has been issued and the survey was due to take place today (Monday 14th April). We anticipate receipt of the results of the survey within the next 14 days and we will endeavour to advise the FOM of the outcome w/c 28th April.
SA said that it is appreciated that there is little money available but LBRuT had originally said that monies might be available to Friends groups that were not available to Councils. As the main concern is the pavilion, monies from such bodies as London in Bloom and Civic Pride would be negligible. SA reminded the meeting that LBRuT had always said that the use of the pavilion for community use or as a cafï¿½ could only be justified on financial grounds. Colin Cooper said that he had experience of Councils' attitude to cafes in that they can rarely be commercial.
SA said that he had recently been shown around Kneller Gardens which has changing rooms in its pavilion which have never been used.
2.3 SA said that there might be funds available for some naturalisation of Moormead, around the edges and possibly by the restoration of a section of the river bank. Various studies are being carried out on the restoration in general of the Crane and a workshop is being organised in June/July 2014 to look at the possibilities and funding.
2.4 SA thanked Peter Mahnke for his help in preparing and maintaining the FOM website.
3. SA asked if there were any changes required to the list of Committee Members shown in the agenda. The members present indicated that the current committee should be re-elected. i.e.
- Stephen Alexander - Chair
- Mandie Adams McGuire - vice Chair
- James Bishop
- Peter Bloom
- Nikki Gouldstone
- Harry Jacobs
- Barney King
- Moir Leslie
- Maddie Menzies
- Robin Narayan
- Lloyd Wilson
- Peter Wilson
4. Various points were discussed.
4.1 Concerning the current condition of the pavilion it was suggested that a Freedom of Information request should be made to LBRuT if it is felt that they are not being open.
4.2 It has been noticed by Friends that contractors vans drive over the grass during maintenance visits and bin emptying. SA said that he would ask Annie Tollafield of Continental landscapes if the FOM could be advised when site visits were being made by managers. The works undertaken to alleviate the standing water on the path behind the pavilion have been unsuccessful, although the winter was exceptionally wet. Ms Murray made the following comment :-
Following a meeting with the Friends in December, we carried out works to try to alleviate the issue of water settling on the path behind the pavilion. This involved the digging of a trench each side of the footpath and membrane sheets were put into it and filled with gravel. This was to take the water away before it got on to the path but with the all the rain we had the ground was too wet to soak up any more water. There was also a lot of foot and vehicle traffic making the surface hard and compacted so water could not penetrate it.
Unfortunately we did experience exceptionally high volumes of rain this winter and as such the drainage was not adequate to solve the issue.
The ground above these drains needs to be able to soak up the water, so grass or plants is the best option not compacted soil but we do have a heavy tree cover making growing difficult.
The Friends Group were kept up to date on these works via email and ward cllrs were replied to via email on 10th Jan to Cllr Khosa and to Cllr Acton via ME on 14th Jan. Yvonne (Kelleher) will invite members of the Friends along to another site visit next week to discuss what further action could be carried out to resolve the issue such as raising the entire length of footpath.
4.3 The trees on the park side of Moor Mead Road ( near the tennis court) have not been looked at or pruned for many years. Roads say it is the responsibility of Parks and vice versa.
4.4 The provision of fitness equipment for teenagers and adults was discussed. Cllr Geoff Acton said that he would approach Yvonne Kelleher (LBRuT Parks) . Cllr Acton pointed out that LBRuT has a parks designer who could perhaps be asked to have a look at Moormead as a whole.
4.5 The fenced off area around the playground equipment was felt to be "uninviting". Comparison was made to the children's' area in Marble Hill park which was felt to be more useful as a dog free picnic, quiet zone. A Friend requested consideration of a similar, separate enclosure for parents and young children, which is not part of the children's play area and would also be prohibited to dogs.
4.6 The lighting of some areas was said to be inadequate. Colin Cooper said that it was now Police and Council policy not to encourage access after dark by actually reducing lighting.
4.7 It was suggested that as St Stephen's School have to pay rent for using Moormead as a playground, LBRuT should offer more facilities.
4.8 The cricket pitch was removed as it was dangerous. The area is really too small for adult cricket. Ms Murray of LBRuT made the following comment:-
At the request of the Friends Group Parks arranged the removal of the cricket mat and reinstated the area with new turf. If the Friends have any suggestions for new sport facilities we would be happy to consider and assist where possible.
4.9 SA said that he had been concerned about the apparent use of Moormead as part of a London wide cycle way ("Mini Holland") This not the case and Ms Murray made the following comment :-
Unfortunately the Council was not selected as one of the three winning Mini Holland bids but has been promised substantial funding for elements of the bid that it submitted. At present the Council is waiting to find out from TfL what level of funding it will get and for what. TfL will be working with the Council on parts of the bid that it particularly liked and wants to see implemented. At the moment TfL have not indicated what these will be except measures to support Twickenham town centre and possibly developing the A316 cycle routes in one form or another.
As regards Moorhead itself, if anything is proposed for this area the Council will certainly consult and take on board any comments that we receive and we will make sure that we respect the wishes of the residents of the area
5. There being no further business SA declared the meeting closed at 1955 hrs.
Dear Friends of Moormead
The FOM was formed in March 2013, at the suggestion of LBRuT, to help them by consultation in the management of Moormead.
We conducted a Survey in the Summer of 2013 to gauge what priorities the users have. We had 100 replies, for which many thanks. The main priorities are:-
- The pavilion
- Security, lighting and antisocial behaviour
The things that you like about Moormead are :-
- Local amenity of peace & calm
- St Margarets Fair
- Children's play park
- Getting to and from home
- Walking dogs
The Pavilion is obviously the major concern. In its present state it is only suitable for storing games equipment. There are differences of opinion between the users of the pavilion and LBRuT as to the cost of making it usable. To that end LBRuT, in June 2013, agreed to undertake a condition survey. Unfortunately this has not yet taken place because "it is a relatively small item in our construction team's programme." The Committee feel that this is a reason for it being done sooner rather than later and we will keep chasing.
The other concerns about toilets and the possibility of a cafï¿½ depend on the fate of the pavilion. It is important to realise that a cafï¿½ needs a viable financial plan which includes the maintenance of any additional facilities and keeping it clean and tidy. So far no-one has come forward with such a plan.
Security is an important issue which LBRuT and the SNNT take very seriously. Apart from a couple of incidents (one serious) the area is as safe as can be expected in an urban area.
The cricket pitch was removed. It was a woven mat on a light screed. The mat had numerous holes which were trip hazards. If it is to be replaced, consideration has to be given to 1) the cost 2) regular use and 3) the problem of cricket balls damaging cars and windows in Moor Mead Road. The problem is that the boundary is nearly on the road; an energetic 6 will cause damage unless high netting is used. There is a possibility of installing a pitch for soft ball training and play.
There are, in addition, two issues on the horizon. Firstly the planning permission for the new station development includes an undertaking by the developers to create a walkway from the station, along the railway side of the Crane, into Moormead. There is already easy access from Twickenham to Moormead along Cole Park Road. Whether in practice a new walkway will make any difference to the frequency and type of visits is clearly of interest. Your Committee will try to engage with LBRuT on the practicality of the conditions which will apply to this path.
Secondly there is a borough wide initiative called Mini Holland (providing safe and sustainable cycle ways). The map published by LBRuT is on too large a scale to see how, and if, it will affect Moormead. At the moment cycling is, in theory, prohibited in the park. LBRuT have promised that the routes for this initiative will be subject to consultation.
The condition of Moormead i.e. mud and drainage was commented on in January 2014 by 2 of our councillors. The area near the swings which always holds water has been discussed with LBRuT. They made a clearly unsuccessful attempt to improve drainage. The leaves were removed very late in the Autumn by means of a large tractor and leaf sweeper. Because the ground was so wet, particularly on Little Moormead, it can now be used as a site for WW1 re-enactments. Stephen Alexander has drawn the situation to the attention of Continental Landscapes Ltd. So far LBRuT have not commented either to the Councillors or the Friends.
We will hold an AGM in the Winchester Hall, as required by the constitution, in March or April this year.