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The FoDP 2018 AGM took place on 8th February at My Place in Dagnam Park Drive.

FODP Secretary's report

 

 2017 was the most difficult year since our formation in 2005. This time last year we were protesting at the council offices and guiding numerous councillors and interested parties around the proposed solar panel fields with even the prospect of wind turbines being discussed.

 

 Even though these proposals were dropped by council the remaining issue of the boundaries still is with us. Last week head councillor Roger Ramsey announced that the change of land use legalities are near to completion. This committee has been very busy in the back ground keeping the aims of the Friends high in the minds of council, by letter writing and arranging numerous meetings. We also had a many articles in local press and on Facebook highlighting our activities such as;

 Picnics in the park 25th June and 3rd September 2017.

 

 Ghost walks 28th and 29th October 2017.

 

 After June 2017 we continued the archaeological dig. The stable area being exposed and a full report appearing on our web site. We are now removing the soil over the Manor House foundations.

 

 Our first venture in creating and selling of FODP merchandise i.e. the sale of 250 Calendars proved to be most successful. The last 20 proved difficult to sell and the last one was sold in late January 2018. The Kall Kwik printers production cost was £3.95 per calendar which is very generous as the design charge was dropped, our profit came from adding £1.00. Many buyers also gave us donations.

 

 The 2017 FODP capital project is new signage for the Settle Road entrance. The council have given £1000 to assist us with the costs which will total just under £2000.

 

 During December 2017 thanks to the voting support from Dagnam Park Friends we were successful in receiving £1000 from Aviva. This will cover our other project of replacing trees lost over many years along the track from Settle Road to the Manor House site.

 

 Also LBH parks officer Tom Fradd announced in December that LBH are replacing lost trees in the circular copse. Tom has asked FODP to water these trees during the dry spells to ensure the saplings have a good start to life.

 

 Throughout all this turmoil and excitement we still continued our litter picks and barbed wire removal.

Alan York

 

FODP Chairman’s Report 2018.

 

 The past year started off where the previous one had finished as one of uncertainty, protests, meetings and trying to carry on as normal for the benefit of the members of the Friend’s group as far as the committee have been concerned.

 

 As many will recall the FODP committee and members along with the local community and park users had been fighting against a proposal by Havering Council to site solar arrays across land that had been given over to the park in 2011/12 and which  had been widely publicised  by the council and its members as being a good thing for the residents of the borough.

 

Chairman’s Report. Fast forward to January 25th 2017 and over 200 people from across the borough came out in support of  being against such a proposal when they gathered and protested outside the Town Hall in Romford on an evening when the councillors where holding a full council meeting. It was, as one long standing councillor put it, “the largest protest that he had ever encountered whilst being a councillor”.

 

 The uncertainty that had been carried over from the previous year about the encroachment of development on parkland in the form of a solar “farm” which would have been a blight on the landscape and would have taken away the enjoyment of so many park users was finally stopped in its tracks when Cllr Roger Ramsey, leader of Havering Council, announced in his report to councillors in February 2017 that the proposal for a “solar farm” at Dagnam Park had been withdrawn and would not now be going ahead as planned.

 

 Although a “victory” for the members of the Friend’s group and park users an ongoing campaign to get the land formally signed off by the council to become part of the Local Nature Reserve and thus giving it the same protection as the rest of the park was still going to be sought by the committee members and since February last year this has been the aim of both myself and Alan. Since February numerous e-mail’s have sallied back and forth between the Leader of the Council and Alan our group Secretary and on 5th January of this year we both met with Cllr’s Roger Ramsey and Melvin Wallace to yet again press home the need for the ex-farmland to be signed off into the park. It would now appear that it is finally happening as the park bylaws now apply to this area that had been under threat and we have been assured by Cllr Ramsey that the signing off is in its final stages and is near completion and at a full council meeting held on Wednesday 24th January 2018 almost to the day from when the large demonstration was held outside the Town Hall, Cllr Ramsey stated publicly that the council were in the process of incorporating the ex-farmland where the solar farm was going to be sited into Dagnam Park.

 

 Along with the need to safe guard the park from development the committee have been working on behalf of the members by having attended The Havering Parks Forum as well as having a representation on the Havering Wildlife Project board. Coupled with this is the meetings that they have undertaken in the park with Tom Fradd (Parks Department) and Nigel Oxley (Havering Council Historic Buildings and Landscape Officer) in relation to the ongoing dig that group members have undertaken both at the stable block area and now on the site of the house.

 

 Now as we enter this year we can look forward to a number of projects that we have been discussing over the years which hopefully will now be put into practise. New signage at the main entrance is being undertaken, gaining funding for a tree replacement program along the old drive has been sought and gained, replacing trees that have been lost within the large circle of trees in the centre of the park is to be carried out, the removal of barbed wire which had been left over from when the park was farmland is an ongoing issue but the group is finally seeing an end result, the continuation of the historical dig on the house site and exposing the outline of the old house to help to tell the story of the park, and the clearing of vegetation in the walled garden and the opening up of the round pond so that members of the public can see it better is continuing.

 

 We, as a friend’s group, have come a long way since being formed 15 years ago but there is still some way to go before we can rest back on our laurels and say that our job is done. We have yet to do a multitude of things in the park to preserve it for future generations so that they too can enjoy its beauty as we see it.

 

 On a closing note to this Chairman’s report I would like to say thank you to all those that have stood with us over the last year or so in our fight for preserving what we have. I would also like to thank those members that tirelessly work behind the scenes and also to those that join us on the litter picks, the digs and work parties that we have throughout the year as without them this Friend’s Group would not be able to survive.

 

Don Tait

 

 

Minutes of the 14/2/17 AGM (read and agreed)

 

Welcome by Dennis Cook.

 

Apologies were received from Mark O’Brien, Ken Lynn, Craig Derry and Brian Todd.

 

Alan York requested that all present fill in a questionnaire about use of the park.

 

Election of Officers. The meeting was informed that all the present office holders were willing to continue in office. (The meeting was asked for any nominations for office from the floor, there were none). Don Tait (Chairman), Alan York (Secretary) Susan Cook (Treasurer), Jan Sargent (Assistant Secretary) were elected unopposed.

 

The minutes from January 2016 were agreed.

 

Questions not on the agenda – Dave Ainsworth asked for a report from the Youth Officer (Don)

 

The Chair gave a detailed report of the year’s activities (his report will be put on our web site) and answered questions about a dog savaging deer.

 

The Secretary gave a detailed report (this report will be put on our website). He answered questions about the possible removal of the new signage due to the Council not changing the boundaries as agreed.

 

The Treasurer’s report (circulated before the meeting) was agreed.

 

All members will be informed of the dates of this year’s litter picks.

 

Tom Fradd reported that the deer count is ongoing. The meeting discussed the difficulties in counting the number of deer, their effect on the flora and fauna in the park and their potential for causing road accidents. Possible negotiations with the Council about protection of the rare orchids.

 

The meeting went into great detail about the Council’s proposed solar farm and the likely adverse effects this would have on all the wildlife and the leisure activities that take place in the park. A more detailed account of this can be found in the Chair and Secretary’s reports.

 

AOB – The Fishing Club have received a grant from Tesco to improve the ponds. Councillor Denis O’Flynn congratulated all the members of the campaign to stop the solar farm.

 

The Meeting closed (9.15 pm)

 

 

 

Minutes of the AGM 8/2/18. (To be agreed)

 

Alan York, FODP Secretary, presented a talk on the excavations of the stable block and house site prior to the A.G.M. meeting.

 

A.G.M meeting started 7. 40pm with 34 people in attendance.

 

In the absence of  Dennis Cook who usually presides at the A.G.M., the Chairman of the FODP, Don Tait,  welcomed all those in attendance.

 

Apologies for absence received:

Dennis & Susan Cook.

Mark O’Brien.

Patricia Rumble.

Keith Darvill.

Brian Todd.

 

Minutes of the FODP Annual General Meeting held on 14th February 2017 were agreed upon. Proposed by Denis O’Flynn: Seconded by David Ainsworth.

 

Election of FODP Officer’s:

As all the current committee members were willing to carry on in their positions of office and being that there were no new nominee’s coming from the floor for any of those positions  a block vote for all to stay as they were was  proposed by Dennis O’Flynn this was seconded by Janet York. A vote on this proposal was then held and was carried unanimously.

 

Elected Committee members for 2018/19 are as follows;

Chairman. Don Tait                        Vice-Chairman & Secretary. Alan York.

Treasurer. Susan Cook.                   Assistant Secretary. Jan Sargent.

Minute Secretary. Susan Cook.       Membership Secretary. Alan York.

Youth/Schools Officer. Don Tait    Duckwood Co-ordinator. Jan Sargent.

 

The Chairman gave his  report for 2017/18 which will be placed onto the FODP website to view..

 

The Secretary gave his report for 2017/18 which will be placed onto the FODP website to view.

 

Due to the absence of the Treasurer at the meeting the FODP Secretary stepped in and presented the report and  copy of the Treasurer’s report was circulated to those present.

 

A.O.B.

 

Don Tait explained that he had taken 95 people around on 8 different works within the park over the last year with the most recent being three days ago. During April he showed the park to members of the local U3A Gardening group who were interested in the show of Bluebells that we have in both Hatter’s Wood and Duck Wood. Feedback from this was that the Bluebells in Duck Wood was far better than they expected as they had visited a woodland in Kent the week previously which is said to have one of the best shows of the plant in that county but that in Duck Wood was far better.

 

A date was given out for the first litter pick of the year organised by the FODP which will be held on the weekend of 17th & 18th February. Last year members collected up 130 black sacks of rubbish over twenty litter pick sessions along with other assorted items that had been dumped in the park. The members also had to deal with the rubbish that had been left but people who had held an illegal “rave“ (for want of a better description) in June and 12 black sacks of rubbish and items were removed from that area by FODP members. Thanks were expressed by Don Tait towards those people who used the park and who were not necessarily members of the FODP who picked up rubbish as they walked their dogs and who reported areas that needed clearing.

 

David Ainsworth praised the work undertaken by the committee members in dealing with the council in regards to the issue of the solar farm that they, the council, had proposed for the park. He also wanted to thank all members and supporters of the park who took part in the campaign and who went out of their way to  raise awareness of the proposal and who demonstrated in large numbers outside the Town Hall as he felt that without them the land could have been lost and be covered with solar arrays by now. Both Don Tait and Alan York agreed with David that without the support that they had from members and non members alike it would have been much harder to sway the council and to have the solar farm proposal dismissed by them.

 

Along with two “picnic in the park” events that were held whereby members met up for a social gathering  in the park there was also two guided “ghosts walks”  in the evenings which saw over 40 people attend. Don Tait thanked Jan Sargent for arranging both events which were highly successful.

 

Ken Lynn raised the question of “Is there any news on an improved car park?”. This was answered by Tom Fradd, Parks officer of Havering Council who explained how far the survey work on the former tennis courts had progressed and that there was still more work to do with attaining funding etc before they can say that it will happen. Ken Lynn asked if a crowd funding page would be considered towards this project and anything promised to the page could go towards the cost. Alan York said that it could be feasible and that he would look into it.

 

The FODP have applied and have been successful in a bid for funding which will be used to plant trees along the gravel drive leading from the tarmac entry to the car park down to the Lily Pond. The FODP have been and will be working with Tom Fradd (Havering Parks Officer) for the acquisition for the tree’s which will consist of  Whitebeam, Rowan and Oak. Tom Fradd also added that he has acquired some Oak Tree’s to go into the park

 

A deer count is still on going, it is in its third year now. It has been noticed that there are more deer getting onto the housing estate with reports of them being seen in Hitchen Close/ Taunton Road/ Hilldene Avenue/ Petersfield Avenue and the latest report was someone witnessing a deer run down the centre of Masefield Crescent in the middle of the day. A request by Don Tait to the Highways Department on the council for more signs being placed around the estate warning drivers of the danger of deer was turned down. All drivers should be made aware of deer being in the area as it has been noted that there has been a rise over the last few years of deer fatalities on the nearby roads to the Nature Reserve.

 

The Meeting closed at 8.45. After which membership subs were collected by Alan York in lieu of the Treasurer not being present.

Friends of Dagnam Park Annual Accounts

15th February 2017 to 8th February 2018

Balance on the 15th of February 2017               £2011.73

 Expenditure

Renewal of domain name

£49.99

Hire of Myplace

£34.80

Paper and ink

£31.50

Tools and equipment

£83.23

Insurance

£121.41

Cost of printing calendars

£980.00

Total

£1300.93

 

Income

   

Donation from Havering Council

£1000.00

Donations

£96.50

Donation from Del

£25.00

Membership

£243.00

Reimbursement of insurance

£121.41

Sale of calendars

£1237.50

Total

£2723.41

 

Balance on the 8th of February 2018        £3434.21

These accounts have been examined by Frank Tapley.