Minutes & Agendas of Meetings

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – July 15, 2017

Attending – 8 and Councillor Ann Waters

Apologies – 5

  1. Minutes of last meeting – Agreed but there was a query about whether The Wood Green Flower co was part of the Consortium. Robin confirmed that they were not.
  2. Constitution – Changes were discussed at the last meeting but these can only be implemented at an AGM as the current constitution requires 2/3rd of the meeting to agree these changes. The August meeting will not be held due to holidays. The next meeting, therefore, will be September 16th when the Constitution can be discussed. The October meeting (21st) will be the AGM. N.b. 2 weeks advance warning by email plus notices on site and online are required prior to an AGM.
  3. Palm House Opening – this item is held over until September meeting. Points made were that for H&SE reasons 2 people needed to be onsite, how would it work with Children’s parties and 50p admission might preclude some visitors.
  4. Activities on SiteGardening activities and Schools – The Gardening Activities group began on site on 5th There will be a review meeting in a month (28th July). Areas to ironed out are – charging, community garden above white wall at front and access to the space previously used with the LG schools above the cut flower area.   – Puddles parties are in full flow, Crop Drop are working in the portacabin since the barn leaks and has mild asbestos issues in its roof, LG has planted lettuces growing between the glasshouses (intentional). There was some discussion about public access to the site but this is still some way off although there will be a ‘market’ on 29th July (12 to 4pm) where FoWL will be selling plants and cake and much much more. FoWL took £101 at the last Market and had a lovely day chatting to members and the local community.
  5. Development of Food Hub business bid – Crop Drop are putting in a bid for £100k to improve the site and possibly employ an odd job man for the site. The Friends were asked if they supported this bid. In principle – the meeting offered its support for this bid but they needed further reassurances that there will be space and safety for the education users and FoWL could have some say in what ultimately happens on site. We would like to have sight of the bid.
  6. Community activities – Rob LG asked Robin to a meeting to discuss community activities on site. Phil and Mandy to attend as well. Potential date suggested was 28th Robin was provided with a list of past activities.

There was discussion about starting regular working parties on site to bring it back to its former glory. If you are interested then could you return the short form below to Mandy and we will get planning.

  1. AOB – Roger (new to the meeting but a volunteer with LG) wants to start a workshop on site. Lots of enthusiasm for this.
  2. Next meeting – September 16th. Note there is no meeting in August.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – July 15, 2017

Meet 10am for 10.30am start in the cafe at Wolves Lane for refreshments and socialising as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologies
  2. Previous minutes agreed and any matters arising from them
  3. Update on current developments
  4. Discussion and proposal to accept proposed revisions to Friends Constitution
  5. A.O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

 

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – June 17, 2017

Attendees: 6 and Councillors Anne Walker and Peter Mitchell

Guest: Rachel from Crop Drop

Apologies: 9

Rachel of Crop Drop visited and gave an update on Crop Drop activities, some highlights of activities of other OL Consortium activities, and some site issues.

Overview of Crop Drop (CD):

  • It is a community based veg box scheme. It is a limited company by guarantee. It is not-for-profit, selling locally sourced vegetables and fruit, and only delivers to Haringey residents.
  • CD charges all customers the same – but are thinking of having tiered pricing based on need. The ultimate goal is to make it accessible to all.

Company Structure

  • CD has 5 staff, 10 volunteers.
  • They have 6 online companies acting as distributors of their services.
  • London Grown is one of the growers providing produce to them. They get produce from local farms year round. The fruit mostly comes from Europe.
  • They deliver to drop points around Haringey, including Big Green Book Shop. They have 12 drop points which are locked cupboards and customers come to the drop points and pick up their own veg boxes.
  • CD has been running for 4 years and has 200 customers. They believe that at 400 customers they will be financially sustainable.
  • CD pay themselves from their sales income. All funds they pay themselves are self generated (generated by their business activities). They are also applying for grants to help with the Wolves Lane site upkeep (upkeep is required under the terms of the lease they are negotiating with Haringey Council).

Work site

  • They are working on the barn where they plan to pack their boxes, but haven’t finished work on the barn yet.
    • Asbestos issue in barn roof – needs to resolved. Does roof have to be removed? Can it be fixed? Or lined?
    • Haringey Council’s asbestos survey from 2 years ago is out of date. CD has requested a new one because they roof has since cracked and deteriorated …
    • CD has spoken to 2 builders to get quotes. One quoted and the other expressed concerns about the job.
    • Nonetheless, they are hoping to move in on 1st
    • They are using porta-cabins for now. But need a cool place which barn is. And will also need cold storage soon to grow their business.

Community Service

  • They donate to Haringey Refugee Centre and Martha House (shelter for migrants).
  • They are starting to apply for funding to do food education with local people – teach people how to eat well.
  • Volunteers get discount if they are customers and help out with the box packing. If volunteers are not CD customers, then they get a bag of veg and fruit after their shift. CD also plans to start doing a communal lunch with veg box packing volunteers together before the packing shift starts.

Selected highlights on the other consortium members’ progress:

  • London Grown has begun leading community gardening sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays. (You can find out days and times by watching wolveslane.com or twitter @wolveslane or looking at London Grown website.)
  • Wolves Lane Flower Company is starting to grow and sell on a small scale already.
    • WLFC Have 2 private clients and have been asked to provide flowers for their first wedding.
    • Rachel received a beautiful gift bouquet from them which included foxgloves, roses, and other flowers.
  • Dee Woods is working with the ‘hires working group’ who are orgainsing renting out the site. She will be doing food literacy.

Selected highlights on OL Consortium progress:

  • It is in the process of a forming legal company.
  • Each Consortium member is doing fund raising separately but working to coordinate these efforts.
  • All Consortium members are very pleased, but are realizing what a large undertaking it is. Almost everyone has other jobs and this is their second job.

Terms of the lease are being negotiated by OL with Haringey Council.

  • They agreed with Haringey that they would take site as is and take over site maintenance and cover these costs.
  • CD notes that the Haringey report they saw before the bid did not include the barn.
  • The lease has not yet been finalized but they believe it is close to being finalised. A lot of Haringey staff appear to be on holiday.
  • Haringey is not sure if they want to hold on to the depot at the back of the property yet.
  • CD has been told they will be notified if Haringey wants it in a year

Wolves Lane site maintenance:

  • Gardens for All – trained thru OrganicLea – are responsible for keeping external greenery around the site under control and for keeping the roadside verge greenery short and strimmed so that the site looks well maintained and occupied.
  • OL Consortium are all looking for volunteers to get involved in various areas, clear weeds, keep it under control too.
  • Palm House needs more attention. Tina is in every day to take care of the animals (fish, turtles). Allistair is in ‘regularly’ (at least once a week?)
  • The Consortium needs volunteers to keep it under control.

Wolves Lane site rental:

  • Dee Woods is working with the ‘hires working group’ who are organising renting out the site. She will be doing food literacy.
  • Rent money / hires / sublets of the Wolves Lane site:
    • any glass house rental-sub goes to LG
    • café and kitchen rentals go into the Consortium pot.

~End of Rachel of Crop Drop’s report.~

 

Friends of Wolves Lane (FOWL) business:

  • Last meeting’s minutes were accepted.
  • Notice: on 30th June, core team FOWL will meet with London Grown, especially to discuss reinstating Clare’s classes on gardening with local schools. OL have kept her allotments untouched that she used with her classes which is much appreciated.
  • Noted: One previous special needs volunteer has now begin joining community gardening sessions one day a week with help of a support worker, and this may lead to two days a week.
  • Anne: offered tickets free to the opening of Big Blue House workshop area next to River House on June 28th to interested FOWL members at the meeting.

Amending constitution: to reflect FOWL’s new focus on facilitating community access

  • Mandy read through current constitution and we considered amendments to reflect FOWL’s new focus on facilitating community access to Wolves Lane centre:
    • so that the community will have access to this important community resource (eg visiting the Palm House and
    • to facilitate community activities at the centre.
  • The key amendment targets the definition of FOWL’s Aim (the first section of the Constitution).
  • Anne will send a new suggested wording to Mandy later this week.
  • All suggestions are welcome. Please send them through http://www.wolveslane.com Contact page or directly to Mandy. This will be discussed at the next month’s FOWL meeting.

FOWL Community usage proposal: Palm House on Saturdays

  • Ellen suggested opening the Palm House to the community on Saturdays with a 50p payment per person to visit. Start as a pilot.
    • We could make a rota for FOWL volunteers to sit 9am-12noon on Saturdays. Esther, Ellen, Mandy and Robin A. volunteered for this rota and more members are willing to join. This would mean just one shift per every one or two months to fulfill.
    • It was suggested to have a small FOWL ‘plants for sale’ table too. Several requests for more Plant Sales at Wolves Lane have been received at the Friends website, emails and via twitter.
    • Suggestion received positively by Councillors.
    • Advantages to OL would be:
      1. good PR with community
      2. Ellen pointed out this would be part of volunteering at the centre which OL is asking for
  • and the fact that the site is a valued and used site by the community would also be an advantage for OL Consortium members when they are applying for funding (this would make their applications more appealing and likely to succeed).
  • The above tabled as agenda point to be discussed and confirmed at the next meeting.
  • Also agreed we will choose 3-4 more community group proposals (at next meeting), identify leaders for each and develop high level overview proposals for presentation to OL.

 

  • Ed (reported by Robin A) suggested that volunteering for the community gardening sessions with OL is a great way to get in to see the site and an enjoyable day. He has done this and had a great day.
  • Agenda points to be included at next meeting:
    1. Report on June 30th meeting with LG
    2. Confirming Amended Constitution points
    3. Community usage proposals:
      1. Palm House opening on Saturdays with a 50p payment per person to visit. Confirm plan.
      2. Identify 3-4 more proposals for suggestions received (see Community Usage Proposals tab at website) and leaders for each.
    4. Discuss FOWL funding – current and future applications, and usage of funds.

Next FOWL Meeting: July 15th, 2017 at 10:30am. All welcome.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – June 17, 2017

Meet 10am for 10.30am start in the cafe at Wolves Lane for refreshments and socialising as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologies
  2. Previous minutes agreed and any matters arising from them
  3. Welcome Rachel from Crop Drop who is going to outline their work at the centre
  4. Revisit our constitution to make any changes in the light of recent developments
  5. A.O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

 

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – May 20, 2017

Attending – 12

Apologies – 5

  1. Minutes of last meeting were agreed – hurray!
  2. Update from Phil from the meeting with Holly and Rob (LG) and Isabella (Shared Assets) that was attended by Phil, Mandy, Barbara, Clare and Angela. The principal reason for the meeting was to discuss how a social enterprise could liaise with London Grown.

Key points were –

  1. Crop Drop will not be on site until June as they are still cleaning the barn and dealing with a water leak
  2. OroganicLea will not be on site but will deal with issues such as agreeing the lease
  3. There still seems to be uncertainty about the exact boundaries of the site. The council will consider over the next year what the purpose will be for the remainder of the site.
  4. Extra usable space on site available will be the volunteers kitchen, boot room, mess room. The portacabin classroom will not be included.
  5. Partners on site are – flower growing on the area previously known as Andy’s allotment; Puddles children’s parties in the cafe and Palm house.

The above pay on a rental basis as no sub lease clause has been agreed

  1. There was some discussion about schools groups and the potential to balance space rental against site upkeep work.
  2. LG was keen for the Gardening Activities Club to start as soon as possible to carry out essential gardening work. This is likely to begin in July.
  3. The potential for volunteers on a trial basis was discussed but it was thought that this could be too disruptive for volunteers who have already found other placements.

There will be a further meeting to discuss rental costs.

  1. Site Maintenance – Some work has been carried out by GoodGym. The lack of grass cutting was discussed. Nb the grass has since been cut.
  2. Crop Drop – Crop Drop hoped to be at this meeting but was unable to attend at the last minute. They hope to attend the next meeting to update us on their progress.
  3. Future Function of Friends Group – The meeting agreed that the group was happy to carry on as it was, continuing to build relationships and work on community issues. We should consider whether any changes to the constitution are necessary.
  4. Community – Robin A is keen to set up a Writers group; Annie wants to begin a ‘repair’ group; Gordon would like to organise activities for the elderly and Emily is looking into starting a Woodcraft folk group.
  5. OAB – There was a plant sale organised on site on 27th May by LG which the Friends attended. (PS We sold lots of geraniums and Cakes and had a very enjoyable day in the sun meeting lots of nice people.)
  6. Next Meeting – 17 June 17 in the cafe

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – May 20, 2017

Meet 10am for 10.30am start in the cafe at Wolves Lane for refreshments and socialising as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologies
  2. Friends update
  3. Website update
  4. A.O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

 

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – April 22, 2017

Attending – 13 and also Councillors Peter Mitchell, Bob Hare and Ann Waters, and Holly Creighton-Hird from London Grown

  1. Meeting with Peray Ahmet, Simon Farrow and Ward Councillors

Phil, Mandy, Clare and Robin A met the above on 13th March 17.

The positives from the meeting were –

  • Tina (who used to work on reception) would now be employed to look after the fish and terrapins on a daily basis. She would also water the Palm House and associated areas
  • Alisdair has access too and will be coming in to look after the cacti as previously
  • Simon Farrow reported that the Council website gave details about the sites closure. This was not correct but after an email exchange with Phil, this information was correctly displayed. The council also agreed to put a notice on the front gates informing the public of the sites closure. Links have also been put onto the Organic Lea website.
  • That we will be able to hold friends meetings on site.

The negatives from the meeting were –

  • The Heads of Lease currently do not feature a ‘sub – lease’ clause so any additional occupation of site must be on a ‘rental’ basis. The lease has not yet been signed but it is hoped that this situation will be rectified.
  • The council were not very helpful in providing information about the timetable for the sites future development. Peray Ahmets view was that we should be patient and to give the consortium time to bed in. We still haven’t got any details on timelines on when public access will re-start.
  1. At 11am Holly from London Grown joined the meeting to update us on OrganicLea Consortium’s work.

Holly works for London Grown but was representing the consortium i.e. Organic Lea, Crop Drop, Shared Assets and Dee Woods.

She explained the LG intend to grown vegetables at Wolves Lane which can then be planted out at the Pasteur Gardens site. The distribution route for the vegetables will be to Crop Drop and Organic lea for Veg box schemes.

She said that they are a ‘not for profit’ organisation with any excess being ploughed back into the company.

LG’s funding is from grants as they are not self funding yet. They have been constituted for a year and have been at Pasteur gardens for 13 months. They are a workers co-operative with 4 staff (3 of them horticulturalists). They are all paid but Holly (for example) is only paid for 8 hours work a week.

LG have just been awarded £14k funding to carry out a community consultation on the future of Wolves Lane. The consultation will be via –

  • local groups (but which groups these will be is yet to be decided)
  • leafleting
  • on-line survey

The process should take a few months. The question was asked about public access but this will emerge from the consultation process.

Crop Drop will move in in early May and hopefully begin packing veg bags in mid May (Rachel from CD has since reported that the barn has been power hosed and is currently being painted. Vegetable bagging will probably begin in June).

LG intend to hold Volunteer days at some time in the near future (probably Tuesdays and Fridays).

The meeting asked whether Holly could prepare a formal statement covering the structure of the consortium, its plans etc.

There then followed a short Q & A session:

Q How much of the site has the consortium got

A Boundaries are still unclear

Q Who carries out maintenance?

A Consortium have day to day responsibility

Q If LG is in the driving seat at WL, what is OL’s role?

A managing lease at present. They will not be based on-site

Q How will the bills be paid?

A From funding but the meeting thought that current account funding could be hard to get

Q Who holds the insurance

A The Council insures the buildings

The meeting continued after Holly had left and went on to discuss proposals for community activities on site. Robin A suggested putting a page on the website for people to suggest community group activities that could hire out the site.

The next meeting is Saturday 20th May at 10am for 10.30am start in the cafe at Wolves Lane. Refreshments and socialising as always. Everyone welcome.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – April 22, 2017

Meet 10am for 10.30am start in the cafe at Wolves Lane for refreshments and socialising as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologies
  2. Holly from OrganicLea Consortium will give an Update about the future of the Wolves Lane site
  3. Friends update
  4. Website update
  5. A.O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

Until we get approval to move our meetings back to Wolves Lane Centre (which is now closed to the public) we will be meeting at our new location: ST CUTHBERT’S, WOLVES LANE. Enter the church around the back on Saturday. Rev Mark has kindly offered the use of a church meeting room.

 

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Extraordinary Meeting – March 25, 2017

Attending – 10 and Councillors Waters and Mitchell

This meeting was held to prepare for the meeting with Peray Ahmet Cabinet member for the environment, Councillors Hare, Waters, Mitchell and Wright and council officer Simon Farrow on 28th March.

Current Position – The Centre will close to the public from Friday 31st March. We have had no information from the OL Consortium on its timetable or timelines for the future of the Centre. As previously reported at our meeting with them on 12th March, they stated that they do not intend to allow any people with learning difficulties or mental health issues who require any support to use the site in the short to medium term ( and have not defined what either mean ). Similarly only people who are volunteering for Consortium members will be allowed on site. We have no positive responses from OL to our request to have access to the site.

Meeting With The Council – A meeting has been set up on Tuesday 28th March at 6pm at the Civic Centre with Cllr Ahmet, Simon Farrow and Cllrs Waters, Mitchell, Wright and Hare. Phil has been invited to it. Ann said that there would be plenty of room for other members of the Friends.

Press – Mary was angry that we hadn’t gone to the press as suggested in the previous meeting but Phil explained that the decision was made to delay this and wait to find what the outcome of the meeting with the council would be.

Ward Councillors’ View – was that the Council decision had been made in favour of OL and the Friends needed to work with OL in the future. We once again discussed the factual errors in the Cabinet paper which stated that the Friends’ CIC would NOT maintain the Palm House and adjacent environments, including heating, lighting, cleaning etc. Whereas we had stated that we WOULD maintain them as recorded in the response we made to the Council Officer’s questions as published in an appendix to the paper. Hence, as discussed with the Councillors on 21st January, a substantial error had been made in the relative values of our bid and that of OL in the body of the paper. This did not only affect the financial element of the assessment, but also the assessments relative to the Council’s priorities since each of them is affected by the level of support required from the Council.

Judicial Review – Emily asked whether the council decision could be reviewed and Phil reiterated that we had taken legal advice on this. He explained that the route of judicial review was very costly, in the region of £10k to gain leave to appeal to the High Court and then probably many multiples of that to proceed with the action, plus there were ways that the Council could side step any such decision.

Ann thought that the Cabinet would be very unlikely to go back on their decision.

Emily asked whether it was legal to make a decision based on incorrect information. Ann replied that the Cabinet decision was based on more than just financial issues     ( but see discussion above ).

Communication with Council – Phil wrote to the Council leader, Peray Ahmet and Simon Farrow on 1st February asking for urgent discussions with them on how interim arrangements could be agreed to allow the existing, highly valued services to continue during the transitional period. He has still received no reply indeed not even a holding one. We do know that the email was received because during the open meeting of the Friends of Parks on the 4th February James Hunt said that he had discussed it with Simon two days earlier. Peter Mitchell thought this was wrong but went on to say that we needed to focus on how we could work with OL.

Simon Farrow feedback – Ann had spoken to Simon Farrow who stated that the Council would carry out necessary repairs to the Palm house and associated areas and would charge back these costs to OL (this would be in the lease terms)

Topics for Council meeting – Ann thought that the ongoing issue of the care of the plants, filters, fish and terrapins should be discussed at the Council meeting on Tuesday.

There was a discussion about just what topics should be talked about at the council meeting and these were as follows –

– Access to the site for the community (the whole site, including the woodland, which has until now been open 7 days a week)

– People with LD and mental health issues should be able to visit the site

– there should be a calendar of OL’s intentions going forwards NB. Councillors thought this was a good idea

– care for the fish, terrapins, plants etc

Ann did say that in their meeting with OL, Brian had made it clear that he wanted to work with the Friends. Phil explained that we had sent him details of our current delivery and our proposals for the short term (to September) and longer term (beyond September) but had no positive response. They have a Consortium meeting on 29th March. We hope for a positive response from that

Animal Care – Robin stated that she had contacted the RSPCA who had explained the steps that they would take if the fish and terrapins were left unattended for more than 24 hours after the site closes to the public. These were basically seizure of the animals and holding the freeholders i.e. Haringey Council responsible under the Animal Welfare Act.

Robin further asked whether Tina (currently on reception) could be paid to come in and feed the creatures and carry out watering.

  • This suggestion was taken up after the meeting to the extent that Stuart spoke to Tina on the following Monday about her being paid to do this work.
  • Alisdair has attempted to contact OL about future care of the desert garden, which he has maintained for many years including taking cuttings from the large cacti to avoid them braking through the glass roof.

Open Space designation – There was some discussion about how we would know if there had been any proposals to change the Metropolitan Open space designation and Ann Waters confirmed that Councillors would know.

Site Maintenance – Emily raised the issue of fence maintenance under OL and the possibility of getting a tree preservation order for trees in the woodland. Once again there was concern about lack of security of the site and hence the surrounding houses as a result of Consortium members being on site so little. We are only aware that Crop Drop will be on site on Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings and London Grown once or possibly twice a week which may be on the same days. We discussed how it would be impossible to maintain the site with so little presence, all of it being devoted to other primary tasks. The site could deteriorate very quickly particularly as vegetative growth accelerates.

In summary – the points that Mandy, Clare, Robin and Phil would put to the Council on Tuesday are –

– Timetable of OL Consortium actions/intentions

– Proof of survival of fish etc / designated person responsible for their care (see earlier nb)

– When will there be access to the site for the community?

– Issue of Palm house and associated area maintenance

– That the Friends would want to continue their meetings on site

– That we want to run a Friends Gardening Activities club on site in the interim

– Notification to the public that the site is in fact closed for the foreseeable future.

Date of next meeting will be 22 April (we miss a week because of Easter). As above we would want this to be at the Centre, but at time of writing have no commitment to this from OL. Robin A has organised with the vicar of St Cuthbert’s that we can meet in their Church Hall (opposite and a little further up Wolves Lane) – thanks to Rev. Mark and Robin A. Assume this will be the case unless you hear to the contrary from us.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Extraordinary Meeting – March 25, 2017

Meet 10am for 10.30am start for refreshments and socialising in the café as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologies
  2. URGENT Update about the future of the Wolves Lane site after 31st March 2017
  3. Website update
  4. A.O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – March 18, 2017

Attending – 14 + Cllr Hare, Cllr Waters, Cllr Mitchell

  1. Minutes – approved
  1. Update (this report is pretty much verbatim so its a bit muddled but stick with it – it’s worth it)

Phil reported that he, Mandy, Clare and Barbara met with the OrganicLea consortium (Brian OL, Holly London Grown, Mark Shared Assets (Rachel from Crop Drop was unavailable)) on the previous Monday at his flat. This was the first meeting with the consortium although we had been trying to meet them to discuss how we could work together since the Cabinet paper was published in mid January. Shared Assets, for the Consortium, offered only this one date and time when Phil finally got to talk to them on the previous Friday and seemed to have been prompted by the fact that the Friends were meeting on the following Saturday.

The Council stated in the Minutes of the Cabinet paper that the Consortium made a commitment to maintain the Palm house and associated areas on an ‘as is’ basis. This was not indicated in the exchange of emails between the Council officers and OL included in the appendices to that paper, but the Council stated that this was the case and this was fundamental to the bid assessment. At the meeting on Monday the Consortium confirmed said they had not committed to maintain these areas and indeed they were still trying to find from Council officers how much the utility costs were for these areas (Note – see below – at the earlier meeting with the Councillors they said they did have a figure for this of £4k pa, but there was still no commitment).

As previously discussed, contrary to OL, the Friends had committed in their written submissions to the Council’s officers ( as included in the appendices to the Cabinet paper) to fund all day-to-day maintenance and costs of the Palm House and associated areas, including heating, lighting, cleaning etc. For reasons we do not understand the paper stated that the Friends would not cover these costs in our bid and as a result reached and stated an incorrect assumption as to the respective financial values of the two bids which also carried through into the assessment of the performance of the bids versus the Council’s priorities, the scoring being reduced relative to the level of on-going Council support required. We made the Ward councillors aware of this at the Friends meeting between the publication of the paper and the Cabinet meeting and by email. Obviously because of the number of working days required for members of the public to ask questions at a Cabinet meeting, the Friends were unable to ask any questions themselves on these important points at the meeting post the publication of the paper.

In the bid the site had been divided into 3 areas – the main glasshouses, a 1000sqm area including the barn and a potential depot area. Phil asked the consortium which part of the site they were leasing and was told it could be the whole site but they weren’t sure.

The lease had not yet been signed as there was a sticking point that the Council had not sanctioned any sub leasing clause. The lack of this clause, of course, would affect the ability of the Consortium to interact with any other groups including us going forwards. The lack of a lease would affect their ability to raise funds, both current and capital account. The consortium is likely to officially commence on the site on 1 April operating under a ‘tenancy at will’ basis, although LondonGrown have already done some minor preparation on site. This seemed to be acceptable to the Consortium in the short term. Their activity at the Pasteur gardens site is still on this basis, although Brian had told us that they had intended to proceed with lease discussions during the summer, but had not had time to do so. Progress at Pasteur Gardens has been slow. LondonGrown are only on site one day a week from 11 to 4.

The Consortium intend to be on site at Wolves Lane for at most part of 3 days a week, with Crop Drop being there for 2 half days packing vegetable bags. There will be no public access at any time. There is a real concern over dereliction of the site with this reduction in attendance. The site has proved hard enough to manage with staff available 7 days a week.

The meeting then moved into a questioning stage which got quite animated at times.

Robin A asked whether OL, who wrote the bid, had misrepresented themselves to the Council in their paper.

Pamela replied that OL at their Hawkswood site was very impressive and runs a lot of courses in horticulture (which is where Brian had said most of their profit comes from)

Phil reported that Brian had said that Hawkswood had been running for more than 10 years, but only had people on site 3 days a week, was only open to the public on part of the last Sunday each month and still only about a third of its area was cultivated. This was completely different to Wolves Lane which has had both members of staff on site every day and been open to the public 7 days a week for many years.

Others, including Councillors, agreed that the two sites were very different – Hawkswood was close to being in the countryside, whereas Wolves Lane was an oasis in an urban area.

Ellen asked what would be happening to the fish and terrapins since there was only 2 weeks to closure and these animals needed feeding ideally every day.

Phil said that Clare had made Stuart aware of this and Stuart was going to ‘raise’ this to his manager. James Hunt, in his reply to questions asked by Cllr Mitchell, has said that all the animals were being re-housed by Stuart (Tina). Stuart had not understood this to include the aquatics.

Robin A thought that re-housing Koi and terrapins would not be as simple as housing a cute bunny. Robin said that she would contact the RSPCA to ask what they could do if all else failed.

Ellen asked whether we could pay some-one to come in and carry out the care and feeding.

Phil reported that after their redundancy the staff is suggesting to the Consortium that they run a gardening activities club and schools education programme 1 day a week and, as part of this, maintain the Palm house areas with the Friends. The Consortium next meet on 29th March so we committed to get our plans to them in good time prior to their discussion ( NB. These have already been sent at the time of writing these minutes.) Also contrary to what Rob from LG had said – Greens and Glass are still in discussion with the Consortium. They met OL et al in late January/early February. Holly from LG was meeting them again the day after she met us. G&G are still interested in a flower cutting garden which would require a sub-lease and still plan some ‘events’, but not a major wedding venue.

Phil mentioned at this point that at the beginning of February he had emailed the Leader of the Council, Cllr Kober, the Cabinet member for the Environment, Cllr Ahmet and Simon Farrow, the Head of Parks, to urgently discuss an interim arrangement for the continuation of our services and maintenance of the Palm House after the end of March, but had still not received a reply or even an acknowledgement over 6 weeks later.

Cllr Waters updated the meeting about the Ward councillors meeting with the Consortium. They had met Brian (OL) and Dee Woods (food consultant). The Councillors were impressed by the work done at Hawkswood but were told that the consortium were still thinking about what they would do with the Palm house areas. Interestingly the Consortium thought the costs of running the Palm house would be about £4k per year but in our (later) Monday meeting with them they said they were still trying to find out this cost from the Council officers. Cllr Waters said that the Consortium had said that decisions about the Palm House animals would be discussed with the Friends at our meeting. It wasn’t.

Cllr Mitchell said that it had been a positive meeting with the Consortium. The plans for the cafe, wider community involvement with Shared Assets and volunteering were all positive. The Consortiums told the Friends that, in the short to medium term, it would focus on healthy eating education rather than as a functioning cafe. Dee told the Councillors that she was seeking partners to work in the cafe area and planned to consult the community. She has not had any discussions with the Friends.

An incensed Mary said ‘do the Councillors not care?’ to which Ann replied that they were under the impression that the Consortium would come to some agreement with the Friends.

Cllr Hare said that he would ask for a full email train of discussions between OrganicLea and Council officers. He also said that he had been very impressed by the Hawkswood site and had pushed for OL to work on the Wolves Lane site. He thought OrganicLea were good in what they did in Waltham Forest, but the Consortium (especially LG ) were spread thin and the slow rate of improvement at Pasteur gardens was not a good example. It was noted that it would primarily be LG and CD working at Wolves Lane and not OL. He fully understood how easy it is for a site to become derelict.

Phil said that his solicitor, who was also a Councillor in Yorkshire for many years, was very surprised that the Council were allowing ‘tenancy’s at will’ as this gave them very little control over the enterprise. He also said that the Council had run down the site over the past 2 years and without any schools, LD attendance, cafe or public access it would be a very sad representation of its former self. Brian had said that, in the short to medium term, there would be no role for LD people on site and also said that the vegetable packing was quite pressured (so probably not suitable for LD people either).

Cllr Hare said he now wondered about the bid assessment process since both the Friends and Greens and Glass had both offered to pay the ‘full’ rent of £18.3K per annum by year 3 and hence £54-55k over 3 years whereas the OrganicLea bid will only pay £19,300 over 5 years. It was also now clear that the Council had mistakenly thought that the Friends expected them to pay the day-to-day costs of the Palm House etc. Bob stressed that councillors wanted a good project for the site and he was mystified that (for the benefit of the site) why the bid was chosen.

Cllr Waters replied that OL’s bid was successful because they had said that they would work with the friends and, most importantly, would expect no financial commitment from the council. (As above, OL have now said that they have not agreed to maintain the Palm House etc. “as is”)

Phil explained that our bid had said that the Friends would carry out day to day maintenance of the Palm house areas and would only expect the Council to cover major superstructure costs, as is stated in the appendices to the Cabinet paper. This was ignored in the marking process. The council marking process assumed all maintenance would be carried out by them (including cleaning of toilets) (Ridiculous!) and this would cost £15k per annum, which over 5 years, is £75k therefore more than the rent we would be paying. This is incorrect.

Cllr Waters said that there were obviously still issues about public access to the site and the maintenance and care of the Palm House and animals and agreed that the ward councillors would go back and talk to Council Officers. Phil stressed that this should be at a fairly high level i.e. Simon Farrow and/or Stephen O’Donnell. Phil also asked that he be invited to the meeting as well. The Councillors agreed this was sensible.

It was agreed that there would be a further meeting of the Friends and councillors next Saturday (25th March) at 3pm.

 For info – the children’s parties and floristry session will continue after 1st April with monies being paid to OL as these are on a ‘hire’ not ‘sub-lease’ basis.

The meeting agreed to ‘go to the Press’ about the Palm House and Robin A agreed to approach the RSPCA to find out whether we could pre-warn them of a potential animal crisis.

Robin L asked how the meeting with the Consortium had ended and Phil explained that we had asked for more regular updates and far faster response to questions, but the consortium did not commit to this. We said we would send them our proposals for working on site. Holly from LG had said that she would ask G&G to submit their proposals when she met them the following day. The Friends noted that the Consortium had met G&G very soon after the Cabinet meeting when Brian had told us that he could not meet until late February at the earliest.

Phil said that he would update the Councillors on the meeting with the Consortium. Brian said that this was not necessary since they were very happy with what he and Dee had said to them and he had a good working relationship with the Council officers.

When Phil had talked to Brian soon after the Cabinet paper was published to discuss how the two groups might work together as suggested in the paper, Brian had said that it was more important that he talk to his Consortium about their plans going forwards. This is slightly odd as part of the EoL process each bidder had to provide a detailed transition plan for the 3 months prior to hand over and the 3 months after it. They effectively said that their bid included a ‘token’ transition plan and they weren’t going to get into any serious planning until they were sure that they had been awarded the bid.

There was a further impassioned discussion with Mary reminding the councillors that this was the only ‘free’ community resource in this area and its popularity was borne out by the numbers of parents and children who came in to visit the Palm House and other parts of the site.

Phil said that Councillor Ahmet had said at the Cabinet meeting that she was ‘actively seeking to have a meeting with the Friends’ but this had not happened. The Friends were very disappointed by the reality. The Friends had formed to help the Council and had put together our bid in order to try to save and build upon the work of the site. The meeting was unanimous about taking these issues to the Press.

  1. Asset of Community value – The issue of whether to apply for Asset of Community status was discussed. Cllr Bob Hare thought that this provided little additional protection.
  1. Friends actions – Friends were urged to contact their own Councillors to emphasise the importance of the Centre to the local community. NB Pamela has already done this and Angela has written direct to Brian at OL.
  1. AOB – none
  1. Next meeting – Next meeting will be Saturday 25 March at 3pm at Wolves Lane (in the classroom) where, hopefully, the Councillors and Phil will feed back on their meeting this week with Council Officers.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – March 18, 2017

Meet 10am for 10.30am start for refreshments and socialising in the café as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologies
  2. URGENT Update about the future of the Wolves Lane site after 31st March 2017
  3. Website update
  4. A.O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

 

fudge-blueMinutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – February 18, 2017

Apologies for Absence: 3 + Councillors Ann Waters and Charles Wright

At the cabinet meeting on the 24th January it was announced that OrganicLea were the preferred bidders. Phil then gave a concise update as to where F.O.W.L is in relation to the decision that has been made (in green below).

OrganicLea are very much leading the Consortium and are moving at their own considered pace. Phil emailed Brian Kelly (Chair of OrganicLea), before he and the Consortium met the Council on the 2nd February, to ask for an urgent meeting to discuss how we could work together. Brian replied on the 3rd Feb basically saying that he did not know when he could meet us and stating again that their Consortium was to meet first on the 10th. We have heard nothing more from him.

Phil emailed Councillors Kober and Ahmet along with Simon Farrow on the 1st February, prior to their meeting with Brian on the 2nd to say that we urgently wanted to discuss interim arrangements with the Council to allow continuing provision of services at the Centre after 31st March. There has been no response.

James Hunt stated at the Friends of Parks Forum on 4th February that Phil’s email had been received and that he and Simon had discussed it. James said that they were going to reply.

Phil did manage to talk to Rachel from Crop Drop in early February, after his yoga teacher based at Stationers Park Centre obtained the number for him. There were a number of issues in relation to their bid which she did not seem to be aware of. She confirmed that their Consortium were still to meet on the 10th, as above.

Councillor Mitchell said that he, Charles and Ann had not yet been able to meet OrganicLea, but they had wanted to as soon as possible after the Cabinet meeting. They will now further push for a meeting with Brian.

The Centre is rapidly running down. Two members of staff have left. Reception is only manned Friday to Monday. The rabbits, guinea pigs and one of the birds have been rehoused. We are seeking to rehouse the remaining indoor birds and chickens. The issue of the terrapins and fish remains.

The gardening staff and Centre manager are now more often away from the site than on it.

Angela, Clare and Barbara will be redundant from 31st March. The Council will not pay any monies in lieu of leave, so they are having to either take it now or lose it.

If services do close in March it will be very difficult to recommence them.

We noted once again that in the minutes to the Cabinet meeting, in response to our concerns that OrganicLea had not committed to maintain the Palm House, Councillor Ahmet stated that “there were plans to use the Palm House and that this was to be maintained, as is,” by the Consortium. When we meet them we will ask if this is the case since it is contrary to the emails between them and the Council included in the appendices.

The following issues were then discussed in some detail:

  1. We discussed the flaws in the assessment process of the bid. Dave Morris, Chair of the Parks Forum, strongly suggested at the last meeting of that group that we should pursue formal review. This could be a lengthy and expensive undertaking.
  2. Could we use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information about the terms of the lease, as these have not been made public yet.
  3. Who is going to look after the Palm House in the interim period?
  4. Is there any value of applying for an Asset of Community Value (ACV) for the site? We agreed that we should do so.
  5. Some service users have been sent letters telling them about other providers in the borough that they could use after 31st
  6. Security issues for immediate neighbours was a very serious concern if the Consortium were only going to be on site for restricted days and hours.
  7. Involving the press was discussed briefly.

Councillor Peter Mitchell was asked to follow up certain issues urgently with the council in order to obtain a clearer picture as to what is going on. He said Councillor Charles Wright has written to OrganicLea asking for a meeting with them and the ward councillors. He is waiting for a response.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – February 18, 2017

Meet 10am for 10.30am start for refreshments and socialising in the café as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologies
  2. Update about the future of the Wolves Lane site after 31st March 2017
  3. Website update
  4. A.O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

 

fudge-8Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – January 21, 2017

Attending – 8 and Councillors Waters, Wright and Mitchell

Apologies – 4

Cabinet Paper – Phil reported that the paper was available online but the appendices had to be requested separately. The appendices were not made available until two days after the paper. It was essential to read the two in parallel to understand the paper.

The recommendation is that OrganicLea are the preferred bidders for the Wolves Lane site lease. The terms of the lease are not known as these are deemed confidential.

Having read the paper Phil rang OL on 20th Jan to congratulate them and request a meeting with them as soon as possible. This was in the middle of the week prior to the Cabinet meeting. OL thought the earliest they could meet would be the end of February because of their need to meet and form plans with their consortium members and have discussions with the Council. This was surprising since the bidding process clearly asked for submission of a transition plan for 3 months prior and 3 months after hand-over.

OL do not expect London Grown to make significant progress on the site for 6 months but Crop Drop are keen to be on site as soon as possible but it has been indicated that their presence may only be o two half days per week.

There are worries about dereliction of the site if OL and consortium do not take up occupancy quickly. (The chickens and furry creatures are already being re-homed but hopefully the fish and terrapins can remain but will need feeding almost every day). There are also concerns that the public will not be able to access the Palm House and associated areas on a regular basis. Currently, as far as we know, OL only open one Sunday in the month for public access in Waltham Forest and otherwise infrequently.

Robin Lomas pointed out that Haringey Council had appointed an Officer specifically to find suitable places for Service users to attend, but the Wolves Lane plan bid was marked down for continuing to provide services that Haringey Council had decided to cease. Actually, the Adult services Cabinet paper had only stated that the Council would only no longer provide DIRECT services itself. The Council decided that it did not want itself to retail garden products to the public, but not that a new leaseholder should not do so, particularly since the local community value this service. So why was this a negative for our bid ?

There was some discussion that G&G had only provided one year’s financials so this should have meant that their business case was rejected as being incomplete.

There is some confusion about the future of the cafe, who runs it and when it will be open.

OL & co need to fund raise for £30k to deliver their business case. There was some discussion about how urgently this figure was required.

Phil thanked the Councillors for their support. Since the Friends could not ‘speak’ at the cabinet meeting (because requests to speak have to be submitted to the council 8 days before the meeting whereas the papers are not available until 5 days before the meeting and that was without the appendices) the Councillors agreed to ask questions at the meeting on the Friends behalf. The meeting discussed what these questions would be.

Although not discussed at the Friends of Wolves Lane meeting, for information, the Minutes from the Haringey Cabinet Meeting on the 24th January at Haringey Civic Centre are as follows:

“The Cabinet Member for Environment introduced the report which set out the results of the expression of interest process, instigated by Cabinet in May 2016 for development of the site and now sought agreement for the leasing of the Wolves Lane Horticultural Centre, to a successful bid from OrganicLea, for a term of 25 years based on the Heads of Terms set out in appendix 2. ( Only available to Councillors in private session )

The recommendations allowed the site to be retained as a community asset and to offer a new source of organically grown vegetables for supply into the local community. Residents would still be able to volunteer at the centre and would have the opportunity to learn new skills and enjoy working alongside their neighbours and other members of the community. The Cabinet Member was pleased to see the commitment of OrganicLea to work with the other bidders to explore how key elements of their bids can be incorporated to make the new offer at Wolves Lane.

Whilst current activities cease, it was expected OrganicLea would take possession of the site on the 1st of April and commence food growing. This was a secure future for the site, over the next 25 years but it just the beginning of the process with Ward Councillors and community Friends Group expected to be fully involved.

Councillor Waters, spoke on behalf of the Friends of Wolves Lane Group, who were disappointed not to have been successful in their local bid but welcomed working with OrganicLea. They had some concerns about the timing of the possession of the site, from 1st of April, and sought assurance from Council that they could begin discussions with OrangicLea on the 1st of Feb to ensure handover issues, such as relocation of the animals was resolved.

There was concern that OrganicLea would not make of use the Palm House and classrooms and commitment was being sought in respect of this.

In response to concerns, Cabinet noted the following:

i) OrganicLea had committed to move their, Vegetable box distribution centre from Hornsey to Wolves Lane in early April.

ii) Officers had met with OrganicLea and they had given commitment to engaging and working with the Friends group.

iii) The Cabinet Member had the understanding that there were plans to use the Palm House and this was to be maintained, as is, and there was to be discussion with wider partners on making use of this area. The Cabinet Member was more than happy contact the Friends Group and get a date in the diary to discuss this further but OrganicLea had given assurances of their work with the group.

In response to Councillor Newton’s questions, the Cabinet Member re – iterated that the Council were fully committed to supporting the Friends Group start their discussions with OrganicLea. Ward Councillors had been involved at all stages.

Agreed that the Assistant Director for Commercial Operations would provide Councillor Newton, in writing, the cost of staff redundancies.”

Post Haringey Cabinet meeting

On the 1st February, Phil wrote to the Council leader, the Cabinet member and for the environment and Simon Farrow asking that interim arrangements be put in place so that the teaching and volunteering could continue on site uninterrupted. To date he has not received a reply to his request.

Clare briefly met people met people on site from OL, London Grown and Crop Drop. LG and CD were not aware of the current services provided on site. Clare provided them and OL with a brief summary of the services. ( OL had already been provided a summary of our bid in November ). OL responded that they will be finalising their lease over the next couple of months, working on an action plan for their consortium and would be in touch with the friends in the following couple of weeks to establish a process for collaborating on the initial transition phase in the short term and start a dialogue regarding how the Friends and associated project ideas can be part of OL plans in the medium and long term.

Next Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting will be February 18th, 2017 at 10:30am as usual, in the classrooms at the back of Wolves Lane site (ask at the Reception for directions on the day.)

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – January 21, 2017

Meet 10am for 10.30am start for refreshments and socialising in the café as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologises
  2. Update of where we are with the formation of the social enterprise and feedback of three meetings attended by Phil and Mandy linked to the social enterprise endeavour.
  3. Website update
  4. Centre update
    1. Unforeseen problems with the continuation of retail which could impact on the future of the centre.
    2. PLEASE TRY AND COME TO THIS MEETING TO SUPPORT YOUR CENTRE AND MEET OUR LOCAL COUNCILLORS TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE. URGENT!
  5. A.O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

 

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Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – December 17, 2016

Attending – 9 and a gang of mince pies and cava … such fun!

Apologies – 2 and Councillors Waters, Mitchell and Wright

The story so far – The Wolves Lane team had a meeting with Simon Farrow, Head of Parks at which he explained the future for the staff. Stuart and Dave will go to Finsbury Park to work on the Councils landscape strategy amongst other things, Tom will go back into Parks proper and Colin is considering VR. The teaching staff begin the first stages of their redundancy process. The Retail staff will not have their contracts renewed after the end of March 2017.

A total of 16 organisations expressed an interest in the site but only 3 got their bid in on time to be considered. The Cemetery apparently did put in a bid but it was received after the cut off date.

Simon suggested that rather than the Parks depot from Downhill Park moving to Wolves Lane it could instead move to Down Lane thus leaving the whole site available for lease.

The council will award the lease of the site at the Cabinet meeting on 24 January 2017 but their decision will be available to view online between 5 and 7 days prior to the meeting. Phil was unsure how the Council could ‘award a lease’ without months of negotiation between the various parties. It is essential that we become primary lease holders as we would not be able to apply for capital funding without a lease of at least 10 years and with no break clauses.

Phil would like to set up a meeting with Simon to discuss the interim arrangements for the site whilst leases etc are being discussed. It is already disturbing that the stock is being ‘reduced’ due to the Council’s current purchasing policy but that this could reduce further in the transition to end of March 2017.

A question was asked about the state of the Palm House – plants have been cut down and broken glass panels removed but not yet replaced. Esther asked if the Palm House was ‘protected’ but currently its only legal status is one of Metropolitan Open space.

There was some discussion about the Ward Councillors award which we had asked for to pay for the Palm House work. Ann Waters thought that this was work that the Council should carry out for themselves so we need to come up with another suggestion. Bob Hare suggested putting together a multi package plan (of about £1k) perhaps providing some improvements to the animals housing.

The Commissioning of Works process had been discussed at the last meeting. Robin had had a response from Sebastian but the ‘ongoing’ lease situation meant that he couldn’t get involved.

Bob Hare advised that if anyone was not happy with the overall Cabinet decision then there is a ‘Call In’ process that can be invoked. In reality this usually means that the decision will be returned either back to the Cabinet or to the full Council for a rethink.

June asked if there was a Plan B if the Centre closes and Phil mentioned that there had been some discussion with Edible Landscapes London about offering some teaching from the Finsbury Park site but this discussion was in its infancy.

The next meeting will be on 21st January 2017 after the decision will have been made available online so it could be a very happy, very sad or just plain confusing meeting. Watch this space.

Also Good Gym will be on site that day, having jogged over from Tottenham, and will be doing lots of good works around the site. Let’s hope it’s not inclement for them.

Thanks for all your efforts this year especially if you have been reading these minutes along the way.

Have a lovely Christmas and a fingers crossed New Year.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – December 17, 2016

Meet 10am for 10.30am start for refreshments and socialising in the café as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologises
  2. Update – developments with the Expression of Interest
    • Friends of Wolves Lane have expressed interest to Haringey Council regarding our potential future use of Wolves Lane facilities.
  3. Discuss any plans of action ready for the beginning of the new year
  4. Website update
  5. Centre update
  6. A.O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

 

IMG_0974Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – November 26, 2016

Attending – 8, Ann Waters (Councillor) and 3 eager terrapins

Apologies – 4

The meeting was overtaken by a hoard of mini pirates so we decamped to the Palm House which was quite delightful (until the piratical hoards invaded us there too and we had to move to Angela’s freezing classroom).

  1. Minutes of last meeting were agreed
  2. Phil explained the follow-up meeting that he, Mandy and Clare had had with the Council

There had been a round table discussion with Simon and James and the two other bidders for the site.

One of the other bidders is OrganicLea fronting for Crop Drop and London Grown. They will use the site to assemble and pack vegetable boxes and grow some vegetables etc in the glasshouses.

The other was Greens and Glass, a wedding events proposal.

Phil, Mandy and Clare had met Greens and Glass the previous Thursday to discuss their bid. Their team consists of a theatre producer, a fashion producer and Nick Harkwright who runs Millco – the group responsible for setting up the Green Rooms in Wood Green, amongst other things.

They intend to set up a wedding venue using the long top glasshouse (from the reception area to the end) as a banqueting suite and grow cut flowers on the right hand side of the drive. We did discuss that we used the reception area for our Retail but they didn’t offer any compromise over space sharing.

They also need a lot of space for parking so surprisingly were able to bid for the entire site.

We did have some doubts about their plans for the Centre as the growing space isn’t very big for cut flower growing and there are huge temperature variations in the glasshouses.

They said that they planned wedding events twice a month from March or April to October and that these events would not cause noise issues for the neighbouring properties. This seems unlikely.

Since they did not want to share those parts of the site used for their events, much of the Centre could be unused for large portions of the year raising issues of dereliction.

We were surprised that Greens and Glass did not intend to use the Palm House as a part of their wedding venue and expressed the view that ‘given there is one at Kew there is no need for another in Wood Green’. They would also not intend to retain the Desert Garden rather using it to expand their reception area.

They intend to have the site open a few days a year when members of the public will be able to pay to pick flowers.

At the meeting with the Council there didn’t seem to be many synergies with Greens and Glass but more with the OrganicLea bid.

We were concerned when it was said that London Grown might not take up full usage of the site until year 3, again leaving dereliction as a real possibility. We are aware that they have been working on their Pasteur gardens site for most of this year and seem to be tackling saplings and brambles by hand digging which will be very slow indeed.

We were asked after the meeting to comment on the other bids which are reflected in the comments above.

Given this new phase to the discussions the Council decision has been put back to Mid January, which will impact on our fund raising plans as certain funds have a 3 month lead time.

Our last email contact with the Council was whether we would be happy with a primary lease and sub lessee setup and Phil explained that for Capital funding we would prefer to be primary leaseholder.

The overall opinion of the Friends group on Saturday was that the proposal for a wedding venue was an unimaginative use of the site. The OrganicLea, Crop Drop and London Grown bid was better received.

  1. Winkfield Centre – Ann agreed to find out what was happening at the Winkfield Centre as they are being offered up as one of the alternatives to Birkbeck Road for service users but are still part of Haringey who should not be providing direct Adult Services at all post the Cabinet decision in November last year . It was suggested that Winkfield might be privatised but this is still anti-competitive to other providers (ourselves included) as we will have to generate new customers whereas Winkfield will be privatised as a full ‘Going Concern’.

The Parks forum meeting, attended by Phil and Mandy, was very supportive of our bid.

Phil met with Graham Duncan CEO of Action for Kids who agreed to be a member of the project board. He has years of experience in the charity and banking sectors.

Robin mentioned that a member of Sanjay’s Commissioning for Works team in the Council were finding out about alternative provision for service users. Ann agreed to find out more about this.

The meeting closed almost to time and we survived both the temperatures and the pirates.

Next meeting is Saturday 17th December 10.30 in the Cafe with mince pies. Hurrah!

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – November 26, 2016

Meet 10am for 10.30am start for refreshments and socialising in the café as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologises
  2. Update – important developments with the Expression of Interest
    • Friends of Wolves Lane have expressed interest to Haringey Council regarding our potential future use of Wolves Lane facilities.
  3. Website update
  4. Centre update
  5. A.O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

 

IMG_1002Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – October 16, 2016

Attending – 12 attendees, plus Mina from the Iranian Women’s group, and Councillors Hare and Mitchell

Apologies – 4 regrets, plus Councillor Ann Waters

Minutes – these were agreed and a members comments about cemetery access were noted and understood

Bank Account – We now have a bank account at the TSB. We did try the Co-op but their lead time was 4 weeks and we needed the account set up so that we could access the Celebrate England funding stream (more on this later)

(Well not too much later) Funding application – we applied for Celebrate England funding of between £300 and £10,000 to celebrate an event in the community. We applied to ‘have a party’ ( a Spring Garden party to give it its full title) to thank the friends and supporters of Wolves Lane for all their help in keeping the Centre going. We had not been aware of this funding stream at the last meeting so it was a bit of a rush to get the application in but fingers crossed…

CIC creation – June asked when we were going to kick off the CIC process and Phil explained that it would be triggered by the council’s decision at the Cabinet meeting on 15th December.

Meeting with James Hunt parks department re E of I – Phil, Mandy and Clare met the Council (James Hunt and Stuart) to present the Wolves Lane business proposal and to answer 7 questions that the council had further asked after receipt of the business proposal. The meeting lasted for 2 hours and was friendly. James said that there would be meetings all that week so we are aware that there are other ‘players’ out there but we have no idea who or how many. Phil sent the text of his presentation and answers to the questions so that they could be included in the business proposal pack.

There may need to be a further presentation as Simon was unable to attend the meeting. The remaining process is that the Council will work through their decision process and make a formal decision at the 15 December cabinet meeting. It may be that the council’s decision is that the work on the site be split between a number of partners e.g. with the OrganicLea proposal looking after the green houses and our proposal looking after the education.

General dismal nature of the Centre – the meeting was very concerned about the lack of customers and stock at the centre and some time was spent discussing what could be done.

Suggestions were to focus on Halloween and Christmas. We thought that Halloween was too near to be able to organise anything but Christmas was possible as we are going to have Christmas trees and Poinsettias for sale. Bob Hare made a valid point that did we really want people to visit the centre when it was looking so ‘poor’ and wouldn’t it be better to have a big push for customers when we have more stock in the spring ( and we hope are running the Centre). We will undoubtedly have the Christmas carol event which the Friends could make some valuable input to.

Peter Mitchell will ask the council what their plans are for the centre through the Christmas period and beyond before a new team take over in April.

Peter also reported that the CPZ decision will limit the parking restrictions to Monday to Friday for two hours so this works in our favour.

AOB – Phil said that recently we have met a number of useful people –

  • A strategic marketing consultant who is keen to work with us on a communications plan
  • A second architect who specialised in ‘new’ materials
  • A filming team who think the site could be good for film location work which pays rather well

Ward budget – we asked that the councillors whether this could be used for essential pruning and glazing repairs in the palm house but Ann Waters thought that the council should undertake this work and has taken it up with them.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – October 16, 2016

Meet 10am for 10.30am start for refreshments and socialising in the café as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologises
  2. Update – continuation of the discussion post-Expression of Interest submission, and actions to be taken next
  3. Website update
  4. Centre update
  5. A.O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

 

IMG_1075Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – September 17, 2016

Attending – 11 + Councillors Waters and Hare

Apologies – 6

Last meeting – were no comments on the previous meetings minutes

Centre update –

Phil thanked the following people for their help in submitting the business plan. These are

Colin Bowen at Bridge Renewal Trust who helped us with the business plan and endless proof reading. BRT will be working with us going forwards

Graham Duncan at Action for Kids who provided us with many indicators for the way forward

Glynis, Joan, Asher and Dave at the Lordship Rec Hub who provided lots of funding advice and put us in touch with like-minded organisations especially Renee who ran their café for a while and who is going to provide us with café advice too. They have provided much needed enthusiasm when we have been flagging.

Rosa – who provided us with architectural drawings of the centre and its future vision.

The final business plan was submitted to the council at 11am yesterday after a few last minute adjustments!

Phil emphasised how much more work there is still to be done in terms of preparation for the future if our bid is successful or if we partner with other bidders and the resulting negotiations that this would create.

Oustanding work areas are –

– details of set up costs for Kitchen and café, Retail, Palm House & co and glasshouses

– details of free/least cost items available

– getting funding applications ready to go when and if we get the bid so looking at the funding criteria, suitability, lead times etc.

– strengthening links to other organisations

– commission an expert external feasibility study of the proposal – this study will need external funding

– legal status – we will probably become a CIC (community interest company) as this type of legal entity is easier and quicker to set up although this could be used as a stepping stone to full charity status which has benefits for funding applications, tax and VAT exemptions.

The paper will go to the December Cabinet meeting for the final decision and the paper will be available on-line a week before the meeting.

The formal hand over, if successful, will be on April 1 but there will be a transition period from January to June.

Postscript – The council have requested a meeting with Phil to discuss elements of the business plan. A good sign perhaps?

Partnerships – in the last 12 days Phil received a call from OrganicLea who are writing the bid for a Crop Drop and London Growing consortium. Their bid will be food growing focussed not education based. A joint bid was discussed but dismissed as the timescales were too tight and both parties were well on the way to finish their individual bids.

Esther asked how much of the site the Council would want for Depot space and Phil explained that the Council wanted the area from the bottom of all the glasshouses to the cemetery drive.

Future funding –

There was a long discussion about whether to charge a small fee for membership of the Friends group.

Both Councillors Hare and Waters were in favour of this especially as it adds weight ot further funding application if the bid can demonstrate a membership of x, y of whom are paying.

The meeting voted in favour of this. It was suggested that a fee of £5 per annum be requested but with an explanation of exactly what could be achieved of £10 for example were contributed.

The question of who would administer this is still open so any volunteers please contact Phil or Mandy

Funding for Feasibility study –

Shirley from /wards Corner suggested that the Princes Trust were useful for funding.

AOB –

Glenda commented that it would be useful to re-establish the cemetery access via Wolves Lane Centre and this could be investigated in the future with Dignity.

CPZ and its implication on trade was discussed and Ann Waters agreed to discuss the possibility of either 2 hour CPZ zones or ‘free’ parking outside the centre.

Ward Councillor’s small grants –

Ann said that we could apply for this (anywhere from (£10,000 is available in total). We need to submit a proposal by 28th for Ann, Peter and Charles to discuss.

Leaflets – Glenda suggested getting some leaflets printed and distributed to various other Centre and libraries. Cost is probably an issue here.

It was suggested that we talk to Haringeyonline and streetlife.

The meeting closed at 12.30 exactly – amazing!

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – September 17, 2016

Meet 10am for 10.30am start for refreshments and socialising in the café as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologises
  2. Update – what happens now the Expression of Interest has been submitted
  3. Website update
  4. Centre update
  5. A.O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

 

IMG_1007Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – August 20, 2016

Attending – 12, and Councillors Hare and Wright, Zibiah

Apologies – 4

Minutes of last meeting – these were noted as being accurate and expressed the mood of the meeting

Update on meetings attended

Action for Kids – meeting with their CEO Graham Duncan who gave Phil and Mandy advice on how to move forwards with the social enterprise stressing that vision, clear focus and funding were the main issues.

Kim at Area 51 – they want to expand and would be happy to work with us. They currently run a special needs college, cafe, day centre, wood working shop and have a market stall

ELL (edible landscapes London) – further meeting next Friday 26th to brainstorm what is required for a pro-active E of I for Finsbury park site. There are joint interests and we may be able to work with them in the future

Bridge renewal trust – 2 meetings have been held to discuss how to set up a social enterprise. Further meetings are planned to discuss the business plan and funding issues

Catherine West MP – She had seen Claire Kober (Council Leader) last Tuesday and invited Phil and Mandy to her surgery to update them. There are other parties interested in the site and it would be unrealistic to assume that we would automatically win the E of I as the council is more likely to lean towards a group with existing capital. She asked Phil and Mandy to prepare a 3 page document saying what the site does and that we would and could work with another organisation. She also thought it sensible to proceed with our E of I. as it is very important that we show how the site could be run.

Expression of Interest process

Phil explained the process which includes –

10 week process in all completing on 16 September then leading to a council decision in December.

Requires finance plans for 1 year in detail then years 2 to 5 annual figures only. Also required is a sensitivity analysis on any major factor e.g. a reduction of 10% in sales or service users.

What areas of the site will be required to deliver current and future work?

What length of lease we would like – anywhere from 5 to 50 years is on offer

Details of the people who will run the enterprise and their skill set

What promotion and advertising will be undertaken?

A mobilisation plan on how the ‘change’ will be implemented between January and June 2017

And that any submission should be linked to the councils 5 priorities for the borough

A question was asked over whether the council would justify their decision and Bob Hare replied that the Council would report back on how their decision was reached.

Phil explained that the weighting for the submission was 40% financial and 60% ‘good works’ which favours a social enterprise.

Formalisation of the Friends Group –

A formal voting procedure was undertaken on the following –

Constitution – voted for unanimously on a show of hands. It was agreed to add ‘thrive’ to the initial constitution statement.

Setting up a Bank account – voted for unanimously on a show of hands. It was agreed to approach the Co-op bank. Their facilities include on-line banking, no initial cash deposit was required and there should be three signatories on the account.

Getting quotes for Insurance for public liability – voted for unanimously on a show of hands

Working with other partner organisations – voted for unanimously on a show of hands

The intention to officially submit an expression of interest – voted for unanimously on a show of hands

Engaging a specialist to look at the feasibility of the submission – voted for unanimously on a show of hands

The original working party, that was set up at an early Friends meetings, should become the committee for the Friends and that the committee would deal with day to day issues that arise between meetings – voted for unanimously on a show of hands. (Moving forwards a project board would be set up with stakeholders.)

Agreement to the chairman as Phil Chinn, the secretary as Mandy Hawting and the treasurer as Clare Ritson – voted for unanimously on a show of hands

AOB

Many thanks to Robin Lomas for taking email addresses from the petition papers.

The constitution will be lodged on the Friends website

Charles Wright said that lots of good progress had been made by the Friends.

Much applause because the meeting started late but finished on time!

Date of next meeting will be 17 September – the day after the final submission date

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – August 20, 2016

  1. Apologises
  2. Agree minutes of last meeting are accurate.
  3. Update of latest meetings we have been to as part of the expression of interest process.
  4. The expression of interest process explained BRIEFLY
  5. Agreeing as the Friends Group to the following:
  6. Reconfirming the constitution
  7. Setting up a bank account.
  8. Having an insurance policy.
  9. Partners working with us.
  10. E o I /business plan
  11. Having a feasibility study.
  12. Talking about setting up a committee of committed members who have time, vision and energy.
  13. O.B.

Please stay for light refreshments afterwards if you have time.

 

IMG_1008Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – July 16, 2016

Attending – 15 plus Councillors Peray Ahmet, Elin Waton and Jason Arthur

Apologies – Councillors Waters, Wright and Mitchell, Catherine West, Claire Kober, Robin Lomas

This meeting was being held to introduce the new cabinet members to Wolves Lane and as a thank you for their work on behalf of the Centre.

Unfortunately the Expression of Interest process had just begun and the terms stated in it were unrealistic in the extreme and the process had already shown distinct signs of inefficiency so the mood of the meeting was not a friendly as intended.

The meeting began with an introduction of the work that the centre carried out then Phil went over some of the ‘ups and downs’ of the whole ‘Save the Centre’ process.

Notably that the Friends were formed to redress the shortfall in the Centre’s income but this issue was quickly overtaken by the Councils view to withdraw from Adult Services hence the starting of the petition. Phil mentioned that currently only the 899 online signatures and not the 2525 total were visibly recorded on the Council’s website and that Councillor Mitchell is trying to address this.

Phil further mentioned that financial information which was initially requested at a meeting on the 16th March was finally supplied on 23rd June. Unfortunately there were still gaps and anomalies in the figures and although clarification had been sought it was still outstanding at the meeting (and is still outstanding at the writing of these minutes on 28th July).

We explained that without this information it has not been possible for the Friends to construct business plans and financials for a potential Social Enterprise. As a result it has been impossible to enter into serious discussions with possible partner organisations or to make funding bids. The Friends had emailed Simon Farrow and the Ward Councillors requesting that the E of I process be postponed to allow for the crucial months which we have lost.

We were informed on the afternoon of 8th July that the E of I process had begun. Phil responded asking for the information pack which characteristically took a week to arrive so already one week of the ten week period had been wasted just waiting for basic information. Phil further pointed out that the financial information included in the pack was the information that he himself had requested but was, in fact, less detailed and had the same issues. We also raised some of our other issues with the pack.

Peray asked we copy her prior emails which had been sent to Simon et al, as well as our problems with the process and pack so that they could be discussed outside of the meeting. She also complained that the Friends should have brought these matters to her attention sooner. The Friends pointed out that the three ward councillors regularly attended the meetings, had provided answers to Friends questions and had been copied in on emails explaining the Friend’s concerns. In the past they had taken up issues for us with the leader of the Council and members of the Cabinet, so the meeting reasonably assumed that Cabinet members were being kept up to date on these matters.

Note – As requested Phil copied a range of emails between himself and Simon to Peray, showing the requests for information and lack of provision ( as well as the EoI pack ) on the Sunday following the meeting but no response or acknowledgement has been received to date.

Peray suggested that she and Phil have a meeting as soon as she was able to discuss the situation with Simon’s manager on his return from leave at the end of the week following the Friend’s meeting. In order to facilitate her internal discussions, Phil has sent Peray emails explaining our concerns with the E o I pack and the running down of the Centre. It is now almost 2 weeks since the Friends meeting and we have had neither responses nor a meeting invitation from Peray. So we are now almost three weeks into a ten week process with which we have major issues, as well as lacking basic information and answers to fundamental questions .

The meeting was very concerned what would happen to the site if there were no successful bids for the Centre. There were also concerns that the Centre would be taken over by Dignity with the loss of all the existing services.

The meeting broke up with tea and cake and a guided tour of the site for Jason.

Next meeting is 20th August

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – July 16, 2016

Special meeting of FOWL

  • We are hopefully going to meet some of the councillors in  Haringey’s environment cabinet group. The leader of this group is definitely coming. Her name is Peray Ahmet.
  • They are going to be shown around the site and then we shall have some light refreshments and bring everyone up to speed with the expression of interest process.
  • We envisage the meeting lasting not more than an hour or so.
  • All welcome.
  • Thank you to everyone who have shown continued support. Things are now reaching a crucial stage in the future development of the Wolves Lane Centre.

 

IMG_1054Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – June 25, 2016

Attending – 10 + Councillor Mitchell

Apologies – 1 + Councillor Waters

Meetings Held Previously

1 Cabinet meeting 17 May

The Wolves lane paper was rubber stamped by the council to allow services and funding to continue until the end of March 2017. This triggers the Expression of Interest process.

2 Meeting at the Lordship Rec hub cafe and later with Asher, the Hubs financial wizard,

The meeting was very helpful with advice on the various forms that a social enterprise could take and pitfalls to be avoided. Mary asked what type of social enterprise we might lean towards. Phil said this need more research but was possibly going to be a charity rather than a CIC

3 Harington trustees meeting

A useful meeting but the onus is on us to convince them that they want to partner with us.

Nb Harington is a charity with 30 years’ experience whop train young people in gardening which may lead to employment outside or with their own Harington gardeners group. The Harington gardeners hope to operate a depot from wolves Lane allowing them to widen the scope of their gardening business.

Website

This was handed over to Clare (and Doris) and frankly is not being run with as much expertise as Robin put in to it but the website is still there and is now a year old so happy birthday website.

We now have ‘ownership’ of the Wolves Lane domain name for a further 2 years.

Retail issues

Stuart has told 2 members of staff that the council were going to stop buying any more plants since there had been a lock-down on spending.

We understood that all services at the centre would continue to the end Mar 17 as one of the things we had stressed was that there should be continuity of service.

We did not envisage any run down of retail as we hoped that this area could subsidised the training and volunteering activities in the future.

Financials – KEY ISSUE

Phil said that we need a decent set of financials so that we can build a business plan to get partners interested and, in fact, decide whether there is a business case to be made. We need to be aware of the totality and make-up of retail sales, utility costs etc so that we can decide which parts of the Centre we will take on and which we will not cover.

The financials have now been received but after a delay since they were first requested on 16 March. Phil has kept the councillors up to date of these delays. These need to be fully analysed as there is some confusion especially as some of Angela’s schools income is included in retail turnover.

Peter Mitchell had asked James Hunt strategic project manager in parks when the Expressions of Interest process would begin.

He further questioned James by email and his answers were received on 29 June and listed below –

Start date for E of I – now starting next week W/C 4 July and scheduled to run for 10 weeks so 9th Sept. Decisions will be signed off at the Nov or Dec council meetings. Notification will be on the Haringey website but no link was provided so further information is required,

Form of E of I bid – could this be a summary bid or a full bid? – James said this needs to be a full bid tied into the councils 5 key priorities and weighted 60/40 to content rather than financial gain

Slow down in retail purchasing– budget constraints exist currently but purchasing should happen again (soon?)

Petition – a link was provided to the Haringey website which shows only the online petition results of 899. Phil will follow up on where the paper results ended up. Nb Robin agreed to go through all the paper petitions and put as many that are legible into electronic format.

AOB

Ann Waters provided a link to Action for Kids who may be able to offer advice for the way forward and Bridge renewal trust are Haringey’s volunteer sector fund raiser advisors so we will contact them

John asked who was doing most of the work on the business case and this appears to be mostly Mandy and Phil. It was suggested that we put out a request on the website for ‘help’ from appropriately qualified persons such as accountants, architects etc etc.

16 July Friends meeting will become a ‘councillor visit’ to the centre. This takes place at 2.30pm for tea and a chat. There will be no morning meeting but if you would like to meet some more councillors especially the new Head of Environment Perry Ahmet please come. All welcome.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – June 25, 2016

Meet 10am for 10.30am start for refreshments and socialising in the café as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologises
  2. Update of where we are with the formation of the social enterprise and feedback of 3 meetings attended by Phil and Mandy linked to the social enterprise endeavour.
  3. Website update
  4. Centre update – Unforeseen problems with the continuation of retail which could impact on the future of the centre.
  5. O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

VOLUNTEERS URGENTLY NEEDED FOR THE FOLLOWING TASKS (If you can spare an hour or 2 a week or less or more. Any time would be appreciated):

REGULAR WATERING

SIMPLE GARDENING JOBS

HELP PICK VEGETABLES

Please contact Barbara: barbara.sawyer@haringey .gov.uk Or Clare: clare.ritson@haringey.gov.uk

 

IMG_1004Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – April 16, 2016 

Attending – 13 + Ann Waters (Councillor)

Apologies – 5 + Peter Mitchell (Councillor)

Petition –

2514 Signatures in total (with a few completed sheets still to come in). The physical sheets must be delivered to the Council. It was not clear from the Haringey website how to do so. Ann has contacted the appropriate council administrator who has sent us very useful information explaining the process. The future of the Centre will be discussed at the Cabinet meeting on the 17th May. In order to have a deputation to it and to speak we need to complete a form with 10 signatures. The main petition enables us to speak at a full Council meeting. The next we can utilise appears to be in July. Ann suggested that at the Cabinet we should propose that they set criteria for the expression of interest which would ensure continuing services to all of its users in the future i.e. as a local community hub for the living

Lordship Rec ‘Hub’ meeting –

Phil and Mandy met with Glynis, Dave and Joan at the Hub in order to start assessing the pro’s and con’s of starting a social enterprise at Wolves Lane. They were very helpful and enthusiastic and gave us a copy of their business plan to aid our thinking.

Their business case was very interesting and, among other things, suggested that the cafe alone could make £160k per annum by its third calendar year. Their Centre pays the equivalent of 3 full time staff more than the living wage 7 days a week.

Phil and Mandy discussed the type of organisation that should be set up. The Hub had used a structure that gave the community ‘shares’ in the Hub but this was found to be a drawback as it suggested that their enterprise would or could distribute profits to shareholders and had closed some funding sources to them. They agreed that a Community investment Company, which we have been considering, is a better route for fund raising and also imposes less constraints than charitable status.

Bank Account –

It was agreed that the Friends should open a bank account. Pamela said that all that was required was a constitution, Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.

Meeting with Catherine West MP at Wolves Lane –

Phil and Mandy met with Catherine to update her and discussed the issues of funding and potential partnership with the Harington Scheme. Phil hopes to meet soon with Tony, the Harington Head of Trustees, to discuss a possible ‘pilot’ project with the Harington Gardeners.

Catherine offered to host a House of Commons event for the Friends and left it up to us to decide when and in what form it would be most beneficial for us.

Open Day Discussions –

Catherine West suggested that it might be a good idea to hold a Friends Open day which she would be happy to attend and that we should invite all members of the council. It was thought the best time of year could be after the EU elections and before the school summer holidays so it was decided that either 9th or 16th July could be feasible. Investigation needs to take place to find out whether these dates clash with any local schools events.

The content of the Open day would be different from the usual Centre open day and try to showcase what the centre does and potentially involve local Tottenham artisans. The meeting agreed that the event should be publicised on the website, via posters, in the local library, pubs and cultural centres. Emily suggested the Friends talk to the new community pub on Trinity Road.

AOB –

There was no AOB but, for info, the next Myddleton Road market is on 19th June.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – April 16, 2016 

Meet 10am for 10.30am start for refreshments and socialising in the café as always. Everyone welcome.

  1. Welcome, introductions, apologises
  2. Update on final petition numbers
  3. Update on meeting at Lordship Rec Hub and Social Enterprise
  4. Website update
  5. Update on meeting with Catherine West MP
  6. Plans for a Friends Open Day at Wolves Lane
  7. O.B

Please stay after the meeting if you have time for a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake.

 

IMG_0980Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – March 19, 2016

Attending – 15 + Peter Mitchell (councillor), Bob Hare (Councillor), Charles Wright (Councillor), Peter Mitchell (Councillor)

Apologies – 0

Situation Update –

Phil and Mandy met with Claire Kober and Councillor McNamara. It was viewed as a positive meeting. The primary discussion was about continuity of service. Claire took away these issues and said she would respond in a few days. Councillor McNamara said that he was keen to have more such sessions and offered his help going forwards.

Phil had a meeting with Simon and also stressed the need for continuity of service. Simon’s view was that Retail would continue until a) a third party took over or b) just stop.

On the 18th March, an email was received from Claire Kober saying that Haringey would extend the provision of services at Wolves Lane to the end of March 2017. A huge success for the Friends efforts! This now gives the Friends the opportunity to work on the ‘Expressions of Interest’ from the Social Enterprise and discuss partnering with other groups. It additionally gives the Friends an opportunity to analyse the current performance of the centre.

Phil thanked the local councillors for their support and for sitting through lots of ‘angry’ Friends meetings. This was heartily supported by the meeting.

Bob Hare said that he had been worried that the centres future did not look too bright but was now pleased that it would be continuing and hoped that OrganicLea would become involved. He said also that the website was very professional. Thanks Robin!

Charles Wright said that we had come a long way from the budget cutting of Adult Services and that more relevant people now understood the potential of the Centre. He said that getting an understanding of the gap in Adult service provision which Wolves Lane fills had been crucial. There had been discussions at the Adults scrutiny panel and positive responses from the Director of Adult Services. The message had now come across that Wolves Lane was not just a small garden centre.

Phil agreed that we intend to develop the current model with the help of schemes such as Harington and OrganicLea, neither of whom wanted to take on the site themselves in totality, and with partnership with the Friends and co-operation of the Council it could work.

Douglas from SCAH said that with the closure of other day centres, the need for a Centre such as Wolves Lane would increase so there was a lot of potential for development.

There was some discussion about the lack of serious financials which it was thought was probably due to ‘cock-up rather than conspiracy’. We still hope that the Friends can sit down with some-one with experience of the Council’s financial reporting system to bottom out these issues. Robin said that she is still happy to help with number crunching.

 

Petition –

The Friends were in Crouch End on Saturday 12th and collected about 350 signatures which currently mean that the signatures total is now at 2,230. (Big clap from all attending) Catherine West just happened to be shopping in Crouch End and came over to ask how everything was going and offered the Friends a ‘session at the House of Commons’. Phil and Mandy are to see Catherine at Wolves Lane on 8th April to update her further.

The petition has now closed and the final tally is still being counted but is well over the 2,200 at about 2500 so The Friends will get to talk at the Cabinet meeting.

Website –

1) Statistics

  • Website – already in 2016:
      • 7252 ALL TIME NUMBER OF VIEWS (vs 6170 views on March 5!)
      • 2537 views (vs 1455 views as of March 5!)
      • 1032 unique visitors (vs 520 as of March 5!)
      • new visitors from S Korea, Vietnam, Iceland, Lithuania and Peru!
  • Social media
    • 629 Facebook friends
    • 386 Twitter followers
    • 850+ tweets/Facebook posts

2) Website handover

  • Doris the Daschund, webmistress, and Clare have now made several new posts and updated the green “petitions” thermometer.
    • Next to learn:
      how to schedule posts in the future
    • how to build pages
  • Watch for more new posts coming soon!

 

3) Please continue to ask your friends to follow on twitter, Facebook and to visit the website to keep up to date on news and events at Wolves Lane.

  • wolveslane.com
  • @wolveslane
  • facebook.com/wolveslanecentre

The meeting closed with some celebratory bubbly provided by Angela – well …we did all deserve it!

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – March 19, 2016

From 10am: tea, coffee, biscuits in the cafe

At 10:30am: meeting start

  1. Introduction, minutes, apologies
  2. Updates on:
    1. Update from Council perspective on the future of the site.
    2. Petition update.
    3. Website update.
    4. Social enterprise venture.
  3. Actions
  4. AOB
  5. Coffee/social chat

 

IMG_1021Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – March 5, 2015

Attending – 11 + Ann Waters (councillor) Peter Mitchell (councillor)

Apologies – 3 + Charles Wright (councillor)

Introduction

There is scheduled to be a meeting with Claire Kober, Leader of the Council and Councillor McNamara on 11 March with Phil and Mandy at Wolves Lane.

The Cabinet decision on Wolves Lane has been put back to the May council meeting which is good news.

Phil and Mandy agreed to meet with Catherine West MP after the meeting with Claire Kober.

Phil and Mandy visited the Harington Scheme (Phil – Harington gardeners and Joanna Scheme Manager) Harington produced a list of suggestions including running a Harington Gardeners depot from Wolves Lane site, some joint growing and workshop activities.

Phil spoke to Organic Lea who said that they were successfully taking over Pasteur Gardens, a local derelict sports space, but had had ‘virtually no input from the council since Christmas’. They stressed the ‘linear’ approach to council thinking evidenced by the long process from expressions of interest to tendering etc will result in a lack of continuity to those who use the centre, loss of staff, loss of retail revenue, loss of service users, loss of schools. It was difficult for them with this level of uncertainty to know how to proceed forwards. OL had been interested in growing seeds here but it was now too late for this growing season.

The Schools groups are also interested in the Centre’s future as they need to start putting their curriculums together for the next academic year.

Phil checked whether Stuart had any further information on the depot space requirements. He did not and was carrying on with Retail as normal. He reported that Sales were good so far this year.

Phil once again asked Simon for an update for the meeting but had got no response. NB. Simon did speak to Phil for approx 1 hour prior to the Claire Kober meeting.

Dave, Head gardener at Wolves Lane, said that staff had been due to be updated about the current situation in January but so far they had heard nothing.

Anne Grey who is representing the Social Care Alliance in Haringey (SCAH) said that, following the closure of Adult Day Centre, centres such as Wolves Lane would have more importance in the future. SCAH have subsequently written to Clair Kober.

Petition

The Friends gathered signatures outside Wood Green Library which was interesting but very cold. They got approx another 120 signatures. Many thanks to all those who helped out.

The next petition signing event will be on Saturday 12th March in Crouch End. Anyone interested please contact Mandy. NB. it was a good event and some 350 signatures were received.

As at 15 March there are 1365 paper signatures and 819 online so a total of 2184 plus a number of petitions still out there. It looks very likely that the Friends will speak at the Cabinet meeting in May.

The petition is now on Streetlife and Angela is sending out a ‘please sign’ note to schools. Phil has contacted the Shepherds Hill allotments secretary who has emailed the petition to members plus he has ‘worried’ them into signing at the allotment shop. Emily has left the petition at her local allotments. Copies are also in the local pet shop.

Online Presence 

1) Statistics

  • Social media
    • 629 Facebook friends
    • 372 Twitter followers
    • 850+ tweets/Facebook posts
  • Website
    • already in 2016:
      • 6170 ALL TIME NUMBER OF VIEWS
      • 1455 views (vs 371 views as of January!)
      • 520 unique visitors
      • new visitors from Ukraine, South Africa and Portugal
  • most popular pages to view are the Home page and the Palm House page

 2) Website handover

  • Robin and Clare are in the process of handing over wolveslane.com and facebook/twitter to Doris the Daschund, webmistress (Clare will assist Doris ongoing).
  • Clare, Doris and Robin have completed posting practice – you can find the first successful Doris post on the site now.
  • Next up for training is
    • how to schedule posts in the future – so weeks can be scheduled at a time
    • how to build pages

Watch for new posts coming soon!

3) Please continue to ask your friends to follow on twitter, Facebook and to visit the website to keep up to date on news and events at Wolves Lane.

  • wolveslane.com
  • @wolveslane
  • facebook.com/wolveslanecentre

Discussion

Ann Waters reported that the paper will be going to the May meeting after the ‘fuss’ made by Friends at the last meeting. She suggested that the Friends need to show real clarity in their future requirements for the centre proposals and to fully explain how it would cost in.

She stressed that the Council don’t want to spend anything on this site. Phil complained that it was difficult to get financials from the council and Ann suggested that this was because Wolves Lane was not costed out separately. Phil explained that this most definitely was not the case as there is a separate cost centre in the Council’s reporting system and he, Tuan and Robin had seen financials from it.

Ann did say that she thought the Friends had achieved a lot. We all glowed with pride at this point.

Phil tackled Ann Waters about the action points he had asked for responses on – that the slides had still not been corrected; that there had been no response from Simon; that with the ‘linear’ thinking in the council there would be a gap in service provision and services would be lost.

Ann stated that the Friends would not see a draft of the Cabinet paper ; the Palm house will be maintained by staff on site ( currently this is done by volunteers ) and any discussion over covering the provision gap should be taken up with Claire Kober as should any issues about site maintenance.

There was discussion about the Council’s apparent inability to supply credible financial information for 2014-15 or responses to questions on these and the actuals for 15-16. Again this was something for Claire Kober to deal with.

The next meeting is on 19th March at 10.30 in Wolfies. Phil will provide an update from the Claire Kober meeting and, hopefully, Councillor McNamara (Head of Environment and lead on the Wolves Lane paper) will be able to attend.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – March 5, 2016

From 10am: tea, coffee, biscuits in the cafe

At 10:30am: meeting start

  1. Introduction, minutes, apologies
  2. Updates on:
    1. Developments
    2. Petition update
    3. Website update
    4. Update from Council perspective on the future of the site
  3. Actions
  4. AOB
  5. Coffee/social chat

 

IMG_1075Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – February 20, 2015

Attending – 13 + Ann Waters (councillor), Peter Mitchell (councillor)

Apologies – 6

Introduction –

Phil said that he had asked Simon for an update for the meeting but had not received anything and that members of staff have had no further updates.

Petition –

Currently 737 on paper and 650 online and rising

Mandy asked for volunteers to help get more signatures outside Wood Green Library next Saturday. Can anyone interested please email Mandy to get a slot.

Online  Statistics

  • Social media
    • 627 Facebook friends (vs 527 in Nov and vs 220 in August vs 182 in July)
    • 355 Twitter followers (vs 276 in Nov and vs 103 in August)
    • 850+ tweets/Facebook posts (vs 739 in Nov vs 436 in August)
    • Website
    • in 2015:
      • 5086 all time views of website (vs 776 in August)
      • 1779 unique visitors
    • already in 2016:
      • 1076 views (vs 371 views as of January!)
      • 368 unique visitors
  • viewed from UK, also from USA, Brazil, New Zealand and Mongolia in 2015
  • viewed from UK, USA, Brazil, also… Ukraine, Spain, S Africa, Netherlands Italy and France so far in 2016
  • most popular pages to view are the Home page and the Palm House page
  • 263 posts on blog since website begun in May 2015

2) Website handover

  • Robin will hand over wolveslane.com and facebook/twitter to Clare and her able super-dog, Doris, webmaster-to-be, in the coming weeks, as Clare will be using this as a hub for her role at WLGC.
  • Admin rights, usernames, passwords and backup files have already been handed over and Clare, Doris  and Robin will be doing posting practice in the coming days.
  • Watch for new posts coming soon!

3) Please continue to ask your friends to follow on twitter, Facebook and to visit the website to keep up to date on news and events at Wolves Lane.

  • wolveslane.com
  • @wolveslane
  • facebook.com/wolveslanecentre

Social Enterprise –

Simon’s last update stated that the Council did not intend to provide any direct adult services from the site and that retail would cease as soon as possible. Redundancies would arise for the 3 volunteering and teaching staff from the end of June/July and there would be no provision made for further services.

The staff are considering establishing a social enterprise (CIC or charity).

The Friends have been in touch with the Harington Scheme and are meeting them for further discussions next Wednesday. Simon had been in talks with OrganicLea and it was thought that OL would submit a paper to the Council in November but as of last month, Simon had had no further discussions with OL. Ann confirmed that Councillors had not seen a draft Cabinet paper from.

Mary asked whether it would be useful to demonstrate at the Cabinet meeting on 15 March and whether the Friends had been ‘too polite’ so far. Ann Waters said that since the decision on ‘no direct provision’ had already been made then there would be little point in protesting.

Expressions of Interest can be made after the cabinet meeting from mid April and the window will be open until the beginning of June. Any expression must demonstrate a financial ability to run the service it intended to provide.

It then seemed likely that interested parties would have from June to September to put together any business plans.

The Friends have been trying to arrange a meeting with Councillor McNamara, Cabinet member for the Environment who should present the paper to Cabinet in March, since November. The Council officers cancelled a meeting with the Cllr at very short notice in December.It has now become apparent that that we have not had responses to our subsequent invitations because he has been ill since then. We asked if the paper would still be taken at the March meeting. Ann said that it would and she expected Cllr McNamara to sign it regardless.

Tuan suggested that these timescales were unacceptable. Since, from the inception of The Friends, we had been told that we had a year to address the site’s £70k loss. Then in November that the site would lose a further £80k of Adult Services funding which we had been told was secure until the end of 17/18. Then in January that all services to the public would cease by July at the latest. Now we are told that we would only have 6 weeks to put together an expression of interest/ business case. This is not long enough to achieve anything satisfactory and would leave a significant gap where service provision is ceased. His view is that the upshot from all this is ‘the result is nil – less than nil’.

The meeting at this point became very angry with a lot of questions being asked of Councillor Waters generally expressing that the council should have a duty of care and that service users had been let down.

Ann suggested that the Council would find other places for the Adult services people to go but Simon had sent a further inaccurate set of service user numbers to Councillors. These made it appear that only 7 people need to be relocated (and 4 of these were paying already anyway). He had said these figures were agreed with the staff. This is untrue ( see accurate figures below). Ann did ask the meeting if they knew of anywhere they could go (!) and it was explained that the Winkfield Centre , despite being local, was not a replacement.

Phil agreed to write out to Ann and correct this view since there are 69 service users and volunteers at the centre, 56 of whom have some measure of physical or learning disability or other health issues and 4 are community work programme volunteers.

Ann suggested that expressions of interest could be open to anyone – and that possibly the cemetery might re-enter the discussions or indeed a commercial garden centre. She also said that Parks would lay out a set of criteria for expressions of interest but could not say how soon these criteria could be made available or what they would be.

The likelihood of some of the site being used as a replacement depot for Woodside and Downhills parks is probable and Ann suggested that it could take up a lot of space but had no real idea.

The idea of involving the papers was discussed but Phil was concerned that it might prejudice the staff business case if we embittered the council too much.

Ann agreed to email Phil and Mandy by Monday with her version of the questions that she needed to put to Simon and Councillors as a result of this meeting. We asked Ann to reply with answers to our questions by early next week at the latest.

John asked how much weight the opinions of this group really held and surely it was part of the Councillors role to go back to the rest of the council and represent the Friends. Ann agreed to do this.

Next steps are-

  1. To see a copy of the cabinet paper
  2. To receive summary of OrganicLea input from Council
  3. Issues over the Palm House and who looks after it and whether there will be public access. Ann had previously suggested that even though the site is metropolitan open space it could actually be a ‘closed’ open space.
  4. Essential to get Council agreement to extend funding for at least a further 6 months from July for the continuity of the provision of services at the site
  5. What happens to the staff and animals
  6. Who does the maintenance

Ann thinks that we won’t see an advance copy of the cabinet paper despite having been promised this on a number of occasions.

AOB –

Mandy thanked Clare for her stalwart minute taking.

Goodgym had visited the previous Wednesday in atrocious weather but had done some weeding and were looking to come in again over Easter

The next meeting is in 2 weeks time on 5th March to discuss the Councillors responses.

Phil agreed to brief Catherine West and invite her to the meeting or if she was not available to meet her at her surgery.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – February 20, 2016

From 10am: tea, coffee, biscuits in the cafe

At 10:30am: meeting start

  1. Introduction, minutes, apologies
  2. Updates on:
    1. Adult Service Funding
    2. Petition – update
    3. Web site – update
  3. AOB
  4. Coffee/social chat

 

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – January 16, 2015IMG_0149

Attending – 11 plus Peter Mitchell (councillor)

Apologies – 8

Website update 

1) Statistics

  • Social media
    • 617 Facebook friends (vs 527 in Nov and vs 220 in August vs 182 in July)
    • 347 Twitter followers (vs 276 in Nov and vs 103 in August)
    • 800+ tweets/Facebook posts (vs 739 in Nov vs 436 in August)
  • Website
    • most popular viewing time is Tues at 5pm
    • viewed from UK, also from USA, Brazil, New Zealand and Mongolia
  • in 2015:
    • 5086 all time views of website (vs 776 in August)
  • already in 2016:
    • 371 views
  • Additional stats
    • The most popular elements of the webpage are, equal first – home page and the palm house section with third place – the ‘how to get involved’ page.
    • We get tweeted by two local journalists, local farmers markets and Councillor Wright.

2) Please ask your friends to follow on twitter, Facebook and to visit the website.

  • wolveslane.com
  • @wolveslane
  • facebook.com/wolveslanecentre

3) The numbers above are good… but… WE NEED to encourage as many twitter followers, Facebook friends and visits to the website as possible.

Why?

  • It is a local interest topic: we need to attract followers organically – through friends, local schools, organisations etc.
  • Social media followers are critical to show that WLGC has community support and to demonstrate numbers for this

 

Introduction and Wolves Lane update from Phil – There was no session in December as Phil and Mandy had spent time trying to get an early meeting with the Councils officers and the Councillor for the Environment.

The meeting had been scheduled for 11 December and was to include Councillor McNamara, the Associate Director for Environment and the Head of Parks. This was cancelled at the last minute and rescheduled for 18 December with attendance by Head of Parks and Councillor Wright only.

This was very annoying as Councillor McNamara has still not visited the Centre.

In November the Council made the decision to close three out of the four adult day centres with the remaining day centre being run by a third party. The only comment relevant to Wolves lane in the Adult Services paper was to say how valuable the Centre was.

As a result of this decision, the Council are now planning to cease all direct provision of all Adult Day services, which would include the work done with Adults and Volunteering at Wolves Lane, as the income that Parks received from Adult Services would cease at the end of March (extended to the end of June after discussion). The council also intend to cease Retail provision as soon as possible or move it to a third party provider despite its considerable contribution to overheads.

John asked what was going to happen to the staff and Phil explained that Barbara, Clare and Angela would be made redundant and Retail would be closing but the date was not decided. Tina is Agency staff so redundancy will not be available to her. Decisions about Growing and its staff are not known.

Emily asked how dependent the Centre was on the Adult Services funding and Phil explained that it covered all of Barbara and Clare’s wages and covered overheads including a percentage of Stuart and Tina’s wages and a contribution to the heating bills. The only income now received is £15k of regeneration money that will cease in March 2017 and monies raised by Angela for schools visits and HALS Family Learning work.

Since December it also emerged that Education would no longer be provided at Wolves Lane from the end of July 2016 – although Angela is disputing this with the Council.

In summary, the Council intend to cease provision of any Direct Adult Services within the borough thus meaning that personalised budgets can only be utilised by third party providers. It is frustrating that the Friends learnt of this so recently.

Slide presentation to councillors– Councillors were shown a set of slides arising from an early draft of the Wolves Lane paper which suggested that only 6 people with learning difficulties volunteered and trained at the Centre.

This figure is currently 42 people with learning difficulties and 15 people with other issues including Mental Health volunteers and although the slide material should have been amended and sent out to Councillors, Councillor Mitchell had not seen the update. Phil will send this updated information to Councillor Mitchell and other members of the Cabinet.

Phil requested an update from Simon Farrow, Head of Parks, on the situation at Wolves lane and specifically asked for an update on the progress of the draft report on the Centre, the OrganicLea report and the Buildings survey. The update was received just prior to the meeting but did not contain any specific reports as requested.

Harington Scheme – Phil had been in discussion with the Harington scheme and they could be interested in using Wolves Lane as a base for their Harington Gardeners scheme and also perhaps offer some level of Gardening, Retail and Catering training. Phil will pursue these discussions.

It is quite likely that the Wolves Lane site could, in the future, be utilised by a combination of groups such as Council growing and depot activities, OrganicLea, Harington Scheme, Workers co-operative, cafe and retail. At this stage it is very important that the continuity of offering continues so that services do not disappear.

The Council had suggested that volunteering could still continue on site but this would obviously only be available to able bodied people.

Decision timeline is

  • Senior council officer leadership team responses to draft Parks plan on 19th Jan
  • Parks paper viewable on-line on 5 March
  • Council Decision on 15 March with a brief consultation period following that.

Petition numbers stand at 1,314 but 2,200 is needed to speak at Council so more signatures are still needed.

Councillor Peter Mitchell said that the Councillors had seen the presentation shown to the Friends on 18th December in November and he is keen to look into the various options to preserve what already exists at Wolves Lane.

He was under the impression that Retail make a loss whereas it make approx £5k profit and, as mentioned above, had not yet received the corrected numbers of the LD etc clients that the Centre deals with. Phil will send these corrections to him.

The councillor had received a positive report on the education programme but understood that it was running at a loss.

Phil explained to Peter that the figures that the Councils plans were based on were flawed and that he was concerned that this could indicate that other financial information might also be incorrect.

AOB – Emily said that her boyfriend is setting up a Wood Green Hop production company with the aim of producing a local beer in conjunction with Redemption Brewery at Tottenham.

They are going to advertise on Wolfies website but basically anyone can sign up and grow some hops for the beer. Educational visits are planned possibly at Wolves Lane to explain the whole beer process.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – January 16, 2016

From 10am: tea, coffee, biscuits in the cafe

At 10:30am: meeting start

  1. Introduction, minutes, apologies
  2. Update on:
    1. Adult Service Funding
    2. Update from meeting held on the 18th December (where 3 of the friends group met with 2 relevant council employees and a local councillor).
    3. Petition – update
    4. Web site – update
    5. Parks Forum – Update
  3. AOB
  4. Coffee/social chat

 

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – November 21, 2015IMG_0883

Apologies from: 8

The minutes of the last meeting were agreed.

Agenda items:

  1. MP Visit to Wolves Lane.

Phil and Mandy welcomed Catherine West (Labour MP for Horney and Wood Green) to the site on the afternoon of Thursday 12th November. She spent about 1 and 1/2 hours there being shown round most of the different aspects of the centre. She also met three members of Angela’s family learning group listening to the women, offering positive comments including relating it to her experience teaching English as a foreign language and taking the opportunity for photos including with a hissing cockroach on her hand. Catherine was particularly impressed by the “magic” of the palm house, it being so unexpected in Wood Green. This visit is part of an ongoing dialogue with her in the way she can support and help us secure the centre’s future. We are following up on her suggestions.

  1. Organic Lea

The Council organised a meeting on 11th November with a group from Organic Lea (OL) including their Chairman and Head Grower which Phil and Robin attended. They are a Workers’ Co-operative who took over Walthamstow Council’s former nursery site which had been mothballed. They have a successful vegetable box scheme combining what they grow with produce bought in from organic sources. They have a large group of volunteers, an organic café in Walthamstow and a significant training arm. The latter is the most profitable element.

The Council had asked them to act as consultants on what could be done at the Wolves Lane site. Since the growing of bedding for the Council is going to be run down glasshouse space will gradually be freed up and it is possible that OL could take up some of this. The visit was in part for them to assess the Centre for this.

They agreed to send their completed report to the Council by the end of November. For the first time Kelly said that the COUNCIL’S DRAFT PLAN WILL NOT NOW BE READY UNTIL MID DECEMBER. Kelly said that OL should not copy their report to the Friends, but that they would allow us to see it at some stage.

A group of OL trained people are to take over the currently derelict Pasteur Gardens site to grow organic fruit and veg.

KEY UPDATE Is there a LEGAL PROBLEM RETAILING AT THE CENTRE? For the first time the Council raised the issue of whether they can legally trade at the Centre at the meeting with OL. There have been retail sales at the Centre for at least 20 years which make a contribution to the Centre’s overheads. This is despite the lack of advertising/marketing since the Council took over from the Liveability charity in 2008. The Friends believe that increasing the level of Retail activity and hence contribution should be one of the significant steps in reducing the Centre’s funding gap.

OL and the Friends were both surprised by this and thought that there must be an easy means of continuing Retail activity, but the Council have referred it to their legal department and were not positive.

  1. Petition

To date we have at least 1150 signatures both electronic and paper. Need to keep the momentum going. Please find attached another copy of it so we can obtain more. Particular thanks to Mr Kalam for all his work on the petition.

  1. Website Update

The friends of Wolves Lane website can be found at: wolveslane.com. We would like to thank Robin for her ongoing hard work and commitment to keep it up to date and attractive. Eve agreed to take regular photos for the site and liaise with Robin about them. Robin at times can post things 3 to 4 times a day and there are also regular reports on the animal at the centre.

Robin has created a green thermometer as a visual reminder of the petition target (which is 2,200 for us to have a voice with the council).

Statistics: At the time of this meeting there were 527 Facebook followers, 739 tweets and 276 followers on Twitter since May. There have been 200 blog posts and 3947 views on the website.

  1. Parks Forum Update

Phil and Mandy attended the last one on Saturday 7th November as usual at Bruce Castle in Tottenham.

KEY UPDATE  Simon Farrow (Head of Parks in Haringey) said that if the Cabinet agreed the cuts to Adult Services at their next meeting the Centre would be likely to lose its remaining £80,000 from Adult Services. The Friends had previously been told by Simon and others that this funding was definitely secure to the end of 17/18.

This funding is the primary support for Adult/teenage training and Volunteering plus a large tranche of the Centre’s overheads. This will have a very significant, direct impact on the future of Wolves Lane.

Charging from service users’ personalised budgets could replace at least some of this funding, but how it would be administered. This happens for a small number of users at the moment, but there are problems with the system and roll out. Simon could not advise us on this.

  1. AOB

The rest of the meeting was taken up by discussion concerning the ongoing uncertainty of the future of Wolves Lane. As there were 2 councillors from Woodside Ward with us – Ann Water and Charles Wright we were able to ask them questions to try to glean any more information as to what is happening. They said they recently had a meeting with Kelly and Simon but there was still no further clarity. Ann commented by saying in these times of austerity was it appropriate that Haringey should run the centre?

The following issues are being looked into:

  1. The legality of retailing – See Above
  2. How can the personalised budgets of Service Users who use the Centre be used to help fund the centre.
  3. Increasing the cost of visits by schools.
  4. Whether Organic Lea, Crop Box or others may utilise the Centre and contribute to its costs in the future.
  5. Increase in council tax as suggested by the chancellor in the recent spending review – this is so small for Haringey £1.6M versus cuts of over £70M!

As a separate issue Charles Wright mentioned we could support the Friends of White Hart Lane Rec especially with the issue of the boating lake. There is a desire to create a nature reserve there to be run by volunteers.

Sunday 6th December we shall have a stall at the Myddleton Rd Winter Festival selling a range of plants from the centre including Christmas trees and poinsettias.

Lastly we thanked the mosque for their contribution to the debate and also Eve for her regular yoga classes at the Centre. At the time of the meeting she had contributed £45 to the centre through her work.

ALSO A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS CONTRIBUTED TO OUR GROUP IN 2015.

NEXT MEETING: SATURDAY 16TH JANUARY 2015 10AM (REFRESHMENTS)

FOR 10.30AM START IN WOLFIE’S CAFE

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – November 21, 2015

From 10am: tea, coffee, biscuits in the cafe

At 10:30am: meeting start

  1. Introduction, minutes, apologies
  2. Update on:
    1. MP visit – update
    2. Organic Lea Meeting – update
    3. Petition – update
    4. Web site – update
    5. Parks Forum – Update
  3. AOB
  4. Coffee/social chat

 

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – October 31, 2015DSCN3891

Attending – 13

Apologies – 6

MP meeting update

Phil and Mandy visited the MP, for Hornsey and Wood Green, Catherine West at her surgery at Wood Green Library. She had been very supportive at the time the friends were formed and had written to Claire Kober, Head of the Council, to stress the importance of the Centre. This visit was to update her on the progress made so far. Catherine explained that she thought the issue with the Centre’s closure had been resolved having seen our local press coverage. We corrected this impression. She agreed to follow up at her next monthly meeting with Claire Kober and Nick Walkley, the Chief Exec.

She has agreed to visit the centre on Thursday 12th November at 1.45pm.

Catherine also thought that applying for an asset of community value status and listing for the Palm House was a good idea.

Selena stressed the importance of pressurising MP’s and councillors and using press and social media etc to publicise the Centre after her experiences of dealing with the local council in Edmonton.

Petition

The petition is now on the Haringey website which can be accessed via e-petitions or via the http://www.wolveslane.com web site. At the time of writing there are 527 e signatures and approx 300 paper ones.

Stuart is happy with the concept of the petition but does not like the idea of opposing moving its functions elsewhere.

Esther has taken the petition along Woodside Road and Mandy and Phil are planning to collect signatures outside Wood Green Library as well as getting some from Myddleton Road Market in December.

To speak at full Council we need 2,200 signatures from borough residents, those working or studying in the borough.

Please sign the petition if you haven’t already and contact Mandy if you would like a paper version to take round your local area, shops, libraries, friends etc. You can also download the paper version.

Meeting with Kelly Lloyd

There have been 3 meetings with Kelly and 1 with Simon and momentum after these meetings had been good but after offering 6 potential dates with Kelly and Simon for a conference call and getting no response, Tuan rang on the off chance and Kelly agreed to a further meeting.

The minutes provided after the earlier stakeholders meeting were factually incorrect with many errors and omissions. Both Phil and the staff at Wolves Lane had written to Kelly to correct these errors.

The building survey has begun but it’s not certain whether results will be available by the time the paper is written.

The time line for the paper is draft copy by 16 November then a consultation period until the final version is with Steven McDonnell by 27 November. There will be further sign off by Councillor McNamara (environment lead) in December and presentation to the Cabinet in March.

Financials are still at issue with the deficit anywhere from 45k to 130k (although thought to be 70k but ….) A second set of financials had been provided by Kelly but these were also inaccurate.

In terms of meetings, Simon had met Councillor McNamara and the meeting apparently went well, Kelly and Simon are due to meet a further range of councillors this week and there is an onsite meeting with Organic Lea (veg box scheme) who are providing Consultancy on how Growing at Wolves Lane can best be run and the Friends will attend this meeting. Kelly is working at Wolves Lane on 3rd and will speak to all the staff to get their opinions on the way forward.

Ann Waters agreed to provide feedback to Mandy after the councillors meeting. In a discussion after the meeting, she and Charles Wright said that they both were of the view that the centre would still close so there is still lots of work to do in convincing them of the value of the place.

There is still no signage but it has been agreed but not yet received financial sign off.

Website

As mentioned there is a link on the website to the petition and to date there are 400 facebook entries, 300 twitter friends and 250 website friends.

Actions from the last meeting

Petition – done and on web site

Esther has collected local signatures – more needed of course

Gordon has forwarded the petition to the allotments group

Tuan arranged and hosted a meeting with Kelly

Ellen has found out about applying for local listing for the palm house

Phil had talked to the Historical Society about local listing

Stuart had been made aware of the petition

Asset of community value is in progress but needs 21 website addresses to prove the Friends validity as a group. Mandy has emailed people to get these addresses.

AOB

Emily Wood has been trying to organise a children’s party at the centre but has had to pay £161 for public liability insurance on top of the cafe rental cost. Kelly has agreed to look into this as its clearly wrong and means it would be too costly for most people to hire out the cafe.

Myddleton Road market is on December 6th from 10 to 4pm. Volunteers are needed to man the stall and help with set up and shut down. Please email Mandy if you can help or if you have a pop up pergola that we could use to shield us from the wind, snow, sleet etc.

Next meeting is 21 November 10am FOR 10.30am in the cafe when hopefully we should have a better view of the site’s future since the business case will have been written and the Council’s decision on the closure of Day Care centres will be known.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – October 31, 2015

From 10am: tea, coffee, biscuits in the cafe

At 10:30am: meeting start

  1. Introduction, minutes, apologies
  2. Update on:
    1. meeting with Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West
    2. online petition
    3. meeting with Kelly Lloyd
    4. other action points from last meeting
    5. Web site update
  3. AOB
  4. Coffee/social chat

 

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – October 17, 2015IMG_0150

Attending – 12

Apologies – 4.

Apologies also from Doris the dog for being so noisy.

Update – Phil started the meeting by updating everyone about what had happened at the meeting held in early September with Kelly LLoyd and Simon Farrow and the last Parks forum meeting. We had previously offered our support in developing the new business plan since several of our members have finance backgrounds. As requested we had sent their CVs to the council weeks before and finally it was agreed that they could receive financial information in confidence in order to aid financial modelling and forecasting.

Unfortunately since the positive meetings with the council the momentum developed has been lost. Promised information and replies to emails have not been received, such as the timeline for the review (this has since been received). It was immediately apparent when reviewing the 2014-15 accounts for the Centre from the Council reporting system that several data errors made them nonsensical, but this ought to have been easily correctable. We pointed this out when we met Kelly and Simon. We asked if a corrected version could be provided. Unfortunately when a further set of figures were received after several weeks the same errors remained and there were other inconsistencies between the 14-15 and 15-16 data.

Stakeholders Meeting – Kelly had held a ‘Stakeholder’ meeting which was attended by Phil, Mandy and Robin representing FOWL, parks and Wolves Lane employees, Adult Services and Urban futures. The members were split up into teams and carried out a ‘what works best/doesn’t work’ exercise. There were positive responses from all members of the meeting.

Unfortunately Kelly’s report on the meeting missed some elements of the work at Wolves Lane. To address this, Phil has responded to Kelly’s report on behalf of the Friends and the staff at Wolves Lane (Barbara, Angela and Clare) also responded with more detailed explanations of their roles.

Petition – At the Parks Forum, Phil had learnt that in order to present a petition to a Council meeting 2,200 signatures of people resident or studying in the borough are required, although as Gordon commented in order to speak at a council meeting you need 10 signatures.

Given the current position with the Council as above and the assumed imminence of the finalisation of the business plan for the future of the Centre, it was agreed that we should launch a petition to support the Centre and oppose its potential closure or the splitting of its elements. We hope that the petition will not have to be used, but the longer we wait the less chance we will have of obtaining the required numbered of signatures

Listings –We discussed the potential for the listing of the site and Palm House, both to further protect them and to generate publicity.

Gordon mentioned that under the Social Value Act centres can apply for ‘Asset of Community Value’ status. This application is via the Council.

We agreed the need to further research AoCV status and listings.

Web Site –The numbers on the website seem to have reached a peak so can everyone encourage as many people as possible to log in and especially to sign the petition once it is linked through (petition is now linked to this website – please Petition page as well as link at top right hand column of site.

The Constitution for the Friends of Wolves Lane is posted on the website in the Friends section.

AOB –

  • A big thank you to Eve for organising the new Yoga Class which has been very well received. Spaces are still available
  • Can anyone interested in making chutney for the Centre to sell contact Mandy please

Maria joined the meeting part way through and said how impressed she was with the centre and reiterated the old mantra – “there is no signage saying what the centre does”

Actions –

Phil – to write a ‘purpose statement’ for the petition (done)

Robin – to put the petition on the website and link it to the online petition system (done)

Mandy – to investigate Haringey’s petition website and change.gov.uk and to discuss with Robin (done)

Esther – to knock on doors and get her local residents to sign offline for those who are less computer literate (ongoing)

Gordon – to get the petition signed with the allotments groups (ongoing)

Tuan – to set up a conference call with Kelly to discuss the financial reports and to find out whether Wolves Lane will be mentioned at the Nov 10th cabinet meeting and/or the 23rd full Council (done)

Ellen – to investigate how the Centre could get ‘local listing’ especially the Palm House

Phil – to speak to the Hornsey Historical society and Bruce Castle about Heritage listing

Phil and or Mandy – to let Stuart know about the petition (done)

Phil and Mandy – to look into external funding particularly that received by Chestnuts Park (NB. Funding requests at the moment would be hampered by the uncertain position of the Centre)

Phil and Mandy – to relay Maria’s comments about signage to Stuart and request an update on signage progress now that the new logo has been revealed

Phil and Mandy – to look into the process for applying for ‘Asset of Community Value’ status.

Next Meeting –

Given the number of outstanding issues, the next meeting will be on: 31 October at 10.30 in the café . The agenda will follow. Scary costumes and face paint for Halloween desirable but not essential!

Can all those with ‘action points’ be prepared to report back either to the meeting direct or off line to Mandy prior to the meeting. Thanks.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – October 17, 2015

From 10am: tea, coffee, biscuits in the cafe

At 10:30am: meeting start

  1. Introduction, minutes, apologies
  2. Update
    1. meeting with Simon Farrow and Kelly Lloyd
    2. business plan development
    3. engaging each and every Haringay councillor for suppot
  3. Web site update
  4. Actions – who has skills/interest to work on these?
    1. getting protected status as a historical site
    2. “brown signage” for Palm House
    3. lottery finding
  5. Constitution
  6. Making chutney
  7. AOB
  8. Coffee/social chat

 

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – August 15, 2015 IMG_0592

Attendees: 16

BREAKING NEWS – The next Myddleton Road market is on 27th September so volunteers needed to help run a stall would be great please. Its between 10am and 4pm. Please put a note in your diaries There’s also one on the 6th December so help required again please.

Please email Phil at phil.chinn1@btinternet.com or Clare at clare.ritson6@btinternet.com if you can help out.

Also Woodside Park Jazz is on Sunday 6th September between 2pm and 7pm. We thought a Friends of Wolves Lane stall here would be nice too mainly to give out leaflets about Friends of Wolves Lane and the Centre. This is a fun event with lots of Jazz, Country dancing and picnic potential (British weather permitting)

Again anyone who would like to help out please email Phil at phil.chinn1@btinternet.com or Clare at clare.ritson6@btinternet.com if you can help out. Thanks.

Kelly Lloyd meeting

Mandy, Robin, Tuan and Phil met with Kelly Lloyd, the major project manager for parks and open spaces project. She is working in parallel with Stuart on the Wolves Lane business plan. FOWL will aim to work with Kelly and Simon Farrow to ensure a sustainable future for the Centre and both Kelly and Simon Farrow will be having further meetings with FOWL.

Social Media Update

  • 220 Facebook friends (up from 182)
  • 133 Twitter friends (up from 103)
  • 546 tweets and Facebook quotes
  • 1059 web visits (up from 776)

Anne Grey suggested starting a ‘Yahoo discussion group’ for those who prefer email correspondence and are less Facebook etc savvy.

Robin asked for interesting photos to be sent to her or Mandy to go on the website and pointed out that there are posters and bookmark strips available to request through the Contact Us section of the website or Mandy.

Ellen has put up 20 laminated posters in local shops. Most shopkeepers were really interested that the Centre provided plants for park displays as these posters were very appreciated. Thank you Ellen for your hard work.

Angela reported that there were 10 children for the animal handling event which was successful. There are now 2 new rabbits and 2 on the way.

Actions

Banners

Work is in progress to convince Stuart to commission banners. There is a budget and even a local sign maker who is available.

Estate Agents

Castles agreed to give out Centre discount vouchers to new customers. Thanks Kate.

Charitable Status

It was decided to put this on the back burner until the financial implications of the business plan decided.

Tony felt that charitable status made fund raising easier and would like to put together a pack of information to aid fund raising.

Constitution

This will be discussed at the next meeting. Details will be sent out before the next meeting.

AOB

Stuart and Tom have manned the stall at Tottenham Green market.

Good Gym have now visited twice and weeded outside the cafe – a truly brambly task. Thanks guys!

Eve offered free tools if someone can collect them.

Newspaper Interest

The editor of Haringey People was very interested in putting an article in the October issue – probably a double spread. Well done Mandy.

Councillor Ann Waters attended the meeting and said that she had had a very interesting visit to Angela’s class. She fed back her concerns that the Centre does a lot of different things but doesn’t have one corporate aim. The Centre needs something that makes it a whole rather than bits that could be palmed off to other groups within the Council.

Discussion arose from Ann’s comments –

Phil – ‘Change is very difficult for service users’

John – ‘Without this service users wouldn’t have anywhere to go’

Angela – ‘We need a mission statement from management. The Centre’s various areas do interact and this must be shown in the business plan’

Tony –‘We need to work on parallel paths with the council and not work in opposition’

Ellen – ‘The very things that make this place odd and disjointed make this place work’

Anne – ‘Signage is lacking: it is not clear where the entrance is’

Emily – ‘likes the charm of the place: people don’t want things to be corporate and council – they like the organic feel of the place’

Gordon – ‘We need a people friendly map of the place’

Ellen – ‘ is the preservation of the palm house possible?’

Phil – ‘Heritage signage would be an asset’

Tony – ‘Adapt the Centres leaflet to show the web address of Friends and to show Bowes Park station’

John – ‘We need a visitor’s book to catch comments’

Mandy – ‘A suggestion box may also be useful. People could write comments (anonymously or not) about improvements that could be made to the centre or what’s working well already.’

Yoga class – Phil will ask Stuart about the possibility of Eve running yoga classes at the Centre. He has since agreed and Phil will contact Eve.

Tina, who works on reception, spoke at the meeting and said how much the Centre had changed her life. She said that she had come to the Centre as a child and had brought own her children here. She worked here initially as a volunteer and now as weekend receptionist. She has broadened her horizons to now look after and appreciates the Palm House, animals etc

Next meeting is scheduled for Saturday 17th OCTOBER 2015 10.30am in the café area of the Centre.

The September meeting is cancelled because certain key people of the group are away at that time.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – August 15, 2015

From 10am: tea, coffee, biscuits in the cafe

At 10:30am: meeting start

  1. Introduction, minutes, apologies
  2. Kelly Lloyd – update post meeting
  3. Web site update
  4. Actions – Banners, Estate agents and charitable status
  5. Constitution
  6. AOB
  7. Coffee/social chat

 

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – July 18, 2015 IMG_0326

Attendees: 13+

Regrets: 9

Stuart, Centre Manager, spoke and updated the meeting on his past history and how he got to where he is now. In 1997 he was approached by the John Grooms Charity to run the Wolves Lane site and by 1999/2000 the Centre was providing Volunteering, an Education programme and Horticultural Training for the local community as well as a Retail garden centre and growing bedding plants for the Council. Stuart established the current rain forest and desert areas.

The site was rented from Haringey Council by John Grooms who subsequently merged with the Shaftesbury Group and formed Liveability.  In 2008 Liveability decided that they could no longer afford the £300k pa they claimed was then required to run the site and after a campaign to save it the Council agreed to fund it.

The Council now estimates that the deficit last year was reduced to £45k which would increase to £75K over the next 3 years if no further steps were taken.

The Centre’s budget is unchanged for 15/16, other than for the café, but given the impact of the current Government’s austerity plans there is considerable pressure to minimise any “subsidy” over the three years of the current budgetary period.  To this end, a business plan is being put together by Stuart and Kelly Lloyd – the timescale of which is set for October in draft, November for first viewing by Senior Cabinet and December 2015 by the Main Council.

A question was asked as to the age of the Centre and Phil explained that it was difficult to tell as it was not here in 1955 as the site was then allotments.  It was here in 1969 as the council approved £104k on building the current Palm House. A best guess is that there has been a garden centre here since the late 50’s.

Mary said that she had rung the Assistant Director of Public Health for Haringey after receiving a local survey on mental health.  She will set up a meeting with them to discuss links between them and the Centre and their being a possible source of additional funding.

Stuart was asked how he viewed the relationship between FOWL and the Centre and he said that FOWL was an important part of the next stage of the Centres existence.

Stuart agreed to provide FOWL with a ‘shopping list’ of items that the Friends can fundraise for with estimates of their costs.

It was thought a good idea to create a standard letter and script that Friends could use when contacting local companies or other possible sources for funds.

Myddleton Road Market – this had been a success but it had also taken a lot of time and effort by Mandy, Mary, Esther and Ellen. It would be discussed later whether any of the income raised could go to the Friends to help fund the small amounts of funding required to allow other initiatives which would raise further  funds for the PR of the centre such as Web site costs. It was agreed that it was positive in community terms and worth doing 4 times a year.

A number of questions arose from the Market.

  • Given that lots of questions were asked about the work of the Centre, would it be possible to produce an informative leaflet on items such as – how the budget at the centre was distributed, number of volunteers working at the centre etc.
  • People overall were surprised at how small the deficit was versus the amount of work done for the community
  • It was suggested that the Palm house become a listed building which Stuart agreed with – this would allow official  “brown” road signs
  • A creative wall space could be provided at the centre  where the Centre users views of the centre could be displayed
  • Closure of local luncheon clubs could mean we could encourage their attendance at the Cafe

Stuart had booked a bargain price stall at Tottenham Green market but it was thought that the logistics of getting produce to and fro was beyond the Friends this year. If any Friends would like to help then could they talk to Stuart.

Signage was discussed and Stuart pointed out that since the Council, was currently re-branding it might not be appropriate to make permanent signs at this stage but Stuart agreed that he could finance ‘spot signs’ in the interim. All present thought this essential.

Councillor Ann Waters visit was thought to have been a success although no actual feedback has been received from her.  She sat in on one of Angela’s classes and also talked with Stuart and Clare. (Feedback from the Councillor has since been received.)

Various Friends asked whether it would be possible to leaflet local shops and roads.  Phil gave out bundles of leaflets and some signs which Annie, Mary and Ellen agreed to do distribute.

Daniel had emailed to say how much his wife and children enjoyed picking tomatoes.  Stuart agreed that PYO was a good idea and that it should go on the Website but to delay initially as he was waiting to hear back from a Veg box scheme called Crop Drop who might take a large order of tomatoes and other vegetables.

Website – Tuan reported the following – WLC Website report

  • new compact URL: wolveslane.com– please tell all your friends, family and neighbours!
  • 182 Facebook friends
  • 103 Twitter followers
  • 432 tweets/Facebook posts
  • 776 views of website

 This is good… but… WE NEED to encourage as many twitter followers, Facebook friends and visits to the website as possible.

Why?

  1. It is a local interest topic so we need to attract followers organically – through friends, local schools, organisations etc.
  2. Social media followers are critical to show that Wolves Lane has community support and to demonstrate numbers for this.

Please ask your friends to follow on twitter, Facebook and to visit the website. Give your friends, family, neighbours the social media addresses.

  • These strips are also being handed out at Wolves Lane Centre in customers’ purchase bags.
  • There are posters with the Wolves Lane Centre social addresses now posted strategically around the centre.
  • If you can think of another place where the signs could be shown to advantage, please let us know!

Tuan handed out…

  • strips with new social media addresses
  • large posters with new social media addresses – for anyone near a library, supermarket with a community cork board or who thinks they have somewhere to put these posters that will be seen.
  • Robin has produced these strips/bookmarks with details of the website which are being given out to customers at point of sale.
  • PLEASE CONTACT THE FRIENDS TO RECEIVE THE FILES FOR WLC POSTERS AND HANDOUTS if you are able to help out with distributing these!

Tasks around the centre – these were discussed at length and it was agreed to put together a board with various standalone tasks (see below) that could be accomplished.  Annie suggested that if a watering rota was set up then it could be in the form of a tree where, if one person cannot do their watering then they should be responsible to hand over the task to the next person on the tree.

Please remember that if you are going to help at the centre then for H&SE reasons you must complete the necessary paperwork with Barbara the volunteer co-ordinator first.

Anne Scott has been in contact with a charity called “Good Gym” who do running and then heavy tasks in the community.  They have agreed to do some heavy weeding at the Centre after their run on Wednesday. UPDATE: “Good Gym” came to the Centre for their inaugural event. It was deemed a success and they intend to return to do more heavy work.

One concern is that there are not enough tools for volunteers so Phil agreed to contact ‘Capital Clean Up’ who have provided tools for Anne Scott in the past. This is also something the Friends could raise funds for.

Pam has provided an outline of the various categories of charitable status.  The minimum that these require is that the Friends have a bank account and constitution.  This can be discussed at a future meeting. Phil agreed to produce a draft constitution for further discussion and also to list the key aims of FOWL.

Ricardo reminded the Friends that he is holding a Walking Group on Wednesdays starting at 10am at the Wolves Lane Cafe. Duration 1 hour.  This fits nicely with the centres stance on healthy living etc.

NEXT FRIENDS MEETING SATURDAY 15TH AUGUST 10.30AM IN THE CAFÉ AREA OF THE CENTRE AS USUAL.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – July 18, 2015

From 10am: tea, coffee, biscuits in the cafe

At 10:30am: meeting start

  1. Introduction, minutes, apologies
  2. Stuart, Centre manager – future plans and questions
  3. Web site update
  4. Myddleton Road market – update
  5. Councillor visit
  6. Watering rota
  7. Actions – Banners, Estate agents and charitable status
  8. AOB
  9. Coffee/social chat

 

Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – June 13, 2015

canna pink (1)Attendees: 23

Update from Parks Forum Meeting

Phil recapped for new members today that the Wolves Lane Friends’ group was started so we would be able to attend the parks forum meeting and scotch any rumours that the site was about to close.

The Groups achievements so far are –

  • 150+ people on its mailing list
  • 102 friends on Facebook
  • 80followers on Twitter
  • An article about the Centre on the front page of the Haringey Advertiser
  • A meeting with Councillor Ann Waters (Cabinet member for Children). This was attended by Phil, Mandy and Robin. She has since met with Simon Farrow Parks Dept and is going to sit in on one of Angela’s classes in July.
  • A dedicated Friends of Wolves Lane website at http://www.wolveslane.com

Other updates

  • Simon is being temporarily promoted so Kelly Lloyd will take over and write the business plan on the Centre
  • Simon confirmed that the centre budget will remain unchanged for this financial year. Budget changes will come into effect for 2016/17.
  • Chestnuts Park have offered assistance with any lottery bid work as they successfully received £14.6k from the Trust for London and a further sum from the People Postcode lottery.
  • Joan at PF offered help with promoting a website address re making of signs and banners.

Volunteering

If you would like to volunteer then, in the first instance, see Barbara Sawyer the volunteer co-ordinator in order to sign the essential health and safety paperwork.

Certain tasks at the centre can be done on a stand alone basis such as –

  • Front of Centre – weeding of stepped area to right of gate
  • Litter picking throughout centre
  • Watering and weeding the plot above the long white wall by the car park
  • Water retail stock at the rear of the Centre especially at weekends
  • Weeding the path in the Australian garden
  • General clean up in the cafe area (weekends only)
  • Water and weed students vegetable garden near woodland

See Mandy to sign up for any of these tasks

Future general meetings

  • Meetings will move to the 3rd Saturday in the month so that Stuart the manager can attend. Next meeting will be 18th July at 10:30am.

Website update

  • The website, facebook and twitter are all available and so far there are 102 facebook friends, 495 website views and 185 facebook posts
  • We also have a wolfie logo designed by Lorenzo.
  • Many thanks to Robin for all her hard work on this

Cafe Update

  • It needs more external customers as it relies on internal customers too much
  • It should be promoted on the website to a greater degree
  • There is a questionnaire to complete about potential improvements to the menu/opening times etc. Please complete this is you have a moment

Money making ideas / events

  • Contact local businesses to see if they can provide specific items for free in return for local sponsorship on our website – discuss further with Stuart at next meeting
  • (Tony has done this with Wilko’s so has volunteered to have a go)
  • Kate offered to talk to Castles Estate Agents to see if they could promote the garden centre to new buyers in the area
  • Ann from Woodside Park suggested a link up with them possibly by getting a local guided walk group to start and end at the Centre thus using the cafe?

AOB

  • Signage – as mentioned Joan Curtis can point us in the right direction.
  • Discuss a ‘shopping list’ with Stuart at the next meeting
  • Haringey Older Peoples Forum – Gordon is keen to get this group involved with us and is interested in the Poetry for Adults concept
  • Myddleton Road Market – held quarterly with the next one at the end of June. Wolves Lane to possibly to have a stall. Breaking News – We had a stall selling vegetables and plants, and we took £124.49. Thank you to all those people who helped with the preparation or on the day.
  • Charitable status – should the friends become one? Pam offered to list our options

Next meeting 18th July 10.30 in the café area of the centre as usual.

 

Agenda – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – June 13, 2015

Hibiscus (1)Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – May 16, 2015

Attendees: 17

1. Introduction

  • Phil welcomed people and summarised the success of the Wolves Lane Centre Open day

2. Feedback/Thoughts about Open Day

Positives

  • Someone commented best one they had been to out of 5 or 6 already been to.
  • On facebook
  • Through people coming learned about other websites to contact
  • Relaxed
  • A lot of plants were purchased
  • Café did well

Challenges to work on

  • Not enough publicity
  • Should have charged for face painting
  • Need bigger notice board
  • Needs to go up on allotment noticeboard, childrens’ centres, sports centre
  • Bouncy castle too cheap
  • More food and music would have been good
  • Need more open days perhaps one each season
  • We can advertise in libraries for free if we use the Council logo
  • We ought to have a donations box, hold more open days and provide BBQ

3. Friends of Wolves Lane Website – update from Robin 

  •  Please make a short statement about why you use the centre and email to Mandy
  •  Photos – Please email any photos of Wolves Lane and associated activities to Mandy
  •  Robin handed out a draft web site layout and asked people to add a comment on any of the headings and email to Mandy
  • Phil to provide History of Wolves Lane to Robin
  • Mary to liaise with Angela about Education entry
  • Clare to update training/animals entries
  • Angela to provide lesson plans

4. Bees

  • Clare to tell Mandy the name of the bee man who works at Finsbury Park

5. Suggestions for Fundraising/Events

  • regular BBQ’s
  • Schools events
  • Elderly people events
  • Local exercise/community groups in café
  • Evening events
  • Children’s parties
  • Photography sessions/shoots
  • Quiz night
  • Film night
  • Wine tasting
  • Events with outside catering
  • Lottery funding – open from 12 May
  • Need a defined project but one that could lead to additional income for the centre
  • Follow up links with Lordship rec
  • Follow up links with Saddi for a Farmers Market
  • Annie has spoken to BBC about a gardening champion
  • Contact TV’s Big Build programme

6. Gardening newsletter

  • Clare to add to website under Wolfies tips

7. AOB

  • Stuart advised that the Centre has applied for a licence to hold weddings, is entered in the Haringey in Bloom contest (gardening volunteers wanted) and Green Flag
  • NB anyone wishing to volunteer should contact Barbara Sawyer on 0208 888 5306 for an application form
  • Provide a white board with jobs needing to be done by drop in volunteers
  • Sue offered to give to café a spring clean

 

NEXT GENERAL MEETING SATURDAY 13TH JUNE 10.30AM IN CAFÉ AREA OF THE CENTRE. ALL WELCOME

ATTENTION! – IF ANYONE IS AVAILABLE AND CAN SPARE THE TIME PLEASE COME TO THE CENTRE 9.30AM TUESDAY 26TH MAY. THIS IS FOR A PHOTOGRAPH OF SOME OF THE FRIENDS GROUP. THERE IS GOING TO BE AN ARTICLE ABOUT US IN THE HARINGEY ADVERTISER SHORTLY. SORRY ITS SHORT NOTICE, WE ONLY KNEW TODAY

 

Hoya1Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Meeting – April 25, 2015

Attending: 11

  1. Phil began the meeting by explaining he had visited the Historical Centre to find out more history on the site. He reminded the group that the Open day was on 9th May and any assistance would be gratefully accepted. He also reminded people that the cafe was now open 5 days a week Monday to Friday.
  2. There was a recap of the last meeting for newcomers.
  3. In general discussion requests were made for Stuart to attend the next meeting as it was felt that we need to work together.
  4. Roles were re-iterated with Mandy as Secretary, Phil as Chairman and Robin as Webmaster.
  5. A discussion was held about the pluses and minuses of the Centre which will be covered by Mandy in a further email.
  6. Sub committee roles were discussed and the following was decided –
  • Business Planning, Finance – Tuan
  • IT/ Web page – Robin
  • Communities and HR – Mary
  • Fundraising – TBA
  • Maintenance – TBA
  • Anyone who would like to be part of any of these teams please contact Mandy.

7. Meeting frequency

  • Full meeting to be held monthly
  • Sub committee meetings – bi monthly

8. Steering group – Mandy, Mary, Gunsel, Phil, Annie

9. A constitution could be set up but it was agreed to discuss this outside of the meeting.

10. Phil agreed to give a tour of the centre so that Friends were aware of the all work that the centre undertakes.

 

The next meeting will be on 16 May at 10.30am in the cafe.

Working groups will be held this Thursday and Friday from 1pm to 4pm to do some garden maintenance prior to the open day. Everyone is welcome and tools and gloves will be provided.

 

IMG_20150524_132636573Minutes – Friends of Wolves Lane Inaugural Meeting – April 18, 2015

in the Café Area of the Wolves Lane Centre

Attending: 17 members +3 valued guests:

  • Dave – Friends of Lordship Rec and Parks Forum
  • Gunsel – Enfield Clubhouse Mental Health Charity based in Edmonton
  • Angela – WLC Education officer

1. Introduction

  • Phil began the introduction by explaining that the friends group was started because Councillor McNamara, (who is the councillor in charge of Parks) at the Parks Forum meeting in February 2015 had said that the Centre was to close and its functions relocated. At the Parks forum meeting on 11 April, Simon Farrow (Parks Dept) confirmed that the centre’s options and approaches were being reviewed.

2. History of the Centre

  • The nursery was located on the site of the New River which was built to provide drinking water to the city of London. In 1852 the New River was diverted via a tunnel between Station and Myddleton Roads. Chitts Hill house was based in the area freed by the New River diversion. In 1902 Alexandra Nursery was located at the top of the current site. In 1969, Coppetts, Glendale and Lordship Nurseries were combined and located on this suite which had previously been allotments.
  • At that time, the wooden glasshouses were pulled down and replaced with new glasshouses at a cost of £130k.

3. Dave – Parks Forum

  • Said that forming a friends group was the right action to take in securing a future for the site. He explained that there were currently 45 Friends group within the Borough representing Parks, Cemeteries and small green spaces.
  • He suggested that it was a difficult time for parks and green spaces and that cuts in budgets created a danger of more commercialisation of sites and the danger of sites being run down.
  • The remit of a friends group allows it to lobby, organise activities, join management or be a social network.
  • He suggested that it was useful to become constitutionalised and had brought a version of the Lordship Rec constitution for reference.
  • Which at a friend’s group would have the support of other friends Groups and said that the turnout today at the meeting was very good with a good balance of local people, volunteers and workers.

4. Discussion

  • A discussion then took place re the financial situation of the centre. At the end of March this year there was a deficit of 45K and this would rise to 75K by17/18 when another funding stream is terminated. Ways of dealing with this deficit were then briefly discussed knowing more detailed conversations would be needed in the near future. These included what is already happening at the centre re sales of plants and work with local schools. The friends’ group began to think of new ways to fund the project such as the development of hiring the venue for events in the evenings and weekends.
  • The friends group were informed of existing funding streams such as a budget from Adult Services for the volunteer and training programmes, the retail section operated with a small profit and the education section was funded solely from money direct from schools and Family Learning funding.
  • Dave said that the Parks dept were very positive about parks groups in general as they could carry out action that parks could not do themselves such as obtaining grants and other funding streams.
  • The history of the site meant it could give it a higher profile.
  • This site is designated Metropolitan Open Space MOS, the equivalent to the Green Belt. Therefore the site is in a strong position from the point of view that the site cannot be used for housing or industry. But there is a query that the cemetery next door may be able to use it to expand.

Actions taken so far

  • Phil explained that the local MPs and current labour candidate had been written to and all 3 had written to Claire Kober, Head of Council. It had been decided not to write to councillors at this stage which Dave agreed with. It was best to organise first and put out a positive message as the site was under publicised at the present time.

Suggestions were that the site needed –

  • A short history produced
  • A mission statement
  • Publicity
  • A gardening champion

The meeting decided that the friends group should be called Friends of Wolves Lane Centre.

  • It was suggested that groups such as English Heritage, Kew gardens, Myddleton Hall were contacted for advice. Lordship Rec has received heritage lottery funding so, given the age of the site, it was thought that this route was a possibility for future funding.
  • Phil would be Chairman, Mandy would be secretary and Robin would be treasurer and also look into producing a web site.
  • These positions would be ratified at an AGM in the near future.

 

It was agreed to meet next Saturday 25th at 10.30 in the café for a ‘brainstorming’ session.

 

 

WLC_stu_27MAY15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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