Present: Jane Shallice (Chair), Anne Burley, Mary Cane, Margaret Dickinson, Suzanna Dolata, Anne Elton, Ray Long, Hannah Pearce, Mary Powell (minutes), Sarah Saunders, Olga Way
1. Apologies – Cath Cinnamon
2. Minutes – Minutes 9 January 2013 accepted as an accurate record
3. Matters Arising – No additional matters arising, all addressed on agenda
4. Chair’s Report
a. In March 2013, wrote to Simon Lee concerning issues of upkeep at the pond, particularly in relation to changing rooms and toilets. This has followed the outsourcing of the maintenance contract by the Corporation of London to Mitie. He has since responded, staying that a list of outstanding repairs will be worked through. A quotation will be sought for improved heating in the changing room. However there is an underlying assumption that the facilities will be renewed in 2-3 years as part of major works, so expenditure will be limited.
b. In respect of the new “sloping” steps, Simon Lee was informed that the treads are too narrow and not what was originally intended in the design. He has agreed to try to find wider treads.
c. Simon Lee has also responded that dredging could be a part of the major works at the Pond. Silt levels have increased possibly connected to nearby building works.
d. The idea of a shelter in the table tennis area did not receive support at the AGM, although a bench of some type would be more acceptable. Simon Lee had in mind expenditure of £400-500. This may involve using an old tree trunk for example. It will not be happening soon, and the major works could allow for some form of sheltered seating to be incorporated into the changing room area. It does need to be located where lifeguards can see and supervise the area.
e. The swim hats continue to sell well, another batch may be needed. The committee discussed alternatives particularly to appeal to younger swimmers e.g. brighter colours or slogan “Young and Intrepid”. Need to consider quantity and cost so this will be referred back to Cath Cinnamon.
f. Recently became aware that one lifeguard had been away sick and another had experienced bereavement. Asked that Committee members keep each other informed if they become aware of such information so that good wishes can be sent to the people concerned.
g. It may also be useful to make the “No Men” signs on the gates larger and clearer, following a number of recent incursions.
5. Combined Treasurer’s Report and Membership Secretary’s Report
a. Currently awaiting a bank statement, there are no major changes. Two life members have joined and some standing order payments have also begun.
b. Overall subscriptions are being paid sooner this year but there are members in arrears who need to be deleted too (despite many reminders).
c. The Committee discussed putting an article in the next newsletter headed “Are you a Paid Up Member?” and inclusion of a Standing Order form. It was agreed that the chair will put this in her report. The latter may be more suitable for the newsletter that goes out before the AGM to try to keep most income synchronized with the AGM cycle in March.
d. Committee members were urged to prompt other swimmers to become members, when they are at the Pond at different times of the day, making particular reference to the major works.
6. Major works
a. Jane Shallice and Mary Cane have been attending regular meetings of the “Hampstead Ponds Water Management Committee”. This includes the various swimmers groups, and local residents groups (with divergent views e.g. Gospel Oak concerns about flooding). Managing the different interests on the Heath and the difficult engineering work that is proposed will take diplomacy.
b. Few construction firms have bothered to bid for the work, which is a relatively small contract (£10-£15m) with lots of restrictions.
c. In the next 2 weeks the proposals will be revealed. The assumptions about flood risk have been revised. There are likely to be 5-6 proposals or scenarios and these should be less intrusive than first feared. Soak-away options could be considered in place of a raised dam.
d. There will be a period of consultation extended to September 2013. The KLPA position is already clear, with an emphasis on minimal impact. Once the proposals are published it will be a suitable opportunity to set up a joint meeting of the swimmers’ associations.
e. The major works which will take at least a year would be an ideal option for dredging the Pond. Lifeguards have reported recent concerns about water quality which it may be beneficial for the Committee to raise too.
7. Policy for Impromptu/Pagan Events
a. Recent impromptu events have generated interest, but these have become more frequent. The Committee was broadly supportive but wanted to ensure some safeguards, for example sufficient notice of events, decorations to be removed after a week and KLPA items only to be used with prior agreement. The events are not KLPA led and nor has that impression been given anyway. The lifeguards’ views on safety concerns would also need to be taken into account. It was agreed to donate £50 towards costs already incurred, as a one off good will gesture. The number of such events is likely to settle down in time.
8. Sale of Goods at Events
a. There had been 2 recent requests to sell items at KLPA events (book and cards). This is not KLPA merchandise. Following a discussion of the merits and drawbacks of these requests, the Committee decided not to allow this and only to sell KLPA merchandise at KLPA events. Space was one practical consideration in any case. There is nothing to stop these items being sold at the Pond and on the Heath, subject to Corporation of London permission.
9. Any Other Urgent Business
a. Info@klpa e-mails not currently being received, so this needs to be resolved (MD).
b. Awaiting response from publisher about book of walks (MD)
c. Water on back lane needs to be investigated (MC)
d. Discussed alternative tea party venues, OW to investigate Highgate Baptist Chapel for Saturday 30 November 2013 (Highgate Road Chapel, Chetwynd Road, Dartmouth Park, London, NW5 1BU).
e. JS to investigate summer trip to Cookham for 6/9/2013
f. Followed with general discussion of diversity of women at pond (not as much as it used to be) and the Committee composition (less representative still).
g. Newsletter copy (to SD) required by 31 May 2013 for publication on 14 June 2013.
10. Dates of Future Meeting – 18 September 2013 at 7 pm