15/01/2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Friends of the Admirals Gardens


Thirteenth meeting Tuesday 15th January 2008, Sunlight Centre, Richmond Road


Those present: Linda Miller, Adam Price, Keith Gulvin, Pat Cooper, Tina Lawlor-Mottram, Eileen Bartlett, Melanie Sibley, Claire Constable, Matthew Constable, Christine Hart


1. Introductions The meeting was minuted by Adam Price.


2. Apologies were received from Joanne Cable, Chris White & Joan Higgs


3. The minutes from the 12th meeting held on 18th September 2007 were agreed.


4. Matters arising


a) ASB on site


Eileen Bartlett reported on a spate of vandalism by a group of people who broke into HMS Wildfire. A hole had been cut through the steel shutters. The College arranged for 24 hr security while the tunnels were accessible as a matter of health and safety, but repairs to the door were undertaken within a week and the entrance is now secure.


5. Update from Eileen Bartlett and Melanie Sibley on behalf of Mid Kent College


a) Trustees. The College have made progress with appointing trustees for the park, and plan to complete appointments by the end of January 2008. High profile individuals appointed include Lyndsey Morgan, chairperson of the Chatham World Heritage site, and John Spence, a previous chair of Medway NHS Trust. The College will shortly advertise for an independent local resident to join the Trust and to convey views from the Friends of the Admiral’s Gardens to the Park’s trustees.


b) RPS enhanced plan. RPS have been appointed as landscape architects (experienced in park design). They have been working on an “enhanced plan” for the park, one which “improves on the basic outline” originally agreed. Both the enhanced plan and a master plan to take it forward have been accepted by the College and English Heritage.


Adam Price drew attention to the minutes of the Friends’ meeting in September 2007 when Jane Jones had stated that “RPS will involve the Friends for their views when developing the existing plans into the design stage”. Eileen Bartlett gave an assurance that the plans developed by RPS will definitely be the subject of further public consultation, including with the Friends of the Admiral’s Gardens.


c) Meeting with English Heritage. Eileen Bartlett reported on a successful meeting with Peter Kendall of English Heritage on 10 January 2008. Work will commence in the early part of February on the phased removal of Japanese knotweed, fencing off the entire park (public access will however be maintained along Cumberland road during the initial stages), and removal of some scrub (necessary for architectural and ecology surveys). RPS will be asked to fence off and leave untouched one area in particular for reptiles. The College and RPS are required to install a number of bird boxes.


d) HMS Wildfire. Eileen Bartlett reported that Peter Kendall (English Heritage) has agreed to the College’s new proposal to open the steel plate door to HMS Wildfire, erect a brick wall on a semi-permanent basis and then reinstate the steel plate door. Mr. Kendall had stated that the HMS Wildfire bunker is not unique in this country, and that English Heritage was inclined therefore to support the semi-permanent block to the entrance of Wildfire. Keith Gulvin maintained however that Wildfire is unique within Kent. Keith Gulvin will liaise as a matter of urgency with Peter Kendall regarding the College’s proposal to close off HMS Wildfire.


e) Temporary training building withdrawn. The College have withdrawn their proposal to erect a temporary training building for construction students. A number of residents in Medway Road had objected.


f) Roads and traffic. Section 278 road works had been put on hold pending a review by the Council. The entrance and exit to the College are now fixed. The College will abide by the outcome of the roads and traffic review as long as there is no more cost to them. Keith Hanshaw from Medway Council will report back on the review at 5.30pm on 21 January - half an hour before the scheduled meeting of the College/ Residents’ Steering Group at Kier build.

Melanie Sibley agreed to change future dates of the steering group to a Tuesday evening to enable Christine Hart to attend.


g) 2nd tower crane will be installed on site 17-19 January.


h) Colour of brick. The Council were not happy with the proposed yellow colour for brickwork in the new build. This has now been amended to terra cotta.


i) EDF changing power supply. Eileen Bartlett said that EDF will give advance warning to some residents of an interruption to their power supply in late February. The area affected is likely to include Johnson Avenue and the MoD residences.


j) Press and publicity. Melanie Sibley passed round:

- a folder she is keeping of all press publicity relating to the new College

- a staff newsletter

- and a leaflet publicising the new College.

Pat Cooper asked Melanie for copies of the leaflet so that she can circulate these to Friends of Hillyfields.

Adam Price thanked Melanie Sibley for the College’s kind donation to the Friends of a pop-up exhibition stand.

Adam mentioned that Chris White has requested an item from the Friends of the Admiral’s Gardens for the next Sunlight Development Trust newsletter in March 2008.


6. Heritage report


Keith Gulvin confirmed he is awaiting feedback following his proposal to list the green triangle of land containing anti-tank defences (near Kelly Drive and fronting Medway Road). All Kent Defence sites are listed on a database to serve as a record.


7. Election of secretary


Linda Miller read an email she has received from Emma Sheikh. Emma is standing down as Secretary, but still intends to play an active role with regard to the Friends and the new park. All present asked for their heartfelt thanks to be passed on to Emma for the sterling job she has done over the past year.


The vacancy for a new secretary had been advertised in the agenda.


Tina Lawlor-Mottram proposed Adam Price as Secretary. Adam accepted the nomination and was duly elected as secretary for the forthcoming year.


In respect of the vacancy for an assistant secretary Claire Constable indicated her willingness to undertake this role. Adam Price proposed Claire Constable as Assistant Secretary, and Claire was duly elected as assistant secretary for the forthcoming year.


8. Update from Joanne Cable


This item was held over in Joanne’s absence.


Adam Price informed Friends that a pdf version of our leaflet can be downloaded from the Chatham World Heritage website:

Also Joanne has kindly included in her ‘guestbook’ on the same website a narrative from a visitor to the Admiral’s Gardens on 8 July 2007, the day when the Tour de France swept up Medway Road:

9. Crests for a time capsule


Tina Lawlor-Mottram encouraged those Friends present to produce a crest showing what we like about Gillingham and hand any crest to the reception desk at the Sunlight Centre by 21 January. Mid-Kent College are intending to bury in a time capsule at the site of the new college a photographic record of numerous crests recently created by children at Skinner Street Primary School and New Brompton College, all these crests depicting what people like about Gillingham at this time of change.


10. Youth officer report


Claire Constable referred to a number of ideas she has to raise the awareness of young people of the Admiral’s Gardens. These include some talks about the new park in school assemblies after May 9th, a social networking site and short videos on U tube.


11. Any Other Business


a) New venue for future meetings. As the Sunlight Centre will no longer be open on Tuesday evenings, Adam Price agreed to investigate the possibility of booking the Heartwood Centre at Skinner Street Primary School for future meetings.



Date of Next Meeting

Tuesday 26 February 2007”, 6.00pm

Heartwood Centre, Skinner Street Primary School

(please use side entrance from Skinner Street)




Summary of action points follows:


Action required before next meeting:


1. Advertise for an independent resident to join the board of trustees for the new park EB


2. Invite RPS landscape architects to the next meeting to enable Friends of the Admiral’s Gardens to be informed of the enhanced plans for the park, and to enable Friends to influence these plans EB


3. Lobby Peter Kendall, English Heritage, regarding the need to maintain access to HMS Wildfire KG


4. Reschedule future dates for the College’s steering group to a Tuesday evening as long as this does not clash with FoAG meetings MS


5. All Friends of Admiral’s Gardens and Hillyfields to receive a leaflet about the new College MS/AP/PC


6. Draft an item for the next Sunlight Development Trust newsletter AP


7. Pass on to Emma Sheikh our thanks for her sterling work as Secretary over the past year AP


8. Produce a crest showing what we like about Gillingham and hand these into the reception at Sunlight Centre by 21 January ALL


9. Develop ideas to promote the park to young people and to involve them more in the enhanced plan for the park, and present this as an agenda item at the next meeting CC


10. Investigate the possibility of booking the Heartwood Centre for our next meeting AP


11. Advertise the FoAG and get more residents involved ALL






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