26/02/2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Friends of the Admirals Gardens


Fourteenth meeting Tuesday 26th February 2008, Sunlight Centre, Richmond Road


Those present: Linda Miller, Adam Price, Keith Gulvin, Pat Cooper, Claire Constable, Matthew Constable, Christine Hart, Joan Higgs, Nina Robinson, Cllr Cathy Sutton, Emma Sheikh, Arfan Sheikh, Mervyn Lamb, Eileen Bartlett & Melanie Sibley (Mid Kent College), Michael Dann & Andy Whitall (Kent Police), Dave Hughes (Medway Council Safer Communities)


1. Introductions Linda Miller welcomed Nina Robinson to her first meeting..


2. Apologies were received from Joanne Cable, Tina Lawlor Mottram, Cllrs Geoff Juby and Andy Stamp.


3. The minutes from the 13th meeting held on 15th January 2008 were agreed.


4. Matters arising


a) Independent resident wanted to join the board of trustees for the park

Eileen Bartlett promised that she would place an advertisement for an independent resident to join the trustees on the board for the park by the end of the week.


b) RPS landscape architect to inform the Friends of the latest plans for the park


Eileen Bartlett said that RPS were nearly ready to inform the Friends of the latest plans. Eileen offered to arrange a meeting in the near future to enable this to happen. Friends agreed to the following date and venue: 6pm on Tuesday, 4 March in the large hall at the Sunlight Centre: all Friends and other interested members of the public are invited. Adam Price agreed to book the hall on behalf of MKC. Eileen added that the detailed plans will later be considered by the planning committee of Medway Council.


c) The need to maintain access to HMS Wildfire


Keith Gulvin reported that his recent visit had added further weight to the need for access to be maintained to HMS Wildfire. Keith acknowledged the recent vandalism had damaged one part, but much of the bunker remained intact. He emphasised that it was here that the real decisions were made during the second world war to mount the D-day landings and to evacuate troops from Dunkirk. Keith agreed to continue to lobby Peter Kendall at English Heritage.


d) Leaflet about the new college


Pat Cooper had distributed copies to Friends of Hillyfields; Adam Price would distribute copies of the leaflet to Friends of the Admiral’s Gardens at the RPS meeting the following week.


e) Item for Sunlight newsletter


Adam Price has submitted a short article about the Friends of the Admiral’s Gardens.




5. Update from Joanne Cable


Held over to the following meeting in Joanne’s absence. Adam Price had attended in January (with some other Friends) a very interesting workshop concerning Chatham’s application for World Heritage status.


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


a) Work on the Park. Eileen Bartlett reported that ecological work on the park site had started. The focus is on clearing scrub prior to relocating reptiles and removing the tops of trees that will be being removed later in the year (in order to prevent nesting in those trees). The work will be done in accordance with an ecological mitigation strategy and a tree plan. The council has been notified that it is taking place and ecologists will be in attendance to ensure that no trees are felled that show evidence of nesting birds or roosting bats. The park including Cumberland Road will shortly be closed to the public.


As the park will be closed before the meeting the following week with RPS architects, Eileen agreed to arrange guided tours for Friends and other interested residents on a date later that week. Adam Price asked about further tours during the closure of the park, especially as the park will now be closed for at least 15 months. Eileen agreed to arrange a schedule of dates for further public tours during the closure.


b) Work on the College. Melanie Sibley reported that building works are proceeding according to schedule. By April 2008 the roof will be on the East Wing. The big car park is almost ready.


7. Promoting the park to young people


Claire Constable, our youth officer, made the suggestion that the Admiral’s Gardens should be included in Medway’s guide to local parks. Eileen Bartlett said that because the park will be closed for the remainder of 2008 and first part of 2009, an entry in a 2009 guide would be more appropriate. Pat Cooper pointed out that the guide referred to by Claire is a council guide, and that the Admiral’s Gardens will not be owned or run by the council. Friends agreed that the new park should be publicised nearer to the opening in an appropriate publication.


Claire added that she intends to talk about the Admiral’s Gardens at a school assembly in May after her exams.


8. Any other business


a) Anti-social behaviour in Charter Street

Mervyn Lamb raised the ongoing issue of anti-social behaviour in Charter Street, which was noted by police officers present.


b) Petition for a crossing in Parr Avenue to access Hillyfields

Pat Cooper reported that she and Linda Miller had met with the Council, who have agreed in principle that a zebra crossing and barriers should be installed in Parr Avenue opposite the planned children’s park. The petition, which is for council funding to pay for the crossing, was circulated for Friends to sign.


c) Dog faeces in Johnson Avenue

Christine Hart highlighted this problem, and Cllr Cathy Sutton agreed to take this up.



d) Time capsule at the College

Melanie Sibley said that a small ceremony will be held at the College on 4 April to bury a time capsule, including a book of crests depicting what schoolchildren and others like about Gillingham. Melanie has invited Linda Miller to attend on behalf of the Friends of the Admiral’s Gardens, and a small number of schoolchildren and head teachers will also attend.


e) Reprint of Friends’ of the Admiral’s Gardens leaflet

Adam Price suggested some minor alterations to the wording on our leaflet. Emma Sheikh asked that wording be retained about tours. Mid Kent College have kindly agreed to print a further supply of 500 leaflets. Adam Price and Eileen Bartlett will agree the minor changes to wording. Adam Price will first approach Groundwork for the Microsoft Publisher version of the original leaflet, and he will also check with Tina regarding how matters stand with the payment Groundwork have been seeking from the Friends.



Date of Next Meeting

Tuesday 15 April 2008”, 6.00pm

Honeybees room, Sunlight Centre

Richmond Road, Gillingham



Summary of action points follows:


Action required before next meeting:


1. Place advertisement by 29 February for an independent resident to join the board of trustees for the new park EB


2. RPS landscape architects, Friends and other residents to be invited to a meeting on 4 March to inform everyone of the enhanced plans for the park, and to enable residents to influence these plans EB


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


4. Bring leaflets about the new College to the meeting on 4 March for distribution to FoAG members AP


5. Arrange tours around the park on a date shortly after 4 March. Friends to inform Adam Price if they wish to attend. Arrange a schedule of dates for further tours during the period when the park is closed EB/All


6. Investigate suitable, local publications where the park could be advertised in 2009 All


7. Investigate ongoing anti-social behaviour in Charter Street and report back to the next meeting on action being taken MD/AW


8. Take up with Medway Council the problem with dog faeces in Johnson Avenue CS


9. Obtain Microsoft publisher version of original leaflet from Groundwork, having found out the position with regard to payment for the original supply AP/TLM


10. Make minor changes and arrange reprint of 500 FoAG leaflets AP/EB


11. Advertise the FoAG and get more residents involved All






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