Here are minutes of St Patrick's Day EGM at Wesley Methodist Church
Minutes of Jesus Green Association EGM
Wesley Methodist Church, Christ’s Piece, Cambridge 17th March 2009 – start 8pm
1. Martin Thompson (vice-chair) welcomed people to the meeting and conducted he election of the chairman. Peter Constable unanimously approved .
Chairman Peter Constable welcomed people to meeting – 50 people in attendance
2.Apologies – Anthony Bowen and Barbara Placido
3.Election of officers
Martin Thompson (vice-chairman), Richard Price (treasurer) and Jack Grove (secretary) unanimously elected as officers
Committee members Barbara Placido, Alex Buxton, Alan Fowlie and Anthony Bowen all approved unanimously
4. EDF maintenance depot
RP explained the plans EDF depot – area occupied, reasons for it, length of stay
Reported that Cllr Rosentiel and other councillors had opposed it vigorously, had also seen a letter from St John’s College against it.
Possible support from elements within council, who were planning to oppose the move
Described letter he sent to EDF Energy asking
- Why didn’t they do the work when the Thompson’s Lane area was clear, ie at start of hotel works? Answer said it could not be undertaken at the same time as previous EDF works "due to phasing issues of the construction".
- When did they start discussing it with the council – May 2008
- Alternative sites considered. Jesus Lane opposite ADC – not accepted by college. Ashwells site in Castle Hill – not feasible.
Four locations on Jesus Green all said to have been discussed with Cambridge City Council "and it was agreed that the site proposed was the optimum choice
Not clear what pre-planning advice had been given to EDF by the Council. RP had requested this at West/Central Area Committee meeting on 5 March. Still waiting for answer.
MT said he had been told by Active Communities that they had opposed the planning application
RP said council had tried to dissuade EDF from using the green, considered the legal status of the green (is it common land? Can council approve application), said the more people who objected the better
John Cooper – Anyone can make application even if they don’t own land
Susan Stobbs – JGA should take legal advice and threaten them with House of Lords, use the law to oppose it
PC drew attention to ‘excellent letter’ from Savills on behalf of St Johns
Jenny Cooper – is green common land. Response from Adrian Brink – yes, it had its own act of parliament
Question on who at the council agreed the plan should go ahead
Susan Stobbs – why is this base needed? Is it necessary? PC believed EDF probably had certain statutory rights when doing essential works
Questions over need for the depot raised by Roger Chatterton (extension), Richard Moss (low loaders) and JC (can’t they deliver direct to Thompsons Lane) – other comment: Can they use Park Street car park
Jo Scrivens asked how JGA members could mobilise support against the depot, suggested a standard letter that busy people could sign and even circulate in their neighbourhoods. Agreed that JG would draft and email a letter for people to sign and send off –deadline April 6. ACTION
PC suggested we get support from colleges. Trinity Hall, Magdalence, Girton and La Mimosa should all be contacted ACTION
Hazel Guest, on behalf of La Mimosa, said the restaurant would be affected by the closure of Thompson’s Lane and would oppose depot. PC said Maypole would also be against it.
Anne Garvey, of Don’t Make it Jesus Less Green, asked if the works were due to the new hotel. Answer, no, it affects half the city. Asked whether the area would be restored to former glory. PC said yes, however there was issue of felled trees. Jenny Cooper said replanted trees would not be the same. Comment that the whole avenue would be felled and replaced – no doubt due to ‘fungus and disease’.
Mary Burdett said Park St pupils would also be affected
Richard Taylor said there was need to suggest a plausible alternative and suggested a better site along the tennis courts allied with Park Street car park places. Peter Sparks did not feel JGA should have to come up with ideas, up to EDF. Jenny Cooper suggest tennis courts – JG asked about tennis players.
Adrian Brink asked who had been dealing with this at council
5. Lottery bid
PC said there was no decision yet, but it was expected soon
6. Walkabout with council and other plans
Martin Thompson detailed the February 10 walkabout. involving four councillors and seven officers. Issues touched on include damage to green from beer festival and circus and tree felling and planting policy. He will be pressing Sarah Tovell for a timetable for action on all the points noted and agreed on the walk around including more detailed tree felling and planting plans and also for details of the Council's new ‘event framework.’
JG described various plans for the green, including MUGA, informal games area, playground revamp, skate park improvements, tennis court, high wire zone, and how these had emerged. Lack of council consultation. RT added there was also biodiversity area planned. Various discussions on nature of section 106 money.
AG, who was also at walkabout, said there was now an obsession for having trees in straight lines and removing ‘native’ trees. Said tree expert Oliver Rackham believed the plain trees would live til they were 200 years old, ie another 40-80 years.
Mary Burdett raised concerns that green’s flood plain usage would be affected by development
HG asked for ramp in lido
7. Jesus Green working group
PC said he does not want it because it seeks to replace the function of the JGA
JC added he felt the council was setting up a rival organisation as relationship with JGA was uncomfortable
8. PC submitted a mission statement for consideration. Asked for line by line comment
RT said new adjustable intensity LED lighting should be embraced, while line should read ‘established’ tree population as council could say they would replace trees (with smaller ones)
JC was concerned about the ultra modern street lights, 30m tall
Calls for better drainage – it was once a great football pitch. John Lawton, SOS, called attention to compaction of soil, causing flooding.
Remove ‘mean-spirited’ comment about skatepark. Agreed. JG called litter problem to be addressed. AG said we shouldn’t pick up after litterbugs as it encourages them and normalises behaviour
Support for festivals on green. Beer festival representatives detailed the changes since moving to other side of green – some pluses, some minuses. Said £500 was paid to council after damaging tree. RP asked why that payment was never flagged by council, who had not replaced the tree or even mentioned where money was going
Motion adopted unanimously, subject to changes – put on website ACTION
9. Subscription and fundraising for JGA
RP detailed functions of JGA and why money is need and how it is spent. Council cash could disappear, and therefore need for new funding sources.. £203 in Cambridge BS, includes £40 grant from Council for hire of room for this meeting.
PC proposed that, should the JGA need to raise funds in future, all members be contacted and asked to contribute. Agreed unanimously.
PC said we needed to adopt a policy of non-discrimination in order to get funds from council – adopted by a unanimous vote
JC said rules on membership should be clarified. Motion that if you put your name and contact details down on clipboard, or contact association with them, you become member. Adopted by a unanimous vote.
PC closed the meeting at 9.35pm and thanked people for their attendance