Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Brent Town Hall, Forty Lane, Wembley, HA9 9HD. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair

Minutes:

RESOLVED: - that councillor Ashraf be elected Chair for the 2011-12 municipal year.

2.

Election of Vice Chair

Minutes:

RESOLVED: - that councillor Hart be elected Vice-Chair for the 2011-12 municipal year.

3.

Declarations of personal and prejudicial interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, any relevant financial or other interest in the items on this agenda.

Minutes:

None declared

4.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 23 March 2011 pdf icon PDF 30 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:-

 

that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 23 March 2011 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting subject to the following amendments: -

 

  • Minute 6 to note the explanation of why it had been difficult to get McDonalds involved in the clean-up day.

5.

Matters arising (if any)

Minutes:

Use of Insecticides

With regard to Minute number 4, Clive Cohen (London Wildlife Trust) noted that Jenny Warren (Greenspaces Manager – Barnet Council) had indicated that it was not a priority of the borough of Barnet to communicate the effect to land owners of the use of insecticides. Clive Cohen advised the committee that the Crop Protection Association (CPA) produced a leaflet regarding this matter and that he had liaised with property services to ensure that copies of this leaflet were distributed to libraries and relevant properties. Clive Cohen added that he had suggested to the Crop Protection Association that they contact all other councils to propose a similar plan of action.

 

Bank at former youth sailing base site

The Chair noted that it was suggested at the previous meeting under ‘Any Other Business’ that Barratt Homes be invited to attend the next meeting of the committee with regard to the issue of the poor condition of the bank at the former youth sailing base site. The Chair queried whether this had been raised with Barratt Homes. Councillor Julie Johnson provided a brief update on this matter, noting in particular that the marketing suite at the site had now been completed. She suggested that Barratt Homes may have wished to wait until the building of the suite was finished before improving the bank; however, they were not at present making the best of the bank. Councillor Julie Johnson added that she had understood that the bank would be planted up with appropriate plants after the build was complete. Roy Beddard (Welsh Harp Conservation Group) advised that further information was required from the planning department regarding the relevant conditions agreed and emphasised that it was important that the bank be replanted once the marketing suite was removed. Jenny Warren advised that she would follow up this issue and would explore the possibility of whether an interim measure could be applied whilst the marketing suite was in place. She added that she would contact Natural England for assistance. Following further discussion, it was agreed that Barratt Homes be invited to attend the next meeting of the committee. Councillor Hugh Rayner suggested that a Barratt Homes should be advised of the specific issues on which the committee would like further information. The Chair requested that any specific questions that the committee would like to put to Barratt Homes be emailed to him at cllr.javaid.ashraf@brent.gov.uk.

 

 

Environmental Impact Survey / contamination of waterways

Referring to the paragraph on the Dollis Valley Green Walk Project, also located under ‘any other business’, a member of the committee noted that at the previous meeting it had been suggested that an environmental impact survey be conducted. This suggestion had followed the announcement that treatment to invasive species and maintenance work would be carried out to the brook. It was subsequently queried if there was any update available on this issue. Councillor Hart advised that he believed this issue related to the concern that effluence flowing into the brook  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Welsh Harp Management Plan (Brent) pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Minutes:

Leslie Williams introduced a report updating the committee on the progress on the Brent Reservoir / Welsh Harp Management Plan. The Management Plan was jointly managed by the three main local land-holding organisations: Brent Council, British

Waterways and the London Borough of Barnet.

 

Leslie Williams advised that a review was due of the administration charges and the river Brent catchment managerial process. Leslie Williams invited any comments of either of these issues and noted that any comments that the committee might have would be fed in to the review.

 

Turning to the issue of the Parks Warden service, Leslie Williams advised that this service had been significantly reduced as part of the recent reorganisation of Brent Council and was now reliant of the slightly increased number of mobile wardens. The mobile wardens worked in two shifts and there was a maximum of two wardens on patrol at any one time. It was anticipated that up to three agency staff could be employed during the peak months of usage of parks and open spaces, from August to October. Additional training would be provided to the grounds maintenance team to allow them to take over some of the tasks of the wardens. The grounds maintenance team would visit the Welsh Harp at regular intervals.

 

The committee was advised that summary information regarding the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for the Welsh Harp could be obtained from the Biodiversity Action Report System (BARS) website, which was the online system for national reporting of BAPs. Brent was currently looking at treating Japanese Knotweed with herbicide and action was also planned with regard to Giant Hogweed, which was not harmful to wildlife but could represent a public health issue as it produced a sap which could damage skin.

 

Leslie Williams concluded his report by noting that Brent Council had recently obtained a small sum via a 106 agreement for use in the Welsh Harp area for flood alleviation.

 

During discussion the committee raised several issues as follows: -

 

  • Clive Cohen noted that Barnet and Brent council’s employed different approaches to the treatment of Japanese Knotweed and queried why the approaches were not co-ordinated. Leslie Williams advised that the two councils did liaise with each other but each council would select the most appropriate option for its circumstances. Councillor Julie Johnson queried if joint meetings still took place to discuss the management plan. Leslie Williams advised that the councils liaised informally with each other often by email and telephone. Jenny Warren advised that details regarding the contactors used for instance were regularly exchanged; however, it was difficult to meet face to face on a regular basis as the stakeholder group encompassed five different organisations.

 

  • Councillor Hugh Rayner queried the impact that the reduction of park wardens would have on the enforcement of the bylaw, under which holding barbeques in the Welsh Harp area was prohibited. Leslie Williams advised that after a period of circa eight years, this bylaw was just now in its final stage of approval.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Report from the London Borough of Barnet pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jenny Warren presented a report updating the committee on Barnet council’s position on the Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and on-going site management. The committee heard that there was an on-going maintenance requirement for several Willow trees sited to the rear of Dehar Crescent. Before work could proceed on these trees, it had been necessary to obtain the consent of Natural England. The committee was referred to Appendix A of the report, at which a schedule for Tree Management Works (Welsh Harp area 4b) was included, alongside a consent letter from Natural England. The committee was advised that the work on the trees to the rear of Dehar Crescent had since been completed.

 

Turning to the subject of Barnet Council’s Japanese Knotweed Control Programme, it was reported that following an annual inspection in April 2011, one area of new infestation had been located. There were also significant areas populated by Giant Hogweed. The weed control programme for invasive species would continue, and further control measures in the Welsh Harp would be carried out. The committee was informed that the Environment Agency had at present delayed this programme of works, pending the completion of further training by the contractor employed. It was hoped that this delay would not cause the window of opportunity for treatment of these plants to be missed.

 

Jenny Warren drew the committee’s attention to 9.1.3 of the report, highlighting that the Welsh Harp Working Group had not met for over six months. Consequently, it was felt that a review of the group and its ability to commit and deliver should be considered. The organisations which comprised the group were the London Borough of Barnet, the London Borough of Brent, British Waterways, the Welsh Harp Conservationists and the Welsh Harp Sailing Association.

 

In concluding her report to the committee, Jenny Warren advised that a number of changes to the infrastructure at Welsh Harp had taken place. Three new ranger litter bins and two new wooden sleeper benches had been installed along the main footpath from Brent to Cool Oak Lane and one dog bin had been removed from the west Hendon side of the welsh harp. A low metal vehicle barrier had also been installed to the car park entrance of Woodfield Park in April 2011 to help reduce the amount of fly tipping which was occurring in the car park. The committee further heard that in response to the increase in litter during the summer months, weekend litter patrols had commenced. A Health and Safety officer would be conducting an inspection of the Welsh Harp site with respect to Blue Green Algae, whilst installing signage around the water edge.

 

During discussion, several members referred to the issue waterways/bodies of water within the Welsh Harp area becoming hyper-eutrophic due to chemicals/substances from residential areas washing/flowing into them. Clive Cohen highlighted that there was a leaflet available from the Environment Agency which provided information on misconnected appliances and suggested that this information be distributed to residents. Councillor Hugh Rayner  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Planning Issues (if any)

Minutes:

A report was tabled by Tom Wyld, Senior Planning Officer, Barnet Council, providing an update on the West Hendon Regeneration. The report noted that Barratt Metropolitan LLP (BMLLP) had indicated that they would submit an application to the planning department to vary the existing Outline Planning Application (W13937/04). The changes proposed were in relation to phasing, car parking and affordable housing. The planning application had not yet been submitted and the application would be subject to consultation, including with all organisations that attend the Welsh Harp Joint Consultative Committee.

 

RESOLVED: - that the report be noted.

9.

Date of Next Meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the Welsh Harp is on Wednesday, 9 November 2011.

Minutes:

The committee noted that the next meeting was scheduled for 9 November 2011.

10.

Any Other Urgent Business

Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Democratic Services Manager or his representative before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 64.

Minutes:

Cool Oak Lane Bridge

A member of the committee informed the meeting that there had been considerable problems caused by Lorries using the Cool Oak Lane Bridge in the Welsh Harp Area. These Lorries were using the bridge on route to a site which was manufacturing low grad compost. The materials being carried by these uncovered Lorries was being distributed in the form of dust all over the road and surrounding area during transit. Jenny Warren advised that it was illegal for a lorry carrying such material to do so uncovered. It was suggested that any further complaints regarding this matter be forwarded to Barnet Council.

 

West Hendon Allotment Society

 

RESOLVED: - that West Hendon Allotment Society be invited to make an application to join the Welsh Harp Joint Consultative Committee.