Please read the following minutes from the Abney Park Trust EGM 15 March 2015, to be approved at the next Abney Park Trust AGM.
Jon Markovic (JM) from Hackney Council, for item 1 only. Trustee: Alan Gartrell (AG)
Trustee: Richard Allen (RA)
1) Transfer of management responsibilities to LBH
JM presented the council’s view of why a transfer was necessary and recapped the arrangements:
● The Park, in the council’s view, has deteriorated over a number of years as a result of underfunding and the council “taking its eye of the ball”.
● A strategic options report was commissioned which emphasised the importance of proper funding, the need for expertise and the benefits of working in partnership. It outlined four choices:
- 1) close the park (included for completeness only)
- 2) renew the lease
- 3) the council take back all aspects of running the park
- 4) the council temporarily take back management while working with the Trust to develop its capacity, with the eventual aim of granting a new lease
● A partnership approach based on option 4 was agreed at the end of 2014 under which the Trust will continue to deliver educational activities, arts events, marketing/outreach, coordinate volunteering and visitor services. To do this the trust will receive a grant allowing the Trust to retain its office manager. The current Site Supervisor post will transfer to employment by the council.
● In addition a new “Abney Park Manager” staff post will be created at the council with specific responsibility for the park.
● Strategic Development of the park will be lead by a Development Board with the Trust playing a major part.
● The council plan to invest around £1 million towards remedying deterioration and will be leading a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
JM then responded to questions from members:
● confirmed the options report is a public document
● thought application for Green Flag status would be a long term goal
● confirmed the Abney Park Manager would be a full time post, initially for two years
● agreed that raising funds from a garden of remembrance should be considered
● clarified that the vision was for the Development Board to oversee the park for 4 to 6 years with the Trust then resuming control.
JM left the meeting at this point.
AG responded to further questions:
● outlined the range of formal paperwork that will define and back up the arrangement.
● clarified that filming income would go to the council but that monies from other sources would be retained by the Trust.
● agreed to request the Trust be represented on the recruitment panel for the Abney Park Manager. (ACTION AG)
● agreed that the proposal established arrangements for a long term partnership and long term strategy for the park
On that basis the meeting agreed that the proposal was positive and should be supported.
New Trustees & AGM
The meeting approved the appointment of two new trustees: Shelagh Taylor and Joanna Bending.
The meeting also approved a delay in holding the 2015 AGM until November in order to give time for the new arrangements to come into effect.
Abney 175 Anniversary
AG outlined the week-long plans envisioned for celebrating the park’s 175th anniversary, to include a fun day, a “victorian” day, authors Q&A, walks and talks and a music festival.