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Monday, April 9, 2012



Easter comes to the Queens Park and the weather has been against it with it being cold and damp there hasnt been a lot of people in the park. The Coronation Walk has had another tidy up this week and they were going to try and get the pump working for the stream. This week the yobs have tried to break into the bowling hut and with kids being off school everything is getting thrown into the lake.


FREE Easter Entertainment at
The Pickle Jar at the Lakeside Pavilion this weekend:
GOOD FRIDAY 1pm – 4pm
Soprano Linda Race sings songs from the musicals
Three live Acoustic acts
EASTER SUNDAY 1.30pm – 4pm
The Kipling singers
group singing musical songs in harmony
... Singer songwriter Clare Pritchard from Chester.
with Guitarist- singing a wide range of popular songs
Plus, Children's Bonnet Parade & Egg Hunt


Wildlife this week is the same game with the grebes one day there is one next day there is five. The swans are also down to just two this week the other may have gone to find a mate. Still some Robins about


There now seems to be a lot of nuthatches breading in the park I managed to get two pictures of them entering the nest in one tree if you look at the full size picture you can see one inside the nest. They are in several trees around the park being so small they are hard to see and get a picture of


Friends of Queens Park Meeting
Tuesday 20th March 2012
Games Pavilion
Queen’s Park

Derek Morgan    Charlie Griffiths    Ray Stafford
Pam Minshall    Lisa Prime    Daniel Prime
Sheila Blackburn    P Burrows    Jan Wright
Elaine Dodd    Jules Hornbrook    Cllr Mo Grant
Eric Buckley    W Ryan    Nick Barker
Stef Townsend    Roy Prince    Ben Wyre
Deb Lindop    Stefan Petrovic    Adrian Lindop
Roy & Janet Sparkes    Cllr Roy Cartlidge    Wayne Williams
Linda Cooke    Cllr Dorothy Flude    Mike Worthington
Dawn Clark    Glenys Hooper   

No    Item
1.0    Apologies
2.0    Previous Minutes
The minutes of the last meeting were agreed as correct.
3.0    Matters Arising from the Minutes
Question re: Capital Investment discussed at a previous meeting - This was deferred to the Chair’s Report.
4.0    Chairperson’s Report & Summary
Firstly thank you for coming along and Welcome to our Guest speakers – talking about:
1.    Crewe Urban Vision – Objectives and Partnership Potential – welcome to Adrian & Deb Lindop
2.    Jubilee Crewe Celebrations - welcome to Dawn Clark – Local Area Partnership
3.    Queens Park an Educational Venue - welcome to Ben Wyre – Crewe Partnership Co-Ordinator

As for the project itself we are about to enter into the next interesting phase as Cheshire East Council have just submitted the First Phase of Application for the next Heritage Lottery Grant Application to finalise works and we are all aware of what is outstanding and the works priorities. 

A  HLF Officer is to visit on the 26th March and it is so important that we present a good image and united front, to push the project forward, to gain what we hope will be a positive response from them in assisting to fund the outstanding works.

The chair reflected on QP issues:
We all need to communicate the message about we are where we are...  the level of investment we received was and is significant and probably greater than any other Council has provided for  other public parks. The Heritage Lottery Fund provided a grant of just under £3m and the remaining funds of £3.5m were from other external funding organisations, such as WREN and capital reserves of the former Crewe and Nantwich Council, so it has not been funded by the Council tax as stated in some press publications. 

Remembering too that when the Park opened 100+ years ago – she was not complete, much of the infra-structure and associated facilities did not exist, so there was nothing to create or maintain.  Also, additional expenditure has been incurred as works have literally uncovered the  unknown – such as potential roadway collapse into the Park from part of the Victoria Ave road  network, then we have had bats, ecologists, power cables, drainage investigations, wildlife / fowl  protection, a phenomenal amount of silt and its relocation from the lake....

Much of the work at the moment is behind the scenes, particularly with regard to ensuring
there are appropriate funds and resources to maintain the Park in future years.  The Management Maintenance Plan, is actively being drawn together, although the Chair commented he considered this should have already been finalised and agreed at the last application.  Once completed, this will have to be approved by the Heritage Lottery Fund and  will also be required to be finished and considered before they are able to confirm any additional funding.  Talks so far are optimistic.

Works programmed at this time are to do with SNAGGING WORKS,
there is no new investment at this time.  For example, there is still some works required in the new toilets mainly for the tiling, which is outstanding.  The works in the cafe include some roofing repairs, also repairs following vandalism, which has already been done to remove graffiti and to much damage done to storage doors under the veranda area.  Also, the doors have had constant problems with the automatic electronic mechanism, this has taken a long time to sort  out but appears to now be repaired after a long battle!  There is a similar story with regards to  the under floor heating.  A new external store area is shortly to be built on the side of the cafe pavilion, mainly to assist with deliveries and the storage of bins which is a fire risk at this time.

Electronic and computer connections are on-going in the lodges and they to require some remedial end of contract works to be finished.  We hope to have our Manager, Elaine, in-situ shortly.

Hand rails have now been ordered to add to the bridges and some earth moving around the access points also.

There are some works programmed for earth moving on the rough footpaths on the West side of the Lodge as you go down to Coronation Valley, mainly to achieve DDA requirements and to prevent potential nasty falls on the present steep incline.

Plans are being drawn upon to demolish the old depot area and I will let you know more about that once details are know,

Also, l there are some tidying works to the base of the memorial where the planted beds are.  These will be reformatted so you cannot see the inner cement and also chains to be replaced.

Requests re volunteers for small maintenance works were disappointing in that, only 4 signed up at the AGM, plus 2 electronic members.  If you are willing, fit and able and have appropriate skills, please give Sheila our Secretary all of your details.

In particular Friends would like to arrange a small working party to
Power wash benches and re-oil.  Could include some small joinery repair works.
Power wash bins and rebrand – Queens Park stickers are ready to reattach.
And LITTER BLITZ around the Park generally.

Regarding Community use and Eventing, Elaine issued a list of the confirmed Events
programmes to date at Item 8. We await details of next year’s budget allocation, for promotions and events, if any...!!!   However, we have received a lot of positive responses from the Community plus support from The Pickle Jar Lakeside Pavilion to stage events and engage the community in activities in the Park all of which will greatly help and contribute to our lottery application.  There have been some fantastic educational opportunities explored thanks to the co-orientation of Bed Wyre see Item 7.  A thank you to Ben was expressed, and also some fantastic news about Orienteering in the Park. Plus, our own Secretary Sheila has undertaken at least one session, so thank you Sheila, as has Tim Prevett who is known for his Ghost Walks.  The Parks Manager was thanked for her co-ordination – all are helping us to achieve these all important educational opportunities and benefits, which is great news for the Park.

Finally, Stef Townsend, our valued last remanding Park Warden is taking Voluntary Redundancy due to the loss of this position.   Despite our petition dated 2nd December 2011, pleas to the CEC Chief Executive and my media releases – all protective measures have been unsuccessful; this is a sad loss for the Park in losing Stef but also a sad loss for the Park’s project, as we are left in a most comprising position regarding security and potential issues and risks.  Police, PCSO’s and CEC Wardens, are all kindly on-board to assist us, however in reality they will not be here 24 / 7 and they too have undergone a reduction of resources.  The Chair is to convey again grievance about this formally again to Cheshire East Council, but noted all so far have been on deaf ears.  A big thank you to Cllr Dorothy Flude also for pursuing this matter in great lengths for both Stef and Queens Park.  Stef,  “we wish you all the very best in the future and thank you sincerely for all your hard works, efforts, park improvements, and long hours worked, covering also  in difficult times for a valued member of staff sadly lost to us.” 
5.0    Events in 2012
Adrian / Deb Lindop - Crewe Urban Vision
The group presented outlined principles, vision and ongoing works of projects, including possible links and shared resources between CUV and the Friends of Queens Park.
Local Area Partnership: this is a valuable opportunity for groups such as ours to work together and to apply collectively for support.  It was considered opportunities and a sharing of volunteers could be explored.
6.0    Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in Crewe – Dawn Clark LAP -
Todate, the Action Plan for the Bank Holiday weekend in June is as follows:
Saturday 2nd June: Crewe Music Live
Monday 4th June :Town Street Party hosted by the Mayor. Community Groups are to be invited and activities in the town centre will be between 12 and 3pm. From 3pm, events will take place in Queens Park, in conjunction with The Pickle Jar and Friends Group.
QP activities include children’s events and live music until the laser beacon at 10.15 followed by short fireworks display.
6.1    Crewe celebrates 175 years!  Dawn Clark LAP
Heritage Projects throughout the summer at: Lyceum, Heritage Centre and Library etc.  There is a lot going on – look for details on public notice boards and in the local press.
6.2    26th May – C&N Lions – Derek Morgan
Street Party of 1,000 Scouts in the Park
7.0    Ben Wyre – Educational Opps
Ben gave an update on educational projects in the Park and how these are progressing, problems encountered, such as Risk assessments, funding etc.
Projects currently underway include:
    Orienteering,
    a KS2 Maths Trail (compiled by Gainsborough Pupils)
    SEAL event on 20th June – toilets may be an issue !
    Fire Brigade water safety lessons
    Sports and Olympic Events
    EAL event
Further details to be posted.
8.0    Elaine Dodd presented a hand-out of forthcoming events in the Park.
These depend on the new budget and are still to be confirmed.
Details to follow as above.
9.0    AOB
Q: Refurbishment of Burma Star Island as at meeting in November 2011
A; Refer to Chair’s Report above re all funding.
Note: there are specific times in the year when applications for funding can be made; ideas and visions for further improvements to Park areas are still in hand.

Q: Lions Sensory Garden and Dave Wilcox support group who are interested in a low allergy garden – could the two groups work together on this?
A: Nothing further has been heard from representation form C&N Lions to Project Consultant (Heritage) of 2 years ago, who have presented proposals re a sensory garden. There could be some conflict of interest in this and it will have to be given further consideration. 
Ben Wyre talked about Adelaide School wishing to establish a Butterfly Garden, working with teenage apprentices.
Elaine Dodd indicated that the East Lodge garden could become a Community Garden.

Q: Lake debris: is there any provision in the maintenance budget for the removal of the debris?
A: There is no extra/specific money but removal is part of ongoing grounds and maintenance work.

Q: From a parent of a two year old. Re: deterioration of toddlers playground equipment from vandalism – are there any plans or contingencies for repairs or agreements with Wicksteed to maintain?
A; (Charlie Griffiths) The equipment is inspected regularly in line with requirements and this includes an annual National Safety Inspection.

Q: If there is no longer a Park Warden, could Special Constables be used?
A: Personnel such as PCSO and the Police do visit the Park to check, there is also a Security Group which meet that consists of PSCOs, Police, Wardens, LAP, etc, representatives.  The chair stressed the situation was less than ideal.

Q: (From Bowls Club Chairman) The problems incurred at the Lakeside Pavilion apply to the Games Pavilion – what measures are/ can be put in place to prevent these?
A: Shutters were not part of the budget for the new buildings and might be seen as something of a challenge for troublemakers!  A recent break-in at The Lakeside Pavilion is viewed as exceptional – not experienced at the old café. The situation will be monitored.
9.1    Mayoral Events
Roy Cartlidge publicised forthcoming Mayoral events in the town and the Park.
Issued 3.4.12

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