To note the general update.
The CEO introduced the report which provided an update on current issues, projects, and activities.
In response to questions, the following answers were provided:
- The daily tariff for future car parking arrangements at the Alexandra Park and Palace were as follows:
o Free for 0 – 30min;
o £1.50 for 30min – 1hr;
o £3.00 for 1hr – 2hr;
o £4.50 for 2hr – 3hr;
o £6.00 for 3hr – 4hr;
o £8.00 for 4+ hours;
- Trustees had approved car parking charges. Committee members would not have to pay to park when there was a meeting taking place they were attending, provided they give their number plate in advance;
- It was hoped that new car parking signs would look discrete, with clear instructions on pricing and how to pay. As the trust was in a heritage setting, they were sensitive to signage around the estate;
- It should be noted that the power of issuing penalty notices lay solely with the trust. The trust also had selected a provider that allowed multiple methods of payment;
- The CEO commended the team at Alexandra Park and Palace for how they weathered storm Eunice, keeping visitors at the park safe and keeping damage at the park to a minimum;
- It was noted by a committee member that the paths which were being renovated through the culture recovery grant were poorly signed posted and cordoned off during their renovation;
- It was unknown exactly why the Caucasian Wingnut Trees had been felled. Park Manager, Mark Evison, would circulate the answer to this; and
- There was a strategic plan in place to improve pathways across the park. In order to carry out this plan it was important that drainage investigation was undertaken, to understand why some areas of the park became boggy. The trust had recently submitted an application to fund this work.
The Head of Creative Learning, Mark Civil, presented on information on creative learning at Alexandra Park and Palace explaining information as set out in the CEO’s report at item 5. He also showed a power point presentation to members on this area.
The committee commended Mark Civil for the work he had done, the Chair noted that creative learning was a welcome addition to Alexandra Park and Palace particularly as it fulfilled one of the charitable objects of the trust.
In answer to questions, the following responses were provided:
- The trust was reaching out to local bookshops. Currently they were working with four book shops, which were rotated to ensure all local bookshops in the area were represented;
- The trust was collaborating with stakeholders in the community to welcome refugees;
- Regarding the fire pit, it was part of the outdoor learning curriculum. The trust had put various health & safety protocols in place to ensure staff and public safety;
- A member noted that it was important that the trust had expanded the education part of Alexandra Park and Palace as it was in line with the charitable objects of the trust. There was concern around the renovation of the Transmission Hall for this purpose. The CEO explained that any works done in this area would be sensitive to the history of the building; and
- The creative learning section of the trust was not guaranteed in perpetuity. Charitable funding, particularly in the arts, was a contested space, with increasing numbers of charitable projects and decreasing pools of institutional funding available. It should be noted that levelling up was prioritised, which meant that funding was becoming decentralised. Overall, the trust had found that it had been easier to get funding for specific projects, than it was for staffing, which was a perennial struggle.
The CEO moved on to noise complaints that had been received in relation to park events. In answer to questions, the following responses were provided:
- Independent noise consultants were employed for large events with amplified music to monitor sound levels and in response to complaints during the events;
- The CEO highlighted that the sound and noise policy that the trust operated did not have a technology specification. The trust had a strong commitment to be good neighbours. The trust was dedicated to containing noise at events where possible; and
- The trust had benchmarked complaints. This exercise had reflected favourably on the trust, as relatively it had fewer complaints than venues of similar size.
To note the general update.