Improved Openness Agreed At First Meeting

Following the election of five new Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators

Keith Luck, a Wimbledon resident, was elected as Chairman, with Shirley Gillbe who lives in Putney, as Vice-Chairman. The other Trustees, also known as Conservators, are Sir Ian Andrews*, John Cameron, Nick Evans, Derek Frampton*, Ros Taylor* and Prue Whyte. (*Trustee appointed by a Government Department.)

From L to R standing: Derek Frampton, Sir Ian Andrews, Keith Luck, Nicholas Evans, Prue Whyte
From L to R seated: Shirley Gillbe, John Cameron, Dr Ros Taylor

A new policy was agreed to improve openness, communication and regular access to the Trustees and the team, led by CEO Simon Lee, who manage the 1,140 acres of open space at Wimbledon Common, Putney Heath and Putney Common.

This is just the first step in a series of initiatives which will include the introduction of a network of ‘Stakeholder Advisory Groups’ and four open meetings which will be open to all. Keith Luck, the elected Chairman said after the meeting:
“As a new Board, we are determined to take a much more pro-active approach to engagement with everyone who uses the Commons. The series of public meetings and proposed Stakeholder Group will allow the public far greater opportunity to engage with the Conservators than they have ever had previously and will help everyone gain a better understanding of the challenges facing these unique areas of public open space.”

Open Meetings

Along with the current Annual Open Meeting, which is being held on 17 June at 8pm
(Conservators available from 7.15pm) there will be three further drop-in open meetings held
during the year at Manor Cottage next to the Wimbledon Windmill. Dates will be confirmed
shortly. They will be open to anyone who wishes to question a panel that will include Chief
Executive, Simon Lee, and some or all the Conservators. These will give the public an
opportunity to meet the management team and the Conservators to discuss the running of
the Commons and to learn about future works and events, and to also raise any issues that
are of concern to them. These meetings will replace the limited access monthly
Conservators’ meeting at which those attending were prevented from actually participating.
The Board also agreed to move from the current monthly open/private format of Board
meeting to quarterly meetings and, in order to properly discuss governance issues, these
meetings will be held in private.

Stakeholder Advisory Group

Following the success of ‘Stakeholder Advisory Groups at other key London open spaces
such as Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park, the Wimbledon and Putney Commons
Conservators will be establishing a Group supported by a network of user forums which will
allow representatives from local community bodies and regular user groups to meet and
discuss the specific issues that affect them.

Backing up these meetings will be regular Newsletters and seasonal updates which the
public can sign up to receive by e-mail.

Investing in the Future of the Commons

The new Board confirmed that over £500,000 from reserves is being invested in the
infrastructure of all the Commons over the coming year to make them better for everyone.
There will also be a series on announcements in the coming weeks of other new initiatives,
including the introduction of a new website.

April 20, 2015