1. Welcome, apologies and introductions (Mary Mills)
Apologies had been received from Susan Bennet, who had expressed an interest to be more active on the committee (see Item 5 below).
2. Minutes of the last AGM 25 January 2016 (Ian Blore)
IB noted that most of the action points had been resolved except for an event at either tunnel except the plaque unveiling and the drafting of a new tunnel brochure. The 2016 AGM Minutes were accepted.
3. Review of the year (Mary Mills)
MM gave a brief resume of the year with highlights and continuing activities being:
• We welcomed Chris Binnie as our Hon. President and suggest he continues for as long as he wishes. You may make an aside (of minutes) that all attempts to get him to speak at an event has been a failure but he does live in Somerset.
• The interpretative plaque outside the Greenwich Tunnel was ceremonially unveiled by Danny Thorpe and noted on our website and in the press. We have agreement for a small plaque at the war damage section.
• We did not hold another event that year.
• On the brochure we decided to take no action until the Borough initiatives have settled down:
• These are still the movement management scheme and the remote lift alert webpage – which we will discuss in our main meeting.
4. Finance (John Phillips)
JP reported that our balance was exactly the same as last year, £277, there having been no income or expenditure.
5. Committee Vacancies and Elections
Robert Walters took the Chair for the election of the Committee. Each officer was proposed and seconded (Initials in brackets) and the the new committee members accepted nem. con.
Chair (IB, JP), Secretary (MM, MS), Treasurer (IB, MM), Press Officer (vacant)
Representatives of Tower Hamlets (Martyn Daniels proposed by Ralph Hardwick), Newham (Mike Shallcross) and Woolwich (Robert Walters).
6. Any Other Business
Minutes of the General Meeting
(Held after the AGM)
1. Calders Wharf plans (Martyn Daniels of Friends of Island Gardens)
Discussion of this issue was delayed to the end of the meeting.
Martyn Daniels explained the tortuous history of the Calders Wharf project which envisages a block of flats with new community centre next to the Is Gardens tunnel entrance. There were issues of ownership and transfer and the development creep since the original 2012 planning application. FoIG was pursuing an active campaign with an attached petition. Mary suggested that fogwoft is most concerned about the possible loss of the maintenance and electrical facilities by the north Greenwich Tunnel entrance and we should contact the Council about this. ACTION MM.
2. Movement management project (MMP) and bylaw change status (Ian Blore)
IB conveyed latest information on both of these from Greenwich Council. Both were still at the testing stage which had continued for over a year for both. Whilst it was decided to get more clarification for the Council about the lift system (see below), it was held that the continued testing of the MMP and the delay in getting new by laws could be undermining its purpose.
Representatives of Tower Hamlets were unanimous in arguing that cyclists behaviour was not improving, perhaps the reverse. They reported on an accident a fortnight ago involving a pedestrian and cyclist (and were asked if this was officially reported). Their argument was supported by JP who had comments recently from the co-ordinator of Lewisham Cyclists, stressing the same point. It was pointed out that Island Gardens is a No Cycling zone. JP wondered if a simple fence could segregate pedestrians and cyclists in the gardens which met with a further discussion until pulled back to the tunnel issue by the Chair. IB agreed that this was a TfL-funded project, with some funding from Greenwich, and that it was experimental. TfL wish to see if other confined areas where cyclists and pedestrians conflict may be managed by similar systems. He admitted that the experiment may fail. All agreed however that a key was enforcement of any new by laws. Michael Byrne suggested that the nature and level of enforcement was indeed critical and that the operation of the project on a trial basis without this may be counter-productive. IB suggested that we may ask for a temporary suspension of it, or at least a change in the signage wording, for the bylaws to be changed.
RW reminded the meeting that Woolwich Tunnel is very different to the Greenwich one, and that there is no conflict between users there. However he drew attention to the obscuring of the northern sign by hoarding round the lift and the apparent use of power from the lift to light that sign. The meeting agreed that a site visit to Woolwich Tunnel to report on this to Greenwich Council would be sensible. ACTION: Committee
3. Remote lift status alert system progress
See above Item 2. ACTION: IB
4. Tunnel signs and condition and Masterplans for Charlton Riverside
Mary reported that the Council had agree to a small plaque to explain the bomb damage at the north end of Greenwich Tunnel. Apart from ensuring this it was agreed to press for some directional signs to indicate the Woolwich tunnel and that this could be an issue on a site visit there. ACTION: Committee.
It was clarified by Mary that the Charlton Riverside plans did not extend to the vicinity of the Woolwich Tunnel.
5. Proposals for 2017 events (Thames River Crossings, May)
After discussing whether we should link any future event with some improvement to either tunnel, especially at Woolwich it was decided to leave this to the discretion of the Committee. MD reported that the FoIG hold 3 events a year and that one or more of these could be joint.