Minutes of the AGM, 25 January 2016 at 7.30 pm in Town Hall at Woolwich
1. Welcome, apologies and introductions
Mary Mills (MM) opened the meeting of 7 people. Apologies were received from Cllrs. Aidan Smith and Matt Clare, Jo Lawbuary and Paul Aldridge
2. Matters arising from the minutes of the AGM 6 October 2014
The Minutes were approved without amendment.
3. Review of the year
Dr Mary Mills reviewed a quiet year for 2015 and pointed towards a more active 2016 (see presentation document)
John Phillips (JP) spoke to the accounts for the period Oct 2014 to Jan 2016 and indicated a current balance of £277.
5. Committee Vacancies and Elections
The positions of Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer were for election. The only nominations were for existing officers:
Chair – Mary Mills (MM) elected nem. con.
Secretary – Ian Blore (IB) elected nem. con.
Treasurer – John Phillips (JP) elected nem. con.
Other co-opted committee members were elected:
Susan Bennett (SB, for Tower Hamlets) nem. con.
Mike Shallcross (MS, for Newham) nem. con.
Robert Walker (RW) was proposed as representative for Woolwich and elected nem. con.
6. Any Other Business
Both RW and MS indicated the poor quality, or non-existence, of the signs around the Woolwich Tunnel and it was agreed to discuss this as under item 3 of the General Meeting.
Minutes of General Meeting
1. Movement Management Project
The Borough project was outlined by IB (see presentation document). RW wondered if Woolwich needed any management at all, though IB suggested traffic may increase in the future and it has been decided to install systems in both tunnels. Traffic growth in Greenwich has pushed increased pedestrians and cyclists up to over 2000 movements a day on a weekday and over 1000 for both types of users for the Woolwich tunnel. Who knows how long the ferry will operate and a more inviting and known Woolwich tunnel may increase traffic quite quickly.
JP suggested that critical usage times when cycling needs to be most curbed may be when there is low pedestrian traffic and cyclists may speed. A debate over how to decide on “considerate” cycling ensued with a consensus that this should be qualitative, rather than rely on speed limits, but could be occasionally enforced when fines are more realistic. It emphasised the importance of the “behavioural management campaign” once the bylaws had been updated. JP suggested that the new signs and other information may better empower considerate users to enforce better behaviour by less considerate. IB felt that the project is ambitious in hoping to improve manners, but the current anarchy seemed to satisfy few.
2. Remote lift status alert system progress
The Borough had informed us that this was still being tested. It was expected to go live in the spring and would be publicised by us. ACTION: IB
3. Tunnel signs and condition
IB and JP outlined the Borough plan for an interpretive plinth at the south entrance to the Greenwich tunnel. It was agreed that fogwoft should support a similar plinth at the north entrance – though this may well entail requesting Tower Hamlets to fund it.
Fogwoft are suggesting a sign explaining the bomb damage in the Greenwich tunnel and hope to input to the safety signs in both tunnels. ACTION: IB
RW lamented the poor nature of signs at Woolwich. All present agreed that this needed to be improved. IB suggested that the area could be tidied and perhaps planted. MM said that the whole area was due for redevelopment. We should press for that to display the tunnel entrance rather than wholly bury it. The meeting agreed. MM also suggested that RW should suggest a small package of sign for the Woolwich tunnel which would be discussed with the Borough. ACTION: RW
4. Proposals for 2016 events
MM informed the meeting of the talk on the tunnels at the Greenwich Industrial History Society on 15 March (watch website for details) and MM and IB indicated that the great grandson of Sir Alexander Binnie (designer of the Greenwich tunnel) had been in touch. It was agreed that fogwoft would invite Chris Binnie to be associated with the Friends group. ACTION: MM
IB indicated that the Borough would hold an event to unveil the new plinth in Cutty Sark Gardens in which we would be involved. ACTION: IB
It was also agreed that fogwoft should hold an simple walk-through event alternating between the tunnels. ACTION: tbd
It was also agreed to review the current tunnel brochure and perhaps prepare a substitute. ACTION: MM to liaise with TIC
There was no other business raised and the meeting closed at 8.30pm