His Worshipful the
Mayor, Councillor Butler was in attendance as a Visiting Member for
Agenda Item 8 – Report of the Head of Regeneration and
Economic Development – Cobtree
Manor Park Café Easter Holiday Trials.
Disclosures by Members and Officers
There were no disclosures by Members or
Disclosures of Lobbying
There were no disclosures of lobbying.
RESOLVED: That the items on the
agenda be taken in public as proposed.
The Head of
Regeneration and Economic Development advised the Committee that
Resolution 4 to the report of the Head of Regeneration and Economic
Development – Cobtree Manor Park
Visitor Centre/Café Update – March 2017 would not now
be going ahead.
By way of an update
the Leisure Manager advised that he had contacted Kent Highways
about the feasibility to build a tunnel under Forstal Road to join up Cobtree and Kent Life.
However, he had still not had a response. The Committee requested
that should a response not be received by the next meeting a letter
be sent to the relevant Cabinet Member of KCC from the
the Minutes of the meeting held on 30 March 2017 be approved as a
correct record and signed.
considered the report of the Head of Regeneration and Economic
Development which provided an update on the various activities that
were trialled at Cobtree Manor Park
Café during the Easter holidays in April 2017 to improve the
operation and profitability of the café..
The Leisure Manager
explained that the trial was carried out over the Easter holidays
from 4th April to 21st April 2017.
It was noted that a
survey was undertaken at the same time which assessed the
satisfaction level of the customers of the café since the
changes had been made to reduce the time spent waiting for food
orders. A total of 42 responses had been received and these had
been mainly positive.
The Committee was
The simplified ‘Schools Out
Menu’ had enabled the kitchen staff to deal with orders more
quickly and was therefore considered a success.
A price increase of 15% had been introduced from 6th
April and prices were considered comparable with other park
The quality recyclable cutlery and packaging introduced during busy
periods had been well received by customers and had enabled the
kitchen staff to work more efficiently.
The queues experienced in the Café had been mainly due to
people wanting to buy ice creams or drinks. This was resolved by utilising a second point of
sale, opened up during busy times, selling just ice creams and
drinks which had also proved successful.
There had been problems with users of the car park parking
inefficiently and blocking the entrance to the overflow car
park. It was noted that there had been
an occasion when the car park was full and visitors had parked out
on the main Forstal Road. A report on a redesign for the car park and
costings would come to a future meeting of the Committee.
There was an issue of storage for stock and various initiatives
were being looked at such as hiring a mobile cold store for the 6
weeks summer holiday period etc.
There was a resource issue where there was very little resilience
in the team, various initiatives would
be looked at, including a duty manager role.
There was also a need to clearly define the duties of all staff
within the park, including the Park Ranger to ensure any issues
that arose were dealt with by the most appropriate
A dialogue had already taken place with the Catering Development
Manager of Mote Park Café to collaborate to have more buying
That the contents of the report on Cobtree Manor Park Café as set out in
Appendix 1 be noted; and
That the trial arrangements be made permanent during school
holidays, bank holidays and busy times.