Minutes of Burton Green Residents’ Association Committee Meeting June 19th 2012
Rona Taylor; Judi Hibberd; Janet Hickinbottom; Andrew Gibbs; John Levett; and Mary Webb.
Marlene Hills joined the meeting at 8.50p.m.
In attendance: Kathryn Stewart
Rona welcomed everyone and thanked Judi for hosting the meeting.
Apologies had been received from Marlene Hills, Bron Putnam, Faith Ward and John Nisbet.
Minutes of the last meeting and Matters Arising
The minutes of the last meeting of April 23rd 2012 were accepted.
1 Matters Arising
Defibrillator: Kathryn had discussed this with the Village Hall committee. After initial concerns, they had agreed to it being located at the Hall. Sarginsons solicitors had offered some sponsorship. It was likely to be the autumn before further progress was made but Mary Webb had a meeting planned and was monitoring the situation.
Severn Trent: The water pressure problem had been solved after a faulty valve was identified in Red Lane. A named contact had been obtained in case of future problems.
Greenway: John Whitehouse had worked to secure a permanent barrier of substantial wire netting on the slope from the bridge in Cromwell Lane
Parish Clerk: The position had been advertised in the Bugle as well as through other channels and was now being managed by the acting clerk.
Treasurer: Marlene would be unable to continue in the role after August and so a replacement was being sought. It would be possible to co-opt onto the committee anyone wishing to take up this position and Rona would pursue this.
Treasurer's report: The report issued in April was queried. There had been some confusion over whether the event organised by Deirdre Vernon was a “for profit” event, as mentioned in the report but the committee agreed this was not a business venture and it had already been agreed any surplus monies would be used towards the Made in Burton Green event in 2014.
Police and Neighbourhood Watch: The coffee morning supported by the local police force on May 9th had been well attended and a follow up meeting had been held regarding security equipment. Some of the items discussed were to be made available at Town & Country Furniture in Kenilworth, a business owned by Burton Green residents Andy and Jenny Jones.
Pot holes: The pot holes in Cromwell Lane outside the Tacons’ house had been filled in and there was evidence of further repair to take place.
All other matters arising were covered by the agenda.
2. Report back on Burton Green Jubilee celebrations
Rona expressed thanks to all who were involved in the village celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Many sections of the village had worked well together. Surplus monies raised were to be divided between the Village Hall, the Residents’ Association and the Greenway Trust. Thanks were extended for free use of the Village Hall.
A grant of just under £3,000 had been obtained from “Art on the Doorstep” for a variety of activities. The mosaic which was being finalised had permission to be in place at the junction of Red/Hob/ Cromwell Lanes until the end of August. A decision would then be made about where it would be sited.
3. The Relationship between the new Parish Council and the Residents’ Association
In January, before the new Parish Council had been formed, it had not been felt a division of labour would be necessary between the two groups. Rona felt the relationship would evolve but some members of the committee felt clarification of roles was needed.
It was planned to have a representative from the Parish Council at future meetings but this had not yet been finalised.
It was agreed that all communication needed to be two-way. Indeed, Rona had given a report at the last Parish Council meeting outlining the highlights of the last year including the Residents’ Association purpose to help the village celebrate events; to raise petitions when necessary; to facilitate residents’ contributions and feedback via meetings and questionnaires etc. Rona felt the Residents’ Association would deal with matters such as concerns about potholes, bonfires, dog fouling and other issues.
It was agreed the Residents’ Association had more freedom than the Parish Council which had statutory obligations.
Communication was agreed to be vital. The Bugle, bulletins, public meetings and coffee mornings were essential ways to liaise with residents and the AGM was a powerful way to hold the Parish Council to account.
It was felt important to keep personnel involved in each body separate.
The Residents’ Association was keen to work with the Parish Council and the latter was open to working with all village groups for the good of residents. One main difference was that the Parish Council had a budget and greater power.
Rona suggested that she would issue the Chairman’s Report prior to the AGM and would include a paragraph outlining some of the different roles and responsibilities.
4. The Parish Plan
Following the meeting on June 13th, Kathryn had collated all the responses.
As yet there had been no offers to join a steering committee but Marcus and Kathryn Stewart, Mary Webb and Rona Taylor would become members. Anyone else from the village was welcome to join. Rona would arrange to circulate this on the village email system.
It was decided that rather than create sub groups, it would be necessary to list objectives and perhaps co-opt people to take on an issue or themes that mattered to them.
It was important to get something produced as a starting point from which to work.
Action: Steering Group
Questionnaires etc would be devised at a later date. It was emphasised that this was not an initiative of the Residents’ Association but needed ownership by the village as a whole.
5. Planning Issues
At the Kenilworth Community Forum, Chris Elliott, Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Council, had delivered the Local Plan. This designated Burton Green as a category 2 village with possibly 30-80 new houses. Decisions would be taken by the Parish Council but anyone could respond to the consultation until July 28th and residents were urged to do so.
It was agreed that there would be such diverse views within the village that the committee could not submit a response on behalf of the Residents’ Association.
Rona agreed to contact the Council to see if she could obtain enough copies of the summary Local Plan document to distribute to all houses in Burton Green.
Action: Rona and Mary
6. Village Hall
Kathryn reported that it had been a turbulent year for the Village Hall committee primarily because of the uncertainty caused by the threat of HS2. Andy felt HS2 would have to make full and absolute restitution if the plans went ahead. Increased running costs (18% higher than the previous year) and the loss of some regular hirers meant that the funds would break even this year rather than creating a surplus.
Much refurbishment had taken place and numbers were good with 60-90 attendees per event.
The Village Hall committee was keen to attract new, younger users with fresh ideas.
The Residents’ Association committee would always help in whatever way it could.
Hopes had been raised that HS2 would be cancelled but this was not clear cut. Andy said there had been much news recently which had indicated the business case for HS2 was becoming even shakier. The next cost benefit ratio would be less than one.
Campaigners against an additional Heathrow runway said when it was cancelled they feared the threat would return and it had. Andy felt this would not be the case with HS2 for the next 10-20 years.
The treasury was becoming wary and the government had put off announcing the next stage of the route.
The next HS2 local forum meeting was to be held on Tuesday June 26th at St Francis Hall in Kenilworth. It was agreed that Burton Green should have separate representation at future fora and that this should be pressed for.
Also at Heart of England School in Balsall Common there was to be a public meeting on July 6th at 7p.m. where Jeremy Wright and Caroline Spelman would discuss the tunnel proposal.
8. Councillors’ Reports
Cllr. Whitehouse had said that in future he would be reporting to the Parish Council and the same would probably be true of the District Councillors.
Burton Green Parish Council
There were no Parish Councillors present. Rona passed on a report from Cllr. Taylor that the Council was busy appointing a Parish Clerk and considering the Neighbourhood Plan.
A notice board for Red Lane was to be pursued.
Marlene had submitted a report (attached) which she presented.
There were a number of items to be distributed during the forthcoming weekend.
Mary said it was time to collect the £3 subscriptions. It was agreed that she would provide envelopes to distributors so that they could be left with a sticker explaining when they would be collected. It was hoped this would help to avoid the problems of
a. residents not paying because they were out
b. collectors having to ask for the money, as some did not like doing this
c. collectors having to return several times
£45 was still to be added to income from advertisers.
11. Choir grant application
An application had been made to the Residents’ Association for money to support the newly-formed Burton Green Village Choir. However, Janet and Judi withdrew the application as they had been successful in gaining funds through the Kenilworth Forum and also had an application pending with Warwickshire Small Grants.
The committee congratulated them on their success and were pleased to hear of the choir’s establishment and progress.
12. Any Other Business
Some residents had expressed concern about the speed of some cyclists on the Greenway.
The Greenway surface was to be dressed from Burton Green to Berkswell later in the year. There was also to be discussion about signage regarding respect for all users. Five informational signs had already been agreed.
The Greenway Trust was to be responsible for its management. In September footpaths from the Greenway were to be considered and community walkers would be needed to help with this.
A book of Greenway Walks was suggested as a future project.
A meeting with the police on May 30th with the support of Cllr.Whitehouse resulted in the formation of a Burton Green sub group for Community Speedwatch.
Nick and Sue Hogue from Cromwell Lane had joined the forum in Kenilworth about cycling in the area.
At last a response had been received from Justine Greening as Jeremy Wright had again presented Burton Green’s letter to her. (The reply is attached.)
A suggestion was made for an Open Gardens event again in 2013. Deirdre Vernon might also introduce a scarecrow trail.
It was agreed that the approved minutes would be sent to John Webb to add to his website.
Marlene mentioned the adverse camber in Red Lane which could cause some flooding.
13. Date, time and venue of Next Meeting
The next committee meeting would take place at 18 Hodgetts Lane on Tuesday September 11th at 7.30p.m.