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Friday, 4 November 2016

Minutes of Residents' Association AGM 31st October 2016

Rona welcomed everyone, in particular parish councilors and said some county councillors hoped to join later after an earlier meeting.

She explained her aim was to make presentations as brief as possible allowing time for discussion of issues of importance. The District and County councilors reported to Parish Council meetings so there was no longer a need to incorporate these reports into the Residents’ Association AGM.

1. Apologies

Apologies had been received from Peter and Lesley Tacon, Cllr.John Whitehouse, Cllr.David Skinner and Sue Patterson.

2. Minutes of the last meeting and Matters Arising

The minutes of the last Annual General Meeting of October 5th 2015 were accepted.  Proposed: Faith Ward; Seconded: Mary Webb; Unanimously accepted.

3. Matters Arising

All matters arising were to be covered by agenda points

4. Chair’s Report

Copies of the Chair’s Report had been made available. Rona presented her report as follows:

The Burton Green Residents’ Association has had a busy year organising community events, responding proactively to issues of concern raised by residents and keeping residents as fully informed as possible through the Bugle , which is published four times a year, and “Paddy’s Loop”.

Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday was celebrated in style with a well supported Community Fun Day in June. We are grateful to the School for hosting the event and to all our generous sponsors. Yet again the Jubilee Group did us proud and we look forward to their next summer extravaganza on Saturday June 10th, 2017, when Henry’s R and B Band will be entertaining us at Long Meadow Farm.

Lunches for “The Retired of Burton Green” have remained popular and the September meal was a special Royal Birthday buffet, with an amazing cake made by Vicki Aizlewood.

We continue to be vigilant in reporting potholes, fly tipping and overgrown hedges and trees which obstruct pavements and roads. A particular issue of concern recently has been the Hodgetts Lane junction with Nailcote Lane and Waste Lane where there have been 3 accidents since July. Together with the Parish Council, we are working with Bruce Broom, of Solihull Metropolitan Borough, who set up a meeting with hissafety officer to which we also invited representatives of Balsall Common and Berkswell Parish Councils. We will be pressing for a reduction in the speed limit in Nailcote Lane and Waste Lane on both sides of the junction and would like a traffic island to be considered. In the meantime, we will keep a close eye on the cutting back of hedges on all corners of this dangerous junction.

Speeding remains a key issue of concern to residents, so we are very grateful to our Speedwatch team for continuing to maintain a regular presence on Cromwell Lane and Red Lane.

Severn Trent have fixed the leak at the end of Red Lane and, after receiving a report from the Residents’ Association on problems with water pressure, they are investigating this issue again, liaising individually with residents who identified problems.

The flower tubs at the entrance to the village have been a lovely splash of colour and a clean up in the Spring improved the appearance of the Greenway. The Christmas tree with festive lights has become an annual attraction on the Jubilee Verge and this year we are working with the Balsall Common Lions to ensure the Santa Sleigh visits Hob Lane and Red Lane as well as the usual route along Hodgetts and Cromwell Lanes. So look out for Santa after 5.30 pm on Friday Dec 16th! We will be doing a door collection in aid of The Myton Hospices and the Village Hall will be open from 5.30pm until about 8.30 if you would like to pop in for a tea/ coffee and donate.

We were very pleased to host a welcome meeting for new residents in the summer and we have compiled a welcome pack of information about Burton Green. We have represented Burton Green at the Kenilworth Forum meetings and are pleased to have received grants for recalibrating our Speed watch gun and purchasing new cutlery forour residents’ lunches. We are delighted that at the last two Forums, PC Cain Pickering  announced that Burton Green voters had secured police priority status for monitoring traffic on Red Lane and running a police clinic in the village.

Our charity activities this year have included a coffee morning to support people affected by disaster in Nepal and a food bank.

The First Response course, teaching emergency first aid, was well attended and we hope to make this an annual event to keep residents’ skills updated.

The interesting and varied activities done under the umbrella of the Residents’ Association are a credit to  the community reflecting the community spirit which makes Burton Green such a special place to live.

5. Treasurer’s Report

The Income & Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet are attached separately.

Terry introduced the Income & Expenditure account for the year. He said it had been alow key year with income and expenditure just over £3000. There were unattributed assets of £3200 to face any emergencies.

BGRA occasionally gave donations to worthwhile causes but particular fund raising activities were carried out for such a purpose. This year some donations had been made to First Response team and Made in Burton Green.

The summer event celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday had been funded through sponsorship. A donation of £200 went to the school.

There were no questions.

Terry was standing down as treasurer after 4 years. Thanks were given to him.

6. Election of Independent Examiner 

Terry thanked Peter Tacon for inspecting the accounts Peter had again agreed to act as Independent Examiner. Proposed:  Deirdre Vernon; Seconded: Jerry Marshall; Unanimously agreed

7. Election of Committee members

Janet Hickinbottom, as Joint Secretary, conducted this agenda item.

The constitution required that the officers and three committee members should stand down.  All the officers (Rona Taylor, Mary Webb, Janet Hickinbottom and Judi Hibberd) were re-elected. As already reported, Terry Heyes was standing down. Proposed: Andy Gibbs Seconded: Betty Woodward Unanimously agreed.

Three committee members (Hilary Cox, Faith Ward and Bron Putnam) also stood down and agreed to be re-elected: Proposed: Eileen Nisbet; Seconded: Caryll Green; Unanimously agreed.

A nomination had been received for Dianne Adams to act as treasurer. Proposed: Mary Webb; Seconded: Janet Stanworth; Unanimously agreed

8. Discussion of key Burton Green issues:

District Cllr. Rowena Hill was welcomed to the meeting.

HS2 

Andy Gibbs explained that HS2 was currently being discussed by the Select Committee in the House of Lords. It was expected that the hearing would be completed by Christmas and a report would then be made. Then there would be a finalvote and royal assent was likely to be granted early in 2017. Some preparatory work was happening currently with the agreement of landowners.

Outer compensation bands would be established and compensation would start to be paid after the Royal Assent.

Residents with any HS2 related problems should contact Jonathan Lord, HS2’s SeniorArea Engagement Manager. In January the community was to have a noise demonstration

A resident asked for further details of compensation schemes. Andy said residents were now entitled to choose a local independent valuer (instead of from a pool of appointed valuers) alongside one chosen by HS2.  The Home Owner Protection Zone (formerly the Safeguarding Zone) was the area up to 60m from the proposed line. In this zone residents could choose to sell their house to HS2 and would also receive costs. At some point in the future, residents in the Rural Support Zone (120m) would be able to get 10 per cent of their home’s value if the residents chose to stay. Otherwise they could sell to HS2.Three further bands would have compensation at a lower level.

All of this would be triggered by the Royal Assent.

Q. What if a resident needs to sell? The resident must try to sell on the open market and see if they are offered within 85% of the asking price. The reasons for needing to sell included divorce, moving job, change in health, downsizing.

Cllr.Taylor said the HS2 Action Alliance was looking at the need to sell scheme. This was being more generous around Heathrow.

Q. A resident asked about the timescale for any demolition.  The date of 2018 had been given.

Q. Could pressure be brought to bear on HS2 as a landlord with regard to matters of maintenance such as cutting hedges? Yes. Contact details would be circulated in the next edition of the Bugle. Action: Mary

Housing

Cllr Taylor said the Parish Council as an elected body had statutory responsibilities including with reference to issues of planning.He said the village was surrounded by problems. There were 240 houses proposed near Tile Hill Station in Cromwell Lane. Solihull council was opposed to the development. There was to be a final meeting on the following Wednesday and the inspector would look at local sites. Cllr.Taylor had been impressed with the research and knowledge of local people.

Cllr. Taylor made reference to a road which had long been rumoured to connect with the A429 and might easily run from Westwood Heath Road/Cromwell Lane junction.

Berkswell and Balsall Common were to receive a maximum of 1600 houses and Solihull MBC was to produce a draft plan with preferred sites which might impact on Windmill Lane, Waste Lane and Hob Lane and increase traffic. In the Warwick District Revised Plan, 425 houses were sited at the top of Westwood Heath Road with a health centre, shop and some community facilities. It appeared to Cllr. Taylor that there would be little affordable housing.

The Burrows Hill Nursery site which was supported by the Parish Council had been changed to accommodate 90 homes rather than 60 and the Parish Council opposed this increase.

Burton Green was likely to double in size and with the possibility of boundary changes Coventry might absorb the village.

Q. What was the timing on the Burrows Hill decision? The inspector would be commenting in two weeks’ time.700 homes were proposed at a later stage further down Westwood Heath Road.

Cllr. George Illingworth had joined the meeting. He said the inspector would report early in 2017 and then planning applications would need to be submitted so there would be several months’ delay.

He asked how many people had raised objection to housing and recommended residents should register to attend the meeting and speak. He said the inspector would provide a fair hearing.

Q. A resident asked about an earlier proposal to build 25-39 houses by the pub. Planning for this had not been submitted.

Q. Another question was raised about a possible development on the former electricityboard site. Cllr. Taylor said this site had in the past been accepted as a necessary greenspace and that it was not part of current plans. However, the planners had said that building in Cromwell Lane had compromised the Green Belt. The situation was uncertain.

Speedwatch

Terry Heyes reported as the Speedwatch Team Leader, Pat Hehir, was away. He explained that the number of volunteers has dwindled from 11 to 5. Volunteers were trained and supervised by the police but there had to be sufficient numbers of volunteers to trigger training/ PC Cain Pickering had volunteered to do some basic training for those who would not be able to use the speed gun but could assist the team

Q. How effective was Speedwatch? Terry felt its effectiveness had obviously decreased because a lack of volunteers meant it could not operate so frequently. Their purpose was to persuade, not enforce which was the role of the police. A letter might be sent by the police to persistent offenders. Speeds along Cromwell and Hob Lane had reduced partly because of a reduction in the speed limit.

Q. Questions were asked about the chosen locations for the operation of the team. Residents could suggest new locations and these would be assessed by the Speedwatch Road Protection Unit. Police Matters PC Pickering introduced himself and explained he was based in Kenilworth with two PCSOs.

He felt the Speedwatch team do a tremendous job. Thanks were given to the team.

He went on to say Burton Green had a very low crime rate even compared to Beehive Hill and Clinton Lane. He warned, though, that residents should be extra vigilant as the dark nights were a cover for burglars and high performance cars were a particular target. At the Community Forum it had been voted on to establish foot patrols in the village and to hold surgeries for local people. The dates of these would be circulated via Paddy’s loop and the Bugle.

Village Hall 

Cheryl Ward, Chair of the Village Hall Committee said it had been another successful year as the hall had been well used. The committee wanted to respond to the needs of the community. The new Coffee, cakes and computers club twice a month was starting to prove popular. A range of different groups and activities used the hall.

It was important to promote the hall as income had dropped from regular hirers. The committee planned to use Facebook more.

With reference to the proposed replacement Village Hall, plans had been presented to HS2 in April with a justification paper. Originally it was planned that the new hall would be ready to use at the end of October 2019 but the committee had heard very little since April. Earlier that day they had heard that the independent evaluator felt the new hall was too big, even though the Select Committee had told HS2 to be generous.It was felt the hall needed to increase its capacity by at least 30% to accommodate a growing population.

Deirdre Vernon explained that some students from Warwickshire College were to carry out a paper exercise to design possible outside space.

Q. When will the hall’s final design be available?  That all depended on HS2. The committee was also dealing with the issue of trying to get main sewerage access for the new hall.

Q. Was there a Plan B if the hall design was turned down? It had been suggested that the help of the local MP should be sought. The community fund which had to be raised by developers was another avenue worth exploring. Cllr. Illingworth said the latter was certainly worth investigating and he recommended talking further to WDC’s planners.

Another reason to keep pressure on HS2 was that the new hall had to be ready for occupation before the old one was demolished.

Cheryl closed by inviting residents to the Village Hall AGM on November 11th.School,

Sue Patterson, the Head teacher, had sent her apologies. Sue Marshall, one of the school governors, said the good news was that the school was full with 105 pupils. The school had a new website www.burtongreenschool-warwickshire.org.uk

The successful Green Leek 10k run was mentioned and this would take place again in 2017. Anyone could get involved either by taking part or by acting as a marshal.

9. Any Other Business

An ongoing issue concerned Severn Trent water pressure Nick Hogue had gathered responses from residents about low water pressure and had collated these to send to Severn Trent.

A response had been received which, although it indicated Severn Trent felt they wereproviding an above average service, they were willing to monitor the areas of specific concern and indeed the individual properties.  They promised to see if they could identify the problems being experienced with a view to solving the issues. Anyone with outstanding problems should contact Nick in the first instance. Thanks were extended to Nick.

Q. Was there any news on broadband speeds? It depended where residents lived.  Box 22 covering some of Cromwell and Hodgetts Lanes had been upgraded. There was a separate phase for rest of Red Lane. Coventry and Warwickshire broadband website explained the plans.

Was pavement parking improving? Yes but some builders for example were not cooperative.

It was felt Hickory’s Smokehouse should make some reference to the pub’s former name of the Peeping Tom. Forty people voted to have this put to the owners of Hickory’s Smokehouse.Action: Rona

Rona updated residents on concerns about the dangerous crossroads at Hodgetts Lane and Waste Lane. Berkswell Parish Council had looked into this but it was feared that there were not enough accidents to warrant any action. Residents were asked to ensureany incidents at the crossroads should be reported. Burton Green Parish Council and Burton Green Residents’ Association were making a joint submission to Solihull MBC pressing for action regarding this dangerous junction.

Mary asked that any residents who had not paid their £3 subscription still had the opportunity to do so.  A further collection was to take place in Red Lane on Wednesday.

Volunteers were also asked to contact Mary if they were willing to help Balsall Common Lions who had agreed to take their Santa’s Sleigh all round the village rather than just Hodgetts and Cromwell Lanes.  Help was needed with the collecting of donations.

The speed of traffic in Bockendon Road and Crackley Lane was raised and this would be brought up with Cllr. Skinner. Action: Cllr. Taylor

Q. Was anything being discussed about the dangerous Westwood Heath and CromwellLane junction? Rona would raise this with Cllr.Skinner. The junction was likely to be affected when new housing built in the vicinity.Action: Rona.

10. Date of Next Annual General Meeting

The next Annual General Meeting would be held on Monday October 30th 2017 at theVillage Hall.

Thanks were given to all for their support,