Janet Hickinbottom explained that the Chair, Rona Taylor, was unable to attend because of illness in the family and the Vice Chair, Mary Webb was in hospital. Janet Hickinbottom wished them both well and said she would be leading the meeting with the help of Judi Hibberd who shared the Secretarial role with Janet.
Janet welcomed everyone to the meeting and was pleased to see such a good turnout on a very wet evening. She thanked the catering team for providing refreshments.
Apologies had been received from Cllr. John Cooke, Alison Fielding, Rona Taylor and Mary Webb.
Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes of the last Annual General Meeting of October 1st, 2018 were accepted with the addition of Helen Hehir to attendees.
Proposed: Terry Heyes
Seconded: Andy Gibbs
All other matters arising were to be covered by agenda points.
A report had been circulated in advance And Janet read this out:
The Residents’ Association has had another very busy year supporting the Burton Green community.
The commemorations of the First World War Armistice on November 11th, 2018 brought the whole community together with an armistice tea and the very moving lighting of the Beacon of Light when it seemed the whole of Burton Green turned out .The Jubilee Verge was a focus of much interest, with crosses laid in memory of loved ones and two First World War soldier silhouettes.
The Santa Sleigh evening raised £500 for the chosen charity, Canley Community Centre, and the Balsall Common Lions generously contributed a further £200 to this cause. This year’s event will take place on December 13th, when we will be collecting for the Warwickshire Air Ambulance.
The tradition of having a Christmas tree on the Jubilee Verge is now well established and will be continued this year. Burton Green Church of England Academy students’ Christmas card competition has also become one of our Christmas traditions with all the cards being displayed at the Village Hall and the winning card being delivered to residents on the Santa Sleigh evening.
Two Burton Green clean ups have been organised this year and the Burton Green school students’ anti- litter poster competition showed the children’s commitment to protecting our environment. The winning poster, displayed along our roads, is hopefully having an impact on motorists.
The flower tubs at the approaches to Burton Green continue to enhance our environment, thanks to the residents who plant, maintain and water them. There are now plans to plant large numbers of daffodils on verges.
The lunches for the retired of Burton Green have continued to be a great success and the Bugle updates us on Burton Green events and issues four times a year. New residents have been given welcome leaflets with useful information and contacts.
The Speedwatch team has not been operating this year because of insufficient numbers of volunteers. The team needs a minimum of 10 people to operate regularly, with members committing to do two sessions a month. Speeding is always identified as a top worry for residents, so if you think you can help the team, please contact Pat Hehir.
The Residents’ Association continues to liaise with the Parish Council, and to represent Burton Green at the Kenilworth Forum. Residents’ concerns about potholes, pavement problems and street lighting are taken up with the County or District Council on a regular basis. We have also flagged up concerns about empty houses owned by HS2 Ltd.
The Parish Council have agreed to give the Residents’ Association £3 for each household each year. So we no longer need an income from membership fees. The constitution has been amended to indicate that all residents of Burton Green are deemed to be members of the Residents’ Association unless they indicate to the contrary in writing to our secretary.
A strong sense of community continues to be a unique feature of Burton Green with so many people contributing in so many ways. Many thanks to everyone.
There were no questions.
Dianne had submitted a report which was provided.
The Income & Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet are attached separately.
Janet thanked Dianne for keeping the accounts.
Election of Independent Examiner
Peter Tacon again agreed to act as Independent Examiner.
Proposed: Eileen Nisbet
Seconded: Paddy Deeley
Peter was thanked for his continued support.
Election of Committee members
Judi Hibberd, 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, Judi Hibberd and Dianne Adams were re-elected
Proposed: Deirdre Vernon
Seconded: Archie Taylor
Three committee members also stood down and agreed to be re-elected:
Hilary Cox, Paddy Deeley and Faith Ward
Proposed: Janet Stanworth
Seconded: Jill Line
Janet explained that more residents were welcome to join the committee and could either declare their willingness during or after the meeting.
Discussion of key Burton Green issues
Andy from HS2 provided a presentation which had also been available prior to the AGM and at a meeting for the Greenway Trust the previous month. Points covered included:
- Programme of works
- Ground investigations
- Key design elements of the cut and cover tunnel
The presentation showed a computer simulation of the HS2 construction contracted to Balfour Beatty Vinci (owned by Taylor Woodrow) and costing £90k. The line was the section south of Lichfield with a spur into central Birmingham. The animation showed the line from the south of Cromwell Lane bridge as far as the National Grid site. It demonstrated how the road over the Cromwell Lane bridge would be diverted, the bridge demolition and the reinforcements and underpass structure.
The Burton Green tunnel would be the subject of public engagement meetings on October 26th and 28th. Much of the design was dominated by engineering works.
There was already a lot of work being undertaken in the area of which residents were aware including the creation of compounds near Balsall Common and by the A46. There would be no residential occupation on these sites and they were just intended for temporary offices and materials for storage and distribution. There would be a serious attempt not to move excavated materials by road and instead they would be redistributed along the route. Much groundwork surveying was ongoing and this would continue throughout the programme of works.
Q. When does the track go in? This was the responsibility of different contractors and there would be handover points at different stages. The starting point for the local excavations would be the summer of 2020 with compounds being established from April to June.
Q. Would there be more compounds? There would be about 100 compounds along the line but local ones had already been mentioned.
Q. How far below Cromwell Lane would the “green lid” be? The track was 12-14m below ground level. There was uncertainty about the height of the tunnel and so the distance between the level of Cromwell Lane and the “lid”. Details would be sought.
Q. The Neighbourhood Plan was considering the green space on top of the line. What structural capabilities did it have? HS2 would find the answer and respond.
Q. Could an underpass attract graffiti? It was difficult to say.
Q. What was the position regarding ancient woodland now as the government had issued a reprieve at the moment during a review. Sue, also of HS2, said yes there was a pause for review but what was absolutely necessary to do would stay on the programme.
Q. Was the contract issued for the demolition of the Village Hall? Different responsibilities lay with different contractors and the timescale was not currently available. Demolition would not take place until the new hall was operational.
Q. Would there be any encroachment on gardens along Hodgetts Lane that back onto the line? Only if already outlined within land limitations allowed.
Q. What contact was being made with Coventry City Council and what effects would there be especially on Westwood ward? The interface team was in regular contact with Coventry City Council and the names of individuals in the Council would be supplied. Traffic and vehicles would be the most obvious impact.
Q. Construction will generate traffic. What measures would be taken to alleviate this? The HS2 team would look at traffic models for the area and consider when would be the best time to move vehicles, considering peaks and troughs in the traffic, the routes available and using the line wherever possible to redistribute spoil. The haulage route would be utilised rather than local roads when feasible and the construction of this would begin in December 2019.
Q. How long will Cromwell Lane be closed when the diversion is created? Probably only a week.
Q. Would closure tie in with school holidays? This question would be taken back for a response.
Q. Will the Greenway be closed at any time? No, the temporary Greenway would be used.
Janet asked to whom answers to questions to HS2 would be sent and it was decided these should be conveyed to the clerk to the Parish Council.
Terry Heyes asked how many attendees were aware that the overgrown structure in Red Lane had been build as an air raid warden’s shelter in the Second World War. A large proportion of residents was aware of this.
Terry explained that a group representing the Residents’ Association and the Parish Council has inspected the structure and discussed various options available. In its current state it was difficult to assess its true condition. Costs had been sought to remove the ivy but these were excessive. There were mixed views received when residents living close to the shelter were canvassed: some felt it was an eyesore whilst others wondered if it could be restored. It seemed to be used as a urinal by passing motorists but was unfit as a bus shelter for schoolchildren who waited nearby daily. There were only two buses that passed each week for other passengers. Even if restored, the shelter would not meet accessibility requirements. The safety of the structure was a concern.
Currently, no-one claimed ownership. Warwickshire County Council owned the verge on which the shelter stands and it was believed they would demolish it and re-grass the area if it was declared a health and safety issue. This seemed to be the best way forward but residents were asked to feedback their views before the next Parish Council meeting on October 18th. One resident suggested the open front could be bricked up and then the shelter left for the wildlife.
Cllr Alan Marshall showed a map of the proposed A46 relief road and explained the changes that had recently been made. Thanks were given to Cllr David Skinner, who was in attendance, and who had provided the information. This had also recently been sent round the village email loop. Full details were available via the link on that email which could be provided again as necessary.
There had been much speculation regarding the proposed route linking the A46 to Balsall Common/ Berkswell skirting Balsall Common via Catchems Corner.
The “strategic link road” formed stage 2 of the previous scheme and was a joint project costing an estimated £117m, to be completed in 2024/2025. The road would start at the A46 interchange near Stoneleigh which was long overdue and would cross countryside around the university to link with Westwood Heath Road.
Q. What was its purpose? To relieve traffic on Stoneleigh Road and the road through the university campus. The benefit for Burton Green was that it might stop the “rat run” of traffic in Red Lane, Cromwell Lane and Crackley Lane.
Q. Would it be a dual carriageway? As yet this was unclear. There might be an increase in traffic via Hob Lane but this might be better than the original threat of a new road running through the village.
Q. Is the road to be partly financed by the university? Nothing had been seen to indicate this. There might be a slip road to the university at a later stage.
Coventry City Council had not been informed of the latest plans. There were concerns because of the approval of the building of 130/140 houses in Westwood Heath Road which would only add to traffic problems.
Cllr. Illingworth added that it was a Coventry scheme which originally was trying to take traffic off the A45 and this version was crossing land within the boundary of Burton Green. It showed a lack of joined up thinking with HS2. The improvements to the junction of Westwood Heath Road and Cromwell Lane would not happen until after construction of new housing developments.
There was also disappointment regarding the removal of hedging along theWestwood Heath Road development site and again, Cllr Skinner had not been made aware this was to happen.
Any Other Business
Archie Taylor thanked the Residents’ Association committee and said, in spite of initial misgivings when a separate Parish Council was set up, he felt they were probably stronger than the Parish Council in many respects and were certainly very active and influential.
There was no other business
Date of Next Annual General Meeting
The next Annual General Meeting would be held on September 28th, 2020 at the Village Hall.