Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Burton Green Residents’ Association held on September 28th, 2020 via Zoom
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the AGM was held virtually, via Zoom.
Rona welcomed everyone, especially the District and Parish councillors who had joined the meeting.
Apologies had been received from Dianne Adams, Faith Ward and PCSO Rachael Clayton. Judi was asked to invite PCSO Clayton to the next BGRA committee meeting.
2 Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes of the last Annual General Meeting of September 30th 2019 were accepted.
Proposed: Eileen Nisbet
Seconded: Alan Marshall
3 Matters Arising
Any matters arising were to be covered by agenda points.
4 Chair’s Report
A report had been circulated in advance as follows:
Although COVID-19 has led to a number of disappointing cancellations, the Residents’ Association has still been able to respond to residents’ concerns and support the community in very challenging times. We have been holding our meetings using Zoom.
We are currently developing plans for Christmas 2020 and hope, as in previous years, to collaborate with the Balsall Common Lions in a Santa Sleigh evening which is pencilled in for Saturday December12th. Last year we raised £730 for the Warwickshire Air Ambulance and suggestions for this year’s charity include the Coventry Boot Fund, which provides shoes for needy children, and Trussell Trust Food Bank, Warwick. A decision will be made at the AGM regarding this year’s chosen charity.
An amendment was made to the report as information had been received that, in the current situation, it would not be possible to arrange the Santa Sleigh at Christmas 2020 and so no charity collection would be held.
It is hoped Burton Green Academy children will again take part in our annual Christmas card competition and plans are afoot for festive lighting on the Jubilee Verge.
As usual, we have published four editions of the Bugle over the past year. This newsletter, greatly valued in “normal” times, has played an even more important role through the pandemic and is the community’s only form of communication which reaches every household. So many elements of the community contribute to it and so many members of the community distribute it. Particular thanks are due to Mary Webb, the editor.
VE Day and VJ Day anniversaries have been commemorated with displays on the Jubilee Verge and residents have appreciated this opportunity to mark the end of World War Two 75 years ago.
It is really disappointing that Burton Green is currently divided for a 16 week period by HS2 road closures, despite promises this would never be imposed on our community. The Residents’ Association has worked in partnership with the Parish Council to challenge HS2 Ltd, calling on Jeremy Wright to champion our cause. We were also very disappointed to have the Greenway closed prior to the full diversion open: another broken promise from HS2.
Despite the ravages of HS2, we continue to look after our environment. Issues concerning roads and pavements are regularly followed up with Warwickshire County Council and the troughs at the entrances to Burton Green are well maintained thanks to residents’ watering and tending.
This has probably been the most challenging year in Burton Green since World War 2. I would like to pay tribute to the people of Burton Green who have maintained our community spirit throughout. I hope next year to be able to report on the return of normal activities and events.
With sadness, Rona added grateful thanks to Peter Tacon who had served the Burton Green community so well and condolences were extended to his wife Lesley and the family after Peter’s untimely and sudden death in July 2020.
Should anyone have any questions regarding the report they were asked to email them to Rona for a response.
5 Treasurer’s Report
Dianne had submitted a report which had been circulated.
The Income & Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet are attached separately.
Rona thanked Dianne for keeping the accounts. If there were any question these too should be sent to Rona who would forward them to Dianne for a response.
6 Election of Independent Examiner
In light of the death of Peter Tacon, Marlene Hills had agreed at short notice to arrange for the accounts to be independently inspected. Thanks were expressed to Marlene for stepping in at very short notice to arrange for the accounts to be examined and for providing her professional oversight for free.
As yet, a permanent Independent Examiner had not been appointed for the future.
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 and committee members had agreed to be re-elected for a further year.
Proposed: Barbara Noronha
Seconded: Jill Line
Janet said that more residents were very welcome to join the committee, especially those new to the village, and could contact Rona or any other committee member to express interest.
8 Report from Village Hall trustees
Cheryl Wall gave a positive report to the meeting. There had at last been some progress with HS2 after a tortuous procedure over the past few years. HS2 had accepted the tender from the preferred contractor following professional disagreements regarding the tendering process had been overcome. Now HS2 was considering the funding in line with the tender, a process that should last 3-4 weeks.
After this it would be necessary to finalise the contract with the builders; to transfer the land to the Village Hall trustees; to sign a cost agreement involving the building contractors, the funding and the trustees. Trustees’ liability was a key factor which was being sorted out by solicitors.
There was to be a clause in the contract to ensure continuation of the building of the new hall in the unlikely event of HS2 being cancelled.
Building work was unlikely to start before January 2021 and would take 10-12 months.
The impact of the significant road closures had been raised with HS2 and now monthly meetings were to be held to progress the build. Assurances had been received that the existing hall will not be demolished before the new one is available for use.
Cllr Paddy Deeley added that the Greenway diversion through the Village Hall field was still under discussion. She had pointed out on many occasions the various plans highlighting a community orchard on land between the new Village Hall site and the ponds that had been installed. Planting of 1100 trees had already taken place.
Cllr Alan Marshall referred to the Neighbourhood Plan explaining that it was now to go out to consultation for two months.
Cllr George Illingworth explained the process as follows:
Draft plan goes to consultation; amendments are submitted; a final version is considered by WDC which checks it is in line with District policy; final version is sent out for public consultation; any objections are submitted to the examiner who comes back with proposed changes; and it finally goes to a referendum (in this case approximately May 2021).
Cllr Ray Watkins would be asked to provide a summary for the next edition of the Bugle.
9 Any Other Business
Rona said speeding in the village was a perennial problem. A meeting had been held the previous week between the County Highways Department and some Parish Councillors to consider speed calming measures.
Rona paid tribute to the village Speedwatch team.
Chris Langton brought up concerns about the lack of consultation on the closure of the significant junction at the top of Red Lane. He had asked HS2 if consultations had been held with the emergency services, Post Office, delivery services etc. He had received no reply. Other residents gave examples of there being problems with deliveries or failure to notify residents of road closures. There was general agreement that little or no consultation had taken place.
Chris also raised the matter of the road closure being mentioned in Prime Minister’s Question Time. This was particularly in light of the effect on the local school, which again had not been informed.
Cllr Illingworth made reference to the threatened oak tree at the junction. A few weeks ago a meeting had been chaired by Jeremy Wright MP and a separate meeting was held with the Senior Engineer regarding the design of the junction. This would be discussed at a webinar the following day between HS2 and Jones Lang Lasalle building contractors.
Cllr Illingworth was thanked for his ongoing support for Burton Green matters. He said many people in the Warwick district were only just becoming familiar with the problems Burton Green was facing and there was much support for residents.
Cllr Paddy Deeley referred to the footpath alongside the properties at the top of Red Lane that was not fit for purpose and there had been complaints. Judi said it was not suitable for cyclists but was being highlighted as the replacement cycle route from Red Lane to the Greenway.
Eileen Nisbet had some postcards available of her painting of the Greenway and these were available from her.
There was no other business
10 Date of Next Annual General Meeting
The next Annual General Meeting would be held in September 2021 at a date to be agreed.
Thanks were given to the 20 attendees, even extending internationally to Mr Chris Langton who had joined the meeting from Portugal.