Minutes of GPRA Committee Meeting on 27 March 2019
Rob Norris(RN) (Chair) Sue Cressey(SC) (Vice Chair); Sue James(SJa) (Secretary): Chris Waller(CW) (Treasurer); Anna Bloomfield(AB); Alan Bradbury(ABr); John Eagles(JE); Barbara Howden Richards(BHR) ;
Brian Baker; Sophie Eagleton; Sandie Jenner ; Paul Rolfe; Grace Taylor; Jack Wingfield
Clare de Bathe
3 Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2019 were approved.
4 Matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda
From 28 November 2018 meeting:
- Consultation on the provision of football pitches
RN suggested that it would be better to wait until we know more about the pitches before seeking residents’ views on them. This was agreed.
- Installation of a footpath on the South Side of Connolly Way
RN reported that, after advice, he had decided not to raise the provision of a footpath with the University as he felt it would be too expensive for them to undertake. It was noted that the Hill development planning requirements included a footpath from Graylingwell Drive to Connolly Way and JE agreed to raise extending this footpath with the Site Managerwhen he next meets with him.
From 30 January 2019 meeting
- Provision of Primary Care Services
The letter that SJa had sent to the Lavant Road Surgery was noted. No reply had been received. SJa to write to the CCG suggesting that she and JE (who declared an interest as he is the Lay Member of the CCG) should meet with the Accountable Officer or his nominated representative to discuss our concerns.
- Issues relating to Hill development
JE reported that he had written to Hill setting out a number of issues which residents had raised with him concerning noise and the speed that some contractors are driving. He had not received a reply. JE to write again.
4. Treasurer’s report (CW)
CW reported that there was £1031.05 in the bank. Although it had been agreed at the last meeting that GPRA would use some of the money raised by quiz evenings to augment their funds, this decision was questioned, as the GPRA is not a charity, and by diverting funds in this way charities who needed the money more would be deprived of income. It was agreed to revoke this decision.
CW reported that he had received a request from Clarion for them to formally recognise the Residents Association in return for a grant of £300. As the conditions attached relate to good governance which is already in place, it was unanimously agreed that this would be accepted. CW to return forms to Clarion.
As an alternative way of raising income, SJa asked whether it would be possible to start charging visitors without a permit for using the parking spaces along Blomfield Drive. RN to explore ownership of these spaces and the feasibility of charging for them.
5 Committee workshop
The notes of the workshop were agreed and SJ was thanked in her absence for her hard work in making the workshop a success.
The following areas were discussed:
- Incorporation of Keeper’s Green development into GPRA
RN reported that CdB had counselled caution about initially incorporating Keeper’s Green into the GPRA as new residents are likely to want to deal with their own developer. However she referred to the possiblity of bringing the two developments together over time.
- Discussion items
The suggestion made at the workshop that the Committee agenda should include an item each time for a more detailed discussion was accepted. SJa to circulate an initial schedule of discussion items for committee members to add to.
- Constitution redrafting
A drafting committee comprising RN, JE, SJ and SJa should be convened to redraft the current constitution in light of the discussions at the workshop. Members of the Committee were asked to let SJa have any comments on the constitution for consideration by the committee. The redrafted constitution will be brought to the May meeting for approval by the Committee and then to the AGM in July for formal adoption.
It was agreed that the use of co-opted members of the committee should be reserved for ensuring that the Committee had access to specialist skills or experience not provided by full members of the committee.
- Members’ interest and expertise
SJa to circulate a request to members for informationto enable her to compile a register of members’ interests and expertise.
6 New items
- Fence between Graylingwell Park and Winterbourne Road
AB reported that, since the unofficial access path between Graylingwell Park and Winterbourne Road had been blocked off by Lindens, there had been many acts of vandalism amounting to criminal damage to the fences. He had sought advice from the West Sussex County Council who had confirmed that the access was not recognised as a public right of way, although there was a right of way on either side of the fence. Residents on North Mead and Lloyd Road were concerned about the ongoing vandalism and the costs of repairing the damage.
SJa reminded the Committee that the access, though informal, had been in use for many years, and enabled residents of the Summersdale Estate to enter Graylingwell Park to access community resources here. Closing off the access meant a detour of one and a half miles.
It was noted that the vandalism to the fence itself occurred each time a fence was erected, but not when the access area was open. So one way of stopping this vandalism might be to take the fence down.
JE commented that Linden had a duty to manage the perimeter of their development.
SC commented that there had been previous acts of vandalism in relation to the lighting along the footpath leading to the fence, although there was no way to identify the perpetrators of this damage.
RN summed up a long discussion by commenting that
- As Committee members were divided in their support for or opposition to the fence, it was not possible to determine its policy on the fence
- In any case, the Committee did not have information from Linden concerning their reasons for installing the fence.
It was agreed that RN should check with Linden why the fence had been erected and who was responsible for repairing the damage.
- Anti-social behaviour
SJa reported that there had been two incidents of extreme anti-social behaviour recently in Longley Road. The police had been called to both incidents and two arrests (of different individuals) had been made. Both people are well known to the police. She had received emails from neighbours of both individuals expressing extreme concern about these incidents and asking what the Residents Association could do to help. Given that both approaches were from people who live in social housing, she suggested that finding a way to support them would be a good way to show that the Residents Association was helpful to all residents.
It was agreed that this was a very sensitive area, where inappropriate help could be more damaging than no action at all. SC referred to the Clarion Anti-Social Behaviour Policy which is on their website. RN asked members to acquaint themselves with the policy. The following action was agreed:
- SJa to reply to the emailsdirecting residents to the ASB policy
- SJa to invite a Clarion representativeto explain to the Committee the procedures they use to enact the policy.
- Once this has occurred, the Committee will consider whether it would be helpful for local residents and Clarion, if a member of the Committee were to develop an intermediary role to provide information about the Clarion procedures to residents who are affected by anti-social behaviour.
- Veolia Service Contract
It was noted that Veolia had been discouraged from developing a services contract by the lack of interest shown in their first marketing attempt. This was disappointing as it was felt that this service would be a very good way for residents to get quick and cost effective access to servicing. It would be particularly helpful if Veolia were to offer a heating and ventilation unit servicing contract. SJa to write to them to encourage them to try to raise interest again.
- Graylingwell Energy Price rises
The report prepared by RN and CW following their meeting with Aiden Hickey was considered. They had asked him to explain the very substantial increases in prices (47.28% in heat unit prices and 3.98% in standing charges). The report explained his response, which CW advised was reasonable.
However there was concern that the letter sent to residents was misleading. The price rise was shown to be 12.5%, which was the price rise between 2014 and 2018 rather than the 47.28% rise between 2017 and 2018. Aiden Hickey had accepted this criticism.
It was noted that a number of questions had been raised at the AGM which Graylingwell Energy had promised to reply to, and had not yet done so. These included information about the financial gearing of the costs of the central boiler room, and the timing of the introduction of an on-line residents portal for which ISTA had sought, and obtained 8 volunteers to pilot. It was agreed that CW would write to them to ask again for answers, and to request another open day in view of the success of the previous event in January 2017.
- Blomfield Drive verge maintenance responsibilities
RN reported that the ownership of the verge was very complicated, with the first metre of the verge being owned by Linden, and the second being owned by the school. However Linden had cut back their part of the verge, so the road was no longer obscured, and the initial problem was resolved.
- Parking issues
Concern was expressed about CPM’s policy of charging for replacing faded permits. It was agreed that we would like them to charge for replacing lost permits, but to replace faded permits as part of the management fee. It was noted that the plans agreed at the Quarterly meeting to warn residents that faded permits would result in a fine had not been implemented consistently.
None of the plans to refresh the marking of bays throughout the site, to reissue permits in different colours for the different sides of the development, and to ensure that visitor permits had the numbers of the resident parking bays on them so that CPM could identify anyone who was misusing a visitor permit had been implemented. This was likely due to staff sickness at CPM. RN to write to TH about all the outstanding parking issues.
RN reported that a resident had raised issues about the marking of bays in their area, which he would include in his letter to TH. The resident had also asked if a number plate recognition system could be introduced to enable residents to use the bus gates. The Committee considered this proposal, but felt it would be too expensive to implement and maintain, and was therefore impractical.
RN reported that residents in Palmers Field Avenue had complained to him about Graylingwell Park residents parking in front of their house. JE suggested that this was more likely to be Hill contractors, and agreed to raise it with Hill when he meets their representatives.
- No. 50 bus timetable changes
BHR reported that she has asked WSCC for their rationale for selecting the No 50 route for service cuts, and to explain why the service now terminates in the middle of town when all other services go to the transport hub at the Bus/Train Station. She will keep us informed of their answers.
- Litter Pick
It was agreed that a litter pick will be organised for late April. SJa to liaise with CCDT to get their youth Ambassadors involved, and to seek volunteers for the litter pick via a newsletter.
7 Street representatives
- Lloyd Road – no new issues
- Longley Road – SJa expressed concern that all the promised improvements to the gardens around Longley Road and in the Airing Courts had not yet taken place. She had written again to Larry Haynes, copied to Ashleigh Collins, but had received no reply
- Penny Acre – RN reported that the infrastructure for the additional lighting is now in place, although no action had yet been taken to resolve the light pollution concerns expressed by residents.
- North Mead – AB reported that one resident expressed concern that the action taken to resolve his light pollution had not worked. RN to raise both issues with Linden.
- Homestead Road – BHR reported that an area of the car park was showing signs of subsidence. She agreed to raise with TH.
JE reported that Heritage Lottery representatives had visited the Chapel on 15 March to review it in light of the bid for £1.3 million which had been submitted for its restoration. They were extremely complimentary about the bid. It had been expected that successful applicants would have been informed after midday on 27 March, but no notification had yet been received.
POST MEETING NOTE. CCDT WAS NOTIFIED ON 28 MARCH THAT THEIR BID HAD BEEN SUCCESSFUL.
RN reported that he and JE (who is a Trustee of CCDT) had met with CdeB following the workshop to discuss relationships between CCDT and GPRA. They explored the possibility of conflicts of interest between CCDT, which has the responsibility to secure sufficient revenue to maintain all the assets which have been transferred to them to run, and residents who may not like the ways in which they seek to do this. RN asked CCDT to ensure that they talk to GPRA before decisions are made.
Concern had been expressed at the meeting that the Business Plan produced by CCDT had not been updated since 2013, when it was posted on their website. JE agreed to investigate this further in his role as a Trustee.
CCDT had asked for a GPRA representative on their Studio Steering Group. AB volunteered and this was accepted.
9 Chichester Parking Management Plan
BHR reported on the WSCC consultation which was currently underway seeking views on their proposed parking management plan. Strong concern was expressed about the lack of clarity about the purpose of the proposals and the impact that charging for parking in the streets surrounding Graylingwell Park might have on parking in the Park itself. It was also commented that it was unfortunate that plans to seek to reduce the amount of parking in the city centre were being developed at the same time as the bus service was being reduced and no progress had been made on implementing the five year old plans to finalise a cycle path from Goodwood to the city centre via Graylingwell Park. BHR agreed to include all these points in her formal response to the consultation on behalf of GPRA.
10 Quarterly meeting with Linden Homes, Grange Management and CPM
The minutes of the meeting held on 7 February were noted. There was unanimous support for the principle of providing a fence around the Havenstoke Park play area, and it was agreed that this would be raised with CdB when CCDT took over responsibility for the park.
It was noted that if the apple trees were to be moved to the Community Orchard this year, it would need to be done very soon. RN to raise with CdB
RN reported that TH had sent him a copy of the welcome pack Grange Management send out to new residents. SJa to circulate to Committee members.
RN reported that Penny Acre residents were concerned at the volume of the audible warning announcement being used every time the bus gate was operated. Linden had agreed to attend to this. A Penny Acre resident had asked the engineer to turn off the sound altogether as there was no audible warning in use for the northern gate.
RN reported that Linden had given a very opaque answer concerning future liability for the tunnels under Graylingwell Park. This would need to be pursued at the next Quarterly meeting.
11 Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be held on 29 May 2019 in The Lodge.