Minutes of the GPRA Committee Meeting – Wednesday 22nd July, 2015
Sue Cressey; Paula Miller; Richard Shord; Susan Shord; Sarah Langmead; Chris Waller; Irela Strachan, Barbara Howden-Richards, Jane Haskins
Emma Ainsworth, Lesley Atchison, Grace Taylor
Minutes of the previous meeting
Agreed and adopted
HRV units: A representative of Affinity Sutton had recognised (at the quarterly meeting) that the current position of shared ownership properties (where the HRV units are inside locked lofts and so cannot be serviced by the occupiers) is untenable. She was seeking clarification from senior managers as to the way forward. GPRA representatives were told that an HRV maintenance programme had begun in Affinity Sutton rented properties in Lloyd Road although this remains to be verified.
Clock House bins: New dumpsters and wheelie bins had been provided after much pressure from the GPRA over a period of 10 weeks. Linden Homes have now agreed to buy them from Chichester District Council as they come with clearer labelling to distinguish between general waste and recycling (which has been a problematic issue in some existing stores).
Bike Stores: Thanks to pressure from Barbara and support from Trudie Hudson at Grange, there is extra panelling to be provided to the two stores to the SW of Homestead Road so that children cannot crawl in underneath the store and release the locks. Trudie is going back to Linden to suggest a 50/50 split of costs for a better lock that will meet insurance requirements.
Funds now stand at just under £800. £172.44 from parking donations at the Garden Party and ongoing contributions from coffee mornings had boosted the total (from which annual running costs and a contribution to Lodgefest will have to be deducted). Chris is preparing the annual accounts for presentation at the AGM and subsequent audit.
Richard thanked everyone who delivered the initial notification cards detailing time and place of the AGM. A total of 300 cards were printed and there are only a few left (the sales office suggest we have now hit the 300 occupations mark). A second card will be delivered in the week following August 3rd which will focus on recruiting new committee members.
Committee attendees were confirmed and arrangements for short comments on key topics agreed.
Trees – sub-group progress review
Because the schedule of works that Linden Homes had suggested was based on a survey that is out of date (September 2013), the group have contacted two contractors for their opinions. Both disagreed with the consultants’ recommendations. John Hayes of Chichester Trees has now returned and met with Mike Pickering, Kelvin Barber, Barbara Howden-Richards, and Irela Strachan. A draft report has been written, detailing the work required. The report is to be discussed by the group on Thursday, 23rd July and, when details have been finalised, submitted to Gavin Bourne at Linden Homes and Trudie Hudson at Grange Management.
This report will highlight the safety issue and the fact that Linden/Grange will be negligent should an accident/injury occur, thus emphasising the urgency for action. It will also highlight that the proposed work, as detailed in the Simon Jones report, requires revision.
The report will also be sent to Peter Youll, Tony Dignum (leader of Chichester District Council) and Clare de Bathe (CCDT).
Ward Walk Feedback
North Ward Chichester District Councillors and officers requested information on concerns of local communities and the GPRA had made a very detailed submission. Tony Dignum (see above) felt our document was particularly comprehensive but pointed out the first 4 points (on public transport, cycle paths and pavement safety in College Lane) were the responsibility of West Sussex County Council and, although all other points were noted, we are unlikely to get specific responses.
No. 50 Bus
The number of paying customers is very low and the service is threatened. However, the number of users reported does not include season ticket holders, people who purchase tickets online or concessionary users of bus passes including students. Without these numbers and knowledge of the revenue passed to Stagecoach by, for example, the District Council (for senior citizens), the demand for the No.50 is understated.
Martin Brownsey, the travel consultant employed by Linden, oversees and makes recommendations regarding travel needs (including roads, cycle paths, and the bus) and the committee needs to ensure there is a follow-up meeting to keep pressing the case. Jane confirmed that anything that we submit to him should go forward to the relevant council officials.
Having collected peoples’ suggestions (bring the 60 on a loop, reduce the bus fares, take in Waitrose, etc.) we need to present them to Martin Brownsey as well.
A consultation exercise, including flyers and another up-to-date and inclusive survey, could be undertaken to refine the arguments required to keep the bus and Jane agreed to look at costs with Martin.
The committee will keep this item under review and reconsider actions in September.
Richard thanked everyone who undertook duties on the day. As with other projects, individual residents had come forward to help the committee which was very welcome.
The issue of closing the road (Connolly Way), improved parking signage, and nature of the event in future years were all discussed. Jane pointed out we would need sponsorship for this type of event to continue and Linden had progressively reduced their support. It may require a new approach and a new team to plan ahead and the GPRA and CCDT will work together on this at the appropriate time.
Community Garden – an application for a grant from the council (New Homes Bonus fund) had been turned down on the grounds that it was a project councillors felt should be provided by the developer.
Bus shelter – the lecturer at Chichester College who would have supervised the project, has been made redundant. Jane therefore needs to contact head of construction at the college and ask if the shelter can be built by them and then erected by supervised volunteers. Delays by Linden in delivering promised materials had meant the missing of a real window of opportunity to get this done in the first half of the year.
Lodge Fest (22nd August) Jane asked the GPRA to help promote it and it was agreed that we would do so in the next newsletter. It was agreed sign-up materials for the newsletter and neighbourhood watch would be available inside the Lodge and committee members would attend to informally promote the work of the GPRA. Tickets will be made available at the Saturday Café and the GPRA will make a £50 contribution to costs as a partner in the event.
Summer Garden Party – the Young Ambassadors were congratulated on an excellent, well-executed programme of dog events, both educational and fun. Their efforts were well planned, impeccably delivered and much appreciated by all.
Internet Café – should be off the ground from September at both Rousillon and Graylingwell Park.
Pre-school – extending its hours to include 2 afternoons.
Heritage Walking Tour – this was a resounding success, with strong attendance and excellent feedback (and everybody loved the cream tea). Richard asked Jane to pass on our thanks to Coral for her outstanding contribution to the activity.
Cycle Path – Despite promises from Jeremy Hunt (WSCC) no letter had been sent to Hyde Martlet about the Deed of Dedication. Ed Dickinson of CDC and Jeremy Hunt, West Sussex County Council councillor, were apparently just trying to ‘nudge’ local HM manager John Martin into some sort of action. Barbara has sent a scathing letter back about the ridiculously slow pace at which local government moves.
Litter Picking – Unfortunately there was considerable litter following the Garden Party negating the good work that members of the committee had undertaken in making the park pristine the previous week. The clear up after the Garden Party needs to improve in future and, when we are scheduling a litter pick, we should do so for just after such events, rather than before.
SCS – Their gardening skills are questionable and they are trimming shrubs/hedges in an unprofessional way and at inappropriate times of the year. In Longley Road they also chopped off growth from private hanging baskets. Irela will speak to them, suggest a letter of apology and also discuss the most appropriate times for pruning.
Bins: – Chris informed the committee that he has been told that it is only £1 to empty a park litter bin weekly. Consequently, Chris was asked to get a definitive quote from CDC for the provision of and emptying of 3 bins placed appropriately around Havenstoke Park. The committee would then discuss shared costings with the CCDT as future stewards of Havenstoke.
Occupations – Now up to 300
Graylingwell Energy – Details on reduced Energy prices and small increases to standing charges would be detailed in the next newsletter along with details of service and equipment improvements to ensure service excellence.
Planning – Linden are revisiting putting houses on Summersdale Road (despite all the previous objections having forced their withdrawal at the time of the master plan revisions), another 4 houses at the entrance to Penny Acre (forcing the removal of more trees and obscuring the superintendent’s house) and a further 4 houses towards the Western Gateway. They have not made a formal application yet. When a planning application has been made then the GPRA will put in an objection.
As it was Richard’s last committee meeting he thanked everyone on the committee for their dedication, help and support and stated that their contributions had brought about a successful and robust association. He will continue to support the development of the Graylingwell community through his other role as a board member of the Community Development Trust.
Next meeting – AGM: August 22nd in the Chapel – 7.00-9.00pm