Minutes for meeting - 8th December 2011

St Edmunds Road Residents’ Association
Minutes of the first meeting, Thursday December 8th 2011, 7pm, Victoria Road Church, Lecture Room.
Present: - Tony Clarke, Ruth Lowe, Kevin Evans, Peter Strachan (Borough Council), David Evans, Danielle Stone (Borough Council), Winston Strachan(Borough and County Councils, Anne Wishart, Jim Wishart, Aleyamma Itti.
Apologies from Aziz and Kate.
1.      It was agreed that AW should be chairperson; JW, secretary; TC, Treasurer.
2.      It was agreed that the group should be known as the St Edmunds Road Residents Association. Its area should extend from York Road to St Edmunds and Alfred Street and from Wellingborough Road to Billing Road.
3.      PS tabled an example of a Constitution.  It was agreed that this could form the basis for this association’s Constitution.  [The Secretary subsequently offered to adapt the pattern presented for our association’s purposes.  Action- secretary ]
4.      Peter, who had experience of setting up resident associations, suggested that the initial objectives should be restricted to a few only, preferably just one for maximum impact.
5.      Several  topics were raised and discussed-
1.       TC mentioned the Semilong Residents’ Association – their meetings alternate between executive meetings and ‘get it off your chest’ meetings which are open to all and allow brain-storming local issues. This was done in conjunction with blitzing the area with publicity. The SRA was an active user of the web for publicity by newsletters etc.  This was supported by DS and WS. TC listed the activities of the SRA which included potholes, litter and road sweeping. There were coloured maps on the SRA website which recorded the progress of individual instances/locations that had been reported to the local authority.  KE was nominated to look after a web-site in conjunction with TC.
2.       The question of St Edmunds churchyard was raised. The view was that this should be opened to the public with appropriate alterations to the walls and planting and footways. The church authorities need to be approached. TC mentioned a S106 agreement and a possible link in use with the new care home to be developed on the St Edmunds hospital site. It was suggested that Mr Sehmi could be asked to pay for a walking area for his care home patients.  DS was in agreement with the proposal and thought it a good idea. She asked how the maintenance should be dealt with. Kevin remarked that the area was being maintained at the moment so the money is available. TC said that the Bishop of Brixworth needs to be approached for agreement. KE was concerned about possible vandalism in the churchyard. AW said that she had spoken to the maintenance people who said that there had been an increase in needles recently but now it appears that the problem isn’t as bad as it was and the police are involved in keeping an eye on it.
3.       TC said that parking is an issue in the area.
4.       DS was in favour of ‘de-cluttering’ unnecessary signs and posts. She said that there is a fund to finance this.
5.       Under the heading of publicity TC said that a newsletter is needed. WS said that a heading for letters needed designing.  TC will liaise with KE over the headed paper. A Facebook account was mentioned. TC said that Semilong ran the ‘Semilong Community Forum’.  For new people in the area a ‘welcome pack’ was provided. WS said that a list of useful numbers should be included on publicity material. KE has a contact with the Chronicle and Echo. TC said that we should use the ‘Down your way’ section of the Chronicle. The Chronicle should be provided with a contact number for this Association. DS has already done this, providing her number and AW.  An email group to be set up and distributed. (JW).
6.       DS was in favour of a community notice board.  The question of its maintenance and cost were discussed.
7.       WS said that the Denmark Road resurfacing was in a terrible state.
8.       The question of finance was raised. WS explained current arrangements, referring to ‘community first panel’ and allocation of funds between the St Crispin and Castle Wards. WS also referred to ‘fast-tracking’ money to us.
9.       TC raised houses in multiple occupation as a problem.
10.    PS raised the question of a Get it off your chest session. AW to enquire of the church when the room will be available.  PS will arrange a meeting for this association
11.    Dates for the next meeting were discussed but no definite date was fixed.
Jim Wishart
Thursday 15th December 2011.
Minutes to be sent to all present.

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