FRIARS CLIFF RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION AGM HELD AT ALL SAINTS CHURCH HALL ON 1 MARCH 2020
APOLOGIES: Jan Peters, Lesley Dedman
PRESENT: Marianne Abley, Peter Skeggs, Steve Alves, Paul De Jonghe, Ann West, Ken West, Paul Hilliard (Cllr) and 23 residents.
Marianne Abley opened the AGM with an explanation of how the agenda would run, as we needed to cover not only normal meeting items but also standing down and voting in of new officers.
She then commented on the new layout and design of The Forum magazine, which has elicited much praise from people. She thanked everyone involved.
Steve Alves then made comment on the recent passing of Vera Gale who has run the bookings for the Church Hall for many years, the funeral arrangements were stated and the FCRA had sent condolences to Vera’s family and sent a small wreath in appreciation for Vera’s help.
The last AGM minutes were proposed for approval by Peter Hollick and seconded by David (Surname unknown).
The last open meeting minutes were proposed for approval by Steve Alves and seconded by Peter Skeggs.
Marianne had enjoyed the last 3 years as Chair and stated that Friars Cliff felt like a real community compared to many other areas she had lived in. She felt that we needed to continue in maintaining our community spirit, and we were fortunate in having a strong committee.
The development of having councillor surgeries before our open meetings had worked well, and we had one councillor present at the AGM.
We often had the local Police in attendance, which also worked well.
After some discussions over 2019, it was decided to keep the FCRA going, although other associations like Mudeford had folded.
There had also been various action groups created under the umbrella of the FCRA, which was deemed to be the best method.
Donations/subscriptions were mentioned, some comments from the floor on raising the amount were discussed. Historically members declined if costs were raised, and from Treasurer reports it appeared that on average people gave over £4.
Marianne stated that due to other organisational duties, she was stepping down from the committee of the FCRA and the committee and floor thanked her for her work.
Peter Skeggs introduced himself and then gave an overall summary of our finances detailing amounts and percentage changes in income and expenditure. The FCRA funds were in a healthy position with an increase over last year of £1337.26. For full details see the financial statement attached.
The accounts were audited annually, but were proposed for approval by Chair and seconded by Secretary.
The small grants proposal was then explained by the committee and discussed with the floor.
This had been created in response to the last open meeting where the FCRA was requested to support some local charities but there was a lack of clarity on what should and should not be supported.
The small grants document was distributed, questions were asked, but in summary it was proposed that the committee manage a discretionary fund of £1000 to support resident requests with a maximum of £250 per grant. Anything outside these limits were to be raised at an open or extraordinary general meeting as per our rules.
One comment to be considered by the committee was a resident requesting funds to be used outside the FC area.
As per our rules, this was voted on with 1 objection and all others approving. Passed.
Paul De Jonghe introduced himself as new to the area, he thanked Jan Peters for her work on The Forum in the past, and Paul will be the editor on the magazine with Jan continuing as editor of our website.
Paul requested that anyone with articles for addition should come to both him and Jan so we can manage both media streams.
The Forum – Paul mentioned the new layout person taking over has resulted in an improved design. He requested new articles for our May issue, but was keen to look at local history.
He also thanked our local councillors for their input.
The Website – Jan had created a policy document specifying how we would control and manage the website, this would give clarity on content and also give an audit trail. The committee had commented on Jan’s draft and would be approving this at the next committee meeting.
HEAD ROAD WARDEN
Steve Alves stated we had struggled with losing some road wardens over the last several months due to various reasons. He had also found that some roads had no members at all, as well as losing their road warden. These roads had been actively leafleted with ad-hoc flyers in order to raise members and volunteers to no avail. There had also been a new member leaflet produced which was given out with the last Forum issue to be posted to non-members in our roads. Steve thanked any road wardens present for their support in doing what can be an onerous job with delivering Forums and collecting money.
Ann said that she had taken over the membership role in January from Sandra Price. She expressed thanks on behalf of FCRA for all Sandra’s hard work over the last few years.
Ann confirmed that membership was by household unless individuals in the same property wanted to be recorded separately. If so, individual subscriptions would be needed. Our membership numbers in 2019 were 425 but in 2012 they were 604. This decline she felt could be due to Friars Cliff having more holiday homes, more short term lets and an aging population who are less active in the community. The contrast in road membership was considerable with some roads at over 90% and a few at zero. As around 1100 copies of Forum are being delivered every quarter our membership is now at 39%.
She said that our members very much want FCRA to continue but if so we needed a certain level of membership to give us a strong voice and to enable us to be representative of the residents throughout Friars Cliff.
She said how the work of our Road Wardens was key to our membership and to collecting the subscriptions.
Ken West introduced himself as the Environment Officer, a new post proposed by the committee. The committee felt that this role was essential now that BCP council had declared a climate emergency and to become carbon neutral by 2030. The floor was asked to express support for this environmental role and this was given.
Residents have been invited to join Ken to form a group to consider the local issues and five have volunteered. They will consider all aspects of the environment in Friars Cliff and how improvements can be brought about. They may also act as consultees with BCP council over their action plan. The council have identified 153 measures in this plan and many of these may directly influence Friars Cliff. Some of the proposals are about increasing tree planting and biodiversity in the area.
The Environmental Officer role and proposals will be apolitical. Ken has attended an open meeting by the Green Party on these issues. The council may reverse its previous decision to oppose the Navitas Bay project, should this be subject to a new application.
Paul Hilliard gave us an update on items arising in council, BCP intended to be carbon neutral by 2030 but were awaiting government legislation.
Paul is on the councils environmental working group.
Council tax bills will be changing on 1st April and some residents may see bin collections change. Comments were made on recycling with glass now going into the big bin instead. Garden waste costs also changed, but Steve mentioned the council website on garden waste registration did not work and residents had to phone in and pay the charge for garden waste.
There had been a BCP element decrease but a Christchurch Town council increase leading to an overall slight reduction to residents.
Councillor was questioned why the Town council was increasing costs when residents felt that they had not done anything to merit this.
Town council planned to “do more” in 2020 such as Christchurch in Bloom and “Remembrance Festival”.
Plans to support residents with supplying plants if residents supplied the labour etc to improve our area.
Planning was mentioned with Marianne stating that our voice was not heard on the Noisy Lobster terrace application, which was passed despite the mayor’s objection and many residents objecting. This did not bode well for future planning applications.
There has been no movement yet on MCA and Pine-beach sites.
The green space behind the Beach Hut café was now no longer a town council responsibility but under BCP control as an “open space”
All officer positions were stood down but were happy to continue should there be no other nominations for any positions. We also still had social and advertising vacancies.
There being no other nominations, all officers to continue in present positions.
Chairperson is an area of concern as no nominations and Marianne intended to stand down, however she “may” consider another month or so if no new chair can be found.
Statement made that the council seemed to merely paint round potholes and holes in the pavement, and by the time the repair team came, the paint had worn away and the holes not repaired. Cllr Hilliard was to look into the repair process. He then mentioned Stanpit Road was to undergo a full resurface due to poor road surface. Pavement repair was responded to via residents reporting by phone or online.
Parking was discussed, query on can council not just change signs rather than paint yellow lines. Cllr Hilliard mentioned that the request for double yellow lines in Avon Run Rd and Seaway Ave was still undergoing consultation with probable output end of 2020. Query raised that this was based on issues 3 years ago and parking is now much worse, and how do we get the impact refreshed? If anyone wants their voice heard then contact local councillors.
Claire Richards of Dorset Coast Wills gave a short talk about “Will writing”, which due to time constraints was unfortunately cut short. Claire gave out leaflets and was keen to write a short article for the Forum to further explain some key points. She would give a free consultation first and then any wills or power of attorney would be fixed price.
At approx. 9:10 after the committee presented Marianne with a plant as a token of thanks for all her work as Chair.