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FVRA Annual General Meeting Minutes April 2021

Findon Valley Residents' Association

Protecting the interests of our community and the countryside around us


Thursday 22nd April: Remote meeting via Zoom


Welcome and Introduction:

The Chair (Lance Allen) welcomed everyone and introduced the guests Tim Loughton MP, Councillors Elizabeth Sparkes, Louise Murphy and Dan Humphreys, and Lime Tree Surgery’s Managing Partner Tom Micklewright.


Due to Covid-19, the AGM is again a virtual ‘zoom’ event, as was the 2020 AGM. The event is not being recorded on zoom. It was very pleasing that tonight we have sufficient members to be quorate. Members’ support is very much appreciated. The resolutions on the agenda cover both 2019 and 2020.The AGM was advertised via our recent membership campaign and our regular channels being eNewsletter, Sussex Local, Parentmail and our noticeboards. Residents who wished to take part were sent the relevant papers by email. For residents with no internet access, printed papers and proxy form were available.


Apologies

None received, nor any proxy votes.


Minutes of last AGM and Matters Arising

Minutes from 13 March 2019 and from 3 December 2020 were agreed as true records. There were no matters arising.


Chair’s report (Lance Allen)

New committee members Chloe Paddock and Mathew Ward (Environment Officer) were welcomed. Kayla Shepherd had stood down from the committee and was thanked for her ideas and enthusiasm.

Lance highlighted elements of the published Trustees’ Report, and stated that it was essential that members vote on our annual reports and accounts. As a registered charity, we are mindful of the regulatory needs of the Charities Commission, Information Commissioner etc. We have a published Privacy Policy and have developed a Register of Interests as well.

Despite Covid preventing many events, FVRA had still been busy, as community stakeholder on issues such as Cissbury Fields rewilding, The Gallops, King’s Parade improvements, and A24 cycle/pedestrian lanes. The Community Garden continues to be tended and looking cheerful by Maggie Winter as co-ordinator with regular volunteers.

In advance of tonight, residents’ questions had been compiled and sent to our Councillors for review and response. Three themes emerged, Cissbury Fields, traffic & parking, and litter.

Resolution 1: the Trustees’ Annual Statement for 2019 and 2020 was Approved.


Vice Chair (Lorraine Taylor)

Lorraine thanked the committee members and supporters and said the group was becoming stronger. The team had worked hard on the recent membership project, with letters hand-delivered to every household in the Valley.The Community Garden would soon include the flower bed in the Library garden. Maggie Winter and the garden team would welcome donated flowers and plants, and more volunteers to help. Lime Tree Surgery partners had kindly donated £250 to FVRA for the Community Garden. A question was asked about bio-diversity on The Gallops and Dan Humphreys stated there is a programme of environmental work, including a trial on The Gallops. He will seek and provide an update from the WBC cabinet member for the Environment.


Treasurer’s Report (Clive Sanders)

The Accounts for 2019 and 2020 were issued with the agenda. As FVRA is a small charity there is no requirement for a formal audit but the accounts had been independently checked by Allan Gee – our thanks to Allan. Clive highlighted the impact of Covid-19 on 2020 memberships and the dependency on road collectors. Expenditure had been managed very carefully. It is hoped that many residents will use the new direct debit facility for their 2021 and future memberships, thus reducing the time needed by volunteer road collectors. The number of new memberships was currently up on 2020 but still disappointing. Member subscriptions are now eligible for Gift Aid, where the member is a UK tax payer and ticks the form.

Resolution 2: The Accounts for 2019 and 2020 were Approved.


Membership (Position vacant – report by Chair)

In 2019 FVRA had 916 member households but in 2020 just 280, primarily because our road collector volunteers could not safely operate in the Covid-19 situation. We have recently held a membership campaign co-ordinated by Clive, to deliver membership forms to every home in the Valley, and encourage participation. The membership subscription rates for 2021 had been set at £5 per household, but £3 for single occupant. Although discussed and agreed at the 2020 AGM, that meeting was not quorate so the resolution is required tonight.

Resolution 3: the (verbal) Membership report, and membership rates for 2021, were Approved.


Election of Committee

We still have a number of committee vacancies, currently Secretary, Membership Secretary, Highways Officer, Communications Officer and Events Co-ordinator. Current members are all willing to stand again. Brief details of each individual as below, were included on the AGM Voting Form.

Chair/ Trustee

Lance Allen

Vice Chair/ Trustee

Lorraine Taylor

Treasurer/ Trustee

Clive Sanders

Secretary/ Trustee

VACANCY

Membership Secretary / Trustee

VACANCY

Schools Liaison

Paula Barnes

Environment

Matthew Ward

Co-opted Member

Chloe Paddock

Events Co-ordinator

VACANCY

Highways

VACANCY

Communications

VACANCY

Auditor (non-committee role)

Allan Gee

Resolution 4: the Committee members were elected en bloc.

[End of formal Committee business]


Presentation by Tom Micklewright, Managing Partner, Lime Tree Surgery

Lime Tree currently has 7 partners and 12 salaried GPs. Dr. Dillhon is the senior partner. A series of slides were presented showing how Lime Tree Surgery had reacted to the Covid-19 epidemic and its demands upon General Practice. The main change was the move to telephone and video appointments, which had advantages but also some disadvantages. The clinical team were looking forward to a return to face-to-face appointments. It was hoped there would be a “new normal” by the end of June 2021.

The Surgery was thanked for its amazing efforts with the Covid vaccination programme.


Councillor Dan Humphreys

2020 had been a year unlike any other, but the focus had been on keeping essential services running, including refuse and recycling collections. There is optimism for the future, with post-Covid projects in hand, including encouraging more businesses and footfall to the town centre, regeneration of secondary shopping areas (including King’s Parade), an imminent new deal for Teville Gate, and the continuing roll-out of ultrafast broadband.


There is increasing support for the NHS, notably the new Health Hub in Worthing. As regards Climate Change, Worthing BC are looking to have net-zero emissions by 2030. Work continues with MP Tim Loughton on a new Bill to protect the seabed from dredger-fishing.Cissbury Fields is an exciting new community and environment opportunity. There will soon be drop-in events and other communications. Suggestions to date have included wild flowers, dew ponds, tree planting. Further car parking capacity is under review. It will be important for visitors, including dog walkers, to stick to designated paths.Matthew Ward said he looked forward to meeting the WBC ranger, and helping set up a volunteer group. He is formulating FVRA’s further response to the Borough Council.Clive Sanders highlighted the recent Lottery-funded improvements at Stanmer Park as a comparison.


Councillor Elizabeth Sparkes

Traffic and parking issues were noted, including inconsiderate parking, and congestion at the top of Coombe Rise. Similar problems are widespread, but potential signage or parking restrictions will be considered.Pot holes: previous contractor repairs had sometimes been sub-standard but better quality filling and sealing was now in force. Bad pot holes should be reported to WSCC’s Love West Sussex portal, or by contacting Cllr. Sparkes.Damaged pavements: heavy lorries were a considerable issue, particularly where homes were being renovated. The pavements were in fact the responsibility of the adjoining householder, but any legal action would be difficult without photographic evidence of the pavements before/ during/ after damage.The safety of pedestrian crossings on the A24 was discussed, including red light dodgers. Speed limits will be further reviewed in May as part of the broader Worthing to Horsham A24 Corridor initiative. Residents’ feedback will be important.


Tim Loughton MP

Covid vaccination rates at Lime Tree were particularly good, and Adur & Worthing have some of the best take-up rates in the country. Some 100,000 persons per week were being vaccinated in West Sussex, 80% now being second dose. A booster for over-50s is under review for Autumn 2021, to co-incide with flu jabs.

On Climate Change, Tim highlighted the near-shore trawler ban to enable the kelp forest to regenerate, and absorb 6 times more carbon dioxide than trees do. Ricardo at Shoreham were working on hydrogen solutions and a hydrogen plant is planned for Shoreham Harbour.

A27, Highways England had yet to provide new proposals or material information, and they have been pressed by local MPs to reconsider main junctions, at the very least. Grove Lodge would benefit from removal of the traffic lights, but a multi-directional pedestrian bridge would be required.

Litter, the litter along the A27 is appalling. Highways England are responsible for the carriageways and centre reservation, WSCC are responsible for the outer verges. Th litter comes from a mix of fly tipping, waste falling off un-tarpaulined lorries, and individuals. Liaison is needed so that when lanes are coned off for repairs, safe litter picking can take place. Littering remains an offence punishable by fines.

The zoom meeting closed at 21.05hrs.

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