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FVRA Committee Minutes August 2020

Findon Valley Residents' Association

Protecting the interests of our community and the countryside around us


Monday 10th August: Remote meeting via Zoom


In Attendance:

Lance Allen (LA), Paula Barns (PB), Kayla Shepherd (KS), Lorraine Taylor (LT). The meeting commenced at 7.30 pm.


Apologies

Received in advance from Clive Sanders (CS),


Minutes of last meeting and Matters Arising

Minutes from 13 July were agreed as a true record, and will now be published on website and in noticeboards. Matters arising are covered below. Later: FVRA’s funds quoted as at end of June were £4,672, not the £5,164 (June 2019) figure as typed in the July minutes.


Chair

Vacancies, No expressions of interest had been received despite clear publicity on website, eNewsletter, noticeboards and Sussex Local. We still require a secretary, membership secretary, highways officer and communications officer. KS agreed to take the role of Events Officer.


Community Garden, Maggie Winter and the other volunteers were doing a good job in tending and watering. Maggie awaits a response from Highdown Garden Centre re possible sponsorship. The library garden was discussed – this is tended by WSCC contractors.


New Noticeboard, we are grateful to John McCartney of Men in Sheds for constructing the new and robust noticeboard, which has now been ‘unveiled’ beside the library. LT has sent photos and words to Worthing Herald and Worthing Journal. It was agreed to pay Men in Sheds £250 as invoiced, for the materials, and a further donation of £50. Thanks also to Neil Worsfold for providing transport.


Winter Salt Bins, LA will shortly complete the WSCC audit and will also follow up with WSCC to confirm the necessary safety training and operational procedures.


Bus Shelters, LA to contact WSCC to discuss the legal requirements for maintenance and graffiti removal (re the two rustic shelters on A24 east side), as FVRA volunteers would have difficulty in this respect without specialist equipment. LT would be able to check the bus shelters monthly. All would keep an eye on them generally.


AGM, Still on hold. Social distancing requirements would make a physical meeting difficult and it is quite likely that we would not be quorate. In 2019 (pre-Covid) we only just met the constitutional requirement of 30 voting members.


Trustees, LA to write further to the dormant trustees in early September to confirm that their trusteeship has lapsed but they are still seen as Friends of FVRA.


Vice Chair

Farmers’ Market, LT has approached Justin Burns (WSCC Libraries) and Councillor Elizabeth Sparkes re the potential for a future Saturday Farmers’ Market in the Lime Tree Surgery car park, possibly Spring 2021. Cllr. Sparkes will discuss with Dr. Dhillon, re. use of staff parking area for the market, and the patient parking area for the public. WBC Cllr. Dan Humphrey is supportive.


Treasurer

The monthly accounts for July were circulated by CS prior to the meeting. Total funds at end of July = £4,684.


Registered Address, Response awaited from Justin Burns at WSCC to establish if the library can become our registered address. Currently under discussion at WSCC.


HSBC, LA now had online access to the HSBC bank account as alternate for CS, for payments up to £300. The new bank mandate adding LA and LT has been arranged by CS, but required signatures. It was agreed to appoint PB as interim secretary, to enable countersignature of the HSBC documentation.


Membership

Position Vacant, Jim Booth provided an email update on 2020 renewals as at end July. 253 to date, of which 130 at Post Office, 122 by bank transfer and 1 direct. It was disappointing that our monthly eNewsletters, articles in Sussex Local, and noticeboards, had drawn such a tiny response.


Membership Form, this needs an eye-catching design to encourage membership renewals from early 2021, with bank standing orders will be the recommended payment channel. Someone with graphic design skills is needed! CS will enquire at HSBC re use of Direct Debits, although processing costs could be involved.


It was agreed that it is now too late in the year to chase further 2020 memberships.

LA to contact the road collectors to maintain the relationship for next year. It is clear that the majority of renewals are dependent upon ‘knocking on doors’.


Schools Liaison

PB will ensure FVRA monthly newsletters are forwarded to parents within the Valley, and will discuss the Vale Drive Winter Salt Bins with the school, once LA has heard back from WSCC (see page 1 above).Vale pupils should be able to help with end-of-season clearing of the Gallops wild flower patch. This would involve a single year group due to Covid ‘bubble’ requirements.


Highways

Position Vacant, No pending action on WSCC’s “A24 Worthing to Horsham Corridor” group.


Environment

Cissbury Fields, the next FVRA/ WBC/ SDNPA etc meeting will be September or later depending on availability of drafts of the new information boards. The weedkiller spraying of the fields in May had generated complaints to FVRA, SDNPA and to the WBC Ranger. The use of unknown chemicals on land used by the public (even when the spraying was taking place) is a potential hazard, and also an issue for wildlife eg. butterflies and nesting birds.


Mobile Vending, The proprietor of the coffee van in Storrington Rise car park has now applied to WBC for a licence. FVRA concerns are that other vans could be attracted, that new litter bins would be needed (refuse and recycling), and that any increase in litter on Cissbury Ring would be unwelcome.


Gallops, LT has alerted WBC Ranger to a possible boundary encroachment.

Library, LT has contacted WBC/ WSCC re the use of recycling bins outside the library.


Communication

Position Vacant, LA has issued text for Sussex Local September edition. LT has contacted Worthing Herald and Worthing Journal re new Noticeboard.


Events

A possible Christmas fair was discussed, or a Christmas tree outside the Library, with carol singing, Santa, and some attractions similar to our 2019 event. Could FVRA link in with the Vale School’s Santa ‘float’ lorry?


AOB

KS noted that Beth, the Free Church pre-school manager, was keen to be an active Friend of FVRA.


KS has viewed the FVRA website and will circulate suggestions. It could be enhanced to attract younger families. The new noticeboard could also be made more eye-catching, eg with bright background colour.


CS suggested a possible future event involving a speaker from ‘Sports State of Mind’, a charity for mental health awareness. This was acknowledged as useful but more appropriate for Lime Tree’s PPG. A specific mental health issue is social isolation, made worse during Covid. The All Saints ARK project has a telephone befriending service that was proving to be useful.


LA has been contacted by a Parham Road resident regarding a development on Mill Lane that, due to the steep hillside, would be very intrusive to privacy. FVRA have lodged an objection as part of the due planning process. Planning issues are a case where FVRA can offer ‘signposting’ but not take responsibility for pursuing issues in FVRA’s name. Not only would we be uninsured for this, but the committee has no direct expertise in planning regulations.


Library Drop-in, Still suspended due to Coronavirus.

Next meeting – 7.30pm Monday 14th September 2020 (via zoom).

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