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FVRA Committee Minutes June 2021

Findon Valley Residents' Association

Protecting the interests of our community and the countryside around us


Monday 14th June: Remote meeting via Zoom


In Attendance:

Lance Allen (LA), Lorraine Taylor (LT), Clive Sanders (CS), Matthew Ward (MW), Neil Worsfold (NW), Terri Binstead (TB), Paula Barnes(PB), Roger Oakley (RO).


Apologies

Chloe Paddock (CP).


At the commencement of the meeting LA introduced Roger Oakley who has volunteered to be the new Highways Officer. Roger introduced himself and explained that he has lived in Worthing for many years and for five years in the valley. He had a career as a Police Officer and then as a Railway Signal Man after leaving the police force. Roger is also a retired councillor having represented East Worthing in the borough and latterly as a County Councillor. Roger had a special interest in Highways matters while a County Councillor. Roger was welcomed to the committee.


Neighbourhood Watch

LA introduced Terry Rickards who gave an informative update on Worthing Neighbourhood Watch(NHW) Terry explained how the organisation has changed with more emphasis on self protection and encouragement of neighbours to be more alert. Some members and coordinators work closely with the police doing street briefings and giving support and advice.Locally member numbers in Findon Valley have wained over the last few years and Terry stressed the importance of trying to encourage people to sign up on the NHW website for email newsletters. Findon Valley has only 70 households signed up at present.Many areas also have a local coordinator who can help with information and becoming a member. The coordinator can also act as a contact between the neighbour, the organisation and possibly the police. Terry will arrange for leaflets to be given to LA for displaying and distributing in the area and a discussion was had as to how FVRA may be able to promote the organisation among our members, eg by highlighting NHW in our newsletterNHW also have a Facebook page and locally are self funding. Government money is given to the national body who produce leaflets and general information for all local areas.


Minutes of last meeting and Matters Arising

Neil Worsfold has accepted the role of Membership Secretary ( see minutes of 10th May) and LA welcomed him to the FVRA team

LA has written to Our Lady of Sion school and informed them that we do not have capacity to display notices for outside organisations on our notice board.Correction – The concern in relation to car parking was that church goers normally use the surgery car park and can’t on market days. This does not appear to be an issue.


Chair

Committee vacancies are less of a concern now and NW has taken over as membership secretary. Jim Booth is still managing the web site at present but a new webmaster is needed. A suggestion was made that maybe a college student could get involved as part of their course work.LA and LT met with Jacobs Steel estate agents who are very keen to participate more with the local community. This could include sponsoring the farmer’s markets and they suggested funding a new community notice board at the bottom of Cissbury Drive which can be used by FVRA and others. Jacobs Steel have also offered to do posters and photocopying for us. One staff member worked for the Worthing Herald and another knows the editor of the Worthing Journal so they may be able to give advice re advertising etc.The arts and crafts group is not functioning at present due to ongoing covid restrictions


Vice Chair

Farmers’ Market, The May farmers market was another success and stall holders were all very pleased although footfall was slightly down possibly due to being a bank holiday weekend. The coffee van needs to be repositioned away from local houses because of the generator noise causing a possible disturbance. Nick from the coffee camp is keen to sell coffee beans at the market but there is already a vendor for this. He will get first refusal should the situation change at any time. The fruit and veg stall was very popular and are coming again and a “ cheeseology” stall plan to come in July.LT is looking to get a banner made to display above the wall of the library. It is possible we may get sponsorship for this from Jacobs Steel. CS suggested a second banner to be displayed at the entrance to the market. He has designed both a leaflet and a banner.We get free advertising for the market in the Worthing Journal and on Sharon Leppard’s Facebook. It was suggested by LA that we have an A1 poster advertising the residents association displayed by our stall at the market.There is a problem with vendor’s debit/credit card readers not getting signals and customers not having cash. PB will make a note of this on the Facebook pageLT also has a new supply of high-vis jackets so there will be enough for all helpers

Community Garden, Maggie is still waiting for plants from Findon garden centre and a lot of work has been done resulting in the garden looking very pleasant. Still waiting for the benches in Kings Parade to be replaced and the old ones moved to the library garden. ( update as of 15th June one bench has now been replaced and the old one stored for use in the library garden eventually) The other bench will not be removed for a while. LA chasing WSCC Libraries re the new licence agreement

Litter Pick, Seven people took part and collected nine bags of rubbish between them. Two youngsters who took part with their mum were doing it as part of their Duke of Edinburgh award. People heard about the litter pick through advertising it on Facebook. LT would like somebody to take over as coordinator as she has several other commitments. LA suggested another litter pick in the summer holidays.CS was concerned re the state of the cemetery with many areas very overgrown. LT said the grounds staff have just started cutting the grass but had been very busy elsewhere and also were aware of young fawns in the cemetery at present


Secretary

Nothing to report.


Treasurer

The bank balance as of today is £6,400 although there are several expenses coming up including insurance.The membership drive had produced good results and the income from CAF direct debits is looking good.The direct debit shows as a charity donation on personal statements and not as a payment to FVRA. Discussion was had as to how to give more information to the direct debit payees via email.LT asked if gift aid could be recorded as a separate item from the subscriptions and CS agreed this would be possible. Treasurer will send details to NW membership secretary.


Membership Secretary

We now have 506 members inc.106 direct debits set up. Direct debits are now the lead contributor in membership payments.NW is keen to review the way we can send bulk emails and has asked Jim to set him up with a new email address for his outgoing group emails. Domains including reg 123 and mail chimp were considered and both will be tested by various members as to see which suits us best.NW suggested he will revise the list of members and probably keep two years membership online and archive older details


Schools Liaison

Some of the litter posters designed by Vale School children and given to park ranger Graeme Brooker are now being displayed around the valley.A Farmers market poster has been sent to the school office who will display it.


Environment

MW said he is happy to take over as coordinator for litter picking as it will fit in with his environment role and getting volunteers interested in the area.He is going to arrange another meeting with Graeme Brooker to try and establish WBC’s intentions for Cissbury Fields.The long grass at the gallops is causing some concern for a few people although generally acceptable and the wildlife especially wild flowers are benefitting from the longer grass. People are using the area near the playground for sitting and picnicking etc but it was suggested maybe a few areas could have the grass mown to allow for ball games and similar.


Highways

Very little improvement work has been done to Kings Parade yet although two men were working there last week.Dates for a meeting with Councillor Elizabeth Sparkes have been suggested by her to discuss highways matters in the valley and this will now be set up with some of the committee members. Topics will cover the state of some roads and car parking issues in areas of the valley along with other relevant matters arising.


Communication

PB is keen to promote Facebook and CP has agreed to help as another administrator.The locks on one of the notice boards have been fixed but the backing board needs tidying up.


Events

The next Farmers’ Market is on Sunday 27th June from 10am – 2pm.


AOB

It was suggested that we get a general all purpose FVRA banner to use at events.LT suggested having a Christmas tree in the library garden this year and Jacobs Steel are going to have one next to their shop on Kings ParadeDiscussions re Christmas to possibly start at next month’s meetingWorkmen have been in the area adapting telegraph poles and laying conduit it is thought in connection with cable workLT, PB and Mark B had tidied up and cleaned the storage area

Next zoom meeting – 7.30pm Monday 12 July. We will revert to physical meetings at the library once covid restrictions have ceased.

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