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FVRA Committee Minutes May 2021

Findon Valley Residents' Association

Protecting the interests of our community and the countryside around us


Monday 10th May: Remote meeting via Zoom


In Attendance:

Lance Allen (LA), Lorraine Taylor (LT), Clive Sanders (CS), Matthew Ward (MW), Neil Worsfold (NW), Terri Binstead (TB).


Apologies

Paula Barns (PB), Chloe Paddock (CP).


Minutes of last meeting and Matters Arising

Minutes of 12th April were agreed as a true record and will now be published on our website and notice boards. The salt bin at the top of Coombe Rise is to be moved to King’s Parade.

LA introduced Ed Mitchell the new PCSO for Findon Valley to the committee.


PCSO Ed Mitchell Introductory Talk

Ed stated he has been with Worthing Police since 2004 and is now allocated to Cissbury Ward, including Findon Valley. Ed has gained much experience within his role and is based at Chatsworth Road police station. The valley is a relatively quiet crime area and Ed will at times assist in other areas as needed.

He uses a bicycle as this enables him to access areas that a car cannot reach. The main issues that crop up in the valley aside from Covid breaches are rogue traders knocking on doors for work and telephone scams. Ed explained that CCTV cameras are becoming increasingly helpful in solving crimes and it is a good idea for properties to have one. Once the work load relating to the Covid virus dies down Ed stated that he intends to dostreet surgeries to answer questions and give advice hopefully in the library. LA said we could help with getting surgeries advertised when the time comes. Ed uses Twitter and updates news about what he has been doing as well as putting photographs on there. In answer to questions Ed informed us that he has met with Terry Rickards from Worthing Neighbourhood Watch and will ask him if he can attend one of our meetings. He is also meeting with Graeme Brooker, the WBC park warden for this area at The Gallops on 11th May.

There have been no reports of dog theft in the area but advises people to take car numbers if they feel a vehicle is acting suspiciously and to make sure gardens and gates are secure, possibly using prickly hedges or similar to deter thieves on garden boundaries.

Unless an emergency Ed advised ringing 101 with any suspicious reports about anything and the call will be logged and picked up by Ed when he is on duty. LT was concerned because she reported graffiti on bus shelters to the police and the call was logged but not dealt with. Ed explained that all calls are logged and although closed it may in some cases get linked to other similar reports and help with solving issues at a later stage.

Ed explained how calls to the police are graded. Grade 1 call is an emergency with immediate response, Grade 2 will receive a visit within a few hours, Grade 3 usually within a few days and quite possibly by the PCSO.

CS said it would be a good idea to advertise that we have a new PCSO in our newsletter and maybe by advertising in the Post Office.


Chair

The AGM had been a success and all resolutions passed. The Charity Commission had been updated with the 2020 Return.Draft minutes of the AGM had been circulated and were agreed as correct. These can now be put on the website and noticeboard in their draft form.LA welcomed Terri Binstead to the committee as secretary and Neil Worsfold as potential membership secretary subject to discussion with previous membership secretary Jim Booth. They both gave a short introduction and were unanimously approved by the committee. Another resident has offered to help with admin for the resident, and another person from the Valley is possibly offering his services in the Highways role. LA will contact to discuss.

The new Register of Interests has been set up and committee members confirmed they had no other interests to declare.

The Arts and Crafts group is hoping to set up again as restrictions from Covid ease. They are sociable groups and hopefully residents will support it. LA to speak further with co-ordinator Maureen Denton in June.


Vice Chair

Farmers’ Market, The April market at Lime Tree Surgery car park was a great success although needed plant and fruit and vegetables stalls. These stalls will be at the next market on the 30th May. Great Little Farmers’ Markets, a community interest company (and not for profit organisation) liaised with the stall holders and provided help, advice and gazebos for the event. Stalls sold out quite quickly which disappointed a few of the latecomers but as it was the first event stallholders will now be more aware for future markets. FVRA made a small surplus from the event.

Lime Tree Surgery have made a request for payment for use of the car park. LT has liaised with Tom Micklewright, the managing partner to discuss a way forward and any legal issues this may cause. The PPG could be offered a free stall at the market to sell their books.

Concern was raised about the Free Church car park being used by market customers and this will be addressed.

FVRA membership will be promoted at the markets, with printed copies of the Newsletter.CP had suggested an FVRA donation box. LA will arrange new name badges and LT will order more Hi-Vis tops.

LT has been in touch with Elizabeth Sparkes seeking WSCC traffic cones that we can hold as there were a few problems with delivery and collection for the event.

Rogers Farm have a few barriers they do not use so will donate to us. One of the barriers used on the day broke as it was blown over. Markets may have to be cancelled if the weather is very windy.

Community Garden, LT and Maggie Winter had met with Justin Burns of WSCC Libraries and a Licence is being drawn up for part of the library garden to be managed by volunteers from the Valley.The two wooden benches from King’s Parade will be moved to the library garden.LT thanked Chris van Hayden for repainting the planters. More volunteers will be needed to help once the new King’s Parade planters are in place. WBC timeframe not finalised.LA suggested approaching the local shops for sponsorship of a planter. Maybe the PPG would like one. Maggie negotiated discounts for wood stain and fertiliser bought with some of the donation from Lime Tree Surgery and she is hoping to get support from Findon Garden Centre.

Disappointingly no plants have been donated by residents.

Bus shelters, The bus shelter near Downside Avenue has been daubed with graffiti. LT contacted local councillors and Cllr. Humphreys has said WBC will help to clear it. LA highlighted that It is the contractual responsibility of FVRA to maintain the wooden bus shelters and remove graffiti etc. and council support was appreciated.


Treasurer

The bank balance at 30 April has increased to £5,365. Still waiting for £375 for advertising on membership. Balance includes the Lime Tree £250 Community Garden donation and £225 from the market.

There is a processing delay in CAF direct debit receipts coming into the account. Almost 150 people have signed up for DD which is far less than hoped for. CAF automatically gives an email acknowledgment but some people seek an FVRA response. LA suggested a standard email could be sent, in batches so not time-consuming. CS said that physical road collections (not possible during Covid) still seem to be the most effective way of collecting the subscriptions.


Schools Liaison

PB has reported via LA that the anti-litter posters, designed by Vale School children, had been passed to Graeme Brooker for The Gallops.

LA had contacted Cllr Sparkes regarding ‘Cut your Engines” road signs, response awaited.


Environment

MW met Graeme Brooker (WBC Parks officer) and he suggested that getting a friends volunteer group is the best way forward. MW’s main interests are Cissbury Fields and The Gallops and he is considering linking with The Conservation Volunteers group and Green Tides, who are a Worthing umbrella group. There is a TCV meeting on 15th May to water the new trees on Sheepcombe Hangar and MW will go along to help and try to rally some support for our new “Valley Volunteers” group.

Seats in the Gallops are broken and Graeme Brooker wants to get these renewed and the areas tidied. Grass had been dug up possibly by badgers and dogs etc. The council refilled the holes but they are all back now. There are some beautiful flowers and fauna on The Gallops at present.

Trees on Cissbury Ring have been felled by the National Trust. The area had sadly been an early casualty of Ash Die Back.


Highways

Pavement weedkiller has been sprayed successfully in some areas by WSCC.A meeting is being arranged with Cllr Sparkes to discuss parking, particularly around Cissbury fields, and other issues.


Communication

The first of the quarterly newsletters has been sent out. Wording for the June edition of Sussex Local has been submitted, including The Gallops now being within the Worthing wild life trail.Mailchimp is not used at present but PB is using Facebook to promote FVRA news and events.CS suggests printing the newsletter to give out at the Farmers’ Market. LA to arrange with Jim B.


Events

The next Farmers’ Market is on Sunday 30th May from 10am – 2pm.No other events are planned as yet, we await the Library allowing meetings and events post-Covid.


AOB

The storage area needs sorting out and cleaning. It had a plumbing leak some while ago so need to check and advise WBC.Our Lady of Sion school have requested the opportunity to use our notice board for displaying a poster. The committee felt unsure about this so LA is going to enquire from the school what the poster is displaying. If an agreement is given then Vale School should also be given the opportunity to use the notice board.

LT asked for people to volunteer for the early shift at the next Farmers’ Market starting at 8am and several members did

Next zoom meeting – 7.30pm Monday 14 June.

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