Minutes of Committee Meeting 30th April 2013
Present: Bill Woods, Tim Dawes, Michael Blanch, Jim Davis, David Smith, Annette Harley, Beryl Francis, Carole Nash
1 Apologies were received from Ray Cantwell and Ina Allum
CN reported that TD had forwarded an email from David Willetts’ office saying that he had met leaders of HBC and emphasised the importance of engaging with the Civic Society.
An email had been received from Ann Griffiths asking if information about Friends of Havant Museum could be sent to people on our email distribution list. After thorough discussion it was decided that it would be more appropriate to include this information in a newsletter and on the website.
BW said that fly tipping on the Billy Line had been reported as an increasing nuisance.
BF said that HBC intend to publish planning applications in the Hampshire Independent free newspaper instead of The News. Although this saves money for HBC and readers, there are concerns about accessibility for housebound people and those without internet access. CN will write to HBC about the impact on transparency and inquiring about their public engagement strategy.
3 Financial statement
This had been distributed by email, (printed copy provided for MB). The bank balance is £246.68 TD said there was an outstanding printing invoice.
4 Heritage fund grant
BW said that the hospital tiles have now been funded and will be permanently displayed in The Spring; we should find another project. Although the Civic Society’s activities fit many of the criteria new hurdles are presented regularly (e.g. they don’t fund societies). TD said that it is common for repeated applications to be made before a result is achieved. CN suggested a campaign to save St Faith’s church hall. TD felt a feasibility study study would make good use of the £5K applied for and would add credibility.
5 Planning proposals
BF reported that there are no proposals other than small scale domestic ones. The main concern is public access to proposals (as noted in 2). Approval for the development at Manor Farm and Copseys Nursery has been passed on a casting vote.
6 North Street / Market Parade development
DS reported on the meeting of developer Shaun Adams (SA) with a subset of our committee (BW, JD, AH, DS, CN). After much discussion about reconciling support for local businesses with over-representing our role, it was agreed that a meeting between some of our committee and the local business association would be helpful. Additionally, JD urged that HBC be contacted for clarification of their small traders policy emphasising the importance of helping them to relocate successfully; TD believes HBC has no place for them. Proposed car parking provision was described; TD observed that decking the railway car parks would be preferable to decking that in Prince George’s Street.
It was noted that SA had asked us not to discuss the proposal publicly for a few weeks until it has been put to HBC; unsurprisingly, it has already been reported in The News.
When future occasions arise for a few committee members to attend on behalf of the society, we should have a more rigorous procedure. Some members had been omitted in the belief that they were unlikely to be available during the day in the run up to an election, however, the chairman will exercise his discretion to invite committee members as appropriate to the task at hand.
7 Publicity and Newsletter updates
CN said that two members thought our money would be better spent on high quality leaflets available in public buildings. It was widely agreed that the newsletters are valued and serve the society well, but some coloured business cards or postcard size leaflets should be considered too – printing costs are not high; AH and DS will discuss design and report back. A logo, first mentioned last year, should also be revisited. AH suggested covering a new area such as Denvilles or Warblington with each new issue of the newsletter. TD said several people have reported difficulty reading areas of white on black printing and RNIB disapprove of it. AH will avoid this in future issues, at the expense of immediate visual interest. AH asked if we had established a routine or trigger for newsletter production; it was agreed that they would be published when we had something to say or a meeting to advertise. AH, supported by CN, said a realistic lead time (say 4 weeks) should applied and strictly adhered to.
8 Any other business
AH asked if Havant has a Town Centre Manager or empty housing officer – TD said that the Town Centre managers are effectively Jeff Crate and Peter Hammond and there is no empty housing officer.
DS reminded the meeting that one of our members had suggested contacting Kenwood for support with equipment – we should follow this up as we have increasing need for a laptop and similar equipment.
Discussion of traffic problems included continued use of residential roads by HGVs, a 20mph speed limit in residential areas, the effectiveness of various traffic calming strategies and working towards prioritising cyclists and pedestrians over motor traffic. We should adopt a watching brief.
Havant Literary Festival is 1-10th October
The date of the next committee meeting was agreed Tue 18th June