‘News’ report from the Public Meeting, April 2018.

On Monday April 30th, the Portsmouth News reported on comments made at the Public Meeting, held on April 26th at St. Faith’s Church, Havant.

The article can be viewed at this link.

 

HCS public meeting February 10, 2015

Meeting was attended by about 40 members and local residents.
The theme of the evening was “retailing in Havant

town centre” and speakers included Rob Fryer the manager of the Meridian Centre and Tony Probert the manager of Waitrose Havant

Rob Fryer the manager of the Meridian Centre- KEY POINTS

1. Havant thrives because of its good travel links but struggles to attract footfall across Park Road South.

2. However footfall in the centre has been increased thanks to PoundWorld which is very popular.

3. Units on the first floor are much more difficult to let.

4. Late night opening has been tried but that has failed largely because Havant shuts up shop at 5:30 and there is no night time economy. It would require a bowling alley or cinema in the centre to initiate growth.

5. There is general agreement that signage from the A27 needs improving. This could include the street markets which

provide the greatest footfall of the week on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

6. Online shopping is a threat to all retailers many of whom are now looking for much smaller units and start up support.

7. The migration of footfall to the new western developments is also driven by free parking which cannot be supplied by the centre.

8. 80,000 ft.2 of new retail space opposite Tesco’s will provide more competition for the Meridian Centre.

Questions were were raised on subjects raising from pop-up shops to the likelihood of a gym opening up on the first-floor and Rob was thanked for the help and support that he has given to charities and community during his tenure.

Tony Probert the manager of Waitrose Havant – KEY POINTS

Waitrose has been a grocer in Havant for the last 35 years and in common with all food retailers faces a number of issues during a tough trading environment as indicated by:

1. Deflation caused by competition from discounters and the falling commodity prices

2. Online sales show a 40% increase year-on-year

3. Convenience stores-residents are shopping more frequently consequently more small convenience stores are opening than large ones. One positive result is that consumers are wasting less produce.

4. Incentivisation in the form of functions, loyalty cards and free offers are becoming the norm

5. People are eating out more frequently resulting in growth in coffee shops

6. Lunchtime trade has been badly affected by the new restaurant opening in Langstone

7. Waitrose’s greatest assets are its staff many of whom are long serving, and without whom 15,000 customer till transactions a week would not be possible..

8. The store sees itself as part of the community and works hard to support it.

QUESTIONS were raised ranging from the pace at the checkouts to the reason for not expanding into the old Post

Office. All were answered fully and directly. 
Rob and Tony stayed to answer any questions until the end of the meeting and

were each presented with a small gift from the society in appreciation of their support.


NEWS

Helen and Tim gave an update on plans for the refurbishment of the Gazebo Garden and the society’s role in ongoing maintenance.

It was announced that Bill Woods would be stepping down from the committee after two and a half years as chairman. This was due to family, health and workload issues. Bill praised the committee for each playing a role in the scrutiny of new planning. Bill suggested that the committee be enlarged by two members in order to continue to run effectively.

AGM – 21 October 2014

Apologies had been received from 5 members, 28 members were present

Minutes of the last AGM are on our website

1 Chairman’s Welcome from Bill Woods: This has been an interesting year with many significant planning applications. HBC’s Urban Design Framework set out in 2006 is due for review this year.

2 & 3 Presentation by Tod Wakefield and Nicola Crowson, architects and academics at the Portsmouth School of Architecture “The value of Modern Architecture, and how ignoring it might be doing a disservice to the town.”

Topics included the history of modern architecture with particular mention of Le Corbusier Louis Khan and Utzon. Portsmouth School of Architecture‘s approach to teaching and learning involves a wide range of materials and worldwide locations. Slides showed use of natural light as a major element in the ambience of buildings.

The UK‘s wariness of modern, unfamiliar architecture has resulted in most new building being a pastiche of old styles varying little from one location to another. Questions from the floor revealed that the balance between engineering, urban planning and sculptural emphasis varies between universities.

The speakers’ key points were:

We consider that the resistance to modernism represents a profound loss of nerve in the UK. We must embrace the unexpected, the vibrant, the complex and the new……

OUR ADVICE

How to look at architecture? Take a deep breadth! Wait before deciding to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ what you see. Is it an honest expression of a wonderful set of spaces accommodating peoples’ needs?

The speakers were thanked for their informative and interesting presentation.

4 Information Exchange

  • Market Parade – no planning application has yet been submitted. As the developer paid for the consultation the feedback forms went to him.

  • The railway footbridge, after 10 years wait, is now second of HBC’s priorities

  • The Town Mill Wheel (east of Tesco) is undergoing repair.

  • Plans for 7 and 9 East Street have been withdrawn – the significance of this is unclear

  • Havant does have a local list of important buildings

  • The Gazebo Garden is an need of reappraisal for refurbishment and long term maintenance. This could be a long term project for which a Heritage lottery grant application would be appropriate.

  • Harry Crossley was thanked for auditing the Society’s accounts which were found to be in very good order. The Society has a balance of about £400

4 Election of new committee members

Many of the original committee have stepped down for family and work reasons. There were no volunteers for positions of chairman, secretary or publicity/communications officer. The remaining committee (Bill Woods, Ray Cantwell, Tim Dawes, Christopher Evans) will be joined by Bob Comlay who will discuss further replenishment and specific roles.

5 AOB There being no further business the meeting was closed at 9pm

Open Meeting – 8th July 2014

Apologies had been received from 3 of the committee and 5 other members

1 The chairman introduced John Worley who explained the concept of Men’s Sheds. These are permanent venues where retired men meet and chat, but also share expertise and seldom used equipment. He also recommended “Streetlife” website – a social network for local communities.

2 Guest Speaker Sophie Fullerlove – The Spring’s Role in Havant’s Civic and Artistic Life

Sophie has been in post as Director of The Spring for 18 months. She has worked towards integrating Arts and Heritage, creating something more outward looking than an updated Havant Museum.

The Spring believes that participating in live arts and connecting with local heritage can help to improve everyone’s quality of life. Activities include:

  • Live events and film screenings
  • Participatory events and opportunities
  • Heritage collection care, recording and exhibitions
  • Cultural advice and support services

The Spring’s galleries exist and activities take place to record and celebrate the history of Havant Borough, the people who live here and their stories. Last year saw 2% increase in visitors, 70% increase in those engaging with the local heritage collection and The Guide Award for Best Exhibition (Hayling Billy 50).

Forthcoming activites include:

  • Heritage Talks and Tours
  • Collecting material for Hayling Billy Oral History,
  • Open Days and Museums at Night
  • Waterlooville 200 (200 years since Battle of Waterloo)
  • Heritage inspired performances and films
  • Book Amnesty (over 250 are missing from The Spring’s collection)
  • First World War Commemorations – WW1 commemorations Textile Book of Remembrance, Open Day, War Memorial Photo Flashmob,Heritage Talks,Exhibitions,Theatre Performances

The speaker mentioned collaboration with HCS, work with Park School and Forest Forge (touring theatre company based in New Forest).

3 The Big Dig is not over – it continues through September. Packs explaining how to conduct a dig are available at The Spring.

4 Market Parade proposal update

Bill Woods displayed the outline proposal as presented by developer Shaun Adams at the Development Consultation Forum (3rd July 2014). Bill based his representation to the DCF on HBC’s Town Centre Urban Design Framework (2006) and comments submitted by HCS members. Bill hopes to talk directly to the architect moving the design towards a high status development which will be admired by residents and visitors.

Points from the floor included:

Councillors are generally supportive of our wish for a high quality development

Suggestion that we replace “high quality” with “elegant” to avoid a technically high quality, but widely disliked development

Question about who the intended market is (it has migrated down market since first presented)

Disagreement about the required percentage (if any) of affordable homes

Suggestion that it would be useful to have a meeting addressed by an architect talking about good modern design

Developer has included land he does not own

The council should be urged to use compulsory purchase orders

5 East Street

The chairman displayed plans for numbers 7 and 9 which have been withdrawn, followed by revised plans which are awaiting a decision. Discussion included the relative merits of authentic modern building style which is generally regarded as out of place versus that which imitates the style of earlier times.

6 Davies Chemist

Modernisation is now complete at considerable expense to the owner. HCS had urged retention of the historic structures and fittings where possible. The external appearance is unchanged whilst the interior complies with modern pharmacy standards.

7 Logo

The design was displayed and comments sought. Some felt that there were too many fonts – no more than two should be used. The most appealing font (American Typewriter) is not included in most applications. The strap line was popular.There was insufficient time to show full range of material provided by the artist.

8 Other Business

We are awaiting information from Cllr Jackie Branson about who owns or is responsible for repairs to the mill wheel at SE corner of Tesco’s site. Havant Literary Festival will run from 3rd to 12th October 2014; details are included in The Spring’s brochure.

Our Mission Statement

Havant Civic Society aims to conserve and cherish the important features of Havant’s distinctive heritage.  We seek to encourage quality design in new developments which will enhance the town.  We wish it to be a thriving borough centre with a sound cultural and economic base – a town that residents are proud of and that people want to visit.

The Story So Far

At a packed and vibrant public meeting in St Faith’s Hall on 22nd August 2012 many people registered interest in a Civic Society. A follow-up meeting was held at The Meeting Place, URC in September (attended by about 120 people) at which a speaker from the Petersfield Society gave a talk on civic societies. People agreed that this would be good for Havant, so an interim committee was formed.

The August and September meetings had been facilitated by Tim Dawes. Following the formal establishment of Havant Civic Society, the following Officers were elected:

Chair              Bill Woods
Vice Chair    David Smith
Secretary       Carole Nash
Treasurer       Ray Cantwell

who all continue in post following the most recent AGM in October 2013.

It has been a busy first two years for the Society, with a steep learning curve. During this period HCS has:

  • Distributed regular newsletters to members
  • Delivered hard copies of the first two newsletters throughout central Havant
  • Forged links with other organisations
  • Maintained a full Committee membership
  • Held regular public meetings and committee meetings
  • Established good working relations with HBC officers
  • Constantly monitored planning applications and consulted members
  • Hosted guest speakers on a range of topics

We have made an excellent beginning and aim to achieve a great deal more, with the active support of our membership.

Report on Open Meeting 23rd September 2013 at 7pm in Bosmere School Hall

Report on Open Meeting 23rd September 2013 at 7pm in Bosmere School Hall

1 Approximately 70 people were present and welcomed by the chairman. He apologised for poor consultation procedures; a potential remedy on reverse of agenda will be discussed under item 5

2 Sophie Fullerlove Director the Spring Arts and Heritage Centre said that Havant’s is the only centre of its kind in Hampshire. She aims to take the centre out into the community and earn the pride of Havant’s people. Paul Atterbury will be at The Spring on 10 October, 2013 talking on “A life with Trains”. Society members were invited to participate the Battle Lines Theatre Company project. Three 45-minutes dramas will be created for which real stories are required. This could be a special event for the civic society or participation a public workshop.

3 Dr Hannah Fluck Senior Archaeologist Hampshire County Council talked about “Roman Havant” and recent archaeological finds. This enjoyable and informative talk included text, maps and photographs. Some points to emerge from the presentation and questions from the floor were:

 The Historic Environment Record, the database which is used to inform anyone wishing to excavate for any land management reason, is open to the public. Members of the public are also encouraged to report finds of potential interest telephone 01962 832338 historic.environment@Hants.gov.uk
 Pottery finds in Rowland’s Castle and the temple on Hayling Island are well known, but there is little evidence of Havant having been a Roman town. Something of interest is possibly under St Faith’s church.
 Homewell House well is particularly interesting for both for its structure of stone from IoW and its content including a ring, dogs, a brooch, coins and an infant. These are all still being analysed; there are many possible reasons for their presence in this well. Post holes indicate that nearby building was not particularly substantial.
 Other finds in this area (including Horndean, Warblington and Denvilles) are indicative of isolated substantial dwellings, perhaps deriving income from trade e.g. olive oil.
 There is considerable evidence of Havant’s trade links with continental Europe before the Roman invasion.
 A synchronised exploratory “big dig” by the residents of Grove Road planned for 2014 would be interesting and may inform opinion about the exact line of the original east-west road.
 Somtimes exploratory trenches on a new site (typically covering 5%) show clearly that there has been no previous occupation whatsoever.
 Other wells in the proximity of St. Faith’s are medieval.

4 Shaun Adams Hampshire and Regional Development Ltd discussed plans for redeveloping Market Parade. This included material selected from HBC’s local plan which had been used for guidance, a map of Market Parade and an architect’s drawing of the proposed building. This plan differed in almost every respect (design, materials, target market, retail, food and beverage provision) from the plan previously discussed with the committee – the only common aspect is the location. Understandably, the chairman and committee members were disquieted by these unannounced changes. Comments from the floor included:
 The brutal appearance
 Canyon effect when the west side is developed
 Parking provision and traffic implications
 The number of eating places already in existence (>25)
 Would the project include replacement of the railway footbridge? Developer said it would.

5 Closing comments:
The suggestion that in future the newsletter could be confined to members only was discussed. Some thought that this would limit the chances of increasing our membership.
Suggested occasional, perhaps bimonthly, members meetings in a local hostelry on a Sunday or Monday evening to discuss issues with the committee – members did not support this idea.
Participation in the Battlelines project – it was widely agreed that joining a public event is preferable.
The Consultation form (on reverse of agenda) was acknowledged as a good move in the right direction.
The Civic Society is a very young organisation and needs time to refine its procedures.
HCS should request an update from HBC into progress on the public consultation launched in March.
Following an announcement in the local press that a national planning agent will be appointed to look at the East Street area, HCS should request details of how this contract will be advertised, whether it will be put out to tender, what the parameters of the consultation will be and how members of the public and affected parties can make submissions.
Possibility of using Facebook for communication (perhaps a closed group with posts visible to members only)
The Chair urged members to comment upon the Local Allocation Plan before the closing date of 22 November 2013

Open Meeting 19th March 2013, 7 pm in St Faith’s Church Hall

Open Meeting 19th March 2013, 7 pm in St Faith’s Church Hall

Apologies had been received from 9 people, 68 were present

1 Introductions were made by the chairman who thanked the secretary then itemised some of the local issues on the agenda.

2 Treasurer’s report
We had about 40 fully paid-up members before this meeting, approximately 20 more now joined. Our £208 balance had been reduced by costs of printing and hall hire. New membership fees return the balance to about £200

3 Correspondence
The secretary said she has pursued the matter of the listed telephone box with John Townsend (conservation officer); re-glazing has commenced and painting is on this year’s schedule May – October. She has contacted Wilkinsons in broadly complimentary terms but regretting the impact of their excessively large delivery vehicles; their reply was polite, dismissive and completely unhelpful. An email was sent to Hampshire police regarding the use of residential roads by large articulated lorries although the area has a weight restriction. The email has been forwarded to Havant police, but nothing more has been heard from them. Notice of a public meeting at HBC Plaza was read out. This important meeting is about the production of a community plan and use of the new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). (The full text of the notice has already been sent to those on our distribution list.)

4 Q&A on local issues
Market Parade: in response to a question from the floor Bill Woods said he had been contacted by the developer of Market Parade, but no detail was yet available. Tim Dawes said as a key gateway area it should be closely monitored. The phrase “associated land’ does not include Havant Park or indicate that it is threatened. Councillors agree that this northern area has long been in need of attention. Other comments included – more shops would be inappropriate, small businesses lack support, the height of the new development is critical, no matter what form the development takes it will become another eyesore if there is no provision for cleaning and maintenance, evidence of neglect is widespread in Havant.

East Street: Tim Dawes said there was no further news, it is disappointing that the housing allocation had been reduced by only 1 from the Barratt plan, no other developer is known to have come forward. This difficult site has multiple landowners, as has Market Parade. The poor state of building was noted, with the suggestion that owners are waiting for them to fall down. Cllr Branson (from the floor) observed the effects of planning blight and said she would investigate possibilities of following up with the owners of neglected buildings. She also said that no planning applications have yet come forward for Market Parade or East Street. Before they do, there would normally be a Development Consultative Forum which the public are encouraged to attend.

Warblington Field; in response to a question from the floor about work having already started, Annette Harley said that the plan includes road widening, but not at the pinch point. The site entrance remains as planned. There was a comment from the floor that 2 Transit sized vehicles were unable to pass. The impact of construction traffic has not yet been felt.

Homewell House: no questions were put, nor comments made.
Hospital Tiles: no questions were put, nor comments made.
Glove Factory 59-61 West Street: no questions were put, nor comments made.

5 Presentation by John Pike (Planning Design and Heritage Consultant)
The speaker introduced himself with his history in this field. His overview of planning was “It is about managing the environment in the public interest.” His talk was accompanied by a wide range of slides illustrating his points; these covered:
⦁ Planning can’t solve all problems or necessarily make things happen (Redknapp Site).
⦁ Once a development is started permission is valid for ever, council has no power to order completion.
⦁ Buildings can be protected by listing or being in a conservation area.
⦁ Listed buildings can be threatened by neglect.
⦁ Applicants for planning permission can and do appeal to a government inspector if refused by local council.
⦁ Rights to permitted development to own house may be removed under Article 4, but this is unreasonable if surrounding buildings have already been altered.
⦁ Conservation does not equate to preservation of all old buildings.
⦁ Style of new build may include replicating features in modern materials or using traditional materials on modern design.
⦁ Variety is an asset in Portsmouth, perhaps also in Havant.
⦁ Clutter such as advertising and excess signage detracts from street-scape.
⦁ Spaces between buildings need attention – e.g. paving, street names
⦁ Future of Buildings at risk depends on money being available
⦁ It is sometimes difficult to know what to do with old, empty buildings when integrity of interiors would be harmed by conversion to residential use.
⦁ Local authorities need to know what plans are liked as well as those which are not.
⦁ (replying to question from floor) Listing a building may take up to a year, unless it is immediately threatened.
⦁ (replying to question from floor) Compulsory purchase orders are expensive, so councils avoid them if possible. Threat of enforcement usual produces the desired result.

Minutes of Public Meeting 19th March 2013

Open Meeting 19th March 2013, 7 pm in St Faith’s Church Hall

Apologies had been received from 9 people, 68 were present

1 Introductions were made by the chairman who thanked the secretary then itemised some of the local issues on the agenda.

2 Treasurer’s report
We had about 40 fully paid-up members before this meeting, approximately 20 more now joined. Our £208 balance had been reduced by costs of printing and hall hire. New membership fees return the balance to about £200

3 Correspondence
The secretary said she has pursued the matter of the listed telephone box with John Townsend (conservation officer); re-glazing has commenced and painting is on this year’s schedule May – October. She has contacted Wilkinsons in broadly complimentary terms but regretting the impact of their excessively large delivery vehicles; their reply was polite, dismissive and completely unhelpful. An email was sent to Hampshire police regarding the use of residential roads by large articulated lorries although the area has a weight restriction. The email has been forwarded to Havant police, but nothing more has been heard from them. Notice of a public meeting at HBC Plaza was read out. This important meeting is about the production of a community plan and use of the new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). (The full text of the notice has already been sent to those on our distribution list.)

4 Q&A on local issues
Market Parade: in response to a question from the floor Bill Woods said he had been contacted by the developer of Market Parade, but no detail was yet available. Tim Dawes said as a key gateway area it should be closely monitored. The phrase “associated land’ does not include Havant Park or indicate that it is threatened. Councillors agree that this northern area has long been in need of attention. Other comments included – more shops would be inappropriate, small businesses lack support, the height of the new development is critical, no matter what form the development takes it will become another eyesore if there is no provision for cleaning and maintenance, evidence of neglect is widespread in Havant.

East Street: Tim Dawes said there was no further news, it is disappointing that the housing allocation had been reduced by only 1 from the Barratt plan, no other developer is known to have come forward. This difficult site has multiple landowners, as has Market Parade. The poor state of building was noted, with the suggestion that owners are waiting for them to fall down. Cllr Branson (from the floor) observed the effects of planning blight and said she would investigate possibilities of following up with the owners of neglected buildings. She also said that no planning applications have yet come forward for Market Parade or East Street. Before they do, there would normally be a Development Consultative Forum which the public are encouraged to attend.

Warblington Field; in response to a question from the floor about work having already started, Annette Harley said that the plan includes road widening, but not at the pinch point. The site entrance remains as planned. There was a comment from the floor that 2 Transit sized vehicles were unable to pass. The impact of construction traffic has not yet been felt.

Homewell House: no questions were put, nor comments made.
Hospital Tiles: no questions were put, nor comments made.
Glove Factory 59-61 West Street: no questions were put, nor comments made.

5 Presentation by John Pike (Planning Design and Heritage Consultant)
The speaker introduced himself with his history in this field. His overview of planning was “It is about managing the environment in the public interest.” His talk was accompanied by a wide range of slides illustrating his points; these covered:
⦁ Planning can’t solve all problems or necessarily make things happen (Redknapp Site).
⦁ Once a development is started permission is valid for ever, council has no power to order completion.
⦁ Buildings can be protected by listing or being in a conservation area.
⦁ Listed buildings can be threatened by neglect.
⦁ Applicants for planning permission can and do appeal to a government inspector if refused by local council.
⦁ Rights to permitted development to own house may be removed under Article 4, but this is unreasonable if surrounding buildings have already been altered.
⦁ Conservation does not equate to preservation of all old buildings.
⦁ Style of new build may include replicating features in modern materials or using traditional materials on modern design.
⦁ Variety is an asset in Portsmouth, perhaps also in Havant.
⦁ Clutter such as advertising and excess signage detracts from street-scape.
⦁ Spaces between buildings need attention – e.g. paving, street names
⦁ Future of Buildings at risk depends on money being available
⦁ It is sometimes difficult to know what to do with old, empty buildings when integrity of interiors would be harmed by conversion to residential use.
⦁ Local authorities need to know what plans are liked as well as those which are not.
⦁ (replying to question from floor) Listing a building may take up to a year, unless it is immediately threatened.
⦁ (replying to question from floor) Compulsory purchase orders are expensive, so councils avoid them if possible. Threat of enforcement usual produces the desired result.

AGM – 11th November 2013, 7 pm

Minutes of Annual General Meeting 11th November 2013, 7 pm in United Reformed Church Meeting Place

1 Apologies had been received from 10 members, 26 members were present

2 Minutes of the last AGM not applicable (minutes of inaugural meeting are on website)

3 Chairman’s Report from Bill Woods:
“Welcome and thank you for attending this evening. The first year of the society’s existence has been challenging in many ways and I would like to thank the committee for their support during the last 12 months and in particular Carole the society’s secretary for fielding a range of hard balls without the aid of wicket-keeper’s pads or gloves.
As you’d expect, the society has had a steep learning curve in establishing itself as an emissary for quality planning decisions in the conservation area. It was important to establish our aims and benefit to members. This has informed our decision making when working in tandem with planning officers, policy officers, developers and council members. Central to our effectiveness is the political impartiality that we adhere to in our decision-making.
Having said that, I’m often told that Tim Dawes,-“that Green party chap” is chairman of the society. This is sometimes used as a reason for not joining the Society. Although my surname is Woods, and yes trees do have green leaves, I can assure you I have a long track record of apolitical decision-making and the committee is very capable of detecting any bias. This does raise the important issue however, of effective communication with the Society’s membership and Havant residents. This year through dialogue we have learned more about your needs in this regard and Annette will be speaking about this later.
I think we must be doing something right as the membership has steadily grown during our initial year. Pleasingly, individual contributions from members about planning issues are becoming more frequent. And to facilitate this on your seat you will find a consultation document on the proposal to turn the White Hart into a bingo hall and amusement arcade. I would always encourage you to reply individually to planning proposals as well as helping to inform the Society’s collective response. With this in mind I hope you have all received a copy of the relevant extract from the Havant Borough Cancel Allocations Plan. The society can only be effective if we hear your views, debate them, check them against planning policy, and register our position with HBC.
I’m pleased to say that in our first year a range of developers, specialists, community trusts and planners have sought the opinion of the Society or engaged with us as trusted partners in understanding the archaeology and built environment within the conservation area. Such relationships underpin the quality of our speakers at the society’s public meetings. We would love to hear from you with any suggestions for speakers for 2014”

4 Treasurer’s Report from Ray Cantwell:
The society has 89 paid up members
Our current bank balance is £209.08
Venue hire costs since the founding meeting (12/09/2012) £92.00
Printing costs since the founding meeting (12/09/2012) £116.60
Outstanding bills – None
No invoice has been received for either of the two meetings held in St Faith’s Church Hall. Tim Dawes said that the first of these pre-dates the founding of HCS so is not our responsibility. Attention was drawn to the free community room at Asda. Others commented that it is inconveniently remote, small and users must wait for it to be unlocked.
Use of the £20 corporate membership was unanimously considered applicable to residents’ associations, specifically Langstone Residents and Lansgstone Village associations.
After a short discussion it was agreed that membership runs from one AGM to the next, i.e. October to October.

5 Constitution and committee protocols: discussion lead by Bill Woods
Copies of these 2 documents had been placed on chairs
Tim Dawes remained unhappy about the Area of Benefit being specifically focussed on St Faith’s “conservation area” as this is too limiting; St Faith’s ward is not only too large for us to cover effectively, but has political connotations. Various phrases were discussed until the words “Havant Town Centre” were unanimously agreed as preferable to “St Faith’s conservation”. This change was made (proposed Tim Dawes, seconded Beryl Francis). It was noted that the £1 membership for those in receipt of a means tested benefit had been inadvertently omitted from the document. The revised constitution was accepted (proposed Christopher Evans, Seconded Brian Nash)

6 Logo: discussion lead by David Smith
Three ideas in sketch form were circulated #1 based on a splash, #2 on the railway station, #3 on water drops; these could be equally effective using either HCS initials or the name in full. The most popular design proved to be #3 which will be worked into a finished logo by Sarah Smith.

7 Communication strategy: lead by Annette Harley
The following suggestions and thoughts were put to the meeting:
Initially the main strategy to raise awareness was: wide distribution of newsletters to local households by hand, website creation and open meetings. We’ve recently completed a communications audit after our first year. It concluded that the newsletters are a time consuming and highly labour intensive method. We’re now working on an integrated communication strategy & plan to incorporate:
Newsletters
By email to members (or printed copy to non-email members)
On website
Available at meetings, in packs, etc.
Fliers
In local outlets including the library, cafés, shops, etc.
Possible annual distribution to local households
Posters
Website development
Feedback via a stakeholder questionnaire
Welcome/renewal packs for members
Regular e-shots to members/interested parties including Minutes, Meeting notices, Relevant planning applications/deadlines, Other relevant information
Appropriate Social Network pages
Appropriate PR
Open & Member Meetings
Appropriate events

This strategy and plan will support and promote the creation of a brand/logo

8 Feedback Questionnaire: lead by Annette Harley and David Smith
A short questionnaire was distributed with the intention of identifying those aspects of the organisation which are in need of improvement.

9 Election of new committee members
Existing committee members indicated whether they were willing to serve for a further year. Jim Davis has been replaced by Christopher Evans (proposed Gillian Peskett, seconded Lucy Flannery). Ina Allum is not able to continue. There is now one vacancy. Bill Woods vacated the chair whilst David Smith sought the approval of the meeting for Bill to continue in this role. This was unanimously agreed.

10 Any other business
Bill Woods drew attention to the consultation document (copies on seats) about the planning application for change of use for the White Hart to Adult Gaming and Bingo Hall. Although initially widely seen as a welcome way of preserving the building and ensuring its maintenance, other views were expressed. Tim Dawes was concerned about the encouragement of unwelcome activities in this key location and further deterioration of town centre ambiance. Supported by Lucy Flannery he pointed out that this is now the only town centre venue for live music. This view appeared to gain favour. The chairman encouraged members to make their personal views known so that the society can present a balanced, representative opinion to the council. The value of the Bowling Alley on Portsdown Hill was noted as an amenity with excellent disabled access.
There was a suggestion that the 10 members without email could be more efficiently contacted if a neighbour with email was willing to print and deliver notices.
Tim Dawes’ comments about planning blight in East Street triggered a debate covering the options for residents and local councils to prevail against excesses of the free market economy. Havant’s Economic Development Officer works in Havant only one day a week and Havant doesn’t have an empty homes/properties officer who might make a significant impact in the town centre.
Gillian Peskett suggested that invoices should be sent to members when annual fees are due and that payment by BACS would be a useful option. The treasurer will investigate this option and thought email receipts would also work well with printed receipts only where necessary.
John Pile reported that the year long effort to get Havant War Memorial listed with English Heritage has been successful – it is now a Grade II listed structure. He is less confident of the same success with his application for the White Hart.
The secretary suggested that the appearance of the town would be improved by attention to improvement of poor and excessive signage. She urged that members note any examples which we could present to HBC.
Bill Woods commented on the impact of Brent geese on Havant’s Allocations plan and suggested a speaker for an open meeting who would explain why this is the case.
Lucy Flannery thanked the committee for their year’s work.

The meeting closed at 8:45 pm.