FVRA Committee Minutes April 2021

FVRA Logo

Findon Valley Residents’ Association

Protecting the interests of our community
and the countryside around us

www.fvra.org.uk

Monday 12th April: Remote meeting via zoom

In Attendance:

Lance Allen (LA), Paula Barns (PB), Lorraine Taylor (LT), Clive Sanders (CS), Matthew Ward (MW). The meeting commenced at 7.30 pm.

Apologies

Chloe Paddock (CP).

Minutes of last meeting and Matters Arising

Minutes from 10 March were agreed as a true record, and will now be published on our website and noticeboards. Matters arising are covered below.

Chair

AGM 2021, Publicised in April Sussex Local, FVRA eNewsletter, the recent membership mailing and on noticeboards. 30+ residents have registered for the AGM. LA will issue the agenda and papers by 15th April at latest. Questions from residents have been compiled and will be forwarded to councillors, cc to MP. LA noted the current pre-election period that is in force, but the questions are normal council business so are permitted.
The mechanics of the online zoom AGM were discussed.

Vacancies, Mr Allan Gee is now the auditor and has kindly reviewed the 2020 year-end accounts. LT has been in contact with a potential committee recruit with good IT skills. LA will again highlight the vacancies in the AGM on 22nd April.

Winter Salt Bins, Cllr. Sparkes has suggested relocating the Coombe Rise grit bin to King’s Parade. This was supported by the meeting and LA will respond. One or more of the retailers will need to take responsibility for gritting on necessary days.

Vice Chair

Farmers’ Market 25 April, LT advised that planning was coming along at a pace. The Green Bean Coffee van will be there as will Dee Dee’s (cakes) from Findon. Four other persons had asked about having stalls – these were referred to Sharon at Great Little Farmers’ Markets. In future months, Friends of the Vale and Lime Tree PPG may need stalls.
FVRA will use the gazebo, with the aim of encouraging new members, and also to promote recycling items (bottle tops etc) that Worthing Boys’ Club can benefit from.

Community garden, Lime Tree Surgery partners have donated £250 for plants. No plant donations from residents yet. LT has contacts at Worthing Borough Council for possible grant funding. There will be a site meeting at the Library 23 April, LA and LT with WSCC’s Justin Burns and Ian Patchett. LA to invite Maggie Winter (FVRA Community Garden Co-ordinator). Discussion to include the intended Friendship Benches.

Volunteer Group, ”The Community Volunteers” group (TCV) was discussed. This is a national organisation promoting local volunteer groups. There are groups in Worthing but not in the Valley. Perhaps FVRA can help promote TCV? The local manager is Deborah Nicholls. Also local WBC Ranger Graeme Brooker has links with ‘Green Gym’ – LT to discuss with GB.
MW will set up a discussion with GB and consider how FVRA can encourage volunteering.

Secretary

(vacant role). N/a.

Treasurer

The monthly accounts for March were circulated by CS. Subscription income £673, mailshot printing and stationery costs £358. CS has invoiced the local businesses who had kindly sponsored the mailshot. LA has spoken with SDNPA re due invoice £360, FVRA contribution to Cissbury Fields information boards. Subscription income received or in hand (direct debits) currently totals £1600 from 450 households – nearly 25% of the Valley, although disappointing given the mailshot project.

2020 Annual Accounts, Now independently checked by auditor.

Direct Debits, There is a standard processing delay between members signing up, and FVRA receiving funds from CAF. Members must quote their email addresses on the DD form to enable a CAF acknowledgement. Over 100 members have still elected to pay by cash.

Membership

Position Vacant, Jim Booth is kindly updating the register with 2021 memberships. CS co-ordinated the mailshot campaign, with committee members and road collectors hand delivering to the whole Valley.

Schools Liaison

Vale Children had designed anti-litter posters for the Gallops. There were still some anti-car pollution posters from a previous exercise. LA has contacted Cllr. Sparkes regarding metal ‘Cut Your Engine’ posters (as at Worthing railway level crossings). Response awaited.

PB has arranged for ParentMail to circulate details of the Farmers’ Market and the AGM, with a reminder after the Easter break. Possibly to include recycling (re Farmers’ Market).

Environment

Cissbury Fields, LT and MW had met 31 March with SDNPA lead ranger, Shoreham Naturalists, and WBC ranger. It is still early stages but with a number of potential initiatives, involving community volunteer groups, and an ethos of public awareness and appreciation of the environment. The south end of the 100 acres (near Coombe Rise) is relatively fertile and could for example support fruit trees. The north (Storrington Rise) end is drier and chalkier.

Car parking issues were discussed, as the current provision is agreed as inadequate, with excess roadside parking seen. CS highlighted Stanmer Park’s parking arrangements, and had taken photos (which LT has forwarded to WBC). Stanmer had received lottery funding, including for good pathways for disabled accessibility, pushchairs and children’s bikes.

MW will draft an updated FVRA response paper, for circulation to committee. FVRA is seen as a key local group, potentially heading up a volunteer group (see above).

On Sundays 27 June and 11 July (?), SDNPA will have their display trailer at Storrington Rise car park, and have asked FVRA to take part.

Ash Die-back, MW noted that new tree planting has already taken place on Sheepcombe Hangar. Some larger ash trees are still extant and resisting the disease. Ash Die-back is a ‘slow burner’ disease, compared to the Dutch Elm problem.

Highways

Position Vacant, WBC have now made public their intention to refresh the area around Kings Parade, with new benches, new planters, improved signage and other items. The two old wooden benches are earmarked by FVRA for the Library Garden (see above).
WSCC Highways will be undertaking pavement weedkilling throughout the Valley on 4 June and 24 – 28 August. Residents are discouraged from using their own proprietary weedkillers which may be harmful to pets and wildlife.

Communication

Position Vacant, The quarterly eNewsletter is finalised and Jim Booth will be distributing via 123-Reg. This route permits attachments to bulk emails, which will enable the newsletter to look better than as plain text in a mailchimp email.

The May Sussex Local will include 2021 membership, community Garden and committee vacancies.

Facebook, PB is uploading FVRA event info, and this channel could grow and be very useful in future.

Events

Position Vacant, Due to Covid-19 restrictions no events are currently planned excepting the zoom AGM, and the farmers’ markets, intended to be on the last Sunday in each month (weather permitting).

AOB

LA has been approached by an individual offering to ‘sell’ the domain findonvalley.com for £150. It was agreed that FVRA does not need this web domain, and it would be difficult to ascertain if the offer was bona fide anyway.

The new Register of Interests has been created and LT will record her employment role with WBC. LA will then circulate to other committee members to review if any potential interests exist. No members or family have any interest as commercial supplier to FVRA.

Library Drop-in, Still suspended due to Coronavirus.

Next zoom meeting – 7.30pm Monday 10 May. LA has invited our new Police Community Support Officer Ed Mitchell to join the meeting as an introduction.