FVRA Committee Minutes July 2020

FVRA Logo

Findon Valley Residents’ Association

Protecting the interests of our community
and the countryside around us

www.fvra.org.uk

Monday 13th July: Remote meeting via zoom

In Attendance:

Lance Allen (LA), Lorraine Taylor (LT), Paula Barns (PB), Clive Sanders (CS) . Also in attendance was Kayla Shepherd (KS), as potential new committee member. The meeting commenced at 7.30 pm.

Apologies

N/A, All present.

Minutes of last meeting and Matters Arising

Agreed as a true record.

Chair

Vacancies, KS was welcomed to the meeting. No other expressions of interest had been received despite clear publicity on website, eNewsletter, noticeboards and Sussex Local.

Community Garden, the contract with Ferring Nurseries for ongoing management of the two concrete planters, has now ceased. Ferring Nurseries have kindly treated their Spring planting as a donation to FVRA, and LA had thanked them for this. Maggie Winter continues to oversee the volunteer care of the community garden and wooden planters. The new hosepipe is now in place, with Trip Hazard warning signs – volunteers have been instructed to use the warning signs.

Contractual Obligations, LA had reviewed the licensing agreements between FVRA and WSCC for the bus shelters, grit bins and garden, and had circulated a paper 6 July on the position.

Bus Shelters, for the two rustic wood shelters, FVRA is responsible for maintenance, repairs, graffiti removal (within 24 hours) and reimbursing WSCC if a shelter is damaged and must be removed. These conditions are onerous, and LA will approach WSCC to discuss.

Grit Bins, FVRA is responsible for four bins, being two on Vale Drive, one at Downside Close and one at top of Coombe Rise. FVRA should have a Winter Maintenance Plan, risk assessments, mandatory training, log books etc. None of the above appears to be in place. This obligation is also onerous – LA will follow up with WSCC when the annual Grit Bin Audit takes place (due August).

Community Garden, the licence requires FVRA to ensure the garden is neat and tidy, the grass is regularly mown, no plants that are poisonous to animals or humans, etc. Less onerous than the above, and we do currently have willing volunteers (except for the concrete planters, that appear to have no licence agreement).

AGM, PB had contacted the Vale School, but they are unable to commit to Autumn hall bookings at this stage due to the coronavirus. LA to check Charity Commission rules on delayed AGMs.

Later, the Charity Commission rules are trustees of any type of charity can decide it is necessary to cancel or postpone any meeting, but you should record this decision to demonstrate good governance of your charity.
This is particularly important if it is not possible to hold your AGM which may make it difficult for you to finalise your annual reports and accounts. Wherever possible, we would ask you to try to get your annual reports to us on time. However, where the situation impacts on the completion of annual returns and accounts, charities with an imminent filing date can email us.” The above should not pose any difficulty for FVRA.

Trustees, LA to write further to the dormant trustees to confirm that their trusteeship has lapsed (due to the Charity Commission requirement for all trustees to have an active role in the management of the charity) but they are still very much seen as Friends of FVRA.

Noticeboards, Men in Sheds have completed the new noticeboard for outside the Library, and they will install. Transport is needed (the noticeboard is 2 metre x 1 metre). Later: CS has agreed to the use of his vehicle.

Vice Chair

LT has arranged for an article to go in the Worthing Journal (August) re FVRA vacancies.

False rumours had been noted on social media re Cissbury Fields being sold for development. LT had contacted two individuals to reassure them that no such plans exist. CS had also been approached by a couple of residents on the same rumour.

Treasurer

Monthly Accounts, for June were circulated by CS prior to the meeting, Membership income is down substantially from previous years (see Membership below). Total funds at end of June = £5,164.

CS had contacted WSCC to establish if the Library can become our registered address. No response to date. Our address recorded with the Charity Commission is c/o LA’s home address, which will also be used for the Public Liability Insurance policy.

CS is finalising details of the Public Liability Insurance renewal.

Membership

Position Vacant, JB provided an update on 2020 renewals as at end June. Only 248 to date, of which 130 at Post Office, only 117 by bank transfer and 1 direct.

LA to redraft the Membership Form and circulate. To encourage membership auto-renewals, bank standing orders will be the recommended payment channel. CS will enquire at HSBC re use of Direct Debits, although it is likely that processing costs could be involved.

LA also to contact the road collectors to establish if they are willing to do leaflet drops (but not knock on doors). LA to ask Jim Booth for a road-by-road report to ensure no leaflets dropped where residents have already paid. The local estate agents may be willing to ‘sponsor’ the forms, and include in their ‘Buyer Packs”.

Schools Liaison

PB reported that Vale School’s Virtual Summer Fair was a success, after much planning by the School team. The answers to our photo competition have been added to our website. PB has placed reports on the Facebook pages for Events and Members.

Highways

Position Vacant, LA now represents FVRA on WSCC’s “A24 Worthing to Horsham Corridor” group and took part in webinar last week. There are some 250 potential improvement works, including changes to the Washington and Buck Barn junctions, as well as a cycle lane from Findon Valley to Washington. Early days, LA had expressed support for the initiative, and will circulate the WSCC slides to committee members.

Environment

LT had circulated a paper summarising the useful recent Annual Gallops Survey, with new AWBC head ranger Adam Scott and LA. Adam will follow up on actions.

Cissbury Fields, An unlicensed coffee vending van had been operating in Storrington Rise car park, but has been reported to WBC via Councillor Dan Humphreys.
The new public information boards were being arranged by SDNPA, but costs would need to be shared. The three boards will be at Storrington Rise and Coombe Rise car parks, and top of Central Avenue. LA suggested FVRA contribute 10%, approx £360. This was agreed.
LA expressed concern at the annual weedkiller spraying that had recently taken place, without warning signs and whilst people were walking on the fields. He has contacted the contract farmer in this respect. To be followed up at the next Cissbury Fields meeting.

Litter, LT had undertaken a litter pick at the south end of Findon Road. Much takeaway/ junk food packaging, also Covid face masks. Future litter picks will require a risk assessment. KS and PB could provide risk assessment templates. LT will lobby WBC councillors again re the Library recycling bins, which had seen ‘unauthorised’ use recently.

Communication

Position Vacant, LA has issued text for Sussex Local August edition. Future months’ wording to be copied to PB, to arrange email circulation to Vale School parents.

Events

Position Vacant, Nothing being planned due to lockdown.

AOB

KS noted that Beth, the Free Church pre-school manager, was keen to be an active Friend of FVRA.

KS has viewed the FVRA website and will circulate suggestions. It could be enhanced to attract younger families. The new noticeboard could also be made more eye-catching, eg with bright background colour.

CS suggested a possible future event involving a speaker from ‘Sports State of Mind’, a charity for mental health awareness. This was acknowledged as useful but more appropriate for Lime Tree’s PPG. A specific mental health issue is social isolation, made worse during Covid. The All Saints ARK project has a telephone befriending service that was proving to be useful.

LA has been contacted by a Parham Road resident regarding a development on Mill Lane that, due to the steep hillside, would be very intrusive to privacy. FVRA have lodged an objection as part of the due planning process. Planning issues are a case where FVRA can offer ‘signposting’ but not take responsibility for pursuing issues in FVRA’s name. Not only would we be uninsured for this, but the committee has no direct expertise in planning regulations.

Library Drop-in, Still suspended due to Coronavirus.

LA offered to discuss FVRA further with KS.

Next meeting – 7.30pm Monday 10th August 2020 (via zoom).