FVRA Committee Minutes October 2020

FVRA Logo

Findon Valley Residents’ Association

Protecting the interests of our community
and the countryside around us

www.fvra.org.uk

Monday 12th October: Remote meeting via zoom

In Attendance:

Lance Allen (LA), Paula Barns (PB), Clive Sanders (CS), Kayla Shepherd (KS), Lorraine Taylor (LT). The meeting commenced at 7.30 pm.

Apologies

N/A, All present.

Minutes of last meeting and Matters Arising

Minutes from 14 September were agreed as a true record, and will now be published on website and noticeboards. Matters arising are covered below.

Chair

Vacancies, We still require a secretary, membership secretary, highways officer, communications officer and auditor. It was suggested we could advertise on NextDoor, and put posters at the Cissbury car parks.

Winter Salt Bins, LT has spoken with WSCC Councillor Elizabeth Sparkes, who has offered to take forward. We already have Vale School’s interest in managing the two Vale Drive bins (on school days). It may be best to remove the Coombe Rise bin as it has been abused, and residents are unlikely to engage in ad-hoc gritting. LA to contact Cllr Sparkes further.

Bus Shelters, No response from WSCC. It was noted that the Findon Village wooden shelter had been renovated by the Village’s volunteer task force. Cllr Sparkes is interested as above.

AGM, The evening of December 3rd has been agreed, as a Zoom event, and will be published in November Sussex Local. Non-internet uses can phone for copy of AGM papers and proxy voting form. Further publicity to be agreed at November committee (eg Herald, Facebook, Parent Mail). Cllr Sparkes has offered the use of WSCC zoom facility. LA to follow up re practicalities. SDNPA Lead Ranger Craig Daters has agreed to be speaker.

Elected representatives Zoom 8 October, Use of FVRA email list (650 names) was agreed to publicise this event for residents to hear from and question our MP and councillors. A useful discussion on local issues. To be summarised in our next eNewsletter. The very low ‘turnout’ was disappointing.

Vice Chair

Farmers’ Market, LT has met with Cllr. Sparkes, WSCC’s Claire Riley-Watson, and Library Service’s Justin Burns. All were very positive about the intended market. Dr Dhillon has also agreed to use of the surgery staff car park. The customer car park is needed (or to be shared by) the pharmacy. LT will next meet with “Great Little Farmers’ Markets”, who would organise the traders. Looking to early December, and subject to Covid requirements at that time.
FVRA will have a stall at the event.

It was noted that Vale School will decide on their Christmas Float intentions, before end of October.

Noticeboards, LT had spoken with a WBC representative who was content for us to use the noticeboard by Findon Road toilet block.

Treasurer

Monthly Accounts, for September were circulated by CS prior to the meeting. Total funds at end of Sept = £4,204 after cost of new noticeboard £250. CS stated that funds were more than £1k down on same time last year, due to low membership renewals.
CS advised that the Charities Aid Foundation’s Direct Debit service costs £1 per each new DD set up, plus 2% of the value of funds collected (inc. Gift Aid) by this channel. It was agreed that the costs were acceptable to FVRA, and CS will investigate the mechanics of using DDs, including how residents set up their payments, and how it will interface with our membership register. CAF offer an online demo.

It was agreed to set the membership fee for 2021 to £5 per household (but with a £2 discount for single occupant, ie £3).

HSBC, The intended new mandate adding LA and LT, is on hold pending discussions with the Charities Aid Foundation.

Membership

Position Vacant, Still only 269 members for 2020.

PB and KS had designed a new and eye-catching membership form for 2021. To be finalised once the outcome of the direct debit proposal was clear. Ideally to be ready for the Christmas events. LA to check how many residents pay by standing order (info is available on the bank statements).

LA still intends to contact and update the road collectors, who for 2021 may be able to put membership forms through doors (but not knock, due to Covid).

Schools Liaison

PB confirmed that the wild flower patch will be cleared by a year-group on 14 November. WBC ranger Adam Scott will also attend.

The FVRA Scarecrow Trail event posters are going out to parents.

The Free Church pre-school manager Beth is interested in becoming a Friend of FVRA, although not on committee. KS had met with her. Possible helper at Christmas events, including poster design.

Highways

Position Vacant, It was noted that a number of broken paving slabs had been marked with white crosses, as if ready for repair. This would be very welcome but left many other uneven slabs unmarked.
Cllr. Sparkes has advised LA that weed clearance was now scheduled for pavements on the south part of Findon Road.

Environment

Cissbury Fields, The joint FVRA/ SDNPA event in Storrington Rise car park on on 23 September was seen as successful. Discussion had taken place with a range of visitors. The information boards are due for installation at end of October, volunteer help will be needed. Two more display events are intended, and SDNPA will devise a questionnaire.

The Cissbury Fields zoom meeting took place on Monday 28 Sept. LA had circulated minutes from that event. The tenant farmer is unlikely to change anything until the new Environmental Land Management grant scheme is established. The weedkiller used in May was said to be specific for ragwort, dock and thistle – farmers are required by law to manage ragwort. FVRA’s position is to encourage an outcome that benefits the community, including solutions for car parking due to the current inconvenience for residents living near the inadequate car parks. SDNPA is currently considering ways forward, but all depends upon the tenant farmer. FVRA to consider writing to WBC (as the land owner) via Cllr Dan Humphreys.

Community Garden, No recent expenditure. There is potential for FVRA involvement with the library garden. LA suggested re-siting the planters as they are not very prominent and the roadside verge is not really a ‘garden’.

Library, open to users in Covid-safe manner, but no evening meetings are yet permitted.

Recycling, LT will progress the initiative of a recycling bin near the library. Wha type of recycling? Potential ‘extended recycling’ ie items that the council do not normally collect, but can be recycled by organisations such as Worthing Boys Club. LT to speak with councillors. This would be a positive and environmentally-beneficial project.

Communication

Position Vacant, The FVRA website was now being updated, and the link from the org.uk website reset by Jim Booth. New links to various Vale School and similar websites were needed, to pass to Jim to set in place. KS and PB to review.

Events

Scarecrow Trail, KS has created and distributed the event poster, and it has gone out by ParentMail also. Also to go on various Facebook pages, Worthing Herald, Worthing Past & Present, Friends of the Vale, etc. We need lots of “likes” on FVRA Facebook page to encourage more Facebook subscribers.

Halloween, KS and PB had ideas eg pumpkin carving (Covid-safe at home), with photos onto our website. Possible link with the Sompting Pumpkin Picking Patch. LA to liaise with Caroline Harriott.

Christmas, KS has spoken with a number of Kings Parade shops regarding a potential Christmas Late Night Shopping event. Most traders were positive, and offered useful ideas. A WSCC road closure would be required, Vale School had the contacts. Other Valley retail businesses outside of the actual Parade, can be involved. FVRA could have a raffle and possible Christmas tree.

2021, The list of potential events for 2021, suggested by KS email 11 August, will be discussed at a special committee Zoom meeting on 2 November at 7.30. KS to circulate Zoom password.

AOB

KS has obtained a tombola barrel.

The East Worthing & Shoreham Conservative Office had written to residents highlighting the availability of postal voting, and enclosing an SAE addressed to that office, not the Electoral Office. LA had written to the Conservative Office and received reassurance that data protection rules would be followed regarding voters’ personal information.

Library Drop-in, Still suspended due to Coronavirus.

Next zoom meeting – 7.30pm Monday 2 November 2020 (re 2021 events) and 7.30pm Monday 9 November (full committee).

Meeting closed 21.45hrs.