The above link should take you to the minutes of the West Byfleet Neighbourhood Forum committee meeting held on 20 March 2014. They also follow in text form below.
Minutes of West Byfleet Neighbourhood Forum Committee Meeting 23rd April 2014
Penny Hoskyn, PH (Joint Chair)
Pauline Hedges, PA (Joint Chair)
Emma Hier, EH (Publicity Officer)
Keith Creswell, KC (Treasurer)
Mark Fuller, MF (Webmaster)
Ian Yates, IY (Secretary)
David Hastie, DH
Wade Pollard, WP
Phil Wilson, PW
Richard Wilson, RW
Gary Elson, GE
Mark Fletcher, MA
Roland Nevett, RN (joined later)
Apologies for Absence
Lisa Graae, Richard Thomas, Noel Richardson
Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes were agreed upon without further amendment.
Chairs: Forum Update etc.
Council unanimously voted to approve our application.
Hope to have contact at Woking BC Planning dept. by next meeting.
Post meeting note: Ernest has now identified two officers to assist the WBNF at this stage; Terry De Sousa and Melanie Haywood
Our primary objective is now to raise awareness.
We have done incredibly well to get this far so quickly.
PA thanked GE & RW for their efforts behind the scenes to help get our application heard at the March committee.
PW stated his opinion that the relationship between the Forums & the council should be more formally recognised.
RW stated that we can always ask the county councillor, provided what you’re asking for meets the rules and is sustainable.
PW letter was mentioned as well as further emails since.
Not much can be done until July when the next phase of consultation starts.
RW stated there are examples around the country where numbers are not evenly balanced, so that existing communities were retained.
PW stated we will need to come up with a credible alternative but not sure what the process will be.
GE stated there is an invitation to make those comments now, as well as once the next phase of consultation starts.
DH stated the WBC executive do not see any problem with deleting the name West Byfleet from the wards. Nobody in Frank Jeffries’ team feels that they have “done us down”.
GE at last executive meeting had it minuted that he wanted the name put back.
DH stated that the impression that was given by London & the WBC executive was that if we didn’t have a viable alternative for them to look at in July they are unlikely to respond well. Must abide by their rules in terms of numbers per councillor. DH stated he cannot make the map tool work.
GE stated that it is better to look at the principles rather than the maps and numbers.
DH made the point that the official guidance is that we should look at the mapping and numbers.
GE stated change is essential to meet the boundary commission requirements.
RW stated we are only talking about who we vote for, not the actual villages etc. One argument could be that W Byfleet & Byfleet together are exceptional and that there is a reasonable workload for 3 councillors and they would not be overloaded.
PH suggested at May meeting we discuss what we think are the pitfalls and benefits to prepare something for submission to the boundary commission.
Free School in WB & Emmanuel College in Pyrford have not progressed and it seems unlikely that a free school will happen in our area.
KC said both WB infant school and junior school are both looking to expand by 50% over the coming years. Will have to expand physically. Plans have been developed and 2 planning applications are imminent.
Work due to start in Sep until July next year.
Post meeting note: a small working group is being set up under the leadership of the Infant School head to address traffic issues that the school can affect and to input to our councillors non-school factors that arise; Pauline had volunteered to join this group
GE stated 3 applications in, 2 withdrawn, 1 outstanding is the one over the car park. Still under consideration by council.
WP to change website to state 3 storeys.
GE will advise of any news.
Roxburghe House application was refused. Globe house planning application has been or will be made for conversion to residential.
Data protection & insurance
Both other forums have neither.
PA stated it might be worth investigating insurance for ourselves to make sure there are no issues.
GE stated we will need a data controller (membership secretary).
RW advised us to ask Ernest
WP, EH & IY have access to website for uploading.
£84 for 3000 leaflets. Also 2 banners ready for drop-in and future events (£34). Invoices being sent to Margaret at RA.
PH stated that we got into Informer, Herald and News & Mail. Need to get into the paper about 1 May drop-in. EH to action.
PA stated 2350 leaflets have been delivered. MA stated that his household had not received one and that he would take 6 with him to deliver to his neighbours.
Membership Update (Secretary on behalf of absent Membership Secretary)
Total members: 157.
Split into areas:
49 WB Central
49 Dartnell Park
2 Green Space
38 WB South
6 WB West
13 non residents (due to boundary issues)
Only 2 new members since we started distribution of ‘drop-in leaflets’, one of them also completed the questionnaire online.
The only other person to complete the q’aire online is not a member, but we have another at the same address – LG has emailed the person.
There was some debate around the roles of the Forums and the Residents Association. It was agreed that we need to see how it pans out.
Have not applied for any funds yet. Need to establish a budget first and to do that we need to know what we are going to do. Therefore need to get an executive plan for the coming year before proceeding with budget or formal application for funding.
Waiting to hear back from Hook Heath about their funding application experience.
Drop-in (6pm – 9pm 1st May)
Purpose is to engage the community and find out what the public would like in West Byfleet.
Referred to PH draft headings circulated prior to meeting (copy attached).
PA suggested we give people little stickers to vote with plus space on 4 boards for comments under each of the headings.
PH also suggested post-it notes.
GE also suggested gold stars.
MA stated that we can take answers to the 3 questions on the leaflet and slot into the 4 categories on PH’s draft.
GE, WP, EH, PH, PA to be at Library at 5.30pm. EH to provide name badges.
Others to arrive later, including DH & IY.
GE to provide flip charts.
PW to bring map.
Somewhere we need a corner with map & membership forms, information etc.
PW suggested contact card for people to take away. PA we have about 500 leaflets left over so can use those.
PW asked whether we want to tell them what we are going to do with the information (e.g. a website post summarising outcomes).
PH & PA to analyse responses on 2nd May at 10am at PH’s place. All committee members welcome.
PA suggested having a single big sign saying what is going to happen.
Also have bucket for donations.
Need to register visitors including their email addresses etc.
PA & GE to sort out boards, pens, collection bucket etc.
PH to prepare constitution & membership forms & request for donations.
GE needs to double check there is no conflict of interest given he is a candidate in the upcoming election. He doesn’t think there will be.
RW stated fully supportive in both his hats
Vision for West Byfleet a Development Plan (RN)
Business association has been looking at WB town centre for some time with concern about its health. WBC has neglected it. Planning regime changes mean offices can be converted to residential with little need for formal planning application etc. Main problem with flats at Sheer House & on roofs of 2 adjoining shopping blocks is that they will need to be on long leases, thereby preventing other development of the buildings for a long time. A lot can be done to revitalise the WB centre. Encouraged by feedback from economic regeneration task force (members were pleased to see vitality on the back of independent traders; would like to see something done to enhance the area). Preliminary meetings have been held with economic development officer and planning dept. They both felt that it is time the council’s attention is turned to WB to promote business and improve the environment. Need to create early meeting between business association, WBNF, council executives & councillors. Also produced preliminary paper “A Vision for West Byfleet” WIP. Has been shared with council. Can be circulated in current raw, deliberately provocative form (copy included with these minutes). RN suggested a single Neighbourhood Plan produced by business association and WBNF in conjunction. Need to change the image of WB (e.g. at the moment all you see at the station is that there is a retirement home).
PW Neighbourhood Plan must include Broadoaks.
GE confirms that task group does not have any powers but meets twice a year. GE sits on it. The strategy update to be presented to the group next week now makes very clear mention of WB.
RN: Purpose of forthcoming meeting (4pm next Wednesday) is to establish which groups are going to be involved.
All committee members present agreed that we should work with the business association.
PW stated we need to lay out a timetable. RN stated the need to understand the process first. PH agreed and stated that we need to meet WBC to that end.
7.30pm 29th May 2014, West Byfleet Social Club