WIDMER END RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION UNCONFIRMED MINUTES
of meeting held on Wednesday 7 June 2017 in the Community Room of the WE Cricket Club
Present: Linda Derrick (LD) (Chairman), Ian Guy (IG) (Secretary), Jasia Hatt (JH) (Treasurer), Beryl Guy (BG), Ann McCarthy (AM), Hugh McCarthy (HM), Carole Odell (CO), Pauline Smith (PS), Shona Tucker (ST) and Kate Walker (KW).
1. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING ACTIONS
Following a suggestion from LD, three important items have been prioritised on the agenda and in these minutes. Items 2 and 3 had not been discussed at the May meeting because time was running late.
KW confirmed that the AGM would be held at Widmer End School but the main hall would not be available; a double classroom will be used instead. She will put a reminder in the school newsletter the previous KW Friday.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 7.00 pm as the opening item will be a presentation by the JRSOs (Junior Road Safety Officers) at the school. The JRSOs report to Mr Butler, the Deputy Head, and their duties include organising 'crocodiles' and looking out for any road safety hazards in the vicinity of the school that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. AM,BG
Following the presentation, the AGM will continue in the normal pattern. AM and BG agreed to supply drinks and nibbles for those attending.
2. WERA CONSTITUTION
For convenience, this item was discussed after item 3.
IG outlined how the proposed new constitution differs in many important aspects from the present document, which was last revised in September 2014. In particular, Clause 1 states the main purposes of WERA, while Clause 2 defines the membership as “all residents of Widmer End and Four Ashes ... unless they state, in writing, that they do not wish to be so considered”. Other changes have been made mainly to improve the clarity and readability of the document.
CW had suggested a change to the 'Auditing' clause (9 on the present constitution, 12 on the proposed one – see item 3 for wording) to avoid the necessity of having to vote, at what in practice would be the May meeting, to waive the requirement for an audit. This would normally be a mere formality and had in fact been forgotten about in many recent years. IG had therefore drafted an alternative to the clause, as follows:
· Auditing – Should the turnover for the expiring financial year be less than £90,000, it shall be deemed unnecessary to have the accounts audited unless a resolution to do so has been passed by a majority of the members present at the first ordinary meeting to follow the end of the expiring financial year. In this case, an Auditor, not being a member of the Committee, shall be appointed and at the following AGM shall produce duly vouched accounts and balance sheet together with any report he/she may consider necessary.
The new clause was unanimously accepted in principle.
Apart from that clause, the proposed constitution had already been discussed at some length at a previous meeting and had been circulated to our wider list. After a couple of minor amendments were agreed upon, the meeting resolved that the proposed constitution should now be presented for ratification at the AGM.
3. AUDITING OF ACCOUNTS
A clause in both present and proposed WERA constitutions states that “An Auditor, not being a member of the Committee, shall at every AGM produce duly vouched accounts and balance sheet together with any report he/she may consider necessary. However, this requirement may be waived provided that (i) the turnover for the expiring financial year is less than £90,000 and (ii) a resolution to waive the requirement has been passed by a two-thirds majority of the members present at the first ordinary meeting to follow the end of the expiring financial year.”
JH confirmed that our turnover is well under £90,000 per annum and agreed that it would be unnecessary for the accounts to be audited this year. A resolution was therefore proposed to waive the auditing requirement, and was carried unanimously.
4. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies had been received from David Carroll, Daniel Fairless, Stan Jones, John Hatt,, Marianne Tyler, Catherine Wetherell and David Winterburn.
5. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 3 MAY 2017
LD written to committee members and those attending the May meeting to clarify the distinction between 'draft', 'unconfirmed' and 'confirmed' minutes, i.e.:
“1. Draft minutes are circulated to those who were present for comment and copied to any committee members who were not present for information. When comments have been incorporated, the draft minutes become ...
2. Unconfirmed minutes and are given a wide circulation and put on the website as soon as they are ready. They are agreed, perhaps with amendments, by WERA committee members at the next meeting and become ...
3. Confirmed minutes which replace the unconfirmed minutes on the website. If there are substantial changes, they can be recirculated to the wider circulation list. “
After some discussion, it was agreed to return to the principle of sending the unconfirmed minutes of WERA's monthly meetings to our wider circulation list, so that they can have a copy of the minutes in advance of the next meeting.
The unconfirmed minutes of the May meeting were agreed by those present as a correct record and were signed by the Chairman. However, it was also agreed to record that two residents who were present at the May meeting but not at the present (June) meeting did not agree with the May minutes as they did not adequately reflect what was said at the meeting. IG said that the notes he had made at the meeting were not sufficiently detailed to cover all aspects of the discussion, and added that in his opinion minutes of a meeting should be a record of information presented and decisions made at the meeting, rather than an account of who said what.
6. MATTERS ARISING
War Memorial – HM and AM outlined the progress they were making on finding out information on Widmer End servicemen who had served in the two World Wars. It was agreed that WERA would support this venture and would be willing to contribute to the cost of installing a new plaque. (This was actually discussed under AOB.)
Andrea Reed's letter of resignation from the Committee was noted and briefly discussed. A personal letter would be sent.
IG had replied to the Hugh Wycombe Society to thank them for inviting WERA to give a presentation at their AGM, but we would not be doing so this year.
The financial position of WERA as on 30 April 2017 was:
Current account £4019.67 Deposit account £3129.90 Total £7149.57
The financial position of WERA as on 31 May 2017 was:
Current account £4262.17 Deposit account £3130.02 Total £7392.19
9. REPORTS FROM COUNTY, DISTRICT AND/OR PARISH COUNCILLORS
As the only councillor present, HM gave information on Bucks County Council on behalf of David Carroll, who had just been reelected to serve on that council.. The council makeup was similar to before, but there were some big changes in responsibilities. The highway supervisor agreed that many roads in our area were in a poor state, and Brimmers Hill would soon be resurfaced.
HM was worried about the future of the many trees bordering our roads. BCC was cutting down about 38 trees a week, which were not being replaced. In Hazlemere, some residents have adopted a tree, in the sense that they are keeping a watch on it and watering it when necessary. Could not such a system be introduced in Widmer End? ALL TO CONSIDER
Not much news from Wycombe District Council. The draft Local Plan is due to be published in August.
Hughenden Parish Council have agreed to replace the tree knocked down in Brimmers Hill. Apparently it was dead already when hit.
10. WINDMILL PARADE
Daniel and Gemma Fairless have suggested to the proprietors of the supermarket how their shop could improve its hygiene rating, be spruced up and made more attractive to visitors.
Daniel has been instrumental in ordering, planting and tending the flowers in tubs that now embellish the Parade – hopefully in time to impress the Best Kept Village judges when they visit Widmer End. The Committee was grateful for Dan's work and had agreed that WERA should bear the cost.
11. WIDMER END NEWS
Copies of the Summer 2017 issue are now available and have been distributed. The meeting agreed that Catherine Wetherell and her team had done a brilliant job in producing the issue to a tight schedule.
· Widmer Fields – HM announced that this land is well on its way to being registered as a Village Green, which would give it absolute protection in perpetuity as an open space, It would remain so even if the Grange Area Trust ceased to exist.
· Terriers Farm – The developers' Design Brief will probably be published in August. It is likely to feature about 620 dwellings, with few social amenities if any. There is still the question of whether there should be one road entrance to the site, as favoured by the developers, or two, as favoured by WDC. Hugh warned that the development would have a massive effect on Widmer End and Four Ashes, particularly in respect of traffic volumes.
· Uplands is on the market again, which could threaten the plans already agreed by WDC.
· Willow View – An enforcement order has been issued for demolition of the outbuildings constructed without planning permission. Cllr Paul Turner, head of Planning at WDC, had protested to council officials over the unduly generous time limit given to the owner to comply, LD and HM supported him in this stance.
· Beeks' Field – Beeks Ltd are allegedly still dumping their own rubbish on the field. WDC officer Julia Aden is trying to stop this happening. LD has called on several Four Ashes residents and found they were worried that dumping was still going on. They see the field as an essential element of green belt between themselves and Terriers Farm. 13. ROADS AND TRAFFIC
John Marchant has supplied details of traffic flow down Brimmers Hill for the month of May, as recorded by MVAS Serial No. 05668. It is interesting to compare the results with those of April:
April 2017 May 2017 Number of days monitored 28 26 Total vehicles recorded 89,288 80,234 Average vehicles per day 3,189 3,085 Not speeding 34% 36% Under 35 mph 77% 79%
Percentages of vehicles travelling over 30 mph were also analysed by day of the week:
April May Monday–Friday range 61.5 – 68.2% 61.7 – 64.3% Saturday 72.2% 67.6% Sunday 72.6% 70.7%
It is clear that the presence of the MVAS is having the effect of slowing traffic by about 2%, and that people drive faster at weekends, possibly because there are fewer vehicles parked along the road. A new VAS pole will be installed in Brimmers Hill.
14. HUGHENDEN NEIGHBOURHOOD ACTION GROUP (HNAG)/CRIME AND SECURITY
IG had attended the HNAG meeting on 25 May. John Marchant had sent a note summarising the recent MVAS results. In addition to the points mentioned above, he noted that the busiest times for traffic are during school terms between 8.00 am and 9.00 am and again between 2.30 pm and 5.30 pm. PC Lee Turnham presented crime statistics for Hughenden Parish. The only crime relating to Widmer End was a case of fraud, arising from a bogus email purportedly from BT. £15,000 was deducted from the victim's bank account, but has been refunded.
15. VILLAGE HALL AND RECREATION GROUND
The new football wall has been installed and is in use. HM and John Marchant had spent a Saturday morning tidying up the Rec. and surrounding areas. Much of their work was undone by a storm a few days later!
16. FORTHCOMING EVENTS
Saturday 10 June: Cricket Club summer party. Friday 16 June: High Wycombe Society AGM, The Riverside (ex British Legion Hall), High Wycombe, 7.00 pm.
17. FUTURE MEETINGS Wednesday 5 July (AGM), then first Wednesdays in the month, September–December. ALL
18. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
With reference to some discussion at the May meeting, plus some email correspondence since then, LD distributed copies of a note (see Addendum) which she felt would provide guidance on how proactive the Chairman and other committee members should be on issues affecting Widmer End: The meeting agreed that the note was acceptable as a guide to policy. The meeting ended at 9.55 pm.
ADDENDUM: GUIDANCE ON RESPONSIBILITIES OF WERA COMMITTEE MEMBERS(as agreed at the WERA meeting of 7 June 2017)
All members of the Committee are encouraged to be proactive and to keep an eye open for anything that could impinge on the functioning of WERA or the wellbeing of our village.In some cases, a Committee member will need to act quickly and decisively rather than wait until all his/her fellow members can be consulted.However, it is essential that, as soon as it is practically possible, he/she should ensure that the bulk of the Committee are in broad agreement with what the member is doing and so preserve a harmonious relationship between Committee members. So, for example, a Committee member can ask questions and obtain information on WERA's behalf, either by email or over the phone. However, where possible, the member should then consult other WERA members and get agreement, either by meeting or by email, before expressing a view or opinion on behalf of WERA.