MINUTES OF THE 24th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE
EMMER GREEN RESIDENTS' ASSOCIATION, HELD AT ST BARNABAS HALL, EMMER GREEN
29th APRIL 2008
The meeting was chaired by Mrs Margaret Ormonde, and 42 others were present.
John and Eve Wilson, Sue Ballard, Hermione and John Evans, Sheila Higginson,
Janet and Ian Middleton, Nigel Barnett, Neil and Annette Parker, David
and Marina Miles, Susie Downer, Maurice Hicks (Neighborhood Watch for
The Ridings), George and Glenys Pritchard, Adrian Allseed, Jennifer
2. THE MINUTES OF THE 23rd AGM held on
the 24th April 2007 had been
circulated and it was agreed they were an accurate record of the proceedings.
They were signed by the Chairman.
3. MATTERS ARISING
Topics other than those covered in the Chairman's report were raised
Precinct car park and lighting. The Chairman noted that there were concerns;
however, there are difficulties in contacting the owners but the attempt
to resolve issues is on-going.
Jefferson Close/Russet Green footpath: RBC are re-submitting and notices
will be going up shortly.
Henley Road Garden Centre: it was noted that the unsightly notices have
4. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
Copies of her report had already been circulated to all members and they
were also available on the Association’s website www.map-reading.co.uk/egra.
The following lists the topics where additional comments were noted:
The chairman drew attention to the display boards at the back of the
hall and thanked Bryan Verran for acquiring them. These illustrate
some of the background to EGRA and also highlight some of the changes
that have taken place in Emmer Green over the last year.
The Chairman noted the healthy membership of 480 households and urged
members present to encourage others to join.
Closer links with other organisations
One of the aims of the year has been to establish closer relationships
with other local organisations, such as CADRA, schools our local Councillors
and Reading Borough Council. Obviously in some cases EGRA has just
been witness to the event, but our focus is very much working in partnership
with others and informing our members of things happening. The Chairman
also thanked the local Councillors for their hard work and continuing
We have a very active email membership,
which enables EGRA to convey information at speed, and the website contains
updates. Anyone who has not yet given their email address and wishes
to do so, should contact the Membership Secretary, Jill Verran.
The Chairman noted that EGRA
has been able to spend some of its money on worthwhile causes. Projects
which have come to fruition
include the seat and tree in the park to commemorate the Queen's 80th
Birthday. EGRA has also made donations to local schools, the church and
the Caversham Court Gazebo weather vane.
EGRA also helps to publicise events and one of these was CROW organised
by local artist Jenny Leach.
Changes over the last year
A number of retail outlets have seen dramatic change over the last year;
the Post Office is now firmly established in its new location and doing
well. EGRA did offer to fund seating, but apparently Health and Safety
requirements mean that there cannot be a seat inside the shop. The
former Post Office site has now re-opened as an estate agent and there
is also have a revamped petrol station.
The Chairman invited members with particular concerns to consult the
planning guidance page on the website. Printed copies can be issued
for those who do not have internet access. Infill development is slowing
down now, but perhaps the biggest threat is the adjacent countryside
in South Oxfordshire. Earlier in the year EGRA drew members’ attention
one of their consultation exercises.
Locally we have seen changes to the junctions of Kidmore End, Lowfield
and Peppard Roads, making the area much safer. EGRA has responded to
various RBC traffic consultations. Thanks are due to Barry Prior, a
committee member, for working on these.
Following on from their talks at last year's AGM the police have held
regular meetings Neighbourhood Action Groups. EGRA has had a representative
at every one and it is an ideal opportunity to give and receive feedback.
EGRA is extending links to all schools in the area.
EGRA has had representatives at the very popular Age Concern 50++ meetings.
The Chairman reminded the meeting about RBC's Survey for Older People,
copies of which were available at the meeting - deadline mid May. Also
representatives were present from RBC and Social Services to answer
questions later on Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance.
It has been a very positive year for tree planting. If there is a dry
summer members are asked to watch out for the well-being of newly planted
trees. The committee has also conducted a survey of Tree Preservation
Orders in Emmer Green. EGRA continues to clean up graffiti - please
help by reporting new occurrences. The committee monitors grass and
hedge cutting in the area and support workable recycling initiatives.
Members were asked to note the new facilities at the golf club car
5. ACCOUNTS AND TREASURER’S REPORT
Bill Harper briefly introduced the accounts for 2007 and noted that membership
subscriptions are strong, a bonus was received when the Portman Building
Society merged and expenses are quite modest. The balance in hand remained
substantial. This has allowed EGRA to contribute to local facilities
and amenities. The committee would be pleased to hear from members
of any other worthwhile projects.
Adoption of the accounts.
Proposer: Jill Verran
Seconder: Owen Jewiss
6. ELECTION OF COMMITTEE, OFFICERS AND AUDITOR
The Chairman thanked all those who have helped during the past year both
on and off the committee, such as our regular team of newsletter deliverers.
Three committee members have decided to step down: Paul Gallagher,
who was our excellent Chairman for ten years, Ben Cosh and Bob Cruickshank.
EGRA now has a new role of Committee Support and Bob Cruickshank has
decided he would like to continue his work for EGRA, but off the committee.
Eight existing committee members have agreed to continue: Margaret Ormonde
- Chair, Barry Prior - new role of Vice Chair, Kate Manton - Secretary,
Bill Harper - Treasurer, Jill Verran - Membership Secretary. Other existing
committee members are Tara Taylor, Vera Bodman and Diana Hartrup. Two
members have put their names forward for nomination: Cathi Edwards and
The committee always value extra help both on and off the committee -
if members can spare a bit of time they were asked to fill in and return
one of the forms available. The Chairman also thanked Julian Pearce who
has agreed to continue auditing the accounts.
Proposer: Ben Cosh
Seconder: Gil Child
Bill Harper offered his thanks to the Chairman for her sterling work
during her first year in the position.
7. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
25th Anniversary, 9th May 2009
Kate Manton explained that the committee is planning an event to mark
the 25th anniversary of the establishment of EGRA. Preparations are
underway for the event and the committee would be grateful for members
who would like to help.
The Chairman finally asked if there were any general questions or matters
arising. Helen Lambert (CADRA Chair) acknowledged and appreciated the
closer links EGRA had had with them this year. No further questions or
8. PRESENTATION BY TINA HEAFORD
Tina Heaford from Youth Services gave a presentation about the work her
team is doing with young people in north Reading. Tina started in 2005
and since then there has been expansion: in 2006 into schools and then
in 2007 the work expanded into providing additional holiday activities
and street work. The latter allows the youth team to mediate between
the community and young people. Tina gave an example of how they have
managed to move young people away from congregating around the shops.
In 2008 there are more initiatives, including the Bike Project which
is about restorative justice, urban sports projects, and youth forums.
The latter is about getting young people involved in the community. Tina
emphasised that youth work is now much more about education.
Tina noted that the team had exceeded all
its government targets except accreditation. Young people had brought £45,
500 into the area through applying for Community Grants.
Finally, Tina explained that young people in north Reading have raised
money to support Cancer Research and Oxfam, the charities being chosen