Minutes of Committee Meeting
Autumn 2003

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Thursday 27th November 2003

Present: Mr Paul Gallagher, Mrs Margaret Ormonde, Mr David Miles, Mrs Anne Ayres, Mrs Jill Verran, Mr Brian Warren, Mr Bill Harper, Mr Bob Cruickshank, Mrs Vera Bodman

1.Apologies Mr Bill Harper

2.Minutes of the last meeting (11th September 2003) were approved.

3.Matters arising

Litter at Highdown School
Despite offers from the Association to help with the supervision of litter clearing, no response or acknowledgement had been received from Trevor Keable. Unfortunately the extent of the problem was still the same and even more obvious with the die back of vegetation. In addition to this the Council needed to be reminded to do a further leaf clearance along Surley Row near the school.

Clayfield Copse
Although the pavilion was still not cleared of graffiti, a promise had been made that a team was on standby to paint over the offensive vandalism as a soon as possible.

A reassurance was requested that they would use anti graffiti paint and not ignore the fact that they could be offering future perpetrators a blank canvas. It was noted that the changing rooms at the Grove Road recreation ground were heading in the same direction as far as graffiti was concerned. This summer had generally seen an increase in the problem and even if the Council fulfilled all their duties there was a lot of private property just as badly affected. Recently a team of volunteers had effectively cleaned up seats in Clayfield Copse using special paint remover.

Planning Consents
Jon Barclay of Chalgrove Way had taken on the responsibility of contacting the planning department with any concerns about the forthcoming development behind 54-74 Kidmore End Road. New plans were circulated showing the proposals for 11 terraced dwellings land behind properties on Grove Road, near the primary school.

A bungalow was to be demolished to provide access. Traffic and parking were a major consideration here, as the junction was so close to the school.

The committee felt they must support infilling development in principle, provided it was reasonable and traffic and parking issues were considered. An unfortunate consequence was developers putting undue pressure on those not wishing to sell land and subsequent disagreement amongst neighbours.

Village Sign
The new sign remained a focal point in Emmer Green. The Townswomen’s Guild and Women’s Institute had decided to re-consider and ask for a post carving on the sign to represent their respective organisations. They were happy to pay for this and to liase with the carvers.

The Berkshire Wood Carvers had been offered a room at Highdown School to use as their new workshop. Both parties were highly delighted and looked forward to new projects in the future.

Committee Membership for 2003-04
Vacancies still remained on the committee and although there were still some contenders, new blood and ideas would be most welcome.

Membership and Publicity
Seventeen members still had not renewed their subscriptions. It was hoped that more progress could be made to provide packs for residents who have recently moved into the area. Possible inclusions to include details of the Association, membership forms and details of the website. It was hoped this could be done on an unofficial basis with committee members looking after a specific area.

A local tradesman’s list created by the Caversham Safer Forum several years ago and authenticated by the police was circulated amongst the committee. Bob Cruickshank offered to phone and check if all listed were still trading. Once checked it could be put on the website, albeit with a disclaimer. If any Association members wished to add to the list details and comments would be welcomed.

Red recycling boxes
Red recycling boxes had been delivered to new areas in Emmer Green, but anyone requiring a full sized red wheelie bin should phone the Council and ask for their name to be added to the waiting list.

The second and remaining litterbin in the vicinity of the Post Office had been removed. There was concern about this area generally. The grass triangle was neglected and the view across to the pond long since disappeared when the trees were in leaf. Broken paving in front of the White Horse still remained in a parlous state despite the fact that the proprietors had been informed. Andy Gillespie was to be contacted about this and the fact that a cast iron litterbin had been thrown into the pond.

4.Treasurer’s Report
The Association still awaited reimbursement from promised Council funds. The current balance in the Association’s funds remained at £3000 and it was suggested the committee and members might like to put forward ideas as to how some of this might be spent on future projects. The Friends of Clayfield Copse organised in the summer the second Clayfield Copse Woodlands Day, but unfortunately were unsuccessful this time in winning a grant from the Millennium Fund. It was agreed that the Association would donate £100 to FOCC to help defray their costs of this worthy community project.

5.Winter Newsletter
The draft copy was circulated and approved, with some minor amendments and additions to the copy before printing for circulation.

6.Feedback from Committees
The decision to withdraw from attending local committees remained in force.

7.Any Other Business

a) Lighting at the shopping precinct remained abysmal with bulbs not being replaced, even when the landowners were reminded. Jill Verran continues to chase.

b) Parking at the doctors’ surgery was often difficult, particularly in the early morning when the children were going to school. No solution could be perceived for this problem.

c) The traffic problems at Emmer Green Primary School remained at crisis levels and every encouragement was to be given to children to walk to school. However, concerns had been raised at the number of parents requesting their children cycle to school and the traffic danger implications.

d) The provisional date for the AGM was agreed as Thursday, 15th April 2004 and a guest speaker was to be contacted. Bill Harper would be asked to make a provisional booking for this date and the following Thursday in case the speaker could not make the first date.

Date of next meeting
8:00 pm Thursday 12th February 2004 at 15 The Ridings.