Doxey Community Association

Minutes of meeting held on 10 November 2004

Present: Nigel Barnett (NB), Hannah Burgess (HB), John Corcoran (JC), Susan Corcoran (SC), Isabella Davies (ID) Michele Elliott (ME), Claire Gaisford (CG), Sally Hems (SH), Sarah Jessop (SJ) Kate Lee(KL), Joan Moore (JM), Stephen Moore (SM), John Perks (JP), Pat Perks (PP), Barbara Simpson (BS), Terence Strickland (TS), Mike Tripp, (MTr), Mike Turner(MT) Adrian Venables (AV)

Young people: Annabel, Hayley, and Kirsty

Apologies: Joyce Beach, Tom Beach, Jane Essex, David Hughes, Iain Simpson and Gill Smith

1 Minutes of the meeting held on 13th October 2004

Approved as a true record.

2 Matters arising

Anti-social behaviour ME met with PC Croft who told her that they are maintaining a police presence. Two officers have been seen walking around the village and patrol cars have driven through on a number of occasions. There had been relatively few incidents reported but a vehicle had been driven onto the play area and destroyed the newly seeded grass, one solution is to put in collapsible bollards to allow grass cutters through but stop illegal vehicle use, but the last time one was put in place it was destroyed.

A bonfire had been lit on the field, when the fire brigade tried to put it out they were prevented from doing so by verbal abuse and obstacles to prevent their equipment from working. The police were called for assistance but did not turn up.

Children had dug up some grass on the Ridegeway, but it was eventually replaced when neighbours said they would call the police. People were asked to remain vigilant and continue reporting incidents.

Parish Council Campaign A draft order is due to be produced by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Stafford Borough Council can then make arrangements for us to hold elections and will ensure that funds are available for the first year as a precept cannot be set after the start of the financial year. (The Parish Council will begin on the 1st April 2005). The number of councillors has not been fixed but it is expected that we will need nine as Doxey has an electorate of about 1700. A number of queries were raised about what impact regionalisation might have on parish council status (this has not been decided, but is expected that the impact will be minimal) and political status (Parish Councils do not stand for a political party, they are independent). The Parish Council would take on some of the tasks currently undertaken by the DCA (e.g. liaising with the Borough Council to resolve the playing field issue and looking at planning issues), but the DCA will remain active with the focus on activities such as Doxey Day, the Arts Project etc. Clerks from local parish councils have offered to talk to Doxey people about the process and training is available via the SPCA (Staffordshire Parish Councils’ Association).

Post Office Survey It was decided to put the survey on hold as recent developments,(i.e. the potential loss of the Crown Post Office in Stafford town centre) could cloud people's views. MT will contact Postwatch to establish what support they can offer to save Stafford Post office, in the light of the fact that we have lost our local post office. The matter will be discussed at the next meeting.

Update on Play Area The goal posts have now been painted.

The play strategy officer and local councillors are meeting on 12th November to discuss the Borough’ play strategy. They have decided to maintain existing facilities but not provide new ones so Doxey will not benefit from any new services. JM thanked our borough councillors for consulting us on the matter.

3 Youth Forum

AV thanked DCA for their support at the meeting on 22nd October. Following the fire on the play area there is now a question of whether that would be a safe and suitable site for new facilities. DK is helping the forum to find alternative sites (there should be a decision on tile Universal planning application very soon which will determine availability of land there). There had been a meeting of the Youth Forum on 8th November to discuss the school transport issue. It is currently running well but prices have increased to 75p each way making the trip to and from school £1.50 and this caused concern especially for families with more than one child at the school. The situation has been compounded by the introduction of a new container for bikes which is locked and difficult to open, therefore inaccessible and is leading to a lot of damage to bikes making walking the only affordable alternative. An alternative bicycle storage unit cannot be provided until Easter. The youth forum was asked to liaise with the head teacher on the issue.

Sue Fox has received a copy of the transport bill from David Kidney MP and is highlighting areas the forum can concentrate on. One suggestion has been that those entitled to free school meals should be eligible for free transport tokens. The example of Doxey has been raised in the House of Commons because Doxey is 2.9 miles from the school and the cut off point is 3 miles. The Youth Forum is keen to be involved in the Mikron Steering Group and workshops.

4 Mikron bid

The bid to the Arts Council for the Mikron 'Village Voices' project had been successful, the DCA had been awarded £27 510. The full meeting unanimously agreed to accept the money. The project will address local issues that are relevant to communities throughout the country. Signal radio had done a feature about it and other media had picked up on it.

5 Computer access and Training Courses in Doxey

Kate Lee, the Community Link Worker from Stafford College, attended the meeting to discuss training in Doxey. The 12-week Word Processing course at the school now has 7 people attending but further uptake is needed. It is held between 7 and 9 on Tuesday evenings and costs £5. No booking is required, just turn up at the school. Yoga is well attended on a Thursday evening at the Universal Social Club and Keep Fit and Water Colours are as popular as ever. Recent .consultation led to requests for creative crafts - a Christmas special during the weeks beginning 6th December and 13th December is being held - and Arabic dance for which an event will be held on 20th November on the Universal Grinding site. Family Tree classes were also requested and should begin in the new year. For full details see http://www.doxeyca.co.uk

Report on Clear Out Day

Poor weather meant there had been a low turnout but most items were taken and items left were being taken to local charity shops. The rubbish truck was not required as all items brought were recyclable. Suggestion was made that it should happen earlier in the autumn, e.g. early October. MT thanked everyone who participated and those who advertised it.

6 Proposed programme 2004

Lights Switch on. The Doxey Arms have agreed to host this year’s Christmas Tree. DCA will provide a 12' tree and lights and the pub will pay for the electricity. It was felt the lights switch on would be best left until December (12th or 19th). Additional suggestions included involving the school choir and having children in fancy dress, the tree could be decorated by local people and through the school, "Playaway" course ideas and creative craft course items. SC will liaise with the PCC and with the youth forum

Outings JM will ask JE to arrange a trip to this years pantomime as demand was high.

7 Doxey Times

The following subjects were suggested for inclusion in the December issue:

PTA's Christmas fair

Article from PC Croft

Mikron bid success

Courses

Procession and carol singing, Christmas services and panto trip

SM may produce a Christmas and New Year issue if space is tight, he also welcomed letters from local people which could feature and reminded people that the full version of the newsletter is available on the website.

Advertising was agreed to be available to commercial concerns within Doxey at £25 for one quarter page or £5 for 2-3 lines. An article will feature to let businesses know they can advertise. Fees for the website are £25 for one year's sponsorship and £5 for a small advertisement. Any proceeds from the advertising will be put back into DCA funds and used to benefit local people.

8 Correspondence

Sustainability Charter - copies of the document are included with these minutes and should be read and returned to the next meeting so a decision can be reached whether to sign up to it, the form will then be completed or discarded (depending upon majority opinion).

Local Development Framework - SM had received the new (replacement) local plan document and drafted a response. The document used a lot of 'jargon', was poorly laid out and difficult to follow. This highlights future difficulties in people using it and will therefore not get the optimum community involvement the Borough Council wants meaning people's opinions are not heard. SM suggested a restructuring of the document asking questions and answering them in a logical order, e.g. what is the document about, who will be consulted and how, what help is available to support community members complete the document, will people be informed of outcomes? Anyone wanting full details or copies of the response should ask SM.

New walks for health programme leaflets have been received.

9 Any Other Business

SDVS have a quiz night on 3rd December, all are welcome. The DCA will pay to rejoin

It is expected that the Doxey ducks will appear in flower beds in the park in the spring.

JM had been on the charities training provided by Skills Base, although it was interesting, there were certain points which needed clarification. SJ will ask the Community Council charities advisor to help.

The William Sutton Housing Association Ltd is repairing the wall which had raised concerns at the last meeting.

MT had received a renewal notice for his building and contents insurance. The cost had increased significantly and he was told it was because of the flood dangers. Others had noticed this increase. If you want to check if your home is in the flood zone use the Environment Agency's website http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subjects/flood/ and insert your post code in the box on the left hand side.

 

10 Date of next meeting

Wednesday, 8th December at 7.00 pm at the Sutton Centre

There will be tea, coffee and mince pies available