Apologies from Mrs K Creese, all other committee members were present, with a further 18 society members in attendance.
Minutes of the previous general meeting were confirmed and signed, proposed by Mr M Cort and seconded by Mrs J Gamble.
In essence the report will be fairly brief as we are only partway through the year. As well as the general maintenance jobs that form a large part of our work, our main thrust has been to complete the renovation of the hall. Certain works were needed before we could open the hall to the public. These included the construction of an emergency fire escape ramp for the disabled and the renovation of the toilet facilities to make them disable friendly. These works have now been completed and we are now open for business. A website has been set up to enable prospective users to contact us and hopefully make a booking. We have already allowed the hall to be used by some members and their reaction and comments were all good. This is a new venture for us and we welcome all comments and suggestions that might be helpful. It is a learning curve. We shall learn from any mistakes that we might make and will work hard to make sure the hall has every chance of being a success. I did say in my last report that we were hopeful of getting a grant to cover the works that I have just mentioned. This was not forthcoming but we still have work to do to develop the land on either side of the hall and will continue to apply for grants for any work that needs to be done there.
The painting program on part of Laburnum Road has now been completed and it is fair to say that the questionnaires, which we send out and ask tenants to complete, were critical of some aspects of the work this year. The complaints were not necessarily about the quality of the painting itself but mainly about the fact that they were a little untidy and didn’t always clean up after each house was completed. These comments have been taken on board and we shall bear them in mind next year.
The huge amount of electronic and computerised equipment has now become part of our everyday life, and it seems like we can no longer live without them. This does mean that sometimes there is a shortage of electrical sockets to plug the equipment in. Our maintenance men have reported a proliferation of extension leads, leading all over the place, in some houses. These leads have their uses, but can, if overloaded, cause problems. It is a cheap solution, but not necessarily the right one. We urge tenants to use them with caution. Far better, and safer, is to get an electrician to fix extra sockets. This will prevent the possibility of the wiring being overloaded and causing a fire.
You will probably have noticed that we have taken down a number of trees this year. Our policy is to only remove trees if we consider them to be a danger to the property, either now or is likely to be in the future, or if the tree is in a state of decay. Most of the trees we have removed have been conifers that have outgrown their situation.
We are becoming concerned that some of the conifer hedges, that tenants have planted, are also getting far too big and need regular trimming to keep them under control. I would like to remind tenants that the planting of certain types of conifers, i.e. leylandii, is not allowed.
We now come to the matter of vacant properties. The last time I stood here and said that we will have finished the last property in a few weeks, two more became empty in quick succession. I do not wish to tempt fate again, but I can say that the estate will be fully tenanted in the next couple of weeks. We hope to have a respite from empty properties, but it is inevitable that properties will still become vacant, that is the way of life. We keep our fingers crossed and hope that all our members stay safe and well.
The makeup of the committee is beginning to change and we are starting to see an interest by younger people wishing to take part in the affairs of the estate. This can only be a good thing. In all the reports that I have given to you, I have always tried to encourage people to apply to come on to the committee. We need your talents and energy. The future of this community is in your hands.
This concluded the chairman’s report.
Nominations are: Mrs K Creese, Mr M Carter, Mr I Pawson and Mr T Gee. As there are three vacancies and four nominations, a vote will be required. Mrs, I Gaten and Mrs J Taylor volunteered to act as scrutineers.
Mr Parr said that trees had been mentioned earlier, could you say what is happening to the chestnut tree at the rear of Lilac Avenue.
Mr Gee said that it is being attended to next week, the top is being crowned as we do not want to take it down.
Mr Cort again asked about the two trees in the adjacent garden to him. Mr Gee said that the committee would come and have a look. Mr Cort said that he was worried about his fencing being damaged.
Mrs C Smith asked with regards to the running of the hall, would it be a separate entity. Mr Gee said that we are hoping to keep it separate but we are going to speak to the accountant. Although the funds will come into the estate we are hoping to keep it separate so that we can see how it is doing.
Mrs C Smith said that law wise at parties you could get under age kids drinking and they do come down heavy on the person holding the drinks licence.
Mr Gee said that we have a music licence, but have not applied for a drinks, as whoever hires the hall would take responsibility for the drinks sold.
Mr Cort asked about public liability cover. Mr Gee said that our insurance covers most things.
Mrs Smith asked if there would be a separate committee to oversee the hall. Mr Gee said that now the committee are doing it to see how things work out, and then we shall build on that and maybe we will have a separate committee. We have a website set up and any inquiries go to one member.
Mrs Goodwin said that you will need somebody to take some sort of charge and not left to the office.
Mr Gee said that the work is not being left to the office. He went on to say that if you look on the website there is a lot of information along with the terms of hire.
Mrs J Gamble said that not everyone has access to the website, particularly older people and is there another way of getting this information.
Mr Gee said that there will be print outs and a notice board displaying information. He said that we will fully start to hire out of the hall in January, but up until Christmas it is still available.
Mrs Gaten asked if there would be an O A P party. Mr Gee said that we have talked about holding a coffee morning, but a party would have to be organised by the tenants. Mrs Bradshaw said that she wouldn’t mind organising one if she had some help.
Mr Osborne said that the social committee did have some funds left over from last year that maybe available.
Mrs Smith asked if there was a cap on the time that the hall had to be closed by. Mr Gee said that there was a cap on the time, this information is on the website.
Mr Parr asked if we had enough chairs, as it says there is seating for 120. Mr Gee said that we haven’t got that amount but if needed we can soon purchase some more.
This concluded the business of the meeting and Mr Gee thanked members for their attendance, before declaring the meeting closed at 7.17pm.
These minutes are the official record of what happened, and not a verbatim account.