Apologies from Miss A Benning, all other committee members were present, with a further 17 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.
Mrs Bradshaw said that she cannot remember saying that she would organise the O A P party but that she would help. Mr Gee said that this is being brought up in his report.
Mr Cort brought up the large trees in the garden of the first property alongside Laburnum Road. Mr Gee said that the ones along Laburnum Road had been looked at and as there was nothing wrong with them they have been left. The ivy growing up them had been cut away.
Mr I Pawson said that it was a shame that Mrs J Goodwin was not present and unable to get her name mentioned in the minutes.
As stated in my previous report, the painting program for this year, was part of Keyham Lane. We chose a different contractor this time because of some of the negative comments last year. I am pleased to say that all were satisfied with the results this time. We also renewed the old cast iron guttering, barge boards, fascia and down rights at the same time. There have been one or two narrow misses with the old guttering falling down and we needed to make a start replacing these items. The houses on Keyham Lane were all individually designed. No two houses were the same. This created a few problems for the contractors but after lengthy discussions with ourselves and Paul our maintenance man, the problems were solved, and the work completed. It is our intention to make a start on Chestnut Avenue as soon as possible and get as many houses completed as we can in this year’s budget.
Our brief respite from empty properties has now come to an end and we have two houses that we are working on. One will need a lot of work before it is ready to re let, the other, which we had thought was in a far better condition, turns out not to be so. We had already put in a damp proof course and renewed a lot of the plaster work, fairly recently, but on examining the roof we found that it is in quite a bad condition, so this will have to be attended to. We are also going to examine one or two houses on Laburnum Road that we think were missed when the houses were re-roofed in the 1950/60.
The areas of land, on either side of the hall, are still awaiting our attention. Our application for a lottery grant, in order to do the work needed, has been turned down. But after discussions with the people who manage the lottery grants, they have advised us to re-apply, and include more information about our situation, why the money is needed and how it would benefit the community. This we intend to do and are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be successful this time.
The hall itself is starting to get quite busy, kick boxing classes, dancing classes, large family birthdays and children’s parties are all making the hall very popular. It is our intention to review the way that the hall is managed, at the end of this year. At the moment, bookings are being handled by a member of the committee and we are taking it in turns to open and close the hall as necessary. This is becoming quite a chore. We hope to take on board some help. Maybe there is a person on the estate who would like to volunteer to help. If so, please let us know.
Whilst on the subject of the hall, Lesley Osborne and Penny Smith have agreed to organise an over 60s Christmas party. They would welcome some help in organising this event, so if anybody is willing to do so please contact them.
Many years ago, this hall used to be the centre of activity on the estate. We hope that its future use will, in some way, help to revive the community spirit that is fast disappearing. We would like to see it being used for more social occasions by the tenants, such as coffee mornings, table top sales and a host of other activities, which would bring people together. We are doing are best to provide a venue to enable this to happen, the rest is up to you.
Over the last few years, we have had to take down quite a few trees on the estate. Some because they were old and decaying, others because they were causing a problem to the nearby property. It would be nice to start replacing some of these trees with varieties that would not outgrow their situation and cause problems in the future. There are many small ornamental trees that would be suitable. In the early years of the estate, trees were provided by the committee for planting in tenant’s gardens. Although these were fruit trees, a suggestion has been made that we could resurrect this scheme and provide and supply a suitable range of trees that would help to enhance the estate and also the gardens. If there is sufficient interest in doing this then we could look at it for the future.
This concluded the chairman’s report.
Nominations are: Mr M Carter, Mrs L Osborne, Mrs P Smith and Miss A Benning. As there are three vacancies and four nominations, a vote will be required. Mrs J Taylor, Mrs I Gaten and Mrs E Geary volunteered to act as scrutineers.
Mr M Osborne said that there had been a problem with the garage compound padlock which had seized up. He had oiled it and it was now working.
Mrs D Bakker said that the gate on the backway used to have a hook that you could clip the gate to keep open, this is no longer there. With it being so windy the last few days it makes it hard to keep the gate open when you drive through. Mr Gee said that he didn’t know that it was missing, and it will be looked at.
Mrs J Taylor thanked the committee for taking down the tree next door but one to her, as it was worrying her as it had really grown. Mr T Gee said that it was ridiculously high.
Mr M Cort asked if the estate would consider putting some trees on the grass verges where they are missing along Laburnum Road.
Mr T Gee said that the council were responsible for those, and they do come around now and again and check and replace them. He said that footpaths grass verges and roads are not our responsibility.
Mr M Osborne said that there was a place to plant trees in the area next to the hall.
Mr T Gee said that we have provincial plans for that area to make into a garden, but we are waiting for the money do it. He went on to say that if we get the grant through we can go ahead with it.
Mr M Osborne asked if it was likely that we would get it. Mr T Gee said that he had spoken to them and they had said that we are just the type of people that they award grants to. But you must fill out the forms in a particular way and if the information is not there that they want then it will not get through. Everything must be exactly right, and she gave us some hints and told us to apply again.
Mrs J Bradshaw asked if we had applied to the Co-op as they give out grants. Mr T Gee said that we had only applied to the lottery, but we did have a look at others, but most of them only give grants if they are in action areas. He went on to say that there is a phenomenal amount of money available up North. Mrs J Bradshaw said that the Council also give grants. Mr T Gee said that a lot of these are only for small amounts of a thousand pounds and we need considerably more than that. But we would look into it.
Mrs J Bradshaw thanked the committee for their hard work.
This concluded the business of the meeting and Mr T Gee thanked members for their attendance, before declaring the meeting closed at 7.15pm.
These minutes are the official record of what happened, and not a verbatim account.