Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in February 2010

A brief report of matters discussed at the most recent committee meeting. Feedback on Society matters is welcomed on our online ‘Forum’.

1. The was no news to report on the Knowle Green Community Project. The planned steering group meeting due on 28th January was postponed to 25th February.

2. A subcommittee has met to consider cycle routes in Knowle and after careful deliberation, found that very little could be commended, however proposal for two routes will be reviewed by the Trustee Directors before submission to the Council.

3.Some improvements in bus timings have been noted but the story was not all good. The Society is still pushing Centro to come back on its concerns.

4. The Civic Societies Initiative (currently balloting on a new name) being the embryonic replacement of the defunct Civic Trust has still not addressed the Society’s concerns about proposed membership fees which would hit The Knowle Society especially hard, so it is looking unlikely that the Society will be able to afford to consider membership of this new body.

5.The St John’s Close Redevelopment project is uppermost in the concern of the Society at this time following the public meetings held by Kimberley Developments on 15/16 January. It is understood that Waitrose met SMBC on 11 February but no formal application has been submitted yet. The Knowle Society will be reviewing all the relevant material and then arranging its own public meeting in which members and others can express their opinions and explore further issues and concerns that they may have on this proposal.

6. 2012 sees the Golden Jubilee of The Knowle Society and also the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. Over the next few months the Society will consider how best it might celebrate these events and support special community activities. The History committee proposes publishing a history of the Society at that time. The Trustee Directors reviewed several ideas for celebrations and the leading role it might take in seeing that something significant is planned. Contact with SMBC will take place to ensure that there is good coordination.

7. Problems with distribution of the newsletter this quarter, partly attributable to the bad weather, were discussed, including how feedback on the receipt of copies by subscribers could be monitored.

8. The awarding of Life Membership to especially deserving members was considered further along with variations on the idea. Proposals will be presented to members at the next AGM.

9. At the request of the Village Hall and as a major user, the Society will be submitting its physical requirements in any possible new Village Hall that might arise from any redevelopment project.

10. The Knowle Councillors (A Rebeiro in attendance) provided an update on Arden School classrooms, Milverton Road/Arden School rights of way, Waitrose, the planned Lodge Road crossing, tree replacements around Knowle and youth use of the Village Hall.

11. Reports were received from all committee chairmen on the work of their committees.

Public Meeting on St Johns Close redevelopment

The Society is calling a public meeting at 7.30pm on Thursday 25th March at Arden School, Knowle for members and others to express their views on the proposed re-development of St. Johns Close. Meanwhile the Society is mindful of the strong views held both ways on the proposal but will not be making any statement itself until it has studied the proposal and held the public meeting. Meanwhile anyone is welcome to use the Forum facility on the Society’s website to express their views [See the Forum link on the right-hand side of the home page of the website.] The planning application may be viewed by clicking on this hyperlink SMBC Planning Applications and entering one of the following numbers: 2010/321 (the main one), 2010/322, 2010/323 & 2010/324 (three applications for the additional isolated bungalow replacements).

We would respectfully encourage those who are able to walk to the meeting to do so and thus help us in managing what promises to be a very busy event.

The leaflet distributed to homes in Knowle invites people to leave comments at a box in Knowle Library if they do not feel able to use the Forum on this website – unfortunately this facilty is not available – alternatives are being sought.

Knowle Landlord’s notorious daughter

Come and see the story in our latest exhibition in the Knowle Local History Centre!

Dorothy Ward, star of pantomime and theatrical comedy was born in Birmingham and once lived in Knowle. Her father was landlord of ‘The White Swan’ public house in the late 1890s. The White Swan was situated where the NatWest bank now stands. Dorothy was purported to be “The Most Famous Principal Boy” ever. Perhaps not just famous but infamous might also be applied to Dorothy whose theatrical life had an element of notoriety about it. Come and see our exhibition to find out why.

New parking restriction rescinded

Councillor Jeff Potts has passed to The Knowle Society a letter he has received from Toby Wilson, Parking Services Manager at SMBC indicating the Council’s intentions with respect to the recently amended parking restrictions in Knowle’s car parks.

Thank you for your [Jeff Potts’s] recent emails regarding the new signs in the Knowle car parks, I am sorry to hear these have caused the confusion and distress experienced over the last week. Given the nature of the feedback from the residents you have described we have clarified our position with our legal services. I am arranging to have the no return condition removed from the signs, no later than Monday 25 January 2010, by having a small overlay placed over the ‘No return on same day’ and the associated part in the information section.

We will also not enforce any ‘No Return’ contravention in any of these car parks while this amendment is outstanding. Upon completion vehicles will be permitted to return to any part of the car park once the maximum stay has been exceeded. Should a vehicle remain in the same bay for a period longer than the maximum stay advertised they may be liable for a PCN. I would also like to advise you that we have not issued any Penalty Charge Notices in Knowle for returning to the same car park in the same day.

I hope this will resolve the situation for you and the residents in the area. I would like to highlight that parking restrictions and enforcement in these car parks is intended to support the residents, visitors and business within the village centre by ensuring parking is available. I would also welcome any further feedback you have either from yourselves or residents that may be useful in managing these car parks to support the village centre. Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me directly on 0121 704 6111.