Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in September 2009

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

In order of discussion:

1. Update on Knowle Green Community Project – initial planning steps are continuing – no news to report yet.

2. Safe Routes to School project update – A copy of the draft report from SMBC’s engineers to the Cabinet Member for his consideration had been received and was considered by the Society. It was agreed to write back thanking the Council for the courtesy of its provision of the document but to express in robust terms the Society’s profound disagreement with several of the facts and figures contained therein.

3. The AGM in November would be conducted along the traditional lines of receiving verbal updates from each committee chairman, who would then answer questions on his or her report. After an interval for free tea and coffee, the floor would be open to general questions.

4. In line with similar organisations, the Society’s balances were being moved from National Savings accounts into funds that would enable better investment returns but which had a solid reputation for being well managed. Funds were therefore being transferred to a COIF Charity Fund. Relatively high current balances at present reflected the fact that one major supplier had not rendered his invoice for several months.

5. The Society has taken commercial storage space at Arden Storage (provided for the last year or so free of charge by a generous member). This quality storage facility was required to hold material from the Archives and the Society’s display boards, much of which had previously been accommodated free of charge by the Library prior to its recent refurbishment.

6. There were no reports from the Knowle Ward Councillors because of other commitments or holidays.

7. Discussion of quotations for proposed new storage cabinets for the Local History Centre archives at the Library concluded that further investigtion was required; the principle of the project was well received.

8. It was agreed to keep the October newsletter to 14 rather than 18 pages and that in future the AGM Nomination form need not be printed as copies could be obtained from the website or from the Secretary.

9. It was agreed that the website could carry a new enhanced search and view facility for access to the Local History Archive that provided free public access to the full records of all archive material. There were no plans at present to make copies of the Archive objects or photographs themselves available on the website.

The meeting ended at 9.30pm

Initial Response to Jacobean Moorings (Marina) Application

We have now made a formal response to the outline application for a marina at Jacobean Lane.

This letter has been sent to Solihull Council and Knowle Councillors recording The Knowle Society’s objections to the second marina. These are: Impact on the Green Belt; Effect on the setting of Grove Farm, a listed building; Impact on views (amenity) for those using the towpath and public footpath through the site; Traffic, particularly at the Jacobean Lane/Warwick Road junction.


Initial Response to Stripes Hill Marina Application

We have now made a formal response to the outline application for a marina at Stripes Hill.

This response cannot be a full one because the application was only in outline, however it has been submitted to SMBC’s planning committee for consideration. We are now working on our response to the Jacobean Lane Marina application. We have requested that SMBC considers both together and approves at most only one. Follow the home page link to Planning and then to Planning Applications.


Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in August 2009

The Trustee Directors decided at their May 2009 meeting to report the topics that were discussed at their committee meetings. This is the third such report. Discussion on Society matters is welcomed on the ‘Forum’.

In order of discussion:

1. Update on Knowle Green Community Project – initial planning steps are continuing – no news to report yet.

2. Agreed to continue supporting the Festival in the Park in future years and counted this year’s stand at the Festival to be very successful.

3. Safe Routes to School project update – discussed the form of the letter to be sent to Solihull Council following the recent public meeting. Widespread, but not total, opposition noted. Agreed to make clear the Society’s objections to the present scheme (in all aspects) and the desire to work with the Council in developing a wider area plan for more appropriate and longer cycling routes in recognition of government objectives and the Arden School Travel Plan 2006.

4. Bus Timetable changes – continuing to monitor and to attend consultation meetings. Impending change of bus company ownership noted.

5. Christmas Lights – temporary road closure to be sought for this year’s event – police concern at current risks noted.

6. Airport Noise Action Plan – document and questionnaire discussed – the Society will respond to the questionnaire and continue to strive for reduced overflying, noise levels and night flying. Increased night fying is expected, even though the percentage of night flights will be reduced from 5% to 4%, the runway expansion and thus increased number of flights overall, will cause this to be a larger number of night flights.

7. Rental for appropriate permanent storage of the Society’s growing number of artifacts and display facilities was discussed and it was agreed to explore this further.

8. A legacy of 500 pounds from Barbara Maud Jennens was acknowledged with gratitude. When this is actually received it will be used towards new display cabinets to be purchased for the Local History Centre. An appropriate plaque was proposed.

9. AGM format – it was agreed to return to the ‘traditional’ format of these meetings also with the inclusion of a tea/coffee break.

10. New membership Standing Order forms were considered and will be introduced in the next newsletter.

11. Received report from the Treasurer.

12. Received advice and an update on current Council matters relevant to Knowle from Knowle Councillor Diana Holl-Allen.

13. Updates on two, possibly now three, Marina planning applications. Further discussion was held over on these and the supermarket proposals in the necessary absence of the relevant Trustee Director.

14. Received report from Community Services committee.

15. Received report from Meetings & Social committee – new programme for 2010 finalised. Social evening for 2009 now fully booked.

16. Membership report received, numbers holding up well.

17. Received report from Newsletter and Website editor – Website and emails to be updated to reflect Trustee Directors’s decision to appoint Ian Simmonds as a Trustee Director and Chairman of a re-formed Environment Committee.

18. Discussed implementation of new Standing Orders and a proposed party to thank newsletter distributors and introduce plans for the new Standing Orders.

19. Publicity noted the merger of two local newspapers and the fact that a recent press release on the photo competition had not yet been used. Need to reprint the colour flier because of the change in Membership Secretary following the death of Derek Mellor.