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.

Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in January 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 however activity was stirring again with a steering group meeting due on 28th January.

2.The Society was represented at a meeting with Centro on local buses when strong concerns on performance were expressed. The Society recommended that Centro should carry out a local questionnaire as is being undertaken in the north of the West Midlands area but should not be wholly dependent on the Internet for responses.

3. Following the demise of the Civic Trust with which the Society was registered, there has been considerable activity in setting up a new organisation called the Civic Societies Initiative, however The Knowle Society has major concerns about the funding of this organisation which would hit a society such as ours exceptionally hard because we have both a large membership and a very low membership fee. The Trustee Directors (TDs) have made their feelings known to the fledgling body and now await, with little expectation of success, the possible revision of membership terms to be more favourable to a society such as ours. Membership of this new body is therefore very unlikely and the Society will continue to work strongly with the continuing regional organisation WestMASA which was set up under the old Civic Trust’s auspices and which addresses our local concerns and need for mutual contact with other similar societies.

4. The TDs considered how the Society communicated with members and how member feedback and input is elicited and the routes available for that feedback. The TDs affirmed the paramount importance of member input and proposed some actions in support of this. It was also noted that TDs are representatives not delegates therefore they are elected to make up their own minds on issues to the benefit of Knowle rather than promote the opinions of others. The next newsletter will remind members of how they may contact the Society.

5.The St John’s Close Redevelopment project is uppermost in the concern of the Society at this time and following the public meetings being held by Kimberley Developments on 15/16 January, 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 agreed to look into the possibility of publishing a history of the Society at that time, something that many similar societies of similar age are also considering.

7. It was agreed that a change to the date of AGMs from 2011 onwards should be formally proposed at the 2010 AGM (as was first raised with members at the 2009 AGM).

8. Reports from the various committees were received and noted. A particular concern was expressed that some newsletter distributors had still not received their newsletters from their bulk distributor. Whereas the particular problems arising from the current icy and snowy spell were recognised, it was resolved that a mechanism for gaining feedback on the end distribution process should be explored, so as to enable timely rectification if similar delays were to arise in future. The need for a revised A5 promotional leaflet was acknowledged and action was agreed.

9. Under Any Other Business it was suggested that perhaps the Society should consider the awarding of Life Membership to especially deserving members. The TDs welcomed the idea and agreed to give further thought to the matter.

Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in December 2009

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

1. KGCP – The Society will now take the lead in application for grants for this project.

2. Cycle Routes – The Society has submitted its response to SMBC in respect of its consultation on cycle routes. See news item on home page.

3. Christmas Lights – This event was considered a great success. The logistics and safety aspects were reviewed for future events.

4. AGM – New format very well received. Draft Minutes and Agenda to be published in the newsletter and website in advance of future AGMs.

5. The new Civic Society Initiative – The Society is considering its position with respect to membership of this new body.

6. Planning – Solihull MBC Planning Committee is expected to consider the marina applications this month. The Sainsbury planning application is likely to take place in January. Waitrose is expected to hold a public meeting in the same month. The Society is maintaining a close watch on all these projects and is playing an active part at each stage.

7. Community Services – Solihull MBC is to be approached about the worn out markings in the entries and exits of the car parks in Knowle.

Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in November 2009

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

1. Update on Knowle Green Community Project – It is understood that SMBC has now been able to confirm its ownership of the land. The project meeting planned following this news has been postponed due to illness.

2. Borough cycling routes – The Society has been asked to contribute to a public consultation by SMBC which it is happy to do but will be objecting to the lack of sufficient/proper notice for response.

3. Christmas Lights event – Final details for running and stewarding this event were reviewed. The Society is responsible for writing to residents and businesses in Kenilworth Road that will be affected by the statutory closure notice.

4. AGM – Arrangements for the forthcoming AGM were finalised, including noting nominations for officers and Trustee Directors.

5. Civic Societies Initiative – Following the demise of the Civic Trust, with which the Society had been registered for many years, the emergent Civic Societies Initiative was discussed. This organisation seeks to pick up several of the key activities of the old Civic Trust. It was felt that the organisation, though commendable in its energy and relevance, was in danger of working top-down, whereas the regional efforts of WestMASA (an orphaned remnant of the Civic Trust) probably met our needs more effectively. For this reason there was concern that the very large subscription that was proposed for a Society of our large membership was unacceptable and perhaps less well directed for our needs. The Chairman would write outlining our concerns and suggesting an alternative charging structure that might be more acceptable. It was also voted to pay the sum of 60 pounds requested by WestMASA to keep it afloat this year.

6. Councillors’ reports – In the absence of the Councillors who were otherwise engaged on Council business, a written report was received from Councillor Alan Rebeiro.

7. Planning – Updates on the major applications for marinas at Knowle and the Sainsbury store at Dorridge were reported, the later will require a substantial review by the Society by virtue of the sheer volume of planning documents. It was reported that Sunnymount had now been sold and that Cornucopia hoped to open in the old Covent Garden shop by December.

8. Committees – Reports were received from each committee of the Society, ensuring that the Directors are kept abreast of the day-to-day activities of these committees. It was noted that there was a need for more reserve newsletter distributors as the ‘stock’ is becoming depleted. Concern was expressed that delays had arisen in delivering October newsletters to a small number of roads – this will be investigated and deliveries made.

Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in October 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 – no news to report yet. It is understood that SMBC is investigating ownership of the land.

2. Safe Routes to School project update – Society’s recommendations broadly accepted by the Council – no work in the park, measures for school travelling time speed restrictions and traffic calming outside Arden School. The Society will begin to gather its thoughts on wider cycling options in anticipation of SMBC accepting our offer of assistance.

3. Christmas Lights event – The Police have agreed to the closing of Kenilworth Road only, now that the event will take place further into the church’s grounds away from the road. The police are supportive of the revised proposals. Details to be sorted out on First Aid and lost children assistance and the risk assessment to be further reviewed.

4. Airport Noise Action Plan – It is expected that this matter will go quiet (!) for the next year therefore it will be dropped from forthcoming agendas, to be returned for consideration when changes arise.

5. The problem of Trustee Directors having computer problems when working on Knowle Society business was discussed and a process was agreed in the event that suitable internal self-help was not available.

6. A FULL planning application in respect of the Stripes Hill Marina proposal had now been submitted by the developers – the Society will ensure that its response to this new application is submitted to SMBC.

7. The Environment Committee will now be known as the Natural Environment Committee – this better reflects its remit and accords well with the naming of such functions within SMBC with whom it will have most relationship.

8. The Society’s fiscal year, subscription collection timing and AGM timing were discussed, recognising difficulties of nighttime subscription collection and the short time for examiners to approve the accounts. The matter was noted pending a view of the success of the Standing Order campaign. The possibility of allowing subscription collection at the April publication date rather than the October one was received with some support but no action was taken at this time.

9.Under AOB it was noted that the next Unitary Development Plan would be due in 2011, which is not far away. Heavy involvement by the Society is anticipated.

The meeting ended at 9.30pm