Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in December 2011

Committee meetings are sumarised for the website however there has been an unintentional gap of six months but we now hope to resume these regularly and ensure that members who so wish are able to keep abreast of what is being discussed in-between reports in our quarterly newsletter.

1. St Johns Close development – two submissions have been made to SMBC raising concerns about the proposed development. The submissions collated responses from the public meeting and input supplied through feedback forms, the website and other sources. The society had also commissioned professional reports on the Conservation Area and the proposals for trees. Original research has also been done on car parking and access routes. The major objection raised by the Society has been the inadequacy of parking arrangements for the size of store proposed.

2. Jubilee celebrations – plans for the Society’s Jubilee celebrations are now all agreed. Arrangements for handling tickets at the BBC Any Questions event will be finalised by a small working party. Plans for the Queen’s Jubilee were discussed but further work is needed to nail down exactly what will be presented. It was suggested that the Society could also be the focus for an exhibition of Coronation memorabilia on the Bank Holiday and members would be invited in the April newsletter to offer their personal examples for that exhibition.

3. Arden School/Academy – satisfaction was expressed at the positive links that have been developed with the school recently and in particular with the new head. It was expected that new initiatives of mutual benefit will be forthcoming.

4. Christmas lights – the event was deemed successful but in need of a little enhancement, perhaps involving a small amount of hot food and more carols, maybe with a choir; the jokes were thought to have had their day! Numbers seemed slightly down this year but the event was clearly very popular. Distribution of food should be commenced from both ends of the crowd as many people see none of it. The tree is a different variety and extremely heavy, so it may be necessary to reduce the height in future years for safety of erection which was almost a mini disaster this year. The lights do not reach the top this time which was a pity and also they are probably on their final year. Any replacements sought would be coloured (red, yellow, green etc.) rather than just all white or all blue. Once again the Society was sad that so much of the press publicity or reports failed to mention the Knowle Society at all as the Society had actually taken the lead as usual in arranging the event, on top of which the organisations listed were incorrect anyway.

5. Copyright – it was agreed that steps would be taken for key personnel in the Society to sign a form, perhaps annually, which ensured that copyright on materials prepared for the Society was assigned to the Society. It was recognised that this is a subject which has caused difficulties and which has the potential to do so in future if reasonable precautions are not taken.

6. Accounts – The accounts for year ending 2011 are currently being prepared by the accountants for audit. The directors considered the reducing balances, the recent additional expenditure related to the St Johns Close development proposals and the potential increased cost of taking the newsletter up a notch to full colour and adopting a more modern presentation. It was agreed that estimates would be obtained and a more holistic view of the costs, balances and potential need for subscription increases in a year or so would be undertaken and also the pros and cons of taking in advertising which has hitherto not been accepted.

7. Councillors’ Report – The main discussion centred around the Streamside Trust and how, if at all, the Society might be able to contribute to the Trust’s work.

8. Reports from committees – reports had mostly been received earlier of the Society’s committees and these did not lead to any significant discussion on this occasion.