AGM 2008 minutes

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at Colchester Golf Club on Tuesday 11 November 2008.
Present 67 members; Cllrs.Martin Goss & Anne Turrell; & Neighbourhood Specialist Police Officer, Steve Walsom.
John Spurr, Chairman, welcome all to the meeting, thanking the Golf Club for free use of the facilities. There were eight apologies.
The minutes of the AGM on 6 November 2007 were approved and signed. There were no matters arising.
Mrs. Ann Spurr, Hon. Treasurer, presented the accounts for the year ended 30 April 2008. They revealed closing balances of £64.54 on C/A and £1,646.55 on D/A. The accounts and maintaining subscriptions at £2 per household were approved.
Mark Cole, Hon. Secretary, reported on the year’s activities including the new Vehicle Activated Sign;graffiti;the embankment at Braiswick Bridge;potential development at St. Botolph’s Farm;contact with First Bus and CBC regarding an additional bus stop in the vicinity of The Bricklayers on Bergholt Road;resurfacing in Bakers Lane; planning applications and damage to street furniture, lighting etc. A copy of the full report is attached to these minutes.
There were no new nominations for the election of officers and committee and the meeting approved the election en bloc of President, John Bentley;Chairman, John Spurr; Vice Chairman, Bill Barrell; Hon. Sec, Mark Cole; Hon. Treasurer, Ann Spurr; Committee, Andy Ayton, Douglas Finch, Michael Irvine and Leonie Taylor.
Anne Turrell, Ward Councillor and ECC Councillor commented on the VAS sign and that she will continue to press for a sign to cover entry into Colchester along Braiswick. Funding is coming together for the new junction from the A12 to service North Colchester including the Community Stadium. The hope is that this will be in place within the next 2/3 years. Queen Boudica Primary School at Turner Village is due to open in September 2009. A headmaster has been appointed and further appointments will be made in the months ahead.Questions were raised regarding the Local Development Framework and the possibility of 2000 properties being built on land between Bergholt Road and Mile End Road - this is still at the discussion stage; and also the opening of the bus and taxi lane from Clarendon Way to The Albert to all traffic outside of peak hours to take pressure off the traffic island at Station Approach and Remembrance Way. Traffic Officers are totally unwilling to support this but it will form part of the consultation surrounding North Station Travel Plan under the National Pilot Scheme.
Martin Goss, Ward Councillor, covered a variety of points including graffiti ("sadly a sign of the times"), not only the need to prevent this but also to ensure that any graffiti is speedily dealt with; there are problems in New Braiswick Park and efforts including a youth club based at St. Michael’s Hall at Mile End are being made to counteract this;there is hope of a youth worker being made available there; the provision of an additional bus stop outside The Bricklayers (raised by BRA with First Bus) is being processed by Paul Cansdale of CBC including a parking review; pressure is being brought on First Bus regarding a service into New Braiswick Park; the time for the use of bus passes to commence has reverted to 9.00 a.m; the Braiswick sign has been returned. The question of a damaged fence near the railway was raised and Mr. Goss will look into this.
Steve Walsom, Police Neighbourhood Specialist Officer, whose brief covers St. Johns, Highwoods, Mile End and Braiswick spoke of the Neighbourhood Action Panel Group comprising various agencies including the police and local councillors which meets monthly to consider difficulties which arise. He advised the meeting that Braiswick is "not a problem area and can be regarded as safe". He too referred to problems at New Braiswick Park which coupled with other areas on his watch finds anti-social behaviour by youths. The police are working with a variety of agencies to deal with this The police cannot do this alone but he mentioned Highwoods where a dispersal order has been obtained which allows a group of more than two to be dealt with. Whilst this is early days there has been a 42% decrease in incidents involving youths. There is an increase in the number of cannabis "factories" across Essex, that being found in the former post office on Bergholt Road being a local example. People, many of Chinese extraction, are renting properties, sometimes in "well to do" areas and setting up these operations. If we become suspicious of toing and froing at a property then do not hesitate to contact the police. A resident of Fernlea raised the question of noisy parties in New Braiswick Park and what can be done? The first port of call is CBC who can measure noise etc. and take action if necessary.
In the Open Discussion which followed the following points were raised:
1. A recent firework display (at a wedding reception?) at the Golf Club had disturbed a nearby neighbour’s pets. Was it possible for the Club to inform neighbours of such events where fireworks were to be used as they did in the summer? John Spurr will raise with the Secretary/Manager. Overall the feeling of the meeting was that the Golf Club is a good neighbour.
2. Mrs. Furnival of 48 Braiswick had contacted the Hon. Secretary prior to the meeting regarding a smouldering smell at night. The resident of 29a Braiswick commented that he has had the same experience but despite efforts cannot trace the source. Coincidentally another member had recently told the Hon. Secretary how much he enjoyed the autumn smell of bonfires!
3. It was observed that a "police speed trap" had recently been set up mid-morning when the best time to catch speeding motorists is between 6.30 a.m and 8.30 a.m and 6.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. Perhaps the VAS will help to reduce this?
4. Harry Kerr urged caution when accepting assurances that planning permission covered what was being done on site and quoted his experience with regard to Lexden Wood Golf Club. Becoming tired of and concerned about the soil and material being delivered to the Club he visited CBC and read through the planning permission. This clearly stated that there should be no import or export of soil and no licence had been granted for this. He therefore contacted the Environment Agency and lorry movements for this purpose were stopped within 48 hours. It therefore pays to read the small print of such permissions if you have any concerns.
5. Andy Ayton thanked the committee members for their efforts but especially Mark Cole for the work he undertakes on behalf of the Association. This was endorsed and those present requested that this be minuted.
There being no further business, the Chairman thanked everyone for attending and repeated his thanks to the Golf Club for use of the facilities before closing the meeting at 9.10 p.m.

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