MINUTES OF THE FIFTIETH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE BRANKSOME PARK, CANFORD CLIFFS AND DISTRICT RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION,
HELD AT 10.30am ON SATURDAY, 14th MAY 2011
IN CANFORD CLIFFS VILLAGE HALL
- Mr John Sprackling Chairman
- Mr Wayne Hancock Vice-Chairman
- Mr Paul Fearnley Hon Treasurer
- Mr Keith Alcroft Planning Officer
- Mrs Carol Parkin Secretary/Minutes Secretary
- Mr John Gunton Magazine Editor
- Robert Syms MP
- Cllr Mrs May Haines
- Cllr Neil Sorton
- And approx 40 Members/Wardens of the Association
The Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance. In particular he welcomed the guests mentioned above. JS said that he had been hoping that Liz Wilkinson, Poole Chief Finance Officer, would be our Guest Speaker but that Mrs Wilkinson had recently advised him that she would not be able to attend as she had a family commitment that could not be re-arranged. This left it rather too late to find an alternative. JS said that this would provide more time for an open Question and Answer session for members.
Apologies were received from Cllr Peter Pawlowski, Terry Stewart, Long Prom Dresses online Michael Bond, Bob & Phyllis Young, Martin Heath, Pat & Laurie Martin, Amanda & Craig Beveridge, Rose Rogers, Dinah Rogers and Ken Sanson, Chairman of the Sandbanks Assn.
3. AGM 2010 MINUTES: Accuracy & Matters Arising
The Chairman reminded members that the Minutes of the AGM held on 10th May 2010 had been included in the Autumn 2010 magazine. The Chairman said that he had not been contacted about their accuracy and asked for a show of hands to approve the Minutes as no queries had arisen. This was given and the Minutes were approved.
4. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
The Chairman proposed to limit his report to the up-dating of items included in the Spring magazine as follows:
Borough of Poole- Local Development Framework - the public consultation on the Poole Site Specific Allocations and Development Management Policies Development Plan Document (DPD) closes on 27/05/11.
JS said that there is some concern that policies H10, BE23, BE24 in the Poole Local Plan are being lost and these are not adequately covered by policy PCS 23 in the Poole Core Strategy. JS said that, for ease of reference, he would include the text of the relevant policies in the Minutes. See foot of these Minutes.
Planning Enforcement, Tree Preservation Orders/Tree replacements
147 Banks Road (Felling of five trees) – at the Court hearing on 20/04/11, the two defendants pleaded “Not Guilty” and the case was adjourned until 18th May at 2.00pm at Poole Magistrates Court for a case management hearing. The date of the trial will be fixed at this Hearing.
23 Ravine Road (Felling of two TPO”d trees) – the defendant pleaded “Not Guilty” Most Popular Evening Dresses online and this case was adjourned for a case management hearing on 13th July at 2.15pm at Poole Magistrates Court when
Mr Hunter will have to appear he is not represented. This hearing will be followed by a trial at Bournemouth Magistrates Court at 10.00am on 25th July.
Heavytree Road – a Council Solicitor has informed JS that the Council is still waiting to hear from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and it is entirely in the hands of the CPS in this case
“Sunken Garden” at Pinecliff Gardens – Work has started on this project.
Public Rights of Way:
Footpath 82 Spur (Off Panorama Road) – At its Extraordinary General Meeting on 26/03/11, the Royal Motor Yacht Club members voted overwhelmingly in favour of purchasing the Sandbanks Boatyard and Marina Company for a price up to £1.5m.
There is some commercially sensitive ground still to cover before the purchase can be completed, and the representatives of the RMYC will be trying to sort out a number of issues that the SBMC Ltd has with its neighbours.
Sites in Poole formerly owned by Orb Estates and its subsidiaries – The Association continues to take a close interest in these properties (two of which are on Borough-owned land).
Old Orchard House. 39-61 High Street – The 3rd instalment of the Employment Contribution of £150,000 due on 01/01/11 is outstanding. There is a letter from the owners dated 12/05/11 which has been posted on the Planning Application website which refers to an “updated invoice” but no other information is currently available.
Council Tax 2010/2011 – As JS mentioned in his report, there are two important programmes offering scope for producing efficiencies and savings – for the benefit of Poole’s council tax payers. Firstly, the Council”s Efficiency Review Programme and, secondly, the Corporate Asset Management Plan 2010-11 as one of our newly elected Ward Councillors, namely Cllr Peter Pawlowski, was the Strategic Director responsible for both schemes, JS said that he was hoping that he would be keeping a close eye on both these projects.
Friends of Poole Park – JS reported that Seven Developments exchanged contracts with owners of the Mezza Luna restaurant in Poole Park some months ago but there has been a delay in reassigning the lease. JS said that he had been denied sight of the 2007 lease but plans to pursue this via the Information Commissioner.
Poole Borough Council – Committee Dates
JS informed members that they might like to note the following dates for committee meetings in the near future:
The next Canford Cliffs and Penn Hill Area meeting is not due to be held until 27 July. JS said that one of the first decisions of the Conservative Group in May 2003 was the emasculation of the Area Committees by changing the composition of two Area Committees comprising Canford Cliffs, Penn Hill & Parkstone Wards and Alderney, Newtown and the former Bourne Valley Wards. He had recently “lobbied” newly appointed Cllr Sally Carpenter about the composition of the Area Committees and Sally had replied “Personally I don”t think that area committees work very well and I will raise the issue as soon as I can to get a review”
Reconvened Meeting of Annual Council: 16 May
Newtown and Parkstone Area Meeting*: 18 May
Planning Committee: 26 May
Data Protection Officer – JS paid tribute to Stan Alfert who was stepping down as Data Protection Officer having been looking after the Membership database for the last 15/20 years. JS said that he was pleased to say that Stan would continue to attend the Association”s monthly meetings.
Ralph Dymond – JS was sorry to report that Mr Dymond, who was Chairman of the Assn from 1993 until May 1996, passed away on 21/02/11. Prior to these roles, Mr Dymond was Honorary Secretary. In more recent years, Mr Dymond has regularly attended the Association”s AGM.
JS also paid tribute to the help and support which he receives from the Association”s President. Terry Stewart.
5. TREASURER’S REPORT
The income and expenditure for 2010 is broadly in line with that of the previous year and with the budget. This year we made donations of nearly £5,000 to community projects and assistance with legal costs relating to development.
We have £31,000 in the bank to cover any future costs relating to protecting the local environment.
We thank members for their continued support and encourage members if possible to pay subscriptions by standing order or online transfer. If you wish to pay by cheque I have agreed with Barclays that cheques can be made payable to BPCCRA.
In the Autumn we intend to ask members to update their standing order mandates for three reasons:
To transfer all income to our Barclays bank account so that we can close down the redundant Santander account.
To revise payment amounts to our current rate (some members are still paying £1 or £2 p.a. which does not cover the cost of the magazine)
To update our contact information, which is becoming seriously out of date.”
6. APPOINTMENT OF AUDITOR:
Peter Schofield had audited the Accounts and has agreed to continue for a further year. JS asked for approval by the meeting and this was given by a show of hands.
7. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN
Wayne Hancock proposed that John Sprackling continue as Chairman and called for a show of hands to confirm his appointment.
- 8. ELECTION OF EXECUTIVE
JS proposed that the following members be elected as the executive committee for the coming year be elected “en bloc”.
John Morrison suggested that we see if there are any nominations for the Executive Committee positions before proceeding as there may be people who wish to be involved. JS replied that this was of course right and asked the meeting if there were any nominations. There were none and so the existing Executive Committee were unanimously elected en bloc.
A show of hands carried the motion.
President Terry Stewart
Chairman John Sprackling
Vice Chairman Wayne Hancock
Treasurer Paul Fearnley
Membership Secretary Michael Bond
Planning Officer Keith Alcroft
Secretary/Minute Secretary Carol Parkin
Magazine Editor John Gunton
Magazine Advertising Bob Young
7. OPEN FORUM
JS welcomed Robert Syms MP who then proceeded to give a short talk to the meeting. He began by saying that it is just over a year since the present government was formed, and gave a brief history of how it came into being as a coalition. He explained that the Lib Dems were a relative small number in government in Mrs Thatcher’s day but now have quite a good representation. It was therefore necessary to form a coalition with the Conservative Party to give a majority government in order to get on with the job of sorting out the economic mess which they are now doing. Even so he expects the country’s debt to have doubled and income and expenditure to remain at the same level at the end of the present government’s five year period.
This period of austerity unfortunately means that there have to be cuts and there have had to be some tough decisions on where these will take place.
His second point is the problem we have always had with our benefits system. A large number of people who are capable of work find that it is more economically viable to remain on the benefits system. The unskilled jobs that have been created have been filled mainly with immigrants. So the other thing that has to be done by the current Government is Welfare Reform. He then went on to explain that the Government plan in order that when an unemployed person takes a job they remains better off by retaining some of their benefits which will be phased out over time.
The third issue that he went on to mention was immigration. The cap that will be brought in will try to restore the immigration system to normality where there is a cap on low-skilled persons but the opportunity remains to allow immigration of required skilled persons.
The final point he brought up was the ‘police’ who are tied up in an enormous amount of bureaucracy. The issue is not the number of police we have, but rather what we do with our police officers. One of the Government’s objectives is to cut the amount of bureaucracy.
He ended by saying that he hoped that we would be in better shape next May.
JS then asked if there were any questions for Mr. Syms.
Denis Riley asked when the proposals to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 would be put into effect.
Robert Syms replied that the legislation has already been passed and that probably would take effect by the end of this year or the beginning of next year and pointed out that this was not an easy task.
Roy Pointer then asked Mr. Syms to comment on the Government’s approach to the changes in the NHS and asked for his views as to why the current system could not be made to work super efficiently.
Mr. Syms answered by saying that the current Government intends to maintain the staffing levels of the NHS, and pointed out that the last Government made major changes without making any great announcements. He feels that devolving decisions and money down to small units is the best way forward, and he thinks it right that the Government should pause to listen to what people are saying.
A member said that he is getting the impression – on the business of education and the NHS – that there is a lot of ‘cackhandedness’ going on. Why does the Government make themselves easy targets for the other side of the house?
Mr. Syms replied that generally people are aware of the difficulties and challenges beforehand but sometimes there is unexpected public opposition as in the NHS. He doesn’t feel that the Government on the whole has been cack-handed, but admits that in the case of the NHS and the forest issue they have not been too good. He pointed out that the last Government sold 40,000 acres of forestry and never told anybody. It is necessary when making changes to say why changes have to be made and what the Government has not done, regarding the NHS, is to fully explain the benefits of turning it upside down. Some people in Government are good communicators whilst others just get on with the job and get into trouble. Mr. Syms doesn’t feel that the benefits were explained clearly.
A member then asked what was going to be done about Nick Clegg who has said publicly that he is totally opposed to the changes in the NHS.
Mr. Syms answered by saying that they just have to work together, and this means compromise.
Most of the time most of the Lib.Dems have voted for most of what the Government is doing.
John Gunton asked what does Mr. Syms think of the idea of ‘elected Police Commissioners’.
Mr. Syms replied by saying that to be absolutely honest he wasn’t sure. For instance, if all the Police Commissioners were representatives of the BNP there would be problems. So it really depends on the sort of person who wishes to stand for election to a Police Commissioner. They would presumably all be sensible people, but there is always a risk that policing would become politicised.
John Gunton’s answer to this is to ‘trust the electorate’
Mr. Syms then gave the example of the elected mayor in London working quite well, whilst in Stoke on Trent the post was abolished and one or two other areas where it hasn’t worked out. Therefore he has reservations.
Kevin Goldstein-Jackson asked was it true that Poole Business rates were paid to Central Government and even part of Poole Council rates, as this seems to mean that in effect we are subsidising others.
The short answer to this is ‘yes’. All the business rates from across the UK go into one pot and are re-allocated. Some areas benefit from this and some don’t. Mr. Syms doesn’t know whether Poole benefits or not and so if it would be better to have control of our own business rates. He suspects that it wouldn’t make a great deal of difference. On the subject of Council rates there is something called the Council Tax Subsidy system where out of every £5 a tenant pays the council, £1 is put into a general pot, and out of this pot poorer councils – mainly Central London and other large cities – get subsidies. Mr. Syms himself is very unhappy about this as it means the poor areas of Poole are subsidising other authorities. This is a very complicated area which has gone on for years and needs reforming.
A member then asked ‘why are we constantly denied a referendum on the EU?’
Mr. Syms feels that before this is done, the most sensible thing for any government to do is to have a cost/benefit analysis to determine the benefits of Britain remaining in the EU. At some point we may well have to have a referendum, but he doesn’t think that this point has been reached yet. In the short term we have to get a much better financial agreement, and also to stop any further powers going to Europe.
JS thanked Robert Syms and brought the question/answer session to a close.
8. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
JS said that over 200 members receive the Minutes of the Association”s monthly meetings by e-mail but approx 80 receive these by post. This is costing the Association approximately £100/month for printing and postage.
This was discussed at a monthly meeting a little while ago and the meeting agreed to bring this up at the AGM with two options.
- Firstly to charge these members an additional cost to cover the minutes, and
- Secondly for these members to actively ‘opt in’ to being on the distribution list by contacting either JS or CP to confirm that they still require to receive these minutes, as there may be members who no longer wish to receive them. If a member actively ‘opts-in’ his/her/their name will remain on the distribution list.
Stan Alfert asked the Chairman to confirm the costs per member. JS replied that there were approximately 80 members receiving the minutes by mail and the cost was about £100 a month, to which SA remarked that the cost per month per member was approximately three times the amount of the yearly subscription subscription.
John Morrison said that he thinks the ‘opt-in’ idea is eminently suitable as he would not wish to exclude members on the basis that they do not have an e mail.
John Gunton suggested putting a copy of the minutes up in the Library. JS said that this could certainly be done.
Kevin Goldstein-Jackson asked who these members were and JS reiterated that they were members who did not have access to the Internet. It was suggested that copies of the previous minutes be available at meetings.
This will be one.
JS agreed that in the first instance we ask the members who receive minutes by mail to ‘opt-in’ to see if this eliminates any of them.
John Porter asked was it in fact the case that Mark Howell (PPP) declined to take up the offer of the Chairmanship of the Planning Committee, as reported in the Echo?
Neil Sorton said that this was an agreed Press Statement and he believed it to be the case.
John Morrison brought up the subject of Area Committees as he did not feel that they were working as they should. Although these meetings are meant to be an opportunity for residents to raise concerns, the procedure for doing so is not clear. This view was also expressed by a resident at the last Canford Cliffs & Penn Hill Area Committee meeting.
Ian Walker asked Robert Syms to comment on how the Localism Bill will affect the planning in Poole.
Mr. Syms replied that to comment fully on this would take a whole Seminar. Essentially it will mean involving much smaller communities in Poole in the planning process, which he feels is a good thing. He suggests that when it becomes law, we should try to arrange for somebody who is much more “au fait” with the situation to come and give us a talk. He hopes that it will lead to better planning.
John Porter said that he would be extremely interested to know why Seven Developments have taken over the Mezza Luna restaurant in Poole Park. He has not so far been able to get any information from Poole Council and wonders if this is a ‘done deal’.
May Haines replied that she doesn’t know if this is a ‘done deal’. Her understanding is that if Mezza Luna is classed as a restaurant, chances are that it would have to remain as such. But as she hasn’t researched this subject she can’t tell us what exactly the situation is.
JS said that he was watching this situation closely.
John Gunton requested that people let him know if they have articles or pictures for the magazine.
JS thanked John Gunton for distributing the magazine.
Bob Milligan asked Mr. Syms if he could comment on the latest situation on the MP’s expenses fiasco.
Robert Syms replied that a system was set up at the end of last Parliament and this has caused a lot of upset for the new members. However, now it has got much better, even though it is still not perfect.
There being no further questions, the Chairman closed the meeting at 11.45am and invited members to stay for refreshments.
NOTE FOR ALL MEMBERS WHO RECEIVE THESE MINUTES BY ORDINARY MAIL.
If you still wish to receive these minutes through Royal Mail on a monthly basis could you please inform either John Sprackling (751553) or Carol Parkin (706591).
If you do not contact either John or Carol your name will be removed from the Royal Mail distribution system and you will no longer receive minutes by this route. If you receive the minutes by email, these will continue to be distributed as at present.
This will ensure that only the members who wish to receive the monthly minutes by Royal Mail or by Email will continue to do so.
H10 Low density housing
Within the areas of low density housing shown on the proposals map, residential development will take the form of single detached dwellings in substantial plots which reflect the character of the area., the scale, form, siting and plot coverage of new dwellings in these areas should respect their open and/or treed character.
BE23 Conservation Areas – Low density development
Within The Avenue, Branksome Park, Brunstead Road, Canford Cliffs and Evening Hill Conservation Areas, residential development should take the form of single household detached dwellings on sites of a size consistent with that existing in the area.
BE24 Conservation Areas – Character
Within The Avenue, Beach Road, Branksome Park, Brunstead Road, Canford Cliffs, North Canford Cliffs and Evening Hill Conservation Areas, proposals for development, including changes of use from residential to institutional and other non-residential uses, or extensions to properties already in those uses, will not be permitted where the character of the area will be adversely affected by the bulk, appearance, height, massing, design, proximity to boundaries, effect upon existing trees, setting, removal of hedgerows along the boundaries of properties and the hard surfacing of garden areas for car parking.
PCS 23 – LOCAL DISTINCTIVENESS
Proposals for development will exhibit a high standard of design and will complement or enhance Poole’s character, local identity and cultural vitality. To meet these requirements, development will be permitted provided that:
A: it adheres to the following character and design principles:
i. it respects the setting and character of the site, surrounding area and adjoining buildings by virtue of its function, siting, landscaping and amenity space, scale, density, massing, height, design details, materials and appearance;
ii. public spaces and routes through sites are planned as an integral part of the overall development;
iii. doors and windows face onto public space, contributing to the appearance of the area and the safety of public spaces;
iv. in areas of commercial use, the arrangement of accesses and uses contribute to the vitality of the space onto which they face;
- any external lighting does not harm the character or appearance of the area;
B: in the Town Centre and Associated Waterfronts:
i. building designs, quay walls, streetscapes and flood defences contribute positively to the urban waterfront character of Poole, having regard to the wider landscapes of Poole Harbour, the Dorset AONB and Holes Bay;
ii. new development on Poole Quay respects the historic environment, reflects traditional plot divisions, retains and enhances historic alleyways and street patterns and, where opportunities exist, provides new alleyways;
iii. proposals demonstrate how they enhance townscape quality, character and vitality of the area;
iv. it assists in reducing the dominance and severance of roads at key locations;
it preserves or enhances Listed Buildings and their settings, Conservation Areas, and features of historical or architectural interest, including views and settings of landmark buildings;
C: in Other Waterfront Areas:
i. it respects the shoreline character of the area, including the wider landscape of Poole Harbour, Poole Bay and the Dorset Area of Natural Beauty;
ii. in the vicinities of Holes Bay, Upton Marsh/Lytchett Bay and Upton Country Park, it does not have a detrimental impact upon the wider landscape character of these areas or the Town Centre;
iii. at Sandbanks, the uniform spacing and height of buildings on the Causeway is not disrupted, and harbour views through building gaps, and the mature wooded character and established beachline on the peninsula are retained;
iv. the setting of the sandspit is not harmed by overly dominant buildings or insensitive designs;
v. the peninsula’s interior and Conservation Area retains its character of predominantly detached houses;
D: Town and Local Centres:
i. it does not undermine the principal retail and community functions or vitality of the centre;
ii. shop fronts, signs and building frontages are high in quality and enhance the character of the centre;
iii. it supports the improvement and enhancement of the local centre by contributing to the delivery of:
a. new, high-quality paving, street furniture and lighting along pedestrian routes and in public squares / spaces;
b. hard and soft landscaping, including tree planting;
c. a reduction in the severance caused by roads in the local centre through the sensitive design of pedestrian crossings, parking areas, railings and other barriers, and traffic management measures;
d. better facilities and/or meeting places for young people;
e. the incorporation of public art as an intrinsic component of environmental enhancements;
E: within or visible from County Landscape Areas:
i. hedgerows and mature trees along roads are retained;
ii. it does not have a detrimental impact upon the County Landscape Areas, having regard to:
a. the coastal setting of Poole Bay Cliffs, Poole Harbour/ Holes Bay and Upton/Lytchett Bay Marsh, and associated distant views;
b. the setting of settlements, Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings within the wider landscape context of North Poole Heath/Farm Fringe, Merley/Canford River Terrace and Lower Stour Valley;
c. the open heathland character of Corfe Hills Heath and Canford Heath;
d. the countryside character of Upton Park and Farmland;
F: for sites containing or adjacent to Trees, Open Spaces and Woodlands:
i. it retains woodlands and mature trees and tree belts, particularly where such trees form a distinctive edge, ridge or canopy or provide an important enclosure for public spaces;
ii. it respects the setting and character of natural areas and viewpoints, including Compton Acres, Luscombe Valley, the Harbour, Poole Bay and Evening Hill;
iii. it does not have a detrimental impact upon the character of parks or other open spaces; and
G: within or adjacent to Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings:
i. it preserves or enhances the character of Conservation Areas and retains important historical or architectural features;
ii. it does not have a detrimental impact upon Listed Buildings, their curtilage or setting within a wider landscape context;
iii. it does not detract from landmark buildings or important views of these.
In those areas subject to significant change, where proposals are likely to change the “sense of place”, regard should be had to their setting and character, and in particular developments should positively reflect the overarching vision for the area. Innovative and high quality design should contribute to a significant enhancement of these areas