The Kingsway Residents Association held it’s first AGM on November 23rd.
Considering that we were obliged to hold this meeting on a Tuesday evening, it was reasonably well-attended, (although I didn’t do a head count).
The meeting lasted for almost 3 hours and discussions covered a large range of topics.
Please Note: The following is my recollection (aided by my notes), and is NOT intended to be an official report. The official minutes – produced by the RA Secretary – will be made available from the Residents Association Home Page, as soon as I receive them.
The meeting opened with Chairman Barry Kirby thanking outgoing committee members for their work during the past year and outlining some of our achievements, problems and events:
As Barry mentioned, the need for Public Liability Insurance curtailed our plans to hold an Easter Event, but with donations from the Quedgeley Community Trust (responsible for the Quedgeley News), the Quedgeley Parish Council and the QUVL, PLI was purchased and we were able to hold a very successful Big Lunch in July and a fun Halloween Event in October, both of which – along with miscellaneous donations – contributed to our coffers, leaving the Association with a positive bottom line to start the next year.
We also created and adopted a Constitution, held quarterly meetings featuring a number of guest speakers including Parmjit Dhanda, Fred Wood, Andy Amith (QUVL) and members of the local Police.
Some of our other acheivements included acting as a focal point for local issues (via this website and our meetings), the addition of the Post Box (in Valley Gardens), information regarding Street Lamps (which has led to far more of them being switched on) and opening a communication channel with The Citizen to reply to some of the unfair and exaggerated negative press coverage regarding Kingsway Village.
Residents suggestions for future speakers included representatives from both the Highways and Planning Departments and for events a Quiz Night and an Easter Event.
The meeting discussed the election of officers for the forthcoming year. Once again we received exactly 10 volunteers for the 10 available posts, so no elections were necessary. The new committee will be as follows:
|Name||Primary Responsibility||Secondary Focus|
|Kimberley Poppitt ***||Secretary|
|Morwenna Grindle||Press Secretary|
|Laura Jude||Social Secretary|
|Tracey Hodgson||General Member|
|Clive Barton||General Member||Kingsway Website|
|Aron Townend||General Member||Military Liasion|
|Steve Brookes ***||General Member|
|Chris Saturley||General Member|
*** Steve resigned his place shortly after this post was added
*** Kimberley resigned in April 2011
As part of his introduction, Aron reported that – of the (approximately) 450 service personnel and families making up project ARK, Kingsway is now home to a fair number of servicemen and families, chiefly UK Army & some Fijians, comprising a cross-section of ranks – and that some of those servicemen are buying homes here in Kingsway.
Parking was (again) discussed, with Barry reporting that interested parties are trying to push forward and investigate solutions, and suggestions from the floor included asking local Police to post community-produced notices on the windscreens of irresponsibly parked cars.
Local Community Police officers Sam Jones & Debbie Llewellyn gave some details of local SARA plans, with Sam stating that he would be the main Community Police contact for Kingsway in the future, whilst Fraser Mackie will be concentrating on Quedgeley.
Whereas in most areas an individual is chosen (or volunteers) to represent the local community for SARA purposes, it has been decided that the Residents Association Committee will fulfil this role for Kingsway (see this post for more details).
Sam mentioned in passing that more than 100 Kingsway families include Police officers! He also reported back with some details from the Have Your Say Day, mentioning that the most common issues were related to speeding and parking. Sam said that investigations into speeding issues revealed that most drivers were in fact keeping reasonably close to the legal limits, and stated that people’s (including his) perception of speed is often over-estimated.
Regarding ASB, Sam mentioned that the 25% increase reported by The Citizen failed to take account of the fact that one street on Kingsway (comprising 16 houses) accounted for 65 calls during that period!
He reported that the CCTV in Kingsway Park has now been fixed and will soon be treated with anti-climb paint (my notes aren’t brilliant here… he may in fact have said that it already has been), and that images from the camera are now available to the Police.
One local resident mentioned that he had been the victim of a burglary recently, and that the Burglars had actually knocked on his neighbours door to tell them that he was "moving somebody in a few doors up, so please ignore any loud banging noises"!
PC Jones said that local residents should be on the look out for similar occurrences and that folks who habitually leave their houses empty during the day might consider leaving a TV or Radio on, or buying timer switches to turn lights on and off at intervals, thus giving the impression that the premises are occupied.
It was also pointed out that the Military Police will soon be visible in the neighbourhood, and will work alongside the local Police Force to help to curb/deter criminal/antisocial behaviour in Kingsway.
Emily Jones addressed the meeting, giving details of Project Solace (a city-wide initiative to tackle high level ASB and prevent incidents of ASB within the private sector) (More on that in this post).
Emily is the ASB Officer for the project and the multi-agency team includes 2 Officers from Gloucestershire Constabulary and representatives of Gloucester City Council in partnership with Gloucester City Homes.
They will deal primarily with tenants of private houses, and with parks and open spaces (see here for more information), working with private landlords to make them more accountable for their tenants.
They are able to facilitate (civil) court injunctions to ban individuals from areas via community surveys, as opposed to complaints and proof "beyond reasonable doubt" as required by criminal courts of the Police.
Members of the Project Solace team will survey 100% of properties in Kingsway, correlating information on ASB and mapping all Private Landlords’ properties, so that they can enforce legislation (and give support) to deal with antisocial tenants. They will also be investigating ways to remove and prevent graffitti.
Andy Smith (QUVL) addressed the meeting, talking of their obligations to the Council, Planning and Facilities, and distributed copies of the QUVL strategic programme outlining plans and dates for completion of local works.
Andy reported that Hitchins have delayed the opening of the Naas Lane to Woodvale Road, and that adoption of the balancing ponds is now planned for April 2011 (and Framework Pan 1 will swiftly follow).
Community Phase 1 – starting in January 2011 – should coincide with 2000 occupied houses, and will include construction of the Kingsway Community Centre – targetted for completion in October/November 2011 (plans were altered following consultation with Quedgeley Parish Council, Kingsway Residents Association, and others), construction of the local shopping centre (to include Tesco Express and a large chemist).
Marstons will be taking on our local Pub’ and – in February, QUVL will be commencing construction of the large play area/sports park, to include numerous indoor facilities and 16 pieces of apparatus/play equipment.
Construction of the Kingsway circular footway was due to re-commence yesterday and Andy reported that the QUVL are hoping to complete the vast majority of it by February 2011.
Finally Andy said that he will continue to attend future meetings and give details of plans up to three months ahead.
As a final point, it was mentioned that the recently announced Government spending cuts will are most likely to impact the Youth Pod (because of cuts in the Youth Service), although Sam Jones and Fred Woods added that interested partes are already discussing ways to prevent that from happening.