Gardens & wildlife

RHS Minutes 2015-09-29 AGM

See reports of our AGMs going back from 2015 to 2006

Minutes of the 2015 AGM of the Round Hill Society, held at the Tower Room, Salvation Army building, Rose Hill at 7pm on Tuesday 29th September 2015.

The meeting was attended by 22 voting members, plus Shirley May, Madeleine Cary and Chris Sevink from Ditchling Road Residents Association (DRARA), PCSO Bonnie Scovell, Roger Amerena from the B&H Heritage Commission (BHHC), Wendy Taylor and Grant Henderson from Cranstoun. The 22 members were Annie Rimingtom (chair), Sandy Thomas (vice-chair), Carol Hall (treasurer), Rob Stephenson (secretary), Kate Rice (lead – community events), Barbara Harris (committee member), Ted Power (lead – planning), Jan Curry (Lead – greening Round Hill) plus Jenn Price, Marigold Rogers, Jane Power, Henry Thomas, Dan Burdsey, Siefeins (?) Rosso, Nigel Thomas (?), Elodie Adart, Ben Osborne, Ari Hamalailen, Dominic Furlong, Jackie Jones, Ruth Melia and Adam Thorpe. Apologies were received from Ray Knight (committee member) and Barry Hughes (Sylvan Hall Residents' Association).

Minutes of last meeting: after outlining the evening's programme Annie R summarised last year's minutes and asked the members to approve them, which was done by show of hands.

Election of new committee: no new names came forward for the committee, two valued people (Boo Vaughan and Cath Kronhamn) had left due to pressure of work and family commitments, but the room approved the existing nine committee members continue in their roles for another year (see above).

Richmond House - Wendy Taylor (Deputy Director) and Grant Henderson (Manager B&H Service) spoke about the progress of the drug and alcohol treatment centre being developed at Richmond House, they expect the ground floor treatment rooms to be ready in late October/early November, and the first floor administrative space a little later. Previous experience, Grant said, leads him not to expect a rise in drug and alcohol issues in the area when the centre is in use, but he understood our fears and would be available to address any issues which might arise. He hopes and expects that the centre will become a good neighbor, which will becme part of the community. An open day is planned. Six people have so far put themselves forward to represent the community on a liaison group. The centre will operate 9 to 5 weekdays and probably Saturday mornings.

Annual accounts - Carol H presented a summary of the annual accounts. £3600 in October last year has become £4400 now because income was £800 larger than expenditure, mainly because of a £300 grant from the Council as yet unspent and £800 from Community Works, a sum intended to compensate the society for time taken elsewhere by Rob S in his elected role as a Community Works representative. The newsletter (Round Hill Reporter) now makes a little money, advertising being higher than printing costs.

Winners of the Greening Round Hill competition. Jan C described the process of selecting winners. Five frontages were chosen by Jan C, Barbara H and Cllr Pete West on a walk in June and the two represented at the meeting received their prizes (£10 B&Q vouchers). There was also a prize for a poem, which will appear in the next Reporter. There was general support for repeating the event next year, but perhaps judging a little later in the season.

Round Hill Playsafe / Street Play - Kate R spoke about our regular Playsafe events and the need for more adult volunteers to help control traffic. Recently tea and biscuits/cake have appeared, so you might like to attend even if you have no young children. Typically Sunday afternoons, 3pm to 5pm. Next will be Halloween in Mayo Road. Last year the halloween event attracted perhaps 50 children, there were pumpkins to carve, doughnuts to eat without hands (!) and lots of dressing-up.

Environmental issues - Sandy T spoke on environmental issues, which she described as rubbish, recycling and dog poo. She noted that things have improved immesurably since her report at the last AGM where rubbish rage and the striking operatives featured heavily. Since then we have cultivated a good relationship with the new CityClean manager Richard Bradley, worked closely with Damian Marmura on local volunteer/ CityClean clear-ups and seen examples of CityClean staff 'going the extra mile' to make the place a better one. An interview with CityClean staff is planned for a forthcoming Reporter.

One resident who attended the AGM drew our attention to a practice she had seen in another neighbourhood of "providing litter pickers (rather like helping hands used to extend reach) on lamp posts", allowing passers-by to pick up rubbish without dirtying their hands. 

The new Dog Poo pilot scheme has gained support from CityClean and the Council. It is modelled on one used in the Shetland Isles, and here has attracted much interest from the Argus and local radio stations. A stencil is used to create a temporary pavement message urging people to clean up after their dogs. We have carried out a before survey, and will do an after to see if there has been an easily measured effect.

The long wall - the recent history of the long Sylvan Hall boundary wall down Wakefield Road and onto Upper Lewes Road, with its overnight spray paint art, their subsequent over-painting once it appeared they were put up without permission, and certainly without community involvement, and then the appearance of spray paint tags and other things was outlined by AnnieR. We discussed ways forward and agreed that wider community involvement was necessary, embracing Sylvan Hall, Triangle and RHS residents. Some sort of commissioning of ideas and awarding permission waas suggested. Later Adam Thorpe (Round Hill Cresecent and St Martins School of Art) suggested a model used in Barcelona, where a body manages art on certain agreed walls, to suitable standards (nothing offensive, keep a clear painted boundary frame, clean up afterwards) and issues permits for suitable entries. The process means that no one piece lasts too long as more ideas are offered. It is launched with a big event for maximum impact. We agreed to take the discussions further. Adam did note that the similarity of style of existing Brighton spraypaint murals is partly because the collective doing most come from the same roots, perhaps called MSK, though a quick net-search has revealed no meaning. His proposed approach could broaden the range of styles, given that the Council seem to favour MSK.

Community garden on excess roadway at Crescent Rd/Princes Cresent junction. This idea was put forward by Chris Paul of Bleton Rd who did not attend the meeting. Nonetheless we discussed the idea – similar to one at junction of Stanford Ave and Cleveland Rd – and decided that we needed to be sure the roadway is not valuable as a passing place, and that local residents like the idea. It might be taken further with a piece in a future Reporter seeking comments.

Round Hill Crime Report - our PCSO Bonnie Scovell summarised crime on Round Hill since January after noting that her patch is far far larger than Round Hill, and other assigned duties take her away, so we will not see her here daily. 4 burglaries (1 x Princes Rd, 2 x Crescent Rd, 1 x Richmond Rd), 3 bikes stolen, 1 motorbike and 1 moped stolen (Bike found), Vauxhall Corsa stolen from Upper Lewes Rd, and damage to a front door in Princes Crescent. Annie R drew attention to Bonnie's valuable role, intervening in local disputes and problems.

Other items from 2014-15: Rob S gathered up some outstanding items from last year, notably

  • the recent Round Hill Crescent planter titivating with more bulbs, flowering plants and extra compost, as well as a general tidying up.
  • The Council gave us £300 towards the cost of buying and installing 3 A3 glazed community noticeboards. Two sites have been identified, a third is sought.
  • We have received the offer of £250 from the BHHC to help turn one of our lampposts into an earlier style, with a glazed four-sided lantern. We need to decide if it should be pursued, and at what cost.
  • The celebration of the Round Hill Society at the Mayor's Parlour was a high point of the year. Over 20 folk attended, representing the committee, the reporter deliverers, the front window Advent Calendar children and the Round Hill Crescent planter team.
  • The Advent Windows grew from Belton Road last year, and hopefully will get bigger this year – the Reporter will promote it. Seasonal singing raised £170 last year. Perhaps Cranstoun will offer their HQ as finishing point this year?

Blue Plaque Committee - Rob S then asked the meeting to approve his name going forward to the Blue Plaque Committee, as a possible member. This was proposed by Jenn price and a show of hands gave clear support.

Any Other Business: Chris Sevink (DRARA) suggested an annual meeting of the 4 local community groups (Triangle, Sylvan Hall, DRARA and RHS) to discuss common issues and learn from each other. Roger Amerena (BHHC) told us of a meeting they have planned which might fit the bill, on 10th December where Rob Fraser (Council head planner) and someone from the Biosphere project will give short talks before local groups can discuss issues and ideas.

Local planning issues were raised, and Annie R gave a summary of current 2 issues.

  • 101 Round Hill Crescent's proposal for a house in the back garden, adjoining the first house in D'Aubigny Rd, and
  • the plans for several homes in the narrow strip of land behind Crescent Rd and Belton Rd previously largely underused as offices at one end.

Objections can still be made, and information is on our website, put up by Ted Power.

Annie R attended a community liaison meeting at Veolia waste transfer/ recycling site and heard how they are still seeking solutions to both smell and noise, without any evidence of success. Ted P noted that we must keep objecting every smell and noise incident. Although it is important to log all incidents of unreasonable smell and noise with The Environment Agency so that they have a complete record of the extent of the nuisances, an extra measure could be our own social media site so that there can also be a public record of the nuisances and how they effect residents in the neighbourhoods surrounding Hollingdean Depot.  A social media site where we can make every incident much more public.

The formal meeting closed at 9pm, though informal networking continued for a further period.

See reports of our AGMs going back from 2015 to 2007

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