Minutes of Committee Meeting
Autumn 2009

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7:30pm Tuesday 29th September 2009 (preceded by DVD of 25th Anniversary afternoon at 7.00pm)

Present: Margaret Ormonde, Barry Prior, Bill Harper, Carol Gibson, Cathi Edwards, Jill Verran, Jenny Leach.

1. Apologies Vera Bodman.

2. Minutes of the last meeting (Wednesday 3rd June 2009) were approved.

3. Matters arising:

25th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
Web page imminent – photos and short version of video plus music (BP).

AGM 2010
Agreed Grace Church was good venue. Need to think about speaker for next year and arrange a date for Grace Church.
Proposals for speakers: Reading Buses; Citizens Advice Bureau or Caversham Court? MO

MAINTENANCE OF SIGNS AND SEATS
Thanks to Bryan Verran and Brian Bernard for their work on the brickwork at base of sign. Thanks to Barry Prior and Bill Harper for work on seat. The vegetation in front of the pond is due for a cut back again, but it does re-grow very quickly. If the extension to the bookmakers ever materialises, the seat would need to be moved to a more suitable location anyway.
The request for a seat by the shops by a resident in Chiltern Court has met with mixed reaction – police worried it could attract youngsters ‘out of hours’. A suggestion by one of our Councillors was that a seat could be sited on the green itself, by the new path and away from the shops. However there are two seats on the grass triangle at the junction of Surley Row and Peppard Road. The one by the tree appears in good condition. MO to check with the Council that they are happy to relocate the seat. If agreed a consultation would be needed re the prospective site near the shops.
Seat at Caversham Court – Scheme was under budget - £200 donation not required.
However a couple of seats near the village sign were in a very poor state. EGRA may have the funds to refurbish. MO to investigate.

PLANNING
At the development on Jefferson Close, notice of a fresh application from Hicks for 4 detached houses is displayed. They do not impinge on the footpath, so there should be no objections.

COMMITTEE VACANCIES AND LONGER TERM RECRUITMENT
Jenny Leach was welcomed as a new committee member. Aim to recruit, especially for key roles before the AGM; will be mentioned in Winter Newsletter, and personal approaches made to anyone who has shown an interest, or who helped in other areas.

WINTER NEWSLETTER
Circulated to committee in draft by early November for printing and distribution at end of month. MO to contact Diana Hartrup

HIGHDOWN SCHOOL
BP attended 2009 function as EGRA representative – a £25 voucher was given to each of two pupils in recognition of community service. In return EGRA was presented with medal for their contribution to the community.
The History department has borrowed all the EGRA display boards for a Year 7 project. We are happy for them continue to store them but need to know whereabouts in the school they are. MO

HILL SCHOOL
Invitation to attend School Council meeting – no response. MO to chase up

EMMER GREEN PRIMARY SCHOOL
We are also keen to retain connection with EG School. Jenny Leach explained she was spearheading a Lottery bid for £10,000 to restore the outdoor wildlife area. The forms had to be resubmitted due to a technicality, but she would appreciate written support for the project from EGRA as a representative of the wider community. Practical difficulties were raised about how the local public could access the area, and also how the site would be maintained in the longer term. There was also the possibility that EGRA could donate money to a sculpture or willow seat, but at between £300 - £500 it was felt this could be disproportionate for one school. EGRA was happy to give written support at this stage and asked JL to keep the committee informed of developments

ST BARNABAS GARDEN PARTY
A note of thanks was received from the GP committee thanking EGRA for their involvement and donation of £10


4 TREASURER'S REPORT

Contact for possible cheaper PLI insurance supplied. BP

13 subs from 2009 and 4 from 2008 remained outstanding. Although when members renewed most paid for 5 years ahead, it was agreed to increase the annual sub to £1.50 for one year to encourage more five-year payments of £5.00. This would need to be announced at next AGM. CADRA had recently introduced an electronic collection system and it was agreed this could be looked into in the future.

Funds stood at just over £3600, but we had to carefully balance income and expenditure (currently running even). An increase in interest rates might help this, but a future rise in the annual membership fee could not be ruled out.


5 FEEDBACK FROM COMMITTEES
Neighbourhood Action Group update.
Meeting 28/07/09. Survey conducted as prelude to re-launch towards end of year. It was agreed that the Upper Caversham NAG should remain independent and we awaited news from the police. Links with Highdown School were part of the plans and future meetings could be held there.

North Reading Youth Project
Three plans had been put forward as part of a feasibility report to extend the Community Centre into Emmer Green Children’s Centre. These plans have been rejected due to lack of emergency school access. We await revised one. Also of concern is the fact that facilities for older children would be sidelined due to lack of space. We wondered as both the school and community centre belonged to the Council, whether any co-operation could take place between the two. JV mentioned the land where the doctors’ car park was still belonged to the school.

Age Concern Meeting
13/07/09 These meetings continue to be well attended with good speakers. The next meeting was 14th December at St Barnabas Church Hall. Associated Thai Chi classes are proving very popular and attendees use the Parish Centre for after-class coffee. Other ways to use the Parish Centre was the possible re-introduction of the luncheon club.

Reading Older People’s Partnership meeting 29/09/09 (MO) was an opportunity to be part of the nationwide ‘Big Care Debate’, where we heard about ways to help people to stay independent for longer and possible fair ways of funding the proposals. Feedback was welcomed.



6 AOB:

1.Safety of Schoolchildren at Emmer Green Primary:
Parking on green opposite school. It appears over the last year this problem has escalated. The land belongs to the Council and because and although they disprove they there is no funding for bollards. CE and JV reported traffic wardens have been in attendance this term. Despite much effort (CE) there had been no response to the position of school crossing patrol person.

2. Trees in park
Damage and replacement. Council have promised to review matters. MO will chase

3. Emmer Green Recreation Ground.
Surveys had been circulated requiring views on replacement equipment for the children’s playground as well as general use of the park. JV mentioned the lack of play equipment for young children at Clayfield Copse and was awaiting a response to an email sent to Cllr Mark Ralph.

4. Reading 2020 Forum attendance 17/11/09.
This annual meeting looked ahead the the town’s future. MO had represented EGRA for the last few years. BP would attend this year if he was free.

5. Gravel Hill Survey results.
Information had already been posted on the September web updates. The road closed in June and about 70 affected EGRA households had been invited to respond to a survey. Over twenty varied replies had been received and a summary returned to those who had, and to the Council (thanks received).

6.Wood carvings in Clayfield Copse.
JL reported how these were sadly disintegrating. One had been restored by Bryan Verran. They were carved from a storm felled cedar tree in about 1996. Although more regular preservative treatments might have helped, it appeared they were rotting from the inside out. The Berkshire Woodcarvers would be contacted to see if they were interested in carving any replacements with the possibility of EGRA funding materials (possibly oak, or a more suitable cedar).JV

7.Path alongside White Horse Pub
CG had received a request from a member to restore the white line on the raised pavement, as elderly residents found it increasingly difficult to identify the edge.

8. Accident on new path near shops.
The wife of the member had fallen recently and BP had responded to the email and offered advice. It was unclear whether the incident occurred on Council owned land.



7. DATE AND VENUE FOR NEXT MEETING:
7.30 at BP’s house 35 Kiln Road Thursday December 3rd