Minutes of the 5th meeting – 31 August 2016
Held at 15 The Knoll, Maulden, 20:00hrs
David Bailey (Chair)
Julie Shepherd (Vice Chair)
Alan Plom (Secretary)
Cllr Roger Ball } Observer (Maulden Parish Council)
Cllr Christine Inskip }
Barry Easom (Guest speaker, Chair of Hail Weston NHP Group)
Apologies for absence
Cllr Philip Jackson
Welcome and Introductions
DB welcomed everyone to the meeting and suggested that a standing agenda item should be introduced to discuss “What is going on the Village”. This provoked some comments and information from members.
1. Minutes of previous meeting (27/7/16)
- Agreed and signed by the Chair.
- Will be available to Group members and observers (together with other reference docs) via the Group’s Dropbox account and website. [DB/AP]
- Slow access to the website resolved – caused by inappropriate automatic daily ‘reminder’ posted by a local newsagent!
(i) Demonstration of Dropbox/‘technical support’ session during next meeting. [DB]
2. Matters arising and actions carried forward
5(i) Facebook page to be created – Still open for discussion, as it may be possible to use the current Maulden Voice page. [DB]
5(ii) Dedicated phone number for contacting NHP [DB] – Decided not a good idea, due to potential volume of unsolicited/unwelcome calls!
5(iii) Printing posters and leaflets – DB still to contact Liquid Designs and All Fidelity Print.
5(iv) NHP Questionnaires – Good examples to be collected and available for working groups to compare and use as a basis. [SB/DB] = Some examples available on websites highlighted and links shared + some hard copies obtained by AP.
6(i) + 6(ii) CBC Support – DB & AP had contacted Siobhan Vincent, CBC’s Neighbourhood Involvement Officer (part of a new team set up in CBC’s Regeneration and Business Directorate). She had agreed to provide support and will be invited to the next meeting (ie October, when more members will be available). [DB/AP]
6(iii) Navigus – DB contacted and they have agreed to help – invite to a future meeting, when our funding is arranged. [DB]
6(iv) ‘Community Plan’ – A (non-statutory) ‘Community Plan’ (ie ‘hopes and aspirations’) will be created as the first step in producing the ‘full’ (statutory and enforceable) NHP. Ensure work plans are aligned to enable this to happen. [WGp leaders]
6(v) Comparing other NHP’s – Continue to engage closely with neighbouring villages and track what they are proposing in their NHPs. [DB/AP]
6(vi) Training – Sally Chapman/CBC has agreed to provide training on the best way to produce an NHP – presentation to be arranged when all available. [DB/AP]
3. Lessons learned (from Hail Weston NHP)
Barry Easom (Facilitator/’Chair’ of Hail Weston NHP/ex-Parish Cllr) described their experience in setting up a ‘Steering’ Group (and associated ‘Action Groups’) to develop their NHP. They did not have the firm support (or involvement) of their Parish Council that our Group now has from Maulden PC’s new Chair and Committee. However, it was still a worthwhile exercise.
Barry has loaned us some useful guidance documents, in particular the ‘Community Planning Toolkit’ folder produced by Cambridgeshire ‘Action with Communities in Rural England’ (ACRE) – the rural community council for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – and a selection of NHPs and Questionnaires from other Villages in Cambs.
He provided useful advice on the ideal format and questions for the Village survey and how best to go about collecting, collating and analysing information and opinions. They ended up with far too many Q’s (65!). [This problem was endorsed by Cllr Downing at the last meeting, as Clophill’s NHP also found it difficult to extract coherent statements.] Hail Weston were helped by a resident involved in ‘marketing’ – their software tools were invaluable for the analysis.
Barry has asked their Sec to send AP an e-copy of Hail Weston’s Action Group Leaders‘ roles and responsibilities and Community Questionnaire.
Key learning/action points:
(i) Keep it simple! [nb. This mirrored Cllr Downing’s advice from Clophill.]
(ii) Better to spend more time getting the Q’s right.
(iii) Establish basic details and demographics [sample Q’s provided] + enable residents to add comments, as this elicited useful additional and unexpected information.
(iv) Decide whether to analyse the Q’s by household/premises (as recommended by BE) or individual responses.
(v) The Community needs to have ‘ownership’ and we must fairly reflect the views of residents and businesses – not direct them.
(vi) ‘NHP/Survey Champions’ can help to encourage responses and collect completed forms. [We could need ~150 across the village, eg through Groups in the Community.]
(vii) Present achievable objectives, to help manage the many and varied expectations.
(viii) Steering Group Chair should be ‘without portfolio’, for oversight and coordination. [DB]
(ix) Hail Weston had a similar WGp structure, but recommended we rename the ‘Business’ WGp to ‘Local Economy’ , to reflect wider interests. [SB]
(x) Arrangements need to be in place to dissolve Groups when work completed.
(xi) Time planning is difficult – The Community needs to be reminded the work is being done by volunteers – who have other demands on their time. [Don’t we know it!]
(xii) Regularly publicise what we are doing to keep people informed and involved, eg via local publicity, social media, stand/displays at Village events, etc.
(xiii) A village Workshop can get community involvement and extra volunteers.
(xiv) The Infrastructure WGp should consult local Beds & River Ivel Internal Drainage Board re issues relating to managing drainage and surface water from any developments, as well as concerns re Wildlife & Environment. [AP]
(i) Working Group Leaders to read Hail Weston and other NHP docs. [Contact AP]
(ii) To request e-copies of Hail Weston’s Action Group Leaders‘ roles and responsibilities list/guidance and Questionnaire [AP]
4. Report from MPC
Cllr Ball reported on progress with the Match Funding application for a pedestrian crossing in the centre of Maulden. Following lengthy discussion after Saqhib Ali’s presentation on behalf of Safer Maulden, the PC agreed to ‘pause’ this, pending discussions with CBC. MPC proposed this should be pursued via the MNHP Infrastructure Group, who would work with the PC on ‘road safety’ [Cllr Hynes already nominated as a member]. However, DB confirmed it was not for our Working Group to lead on this, but was happy for the NHP to act as ‘facilitator’.
A meeting had been held on 30 Aug with Steve Lakin (Highways Officer at CBC) + MPC Cllrs Lloyd Hines, Philip Allen and Roger Ball; Julie Sheppard (for MNHP VC); Simon Barnes (on behalf of Safer Maulden) and Malcolm Crawford (Area Speed Watch Coordinator and Beds SW Chair), to review and discuss the concerns, available evidence of speeding, and the range of options (and potential costs) for effective traffic calming throughout Maulden.
CBC advised that a pedestrian crossing could not be justified in the proposed position (near the Coop) due to insufficient pedestrian and traffic volume and other (technical) reasons. However, it was agreed that something is needed and there are alternatives to a traditional pedestrian crossing. It was also concluded that it would be preferable to spend the limited budget on traffic calming measures that would slow vehicles down effectively throughout the length (and breadth) of the village.
There was some discussion about how Greenfield had managed to secure significant funds to install various traffic calming measures and other community projects. This was a result of active lobbying and fund raising, led by members of their PC and the Round Table.
The PC, CBC and NHP should listen to concerns of villagers, Safer Maulden, Speed Watch, etc, through consultation and take into account all available evidence. It is not just about statistics, but wider concerns about access to facilities, lack of pavements, etc. We also need to compare with other villages. This would inform and accelerate the NHP’s statements on roads and safety.
(i) This issue should be coordinated and pursued through the PC, in consultation with all interested parties. [AP to write to PC.]
(ii) MNHP’s Infrastructure Gp will consider and take account all of the information within the terms of its mandate. [AP]
(iii) Details of expenditure committed to date by Safer Maulden and MPC should be obtained from CBC. [RB]
5. Feedback from Working Groups
In view of the limited time available and most Leaders not being at the meeting for discussion, this item was deferred.
(i) Progress on “as is” statements and work plans to be reviewed at next meeting.
(ii) AP requested comments on the Infrastructure Group’s ‘As Is’ Statement.
There has been criticism that many had not yet heard about the NHP. DB pointed out we need to manage expectations. It could take 6 months to set up and form the Committee and Working Groups, and a similar period to engage with businesses, landowners, schools etc. Only after that can we reach out to others. It is too early for a Press Release but, meanwhile, local publicity and a ‘leaflet drop’ is proposed to explain the process and ultimate goal.
DB described the action taken since the last meeting. [Covered in Matters Arising].
(i) MPC’s ‘Leafleting group’ still to be contacted via Cllr Philip Jackson. [AP]
(ii) DB to finish his draft which can then be used as the basis for an article in the various magazines. [DB]
(iii) Local magazines to be contacted to find out how to get articles placed [SB] – SB has contacted the Oracle.
(i) JS was thanked for hosting the meeting and providing refreshments.
(ii) Barry Easom was thanked for his informative presentation and useful sample documents he supplied.
(iii) Next meeting on 28 Sept, venue TBA. Check The George [AP]
Meeting ended ~9:30pm