Minutes of the Harefield Tenants & Residents Association AGM Meeting held on
Monday 17th April 2023, Cricket Club, Breakspear Road, Harefield
Chair Janet Brown
Secretary Wendy Rice-Morley
Treasurer Helen Conchar
Current Committee Members
Derek & Gillian Kent
Marion Finney and Sasha Jefferies, representatives from the London Borough of Hillingdon overseeing the Election of Officers and Committee Members.
Val Pyper (Baptist Minister)
Mr and Mrs Williams
Councillor Jane Palmer
A total of 34 members signed in the book.
The Chair, Janet Brown, welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for attending.
Minutes of Last AGM Meeting
Monday April 11th 2022
All had received the minutes and they were agreed as a true copy (Proposed by R D, seconded by J S) and approved.
Matters Arising from the Minutes
The London Borough of Hillingdon’s consultation re a Stop and Shop parking scheme in the village has taken place since April 2022, Councillor Palmer has subsequently reported at an HTRA meeting that due to the amount of negative comments/ feedback received during the consultation the scheme would not, currently, go ahead.
At the last meeting I said there would be a Police Panel Meeting on 21st March 2023. After our meeting this was changed, and the meeting took place on March 30th 2023.
At that meeting we found out that the new email address we had been given for our Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) was incorrect and should read firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was decided that the priorities for the next 3 months would stay unchanged and will be:
a) ASB: Drugs in Dovedale Close.
b) Speeding: Rickmansworth, Northwood and Breakspear Roads.
c) Violence: Particularly against women and girls.
Our SNT will now be operating out of Uxbridge and not Ruislip. This will mean that they will not have access to a car most of the time, so will either walk or to the village come by bus. Jane Palmer has been approached by Steve Finch to see if money can be found in the ward budget to purchase electric bikes.
We have lost our PCSO Mani who will now be covering Ruislip. We have a new officer, Richard Mascarenhas. If you wish to speak to an officer, please approach them when they are in the village or go to one of their surgeries at the coffee shop or library.
Please remember the StreetSafe initiative. If there is anywhere you do not feel safe in the village report it to our SNT or go online and report it there.
All of the information from Neighbourhood Watch or the Police is sent out on the OWL system. It is a good system to be on. Enter owl.co.uk and fill in your details. You are free to leave the system whenever you wish.
Sincere thanks, in his absence, to Mike Gordon for his dedicated service as deputy Chair, contributions during and following meetings and his hours of work on the Newsletters during periods of lockdown when we were unable to have face to face meetings.
Sincere thanks also to Andy Cordingley for his involvement during committee meetings, including reporting HS2 lorries using the wrong route as well as his assistance in preparing and clearing the room for meetings.
Wendy Rice-Morley who has diligently served as HTRA secretary, displaying posters to advertise our meetings, recording minutes, and distributing them when they have been finalised. She has also taken an active role as part of the committee being a strong advocate for aspects of road safety in the village specifically leading in raising a petition for a zebra crossing or an island in Rickmansworth Road just past the Baptist Church where speeding is a persistent issue (and two accidents have been evidence of this). This petition was presented at the LBH and has proved successful. We have been informed that money has been allocated for the construction of an island and the tendering process is being undertaken.
Helen Conchar – Alongside her attendance and involvement at committee meetings Helen, as Treasurer, has implemented the use of the new documents and checks that have been implemented and produced the Annual Finance Report and arranged for its inspection by an independent qualified person. We hope that her numerated notes to the finance report will prove useful.
Ray Davis for his resilience and persistence in liaising with the police and keeping residents up to date with information he has been able to obtain. He has also participated fully as a member of the committee including reporting on areas of speeding (Police) and fly-tipping (LBH) and following these up with officers. We have raised the issue of speeding with the police and more speed checks are now taking place.
Derek Kent supported by Gillian Kent has, as well as being fully involved in committee meetings, undertaken the role of analysing the planning applications each week. He then distributes the link to the LBH website to other committee members with specific reference to the ones related to Harefield, including South Harefield, as these were not being covered by Ickenham Residents Association. He also states his thoughts on the applications for others to also feedback to him. He has responded with comments to the LBH planning department regarding applications when it has been deemed appropriate and has produced a spreadsheet for members reference that they can use for reference or to investigate applications themselves.
We have been keeping a watchful eye for any planning application/s regarding any development/s at Widewater Place but none, to date, have yet been received.
Jenny Shave, Tina Wane and Jacky Metcalfe have all played an active role on the committee both raising issues and sharing their views during discussion.
Tina has been keeping a watchful eye on aspects of the environment, most recently in connection with the horses in a field by fine bush Lane – although not part of our ‘patch’ she and I have highlighted the issue with Cllrs and our MP and Mani, who is now in Ruislip, in the hope that they will be able to get something done.
Jenny and Jacky have recently taken on the role of liaising with the Harefield Practice to provide residents with up-to-date information. Following an email notification to the practice Jacky has made a direct in the surgery approach and left a note requesting a meeting. This has, as yet, not been responded to. We have been informed that Ms Franklin, the manager, has left and the gentleman who has been covering on Wednesdays is taking up the full-time position in May. The latter is yet to be confirmed.
Some of the other key issues that the committee have discussed and actioned on behalf of residents have included:
The condition of the road surface at the entry to the Harefield Practice and the Harefield Hospital. The LBH part has now been resurfaced.
The ongoing issues of drivers mounting the pavement adjacent to the Harefield Practice and Harefield Hospital and driving along it. We have received reports of vehicles brushing the bag a pedestrian was carrying and another where the person had to move over into the fence. We have been informed that this is again being investigated. The curb is currently low which makes mounting it too easy but the cost of replacement when the road surface is good is too great. The installation of bollards would narrow the path too much. A meeting to discuss other possible options may be required.
We arranged a visit for residents to the HS2 Align site which received positive feedback. I have recently received a request asking if we will be arranging a further trip.
HS2 staff parking along Moorhall road - Participation in HS2/LBH/Residents Association virtual meetings has resulted in the single yellow lines along Moorhall Road.
The same virtual meetings have included the mud on Harvil Road and Breakspear Road South. There is now a weekly audit of conditions on Harvil Road being carried out for LBH Officers with the help of HS2/SCS. Conditions along the road are evaluated by LBH and if additional cleaning is required, they can then be targeted. Businesses along Skip Lane have also been visited and there is the possibility of the Anti-social Behaviour Team being involved in auditing them.
Reporting of lorries using wrong routes has led to the installation of HS2 ANPR cameras as part of the HS2 Vehicle Route Compliance System being rolled out in Hillingdon. Cameras will be configured to only capture data related to HS2 lorries, no other vehicle data will be captured or stored. System is being tested and is expected to be ‘live’ around May 2023.
Members of the committee also report issues such as unsightly or hazardous pavements/ the pond; location of drug dealing sites and anti-social behaviour such as off-road biking on inappropriate sites when we are made aware of them.
The Committee have reviewed aspects of Finance with the review and implementation of the Expenses Claim Form; the chair signing off and dating the bank statements that have been checked and the introduction of the numerated notes to the Finance Report to aid clarity.
As part of some of our committee meetings the Committee have reflected on the resilience and commitment regarding the HTRA and subsequently reviewed the HTRA Constitution. Following detailed discussion, we made amendments to the Constitution. We have now consulted on these amendments, both at a general meeting and in electronic format during a consultation period. Following the ‘in person’ general meeting further amendments were made and included in the ‘e’ consultation.
A current action on behalf of residents relates to the canal near Peerless drive. I received an email from a resident expressing concern about the clearing of the bank and what they had been informed was due to happen. Following enquiries of the Canal and River Trust I have been informed that:
‘West London Community Moorings (WELCOM) have approached the Canal and River Trust with regards to entering a lease for a new mooring location on the Grand Union Canal accessed via Trust owned land. Their application has been approved in principle. WELCOM are now required to approach London Borough of Hillingdon in respect to appropriate approvals, including planning permission. The Trust are unable to grant rights without confirmation of the required planning process. If planning permission is required, then local residents will be able to comment on the proposals.
Regarding the site clearance, approvals have been provided by Canal and River Trust Environment team for bramble removal so that site investigations can be undertaken by the group.’
No planning application has been displayed on the LBH website.
Your committee have, during the year, returned to the issue of developing an HTRA website, the maintenance and costing of a website and possible content. This year Jenny Shave offered to try and keep a site updated and we explored the costing by approaching three possible developers. Following discussion, we have engaged *Andrew Kent, who works in Harefield to develop a website for HTRA. We will be consulting members on thoughts re content.
*Andrew Kent is the son of Derek and Gillian; they both declared an interest and did not take part in the discussion re allocation of engagement. (This scenario may be another item that needs including in the Constitution in the future).
It had been agreed that the purchase of a laptop would be beneficial for the association and appropriate specifications and some costings obtained but when the current secretary related that she prefers to use her own PC the decision was made the defer the purchase.
This does not cover all aspects of the work undertaken by your committee, but I hope that it provides a picture of the breadth of work undertaken and the persistence sometimes required.
JB stated that a thorough consultation had taken place both at a General Meeting and via email. The amendments were discussed at the General meeting and the comments had been considered at length and some suggested alterations were implemented, via further amendments, while others were not. These further amendments were included in the ‘e’ consultation. Two comments were received after the consultation period deadline, but these were still considered and discussed. The comments received included a suggestion for an inclusion - that a landowner or business owner, who did not live in the village be able to attend meetings and bring up queries but have no voting rights. Although this was thought to be a sensible inclusion it had not been consulted on and therefore is not included in the new HTRA Constitution.
JB referred to the accompanying letter to the constitution when it was distributed by email, explaining that the constitution had only been developed in the past couple of years as an established one could not be found. It was still being developed. JB acknowledged a contradiction in the ’21 constitution. Discussing all amendments and ratifying it at the same AGM meeting would take hours. If amendments are consulted on, discussed, and agreed during the year and then implemented at the Annual General Meeting it alleviates the issue. The committee had therefore carried out significant consultation prior to the AGM.
The Constitution or amendments would not be discussed further. It was felt that the committee had undertaken all that was required to change the Constitution. Members who wished to stand for election as an officer should have served on the Committee and those wishing to stand for committee should have attended at least six meetings out of the last 12.
Marion Finney would take a signed copy of the new Constitution for LBH records.
Members were requested to write down their ideas of what they would like to see on an HTRA website. They may not all be able to be implemented but they would be carefully considered.
A member commented that whoever purchases the Domain name needs to have control and questioned whose name it would be recorded under. The main domain name needs to be under an individual it seems. Janet advised she and the committee would need to discuss this further. The member volunteered to assist and provided his contact details.
Hard copies of the accounts and accompanying notes had been distributed. Helen Conchar read through the notes, shown below and expanded on them.
1) Hillingdon Homes Grant – £700 The association receives the maximum funding from LB of Hillingdon. There are limitations on what this money can be spent on. For, example it cannot be used to make a charitable donation or to give a gift to any person.
2) Transfer from Nationwide: £1,608.34 The association had a savings account with the Nationwide Building Society. This was raised from past fundraising events. Nationwide no longer offer savings accounts to groups and closed the account. Currently this is in the Santander bank account.
3) Hall Hire: £500.22 The charge for the library room is now by the hour, currently £11.90 an hour. There was one meeting at the Harefield Community Centre which cost £60, charge per hour £30.
4) Inkjet Cartridges: £218.60 A lot of posters are put around the village each month. This includes receipts from the previous year.
5) Meeting refreshments: £148.96 This is for the AGM last year and refreshments after the January meeting.
6) Affiliation fee: £25 this is the annual subscription to the London Green Belt Council.
7) Prizes and Promotions: £37.09 this is from our own funding for members who have helped the association over the last year. It cannot be paid from the grant.
8) The bank balance is split over the LB funding £1,611.11 (restricted spending) and our own funding of £1,669.81.
9) Stop HS2: There is a Santander bank account with £95.70 from fund raising. I suggest this is closed and a deposit account opened for the this and the transfer from Nationwide.
Election of Officers and Committee
The Chair introduced Marion Finney and Sasha Jefferies from the London Borough of Hillingdon and invited them to conduct the Election of Officers and Committee.
Marion Finney gave her thanks for all the work the Officers and Committee had undertaken during the past year.
Those present were asked if they wished to use the nomination forms for the election process or use a ‘hands up’ procedure.
The hands up procedure was undertaken, and the following members were elected as officers.
Election of Officers
Nominee Name: Janet Brown, Nominated By: James Wheelan, Seconded By: John Smith
Nominee Name: Jenny Shave, Nominated By: Andy Cripps, Seconded By: Ray Davis
Nominee Name: Helen Conchar, Nominated By: Ian Edwards, Seconded By: Tracy Blake
Election of Committee
As there were six members nominated for 5 vacancies MF implemented a hands up vote count for each nominee. One of the nominees then withdrew when there was a draw in the vote. The following members were elected as committee members.
Nominee Names: Gerard Barry, Ian Costard, Derek Kent, Tina Wane, Paul Daniels
Any other business for the next general meeting
A member queried the new 20 mph speed limit on Moorhall Road and whether this was going to be permanent? The road also appears to be narrower. It was thought this was for the construction of the viaduct across the road. To be followed up.
*Paul Daniels followed this up after the meeting - confirmed that the speed limit on Moorhall Road which has been reduced to 20mph is a short-term speed chance and will be reverted back to 30mph when the works finish around October.
It was questioned as to whether it would it be possible to establish what all the cameras, that have appeared in the village, were for?
Marion Finney stated there is an Officer Charlie Khan who will give an audit of the cameras and the locations.
A member brought up the state of the roads and the cleaning thereof. The London Borough of Hillingdon are monitoring the situation of HS2 cleaning the roads and vehicles and some of the problem may be the vehicles in Skip Lane.
A member stated that she had been informed by someone that a company called Bancroft are responsible.
Suggestions for future meeting speakers included:
1) M.P. David Simmonds
4) Presentation from KSIMC re Hujjat
5) Interest in future an Align visit
JB advised that she and Tina would be attending Brunel tomorrow 18th April for presentations on Improving the Green Belt in the Outer London Area
A member informed those present that the Social Club is free for meetings instead of having to pay for venues.