Minutes of ACF Meeting, Kingsfield Close, Southwick
Thursday, 24th November 2011
Present: – Wendy Farmer (Chair), Bruce Andrews, Ruth Andrews, Fred Bathurst, Rose Boden, Lisa Cook, Patricia Crowdy, David Guy, Gary Hackett, Paula Kinsella, Sue Lane, Rita Laraway, Richard Letchford, Bob McClelland, Alison Morganfield, Len Nye, Marice Nye, Bridget Orman, Sylvia Page and Tanya Page.
ADC: – Barry Maxey and Sue Tubb.
1. Welcome and introductions
Wendy welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Apologies were received from Bill Bone, Kevin Davis, Dave Donaldson, Tony Morris, Ron Pope and Edna Wye.
3. Minutes of the last meeting
4. Matters arising
• Richard enquired if there were any developments regarding the installation of public toilets at the Lancing Office. Barry explained that a report is going to the Joint Strategic Committee in January but that he doesn’t know yet what recommendations it will contain. Ruth questioned whether the ACF would have an opportunity to comment on the report, given that their next meeting is not until February but Barry said a special meeting could be called if necessary.
• Bruce said that he had a computer that he was willing to donate to the ACF and he was thanked for his offer. (Barry has since suggested to Bruce that there is no immediate need for an additional computer in the office at present and that if he can find a good home for it, it may be better for him to do so.)
• Wendy confirmed that at the September meeting of the Joint Strategic Committee, she had been given a guarantee by the Leader of the Council that a Civic presence in Shoreham would be maintained but it is not yet known where this will be.
5. Bids for environmental improvements
There were no bids but it was agreed that an article would go in the next edition of the Forum asking for ideas from the wider community.
6. Treasurer’s report
Ruth reported that there is £2577.10 in the bank.
7. Joint Strategic Committee agenda
There are no housing-related reports on the agenda but Wendy said she wanted to comment on the Technical Reforms of Council Tax report. In particular, she expressed concern that Section 8.4 of the report states that extending council tax payments to twelve months could ‘have an adverse effect on the income generated from Court costs’ and questioned whether this means the council would like residents to default on their payments to get extra income.
8. Reports of committees
i) Compact Monitoring Group
The next meeting is scheduled for 6th December 2011 but members of the group were asked to confirm that they can attend on that day.
ii) The Forum
The Christmas edition is in the process of being finalised.
iii) Adur Leaseholders’ Forum (ALF)
Barry gave a report on the last ALF meeting, which largely concentrated on fire risk assessments. Council officers met with West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (WSFRS) in September to discuss fire risk assessments. WSFRS said they use standard criteria for their assessments to ensure a consistent approach. The council will work on two basic principles – the need to protect escape routes and the higher the building, the greater the risk.
One area that is still being researched is the council’s responsibility in situations where a leaseholder has fitted a new door to their property that doesn’t comply with current fire regulations. The next step will be for officers to produce a report for the Cabinet Member for Customer Services setting out a programme of fire risk assessments.
A report on proposed changes to the way support services are provided was presented to the last Joint Strategic Committee meeting. Councillors agreed to write to elected members of West Sussex County Council and the government minister to express their concerns.
Sheltered housing residents also had a meeting recently with staff from Supporting People and asked them a variety of searching questions. Supporting People are proposing that future support will be time-limited and that residents will be re-assessed every three months. Residents said they wanted meaningful consultation with council officers and that Supporting People were failing to ask them what they want.
9. Annual Conference
Barry asked for suggestions for a date and topic for the next conference. After the last one, residents asked for more input into the planning and organising of future conferences. The topic is normally housing-related and should be interest to a wide variety of council tenants and leaseholders. It would also be useful if it is something that is likely to attract younger tenants. Among the topics suggested was ‘resident scrutiny’, which Barry said was an issue that is being promoted nationally and something that Adur residents have not yet embraced. It was agreed that March would be the ideal time for the conference, with either the Civic Centre or The Barn as a venue.
10. Meeting with contractors
It was agreed that the best time for this would be towards the end February or beginning of March.
11. Any other business
Residents of Mash Barn would like clarification of the situation regarding the proposed training ground for Brighton and Hove Albion at Lancing. There has been a lot of activity in the area recently and Wendy said she would try to find out if there has been a planning application at her next meeting with the council.
12. Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be 7.00pm on Thursday, 2nd February at Kingsfield Close, Southwick.