so far so good

We have now had two meetings to discuss the issues we face in this area, and we have done a good job of identifying what is important to us as a community.

I must first apologise. Although I have tried, I simply do not have the funding to distribute minutes of each meeting to everyone. There are simply too many pages, and as you can see by this leaflet we need to keep things short! I will of course continue to post everything online, and I am going to see about leaving a copy in the community centre for everyone to read. In the meantime I will try to summarise everything here.

The first meeting was well attended, and we established a lot of the issues we care about. The second meeting was not so well attended (many people apologised in advance), but there were many new faces. This led to many of the same things being discussed again. We did however define our issues a little more. And there was new information shared that came from my meeting with MVMP.

It was agreed that we need to initially meet with MVMP as a group, and as luck would have it, Carol from MVMP contacted me the next day asking to come to one of our meetings. As we had not discussed her coming to our next meeting as a group the night before, I suggested she might want to host another meeting the following Monday on the 14th. She agreed and has told me that she is going ahead with this, and will distribute a newsletter of her own very soon. We will then be free to continue with a regular fortnightly meeting from then on in, starting on Monday 21st September.

At this MVMP meeting on the 14th I hope to see many of the questions we have about our housing answered directly. This meeting will be hosted by MVMP, but Carol suggested that from then on MVMP could simply have a space on the agenda at our meetings once a month.

At our last meeting people also took away copies of the updated draft of the constitution. If you are interested in having any input on this and do not have a copy, please obtain one before the next meeting (7th September) as we hope to ratify it at this meeting. If we do, we will select 2 group co-ordinators, 1 treasurer and 4 people willing to be signatories to the group’s bank account. Once we have done this we can begin applying for funding that can be used to tackle some of the issues we have identified.

As a result of both meetings, and all the things that people have said we have put together a list of the issues we care about as a community. Please take a moment to consider if everything you said at the meetings is covered by this list:

The future of our housing;
The state of repair of our current housing;
The state of empty properties and their gardens;
The rubbish in the area;
The lack of facilities and activities for children;
Roads: traffic on Chesterfield Road, and surface of Hillmoor Street;

It has also been agreed that some other issues we have discussed are resolved by tackling these issues. For example how anti-social behaviour is a result of lack of facilities and activites.

At the first meeting we reached three agreements:
1.That a group should be formed.
We have made progress on this by updating and distributing our draft constitution.
2.That the group should put pressure on the council to deliver services
We have not progressed here as we are not yet a group. However, contacts have been made, and the council are aware of our intentions. We have also been given the official council line on repairs in our area, and discussed ways we can put pressure on them to deliver the services.
3.We should press for more information on the redevelopment
We have made progress on this issue through both my meeting with MVMP, and my sharing of that information, and our knowledge that they intend to hold a meeting of their own very soon. Also in that they recognise us as the group to communicate with.

It is difficult to squeeze everything in, but I believe I have broadly covered everything, and that other issues not mentioned are results of these problems. So with all that covered, I will briefly cover what my proposals are for the next meeting.

At the next meeting on the 7th September, so that we can go beyond just identifying the issues, and discussing past actions, I propose that we establish several working groups. Perhaps only for the lifespan of the meeting, or perhaps longer.

First, as a group we will discuss the constitution, and if we all agree that it sets an acceptable set of rules for how we will run our group, we will select the positions. The positions currently in the constitution are 2 co-ordinators, one treasurer, and 4 bank account signatories, everyone else in the catchment area is automatically a member, and welcome at any meeting. We have chosen to have two co-ordinators rather than a chairman. The co-ordinators do not necessarily chair the meetings, but instead fulfil an organisational role. They simply ensure the meetings happen and information is distributed, or communicated. Any other role that the group needs can be appointed on an ad-hoc basis, and every role is fully accountable, instantly re-callable, and can be reappointed at any time, so long as there is full agreement among the group.

After we have discussed this we will split into three groups. Anyone can choose to be in any group, and you can jump from group to group, to make sure you have your say in each. Each group will first appoint a spokesperson for the group, and then begin discussing one of the three broad issues:

1.Activities and facilities for kids.
2.State of the area: Rubbish, empty gardens etc.
3.Ways to press the council on repairs.

The groups will discuss what actions can be taken to resolve these issues. Once the groups have had some time to discuss ideas, we will come back together as a single meeting, and share what we have discussed and what actions we have decided to take. As a full group we will then agree on the actions, and decide who will take responsibility for each of them.

There seems little point in forming a working group on housing at this meeting considering the fact MVMP are hosting a meeting the next week. However, after we have discussed the actions we intend to take, we will have a brief discussion on the housing, to ensure everyone is up to speed with the information we have so far.

See you all on the 7th.


1 Response to “so far so good”

  1. September 6, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Great site…keep up the good work.

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