2 thoughts on “Letter on Noticeboards from a Local Resident”

  1. Mr Hall
    In reply to your open letter on the village notice boards I will try to address the points you have raised.

    Local Issues being forced on residents.
    The most obvious issue would be proposed developments. Examples being Blythe Valley Park and a number of other sites listed in the Local Development Plan.

    Unfortunately the low percentage of returned questionnaires is mirrored by those of the parish council. Sadly most people lead busy lives and do not have time to return questionnaires. Never the less a great deal time and effort has been spent producing and delivering questionnaires by volunteers who care about our village.

    Regarding you view that the Residents Association is not open and above board. Anyone is welcome to attend our monthly meetings. I can only ever recall one instance when you have attended and that was with a group of parish councillors of which you are no longer a member.

    At the time of writing the last minutes published on our website are for December 2017. As you are aware minutes are usually published after approval at the next monthly meeting. It may well be the case in this instance that those minutes have not been sent for me to upload to the website as my mother died last week and I think the chairman was trying not to bother me with them for which I am grateful.
    Please note that at this time the last parish council minutes published are for November 2017.

    You are absolutely correct in that the Residents Association has reserves in the order of £6000. These accounts are produced at our Annual General meeting in April / May of each year and this meeting is advertised 14 days before hand. Everyone is invited to attend. In all the years I have been connected with the Association I have never seen you at one of these meetings.

    The question you raise about is it right that funds are held in reserve is a valid one though. Personally I think none of our treasures has wanted to be the one to see funds drop significantly during their term of office. I can see their point of view.

    I hope this reply meets your criteria for being open and honest?

    Ian Sill
    CGRA Website Admin

  2. Dear Ian,
    Thank you for your reply. I must admit to being pleasantly surprised to see my note appear on this website, with a view to starting a discussion, so thank you for that.
    With regard to planning issues, unfortunately it is government policy to build much more housing in the coming years, across the whole country, so it is very difficult, if not nigh on impossible, for any residents or local groups such as the RA or the Parish Council to prevent any of it happening. Initiatives such as a Neighbourhood Plan can make a good fist of reducing the damage if done properly and supported by the local community, so people need to get behind that. If residents are up in arms about major planning issues then, regardless of how busy they are, I would hope that they would take the time to complete surveys/questionnaires in order to make their views known.
    I appreciate that your meetings are open to the public for anyone to attend and keep up-to-date with what is going on, but I’m sure you’d be very surprised if representatives from 1000+ households turned up to each meeting (for info, I’ve attended several meetings over the 30 years I’ve been in Cheswick Green, so it’s possible you haven’t previously noticed me given that you’ve probably only been aware of me from when I was on the Parish Council). With that in mind, it is important that there is enough info on the website to keep people informed. I’m sorry to hear about your mother, and offer my condolences, so understand why the Minutes haven’t been uploaded yet. I have no input with the PC any more, but you’ll no doubt notice that the December meeting was cancelled so there would be no Minutes for that meeting.
    Finally, with regard to the funds held by the RA, you have offered no explanation as to why such a large amount is being held in reserve – I would suggest that it is not up to a single person, e.g. the treasurer, to decide whether money should be spent or not. I’m sure someone in the organisation can offer an explanation to residents as to why this money is being held, and for what purpose. It’s certainly not clear at all at the moment, but needs to be, frankly. Expecting all residents to attend the AGM in order to get an explanation is not good enough, in my opinion – it should be absolutely clear to everyone who pays membership money every year what this money is to be used for.


    Steve Hall

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