Residents’ meeting 13th March 2014

17 03 2014

The quarterly open meeting was well-attended with approximately 20 people present.

Here are some of the items discussed:

1. MacMillan coffee morning

For the third year in a row, we have registered to hold a coffee morning in support of MacMillan in the autumn.  The difficulty this year is having no base to hold the event.  It is likely that it will take place in someone’s house/garden instead.

2. Community centre

Having lost the Traveller’s Rest as our base, and having found it impossible to re-locate to anywhere else nearby, the feasibility of building a community centre is being investigated.  A potential site has been been identified and now a feasibility study is required.  Discussions with consultants, who offer services to community associations, suggest that the cost will be approximately £5,000. There are organisations that will fund such activity and these are currently being investigated. At the same time, whilst the Traveller’s Rest remains unsold, the potential to register it as a community asset is being looked at.

3. Willowbank Partnership

The Old Town carnival will take place on 22nd June on St Paul’s field.  The Partnership’s ‘umbrella’ public liability insurance is now set up and is available to all community groups in the Old Town ward.  This is welcome news as groups will no longer need to acquire their own public liability insurance for events.  For example, when the association planted the first batch of trees in Pogmoor’s park in 2012, we paid for a year’s insurance to cover volunteer activity. If we are successful in this year’s bid, hopefully we will be able to use the Partnership’s public liability insurance instead.

4. Keep It Green 2014

Following the public meeting at the Gawber community centre last December, a committee was formed with the dual aims of finding out more about the potential redevelopment of local green belt documented in the Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment and persuading the Council to leave the green belt as it is.  The group is now called Keep It Green 2014. There was a discussion of the relationship between Pogmoor Residents and this new group.  It was agreed that Pogmoor Residents, as an association, would remain neutral with regard to the developing strategic plans but would continue to make information available for interested residents to form their own opinions about the future of the green belt. For those interested, Keep IT Green 2014 are holding their second public meeting on Friday 21st March at 7pm in the Gawber Community Centre.

5. Bulb planting – Warner Avenue

It is intended to plant bulbs on the green at the junction of  of Warner Avenue and Pogmoor Road, opposite the post office. The licence has been obtained for planting on highway land. The next step will be to plant bulbs when the grass is clear.

6. Pogmoor’s park

i. Wild flower meadow.

The weeds have been cut back, aided by staff from Baratts on West Road.

ii. Proposed people’s orchard

As part of the next phase of development of the park, it is proposed to plant a people’s orchard consisting of approximately 30 fruit trees.  A query was raised regarding the suitability of planting fruit trees on land that was previously used as a council tip.  Could contaminants buried in the soil find there way into the fruit from the trees?  It was suggested that a soil test should be carried out.  It was agreed to contact the Council and seek their opinion on this matter.

7. Love where you live

There was a discussion about a street where a growing number of houses were becoming rental properties. It was felt that pride in the appearance of the street had diminished in recent years.  Perhaps a fun day could be organised to encourage residents to get together to clean up the area.  This idea is to be progressed by a working group.

PMN: Barnsley Council is running a @love where you live campaign’  According to their website “if funding is needed your ward alliance has a small pot of money to make things happen at a local level. All you need to do is show how your idea can meet local priorities.”

8. Residential parking permits

A resident mentioned the 100% increase in the cost of parking permits, rising from £10 to £20, in areas within the residents’ parking scheme.  The residents also queried the use of these restricted parking areas by staff from Barnsley hospital with PCT permits.  Staff qualify for these permits if their job requires them to make community visits.  The resident pointed out that some hospital staff with permits were parked for many hours without visiting patients.

9. Welcome to new community groups

The residents welcomed the setting up of two neighbouring community associations.  These are the Penny Pie Park Community Association and the Gawber and Redbrook Community Association.  The Gawber and Redbrook group is holding its first meeting on Tuesday 25th March at 7.30pm in the Gawber Community Centre.  All are welcome to attend.