Reduced Minutes of First APRA Committee Meeting, 27 November 2013. Present: Peter Trevelyan (Chair), Geoff Dyson, Gillian Field, John Hedges, Michael Ormiston, Robert Pankhurst, Ian Smith, Martin Treasure, Andrew Yaras. Apologies: Justin Douglas. Beth Hall (not present) would be co-opted to take charge of social functions.
1. Constitution.(a) Extension of the APRA area to Branch Road would mean more members and greater authority, but could also mean overstrained resources, lack of balance in representation, conflicts with other RAs, and widely varying priorities. New members would not be sought in the area beyond New England Street for the coming year. (b) APRA would not officially undertake political activity nor allow its name or resources to be so used, but political activity outside APRA would not debar anyone from membership or office. Misappropriation of the name is covered by the Constitution. (c) The present Committee would be taken as elected for one year only, and perhaps the Officers and up to six members should be elected each year. Proposals for changes should be put to the next AGM.
2. Best-practice communication: open e-mail or telephone for the committee, with data being shared through Google Drive. Membership data was sensitive and should not be held on private PCs (except those of the Secretary and Treasurer, which must be securely protected). E-mails to membership should go through the Secretary as blind copies. The website would be developed to become APRA’s public interface.
3. Recent updates. (a) Membership was now ~80 paid-up members (about 50 households and two businesses). (b) We should contribute a preliminary assessment of other potential School bus drop-off points to the new SADC Task & Finish Group. (c) The Nationwide House double-stacking car park (still ‘under consideration’) might not go ahead: a local group was prepared in case it came to committee. (d) Roads: HCC Highways had noted complaints about the resurfacing of College Street and would instruct the contractor to uncover the buried granite setts. SADC needed to solve the problem before any further resurfacing in the Conservation Area. (e) The campaign to avert the sale of Mitchell Hall (Royal British Legion) was noted and further information would be sought through the Verulam Road RA.
4. Working Groups were identified to meet the priorities expressed in the on-line survey, with two responsible members able to co-opt. These could operate autonomously and set priorities for action, but website content and major policy should be approved by the Committee.
(a) School buses and poster campaign: John & Gillian
(b) Car Parking: Gillian & Justin
(c) Planning & development matters: Peter & Robert
(d) Street Representative coordination: Geoff & Ian
(e) Pavements and Road: Martin & Geoff
(f) Environment (Litter and Anti-social behaviour): Justin & Michael
(g) Website, letterhead for correspondence, Calendar: Robert & John
(h) Constitution and 2014 elections: Ian & Peter
(i) External Relations: City Neighbourhoods Committee (Geoff), Combined RAs (John)
(j) Social Activities: Beth (co-opted)