Minutes of the 46th APRA committee meeting held virtually 19th October 2021

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Present: Justin Douglas (JD), in the chair; Geoff Dyson (GD), Robert Pankhurst (RP), Kate Buckley (KB), Norman James (NJ).

  1. Apologies: Jill Fisher

  2. Minutes of the previous meeting (17th September) were approved.

  3. NJ reported that the Bishop of Richborough could only host an early evening garden party on 15 July 2022 (three dates had been put forward). It was agreed to accept his kind offer and to propose a time of 5pm until 7.15 or 7.30pm for consideration.

    RP noted that he had reached an understanding with the re-formed Verulam Road Residents Association about members in this and adjacent streets joining VRRA, APRA or both. There was already a cross-over between central conservation area associations and flexibility was called for.

    RP noted that he had reached an understanding with the re-formed Verulam Road Residents Association about members in this and adjacent streets joining VRRA, APRA or both. There was already a cross-over between central conservation area associations and flexibility was called for.

    JD reported that damage to football pitches caused by the Pub in the Park event had been rectified, unlike the damage caused by Hertfordshire University graduation ceremony buildings erected in the Abbey Orchard. JD will raise the issue of such degradation in a question to the CNC on 10 November. GD will assist with the drafting.

  4. AGM, membership and APRA committee. It was agreed that the AGM be held virtually to maximise attendance on Tuesday 16th November 2021 at 7.30pm. A motion would be put to the membership to change the quorum required for committee meetings to a minimum of 50% in order to allow for fluctuating numbers. Those residents without e-mail would continue to be exempt from membership fees. A proposal for increased fees would be put to the membership (£10 for two members of one household and £6 or £7 for individual residents was mooted, but it was agreed to look at comparable RA fees). A poll on communication preferences would also be taken at the annual meeting. GD announced that he would not seek re-election as Co-Chair if returned as a member of the committee. RP will assemble a powerpoint programme with the contributions for the AGM and Michael Horsley will facilitate the event.

  5. Construction traffic. KB has followed up the issues raised by recent problems in our area with councillors and the planning department. She hoped to circulate a draft petition on the issue prior to the AGM.

  6. Herts County Council road closures.and pedestrianisation. A consultation with relevant residents’ associations on the high street recovery programme was due to take place on 25 October. RP had prepared a powerpoint presentation summarising APRA members’ views and would liaise with other associations. The presentation was played at the end of the meeting and would be revised in the light of committee comments. RP was thanked for pulling this together.

  7. Planning applications. The application for 1 Mount Pleasant had been turned down by the local authority. The proposal for 11 College Place/Temperance Street was to be re-submitted and APRA would reiterate its objections. KB noted that construction management plans in connection with redevelopment are now being routinely pursued by Herts County Council because of their effects on the highway and traffic and this seemed to be a result of pressure from APRA.

  8. Garden Party. Proposed date settled under item 3, matters arising.

  9. APRA website. Catherine Soave was happy to continue to load minutes and documents. A gift as an expression of appreciation for her efforts was approved. This would be presented virtually at the AGM.

  10. AOB. It was agreed, in response to concerns from residents in George Street over the Gin & Jazz evenings, that the way in which the BID organised special events should be kept under review. JD also undertook to call for new candidates to step forward as potential committee members prior to the AGM.

  11. Date of next meeting: 11th November 2021.