Meeting Minutes AGM 2018

1. Welcome, Introductions, Apologies, Health & Safety

  • Linda welcomed members to the meeting.
  • Apologies were received from:
    • Rev Nadine Wilkinson
    • Magdalene from Music Relief
    • Chetna Kapacee who sent her thanks to everyone who helped make the Light Festival so successful
    • Cllr Stuart King
  • Tony Crackett, our host from the Scout Halls, took us through a Health & Safety briefing.
  • Linda introduced the AGM and offered thanks to the Committee for their work during the past year.

2. Considerations of 2 constitutional alterations:

  1. The Committee agreed unanimously to propose there should be NO FIXED TERM OF OFFICE for Committee Members.  They must, however, submit to the nomination and voting process annually.  
  2. The Committee agreed unanimously to propose that the requirement for COMMITTEE MEETINGS SHOULD BE QUARTERLY 

These changes were introduced by Linda and were passed by a clear majority vote.
3. Election of Committee Members
Nominations for the Committee were as follows:
Chair:                                                                    Linda Watson
Vice Chairs:                                                 Andrea Perry
                                                                    Mohammed Mir
Treasurer:                                                    David Fell
Project Manager:                                          Peter Lawrence
Web manager/Communications Designer:    Vân Dang
Secretary:                                                    Chris Milton
Member without Portfolio:                            Barbara Benjamin
                                                                    Gaëtane Jones
                                                                    Marley King
                                                                    Graham Mitchell
All were voted onto the Committee by a clear majority vote.
6.  The Cllr Service Innovation Programme which led to the new Community Connect model -  Julian Ellerby
This item was bought forward due to our visitors' time constraints.  Julian Ellerby has been Director of Strategy and Partnerships with Croydon Council for 1 year.  He is responsible for communications and has a Communities Team.  His remit is to help the organisation know where it is going, keep it efficient on less money and work in partnership.  They look at what people/groups want to achieve in their area and how the Council can work with them.
His colleague Julia explained how they are working to find solutions at a local level; what works in one area does not necessarily work in another. They can provide IT and data on the area but they know it is hard to bring about change.
The Community Connect Model is about promoting independence, financial stability and prevention of homelessness.  They are currently working in partnership in New Addington from a local Family Centre.  Some families have lost £200/week from benefit changes and may not have the money to travel into the centre of Croydon to access services.  There are now 36 organisations working in partnership in a Community Drop-In.
Because of Food Poverty, they are working with Fair Share to supply edible waste food for a community shop where people pay £3.50 per week for 8 or 9 items of food.  There is personal budgeting support and help with benefits to provide a hand-up not a hand-out.
This type of scheme can only work with local people who know the needs of the Community.  They know there are needs in the North and their next step would be to understand our ambitions for the area.

  • Ian said that there is little access to banking or to advice and services - no one-stop shop so people don't know what they are entitled to.

Julian said they can provide us with data for area.  If we can provide some insight into the problems over the next few weeks they could then meet with those who are interested.  The group were asked what issues were important in this area and identified:

  •  HMO's
  • Rubbish
  • Obesity
  • AS
  • Driving and parking
  • Street drinking
  • Better use of parks
  • Drug dealing
  • Quality of street cleaning
  • Poor quality accommodation/deprivation - 6 in a 1 bed flat.

There are plenty of empty shops which could serve as a Community Hub.  Linda stressed that our aim is to make Thornton Heath a Cleaner, Greener, Better place for everyone to live.
4. Financial Report
The financial report summary was provided by David Fell:

Total income to date £  43,309   
Total expenditure to date £  22,439   
Current balance £  20,870    
Total income 2015/16 £    3,135   
Total expenditure 2015/16 £    2,264   
Total income 2016/17 £    5,221   
Total expenditure 2016/17 £    4,395   
Total income 2017/18 (ytd) £  34,953   
Total expenditure 2017/18 (ytd) £  15,781   
Brewers donation 2015 £        150Clocktower£135 £             16
Capital Cleanup 2015 £    1,490Clocktower £  1,472 £             18
CVA £        390   £           390
Donations £          71   £             71
Govia Thameslink Grant £        800Station £     703 £             97
Humayun 2016 £    2,275Dog fouling competition/campaign £  1,645 £           630
Thornton Heath Arts Week £        721Thornton Heath Arts Week £     721 £              -  
Jamie Audsley 2016 £    5,750Hotspots & A vision for TH £  3,103 £       2,647
Jamie Audsley 2017 £    7,500  £  2,335 £       5,165
Karen Jewit 2017 £        350Planters £     100 £           250
Whetherspoons donation 2015 £        250   £           250
Paddypower £        500Christmas 2016 £     244 £           256
Job Centre Donation £          38Job Centre £        38 £              -  
Pat Clouder 2017 £        100Job Centre £     100 £                0
Stuart King 2017 £        500The Pond £     110 £           390
People's Health Trust £    7,814Street Action/Chronicle £  2,509 £       5,305
Simon Carter's Donation £        100Chronicle £     100 £              -  
Matthew 2017 £    5,000Chronicle £  2,101 £       2,899
Alison Butler 2017 £    1,000Market £     745 £           255
Croydon Council - Market £    2,500Market £     387 £       2,113
Raffle £          53Market  £             53
Stall Income £    1,718Market £  1,537 £           181
Ice rink and raffle £        590Market  £           590
Icerink donations £        120Market £     120 £              -  
Icerink Crowdfunding £    2,134Market £  2,090 £             44
Tombola £          96Market £         -   £             96
Humayun 2017 £    1,300Market £  1,522-£          222
Unallocated   £     621-£          621

The following points were raised in discussion:

  • Where there is money remaining in the budget, we will look what else we can do within the remit of the same bid.
  • The People's Health Trust Funding is a total of £26K which is paid in instalments over 2 years, following submission of regular monitoring reports.
  • Most spending takes place in the Spring and Summer.
  • We should have forward projections for projects we have on-going.
  • Going forward, it depends on what else we want to do.There are other potential revenue streams and grants eg the Mayor's Fund.We need to identify projects to link to specific funds.
  • The suggestion of a voluntary subscription needs to be discussed at a future meeting.
  • We should set a budget to avoid accumulating cash as this could lead to issues for us as an organisation.

5.  Reports from Sub-Committees
a) Market (Andrea) - The next market will be on Saturday 31st March when there will be a Crystal Palace home game against Liverpool so there will be plenty of fans as well as local people to purchase food and other items from the stallholders.  The stalls will be located around the Job Centre and Salvation Army.  Ambassador House has proved a difficult location because it is a wind tunnel, very dirty (Barbara spent hours cleaning it before the last market) and a long way from where the stalls are stored.
This will complete the 3 month pilot which was partly to test which is the best location and we are constrained by the space available.  The winter was always going to be a difficult time to begin and we were constrained by the space available.  However, the traders want to come back.  Trumble Gardens market stalls at the Light Festival were a big success with stallholders selling out quite quickly and some stallholders have now started to trade at Surrey Street as well.  Hopefully people will see the market as a positive asset for Thornton Heath and the Council will support it.
The three pilot markets will all have been themes: the first an Xmas market with the ice rink, the second linked to the Light Festival and the third Football/Easter.  We need local people to show support.  There is the chance for people to turn craft hobbies into small businesses.
For 31st March:

  • Stewards are need - if you can spare an hour or two between 11am and 4pm please give your name to Linda.
  • Set up will be early.Please speak to Graham or Pete if you can help with setting up or taking down stalls.

We have spoken to the Salvation Army re holding an indoor market.  Louise if going to talk to their Committee about it.  There would be a charge of approx £10 for stall holders to pay for hire of the facility.
b) PHT Street Action Project (Gaëtane) - This is a 2 year project funded by the People's Health Trust which will have been running for one year in June.  So far there are 10 streets who have Street Leaders with 2 more (Bensham Lane and Thirsk Road) joining soon.  The PHT map shows which streets are eligible.  Each street has its own focus but with Art projects and planting in the forefront at the moment.  In Quadrant Road participants are still waiting for permission for a mural from the owner of the wall.  Brook Road is looking at a mosaic on the corner.
c) The Pond Project (Pete) - This project is funded by a £500 bid from Stuart King.  £110 has been spent so far on flowers and bulbs and the rest will be done from next month.  It is hoped to put lights in the trees and the Director of Streets is working on getting quotes from contractors for electricity and water to the site.
The Pond Project is now part of the larger Our Green Mile Project which aims to create a green corridor from the Energy Garden at West Croydon Station along London Road to the Pond.  The aim is to get different groups working together including THCAT.
The project launch will be on Sunday 4th March starting at 11.30am at West Croydon with planters and a litter pick along London Road, arriving at the Pond at 12.30pm where there will be more planting.
Humayan asked if it could be linked to West Croydon Car Park which could be looked into.
d) High Street Regeneration - There has been a briefing and walk about and we are awaiting a reply from Richard at the Council on his progress  with owners of closed shops.
Dominos Pizza has opened and the Heath Grocers.  Wetherspoons is closing but there is no firm date.  Elysium at Ambasador House has been rented but there is nothing there yet.  Work is being done at HSBC.  There is no news of the Thomas Farley.
Gaëtane has put up "Fly Posters will be Prosecuted" signs and is taking regular photos of anything which goes up.
More positively: 2 new restaurants, Tapas and Pizza have opened at the Ponds to good reviews.  The rents at that end are cheaper.  The street works at the Station and Ambassador House are being carried out.  The paving is looking good and there is now a bus shelter.
7. Repowering Presentation (Edward McDermott and Felix from Repowering)
These are Community renewable energy projects offering people the opportunity to own, participate in and benefit from renewable energy.  There is currently a Social Enterprise in Brixton and they are now looking at opportunities across the Borough of Croydon for Council buildings suitable for solar panels.  Solar energy would then be used within the building eg Leisure Centres, Schools, Social Housing. 
No decisions have yet been made on which site(s) will be used but they want to get at least one building up an running as soon as pssible so that people can come and look at it.  There have been information drop-ins at Thornton Heath and Norbury Leisure Centres and an on-line poll to gauge interest.
The model is to:

  • Set up a Community Benefit Society who own the solar panels
  • They have a lease with the Council for the roof space
  • Money is raised through a share offer (min£50).People get a small amount of interest.It is low risk and a better return than the bank.
  • Non-investors can take £1 membership to have voting rights.
  • Some of the profit goes to a small Community Benefit Fund
  • The electricity is sold to the school etc at a reduced rate.
  • Any excess power is sold to the grid.

Mohammed asked if there would be apprenticeships:  In Brixton 30 youngsters have paid internships.  There will be solar panel making workshops.
The next step is for people who are interested to contact and an informal group can then be set up in Thornton Heath.  It will be easier to publicise once they know where the project is but it will take about a year to choose.
An article on Repowering will appear in the February Chronicle.
Anyone interested in the project should contact Felix Wight, technical director: ;  tel: 07973239892
8. a) Article 4 Update (Alison)
Councillors are working with Planning and Enforcement and a proposal for the whole borough will go forward for recommendation.  There are 7 areas proposed  including some parts of Thornton Heath.  The recommendation will be made by the end of March and Alison will report back to us.
b) Tesco - Alison has asked if the Council can lead on lighting to tackle some of the anti-social behaviour and push Tesco to pay for some of it on their building.  It is still very dirty, especially around the doorways.
c) Iceland - There has been a problem with rubbish in the area at the front of the store.  After lots of pushing on Twitter it was tidied up.  Graham suggested to them planters to prevent recurrence which Iceland are open to and Andrea and Pete are currently working on costings for options like planters, living walls or trees plus lighting to stop the dark corner being used as a toilet.  Graham tweeted them a "thank you" when the tidy up was done very quickly recently.
d) Crystal Palace Redevelopment - The Planning Application for the redevelopment of Crystal Palace Football Ground is in.  We need to engage re S106 funding from this for the area.  Alison will come back to Andrea on this.
9.  Date of Next Meeting - Tuesday 3rd April 2018, 7-8.30pm.  Venue to be confirmed.