Communities Forum AGM December 2018

Hanover and Elm Grove Communities Forum

Minutes for the inaugural general meeting, Saturday 1 December 2018 (taken by Elaine Hills)

40 present, including representatives from various community groups: Hanover Action, Friends of the Patch, Pankhurst Estate, Hanover Residents’ Association (Finsbury Rd Flats), Brighton Youth Centre, along with council officers.

Simon from the council led the meeting along with Councillor David Gibson.

  • Introductory talk by Councillor David Gibson outlining the purpose of the forum.
  • Short welcome talk by Caroline Lucas MP

Discussion of constitution. The terms of the constitution need to be agreed today. And under the terms of the constitution the following need to be voted on today: chair, secretary, treasurer.

The following agreed to become committee members:

  • Tony Price
  • Sarah McCarthy
  • Sarah Davis
  • Vanessa
  • Mark Strong
  • Paul Tilley
  • Alexia
  • David Hearn
  • Leila Francis (Pankhurst Association)
  • Councillor David Gibson
  • Ian McIntyre
  • Duncan Blinkhorn
  • Elaine Hills

Points raised

Joyce nominated for Chair. Happy to take up but will relinquish if someone else comes along and wants to do it. David Hearn nominated as Secretary. No nominations for Treasurer so will be held over.

Discussion on whether roles could be time limited. Paul Norman pointed out they would usually be reviewed annually. Simon (from the council) stated that this could be discussed at a future committee meeting.

Local business worker, Mark Strong suggested an amendment to the constitution. He would like to add that membership of the group should also be open to businesses based in the area. The group were happy to make this amendment.

A discussion followed around the need for young people on the panel. Simon stated there will be sub-groups in which young people will be consulted and represented. Many agree with the need for young people to have a voice, particularly Helen from Brighton Youth Centre.

A community member suggested the remit of the committee position ‘online content and communications co-ordinator’ should be widened to include paper messaging to get message across to older people. Simon responded that the website reference was included in the position in relation to a later reference in the document.

Tom stated (in relation to point that representation from more young people is needed) that that the student ambassador on London Road may want to get involved as student representation is important. Sarah Mc Carthy raised the need for more ethnic diversity.

Simon stated that Rachel, head of city infrastructure, was supposed to come but couldn’t, as she’s ill, but it was agreed that she will attend a meeting in future.

Service providers spoke of their role:

Theresa (field officer): Said her role is new, and exists to support services across the council. Her and her colleagues’ job is to link people to the correct services and support. They will be the first point of contact with issues such as noise; they would visit people making the noise and make them aware of its impact. They are here to listen and learn, make people aware of who they are, and see where they can help.

Helen from Brighton Youth Centre: Working with other groups (such as Tarner) to support young people. They provide space and facilities for young people. They support new projects and work with young people to see what they need. Would like young people to feed into this forum.

A discussion followed about meeting the needs of different groups across the ward. Tom said the group should be diverse, representing different micro-communities. Simon said ‘community conversations’ will happen throughout the year to foster this.

Ian McIntyre from Hanover Action discussed the importance to the community of improving out recycling and rubbish collections. People lack knowledge that a lot of incorrect materials put into the recycling are burned. Looking into maybe Magpie running a scheme in the area, and getting funding from the city’s two universities. Rachel (who isn’t here) is tasked to work with the forum on this and improve things. Mark Strong pointed out that businesses can’t actually recycle and this needs to be addressed.

Jane (from Finsbury Flats) added that there is a lack of public info about what people are supposed to do with their rubbish. Another resident said that people need to stop people leaving bins outside their front doors. We need to think of a way to make people aware.

Ian spoke of the need to work ecologically and practically; saying we need more communal compost bins, Magpie to increase pickups, more recycling collections.

Paul from Phoenix Centre said he’s worked in Whitehawk on improving things and ensuring Cityclean having suitable facilities for different areas, and some of these ideas could work here in Hanover.

Further discussion on misinformation on posts about bin-collection days, people leaving out their green wheelie bin. Simon from the council said the council has tried to offer various solutions to stop people doing this but none have worked. There are many issues with bins for people living in Hanover.

David Gibson said the need to declutter the streets and provide more information on what to recycle could go into the action plan. This is in the Wellington Rd estate Action Plan

The meeting ended.