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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Darnall Forum AGM

Darnall Forum AGM

Church of Christ, 6.30pm 24 September 2013

Present – 23 people

Apologies - none

The Minutes – were agreed to be a true record

Matters Arising –

The Primary Care Centre project was completed and Darnall Well Being is now a tenant

A letter of thanks should be sent to Shabana for all her help

Financial report - Neil Bishop spoke to the Statement of Financial Activity and the Balance Sheet, explaining the financial position of the charity. The accounts were approved and the independent examiners were reappointed. Another firm had offered to quote but withdrew because they could not compete.

Trustees’ Report Presenting the report Sylvia said that staff now have to work part-time and it is only because of their commitment and dedication that the charity is able to carry on. Neil is a ferret and really gets his teeth into things.

Sylvia said the Work Programme had proved an absolute nightmare but thankfully the Charity made a small profit, largely thanks to the efforts of Nazia, before the trustees decided to withdraw in 2013.

We had an information day last year instead of a carnival but - considering the weather - it was reasonably well attended.

Elections - thirteen people agreed in principle to serve as trustees

Local issues - It was reported that the library has been identified as a hub library that should remain open and under Council management. Cllr Lea confirmed that Darnall was not on the list of closures because it was considered a hub library. Recommendations have been made set against a number of criteria and a statutory consultation is starting shortly.

The Carnival was a big success. About 5,000 people attended and everyone had a good time. It was very harmonious.

A resident asked about the attempts to clean up Shirland Lane and other environmental issues. There is going to be a voluntary clean-up day and Veolia are also drafting in extra staff to address the issue. However, there are bulky items of furniture which are an eyesore. Cllr Lea promised to contact Streets Ahead about this. She said that it would be good to remind people in the Darnall Herald how to get bulky items taken away. Neil P said the Darnall Environment Task Group was trying to get residents to take pride in the neighbourhood, although he agreed that persuading private landlords was difficult even though piles of rubbish left on their property must discourage new tenants from occupying it.

In Tinsley a litter busters' group has been formed to take action about rubbish. Zahira said the same thing could be done in Darnall. The community organisers are available to help people if they want to try to do something about it here. Mary Lea said that teams using local pitches to play games should clear up after themselves. Sylvia has been into schools taking assemblies to encourage pride in the environment.

A member of the meeting said a lot of things thrown away could be 'free-cycled' if people were educated about it. Could Amey staff knock on the doors of people with bulky items on their property and tell them about this? Mary Lea said there will be a week of community action to promote recycling. There is a free-cycle website which needs advertising.

Neil Parry  from East End Quality of Life pointed out that people are not ringing in to report fly-tipping.

Sylvia said the closure of the Darnall and District Advice Service has caused a real problem. Cll Lea reported that there will be one advice service for the whole city which will make sure that every area is covered.  Neil Bishop said the current advice sessions don't meet the demand and some of the capacity is taken up by advice sessions for Slovak speakers. There has been an attempt to move to triage appointments with follow-up where appropriate. There will also be a move to more telephone and online advice which doesn't always work in an area like this.

Neil Bishop explained about the conversion of the post office to a main branch, which is now likely to happen in November, but our ATM may be installed in October. Someone said that Royal Mail was too expensive but Neil B reminded the meeting that when they used the post office local residents were helping the local community, especially people who are not able or are not comfortable to use the internet.

Sylvia reminded people about Community First. There is one more funding round this year and the closing date for applications is Friday 11 October.

AOB - Sylvia was thanked for her 13 years as chair of the Forum and presented with gifts. Cllr Lea and others said how much her leadership had been appreciated.