Blackheath Village Society - Minutes of the Meeting Held at Theobalds on 16th June 2022
Present : David, Paul, Simon, Charlie, Sam, and Laura. Apologies : Anne, Peter, Max, and Ralph.
1. Minutes of the Meeting Held on 15th March 2022 :
The minutes were approved and there were no matters arising.
2. The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Party :
David explained how successful the event was and enjoyed by the whole village. We will be in a position to make a donation to the Ukraine Appeal of £1,000. It was agreed that we would support the Ukraine Local Re- settlement Fund and Paul will speak to Nick Harrison to find out the contact details.
David explained that the distribution of mugs was nearly complete and he would provide Paul with details of everyone that has paid so that he could check the bank statement with HSBC to establish all of the credits. Those who have not paid will be contacted in due course.
It appears that we ordered too many mugs and there are approximately 50 left, which we will display at the coffee morning to be held on Thursday 23rd June in the Village Hall and offer them for sale at the Cricket Club on Saturday nights, with the option of selling the remaining mugs at other functions the BVS will be hosting during the rest of the year.
3. Blackheath Village Email List :
Simon provided an explanation how the Cricket Club used Team-Tamer which the Blackheath Village Society could take advantage of as part of their new website.
a) GDPR compliance.
b) Emails can be sent to different categories, although the present simpler system is easier to use.
c) Excellent for organising events, selling tickets, and collecting money through Paypal.
It was agreed that we would maintain the existing email facility and any emails would be sent solely by Simon whenever possible. In the meantime, either the Chairman or Secretary will approve any emails until the Committee defines what can and cannot be sent by residents. With this in mind, each committee member will provide Paul with their ideas of what should be included and excluded from the mailing list. We will then discuss the exact criteria at our next BVS meeting. Sam reminded everyone that the Blackheath Facebook page is always available for residents to send messages, that cannot be sent on the mailing list. Once the parameters have been agreed, we can circulate this information to Blackheath village residents, to clarify the use of the mailing system.
Charlie has agreed to contact and meet up with either Graham or Tony Webb to organise the proposed new website and more importantly to arrange for us to operate Team-Tamer initially independently and then as part of the WIX webpage, when completed. We initially agreed that the BVS would ask for a contribution of £5 from each resident in Blackheath Village. We have now subsequently decided that we will bring the village up to date with progress on the emailing list and the new website, but will not be charging the residents any subscriptions. We will instead utilise funding received from charitable events to cover our expenses.
David followed on by expressing his enthusiasm to try and change the image of the BVS and communicating to all the residents that our focus is to run events and activities on behalf of and for the benefit of the residents of Blackheath Village.
4. The Villagers Public House :
Paul provided the Committee with an update and the continued frustration of dealing with Waverley Borough Council.
The council has acknowledged that Condition 2 of planning consent WA/2017/1853 has been breached, which states that prior to commencement of the development, the internal refurbishment of the public house will be submitted and approved by the local planning authority. The refurbishment should have been completed within six months of the date of first occupation, which has now passed. The council now believes that it is not in the public’s interest to prosecute the owner for failing to refurbish the pub and we acknowledge that the council cannot force the new owner to open the pub, but they have a duty to implement formal enforcement action.
The BVS pub committee has therefore agreed to write formally to the Chief Planning Officer, setting out the society’s current frustration with the planning system and its implementation. A copy of the letter is attached to this email.
Paul also provided an update on the possibility of opening up a pop-up coffee shop (converted horse box) at the back of the car park, which the Honourable Peter Herbert has agreed to on a temporary basis. Therefore, it is proposed that the owner (Sophie Nott) meet up with Laura and an informal agreement can be established for the use of power. This arrangement will be for a maximum of six weeks, after which planning permission will be required and a formal agreement established with Peter if Sophie deems it to be a successful enterprise and we obtain the full support of the local neighbours & village as a whole.
5. The Cricket Club :
Simon provided an update of the present activities. He made a request that the BVS try and encourage local residents to attend events like Saturday night evenings, which have been extremely successful. David agreed that he would draft an email for everyone’s consideration to emphasise the points made earlier and how we should support all of our local amenities, including the Village Hall, St Martin’s Church and the Cricket Club.
It was confirmed that the original idea of residents blank membership, which included a £500 donation by the BVS to the Cricket Club in 2010 has now been superseded and the Cricket Club requires individual residents to register as non-playing members for a nominal charge of £5. This is a requirement for GDPR and that every member signs up and abides by the general rules and health & safety regulations of the Cricket Club.
It was confirmed that a wedding will take place on Friday 12th August 2022, which may cause minimum disruption to parking facilities in and around the Cricket Club. Simon confirmed that "cricket week" would be commencing on Monday 1st August 2022 and the BVS will send an email to residents in good time prior to this annual event.
6. Future Events :
It was agreed that we would hold a Summer BBQ on Monday 29th August 2022, which will be a charitable event but will be charged to all adults (children free).
David explained that he would like to re-package this as a summer party with live (old time) music which everyone can enjoy as a family event. Jackie Beadle has agreed to provide children’s games and other ideas include a game of rounders, hiring a bouncy castle for the children, with other forms of entertainment. Simon will ask Bramley village if they have any stalls we can loan and Laura suggested we ask an ice-cream van to attend as well. Charlie will complete a colourful A4 flyer, which we can distribute by hand and email for this event.
Other events include Bonfire Night on 5th November for only village residents and their guests together with a Christmas Party on 17th December. Sam will check that the Village Hall will be free for the Christmas
It was agreed that we would include a section in our next email to the village with a section - “save these dates”.
7. Wonersh Parish Council :
Max was unable to attend the meeting and provided a summary of the points he wanted to raise, which included the following:
We should look at protecting the verges in Blackheath Village and various options were discussed during the meeting. These included re-building the verges, adding posts, and digging out the ditches to avoid the verges being washed away after heavy rainfall. While no conclusion was reached it was agreed that Paul would Paul suggested that we may consider holding the Bonfire Party on National Trust Land as we have done in the past. This is essentially between the car park at the top of Blackheath Lane and halfway along the road towards the post box. We will need to gain permission and arrange a working party to clear the area, but it would make this a more inclusive village event rather than open to the wider community. It is unlikely that we will obtain permission due to health and safety regulations that are imposed upon us, but worth asking.
conduct a general survey of the whole village and identify those areas that are bad and need attention. Various solutions will be considered, including re-building and/or protection with stakes/railway sleepers for the committee to discuss.
Laura requested that we consider installing a new sign asking delivery drivers to slow down on the private road towards the post box in the woods, as there are many walkers and dogs crossing at this point. Paul said that he would organise signs in both directions.
Other points raised by Max included Wonersh Parish Council’s responsibilities in respect to street furniture, including posts and traffic calming measures, which will be discussed with Max at the next meeting.
8. The Village Hall :
Sam provided an update explaining that the Village Hall finances were in good health, even though there was a lack of business due to Covid-19. They had benefited from two grants and the front of the property has been redecorated, with a new kitchen being installed later this month.
The Gift Aid Scheme was discussed and it was agreed that perhaps we should update the village and encourage residents to join the scheme to assist in future funding of the village hall. Sam will speak to David Allen to try and revitalise the scheme and report back accordingly.
9. BVS Treasurer :
No one has been appointed to date and no volunteers have been forthcoming. David will include a request for anyone interested in taking on this role within the general email to residents discussed earlier in the meeting.
10. First Aid Course :
Simon confirmed that the next First Aid Course would be carried out at the Blackheath Cricket Club Pavilion on Tuesday 5th July at 7pm. There are possibly a number of vacancies available and Simon will advise David how many remain on the course. It was agreed that the BVS should arrange for additional dates in the future for the whole village to attend and will understand how to operate the defibrillator at both the Village Hall and the Cricket Club.
11. Any Other Business :
Sam explained that Mary Crittel advised him that the new owners may be happy to keep the village fair equipment in their barns, but this has not been confirmed yet. He also noted that the Strong Arm Machine was under tarpaulin at the Abbey and decaying rapidly.
The Village Fair for 2023 was not discussed and it was agreed to add this on the Agenda for the next meeting.
12. Next Meeting :
It was agreed that we would hold the next meeting on Tuesday 8th August 2022 at 8pm (Theobalds). This will provide us with an opportunity to finalise the arrangements for the Summer BBQ.
Last but not least, we would like to thank David for hosting the meeting at Thoebalds, with snacks and drinks provided during the course of the meeting.
Kind regards, Paul