Blackheath Village Society
Minutes of meeting
22nd September 2021
Blackheath Cricket Club
Present: Liz Purvis (Chair), Tracey Bull, Paul Vincent, Sam Purvis, Paul Brodie, Nick Harrison, Christina
Hartshorn Peter Herbert and Charlie Bennett attended via Zoom
1. Apologies: none
2. Minutes of meeting 27th July 2021 awaiting approval
3. Matters Arising: None
4. BVS Constitution
(Details of the Constitution can be found on the BVS website).
LP introduced a discussion around the Purpose and Scope of the BVS and in particular Clause 2(a) of the objects of the BVS in the Constitution.
LP said that under its objects the BVS should be concerned with linking with other organisations for social and educational activities and raising money for them (e.g., The Village May Fair and the Bonfire Night Fireworks). LP raised the point that we may have been over-stepping our powers – an example being the BVS involvement in the Village pub campaign.
It has become increasingly difficult for the Chair to navigate contentious issues within the village and there is an expectation in the village that the BVS is obliged to comment/act on all grievances.
PB said that he did not believe that projects undertaken by the BVS over the years (e.g., the village well, local flooding, village parking, village clock, traffic calming measures, the Villagers pub, the gift aid scheme, and village signs) fall outside our remit. These have all been embraced and supported by a majority of the residents in Blackheath, utilising part of the funds from the annual fair which PB believes should continue.
NH said that he thought some of the activities the BVS had been involved in previously may in fact have been outside our objects even though they were of benefit to the village and pointed out that Clause 12(d) prevented us from amending our objects. However, he said that as regards the Villagers Pub campaign his concern was less about this than about whether it was appropriate for the BVS to take the lead in pursuing the campaign if it was opposed by a significant number of residents, or whether (if that were the case) it might be better if the BVS passed the baton to different organisation, such as the new community interest company proposed to be set up.
CB suggested that some of the more controversial issues are ‘looked at’ separately as a working group and the BVS acts solely as a facilitator.
PV is in support of many of the recent activities undertaken (e.g., The village well, the pub, village sign, and traffic calming measures) and that they fall within the remit of the objectives of the BVS in that they are connected to the provision of facilities. Where there are contentious issues, such as the cricket club or individual planning matters where there are likely to be different views within the village; PV sees the BVS acting as a facilitator i.e. in encouraging the parties to communicate.
PV suggested a letter to the Village to explaining the objects of the BVS. LP as Chair to draft. There are differing views within the committee as to the purpose and scope of the BVS.
5. Cricket Club Activities
A resident has sent an email to LP and separately approached PV expressing concern over the level of activities at the Cricket Club. LP to reply directly to the resident concerned directing them to liaise directly with the Cricket Club.
6. Pub Consultation document
The circumstances have changed with the purchase of the middle cottage and possibly also the pub. PB reported that there is also now an appeal against WBC’s decision refusing a change of use of the proposed pub. No date is set for hearing the appeal. NH to chat with the new owners to ascertain the facts and (if they have purchased the pub as well as the middle cottage) what their intentions are.
7. BVS website and email system
LP and Simon Jones have made progress on updating the Village website. However, changes are difficult for Simon to make as based on old software. NH suggested that Toby Webb might be able to design a new website for the village at modest cost. NH to approach Toby Webb.
NH suggested that all these issues could be resolved if the village email system were replaced with an email and administration system similar to that used by the Cricket Club, which has been designed by Graham Webb. This system could also be linked with any new village website. NH to chat with Graham Webb to ascertain whether he would be willing to provide this to the village and if so on what basis.
8. Village Social Activities
Bonfire Night – need to check with Steve Brockwell that the insurance is up to date
Village Christmas Party – suggestion by NH that we have a Christmas Concert (proposed dates 17/18/19 Dec). To be confirmed with Village Hall and NH to investigate feasibility
May Fair 2022 – LP not ‘in charge’ so a new candidate sort
CH will organise the village lights by home again this December
9. Expansion of Littleford Lane car park
Natural England have refused permission for this to happen
10. Dog waste/bins in car park
PB to contact WBC to ascertain whether if bins are installed, they would collect the waste
11. Village Hall Update
Meeting scheduled for 2 weeks’ time
Mary Crittall is selling the Chilworth Hill estate. PB to explore whether she would be willing to gift a small area of land at the bottom of the village for community purposes.
Anne Jenkins (Darbyns Brook) has asked to join the BVS Committee. It was unanimously agreed that she would be nominated for election at the upcoming AGM.
13. AGM 20th October 2021, 8pm in Village Hall 14. No date set for the next BVS meeting.