MINUTES OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 31 OCTOBER 2007
Apologies were received from Penny Braham, Alistair McLeod and Matthew Martin-Bird.
Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true record of the proceedings.
There were no matters arising that were not covered by items on the agenda.
Progress on the Questionnaires
Progress on the development of the Questionnaires had not progressed much since the last meeting, with the main effort being turned onto the grant application and the Open Meeting, scheduled for 8 November 2007 at 7.30 pm. All those general Questionnaires that had been circulated in draft for feedback and there were a significant number of questions raised. What had become quite clear was that people were unlikely to be prepared to devote the hour or so necessary to fill in form. This was accepted as disappointing as it meant that considerably less information would be elicited in one big hit. However, without a representative return, the information would be less valuable and probably polarised. It is necessary, therefore, to set up meetings after the Open Meeting to reconcile this feedback, with what information we need to gain and the production of the general Questionnaire.
Difficulty had also been encountered in securing topics for inclusion in the Teenager’s Questionnaire. All had tried to engage, with varying levels of success and the Committee felt Roger deserved special commendation for his enterprise in attending the school bus stop.
The Business Questionnaire needs further work, but so far there has not been much criticism of this.
Update on the grant applications
To a certain extent it was the completion of the grant application form that had driven the agreement that an Open Meeting should be held. In the first place there was time and secondly, it would help put flesh on a number of answers to questions. There was some worry that the grant application form had not been looked at earlier, but it was not capable of being downloaded so we had only had the experience of others to go by. It seems that the form has changed since they submitted their grant applications. In particular, there was some difficulty in understanding what was wanted in the context of estimates. To address this, it was agreed that a Finance Sub Committee meeting would be held the following morning and Stuart would attend. The concern was about the number of times that the draft would have to be submitted. It was agreed that we should send a draft to Bron as soon as it was prepared and then review the submission in the light of her comments. The submission could then be submitted with greater confidence and a few days ahead of the deadline to ensure that we could take on board any last minute comments.
Conduct of the open meeting including the presentation and engagement with those attending, advertisement and refreshments
The format of the meeting was discussed extensively and it was decided to prepare a PowerPoint presentation that Stuart would draft and Roger would make presentable. The obtaining of a projector had not been secured, but Jamie McCrae had offered the loan of one at a previous meeting. Thus, the format would offer a presentation, outlining the need for and process of formulating a Parish Plan, but concentrating on what we had achieved so far and where we wanted to go from here. It was decided to invite Bron and Cedric and include them in a question and answer session, but not to invite them to speak in any big way. It was felt this was important to show that it was the committee and residents driving this and not a pure Council initiative.
After the presentation there would be a break for refreshments, with the topic and interest boards available. This would be followed by a question and answer session.
It was agreed that publicity was all important and flyers had been sent to every household and business. In addition, all known organisations in the Village as well as those who had expressed an interest had been written to with a personal invitation. An article flagging up the Open Meeting had been included in the Parish Newsletter, the Knutsford Guardian would be contacted and the adverts had been placed on the Parish noticeboards. This had been quite an expensive exercise, but the Committee felt it was worth it.
A revised programme was discussed, with the aim to be to get the Questionnaires out at the end of January 2008, with the February 2008 Newsletter. This would enable returns to be achieved by the end of February and analysis to begin in early March. The Focus Groups could then start in mid to late March, running into April, with a view to getting a draft Plan out for consultation early in September.
There being no other matters the meeting closed, with a meeting to finalise the PowerPoint presentation to be held on Monday 4 November and for the Committee to meet to set things up a 2.00pm on Thursday 8 November 2007. The next full committee meting would be held on Tuesday 27 November 2007 at 7.30pm in the Rajar Building.