• Mary Breakell

31 October 2019 Newsbrief 57 AGM Minutes and Update

Updated: Nov 25, 2019

NEWSBRIEF SUMMARY

2019 CLOUD Annual General Meeting

MInutes of the 2019 AGM, including report on activities over the last year and election of the CLOUD committee for the year to October 2020.

Lancaster Local Plan

Responses to the proposed Main Modifications to the Local Plan are now available on the Council website. CLOUD’s features as one of the main objectors and there are demands from housing developers for more housing land to be allocated and earlier than in the Plan (no surprise with any of this!).

CLOUD Finances

We had an excellent response to our fund-raising request at the AGM - further donations welcome!

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MINUTES OF THE 2019 CLOUD AGM

23rd October 7.30-9pm at Rowley Court, Scotforth

21 members present including local councillors: Erica Lewis, Abi Mills and Tim Hamilton-Cox

Cloud committee: Stephen Constantine, Mary Breakell, Tony Breakell, Rosie Morgan, Mark Salisbury, Sally Salisbury and Tom Wilkinson

Apologies: Peter Quick, Jet Harris, Val Purnell, John Mosey, Anne Windsor, Cliff Windsor, Sue Aspinall and Peter Cheason

Minutes of the last AGM held on 30th Oct 2018 were approved.

Matters arising. Not specifically from Minutes but general discussion items listed in item 6.

Report by Chair on last year’s activities. There have been numerous Cloud committee meetings and considerable email traffic between members, experts, supporters and other local groups concerned with planning and flooding.

(a)Media/ Communication activities were outlined by Mary Breakell: all Newsbriefs are now on our website and searchable. We have had two articles in the Lancaster Guardian over the year. Facebook is useful for sharing information with local members and residents’ groups. Twitter has been useful for sharing ideas and learning from groups in all parts of the country faced with similar issues. Members in the room expressed positive feedback on how well people were kept informed. Leaflets are also used to advertise meetings for those not on social media or email. Steve Williams asked if website could have a discussion forum but this would need constant monitoring and would be subject to spamming so is not desirable.

(b)The Local Plan public hearings, chaired by the Planning Inspector Mr Richard McCoy, were held to determine whether the Local Plan is ‘sound’. These represent the most significant event reported. Stephen Constantine explained proceedings and illustrated how Cloud committee members spoke on issues such as transport, air pollution, flood risk, environmental impact and housing and jobs. Neil McDonald, our paid consultant, strongly criticised the housing need calculations used by the Council, showing them to have been significantly exaggerated. His evidence and arguments led to an extra day of Hearings. The Planning Inspector’s Final Report has not yet been published, though his interim letter led to the consultation on Main Modifications which ended on 9 October 2019. Cloud submitted a response in September. We now await the full report from Mr McCoy and also details of the South Lancaster Area Action Plan and the results of the HIF bid (Housing Infrastructure Fund) for the J33 changes and the road link across the railway into the garden village site. The impact on the Local Plan of changes in the composition of the city council after the 2019 local elections and the declaration of a climate emergency remain to be seen.

Report by Treasurer, Tony Breakell, on CLOUD’s finances. The accounts are available on our website and copies were distributed at the meeting. The Treasurer reported that virtually all CLOUD’s funds has been spent on bringing Neil McDonald, our expert consultant, to the Hearings and considered this to be money very well spent It was noted that Mr Mc Donald’s fee was actually more than the £2550 paid by CLOUD, because of the extra hearing day. That extra cost was paid by several individuals. Jill Bundy suggested they could be reimbursed when CLOUD acquires more money. The CLOUD committee were extremely grateful for the suggestion but the offer was declined as it was felt that money will be needed for future actions. Steve Williams suggested perhaps we have a membership fee. It had been agreed when CLOUD was established that, rather than a membership fee, contributions should be voluntary and the meeting agreed this should remain the case. Currently CLOUD has 220 members. Abi Mills suggested voluntary standing orders which people could set up if they wished and this was accepted. The Treasurer proposed a new target of £250 for future publicity (flyers etc) and room hire. The meeting agreed to this. (Post meeting note: the collection at the end raised £154 for which the CLOUD committee is enormously grateful).

Election of the new management committee for the year to October 2020. Thanks expressed for all hard work and time given by current committee. Jet Harris is not standing for re-election and there were particular thanks to him for his contributions. Also thanks went to Tony Blendall, present at the meeting, for his valuable advice and dedication to attending meetings and the Hearings

Nominations

Chair: Stephen Constantine, proposed by Ann Windsor, seconded by Cliff Windsor. Elected

Secretary: Rosie Morgan, proposed by Abi Mills, seconded by Dina Lew. Elected.

Treasurer: Tony Breakell, proposed by Nigel Cook, seconded by Val Purnell. Elected.

Communications: Mary Breakell, proposed by Val Purnell, seconded by Jill Bundy. Elected.

Committee member: Mark Salisbury, proposed by Joyce Pollard, seconded by Tracy Brind. Elected.

Committee member: Sally Salisbury, proposed by Jean Jeffreys, seconded by Nigel Salisbury. Elected.

Committee member: Tom Wilkinson, proposed by Damien Perry, seconded by Kay Perry. Elected.

Committee member: Steve Williams, proposed by Jill Bundy, seconded by June Constantine. Elected.

Committee member Barbara Walker, proposed by June Constantine, seconded by Sally Salisbury. Elected.

AOB: (a) Mary Breakell pointed out that the year had been tiring for those heavily involved. She said that she and other committee members were keen to continue but will need help as South Lancaster Area Action Plan unfolds.

(b) Steve Williams asked the question about the Hearings: ‘Where were our elected representatives?’ Those committee members present at the Hearings replied that some were present and named Councillors Abi Mills, Tim Hamilton-Cox and Gina Dowding.

Date of next meeting to be arranged - once we know the outcome of the Local Plan Hearings.

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LANCASTER LOCAL PLAN : MAIN MODIFICATIONS

As we reported in CLOUD Newsbriefs 54 & 55 - Follow link the Planning Inspector proposed a series of Main Modifications to the Local Plan with the aim of making it ‘sound’ and so fit to be implemented. CLOUD’s response to these Main Modifications was to object on the grounds that some changes were merely aspirational and not specific, that our evidence on housing needs numbers had not been taken properly into account and so on. (The full CLOUD response is in Newsbrief 55).

What has now happened is that the Council has published all the responses to the Main Modifications on the Local Plan website. You can find them at Local Plan Examination - Local Examination News - or follow this link : Follow Link.

There are 41 reponses in total, mostly from the property developers and housing companies which dominated the Local Plan Hearings back in April and May. Statements welcoming the allocation of Bailrigg Garden Village for residential development (we understand this to mean the piecemeal development of sites adjacent to the A6 south of Scotforth as detailed in the Statements of Common Ground in the Hearings). There are also demands for more housing land to be allocated and earlier in the plan timescale. None of this should come as any sort of surprise. Also to be noted, especially by CLOUD supporters around the Chapel Lane area, is the response on behalf of Lancaster University. This argues for the University to be allowed to build additional wind turbines between Hazelrigg Lane and the M6.

On the other side of the argument, there are objections to loss of Freeman’s Wood and other local community groups in addition to CLOUD.

In the time available, the CLOUD committee has been unable to wade through all the responses so there may be other ‘gems’ we’ve not yet found. If you do spot anything of interest, please let us know - and if any CLOUD member is willing to help with the jobs of reading and commenting on planning documents, please step forward! It looks as though we’re going to be inundated with yet more light reading in future. In the meantime there is little we can do but wait for the Planning Inspector to issue his final report. We have little idea as to whether this is days or months away, but will pass on any news as soon as we receive it.

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CLOUD FUND-RAISING

The 2019 AGM raised £154 towards our agreed target of £250 to cover the cost of flyers and room hire for future meetings. Contributions are welcome from CLOUD members who weren’t at this meeting and can be made to the CLOUD account at the Cumberland Building Soc. Here are the details :

Cumberland Building Society

26-28 Cheapside

Lancaster

LA1 1LZ

Account Name CLOUD

Account No 54234823

Sort Code 16-52-21

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