Thank you all for coming and supporting this meeting.
The SUPPORT that the Association has had from its members is a great encouragement to the committee and others who work very hard for the organisation. This has been very obvious at the planning meetings for Whitehouse Farm. We have a catchment of just over 200 households compared to 1500 each for Parklands and East Broyle RA’s, but our members turned out in force and this certainly influenced the proceedings. We did not get all we wanted, but we have put down a marker and we are now being informed and given a chance to make our comments, which will hopefully be taken into account in the discussions between the Council and the developers.
The Association has done very well over the last 14 months. I am sorry the AGM was delayed until after Christmas, but we needed to fit in another committee meeting to discuss how we are going to fill the hole in our budget – our treasurer will deal with this in a minute.
The Association was re-formed as a result of the threat from the new suburb of Chichester to be built at Whitehouse Farm. Many of you have been involved in the meetings and I have given monthly updates in the bulletins so I will not repeat all that again – if you don’t get the BULLETIN and would like to, please complete the form on the CLIPBOARD to let us have your e-mail address and we will put you on the list. Alternatively, you can visit the marvellous WEBSITE built by Colin Hicks, which contains a registration facility. Please do visit the WEBSITE anyway as it has involved a great deal of work and apart from keeping you up to date with all the things which are going on in Westgate, it contains a lot of information about the local history of the road and area. The address is www.westgatera.org.uk
Another area where the association has been very active and successful is in organising and supporting SOCIAL EVENTS to bring the residents together. Westgate has a reputation for being a very friendly road and I believe the activities of the association have enhanced this.
The one thing that we lack is a COMMUNITY HALL within our catchment area. We have been lobbying the Bishop to allow us to use St. Bartholomew’s Church, which has been empty for the last year, but permission has not been granted.
However, we are very lucky that Charlotte and Martin have taken over the Crate and Apple as they have welcomed us to use the pub for a number of functions. The next INITIATIVE are “LOCALS NIGHTS” which will start this Wednesday. From 5 – 8, you will be able to enjoy a SPECIAL MENU AND A DRINK all for a fixed price of £12. I hope you will support them and if you have a neighbour who is shy, please try and bring them, as one of the objects is to give an opportunity for those who does not normally come to our events to come out. The Crate is however a commercial business and we shall still try and get the use of the church as well.
I am not going to go through each event that has happened during the year, these have been covered by the E-MAIL BULLETINS and also the NEWSLETTERS which go twice a year to every household. I think the most important part of an organisation such as this is the people who are involved. I should now like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who have put their heads above the parapet and helped or organised activities for the association.
The first of course are our councillors many of whom have been very supportive with the Whitehouse farm issues and particularly LOUISE GOLDSMITH who manages to find time to figure on the national scene, but who is still accessible and very supportive at the lowest level. i.e. us!
I think it is important to acknowledge and THANK those who have been active in the community. It is very easy for them to be busy helping, but to be unappreciated. I don’t think we should applaud each person, because it really is a long list, but it would be nice if a person, who is here and their name is mentioned, would stand up briefly so that people can know who they are.
Firstly, I would like to tell you about the committee who have all put a great deal of time and effort into the association.
TONY SCHOFIELD who stood down during the year, was the previous chairman at the turn of the century, when the last incarnation of the Westgate RA petered out. He was invaluable in helping to get the show back on the road.
SANDY YOUNG has also stood down, although she is still organising the refreshments today. Her main contribution was to organise the incredibly successful street party. She will be missed this year.
COLIN HICKS who is our secretary and apart from the website has a hand in almost everything the association does. He is a very safe pair of hands and his many contributions are invaluable.
VINCE WALDRON who has taken over as Treasurer during the year. We all know that treasures are like gold dust.
You will hear from him later.
ANTHONY QUAIL who is also secretary of the Chichester Society so he has been able to keep us informed about what is going on outside the road.
He has also written our constitution.
BRIAN BIRD who has given us legal advice and has taken on the editing, production and distribution of the Newsletter.
BRIAN RAINCOCK who acts as liaison with the councils and as co-ordinator for several of the groups which I will mention in a minute.
PAULA STREET who is our minutes’ secretary and advises about how the WSCC works and also provides a balancing view as a younger and female member of the committee among all the old men.
We are looking for two more members and I am pleased that CECILIA COLE and JULIA SMITH have agreed to stand.
Now to the people who are working away in the background:-
PENNY TOMLINSON who is organising the refurbishment of all the planters and who has recruited 17 other residents to “adopt a planter” – I will spare you that list. She is currently working with Brian Raincock to get a grant so there will be money to spend on them.
LOIS COPE who really kick started our social programme by suggesting and organising the first Saturday morning Coffee at the Crate – first Saturday of each month, just turn up between 10 and 11 and meet the neighbours.
SALLY LOWE who runs the well supported KNIT and NATTER group on Monday mornings at the Crate
JANE DAVIES who has started a monthly French conversation hour in the Crate.
If you would like to join either of these have a word with the organiser or just turn up. Details are usually in the bulletin.
Despite all this activity we do not have a social committee but NICKY CLARK, HELEN SOLLY, KATHRYN KELLAGHER and ANNETtE HUTCHESON have agreed to form one with BRIAN RAINCOCK co-ordinating. The main job of this group will be to organise another street party for us this year. I must particularly thank ANNETTE for her efforts – if something is going on, Annette will be there helping, she is a treasure.
Back to the political side, the main concern with Whitehouse Farm is the traffic that will be generated and so we have a TRAFFIC ADVISORY GROUP who keep an eye on what is going on and advise the main committee. JOHN DAVIES, DAN KIRTLEY and BARRY SHEARS are founder members and JULIA SMITH has just agreed to join us. She has a particular interest in cycling.
Lastly GORDON and BEBETTE JONES, and DAVID and JANET TREGEAR take care of distribution in Tannery Close and Henty Gardens, they also join a number of others, as buddies for those without e-mail, who want to be kept in touch.
The danger of doing this, is that I shall have left someone out, please let me say sorry now, but I wanted to show what a wide selection of residents are actively supporting the association and to say thank you. If you would like to help please come and chat with one of the committee over tea. We have over 80 households, who have signed up for the bulletins, so there does seem to be a real interest in the Association.
Our Next Year
We are looking forward to another active year with negotiations due to start about the detail of the new road layout. I have a meeting with the other RAs and WSCC on 3rd February. The future of the old buildings at TANNERY CLOSE is also likely to be an issue, as are activities on the BREWERY FIELD. We hope to expand our social events as we see where there is demand and particularly look forward to another successful STREET PARTY. We also look forward to the revived PLANTERS making Westgate an attractive as well as a friendly place to live in.
Lastly there has been some confusion about whether your cup of tea and slice of cake after the meeting would be free. I can assure you it is. If there is any surplus, we shall be selling it afterwards for our funds. Thank you to Sandy for taking charge and to everyone who has donated cake and biscuits.