Central Ashford Community Forum
Minutes of Trustees’ Meeting held at 38 Albert Road, Ashford
on Tuesday 26th September 2017
Present: Christine Green (Vice-Chair), Emily Neighbour (Secretary), Jim Davies, Popiraj Rai, Jean Roue, Sylvia Fairley, Paul Fortnam, Kate Harris,
Also Present: Betsy Heightman
Apologies: Jo Jowers (Chair), Malcolm Finch (Treasurer), Catherine Godard, Matthew Forest
Resignation of Trustees
The Chair Jo Jowers had stood down as Chair because she was now working full time in London. It was hoped that she would be prepared to stay on as a “sleeping Trustee”, and kept on the e mail list. Matthew Forest had been in touch, apologising that he had not attended meetings for some time. He had been ill and felt unable to continue as Trustee. [Also, it should be reported that Brian Critchley, one of the very first Trustees of CACF had died since the last meeting].
Welcome by Vice – Chair and Introduction of existing Trustees
All present briefly introduced themselves.
Approval of Minutes of March meeting Wednesday 29th March
These were approved.
Annual General Meeting
A variety of venues was discussed. The favourite suggestions were a town centre church, the Baptist in Station Road, Centrepiece or St Mary’s. A selection of dates in late October and early November were agreed. Two possible speakers were proposed, a representative of Citizen’s Advice Bureau and a presentative of Repton Connect, the new community hall in Repton Park. The Secretary would firm up a definite date. When it was fixed it would be publicised through the Kentish Express, social media and posters around the town.
Potential New Trustees
Three people had already expressed an interest in coming on as Trustees of the Forum. These would be personally invited to attend the AGM.
There had been little progress in spending the grant that had been given to CACF in January 2016. The most recent idea of renovating the rose beds on Mace Lane had stalled as the ownership of the land was not known. The Secretary suggested that as an alternative the money could be spent on the grounds of the new hall in Repton Park. Kate Harris suggested that CACF could sponsor an event in the town centre. She had particularly enjoyed the Hallowe’en event in 2016. She had contacts in the Chamber of Commerce and had heard that this year there would be a Snowdog event at Christmas and local businesses had been invited to sponsor it. She would make enquiries as to whether CACF could be involved in this.
The East Stour funds had still not been released. Councillor Galpin had been trying to resolve this.
Outside Meetings attended
The Vice-Chair had attended the Town Centre Steering Group and the KCC Rail Summit. She had provided written reports.
The Secretary had attended a “Design Panel”. CACF and South Ashford CF had been invited. The development of the old B&Q site opposite the International Station was discussed by a team of eminent architects that have offered their services to ABC to comment on the design of big developments. A housing association had an option to buy the land and wanted to build a significant number of flats in a block which would include a tower of at least 14 storeys. Only 10% of the flats would be for social housing. So far this proposal had not come forward as a formal planning application.[The Secretary had also attended a consultation on open spaces in Ashford urban area. The resulting document which would make up part of the Borough Plan had recently been put out for formal consultation. She had been impressed with the officers in charge who were doing their best to improve the provision of play areas and quality open space in urban and rural areas]
Outside meetings forthcoming
Conningbrook public art consultation – 6th October 3.30-5pm Julie Rose; 6-8pm Kennington WI hall.
Ashford Parish and Community Forum – Aldington Eco Centre, 9.30am to 3pm.
The Secretary would attend the Ashford Forum to represent CACF.
Ashford Hospital Site: Kate and Betsy reported little had changed since the last meeting. The old hospital had been secured so the vandals had focussed instead on the two derelict houses on Chart Road. These were now to be improved with the addition of two new builds. Another housing application had come in for the health centre site, to be accessed from Chart Road.
Prince Albert pub: an application had come in to build a block of flats on the site which CACF had objected to. The building had still not been demolished.
Date of AGM: this will take place on Wednesday 25th October in the Centrepiece Church from 7.30pm. The two speakers have confirmed they will be able to attend.
Meeting closed 9.00 pm