Call to order
A meeting of Hoylake Vision Community Planning Forum Management Group was held at The Lake Pub, Hoylake on 08.10.19.
Attendees: Mark Howard (MH) [Chair], Nigel Blacow (NB); Michael Coates (MC); Julian Priest (JP); Jon Morgan (JM)
New members Victoria Ponsonby and Andrew Lawton were welcomed
Members not in attendance
A;ex Woods (AW) [on six month leave for PHD]
Approval of minutes
Minutes of the previous meeting had been approved by the management group.
Management group and open forum minutes 08.10.19
- Review of AGM ALL
The hostile tone of a small minority of members of the audience had to be put on record. It was generally considered that this was unfortunately part of what appears anecdotally to be a co-ordinated long-term approach to disrupt, discredit and undermine the work of the forum and to directly criticise management group members. Other forums around the country experience similar challenges and it is perhaps one inevitable downside of Localism that must be accepted. Since the criticism against the forum and management was anecdotal, misinformed and had no basis in evidence, it cannot be addressed; the consultation we are undertaking and will undertake in future gives legitimacy to the work of the forum. The forum are reminded that the NDP passed into the local plan in 2016 via a referendum in which 86 percent of those voting were in favour. Concerns about conflicts of interest were firmly rejected and there would be no further response needed from the management group in this regard. It was unfortunate that the AGM had been affected in such a negative way but the forthcoming membership drive will strengthen the forum’s position in the community. Only where legitimate and evidenced concerns are brought forward can the management group deal with them accordingly. In all other regards the AGM had been successful in keeping forum members updated on the review of the last year and the key priorities for the year ahead.
- Update on funding from Locality MH
MH reported that with other priorities in recent months he had been unable to complete this important funding bid but would have more time available in the coming weeks. He would be meeting with PB as soon as possible and hoped to have a conclusion to this by December.
- Update on beach, NDP boundary and drainage issues JP / MH / NB
NB reported that an ongoing correspondence with council officers on the various drainage issues had been inconclusive. It appeared a water test had not yet taken place, and that the leakages were still very visible. JP concurred that this was still clearly evident and that the overlapping multi-agency responsibilities (EA, UU and WMBC) would make the issues more difficult to resolve. MH reported that he would be putting forward the proposal to extend the NDP boundary soon to WMBC and was n consultation with PB about this process; this would require re-designation but would not be subject to referendum. Both Natural England and Friends of Hoylake and West Kirby Beaches had proposed this originally in 2015. Given the coastal process changes that are clearly evident it is important the NDP should be able to include objectives, priorities and policies for the beach in order to better reflect those changes, which should be economically and environmentally sustainable, for the benefit of future generations.
- Update on ACV’s (NB)
NB advised that during the public meeting in Nov 2018 where ACV’s were discussed in detail, the forum had voted overwhelmingly that a list of possible ACV’s should be prepared and a number of suggestions were put forward by members. A list of ACV’s had subsequently been compiled and following discussion and approval by the Management Team the list was presented, with a full explanation, at the September 2019 AGM and there had been no objections. Therefore, it was now intended to submit the details of the proposed properties and open spaces to Wirral MBC at the earliest opportunity. NDB would look into how this would work in practice.
- Update on Co-op JM
JM reported that the Co-op works were proceeding and it appeared the unit could be occupied by mid November. It is unclear at present what use the existing building could have.
- Christmas Cracker ideas MC
MC was looking at options for running events in multiple venues with fundraising as a key objective. He would report back on progress at the earliest opportunity. It was agreed the Lake pub would be one of the key locations.
- Introduction to new management group members NB
Andrew Lawton and Vicky Ponsonby were welcomed as new management group members of the forum. Andrew is an accountant working in the financial services industry in Liverpool and Vicky is Landlady of The Lake Pub, Hoylake and Development Co-ordinator of North Liverpool Foodbank.
The meeting was opened to the public. Sean Murphy, Jo Clarke, Judy Blacow were in attendance.
- Reports of food waste at Hoylake supermarkets
MH explained that it had been pointed out that unsold fresh food was being thrown away at two Hoylake stores, the Co-op and Sainsburys. Judy Blacow, who is a Trustee with NEO Community, confirmed that it is the policy of supermarkets to first offer the food to local organisations and if there is no response it must be disposed of. Vicky Ponsonby confirmed this. The conversation led on to:
- It was acknowledged that a huge percentage of food waste that cannot be consumed or recycled goes to landfill, and that the carbon footprint of food production is enormous.
- It was widely agreed that the NDP should address this through objectives, priorites and policies and that we should draft these for public consultation before a future (likely post 2020 due to delays in the delivery of the councils Local Plan) referendum.
- a proposal that the NDP could include a specific policy that could require incoming F&D and retail businesses to demonstrate that procedures were in place for reducing food waste.
- it had been suggested we might be the first NDP in the country to include such policies
- A suggestion was made that Hoylake could become a Zero Food Waste Town with visible ‘accreditation’ via stickers on windows, for example
- Reservations were expressed about this idea:
- this could lead to unfairly punitive measures for non compliance; the example of Kingdom, for example, profiting from overzealous activity
- it might lead to further costs for small businesses and drive up the price of food, with younger people on lower incomes most affected.
- this could be an example of nanny state thinking
- It was suggested that if there is to be a food waste policy, it should extend to all waste disposal and recycling.
- These concerns were recognised and it was acknowledged that more information would be needed to fully understand the implications of such policies but the economic and environmental sustainability of food production and waste does need to be addressed; reassurances that this would not have a significant impact on any group of people would be needed.
- Other suggestions included:
- a community supermarket in The Beacon
- re-using coffee grounds from local cafes – Incredible Edible used to do this with Flavours
- Tap into resources of younger people and future thinking
- MH reminded the group that the forums Vision statement includes reference to the ambition for Hoylake to be a socially conscious town so this conversation sits well with that
- a new planning application for a Micro bakery was broadly welcomed
- concern was raised that it might adversely impact on trade for Fahys bakery, a longstanding and popular local business
- conversely, it was pointed out that that we have a number of cafes, pubs and hairdressers in the town
- it was acknowledged nevertheless that many businesses are still finding trading conditions difficult
- ongoing marketing of Hoylake was important and in this regard it was noted that:
- The Hoylake Open All Year Round brochure, funded by the “Town Team” fund, had been well received and had had a positive impact, but it had been costly and soon went out of date as businesses came and went; there was little appetite to repeat that exercise
- It was suggested we might develop an Hoylake Vision App showing what Hoylake has to offer, this could also include forum membership, attracting more 20-35 year olds
- MH/JM suggested an App might work better as an HVL project; one of HVL’s strengths and objectives is marketing and promoting Hoylake
- there is already a Hoylake Neighbourhood App with forums but it gets trolled!
- this kind of thinking generally was considered positive; such thinking could form a blueprint for good business and could be extended to include other things, such as good pension terms, and minimum wage
- MH concluded by thanking the group and guests, suggesting we all take away ideas from the meeting, reflect more on the implications and feel free to contact us with any more refined and specific proposals.
- There was no AOB
Date of next meeting 12 November 2019