Call to order
A meeting of the Management Group of Hoylake Vision Community Planning Forum was held at Monte Carlo Restaurant on 12.10.21.
Attendees: Nigel Blacow (NB), Mark Howard (MHo), Jon Morgan (JM), Julian Priest (JP), Maureen Hanson (MHa), Bryony Parsons (BP) (guest)
Members not in attendance
Alex Woods (AW), Jade Wright (JW), Jon Caswell (JC)
Approval of minutes
The minutes of the August meeting were approved. The September meeting had to be cancelled due to COVID.
Management Group Meeting Reports
- New potential member welcome and suggestions
Dr Bryony Parsons had expressed an interest in joining the group and was welcomed as a guest and introduced to the group. Bryony spoke of her interest in local matters, and as a scientist feels that objectives, priorities and policies that drive development and may impact the community at large should be evidence based so that consultation and engagement can be informed. Although Bryony’s time availability longer term may be limited for a while, she hopes to attend the next few meetings and was invited to join the management group, which she accepted.
- AGM arrangements
Given the impact that COVID had on postponement of the last meeting and arrangements for an Autumn AGM, as well as ongoing uncertainties about COVD restrictions and infection rates, it was decided best to postpone the AGM until the Spring of 2022. Chris Moore had agreed to hand over ‘the keys’ of the bank account at the AGM where Jon Morgan and Nigel Blacow would formally take over that role. It is understood less than £500 is in the account, an amount unchanged for some time. It was agreed that the promenade remodeeling ideas would capture the interest of a large number of people and we should prepare that as the keynote topic for the AGM.
- Carr Lane consultation progress
The Carr Lane consultation was again discussed and MHo would revise the existing survey forms and speak to Jo Harrop of PLACED about re-opening the consultation portal for a limited period.
- AECOM Design guide progress
The Design Guide had also been delayed significantly but Mho would speak to AECOM and ask for an update. In particular, it would be communicated that visuals of promenade re-modellings and sustainable drainage examples would be more helpful than a visualisation of Hoylake promenade at this stage.
- NDP boundary extension
It was decided that earlier management group idea to propose and consult on an extension of the NDP boundary, which would help facilitate potential future small-scale developments on the promenade, would be unhelpful at this time and risk significant confusion during the statutory six-week consultation period required for boundary redesignation. The Council’s results of the geomorphology and ecology studies are soon to be published and a programme of public engagement would follow. It was felt this should happen without any other distraction and once a new beach management plan is in place would be a better time to revisit this important question.
- Future consultation improvements
It was acknowledged that some had complained on social media that the 2020 consultation had been inadequate alongside other misapprehensions about the role of the forum. Additionally there is a tendency among some in the community to believe and repeat what is written on social media without question. This has been an ‘issue’ throughout our consultation work as far back as 2013; those who become aware of the forum and its work after a round of consultation feel they have been ignored or were unaware; this causes upset and is perhaps an inevitable reaction, albeit there is evidence that some, including forum members, have simply forgotten about what has been communicated. We need to find ways to put out more regular communications given our capacity limitations as volunteers. While we have tried extremely hard to consult widely including organising press releases, social media coverage, and surveys through letterboxes, it can always be improved. However we should also acknowledge that we will never be able to reach everyone; our capacity as a group of volunteers is limited and, further, “planning issues” are not attractive to or easily understood by many, especially those who assume “the council” should be doing this kind of work. A fresh communications programme of awareness raising and engagement is urgently required. Jon C and Jade W would liaise to set out some PR for local media and hyperlocal news including The Lake, The Hoylake Messenger, Wirral Globe, Liverpool Echo and social media. The group discussed further widening the forum and the management group and agreed to make some further approaches to people who might be helpful in addressing these issues and correcting some of the misapprehensions that are spread on social media.
- Next Newsletter
Another Forum newsletter is delayed but is needed soon; the group were again invited to submit content to MHo who would publish it asap in November.
It was agreed to move future meetings to the second Thursday evening of each month as this works better for the majority of the group.
Date of next meeting 11 November 2021