For those of you that will be attending our AGM on Wednesday 21 April at 8pm.
There is still time to register. Register for AGM 21
If you are unable to find the July 2019 copy of The Villager magazine, below are the minutes of the last AGM that we held.
Report of the Open Meeting / The Pinner Association 87th Annual General Meeting held on 17th April 2019 at the Pinner Village Hall.
We were very pleased that the new CEO of Harrow Council, Sean Harriss, agreed to speak at the Pinner Association Open Meeting / AGM on 17th April. Robin Youle, President of The Pinner Association, welcomed Mr Harriss and Navin Shah AM to the meeting, and introduced Mr Harriss to the audience of some 100 members and others, explaining that he had previously been the CEO of Bolton and more recently the CEO of the London Borough of Lambeth.
Sean Harris remarked that he had been in post in Harrow for only ten weeks but already felt welcome and it was a privilege to work with councillors and council officers so committed to the borough and its residents. However, he was aware that there were issues that were of concern to some in the audience.
Harrow Council had two roles as the local authority; first as the provider of services, either directly or via third parties; and second to provide community leadership, such as liaison with the police to reassure the community about and plan a response to the recently violent incidents in the borough; longer term strategic planning for the regeneration of the borough; liaison with the local NHS; and communication with all local faith groups. The key duty of the council was to glue communities and place into a whole, and he had been impressed with how well the many varied communities in Harrow all worked together.
Providing over 500 different services for some or all of the quarter of a million population of the borough was a challenge in this time of austerity in public spending. Some services were delivered to only a small number of residents in need of specific assistance, for example the 30 to 40 disabled children who required social care, whereas other services were used by many of the residents. There are some 5,000 council tenants, and many of the older population received social care assistance, and the boroughs parks and libraries are well used by a large number of residents. Some services were popular with residents, such as the libraries, but others less so, such as council tax collection and parking enforcement, but all were necessary.
Difficult choices had to be made as a large amount of the council’s annual budget had to be spent on a relatively small proportion of the population, such as on child and adult social care which was a statutory duty, leaving only a relatively small amount for spending on the physical environment of the borough such as parks, waste collection, street cleaning, etc.. This meant that many council tax payers felt as if they were getting less but paying more, but this was due to the funding to Harrow from central government reducing dramatically from £53 million in the past to only £1.5 million this year. The inevitable decline in services was giving rise to frustrations and changing the relationship between the council and its residents.
Mr Harriss then answered questions from the audience. In reply to a query as to whether the Civic Centre was to move to Wealdstone he explained that the proposal to build a new Civic Centre building was to go to the Harrow Council Cabinet in May. The preference was still to build a smaller new Civic Centre and regenerate the current site for housing, but the time scale for this project had slipped.
Many in the audience asked about the “fiasco” still ongoing with the “Brown Bin” garden waste collections. The new bin stickers used to identify those households who had paid for this additional service had not been distributed to many of those who had already paid for the coming year’s collections. Harrow Council was sending out emails to those complaining blaming the postal delivery, but this was considered not to be the problem in the majority of cases. Mr Harriss agreed that the communication with and from the council about this matter had been remiss and that mistakes had been made with transferring data on those addresses that had paid. He felt that communication with the council must be improved and was actively working on solving all the problems with the brown bin collections.
The difficulty of those who do not use a computer in contacting the council was raised, and Mr Harriss acknowledged that the council was moving more of its contacts to on-line only. The “Access Harrow” phone call centre had previously employed 160 staff, but now there were only 60 employed. The driver for this was cost reduction, due to the effect of austerity on the council. He would look into the difficulties that some residents were having in communicating with the council. The Harrow Council website was currently being redesigned to be more user friendly and it was hoped that the new website would be available in six to nine months. He was asked to ensure that the new website was thoroughly “road tested” before going live, as the current website was full of bugs that made it virtually useless at times, and he confirmed that 1,500 volunteers had already been identified who would test the new website before it was released.
Other issues raised was where would Bridge Street residents park once the Waxwell Lane car park was shut, and whether the council would be able to assist residents of St Michael’s Crescent with liaising with the police on setting up CCTV cameras at each end of that road following the recent spate of burglaries in the area?
Robin Youle thanked Sean Harriss for speaking and answering questions and the audience showed their appreciation.
Minutes of the 87th AGM of The Pinner Association
The formal business of the AGM commenced at 8.55pm.
Minutes of the 86th AGM
The minutes of the 86th AGM held on 18th April 2018, as published on pages 67 – 71 of The Villager, No. 241, published July 2018, were duly proposed and seconded and agreed by the meeting.
Christine Wallace, Chairman of The Pinner Association, welcomed everyone to the meeting and commented that the Pinner Association had gained a strong identity over the many years of its existence and expressed the hope that it would survive for many years more. More people were needed to come forward and volunteer to be on the Executive Committee if the work of the Association was to continue to cover the wide range of activities and topics which were currently undertaken for the benefit of all who live and work in Pinner and Pinner South.
Communication with the members was vital and this was achieved via the website and Facebook site, which had over 1,200 “Followers”, both of which were now administered by Julie Waller. The Villager, magazine edited by Cynthia Wells, continued to be the primary method of communication for many members and had now reached the 243’rd edition. Christine thanked Julie and Cynthia for all their hard work. She also thanked the “Collectors”, the volunteers who delivered The Villager to members three times a year and collected the annual subscriptions from those who still paid by cash.
Other volunteers who helped were the Band Concert Stewards and the team who put up and packed away all the equipment needed for these events, ably organised by Julie Waller. Caroline Ennis was our volunteer who so efficiently did much of the administration for the Remembrance Sunday Service and she would need an assistant this year so please could anyone willing to help contact the Pinner Association Committee.
A new opportunity for volunteering on an occasional basis would be a project to improve the environment of the Bridge Street Gardens that was being planned. Watch out on the website and Facebook site for information on how you could help.
Tim Owen, Honorary Treasurer, referred the meeting to his written report which was set out on pages 75 and 76 of the March 2019 edition No. 243 of “The Villager”, and the abbreviated accounts for the year ended 31 December 2018 were set out on pages 76 and 77. A copy of the fuller set of annual accounts, in the format required by the Charity Commission, and which had been examined by and signed off by the Independent Examiner, was available at the meeting for any member who wished to see them.
Income for the year had decreased as in 2017 there had been income from the transfer of funds from Harrow Council ringfenced for the provision of festive lights in the High Street. Donations by the Pinner Association were also down, but £250 was again donated to the Pinner Cricket Club, and your Association also sponsored the Band Concerts whilst spending nearly £3,000 on the upkeep of gardens and over £6,000 on the provision of the festive street lights and street Christmas trees in Pinner. The Association now had £48,000 in its reserves, £44,500 being in unrestricted funds, and therefore suggestions from members as to how some of this money could be usefully employed to improve the amenity of Pinner residents, in line with the charitable aims of the Association, would be welcomed by the Committee.
The full accounts had been approved by the Pinner Association Executive Committee on the 2nd February 2019, and subsequently inspected by the Independent Examiner who had given an unqualified report and a signed copy of the accounts was available for inspection. There being no questions on the accounts, Cliff Lichfield proposed and Jim Boff seconded their adoption and by a unanimous agreement indicated by the members present the accounts for 2018 were adopted. The signed adopted accounts would be filed with the Charity Commission.
Creation of Joanne Verden as a Life Vice-President
Robin Youle proposed that Joanne Verden be created a Life Vice-President of The Pinner Association on the occasion of her retirement from the Executive Committee. Joanne had served on the Committee since the 1960’s and was Chairman in the 1990’s. In that time she had been actively involved with matters relating to the environment of Pinner such as planning and representing the Association on Harrow’s Conservation Area Advisory Committee, the landscaping and tree planting in three Pinner parks, the renovation of the Children’s Playground and creation of the Peace Garden in Pinner Memorial Park, the maintenance of the garden beds at Pinner Station (in conjunction with the late Dave Bolton), liaison with Harrow Council to keep Pinner high on their agenda, and many other tasks on Pinner behalf. Joanne had also liaised with the Harrow Heritage Trust for many years.
Shirley Clark seconded Robin Youle’s proposal and the meeting was unanimously in favour of the creation of Joanne Verden as a Life Vice-President of the Pinner Association. Robin presented Joanne with a plant as a token of the thanks of the Association. Joanne in reply thanked everyone for the honour bestowed upon her and said that two of her proudest achievements for Pinner were having trees planted and a bench installed at the top of Wakehams Hill and the renovation of the fountain on Tookes Green.
Election of Officers and Executive Committee
Christine Wallace, Chairman, conducted the election of the President. The only nominee was Robin Youle and he was duly elected by the meeting.
Robin Youle, President, then conducted the election of the Officers. Christine Wallace had been nominated and seconded by the due date and was elected as Chairman. For the other Officer posts there no contested positions, and the following, having been nominated and seconded by the due date, were confirmed in post with the agreement of the members present: Vice Chairman – Julie Waller; Hon. Secretary – Ruth Boff; Hon. Treasurer – Tim Owen; Hon. Membership Secretary – Jill Cock; Hon. Editor of The Villager – Cynthia Wells.
There had been six Executive Committee nominations for the ten posts available under the Constitution, and the following, having been nominated and seconded by the due date, were confirmed in post with the agreement of the members present: Rahul Aggarwal, Ed Badke, Shirley Clark, Warwick Hillman, James Kincaid, and Bruce Watson.
Robin Youle thanked those Executive Committee members who had retired at this AGM; Bill Dedman had covered Police for the committee and had contributed greatly to over areas, David Leibling had used his expert knowledge to cover Highways & Parking matters, Fiona Jones had assisted with Panto Evening and at the Band Concerts, and Joanne Verden had been a stalwart of the committee covering Environment.
Vote of thanks to, and election of, the Hon. Independent Examining Accountant
Tim thanked the Hon. Independent Examining Accountant, Mr Anthony Fineberg, who had kindly agreed to act in this capacity again. He proposed the vote of thanks to Mr Fineberg and his re-election as the Independent Examining Accountant for the coming year, and this was seconded by Bill Dedman and passed unanimously by the meeting.
The formal business of the AGM closed at 9.30pm.
Questions raised from the floor under “Open Forum” covered the following topics:
- What was to happen to Pinner Library? – Cllr Paul Osborn replied that it was to remain open and be refurbished.
- What was the Pinner Association’s “vision for Pinner”? – Robin Youle explained that Harrow Council as the local authority wrote the local plan for the borough and it was the task of the Association to do our best to look after Pinner. Ruth Boff added that the Association sought to preserve what was already good and supported new initiatives that would enhance the quality of life for Pinner residents. Cllr. Kan Chana informed the meeting that every second Saturday the local councillors held a surgery for residents to air their views and discuss their concerns.
- Would the Association be monitoring the disruption that would be caused during the development of the Waxwell Lane car park site? – Julie Waller replied that as a resident of Waxwell Lane she was closely monitoring all aspects of the new development and had already requested information on the proposed noise protection, lorry routes, hours of works, etc.. Julie would act as a coordinator for complaints from neighbours of the site and would liaise with Harrow Council and the contractors.
The meeting closed at 9.45pm.