MINUTES OF THE AREA FORUM EAST
21 July 2005
The Area Forum East met at 6.30pm at The Friends Meeting House, Castle Road, Hartshill.
Present: Councillor Forwood in the Chair
Councillors Bassan, Beeson, Edgington, L Freer, R Freer,
Hall and Robinson.
In Attendance: John Bird, Judith Edwards-Sturley, Simon Powell, Alethea
Wilson and Jenny Price - North Warwickshire Borough Council
Alistair Rigby - Warwickshire County Council
John Randle – Hartshill Parish Council
Glenys Roberts - Hartshill & Nuneaton Recreation Committee
H Blackburn – Mancetter Parish Council
Howard Vero – The Chamber
Judy Vero – Atherstone Civic Society
Roy Gadsby – Hartshill Parish Council and Hartshill &
Nuneaton Recreation Committee
Chief Inspector Christopher Lewis – Warwickshire Police
Christopher Fossey – Warwickshire County Council
Rod Parker - NWCVS
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Grant, Place and Tooth, Gill Davis
(Primary Care Trust), Amanda Macchi, Ruby Chambers, (Atherstone Town Council), Trevor
Hopkins, (Mancetter Parish Council), Christopher Foster, (Atherstone Town Council).
The minutes of the meeting of Area Forum East held on 21 April 2005, were
approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
2. Public Questions
Howard Vero put the following question to the Forum;
There is very strong support for the proposal by Atherstone Town Council to acquire
the redundant Magistrates’ Court in Atherstone for its offices and a community centre.
The town has a number of community groups which are in urgent need of a place to
meet. The heritage centre and the dramatic society are also in need of a permanent
place to meet. The Magistrates’ Court would satisfy these needs and would also offer
ad hoc meeting rooms for other bodies such as the Borough and County Councils.
This is an excellent opportunity for the Community Partnership to show that it is
operating effectively and for the good of all of the community.
Is the Borough Council prepared to back this proposal and if so how can it help the
Town Council to acquire the buildings?
John Bird responded as follows;
A report would be going to Executive Board on 25 July 2005 to seek authority to
carryout a review of major non housing Council accommodation. The Council would
need to consider what the best options are, which could include renovating existing
premises, disposing of current assets and developing new ones, looking at joint
facilities (e.g. multi-purpose public buildings) and in doing so look at opportunities to
work in partnership with other agencies. The issue of the former Magistrates’ Court
would form part of that review.
The Borough Council were aware that Atherstone Town Council were in the process
of reviewing their own accommodation needs and would be preparing a business
plan/ feasibility study in relation to the Magistrates Court complex. The Borough
Council were waiting for the results of the feasibility study.
Questions were then raised about who would be taking the lead on the sale of both
the Police station site and the Magistrates’ Court and who would be acting as agent.
Alistair Rigby reported that the matter had been discussed at the North Warwickshire
Area Committee the previous evening and suggested that the minutes of that meeting
would provide the definitive answer.
It was agreed that copies of the minutes of the Area Committee meeting would be
forwarded to Atherstone Town Council members.
3. Traffic Management – Chris Fossey (Warwickshire County Council)
Chris Fossey gave a presentation on traffic safety measures which included
engineering measures, funding for installation of such measures, priorities for work
undertaken and meeting Government targets. Chris explained that the best way to
reduce road casualties was a combination of education, engineering and
Questions were taken from the floor on local road traffic management issues in the
Hartshill, Mancetter, Atherstone and Ansley areas which were addressed by Chris
Leaflets and contact details where made available at the meeting.
4. The Rural Strategy – Judith Edwards-Sturley (North Warwickshire Borough
Judith Edwards-Sturley presented a report of the progress of the Rural Strategy and
The North Warwickshire Community Partnership had produced the draft strategy.
The strategy had gone out for consultation. Questionnaires had been sent to the
People’s Panel and distributed to shops, offices, health providers, partnership theme
groups, parish councillors and made available on the Council’s website. The Forum
were encouraged to complete questionnaires, which were made available at the
meeting. Completed questionnaires should be returned by Friday 29 July 2005. 300
responses had already been received.
Following the public consultation, the strategy would be finalised in August, with a
view to all partners signing up to it in September 2005.
5 Borough Play Areas – Alethea Wilson (North Warwickshire Borough Council)
Alethea Wilson gave an update on the progress on Borough Council play areas.
The timetable for this years programme, was that the Borough Council would invite
expressions of interest from play companies with the intention that four companies
would be invited to tender and present their proposals to members and officers. A
decision would then be made as to which company would be awarded the contract. It
was anticipated that this process would be completed by the end of November and
work would begin soon after.
At the last meeting of the Forum it had been decided that the best way forward was
for a separate meeting to be arranged to take this matter forward. In the meantime
some discussion had taken place with Parish Councils but a separate meeting had
not taken place due to time constraints in taking the current year’s programme
It was agreed that an early meeting would be arranged with parish councils to
progress the matter.
6 Area Forum Funds – Simon Powell (North Warwickshire Borough Council)
Simon Powell, Assistant Director (Community Development) detailed an eligible
application for financial assistance that had been made to the Area Forum East. The
Forum had a total sum of £6,000 available for disbursement at this meeting.
Hartshill and Nuneaton Joint Recreation Ground Committee requested financial
assistance towards the installation of a safe footpath through Snow Hill Recreation
Ground. The recreation ground was used daily by young people on their way to and
from school, and by the general public. The lack of a safe route had been highlighted
by a Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) Risk Assessment.
Quotes for the pathway had been received and the Committee needed just over
£6,800 to complete the project. The Committee had been offered financial support
from Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and £2,000 from Warwickshire
County Council through the Safer Routes to School initiative. The Recreation Ground
Committee would provide the balance needed.
That an award of £2,000 be made to the Hartshill and Nuneaton Joint Recreation
7 Policing in North Warwickshire – Inspector Chris Lewis (Warwickshire Police)
Chris Lewis, District Commander for North Warwickshire gave an update on the work
of Warwickshire Police and detailed the Warwickshire Police Annual Policing Policy.
He also introduced the new Crime and Disorder and Drugs Misuse Reduction
Strategy. The strategy covered a three year period and was produced by the North
Warwickshire Community Safety Partnership. The strategy was widely available from
libraries and other public places.
8 Community Development Fund – Alistair Rigby (Warwickshire County Council)
Alistair told the Forum that there were funds of over £22,000 available from the
Community Development Fund. Funding was open to new and existing groups with
project ideas that would benefit the local community. Parish, Town Councils,
community groups and residents associations etc were all eligible to apply. The
closing date for applications was Monday, 22 August 2005. Application forms were
available from libraries, on-line at www.warwickshire.gov.uk or by contacting Alistair
Rigby on 01827 715646. All applications must be supported by a County Councillor.
9 Parish Issues
10 Suggested Agenda Items for Future Meetings
Police call center presentation
Presentation by Youth Offending Team to explain ASBO’s
Presentation by the Ambulance Service.
11. Any Other Business
12. Date and Venue for Next Meeting
The date of the next meeting is 27 October 2005 at Wesley Hall Community Centre,