LANGHAM COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Minutes of an Extraordinary Trustee Meeting
held on 4th Oct 2021 at 6.30pm.
Alan Cadman (Chairman), Maureen Shouksmith (Treasurer), Paul Armstrong (Secretary), Tony Emms, John Palmer, Liz Winter, Elizabeth Schofield, Bob Schofield, Cliff Jones, Mark Kleingeld, Sallie West, Denise Hobday, Sue Armstrong.
Apologies for Absence
Sue Thorpe, Martin Bottwood, James Puxley, Charlotte Parker.
Alan welcomed Tony Emms (Parish Councillor) and John Palmer (member of Village Survey Working Group) to the meeting.
Presentation from Tony Emms – Initial Village Survey Findings
Tony presented a set of slides which set out the background to the village survey; the survey process adopted; the statistically aggregated results from the ~170 individual returns received; the preliminary grouping of survey ideas into 5 groupings to help organise future progression; some current activities that have already started; and future plans. In closing, Tony indicated that further village consultation was planned in order to help prioritise and progress the ideas raised from this initial survey work.
A copy of the slides is attached to these minutes, for the benefit of LCC Trustees who were unable to attend this meeting. Please do not forward them on to anyone else: a more detailed public briefing pack will be published on the LPC website soon. A public briefing meeting, open to all villagers, will follow on shortly.
There was a healthy level of interaction and Q&A fielded in real time throughout the presentation. The notes below attempt to summarise some of the key points raised.
Q&A/ Open Forum
The difficult ‘chicken and egg’ problem of maintaining a viable bus service was discussed. Liz Winter observed that she had occasionally found standing room only on buses around school closing time.
The Children’s Play Area is already the subject of some detailed research and planning for a major upgrade. The latest new equipment installations date back to 2008 now, and our equipment is looking rather tired compared to a number of other local villages.
Liz Schofield reminded everyone that there had been a twice-a-week GP outreach facility at the LCC at some point in the fairly distant past. But sustainability and cost-effectiveness would be a big challenge if we were to try and resurrect such a facility now.
There was some discussion about the potential for a third sports court close to the existing two tennis courts. This should be a multi-sport facility, which would assist the tennis club but also allow for the re-introduction and development of other sports such as 5-a-side football.
With respect to the potential third court and also the provision of allotments, Liz Schofield opined that the Recreation Ground would become too crowded unless additional land was procured in order to maintain adequate open green space.
The Hunt for More Village Volunteers
Tony briefed everyone on the recent ‘village volunteers’ meeting that has been held in the LCC on 23rd September. Around 80 village survey respondents had indicated their potential willingness to assist with organising local community events. Almost all of these people had received personal invitations to the 23rd September meeting. About 30 people actually attended the meeting. Almost all attendees were existing volunteers (many of ‘a certain age’!) with only a very small amount of ‘new blood’.
There was much discussion about how best to try and stimulate a wider network of volunteers to help maintain and extend local community activities. Some of the ideas mooted were:
- To try and work through the existing village groups and clubs rather than targeting individuals directly
- To explore ways of engaging better with new villagers in order to break down barriers and let them ‘test the waters’ before making any commitments
- To use village cinema evenings to try to promote other community events
- To stimulate additional interest and support by using events to raise funds for charitable good causes
- To focus on specific event proposals rather than asking for generic commitments
With respect to the last point above, there is an urgent need for some creative and committed volunteer leaders to help shape and drive forward particular events. The most pressing of these event opportunities is the forthcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations in early June 2022. Cliff Jones indicated that he and Charlotte Parker were currently engaged in trying to pull together a structured plan and network of helpers to deliver an exciting village event: he hoped to be able to report back on good progress within the next 2-3 weeks. This news was warmly welcomed by all at the meeting. Cliff felt that once a more structured event plan was in place, he was confident that more volunteer supporters and on-the-day helpers would come forward and ‘sign-up’ – a view that was agreed with by all.
With respect to a Christmas Market, two are already being planned: one organised by our Village Shop; the other being planned by a third-party organization who are arranging LCC hire through Sue.
The re-instatement of a Langham Bonfire Night event has been ruled out for 2021, but is being planned for 2022, targeting a date of Saturday 5th November. This will need early booking of a commercial firework operator to secure this date. Bob Schofield mentioned that a team of 76 local people used to deliver the events that he ran in the past, so this is quite a big undertaking. Alan Cadman noted that the LCC’s current insurance policy does already cover the hosting of commercial firework displays - which could be of use although specific risk assessments may well still be required.
In conclusion, Tony foresaw exciting potential for LPC/LCC/Shop/Pre-School/Shepherd Pub to collaborate in delivering more community events and improved facilities, if we can work together and help identify a new generation of volunteers and helpers to make things happen.
Dates of next meetings
Next Trustee Meeting: Thursday 28th October 2021, 7.30pm, main hall LCC.
Alan and Tony thanked everyone for attending and the meeting was closed at 8.15pm.