Thursday 10th September 2015 – Platt Bridge Community Zone
Present: David Baxter, Julie Davies, Carl Bridden, Brian Fletcher, Bryan Atkinson, Marie Philpott, Steve Williams, Ricky Parkinson, Mark Hughes, Barry Hampson, Alan Darbyshire, Cllr Carl Sweeney, Angela Brunt, Amanda Robinson, Denise McCarthy, Sue Hughes, Sharon Maxwell, Cllr Eunice Smethurst, David Moore, Stuart Pilkington, Judith Smith, Carole Anderton, Jonathan Curley
Apologies: Dave Atkinson, Cllr Martyn Smethurst, Steven Hyde, Tracey Williams, Lynn Hankey
1 – Introductions
- Barry Hampson, Chair of the Forum, welcomed everyone to the meeting. All attendees introduced themselves to the Forum.
2 – Aim of the Neighbourhood Forum
- David Baxter discussed the aims of the Forum and how the idea of the Forum came to be
- David discussed the documents that were submitted to Wigan Council in order to have the Neighbourhood Forum designated to undertake the Neighbourhood Plan
- David also discussed how the role of Neighbourhood Planning fits into the National framework for communities to develop their own Plans. David had forwarded copies of a document produced by My Community Rights in relation to a Beginners Guide to Neighbourhood Planning. For more information on this and other documents on Neighbourhood Planning, the website is http://mycommunity.org.uk/
- Cllr Eunice Smethurst discussed how the Neighbourhood Plan will be a vital tool in shaping the future of Abram Ward and for all the local community members and for people working within the Ward.
3 – Working Groups
- The Forum discussed the best approach to gathering information and feedback from as many local community members and businesses who operate within the Ward. It was felt that developing Working Groups would be a good approach. Working groups could include:
Conservation / Environment / Green Spaces
Improve the High streets / developing hubs for local people to develop micro businesses
These were a few of the groups that were discussed. It is hoped that community members could sign up to support a working group, and these meetings would run separately to the monthly Forum meetings, but information from each working group would feedback into the Forum and onto the Neighbourhood Plan. Action Plan: it was agreed that a survey would be added to the website www.abramwardplan.co.uk for people to reply to express their interest and how they can support
- Cllr Eunice Smethurst discussed the opportunity in the future to look at Transport links in Abram Ward as part of the Greater Manchester Vision 2040 Transport Strategy
4 – Marketing Strategy
- Jonathan Curley, a volunteer for Abram Ward Community Cooperative, has developed a website abramwardplan.co.uk and set up an email address firstname.lastname@example.org for anyone to send ideas or correspondence too.
- Jonathan has designed the website to be interactive and will allow for the initial 24 committee members to receive information from local community members who can then feedback to the Forum. Action Plan: Jonathan to develop a document for committee members to complete with contact details and blog details to upload onto the website, if agreed.
- There will also be an online survey document in which local community members can complete and use as a way of expressing an interest in either joining the Forum or inputting information into the Neighbourhood Plan and which, if any, working group they would like to attend.
5 – Consultation Session Planning
- The need to hold Consultation sessions across Abram Ward was discussed. These may commence in November and in venues across Abram Ward. These would allow the local community and local businesses to attend and feedback on what issues people would like to address within the Neighbourhood Plan.
- Alan Darbyshire asked if the Forum could invite along the 40 community groups and social enterprises that had Abram Ward Community First funding from 2011 to 2014. It was agreed to invite all these groups, some who now attend the Forum meetings, to the consultation sessions, to the first session. Action Plan: The members to pencil in dates for the Consultation sessions at the next meeting.
- The Forum members asked if we could do a mapping exercise to show where the 40 groups who had Abram Ward Community First funding were from in the Ward and which target outcomes they were funded for. David explained this mapping had been undertaken previously by Louise Bridge who was on the Community First panel as a representatives of Platt Bridge Children’s Centre
6 – Logo and Name of the Forum
- It was agreed to find a name for the Forum, instead of naming it Abram Ward Neighbourhood Forum. Ideas suggested included ACT (Abram ward Communities Together), Abram Ward Life, Abram Ward 5. Action Plan: It was agreed for everyone have a vote and decide on the new name at the next meeting.
- Once the new name has been agreed, it was decided to do a Logo Competition with the 6 Primary Schools in Abram Ward, plus Newbridge School. There was a discussion on whether to include some Secondary Schools. Action Plan: David to contact school representatives
7 – Any Other Business
- It was discussed that a list of land ownership within Abram Ward was sourced. This would identify who owned which land areas and which could be developed on and discussed within the Neighbourhood Plan. Action Plan: David Baxter and Cllr Carl Sweeney to discuss with Wigan Council’s Planning Department.
- Judith Smith asked if information on the Neighbourhood Plan could be displayed in all the Notice Boards across Abram Ward. Action Plan: Forum members to pass on details to the keyholders of each Notice Board in the Ward
- Platt Bridge Community Forum will be holding a Christmas Event on Saturday 28th November at Platt Bridge Children’s Centre. It was agreed that a display board on the Neighbourhood Plan would be on show at this event.
- David asked Forum members if they felt the meetings should be held in different venues across the Ward each month. It was agreed that the first 2 or 3 meetings should remain at Platt Bridge Community Zone to allow the details of the meetings to be established.
- David had discussed the feedback to Wigan Council from the initial 6 week Public Consultation that took place in June and July. There had only been 13 responses. These included Network Rail and Nature England. Action Plan: David to contact all the organisations who provided feedback and invite to future meetings.
Date and Time of Next Meeting: Thursday 15th October 2015 at 6.00pm at Platt Bridge Community Zone