Clowne Community Association

Minutes of Meeting Date: 21st january 2015
Time: 7:00pm
Venue: Methodist Chapel meeting room
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Chair: Allan Bailey Notetaker: Greg Lindley Final minutes
  1. Apologies         Brian Betts, Irvine Robinson, Eric Burgess, Ian Clarke, Richard Haigh

Attendance was 24 people.

2. PCSO were due to attend tonight but they must be on operational business

   As usual the message is any sightings or worries RING 101 with any concerns.
The community are the eyes and ears for the PCSO and the Police.

Presentations followed:-
Allan introduced the speakers and the background. The former Miners Technical College building on Rectory Road was built by our forefathers’ efforts and the building is still externally sound. It was bought by Maxam developers from Chesterfield College and then sold on to Bellway. It has now been bought by Action Housing. This building is part of Clowne Heritage and Bellway threatened to walk away from the whole site development if they were not allowed to demolish it. People who have bought houses on this development have not got what Bellway promised. Action Housing have taken it over and there have been a lot of rumours about what is planned. Bolsover DC will be involved in the lettings. The recent Derbyshire Times press item was very negative and did not portray the facts correctly.

3. Action Housing

Miners Technical College, Rectry Rd - Conversion to flats Claire McGonigle CX
                                                                                        David Palmer Asset Development

Claire introduced the presentation and the fact that they were keen to come along and explain the situation. They are renovating the building to a high standard to provide 5 flats- a mix of 3 x 1 bed , a 2 bed and a 3 bed sizes.
Flats will be let to people on the Bolsover DC general needs waiting list. The group do a lot to support offenders and vulnerable people who are around 60% of their tenants but some 40% are normal needs affordable housing lettings. They are working with Bolsover DC who will organise the lettings policy. This will not be an offenders or half way house hostel etc.
The deadline for completion of work is the end of March- getting services connected is a key pressure. The Housing and Communities Agency have a commitment to get it done and in the sale agreement it has to be completed by the end of Spring. Action Housing are a small charity body and there have been questions over their capability and funding. But they employ 130 staff and have £6million pa turnover. The development will be done. HCA have a financial check on them. At the moment it is going well and all is on target. The top three flats are all separated and the first fix is done. There are 50 bespoke large windows ordered to replace the damaged sashes. These will come the middle to the end of February and will be double glazed but in wood.

All tenant applicants will get a reference check done and will be vetted. They will actively manage the property and their housing officer will regularly inspect them. They are an active landlord and will address any issues quickly and will be taking care of the building. They are planning a consultation event shortly – next Tuesday 27th between 5pm and 6:30pm at the sales office behind the building - Cllr Karl Reid is attending.
Action Housing have also undertaken the conversion/ renovation work on Eastwood House in Mill Street. This is all completed now but they are waiting the utilities connections to be completed. This has been a good quality conversion into 4 flats and will follow the same lettings process.

Question asked –
Q. These were to be affordable flats – are these to be let on Council rent levels?
A. These are Action Housing rent levels – and they have accessed Govt. funding to let them at 10% below market rent. The actual levels are not set – possibly£4-500 per week but not finalised yet.
Q. Since Action housing began have the estate been notified?- said that Church Street has not been notified.
A. Action Housing have tried to let people know. David has delivered a leaflet to every new house- and they have had 3 open days at the building. Are leafleting again for the meeting next week on 27th
Local residents offered to deliver leaflets locally.
Q. A resident who had bought No.1-plot 1 was told that the flats conversion was going to be done by Bellway as affordable housing. They were lied to by Bellway.
A. no comment
Q. Someone said they had looked up Action Housing on google search and then got the leaflet with the Incorrect phone number on and were concerned what was happening. They visited on site and were not fully answered on the development and wanted more information and asked for a public meeting. They were under the impression that the flats would be up for sale. But they are not now available. Bellway are the villains in this.
Q. Is one of the flats suitable for disabled?
A. Yes one will be a disability accessible unit.
Q. Issues are that residents were not fully informed and were very concerned. The Derbyshire Times took the wrong angle. They need to get their facts straight – to be clear what the concerns are and what the statements of fact are. A copy of the lettings policy and how they will be let would help inform people. The Council are the private letting agent for the property. The former Eastwood Doctors Surgery looks good and if of the same quality conversion is done it will be  a good thing.
A. Action Housing understand the worries and rumours soon become fact. It is not a halfway house for offenders etc. as has been rumoured. It is a normal lettings process.
Q. Church Street. Glad that the conversion is finally being done and it is a better alternative. Cars are a concern – what is the access arrangements?
A. The flats will use the existing access- just past the current sales office – this area will be tarmacced for access.
Q. The landscaped area will be retained as grass?
A. All this area will be maintained by Action Housing
There is a Clowne in Bloom interest in what happens on this landscape/garden part of the site.
Q. There is concern over the wall on Church Street side and the fencing on top and timing of this.
A. The building will be done by the end of March and the landscaping etc will be done as soon as possible after this.
Q. This is possibly A unique building? – in terms of its mining and educational history. The bronze plaque marking the donation of funds from the local miners welfare funds was rescued by Allan Bailey from being skipped and is now going to be back into the building.
The building changed a lot of miners lives by giving them skills and qualifications – it was built just after the Second World War. It is a legacy of mining in this area – 1p contributions from individual miners paid to welfare fund that contributed £6,000 to the building construction.
A former College Principals writing about this has an article on the history of the site.

Action Housing are keen to encompass the history and the brass plaque will be reinstated in the building.

Q. Bellway came to our Association meeting previously and lied to us about their intentions. They also went to Bolsover DC and lied and made it clear that they never had any intention of saving this important building. They said they would walk off site if they couldn’t get their own way over their demolition proposal.
BDC original Planning Permission said that after 14 houses were built that Bellway had to start renovation of the Miners and then this was extended to 20 houses and then extended again.

Next Tuesday January 27th there is a further public meeting at the site office that will hopefully stop the Chinese whispers circulating. Lets get the building converted and let. The former Eastwood Surgery building on Mill Street is renovated and will be let as soon as the services are connected –they are held up by these at present.

The Council will send prospective tenants to Action Housing who will then vet them.
Q. What security is there on the building?
A. There will be a door entry system and the building will have three entrances. One is on Church Street to access the upper flat. The main door will access two flats. The third is a new door to be made onto the car park to access into two flats. Action Housing are responsible for all the common areas. Local people on Bolsover DC lettings list will be eligible – it will be local people the flats are let to.
Mrs McGonigle and Mr Palmer were thanked for their informative presentation and the effort to attend tonight in the snow.

4. Main meeting

Minutes of the previous meeting were noted and accepted as correct :-
               19 November 2014
Matters Arising :
And Any Other Business
Extreme Snow at Xmas
The bad weather over Christmas caused significant problems. Allan has contacted the BDC and DCC about issues on this. Ian Clarke ‘s wife suffered an accident in the snow. Allan contacted Tesco about clearing the pavements who said it wasn’t their responsibility. But the clear argument is that it is everyones’ responsibility. Feel that DCC let Clowne area down and he has written to them.
May Elections- Allan Bailey
For everyones’ information Allan Bailey noted that he is to stand again as an Independent candidate in the Parish elections and will also be standing for the District Councillor elections.

War Memorial
The work on the new commemorative garden is due to start shortly to create a community garden and seating.
Derbyshire CC Local meeting 26 November – 6pm at Bolsover DC offices High Street
The November meeting was very well attended. Many issues were raised and we were told there would be a meeting in January about the outcome Agreed that we should contact DCC about the outcome and ask what feedback there is and what happens next?
Miners Welfare- stated that it is likely to be demolished and redeveloped- not sure of plans.
Crown Pub – is going to be converted and redeveloped for housing. Plans have gone to the District Council.
Railway Bridge Mitchell St/Barton Street – We are told it is a priority and is going through Derbyshire CC. It is going to be a ramp to replace the bridge. We need someone from DCC to come and talk to us.
Swimming Pool in Clowne – Bolsover DC proposal research
We are seeking feedback on the survey done. This was raised at the last Parish meeting and BDC are understood to be progressing this proposal. It is said that they will keep Creswell Leisure site open for leisure use after the baths close there. There was a meeting last Thursday.
Clowne in Bloom- Litter-pick on Linear Park planned for the last Sunday of every month in 2015.
Barton Street Bridge –we are told will be replaced by a ramp. We need information from DCC. There will also be an issue about making sure that disabled access is included and is improved through the whole route into the town centre.
Floral Display meetings with Clowne Parish Council
These are ongoing with an agreement to replace the flower tubs on Mill Green Way with raised beds built from sleepers and sloping. A grant application was submitted by CIB to CVP/Coalfield Regeneration Trust but was rejected as “No community engagement” and argued that “we could go to Tesco/Wilko and get plants” ?!.
Signage on the Linear Park is to be replaced in the first half of 2015 by BDC.

5. Next Meetings - for 2015.

         Committee dates two weeks prior to main meetings
                           Committee.                                      Main Meeting
                           4 March                                             18 March
                           6 May                                                 20 May
                           1 July                                                 22 July
                           2 September                                    23 September
                           4 November                                     25 Nov and AGM

                     The 25 November will also be the Annual General Meeting - any nominations for                     Cttee places please in advance.
The Tea/Coffee and Raffle raised £25 and everyone was thanked for their contributions.