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Friends of Archbishop's Park - post-AGM

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Tuesday 28 November 2006 11.22am
medic2007 wrote:
Congratulations Helen on a very positive meeting, it was great meeting you
Hello?! Did you not read my message at the top of this thread.

I wrote:
- declare any interests in/affiliations to organisations you write about. This is required by the forum rules.
In particular anyone who is a FoAP committee member (past or present) should say so when they post here - even if they choose not to post under their own name, which is fine.

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Tuesday 28 November 2006 11.23am
The charity may well come back with amended plans on appeal, these may be more appealing to the friends and park users. However if we had voted to oppose all development our hands would be tied!
Tuesday 28 November 2006 11.28am
As you may know I am the Secretary of the Friends of Archbishops Park. Thank you to all those who attended the AGM last night - it was the best attended AGM in the history of this Friends group, perhaps assisted by the venue being both close to the park and offering excellent transport links.

The records from last night show that there were many more voters in person than by proxy. 71 people attended the meeting. Of these, 62 were members (thus able to vote). There were 37 proxy votes. I hope this information helps to correct some of the rough estimates posted above.
Tuesday 28 November 2006 11.31am
(I make these comments without declaring an opinion either way on Founder's Place - editorially we will continue to report both sides of the debate.)
medic2007 wrote:
The charity may well come back with amended plans on appeal, these may be more appealing to the friends and park users.
I'm no expert, but surely that's not how the appeal will work? I would imagine that it will be all about the plans as they stood at the last planning committee meeting and whether the committee was entitled to turn them down.

Opposing the application as it stands and taking a fresh look at any revised proposals surely aren't mutually exclusive?
medic2007 wrote:
However if we had voted to oppose all development our hands would be tied!
That's an odd way of looking at - the motion said nothing about "opposing all development" - indeed Neil was quite clear about that in his speech.

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Tuesday 28 November 2006 11.47am
Actually, it is all about negotiation, as was pointed out last night. The aim of the parties pre-appeal is to get as many points as possible agreed, and this will include by making amendments to the proposals.

The appeal then rests on the fundamental points of difference.

Obviously if there are wholesale changes, it would be easier and better just to reapply with a new scheme.

medic2007 wrote:
However if we had voted to oppose all development our hands would be tied!
James Hatts wrote:
That's an odd way of looking at - the motion said nothing about "opposing all development" - indeed Neil was quite clear about that in his speech.

No, he/she (medic) is absolutely right. Neil said one thing and wrote another - he did say at the time that it was drafted in haste, to be fair.

The written proposal was for objection and representations against at appeal to the scheme as a whole. Neil did say that this would include negotiations, but the formal proposal on which members had to vote was not on that basis.

Loafer
Tuesday 28 November 2006 11.52am
loafer wrote:
and you were obviously confident that you would win from your speech.

Just to say that I wasn't confident that the motion would pass, knowing that the current committee had an alternative proposal meant that I was pretty sure it would fail - rather I was confident that the majority of members would oppose the Charity's proposed development (which I still think is the case).

But looking back at last night and speculating about why things happened the way they did is not particularly helpful. Concentrating on what happens next is what matters.
Tuesday 28 November 2006 2.08pm
I know I said that we should concentrate on the future and not last night but I've just been looking at the draft consultation document and I think the following point is key.

loafer wrote:
I think that the members who pointed out that these plans will evolve through negotiations as we move towards the appeal means were right and that your proposal failed because the majority thought that taking an entrenched position now won't help anyone.

I must admit that I hadn't picked up on this as being a major point at all - if I had done I would have addressed it in summing up. My sense was that the main objections to the motion were that further consultation was preferred and that some people were actually in favour of the development and these were the two main issues I focussed on in summing up.

If tying our hands now was indeed a major issue then I would have said that we can only take a position on the proposals now facing us. We cant say we wont oppose these plans in the hope that the Charity will suddenly backtrack and make major amendments to its proposals. If they do they will be new proposals and we can make a new decision on them if and when they emerge. Deciding to object to the appeal does not mean we dont enter into negotiations with the Charity on these issues. In fact if we dont object to the appeal what incentive does the Charity have to negotiate with us? Indeed the Friends have already objected to a previous application (without formally consulting members - though please note I'm not complaining about this, I quite agreed with it) when there was always scope for the Charity to present improved plans at a later stage.

Looking at the draft consultation it is clear that the questions will have to be put quite carefully to get a proper sense of members' views on this.

Ultimately I dont think it matters greatly to the process whether the Friends decide to oppose the appeal or not, many other objectors will make all the relevant points - however I think it matters very much to the Friends group itself. As I said last night if the Friends are not going to be the people making the strongest stand on behalf of the Park then what are they there for?
Tuesday 28 November 2006 2.22pm
Neil,

I agree with you that the consultation needs to be clear.

I also, like you, think the outcome of the consultation is likely to be to object and thereby gain a negotiating position as well as the ability to present evidence at the appeal if we want to.

Probably the differences of opinion will be over whether any comprimises/changes that the developer makes are sufficient to withdraw the objection as the appeal gets closer, but this will all be later on.

Regards,

Loafer
Tuesday 28 November 2006 2.27pm
loafer wrote:
Probably the differences of opinion will be over whether any comprimises/changes that the developer makes are sufficient to withdraw the objection as the appeal gets closer, but this will all be later on.

I agree - and presumably further soundings can be taken again at that point. And whether people then think that the objection should be withdrawn or not at least they should all agree that the objection was successful in the sense that any compromises by the Charity towards sensitivity to the Park will have been a success of sorts.
Thursday 30 November 2006 11.45am
James Hatts wrote:
Results of the vote for ordinary committee members (I think there were seven vacancies - can someone confirm? My note-taking has failed me)
Maisie Payton - 89
Joss Brushfield - 75
Cathy Golding - 73
Dr Lyn Pilowsky - 70
Janet Simpson - 71
Merja Myllylahti - 68
Linda Barrett - 29
Sarah O'Connell - 26
Anu Mitra - 26
Dawn Assadar - 20
Shaun Milton - 18
Katrina Chapman - 16
Peter Robathan - 13
David Toothill - 10
Jennifer Wood - 7


So, if there were seven places, then presumably the following people were elected as ordinary committee members: Maisie Payton, Joss Brushfield, Cathy Golding, Lyn Pilowsky, Janet Simpson, Merja Myllylahti and Linda Barrett - is that right?

Concerns had been raised about the issue of proxy voting. I'd still be interested in seeing how the votes break down by personal votes/ proxy votes. But, presumably, if only 37 of the votes were made by proxy, as Kate Payne states, then the composition of the committee wasn't determined by the proxy voters? That is, if the proxy votes were excluded, the composition of the committee would still be the same as it is now - is that correct?
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