West Byfleet Neighbourhood Forum/Pyrford Neighbourhood Forum joint discussions
RECORD OF MEETING
DATE: Wednesday 4th December 2013
VENUE: 8pm West Byfleet Social Club
PRESENT FROM PNF: Martin Doyle (Chairman)
Angela Doyle (Membership Secretary
Cliff Bolton (Publicity Officer)
Members of Pyrford neighbourhood Forum were invited to part of the West Byfleet Neighbourhood Forum Meeting specifically to discuss the boundary between the two forums.
MD explained that at the inaugural meeting of PNF in September the ward boundary was proposed, but a number of those present identified streets, considered to be in Pyrford, which were outside this boundary. a number of boundaries were proposed, including postcode boundary and the parish boundary. None seemed ideal and the best option seemed to be to go with the parish boundary but try not to split roads. A letter drop was arranged to the affected roads asking their views and everyone in Pyrford was sent a notice inviting them to a public meeting. The results were not conclusive but as WNB did not exist at the time it was felt that it would be better to go for a wider boundary which could then be reduced if necessary. The Forum had been told that it is much harder to subsequently enlarge a boundary area. The area chosen included more roads than both the parish and the postcode boundaries
It was stated that the Pyrford proposal to become a Neighbourhood Forum does not have to be withdrawn despite there being uncertainty over the boundary. Likewise West Byfleet can submit a proposal without the boundary being agreed. However, all present agreed that it would be best if we could come to a decision regarding the boundary.
IM stated that he had canvassed opinions in Woodlands Rd and the majority wished to belong to PNF. Rod Steele, a resident of Thorley Close, stated that although they are south of the Parish boundary they would prefer to belong to WBNF.
Various arguments were put forward as to the intrinsic worth of the different boundaries. Some felt that the Postcode was precise and meaningful to people. Others felt that it’s arbitrary nature meant it carried no weight, whilst others felt that it’s arbitrary nature could be an advantage.
Some of the early problems were felt to be due to a lack of knowledge regarding the precise location of the boundaries. These issues have been resolved.
IM said that he thought that the postcode boundary would be fine if affected residents agreed to it. MD said that a sense of community was important to some people and it was important that they should be able to join the Forum that most closely matched their sense of belonging to a community.
Several WBF members felt that the two groups should be merged as Pyrford residents would be affected by what happens in West Byfleet.
MD pointed out that the majority of PNF members wished the two Forums to be separate, but would wish to act together where necessary. He referred to the poll of PNF members which showed that 43% were in favour of going with postcode. This however changed if the opinions of those in the affected boundary area were looked at.
A WBF member emphasised how beneficial the Forums could be in giving local people a voice. Again it was said by a WBNF member that it might be better if we merge. CB said that we are different – WBNF has a commercial bias and Pyrford a green one.
A WBDF member proposed that as there are a relatively small number of roads in contention that the residents in the key areas should be polled and that if the residents agree the Parish boundary will be used.
MD agreed that the Forums could work together to word the poll and then canvas the affected houses.
Fui Ling Bolton asked if a person can belong to two Forums. MD said that you can have associate members. It was felt by several people that this would not be satisfactory as an associate member would not have the same rights as a full member.
GG proposed the Parish boundary as a compromise. It was proposed that the people in the affected area could be polled on this compromise solution.
This solution was proposed by Geoff Geaves and seconded by Richard Long and Fui Ling Bolton.
It was noted that there was a quorum of members present from PNF so that it was possible to vote on behalf of the Forum.
All present voted for the proposal excepting 1 objection and 1 abstention.
It was agreed that the two Chairmen would get together to agree the wording of the poll.
It was also felt that it would be good to meet in around a year’s time to take stock of the boundary situation.