Friday 9th March 2018
Hall of the Church of the Good Shepherd.
21 members in attendance
Apologies: Maurice Pitchford
John Haffenden (JH) commended Dawn Clenton-Sparey for all her dedication and effort over the years and wished her all the best with her family commitments. Unfortunately John is also forced to stand down due to family commitments. The Forum thank John Haffenden for his outstanding efforts to connect with key stakeholders and drive forward the agenda of the Forum.
Chairman: Dave Collins (DC) Proposed by Joss Loader and seconded by Liza McKinney Unanimous support
Vice chair - Tony Wallington (TW) Proposed and seconded by Joan and Joyce
Secretary - Mike Whelan (MW) Proposed by Joss Loader and seconded by Liza McKinney
Treasurer - Jonathan Marshall (JM) to remain
The Forum has a number of outstanding debts It is essential that funding is found
Working Group Leaders
Green & Blue Neighbourhood Gwenn Parker-Tregoat to be replaced by Stella Filmer (SF) - no objections
Regeneration & (re)Development Dave Collins to continue as leader
Community Facilities The Forum does not believe Maurice has resigned, although his health has affected his ability to progress the work and any help he can receive would be greatly appreciated.
Transport & Movement TW & MW to co-lead
Community engagement Paul Davis is stepping down. No-one present was willing to take this role.
Constitution Paul Davis proposed changes, Joss seconded Unanimous agreement.
Committee quorum will be a minimum of 5. Several other amendments were agreed which can be viewed by clicking here.
Liza Mckinney suggested “all residents on beach should be considered members”
MW explained that whilst the Forum has every intention to be inclusive, "members" is a specific term which in this context, applies to those who are eligible to vote at the AGM and make changes to the constitution. Locality was very explicit that there are “legal obligations for members”. They pointed out that “if members do not consider the Basic Conditions of neighbourhood plans, then the whole Plan could fail to conform”.
Joss Loader stated that “not everyone has the Internet, you are excluding residents”
MW explained the impracticalities, budgetary limitations, negative impact on the environement and lack of voluntary support to distribute every single amendment of a 60 page document in paper form to every household.
MW stated that the Forum is actively monitoring engagement and taking steps to ensure balanced proportional representation. The problem is not lack of involvement by the older generation. By contrast, the older generation is over-represented. This was evident when looking at the average age of attendees at the AGM.
MW also pointed out that the vast majority of Forum Committee members are over 50, as is the case with the working group members, their social networks and other representatives of community groups which are consulted.
The Forum needs to encourage the involvement of anyone who can engage with local groups with a young membership.
MW referred everyone to the engagement statistics available on the website and the 2017 community engagement report, which states the following:
The Neighbourhood Forum must plan for the next 15 years. During this period it is predicted that both the youngest age group and oldest age group will increase the most. The Forum must also consider the needs of the wider community in Adur who wish to visit the Beach and make use of the facilities - including the +/-1,500 new homes (and commercial developments) being provided in the immediate vicinity - in order to be eligible for funding from new developments.
In this context, it is important to note that the size and nature of the new developments are designed to attract a relatively young population to live and work in the area, many of whom will be moving from Hove, Brighton, London, etc. where digital literacy is even higher than Adur.
The vast majority of Shoreham Beach residents are also under the age of 65. In this age group, internet literacy is well above 90%. In 2015, under 45s on Shoreham Beach repeatedly requested that the Forum provide them with the means to communicate and participate online - through emails, surveys, polls, forums, etc - rather than purely through printed literature and public meetings.
In the South East, Internet access in 2017 is 94% and is increasing all the time. 90% of adults in West Sussex have used the internet. Marine Ward is equipped with fast and reliable broadband, good 3G and 4G mobile coverage, a local computer shop on the High Street and free use of computers at the local library.
Internet use and the elderly
In the UK, nearly three quarters of over 65-74yr olds have easy access to the Internet and use it regularly. This drops to less than ~45% for over 75s. Only a quarter of over 65s use social networking and several local residents have expressed their outright refusal to use the Internet at all. Conversely, the over 65 age group are much more likely to read local magazines and printed newspapers, participate in local groups and attend public meetings. Hence the need to continue with Have Your Say Days, press releases and updates in Beach News Magazine.
The household #survey conducted by the Forum in 2015 followed a door-to-door, ‘paper-first’ strategy, with the an online option. The response rate of the over 65 age group was disproportionate to the actual makeup of the Beach population. The ratio of responses was almost double the actual proportion of elderly residents. This age group was therefore over-represented in the resulting data. The over 65s are also very vocal in Forum have your say days and other public engagement events, and the management committee is mostly over 50 - therefore the Forum has also been using online tools to balance out the data and build a more accurate representation of the local population.
Time and Money Digital tools provide a fast and accurate way to validate contact info, verify the location and identity of respondents, avoid duplication, calculate results, cross-reference data, generate reports and provide transparency. Online communication also ensures that data can be easily aggregated and anonymised. Digital information is up to date, feedback is immediate and supporting information can be made available through links and attachments.
As an example, the paper-based Household Survey report cost several thousand pounds and took six months to produce, by contrast, the Young People’s Survey cost £20 and results are available instantly.
With an ever-decreasing budget, the Forum needs to balance communications to reach the widest possible audience, for the lowest possible cost.
SF enquired if key milestones will be discussed at the next management meeting. MW stated that this available on the website and a review will be added to the next meeting agenda.
Spencer said: “we will soon lose the view of the South Downs” “...we seem to be powerless to stop all the development north of the River Adur”
Ben Stride explained that this is unfortunately outside the designated area for Marine Ward and therefore not in our remit. The residents who live in that area should support the efforts of SBNF and formulate their own Neighbourhood Plan.
Please be aware that a draft neighbourhood plan must meet the following legal requirements if it is to proceed to referendum:
must be appropriate to national policy
must contribute to the achievement of sustainable development
must be in general conformity with the council's plans
must be compatible with human rights requirements
must be compatible with EU obligations.
Please contact us if you are willing to help audit the plan to ensure it meets all the criteria. You can find a wide range of resources to help with this process here: shorehambeachforum.com/resources