AGM 2012

Our annual general meeting was held on June 27th in the Scout Hall, Preston Village.  A good number of residents, committee members and local councillors discussed a number of issues affecting the area, including parking and road safey, nuisance caused by pigeons and seagulls, the future of Preston Towers and Preston Park, and our entry into the RHS ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ scheme.  Sadly two members of the committee, Gordon Duff and Jeanne Ogg, felt that due to other commitments they were no longer able to continue, however we were pleased to welcome two new members – Mick Hughes and Karen Bolger.  Thanks to Gordon and Jeanne for their valued contributions in recent years.  We would also like to offer thanks to all those who volunteered to help with distributing newsletters. More detail is given below in the meeting minutes:

Minutes of



held on WEDNESDAY 27 JUNE 2012


1. Chairman’s welcome – Phil Wright welcomed residents to the 7th Annual General Meeting following the reformation of Preston Residenrs’ Association in 2006. He thanked committee members for their commitment throughout the year, which again, had been one of successes and disappointments. He introduced Cath Davis, newly elected Councillor for Preston area, and Councillor David Sarin. He also extended a warm welcome to Councillors Amanda Norman and Carol Gambling. Both Councillors confirmed they were attending as residents of the Preston area. The committee also welcomed Community Support Officer Craig Brown from Northumbria Police.
2. Present – 25 residents were present plus 7 committee members.
3. Apologies for absence – Cllr Kate Osborn, Jeff Morgan (NTC), Gordon Duff
4. Acceptance of Minutes of previous meeting – On a show of hands, the Minutes were accepted as a true record of that meeting.
5. Treasurer’s Report – Treasurer Shirley Pritchett read out her report which showed a healthy balance of £766.63. She said that the association’s main income was from the Book Fayre and this year sponsorship of the newsletter by local businesses had increased income. Money had been spent in the purchase of gardening chips to help with members planting of certain areas. Although Preston is “blooming” this year, it is anticipated that there will be little funding from NTC for plants and flowers next year. It was suggested if each house could supply a plant, there will be sufficient to maintain a flowering Preston area. Details will be placed on our website and on the community noticeboard. The report was proposed as a true record by Jeanne Ogg and seconded by Sue McIntosh.
6Secretary’s Report – a printed report was held by meeting members outlining the setting up of a PRA website, the proposed entry into a Village in Bloom competition, mettings with NTC with a view to enhancement of the area and the recent purchase of a noticeboard and a wooden bench which are now sited near to the Spread Eagle. The Secretary made a plea for volunteers to help with planting in the area and in the distribution of the association’s newsletters. The Chairman requested that the meeting move forward to “Any other business”, before the election of officers and committee members.
7. Any other business
7.1 – Pigeons and seagulls –Councillor Sarin was asked from the floor whether anything could be done about the number of these birds in the area and the dirt they create. The matter would be reported.
7.2 – Parking on North Road to the right of Pennyfine Close– The parking of cars on the east side of North Road when an  event is held at the swimming pool obstructs drivers vision when  leaving Pennyfine Close. Cllr. Sarin said that this matter had been raised previously and the event organisers’ solution was to provide parking in the school grounds and at Morrisons. However, drivers continue to park where it is convenient to them. He will raise the matter again.
7.3 – Walton Avenue -middle line – Jeanne Ogg observed that due to legal parking on the left hand side of the road (travelling towards North Shields), drivers were forced to cross the middle road line because it had not been adjusted to cater for the parked cars. This situation had been reported time and time again without result. Councillors said they would report it once more and request a change.
7.4 – Preston Towers – Residents from Preston Tower apartments asked the meeting whether there was any news on the change of use. They were concerned about the lack of information and the sad neglect of the building grounds and gardens. Both Phil Wright and Cllr Sarin advised that any change of use would be subject to planning permission. As there was great concern from the floor, it was suggesred that a petition by residents should be instigated and passed to NTC for reference to the owner as to his intentions. Various means of setting up a petition were to be considered. A question was asked as to whether this same method could be applied to the Preston Park situation. There was no positive agreement on this, however it was suggested that the question of a petition should be placed on our website and on the community noticeboard.. The North Shields Area Forum Agenda was also suggested as a window for the advertising of a petition.
8. Election of Auditor – Miriam Allan is retiring after many years. Shirley Pritchett will approach a potential replacement and will notify of any changes by the next committee meeting. This was agreed by the meeting.
9. – Nomination and election of Officers –
Chairman – Phil Wright is retiring. As there was no nomination from the floor, with the agreement of the meeting, it was decided to operate a system of a rotatng chairman until a permanent relacement can be found.
Secretary – Retiring secretary, Esther Pearson, was nominated, proposed and reelected. Proposed by Betty Moat and seconded by Sue McIntosh.
Treasurer – Shirley Pritchett was proposed by Val Elder and seconded by Sue McIntosh and duly re-elected.
10. – Nomination and election of committee members – Val Elder, Alison Glen-Ravenhill, Alison Howard, Graeme Duff, Betty Moat and Sue McIntosh were duly elected by a show of hands. New committee members Phil Wright, Mick Hughes and Karen Bolger were welcomed.  Unfortunatley due to other commitmentsJeanne Ogg and Gordon Duff resigned from the committee; however Jeanne will continue with her valuable and much appreciated work organising sponsorship of newsletters and Gordon will remain as our main point of contact with North Shields Rugby football club.  Their commitment and work for the area over several years was recognised.
10. Closing remarks – Cllr Sarin said that he had been informrd that the NTC arborist has a plan for the planting of an oak tree in celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. The Police representative advised that there were few problems to police in the area. Several residents volunteered to assist with the distribution of newsletters and to assist at bookfairs.  The meeting was then closed by the Chairman with thanks to all for attending.

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