Weekly digest: April 14th


A shorter edition this week, and a little rushed, as I’m off again later today (Saturday) to the south west for another family engagement tomorrow.  So, straight to business….

  1. CIC starting the formation of a company
    • We discussed the formation of a Community Interest Company (CIC) at our Steering Group meeting last Thursday. You will recall the AGM approved the recommendation to form a separate company to assure the long-term oversight of developments in our Area once the Forum wraps up. [Neighbourhood Forums are only designated to run for 5 years before being wound-up.]
    • The Steering Group discussed various elements that need to be in place. We agreed to form a separate company to sit alongside the Forum. We also agreed the prime aim of the CIC will be to support the Forum by applying for funds only available to incorporated organisations.
    • There remain a couple of wrinkles to be ironed out relating to the number of company shares to issue as well as the number of directors we want in place. The sub-group will look into these technical elements for us and report back next month with final recommendations.
    • The other main item on the agenda was updates on tasks needed to shape policies for the Neighbourhood Plan. A good start has been made but, naturally enough, a lot more work is in front of us.
  2. WWI Shell Filling Factory explosion memorial
    • The centenary of the WWI explosion that took place on the Barracks is barely 10 weeks away on July 1st. Organisers from St Mary’s Church Attenborough are taking the lead on the events to commemorate the occasion; details can be found here on their website
    • We have been supporting St Mary’s when it comes to the actual memorial located inside the Barracks. We pointed out to the DIO (Defence Infrastructure Organisation) who manage all MoD estates the poor state of repair of the memorial back in January. Some of the names of those who lost their lives are illegible and many more are barely readable. We requested remedial works were needed to fully restore the memorial so that all names and inscriptions are fully legible.
    • It was roughly 10 weeks ago when we first raised the matter with them and there are 10 weeks or so left to July 1st. It is disappointing to report that not much activity has been undertaken – apart from a fresh lick of paint to the shells and chain bordering the memorial and attempts to source some fund for cleaning!.
    • We therefore sent a stiffly worded email to the DIO requesting details of planned activities over the next 10 weeks and suggested that the proposal to clean the memorial rather than restore it would not be acceptable. Unless we are satisfied with the response, we will look to escalate this as we believe it is imperative the memorial is in a pristine condition for the commemoration events. I’ll keep you posted on developments…
  3. A blue Monday coming up
    • On Monday a couple of us are visiting Blueprint to talk to them about building sustainable homes. Blueprint are a Nottingham based company (part-owned by the City Council) who are innovators when it comes to regenerating brown field sites and developing leading-edge sustainable buildings – both commercial and domestic.
    • They are the organisation behind the University Science Park (off University Boulevard) and are currently redeveloping Trent Basin in Nottingham (off Daleside Road).
    • We are keen to pick their brains regarding the design of sustainable homes for the Barracks. As you know the Barracks is south facing on a slope so should be a prime site for energy efficient housing whether via solar energy or ground source heating.
    • I won’t say any more for the moment – I’m already getting out of my depth by mentioning ‘ground source heating’ – but sustainability is clearly of great interest to a number of those who commented at our consultation events and I’m looking forward to learning more.
  4. And finally…
    • I said last week I’d provide further thoughts on the comments provided at our consultation events. I confess I’ve not yet had time however, here is a link to a file containing the raw transcriptions of comments summarised by topic/event. If you are interested have a look: I will get around to properly analysing them in the next few weeks and will then report back.
    • A big ‘shout out’ to those people who have offered us help over the last couple of weeks. Both Chris and Anderson have kindly agreed to help develop policies for our Plan. And David came back with some useful suggestions for sources of funds. Thank you all.
      If anyone else is able to provide help or advice, please get in touch

That’s all for this week and the next edition will be in a fortnight.  I know, I know…I’m away this afternoon for a jaunt to the south west (to attend a birthday celebration) but, somewhat shamefacedly, I have to admit we are back down there again next weekend for yet another family event – this time a 40th wedding anniversary. But enough of my tribulations…. see you in a fortnight!

Kind regards

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