Civic Voice chief, Ian Harvey, guest of honour at Brierley Hill Civic Society AGM

Brierley Hill Civic Society
Brierley Hill Civic Society

Brierley Hill Civic Society – Monday 17th February 2014, 5.30pm, St Michael’s Church, Bell Street South, Brierley Hill

You are cordially invited to attend the next meeting of Brierley Hill Civic Society on Monday 17th February 2014 commencing at 5.30pm at St Michael’s Church.

This meeting will be our AGM and we are hugely privileged to have Ian Harvey, the national director of Civic Voice, the umbrella organisation for Civic Societies, as our main speaker.  Ian will be speaking on:

‘ The Civic Society Movement – Past, Present and Future’

I am sure that this will be fantastic talk and a good chance to hear what is happening elsewhere in the country.

The agenda for the meeting will be:

  1. Apologies
  2. Ian Harvey: The Civic Society Movement – Past, Present and Future
  3. Minutes of previous meeting (AGM 2013 and Jan 2014 – see below)
  4. Treasurer’s report
  5. Election of officers
    1. Chair
    2. Vice-chair
    3. Secretary
    4. Treasurer
    5. Brierley Hill in Bloom update
    6. Information Exchange
      1. Merry Hill sale
      2. Point North Flats
      3. HCA properties in High Street
      4. Clean Power
      5. RDF
      6. Other
      7. Any Other Urgent Business
      8. Date of Next Meeting – Monday 27th March 2014 


Minutes of the AGM of Brierley Hill Civic Society Held on Monday 18th February 2013 at St Michael’s Church Hall, commencing at 5.30pm


Beryl Biggs, Judy Foster, Rachel Harris, Zaf Islam, Betsy Lafferty, Andrew Mann-Ray


Geoff Attwood, Janet Attwood, Shane Birch-Bastock, Joy Cooper, Beryl Fisher, Kathy Garton, John James, Stephen Masters, Pat McAlpin, Maggie Norton, Jenny Sunter, Tim Sunter, Rosemary Tomkinson, Dennis Whittaker,


The minutes of the AGM held on 20th Feb 2012 were agreed as a true record.

Minutes of the 17th September 2012 meeting were agreed as a true record.

Officers Reports

The chair reminded members of the successful events which had been organised by the Civic Society in the previous 12 months.  Speaking events had been particularly successful with Geoff Tristram, Ned Williams and Michael Taylor all having made excellent contributions.  Stephen Masters had given a very successful tour of the central Brierley Hill area in June 2012, and Jenny Sunter had helped facilitate a very successful Christmas Lights switch on event in the town.  Thanks were expressed to all who had taken part during the year.

Jenny Sunter reported on the need to renew membership of the Civic Trust and in the absence of the treasurer indicated that the Society would have circa £100 in the bank.

Election of officers

The following people were duly nominated, seconded and elected as officers of the Society for the year 2013-2104

Chair: Tim Sunter

Vice-chair: Shane Birch-Bastock

Secretary: Jenny Sunter

Treasurer: Dennis Whittaker

It was agreed to approach Rachel Harris to see if she would be willing to act as auditor

Brierley Hill Community Forum

TS reported that a number of Brierley Hill organisations were or had been going through a lull in their activities.  Brierley Hill Community Forum had similar aims to ourselves with respect to regeneration and had significant funds in their accounts.  It was suggested that it might be worth considering a merging of the Civic Society and the Forum as we could bring an active membership to the Forum’s activities, whilst the Forum would have resources to support the work of the Civic Society.  The Society discussed this issue and expressed its view that a merger might be a positive step forward and that a joint meeting with the Forum take place for the March meeting.

Christmas 2013

JS reported that work was well underway for the Christmas 2013 event which was earmarked for 30th November.  Action Heart were being asked to help with the proposed Santa Run and other activities being tested for feasibility included the Christmas Fair at Insight House, performances throughout the town, a pantomime hunt and enhanced publicity – possible by grouping organisations together under a ‘Brierley Hill Christmas Festival’ brand.  All help and support would be welcomed.

Community First Brierley Hill Hill Plan

TS reported on progress on the plan which had to be produced by 31st March.  Society members would have the chance to have an input at the March joint meeting with the Community Forum.  Some £40,000 of funding would be available to community groups in Brierley Hill ward over the next two years.  It was hoped to submit a bid for the Civic Society to fund future speakers and for the Christmas Project to enable a budget to be enacted to support the event

Future Programme

The bid for funds had been submitted (see above).  Once the outcome of the bid was known it would be possible to formulate a programme.  It was important to keep a balance between speakers and to keep a focus on regeneration issues.

The meeting closed at 7pm.


Minutes of the meeting of Brierley Hill Civic society held on Monday 20th January 2014 commencing at 5.30pm at St Michael’s Church, Bell Street South, Brierley Hill


Geoff Attwood, Janet Attwood, Stephen Banks, Beryl Biggs, Simon Bradley, Joy Cooper, E. Darby, Beryl Fisher, Rachel Harris, Peter Hobbs, John James, Wayne Jones, Betsy Lafferty, Lorna Morrison, Maggie Norton, Jenny Sunter, Tim Sunter, Dennis Whittaker


Shane Birch-Bastock, Judy Foster, Zafar Islam, Andrew Mann-Ray, John Martin

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true record.

Matters Arising

There were no matters arising which were not covered elsewhere on the agenda.


JS gave an update on correspondency from Civic Voice.

Treasurer’s Report

DW reported that as of 19/01/2014 latest Bank Statement received was up to 16/12/2013.

Balance was £741.22.

Unbanked BHCS cheques:-

16/09/2013 – No. 100003 – £50.00 to Tim Sunter.

18/11/2013 – No. 100007 – £60.00 to St. Michael’s, Brierley Hill.

Therefore, uncommitted money in Bank = £631.22.

In addition £17 cash is at present held as a Petty Cash “float”.

Therefore, Total uncommitted money is £648.22

Lucas Ross

Unfortunately LR did not attend the meeting.  Subsequently he emailed his profound apologies citing a diary mix up for the problem.  He has agreed to address a future meeting of the Society.

Brierley Hill Christmas Festival 2013

JS updated the meeting on the highly successful November 30th event.  It was noted:

The town was ‘buzzing’ as a result of the activities arranged for the day;

Very strong community networking took place – it was a credit to the town that everyone who had been asked to do something delivered;

The contribution of the scouts was exceptional – turning the Santa Joggle from a failure to a success and then spending the day in the town centre;

The Fair, Library and Santa Trail events were very well attended;

Perhaps an improvement in terms of timing of events could be made;

It had been commented that it was the best event in the town in recent years.

Thanks were due to all of those who had taken part and helped to make the day so successful.

The meeting thanked JS for her great effort in co-ordinating the event.

Brierley Hill in Bloom

TS reported on BHiB.

  • Dudley CCG, ASDA, Community First, Birmingham Metropolitan College, Dudley MBC, Brierley Hill Traders Association and Brierley Hill Market were all supporting the project.
  • The colour theme would be red and yellow – to reflect the colours of the coat of arms of the town.
  • 25 planters had been ordered.  On the basis of starting small it was agreed to start at Five Ways and radiate out from there.
  • The college horticulture students were already growing the plants for display.
  • DMBC were closely involved and had offered to use their offices to purchase the planters and to carry the risk re insurance and claims of attaching them to the street rails.
  • Watering the plants was going to be a key issue.  It was hoped that traders, schools, community groups and individuals could assist with this, perhaps through and ‘adopt a planter’ scheme.
  • A further planning meeting was due to take place in a few weeks time.

Brierley Hill Community Forum

It was reported that a meeting of the directors had taken place in December.  DW and JS had also been in attendance.

The Forum were a membership organisation and it was felt that it was for the members, rather than the directors, to decide on the future of the organisation.  It was therefore intended to hold a general meeting in March to talk about the way forward.  Options to be discussed included: winding up the Forum; revitalising it in its existing form; merging with another organisation such as the Civic Society; anything else that members may wish to consider.

Information Exchange

  • No appeal had been submitted as yet from Clean Power.
  • The director of RDF had been gaoled in December for failure to comply with a court order to clear the site.  RH indicated that discussion were taking place on the various scenarios on how to get the site cleared.
  • Work on the war memorial wall on Church Hill was progressing well.  It was hoped that the gardens would be restored once the work was completed, although this may have to be by way of a grant rather than a direct council contribution.
  • An application had been submitted to the planning department to turn Point North into apartments.
  • Friends of Marsh Park had been successful in implementing a scheme of bulb planting which should provide a visual delight come spring time.

Any Other Urgent Business

There was no other urgent business.

Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting will be 17th February 2014.

One comment on “Civic Voice chief, Ian Harvey, guest of honour at Brierley Hill Civic Society AGM

  1. Dear Sir
    We deal in antique and vintage furniture together with china and interesting artifacts. I have recently come into possession of a 1952 Council residents hand book whic has many articles together with advertisements from local companies.
    Could you please advise to any local museums or societies which may be interested in purchasing this item?
    Warm regards
    Ian Davenport

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