WoWcc Campaign Meeting
The Lych Gate Tavern
44 Queen Square
Wolverhampton WV1 1TX
Wednesday 8th January 2014
1. Agreement of Chair for meeting
The meeting was chaired by Julia Brant.
Julia Brant (chair) (JB), David Wilson (minutes) (DW), Steve Spencer (SS), Steve Young (SY), Mike Jenkins (MJ), Mike Hughes (MH), Chris Terrell (CT).
Apologies for Absence
Received from: Rob Marris, Nick Squires.
3. Minutes of last meeting (16 October 2013):
The minutes were accepted as a true record.
Para 7 Contact with WREN: MJ and JB will check action required to send a letter to George Reiss.
4. Notification of Any Other Business
Report on Christmas drinks / informal meeting on 17 December 2013.
5. WOW response to city centre proposals
Some responses from individuals had been acknowledged, but not WOW’s corporate response. The city centre will be raised at the next forum (16th January), especially the prospects for start of work on the phasing programme.
There had also been an initiative in November 2013 from Tim Philpot to hold further discussions on desired changes to the programme, but nothing further had been heard. There is currently a consultation on the “Area Action Plan” (AAP) with deadline 31st January for responses, but this covers a wider remit and geographical area.
6. WOW Strategic Document for Wolverhampton
The completed text was ready at the time of the Enterprise and Business Scrutiny Panel on 7th January (see Agenda Item 8), and JB had handed hard copies to some delegates, as well as sending electronic copies to all Councillors present. This text, though complete, is still considered as a draft.
Action: DW to send this draft to the WOW membership and invite further comment. (Secretary’s note: Attached to these minutes).
WOW will decide upon its next action when a response has been received from WCC.
7. Cycle Charter / Black Country Partner Engagement Group
A meeting of this group (four Black Country authorities) was attended by JB, DW and CT in Dudley on 22 October 2013. Centro gave presentations on two subjects: HS2 rail proposals, and Cycle Charter. WOW had been invited to participate in discussion of this Charter which is being coordinated by Centro for all seven West Midlands authorities. The comments made by WOW members were well received, and WOW will be invited to future meetings.
The Charter itself contains some good thinking and may be effective in promoting cycling in the region, and in attracting funding, provided it gives rise to action and does not remain as words on paper, and provided that users are involved actively from the outset in planning and design, as well as in monitoring progress. It is not clear when the next meeting is to be held.
Action: JB to contact the group for timetable information.
8. WCC Enterprise and Business Scrutiny Panel (Cycling Strategy)
This panel met on 7th January and was attended by several WOW members. A draft of WOW’s own proposals for Cycle strategy in Wolverhampton had just become available, and some copies were handed out by JB (see Agenda Item 6). This draft was not part of the discussion, which centred mainly on a presentation given by Keith Rogers on WCC’s own outline proposals for an updated strategy. During the meeting, SY had sent out over 20 tweets to followers of WOW on Twitter.
Since then discussion on Twitter had spread to a wider audience, some individuals also contacting WCC with further comment. Other contacts made at the meeting: CT discussed with Keith Rogers opportunities for increasing monitoring of cycling to improve statistical information. Universities/colleges could be contacted for participation by students. CT was also asked by Lydia Barnstable to provide details of cycling pinchpoints in need of improvement.
It was becoming clear that the Forum’s communications were not satisfactory. Tim Philpot and others were aware that there could be more input from Forum members, who much of the time were just receiving information from WCC. Also, it must be assured that each meeting had an effective chair, as evidenced by the results of the last meeting in October 2013 where time was wasted due to lack of a chair. These questions would be raised at the next Forum (Thursday 16th January).
SY reported that there had been no major activities or events. Yvonne Gilligan (Sustrans director at the Birmingham office) had attended the Scrutiny Panel (see Agenda Item 8 above) and had made some telling points about the effectiveness of building good cycling links such as recent Sustrans projects, and the measurable increases in cycling these could produce.
SS reported that there had been routine transactions on the bank account, which had started this quarter at £513.30 and ended at £460.38.
DW reported that no new members had joined since September 2013. He had sent out requests for renewal and payment of 2014 subscriptions in December, and payments were beginning to come in. The “Information for New Members” document had been passed to CT for formatting. On the question of how members could best achieve direct contact and networking, it was agreed that an opt-in forum on the WOW website would be the best way forward.
Action: JB to send a New Year greeting to the membership, including proposal to set up a forum.
MH offered to provide contacts for a number of former WOW members.
Website and publicity:
SY had posted several new articles on the website, including: Bilston High Street; (lack of) cycling on the WCC website; Cyclonomics; thanks to David Holman and others for their work on the previous website. He also suggested that the Twitter following (now 383) could become a resource for WCC as well as WOW. A tweet had been received from the police in Heath Town inviting WOW’s involvement in crime prevention and cycle safety. This would be followed up.
For general publicity purposes, CT indicated he may have access to some high quality printing facilities if these should be needed.
JB had been contacted by Lydia Barnstable on matters arising from the Scrutiny Panel.
11. Tettenhall area issues
WOW’s response to the “Our Place Our Plan” document had been submitted. MJ also reported that the wheeling ramp on the steps at Hordern Road had now been installed.
12. Any other Business
An informal Christmas drinks / meeting session had been held at the Combermere Arms on 17th December. There had been discussion in preparation for the Scrutiny Panel, and SY had reported on progress with the new website.
MH intends to produce a “Ride the Route” video of his commute to work, using a helmet camera. This was warmly welcomed. The result is likely to be a useful campaigning tool.
13. Next regular meeting
Wednesday 2nd April 2014 at the Combermere Arms.
DW had already sent out the full list of WOW and Forum meeting dates.
Some of these are earlier in the month than usual, for various reasons.