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Resume' of meetings held at St Charles Presbytery 30th July and 2nd September 1996.

30/7/96. Despite the disappointing attendance of 4 plus Robert Saunders of the Neighbourhood Initiatives Foundation (NIF), there was a wide ranging discussion on what a Prospects group in Rishton might achieve, how it might be better advertised, who individually or as groups might be approached for a further meeting, and which groups/individuals might ultimately be encouraged to get involved, eg. schools, youth groups, other community groups. clubs, churches, local businesses and industry, etc.. It was felt that given sufficient support, a Prospects group containing such cross-sectional elements could be a means of fostering community spirit and improving the quality of life locally. It could achieve practical results provided the right projects were identified. It was therefore decided that a further meeting should be attempted with better publicity and more individual approaches.

2/9/96. A much more encouraging response with 16 present and once again Robert Saunders made the journey up from NIF HQ at Telford in Shropshire. Claire Stephenson, the Great Harwood and Rishton correspondent of the Accrington Observer was also welcomed.

Robert outlined the background to Prospects as Hyndburn's response to Agenda 21 from the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. From the central Hyndburn initiative, it was hoped to set up local initiatives in different areas of Hyndburn, Rishton being one.

It was agreed that an initial objective must be to identify environmental/community projects that a Prospects group might tackle to; a) get it off the ground, b) gain publicity and c) demonstrate that the group had something to offer and was worth getting involved in.

It was stressed that this was essentially a self-help initiative. However there would be assistance from the Borough by way of administrative support, advice, help with funding, etc.. Help could also be expected from environmental organisations such as Groundwork and BTCV. The Borough was appointing a Prospects Coordinator to liaise with local groups and generally promote the Prospects initiative.

Robert agreed to edit and consolidate the responses related to Rishton that had been obtained at the Prospects consultation events at Primetime in November 1995 and on Accrington Broadway in June 1996. This, together with ideas from those attending, would be the focus for the next meeting, which would prioritise the ideas and decide on an initial project. One of the early events might also be used as a further consultation opportunity to get more ideas.

Maureen Cunliffe from Primetime Community Centre offered to host the next meeting at the Centre on Tuesday the 22nd October 1996 and to use her contacts as a means of widening interest in the group. She would act as coordinator for the meeting. Andrew Parker agreed to act as chairman and the agenda would include the question of possibly drawing up a constitution and electing officers. Colin Cooper would act as minutes secretary.

Meeting of Rishton Prospects Panel held at Primetime Centre 22nd October 1996

Chair : Andrew Parker ; Minutes : Beverley Moorhouse ; NIF : Robert Saunders.

Members present : 15.

Apologies : Ruth Colling, Colin Cooper, Maureen Cunliffe.

Andrew welcomed those attending . Robert briefly introduced the main aspects behind Prospects for the benefit of newcomers present (six).

Robert introduced two methods for choosing/prioritising possible projects which the local panel might tackle, based upon results from previous consultation exercises. It was agreed to examine this in more detail at the next meeting.

The meeting was thrown open for ideas from those present. The main concern seemed to be that of finding ways of involving young people, either through suitable projects that they would be interested in taking part in or through projects designed for their specific benefit. Involvement of schools was seen as important. They might take part in poster competitions, litter picks and tree planting.

There was a need to generate some pride in Rishton. The local paper might photograph 'grot' spots that could be cleaned up, with a subsequent ' before and after' photographic exhibition. Window boxes and hanging baskets displayed by shops, businesses and individual householders could enhance the environment and form the basis of a major competition in a number of categories.

Community awareness ideas included an environmental fun day, procession, fun run, carnival, various fun activities. Emphasis again involving young people. Better publicity was needed for existing youth activities eg. at Primetime.

Robert outlined the draft constitution and modifications were suggested. Finalised version to be presented for adoption at the next meeting, NB membership and voting rights.

Officers elected were :- Chair : Andrew Parker ; Secretary : Beverley Moorhouse .

Councillor Tootle offered to act as Council contact ; it was hoped that Maureen Cunliffe would continue as Coordinator and host at Primetime ; Edwina Furber offered to assist Colin Cooper with advertising. Further officers required were : Vice Chair, Membership Secretary, Treasurer and two representatives were needed for the main Borough Prospects Forum.

Heather Crossland and Anne Sherburn agreed to produce a draft questionnaire that could be distributed to young people seeking their views on youth activity provision in Rishton. This to be presented for consideration at the next meeting.

Next meeting : Tuesday 19th November 1996 at 7.30pm at Primetime Centre. It was hoped that the newly appointed Prospects Coordinator for Hyndburn, Mark Hopley, would be present at this meeting.

Meeting of Rishton Prospects Panel held at Primetime Centre 19th November 1996

Chair : Andrew Parker ; Minutes : Beverley Moorhouse.

Members present : 11.

Apologies : Robert Saunders, Mark Hopley, Fiona Cook, Edwina Furber, Jean Goodall.

Andrew gave a particularly warm welcome to those attending in view of the dreadful weather. Unfortunately both Robert Saunders (NIF- Telford) and Mark Hopley, the newly appointed Prospects Coordinator, were unable to be present due to the adverse driving conditions.

Minutes of the meeting 22/10/96 were approved as previously circulated. It was reported that Edwina Furber had arranged for posters about the meeting to be put up in some fifteen different locations in the village. It was a shame the weather had somewhat thwarted her efforts.

Copies of the proposed constitution for the Rishton Prospects Panel, amended as agreed at the last meeting, were distributed and the constitution was unanimously adopted.

It was agreed that the appointment of further Officers, viz. Vice Chair, Membership Secretary, Treasurer, should be left to the next meeting when hopefully more people would be present. It was pointed out that the Panel would also need to appoint two representatives to the main Hyndburn Prospects Forum. This should also be done at the next meeting and these representatives could be either from the Officers or ordinary members.

Heather and Anne outlined the Young People's Questionnaire that they had prepared. There was some discussion on the content but it was agreed that copies would be circulated with the notice for the next meeting, to give everyone the opportunity to study it more closely. There was also discussion on how best to get it to the teenagers living in Rishton for whom it was designed. No firm conclusions were reached. It seemed likely that one outcome could be a request for some form of central drop-in centre. Caution was needed if this was going to raise false hopes, if such a scheme was unlikely to be achievable. Maureen offered to arrange for Heather and Anne to meet the Primetime Youth Leader to discuss their ideas further. It was questioned whether such an initiative among young people was really in the spirit of Agenda 21. On balance it was felt that it probably was and the questionnaire would certianly give Prospects publicity.

Without Mark or Robert being present discussion on potential projects which the Panel could undertake was somewhat inhibited. The definite need to prioritise possible ideas was recognised once again. Two ideas that were viewed favourably were to make the grassed area at the corner of Hermitage/Parker Street more attractive and to have hanging baskets outside shops down the High Street. These would be mentioned to Mark Hopley for consideration and comment at the next meeting. Andrew gave details of sources of funding that had been mentioned during the visit to the Centres of Environmental Excellence 26/10/96.

Maureen reported that she was now circulating details to forty individuals and organisations including schools, youth organisations etc. It was felt that the best time to approach businesses to become involved was when we had specific projects identified.

Two letters had been received from Hyndburn's Head of Planning asking Local Panels to identify :- a) derelict, vacant and disused land within their areas which could be used for the benefit of the community.

b) additional tree planting areas to those already planned for the old railway line.

One or two ideas were put forward but it was generally agreed these items be left for consideration again at the next meeting.

Next meeting : Tuesday 17th December 1996 at 7.30pm at Primetime Centre.

Meeting of Rishton Prospects Panel held at Primetime Centre 17th December 1996

Chair : Andrew Parker ; Minutes : Beverley Moorhouse ; Prospects Coordinator : Mark Hopley.

Members present : 13.

Apologies : Jane Hogg, , Fiona Cook, Guy Stott, Mavis Shorrock, Val Eddleston, Jean Goodall.

Andrew welcomed everybody, in particular Mark Hopley, the newly appointed Prospects Coordinator for Hyndburn and also those attending their first meeting. Minutes of the meeting 19/11/96 were approved as previously circulated. There were no matters arising.

Andrew introduced Mark who gave a brief resume of his previous experience in the environmental field, particularly with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV), where he brought a number of schemes to successful completion and had to raise some 200,000 of funding annually. He also outlined his responsibilities as Coordinator and looked forward to working with the Rishton and other Hyndburn Panels.

According to the Constitution, further Officers required were : Vice Chair, Treasurer and Membership Secretary. Colin Cooper and Maureen Cunliffe volunteered to act as Treasurer and Membership Secretary respectively and were duly elected. Two representatives were required to go on the Hyndburn Forum and Beverley Moorhouse and Margaret Worden were duly elected with Andrew Parker as reserve. The appointment of the Treasurer would facilitate the opening of a bank account and the consequent release of a 100 grant from Hyndburn BC for administrative expenses (stationery, postage, etc.).

Mark explained that one of the functions of the main Hyndburn Forum would be to draw up, by the end of 1997, a Local Environmental Action Plan ( LEAP). The Forum would probably break down into working groups looking a specific environmental aspects (eg. water quality) and the full Forum would meet once per quarter to formulate policy and finalise decisions based on working party reports and recommendations.

Heather and Anne were complimented on their Questionnaire which had been circulated. Mark felt that it might need some restructuring with an enhanced environmental bias if it was to attract funding support and this he would be able to assist with from his previous experience. A separate meeting for this would be arranged between himself , Heather, Anne and Maureen . It seemed generally agreed that it would be worth paying the Citizen to distribute the questionnaires round the village and this should be about the end of January / early February 1997. Collecting boxes for replies and supplies of further blank forms would be strategically placed throughout the village. Radio Lancashire could also be informed of the initiative.

Five potential launch projects were identified for detailed investigation and report back.

1. Young People's Questionnaire : Heather and Anne.

2. Derelict land/ tree planting survey : Margaret and Colin. (Mark to supply Margaret with existing Hyndburn derelict land map.)

3. Main road improvements (hanging baskets, etc.) : Father Michael, E West and Edwina.

4. Notice board/ mosaic : Val and Maureen.

5. Landscaping, Parker St/ Hermitage St : Andrew (in consultation with Hyndburn BC).

Mark outlined schemes carried out elsewhere on village appraisals, parish maps etc. and how expert assistance and matched funding might be provided for these as longer term projects. In the short term Mark had a video which the Panel might find helpful and it was agreed that this be shown at the next meeting.

Coun. Tootle advised that Rishton councillors held a surgery every 2nd Saturday of the month at the Centre. Council service related problems would be more appropriately referred to them and not to the Prospects Panel. He would also be pleased to serve as the Council representative for Rishton on the Forum if this was agreed.

Diary points : (a) Following the success of the trip to the Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth, a similar trip was being planned for 1997. ( b) An Environmental Awareness Day was being planned for 7th June 1997 in Accrington town centre. Margaret volunteered to assist with the planning of this. (c) A training day for local Panel members would be held on Saturday 25th January (lunch provided)

Next meeting : Tuesday 28/1/97 at 7.30pm at Primetime Centre. Maureen offered to make a room available as a Prospects work room every alternate Tuesday evening. Tel 882129 could be used for meeting apologies.