Category Archives: Meetings

ERA Meeting May 2015

ERA May 25th 2015

A bit of scenery change this week, as the school was locked up so we adjourned to Jim and Corrine’s house.  Everyone introduced themselves – 10 in attendance, including Chair Jo Milsom (JM) and Councillors Fay Howard (FH) and Chris Watts (CW).

  • JM refreshed the items from last time, which had been passed on to PC Rachel Barnett.  Updates were then as follows:

#20 Bus

  • People had got in touch with them about the #20 bus. Thamesdown had replied, but it will be discussed at council meeting around 17th June. Unprofitable bus routes are being axed, basically. Thamesdown would need extra money from the council to make it profitable – might be worth writing to them. Action to write to Dale Heenan, possibly joining with Covingham Parish Council or similar in other wards?

  • #20 is the Honda bus service as well, for Eldene residents.

  • Morrisons 106 money was mentioned again, and we need a definitive description of where this money is and what it was for.

  • It was suggested that Greenbridge shopping centre could subsidise the bus.

  • Someone to go to Cabinet meeting – hopefully it will be on the agenda? Check the agenda and meeting time.

Community Speedwatch

  • Some would like a 20mph speed limit.

  • 30mph warning panels are basically ignored.

  • Ask PC Rachel about whether the data is recorded from the speed limit flashing sign.

  • How could we get 20mph in side roads, everything off Eldene Drive? Was there a review of 20mph in Parks? CW says you can’t be done for speeding in a 20mph zone.

  • Someone from Highways to come to a previous meeting?

  • FH said 85% went lower than 35-37 mph, and no accidents in the last 3 years.

  • Double yellows have been put in by the Eldene surgery, but the gaps are causing trouble. School pickup time.


  • Community service: Shaftesbury Lake, by the playground.

  • Crossroads of the Meads.

Social Event

  • Possible ideas:

    • Family fun afternoon

    • Tabletop sale (like a carboot sale)

    • Cakes/refreshments/cake competition

    • Bring and share picnic

    • Music

    • Story rhymetime

    • Fancy dress competition

    • Face painting

    • Sponsored bouncy castle?

    • Local businesses to send someone along

    • Doctors surgery to send a nurse for a health check

    • Information boards

    • Local groups: linedancing at Eldene, cubs etc, Kickboxing display, football club, Slimming World stall, police involvement, DTC Duke of Edinburgh/Glee club.

Waitrose did something for Wichelstowe, definitely approach Morrisons

Tabletop Sale:

  • Where? Ideally in the school car park, with the Acorn Centre for toilets.

  • When? 19th July.

  • Cost? £5 per table. Can also allow people to advertise their things at a table.

  • Need insurance sorted asap. CW will find this out tomorrow, and JR will ask school at the beginning of next week.
  • Another option is a picnic thing (no insurance needed for this).
  • Kathleen’s group also can advertise.
  • Can sell penny sweets, or someone like Ray’s Ice-Cream.
  • Christine, Mike, Jim to take it forward once the insurance and venue are sorted.

Bad News re Post Office

  • Post Office is being delayed as the PO thinks there is not the demand for a full service.

  • They want to put a PO Local in, which would not deal with money (we think).

  • Community campaign to put pressure on the PO, to show how important it is.

  • Could anyone else do it?  CW is talking to the area manager for the Post Office.

  • CW is going to find out what the Local PO actually involves, then we can move ahead with a petition (ideally quickly).

  • Is there a PO in the Morrisons at Haydon Wick?


  • New manager, need to meet properly with him.


  • Trolley locks back on
  • Chip shop opening on Wednesday 3rd June.


  • Road by St Paul’s is being done. Is there money for Eldene roads?
  • Look into
  • New noticeboard at Shaftesbury where you can put signs up – look into this.

ERA Minutes April 2015

14 in attendance, including JM, Chair, GC, Conservative council candidate, CW, Labour council candidate and FH, Labour councillor.

JM introduced the topic of crime and traffic, along with some updates from previous actions.

Morrisons update – there is a new manager since about a week ago.  GC said that trolley coins are going back on, but we don’t have a date yet and hasn’t happened yet. Area manager is on holiday at the moment.

Hustings went very well, full notes here.

Jo read out highlights from Rachel Barnett’s report, in particular that she would like people to get in touch with her, and would encourage people to sign up for notifications via Community Messaging.

GC worried about RB being called away to do night duty in Parks. Is there a police presence to cover the area when she is not on duty? How is it covered?  Re: traffic, it has been frequently mentioned about a lack of parking each time. What can be done about that?  Handy Mag mentioned grids that Covingham are getting in some grass areas to park on.

We split into small groups to give everyone a chance to speak.  Reporting back from groups was generally positive about the level of crime in the area, and issues of concern/interest included:

  • 20mph limit on Eldene Drive

  • Litter bins (Snodshill play area, bus stops, walkway along by DTC)

  • Parking on verges (Islandsmead, Conway Rd etc)

  • Mopeds on pedestrian areas

  • Bags of dog mess hanging in the trees

  • Scary dogs

  • Damaged bus shelters (Thorne Rd, Snodshill)


No. 20 bus is being cancelled, which goes through Eldene to the hospital. Use to be every 20 minutes, then every 45 minutes, now being stopped on 31st May. Robert has contacted the bus company.

GC suggested that the Council should get in touch with Thamesdown, so people should get in touch with the council as the #20 is a cross-ward issue.

Mostly affecting bus pass users. Suggestion was to get the #13, off at Coate Water, cross the road then #12, which would mean taking an hour and a half to get to the hospital.

GC mentioned possible squatters in the flats.

Topics for next time:

  • Various updates (Eldene, traffic, possibly Community Speedwatch)

  • Organisation of a social occasion

ERA Meeting March 2015

Minutes of the March meeting of Eldene Residents Association, held at the Acorn Centre on Monday 23rd March 2015, 7:30pm.



  • Robert Loss
  • Annmarie Marshall
  • Edward Houghton (EdH)
  • Dave Salmon
  • Jo Milsom (ERA Chair)
  • Mike Davies (ERA Secretary)
  • Joanne Phillips (+ Alfie!)
  • Eileen Haller (EH)
  • Jim Rowe (ERA Treasurer)


  • Fay Howard (Current, Labour)
  • Graham Cherry (Standing, Conservative)


  • Kathleen Aitken
  • Ann Easter
  • Margaret Corkeran


Jim Rowe offered to be Treasurer and was unanimously elected.  This will allow ERA to get a bank account and then applying for funding.

Eldene Centre

  • There is a prospective person to run the new Post Office at Morrisons, it just takes time to get set up.
  • Swindon Council want to consult with Residents at the end of April.  KA has experience of consultations and thinks the consultation is just a paper exercise and has written to Rob Richards (Head of Property) saying so.
  • The Crumpled Horn is not a protected building.  The latest is that the new landlord is a temporary measure until the pub can be sold as a going concern.  The ERA Officers are going to make contact with the new landlord.
  • The bookmakers may be shutting on 2nd April.
  • The CCTV needs to be kept when the Centre is demolished.


The Acorn Centre is hosting a hustings on 10th April at 7:30pm.  There is a Facebook event and it will be advertised locally and in the Swindon Advertiser.  UKIP cannot currently make it, and the Lib Dems have not confirmed. Conservative, Labour and Greens have confirmed.

Litter Picks

  • It was suggested that community service people could help with picking up rubbish.
  • There is a new bin being put in near the Richard Jeffries park.
  • Dorcan Academy pupils do seem to be generating quite a lot of the rubbish, but the Academy do also do their own litter-picking.  ERA will get in touch with the Academy to possibly co-ordinate efforts.
  • FH was thanked for helping with organising the litter-pick equipment and for co-ordinating the council to deal with larger amounts.


  • MD had written to Morrisons to build a dialogue with the manager – will keep the group posted on this, as there were lots of good ideas for how the residents could work with the supermarket.
  • EdH had written to Morrisons head office about abandoned trolleys, and had a letter back saying that only some supermarkets had to stop using the £1. The new CEO of Morrisons wants ideas, so MD will collect evidence of trolley abandonment and get in touch with him.  GC pointed out that supermarkets can be prosecuted.


  • DS was keen to talk about the Council election boundaries as he felt that Eldene was too safe a Labour seat.  FH pointed out that although Liden is the smallest area by population, most of her contact comes from there.  She would like to hear more from all residents!

Future Meetings

There needs to be a list of topics that the ERA discusses, and there will be an agenda for each meeting otherwise the discussion will be too wide-ranging and not in-depth enough.  The next meeting for example will focus on traffic and road safety, and we will invite the Police to come along.

Agenda items could include:

  • 106 money (money that should come into the area when a big new development takes place)
  • Social occasions (bringing people together)
  • Traffic

Future Meeting Dates

Last Monday of every Month – April 27th, May 25th, June 29th, July 27th, all 7:30 at Acorn.

Litter Picking dates – April 18th, May 16th and June 20th, 10am at Eldene Centre.

ERA Minutes Feb 15

The Eldene Residents Association (ERA) had its first official meeting on 9th Feb ’15 after a couple of brainstorming gatherings (see previous posts).  The following items were discussed;

Eldene Residents Association

We accepted the model Constitution and Code of Conduct and elected Jo Milsom as Chair and Mike Davies as Secretary.  We proposed Sonia Stapleton as Treasurer, but she could not make the meeting and is considering.

Community Centre update

  • Jo Milsom is a Committee member for the community centre and bar
  • Future meetings could possibly be in the community centre from 7:30pm on Wednesdays
  • We talked about the Crumpled Horn
  • The church is not currently meeting at the Centre.

Post Office shutting

Hopeful that a new one will be sorted by April

  • Chip shop hoping to move by April

Horizons update

18th Feb – residents open day about using the space 10am-1pm.  There will be Facebook event for this.

Local and General Election

  • 1 local council seat up for election – current councillor Neil Heavens is stepping down.

Plans for ERA

  • Write to council re Eldene Centre and possible funding
  • Write to Dorcan school to possibly get some youth involvement
  • Write to Morrisons to engage
  • Press release to Adver
  • Get in touch with Handy Mag
  • Litter picking dates (stick with Saturdays), meeting dates
  • Website section for the Eldene Community Centre

Possible Links for the website

  • Stratton Advice Point
  • Citizen Advice Bureau
  • PPG – Patient Participation Group for Eldene Surgery

Community Meeting 1st Oct 14

Acorn Centre, 7:30pm, 1st Oct 14

Around 12 residents attended, plus Councillor Fay Howard and facilitators (3 from Horizon).

1. Recap of July meeting

  • Chris Smith has moved on from Community work at the council to working with community centres, and would be happy to work with Eldene Community Centre and residents to meet the needs of both.
  • Nas Ali (at the Council) has asked for volunteers to be on the working group for redesigning Eldene Centre once the shops and flats are demolished.
  • There has been no contact from the Community Centre, though one of the attendees (Jo) is now on the Committee at the Centre so will work with them on various projects.
  • It has proved difficult to work with Morrisons, the Community Manager there is mainly to look after the noticeboard, and the Store Manager seems too busy.
  • As there are going to be 3 Morrisons in Swindon, with the big one opening in the town centre, it is probably worth going to the Head Office.
  • The third unit at Morrisons is likely to be a newsagent doing paper deliveries, though people were surprised that it could be a profitable business given that Morrisons sell newspapers, sweets etc.
  • The owners of Fitness First site wanted £4m to buy it, which no-one thought it was worth (e.g. Morrisons for a petrol station), so it is sitting dormant.  Unless it gets rundown, very little can be done about this, but one of the first jobs of the ERA (below) could be to write to them as representing residents.

2. Setting up an Eldene Residents Association

  • Everyone thought this was a good idea so that collective rather than individual requests could be made to the Council or applying for other sources of funding.
  • Various suggestions were made about names (Eldene Voice, ERA as above), and we thought that the first committee should make that decision.
  • The Association would need a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, constitution etc, and there are various models for this that can be used.
  • The first meeting will be Tuesday 4th November at 7:30, again hopefully at the Acorn Centre.  Nominations for Officer positions will be sought before then via Facebook and email.

3. Social/Other Events

  • We will organise an event in January, hopefully at the Community Centre, for local organisations to have a stall about what they do (Cubs, Football Teams, Slimming World etc).  If there is tea and cake, people will come!
  • Litter picking will take place before then – the Council will provide equipment and collect the rubbish.  Dates are Saturdays 11/10 and 15/11 at 10am, and will be advertised at the school, and in HandyMag (for November).

4. AOB

  • The Acorn Centre are happy for Horizon to rent it in order to be used by the Community on Wednesdays between 9 and 3, starting in November, and further details will be announced on this as they become available (e.g. lunch club).
  • There is no hearing loop in the Community Centre, and this would be very helpful.
  • The steps to Community Centre should be part of the landscaping project.
  • Minutes should be available via paper copy, not just electronic.  This needs a volunteer to distribute them. An ERA notice board would be good, if a site could be found.

Community Mtg Community Centre Group

At the Community Mtg one of the groups had the Community Centre on the agenda.  There was crossover with other groups, but these were the notes taken from this particular group:

The group was facilitated by Chris Smith and Councillor Derique Montaut led the discussion.

There was less discussion about the Community Centre itself and more discussion about how interested people were in creating a group and holding Councillors to account for the things that happen in Eldene.

Suggestions regarding the Community Centre were as follows:

  • Needs an upgrade

  • Bigger Centre needed for the Community

  • Level both the shops and Centre and invest in a social enterprise to build and run a new facility with any monies being re-invested in the community

  • Community café to run in the Centre

  • Need varied activities

  • Need to know what goes on in the centre

  • Need to find a room to use in the centre

Key points discussed were as follows:

  • 106 monies available for public art, what this means and how the public may influence how it’s spent

    • Could ask kids from the school to design a piece of art for the community, this would be a lot cheaper

  • Want gardens to look nice

  • Post office is a key requirement for the area

  • Need a more local shop as Morrisons is to far to walk to for some elderly residents

  • Pub is unattractive, needs a facelift

Community Mtg Improvements Group

One of the groups at the Community Meeting had the agenda of talking about improvements needed in Eldene.  These were the notes taken:


Cars parked on Eldene Drive cause obstruction of vision for cars turning out of Ecklington

20 mph zone?

Parking on grass verges ?

Double yellow lines outside surgery

Major parking issues – Islandsmead and Shaftsbury Lake


Grass cutting is terrible

Richard Jeffries pathway (from Coate Water) could be left unmown to encourage wild life

Trim back grass verges that encroach on paths

Trees in green belt near elmore are dangerously tall

Preserve the trees

Pot hole on Eldene Drive – 10 yr – thorn road

Rats issue – Shaftsbury Lake


Shaftesbury Park needs repairs and cleaning


Litter bins – none in childrens parks

Dogwaste bins overflowing

Thorney Park needs upgrading with more for young kids

Where are the uniformed police ?

Lack of post boxes

No facilities for young people – Dorcan school? New College?


Is this area going to be left derelict? Use of shops until demolition – pop up shops/charity

Appearance of Crump. No ramp, must break disabled access regs.


No access on the side of road where houses are. It would be so much easier to access for older/disabled people if there was an entrance on that side

Why don’t Morrisons deliver groceries? Paper deliveries will end and paper boys lose their jobs if newsagent closes or moves into Morrisons.


Garden team (Cathy Scott – Localities Group) create garden in front of community centre?

Set up voluntary car service to help elderly residents access shops, post office (wherever that might be!) etc.


Where is the money – money for Morrisons

Investment please

Happy to pay extra rates/tax for a better environment (not everyone)