Minutes of DCA meetings June-Dec 2004

June 2004 Oct 2004
July  2004 Nov 2004 Chair's report at AGM
Sept 2004 Dec 2004

Doxey Community Association

Minutes of meeting held on 9th June 2004

Present: Joyce Beach (JB), Tom Beach (TB), John Corcoran (JC), Susan Corcoran (SC), Michelle Elliot (ME), Sue Fox (SF), Claire Gaisford (CG), Sally Hems (SH), David Hughes (DH), Sarah Jessop (SJ), Joan Moore (JM), Stephen Moore (SM), John Perks (JP), Pat Perks (PP), Barbara Simpson (BS), Iain Simpson (IS), Eileen Skelton (ES),Gill Smith (GS), Mike Turner (MT), Adrian Venables (AV) and Mr J Solly

Apologies: Jane Essex

1 Minutes of the meeting held on 14th April 2004

    Approved as a true record. JM apologised for not distributing them prior to tonight's meeting.

2 Matters arising from the minutes of the meeting held on lOth March

Closure of Doxey Post Office The post office closed on 4th May. David Kidney MP is still campaigning and considering possible options for the future. A fresh lobby will be made if/when Doxey obtains Parish status. A cash machine is now available in Bradbury Rise Stores, but there is a £1.50 charge.

Neighbourhood Law and Order Conference Five people from DCA attended the conference. It was interesting that Staffordshire Police are already implementing many of the suggestions made. There is an emphasis on partnership working to combat local crime. MT attended a workshop on Neighbourhood Watch. Five to ten households and a co-ordinator are required to set up a scheme. PC Jane Jepson would be happy to come to a meeting to discuss the issue further if we were interested. Crimestopper information cards are available from ME at the Sutton Centre. A full report can be obtained from SJ or MT.

Anti-social behaviour PC Cassie urged everyone to keep reporting incidents to ensure the police presence remained. Whilst most people had seen more patrol cars very few had seen our Community Beat Officers or police on foot. There was concern that police funds were not being applied where they are needed most, i.e. more beat officers in the community.

 Parish Council Campaign Stafford Borough Council forwarded a letter they received from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) informing them that our petition will be considered as soon as possible.

AGM JM reiterated the need to encourage more Doxey people to attend the meeting.        

3 Computer access in Doxey

JM had a meeting at UCM with Bob Hughes and Stafford College. They are willing to let the community use a room for training courses of any variety. The college will provide free IT training using laptops if there is sufficient demand. DCA needs to research the demand for courses in the area

4 DCA Website

IS is working on the development of a website. Set up costs would be approximately £72.47 with annual running fee of £45.48 plus VAT (this includes access to 100 free e-mail addresses). The site will include information on local organisations and businesses, schools, churches, local history, news and links to other sites. There was a unanimous decision to instruct IS to go ahead. Anyone with contact details of local organisations should contact IS.

5 Clear Out Day

An outstanding success, there was no rubbish left after the event, any remaining items were taken to a local charity shop. There were lots of children at the event, which made it difficult to manage, but there was more waste left at the Three Tuns event last year so JM suggested a Clear Out Day be held at alternate venues as there are pros and cons to each.

6 Red Cross Training

Emily gave a very informative talk but the turn out was disappointing. A suggestion was made to pass details to the drop in and youth forum to establish interest:

7 Litter pick

The Smith and Turner families collected three blue bags of rubbish from the Doxey area on Wednesday 2nd June. The Moores and Simpsons covered the Greensome Close to Conway Road area the following day. Litter Pickers are available from JM if anyone would like to do their area.

8 Mikron Theatre Weekend, 5-7 June

Two plays were performed; On The Line on Saturday and Pedal Power on Sunday, on Monday Mikron visited Doxey primary school. Approximately 80 people attended on Saturday evening (including David Kidney MP) and 70 on Sunday (approximately half were Doxey residents). Half term was thought to have reduced potential audience numbers. Two grants covered the cost of hiring Mikron and tickets and donations raised £307. Sadly the Arts Council turned down the bid for a larger project with Mikron but the steering group will meet at l0am on 12th June at 57 Doxey to evaluate the event and discuss options for the future.

9 Youth Forum

There was a meeting on 7th June with the regular turnout and 3 additional people. It is hoped the new members may have fresh ideas. Main areas discussed were the closure of the post office, Mikron and transport to school. David Kidney MP is supporting the transport appeal. The leisure barn remains a priority, but no action can be taken until the Saint Gobain planning application decision is made in July. The group are taking part in a media project using video, photography and art to illustrate what life is like for a young person living in Doxey. The next meeting will be on 7th July at 6.30 all are welcome and SF would be grateful if DCA could encourage more young people to come along to that. JM suggested a certificate of commendation be provided to young people who have given their time to Doxey for their Record of Achievement files. This was agreed.

10 Guest speaker Mr Solly

Mr Solly retires at the end of this academic year after 20 years as head teacher at Doxey Primary School. He commented on the mix of children being a key strength and the invaluable support of his staff. All are welcome to join a tour of the school, new nursery and oak tree planting ceremony at 4pm on Wednesday 16th June (in recognition of the DCA Green Award and Mr Solly's retirement).

11 Proposed programme 2004

Doxey Day is being held at the Parish Church this year on 17th July. DH will approach the Army Cadet Force Band to establish their availability. JM will ask Mr Solly if he will open proceedings and organisations will be approached to organise stalls. Ideas included face painting, a tombola, a cake stall, fancy dress, a bouncy castle, Playaway equipment and information stands for local organisations.

The Funday will take place on 14th August following the successful format of last year. PP and JP will organise and update the DCA at the next meeting.

12 Doxey Times

The next edition will include information on Doxey Day, a Mikron write up, possibility of courses, the website, anti-social behaviour, congratulations to Mr Solly, a report on tree planting and the youth forum event.

13 Correspondence

• Walking For Health programme, for further details contact the coordinator Lynn Clements at Stafford Borough Council or ask SJ for a copy of the leaflet.

• Green Award, JM will ask Jane Essex to submit an application to Stafford Borough Council featuring details on Clear Out Day, litter picking, other sustainable local activities (e.g. Mikron) and our Post Office campaign.

• Community Champions, up to £2000 for individuals who want to make a difference in their community. Application details are available from SJ.

• P.E.P. A free Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour training course is being held on 15th July 2004 in Birmingham. JM has details and DCA will pay the train fare of anyone wishing to represent us. MT to attend.

14 Any Other business

There was no other business

15 Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 14th July 2004 at 7.00pm at the Sutton Centre.

Minutes of meeting held on 14th July 2004

Present: Sam, Nick, Yas, Lee, Nathan, Michael, Lewis, Joyce Beach Tom Beach, John Corcoran, Susan Corcoran, Michele Elliott, Sally Hems, Dave Hughes, Joan Moore, John Perks, Pat Perks, Barbara Simpson, lain Simpson, Eileen Skelton, Gill Smith, Mike Turner, Alistair Wray

1 Apologies Rob Belcher, Sue Fox, Claire Gaisford, Sally Jessop, Stephen Moore, Adrian Venables, Dan Wood

2 Minutes of the meeting held on 9th June 2004 were approved as a correct record

3 Matters arising

(i) Anti-social behaviour

MT had applied for a place on the PEP course on tackling anti-social behaviour but the course had been heavily oversubscribed.

AW suggested that the lack of facilities for young people in Doxey could be linked to some anti-social behaviour. The young people at the meeting asked for the help of the DCA in getting the football pitch at the end of Greensome Close back into use. At present they reported that there were deep holes on the pitch, it was badly littered and the grass had not been cut. They needed somewhere to play football etc. during the summer holidays. They offered their help in restoring the pitch. AW offered his help and to enlist the help of some parents. It was agreed that JM would speak to council officers, explain the situation and seek help in restoring the field. There was the possibility that there were dangerous materials on the field at present and it was advised that the young people wait until a council officer had seen the field before doing anything themselves. JM would report to AW before the weekend and to the next meeting. The meeting welcomed the approach that the young people had taken and thanked them.

All Doxey residents were urged to report non-emergency incidents of anti-social behaviour, including vandalism to our local Community Beat Officers on 234936.

(ii) Parish Council

We are still waiting to hear from the office of the Deputy Prime Minister

(iii) Stafford Borough Green Awards

On Wednesday 16th June a group of DCA members and Mr Solly planted the oak tree which had been awarded to the DCA in 2003, in the grounds of Doxey Primary School. Mr Solly then took members on a tour of the school. An application has been submitted on behalf of the DCA for a Green Award for 2004.


4 Youth Forum

The Youth Forum met on Wednesday 7th July with Ellie McClelland and Alison Dickens to discuss their media project. The meeting was also attended by 4 other members of the DCA. The Forum decided to work on making a virtual seating/garden area which could then be realised at an agreed location. They are meeting again this evening to begin the project.

5 Computer Access in Doxey

Stafford College have responded to our appeal for some public computer facility by negotiating with the school to host computer courses. The College are currently researching demand in Doxey for the whole range of FE and leisure courses and locations. The UCM premises are another possible venue.

6 Website

This has been running since the beginning of July and has recently been extended to include photographs. lain Simpson, the webmaster, appealed for information on local organisations to be passed to him. Local non-profit making organisations are not charged. Businesses pay £25.

7 Mikron Visit

The Theatre weekend had been a success. The preliminary evaluation indicated that most of those attending were from Doxey and that everyone had enjoyed the performances. There were many appreciative comments on the acting, the versatility of the actors and the variety within each of the performances. However there were some negative comments on the timing of the event - at the beginning of a half-term weekend. JM and JE will visit the Arts Council tomorrow, 15th July, to discuss the resubmission of the bid to fund the larger theatre project.

8 Doxey Day

Plans were well advanced. The organisation of the event will be a joint effort by the DCA and the church. Doxey organisations had agreed to 'do their own thing'. There will be a number of displays, celebrating the activities in Doxey and recruiting supporters, stalls and competitions. The Church will have a display(JC. SC.) and serve refreshments (GS plus team). The DCA will have a display about the Coffee Morning (JP, PP.) Parish Council Campaign, (SM) the Mikron weekend (JE) Doxey Website (IS) Greetings cards (SH.). PTA, Playgroup, Friendship Group Doxey Archive, Whist Club, Heraldry Society, the Rambling Group, Guides, Ethnic foods, Mother and Toddlers, the Primary Care Trust and the Community Council of Staffordshire

The party tent will be erected on the grass outside.

The press has already been informed.

There are no overhead costs for the event and it is not a fundraising effort. Organisations can keep any money they take from their activity and/or they can make a donation to the church/DCA as they see fit.

Dave Marsden will be invited to open the event.

The church will be open at 10.30 am on Saturday.


9 Fun Day 14th August 2004

Plans are well advanced. PP has applied to the Community Champions fund for money to cover prizes, an entertainer and insurance. PP asked for volunteers to do specific jobs on the day and took names of the volunteers. It was proposed that DCA take out one off day public liability Insurance at a cost of £55, to cover the event. This was agreed. JM to organise. The Party tent would be erected.

10 Doxey Times

The July edition was printed be the William Sutton Housing Association. They have agreed to print future editions. The cost of £25 per edition is a considerable saving for the DCA and a letter of thanks will be sent to the Housing Association. The DCA will be invoiced quarterly.

Some items to be included in the August edition:

Fun Day

Football pitch

Visit of the Bishop of Lichfield 1st Aug.

Sunday bus service from beginning of September.

Report on Doxey Day.

College courses in Doxey.

11 Correspondence

(i) Neighbours SBC magazine to Council tenants - congratulations to DH for his service to Army cadets

(ii) Marsh Warblings and info on the Doxey Marshes open Day Sunday 18th July

(iii) SDVS promoting a course on legal responsibilities of management committees. This would be held on 5th November 2004. This is an important opportunity for us to to prepare for charitable status. It was agreed that JM would attend and DCA would provide the £50 course fee.

(iv) It was agreed that DCA renew membership of the Community Council of Staffordshire. BS to find out if that fee covered our membership of Playaway. If it did not she would renew DCA's Playaway membership.

12 Any Other Business

There were no other items of business

13 Date of next meeting.

The next meeting would be a social event held on Wednesday 11th August. DH to organise.


Doxey Community Association

Minutes of meeting held on 8th September 2004

Present: Joyce Beach (JB), Tom Beach (TB), John Corcoran (JC), Susan Corcoran (SC), Michele Elliott (ME), Sally Hems (SH), David Hughes (DH), Joan Moore (JM), Stephen Moore (SM), John Perks (JP), Pat Perks (PP), Gill Smith (GS), Mike Turner (MT), Adrian Venables (AV)

Apologies: Sarah Jessop (SJ), Barbara Simpson, Iain Simpson, Robert Simpson, Dan Yates


1.Minutes of the meeting held on 14th July 2004

Approved as a true record.


2.Matters arising

Anti-social behaviour There were several reports of anti-social behaviour experienced since the last meeting and the response of the police to reports about this. . An incident of dogs being shot at by an air rifle in Fern Drive was mentioned specifically. There was concern that there was insufficient police presence in Doxey. There was a suggestion that police resources were not being used appropriately. The importance of continuing to report to police was stressed so that they would be able to build a picture of what was happening in Doxey. If it was suspected that the culprits came from the William Sutton estate ME should be informed, too. Subsequently, there was discussion of a possible rape incident at the church. It was suggested that it was sometimes difficult to know how to respond to screams, which might in some circumstances be simply the result of high spirits. It was suggested that one should call 999 if one felt that someone could be at risk. It was agreed that contact should be made with the police at several levels to express the concern of a large number of the Doxey community about how the police were dealing with anti-social behaviour.

Parish Council Campaign A few days before the meeting a letter had been received from the Office of the Deputy Primer Minister saying that they had approved, in principle, the creation of a parish council for Doxey. JM had spoken to the relevant borough council officer about what would happen next. The council will come into being at the beginning of a financial year. This could be April 2005, but might have to be postponed to April 2006. It was now necessary to start thinking about who might stand for election to the parish council. Nine councillors would probably be required. Members were urged to discuss this with friends and neighbours. If there were more nominations than vacancies there would be an election. It would also be necessary to think about how the community association would relate to the parish council. Thanks and congratulations were offered to PP, JP, and SM who had done the majority of the hard work in collecting signatures for the petition.

Mikron bid The bid for funding from the Arts Council had been resubmitted at their request. They had said that a decision would be made no later than the end of October.


3.Youth Forum

AV gave a report. The main concern was to get the leisure barn project moving. To this end the garden project would be put on hold. It appeared that it was more important to get the leisure barn into action as soon as possible than to secure the ideal location. Therefore, the Forum wished to pursue the option of locating the barn on the play area at the end of Greensome Close. Better lighting in this area would be needed if this were to happen. The cost of this could be included in the cost of the barn. Contact had already been made with suppliers who had done projects of this kind before. The Youth Forum thought that another public meeting would help to get more interest in this project and to move it forward.

AV also reported on the present state of the play area. Rubbish was being tipped again and there had been fires with the fire brigade attending on at least one occasion. Some DCA members reported that children had been making a den and pond on land adjacent to the playing area. These children had been advised about safety precautions.


4 Update on play area

JM reported on a meeting she had had with Joe Scully from the Borough Council. He said that a risk assessment was necessary to bring the area up to standard. He was horrified about the way it had been neglected. He had been told that a massive amount of work was required to bring the area back into use, but, having seen it, he thought that the work to level the pitch, move the goal posts so that the part that had been dug would not be on the pitch and to mark out lines for a pitch, would take about a day. He will inform JM when this is to be done and she will let others know. To make progress on the Youth Forum's plans for a leisure barn it would be vital for the council to conduct a survey of need. To do this would need the support of local councillors. JM reported that they had been contacted.

It was agreed that the DCA should support the Youth Forum's call for a public meeting and that David Kidney would be approached with a view to holding a meeting during the first week in October.


5 Computer access in Doxey

There had been no progress on this. JM would investigate.


6 Doxey Day

It was reported that the event had been successful. Nearly all organisations active in Doxey had been represented and attendance had been reasonable, despite the poor weather. It was agreed to set a date and venue for Doxey Day 2005 at the next DCA meeting.

7. DCA "meeting" 11 August 2004

There had been a good turnout and it was regarded as a successful social occasion. David and Sally were thanked for their work in organising this.

8 Fun day

This was well attended by local children. Thanks were extended to William Sutton Housing Association for the donation of £50 for prizes and to Dave from Bradbury Rise Stores for the donation of drinks. An application for funding from Community Champions had not been successful because the event was not the first of its kind and this fund was largely for training purposes. It was noted that older youths spoiled the enjoyment of the younger ones. The following changes were suggested for next year.

Set an upper age limit

Younger participants should be supervised

Involve the community police


9 Proposed programme 2004

Clear out day It was agreed that this should be held on Sunday, 7 November. MT agreed to organise.

Outings Several possibilities were discussed: Walsall Illuminations; a trip to Blackpool, including the illuminations; Shrewsbury flower show; Aladdin at the Gatehouse.

10 Doxey Times

The following subjects were suggested for inclusion in the October issue.

The parish council decision

The senior citizens Christmas meal

The Youth Forum open meeting

The new litter bin at the play area


The play group

Work being done at the play area

Clear out day

M6 widening

Something from the police

Information about the new vicar

Something from the school

It was noted that it may not be possible to cover all of these issues in a single A4 sheet, though the fuller version would be on the website. It would be possible for people who do not have access to the internet to be sent a printout of the website version of Doxey Times if they requested it.


11 Correspondence

Community Matters Details of the AGM had been received, but it would not be easily accessible to DCA members. SJ had completed a questionnaire about information technology needs and use on behalf of the DCA.

ETN training and NOW courses.

Coop funding JM had submitted an application for funding for Mikron. The total amount of money available is small so the chances are not good, but submitting the application gets the project known.

CAB outreach request


12 Other Business

There was a discussion of the bus service. Some services had been cut out due to driver shortage. Most serious was omission of the school us on the first day of term. SM would make representations and JM would contact Robert Simpson. More encouragingly, 60 people had used the new Sunday service. Super low floor buses are gradually being introduced to the number 6 service and bus stops in Doxey are being rebuilt for them. However, this is drawing attention to the otherwise poor condition of some footpaths in Doxey. It was noted that there is a telephone line for reporting highways problems.

It was noted that comments about the proposals for dealing with congestion on the M6 - widening or a new motorway in parallel, should be made by 21 October.


13 Date of next meeting

Wednesday, 13 October at 7.00 p.m.



Doxey Community Association

Minutes of meeting held on 13th October 2004

Present: John Corcoran (JC), Susan Corcoran (SC), Isabella Davies (ID), Michele Elliott (ME), Sally Hems (SH), David Hughes (DH), Sarah Jessop (SJ), Joan Moore (JM), Stephen Moore (SM), John Perks (JP), Pat Perks (PP), Barbara Simpson, Gill Smith (GS), Mike Turner (MT)

Young people: Annabel, Chloe, Christine, Hayley, John, Jordan, Scott, and Scott

Apologies: Joyce Beach (JB), Tom Beach (TB), Iain Simpson, and Robert Simpson

1. Minutes of the meeting held on 8th September 2004

        Approved as a true record.

2. Matters arising

Anti-social behaviour

 We were urged to keep reporting crimes as problems are persisting around the church and an incident at the church on the 12th October had led to a police patrol on the 13th October. Two other issues were raised, the first about using the church as a meeting place while services were taking place. This had led to the confiscation of a spade after it had been used to hit the church, the spade was returned to a responsible adult. Alternative places further from the building were recommended. The other related to cyclists with no lights and disregard for basic road safety. The young people at the meeting suggested reporting the incidents to the police, council and school head teachers. Drivers were criticised for disregarding zebra crossings and parking on double yellow lines on Doxey Road making it difficult to cross safely in some places.

Parish Council Campaign

As yet there is no further update

Mikron bid

As yet there is no further information, but a decision will be made no later than the end of October.

M6 Proposal

 People were urged to voice their opinions by 21st October deadline, whether in favour of an expressway, an alternative or more sustainable transport. A protest will be held in the town centre on Saturday 16th Octobe

3. Youth Forum

There will be a public meeting to discuss the future plans of the forum on Friday 22nd October at 7pm in the church hall. DCA will be represented and David Kidney will be attending.

There have been requests to re-start the drop in club. There are three volunteers (SH, DH & GS) another is required and a back up team to cover when required, volunteers should see GS. Sue Fox is negotiating the restart of the play clubs for younger children.

4 Update on play area

Stafford Borough Council (SBC) have cut the grass, levelled the land and are currently re-seeding bald patches, the goal posts will be re-painted in good weather. SBC requested that everyone ensure it is cared for to help with long-term maintenance. Some young people would like a large slide and others had seen people cutting down trees in the area. The problem of dog fouling was noted and an enquiry about the younger children's play area was received. The space outside the Sutton Centre is for small children and is open when ME is in the office.

5 Computer access in Doxey

There had been no specific progress on this, but courses are beginning. A 12-week Word Processing course starts on 02/11/04. It is between 7 and 9 on Tuesday evenings and costs £5. No booking is required, just turn up at school. Yoga and keep fit are also happening at the Universal Social Club.

6 Proposed programme 2004

Clear out day To be held on Sunday, 7th November at the Sutton Centre from 1pm. MT is organising the event.

Lights Switch on There was a request that The Doxey Arms be approached to host the village Christmas tree again. It was suggested that there could be a procession from the Christmas tree to the Church on the first Sunday of Advent (28th November 2004). This was felt to be a good way of welcoming the new vicar. JM to ask Doxey Arms landlord and Mick Johnson about transport for the procession.

Outings Several possibilities were discussed: DH is investigating the cost of a trip to Blackpool Illuminations with Happy Days Coaches. Further trips may be organised in the spring if there is demand.

7 Doxey Times

The following subjects were suggested for inclusion in the November issue.

Road safety issue

Help at Drop In request

The parish council decision

The senior citizens Christmas meal

Firework law changes

Clear out day reminder

New Vicars induction and special service

There has been a new request to advertise in the Doxey Times, this will be discussed at the next meeting.

8 Correspondence

  • Craft Workshops are on at Playaway on Saturday 30th October. They cost £5 all welcome.

  • A Green Award has been presented to DCA for our efforts

  • A document about the future of planning has been received. SM will look through it and make comments for feedback at the next meeting

  • A wall has been knocked down in Greensome Lane, the matter will be investigated

  • Mark Smith made a request for funding for the Christmas lunch. DCA agreed to give £70.

9 Other Business

  • A Charitable Status and Responsibilities course is being provided by Stafford District Voluntary Services. JM to represent DCA.

  • The Post Office closed six-months ago. DCA have been informally monitoring hardships and it was felt to support helpful anecdotal comments a formal survey and report should be produced. A separate meeting will be arranged.

  • Treasurers update: DCA currently hold (at 13/10/2004) £488 in the current account and £203 in the deposit /savings account.

  • Floral Displays are being created in public locations throughout the Borough; organisations have been invited to have their logos planted in flowerbeds. JM will request PP's ducks be one such display.

  • The status of a Planning Application for the land behind Universal Grinding remains unconfirmed. The land between the crescent and the railway is also being cleared.

  • A 'Commended' Green Award has been received from SBC for the environmental and sustainable community efforts of the Community Association. SH painted a metal plate to commemorate last years award and will be invited to do so again this year.

  • Advertising on the web will be discussed at the next meeting when the Doxey Times advertising issue is discussed

10 Date of next meeting

Wednesday, 10th November at 7.00 pm at the Sutton Centre

Doxey Community Association

Minutes of meeting held on 10 November 2004

Present: Nigel Barnett (NB), Hannah Burgess (HB), John Corcoran (JC), Susan Corcoran (SC), Isabella Davies (ID) Michele Elliott (ME), Claire Gaisford (CG), Sally Hems (SH), Sarah Jessop (SJ) Kate Lee(KL), Joan Moore (JM), Stephen Moore (SM), John Perks (JP), Pat Perks (PP), Barbara Simpson (BS), Terence Strickland (TS), Mike Tripp, (MTr), Mike Turner(MT) Adrian Venables (AV)

Young people: Annabel, Hayley, and Kirsty

Apologies: Joyce Beach, Tom Beach, Jane Essex, David Hughes, Iain Simpson and Gill Smith

1 Minutes of the meeting held on 13th October 2004

Approved as a true record.

2 Matters arising

Anti-social behaviour ME met with PC Croft who told her that they are maintaining a police presence. Two officers have been seen walking around the village and patrol cars have driven through on a number of occasions. There had been relatively few incidents reported but a vehicle had been driven onto the play area and destroyed the newly seeded grass, one solution is to put in collapsible bollards to allow grass cutters through but stop illegal vehicle use, but the last time one was put in place it was destroyed.

A bonfire had been lit on the field, when the fire brigade tried to put it out they were prevented from doing so by verbal abuse and obstacles to prevent their equipment from working. The police were called for assistance but did not turn up.

Children had dug up some grass on the Ridegeway, but it was eventually replaced when neighbours said they would call the police. People were asked to remain vigilant and continue reporting incidents.

Parish Council Campaign A draft order is due to be produced by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Stafford Borough Council can then make arrangements for us to hold elections and will ensure that funds are available for the first year as a precept cannot be set after the start of the financial year. (The Parish Council will begin on the 1st April 2005). The number of councillors has not been fixed but it is expected that we will need nine as Doxey has an electorate of about 1700. A number of queries were raised about what impact regionalisation might have on parish council status (this has not been decided, but is expected that the impact will be minimal) and political status (Parish Councils do not stand for a political party, they are independent). The Parish Council would take on some of the tasks currently undertaken by the DCA (e.g. liaising with the Borough Council to resolve the playing field issue and looking at planning issues), but the DCA will remain active with the focus on activities such as Doxey Day, the Arts Project etc. Clerks from local parish councils have offered to talk to Doxey people about the process and training is available via the SPCA (Staffordshire Parish Councils' Association).

Post Office Survey It was decided to put the survey on hold as recent developments,(i.e. the potential loss of the Crown Post Office in Stafford town centre) could cloud people's views. MT will contact Postwatch to establish what support they can offer to save Stafford Post office, in the light of the fact that we have lost our local post office. The matter will be discussed at the next meeting.

Update on Play Area The goal posts have now been painted.

The play strategy officer and local councillors are meeting on 12th November to discuss the Borough' play strategy. They have decided to maintain existing facilities but not provide new ones so Doxey will not benefit from any new services. JM thanked our borough councillors for consulting us on the matter.

3 Youth Forum

AV thanked DCA for their support at the meeting on 22nd October. Following the fire on the play area there is now a question of whether that would be a safe and suitable site for new facilities. DK is helping the forum to find alternative sites (there should be a decision on tile Universal planning application very soon which will determine availability of land there). There had been a meeting of the Youth Forum on 8th November to discuss the school transport issue. It is currently running well but prices have increased to 75p each way making the trip to and from school £1.50 and this caused concern especially for families with more than one child at the school. The situation has been compounded by the introduction of a new container for bikes which is locked and difficult to open, therefore inaccessible and is leading to a lot of damage to bikes making walking the only affordable alternative. An alternative bicycle storage unit cannot be provided until Easter. The youth forum was asked to liaise with the head teacher on the issue.

Sue Fox has received a copy of the transport bill from David Kidney MP and is highlighting areas the forum can concentrate on. One suggestion has been that those entitled to free school meals should be eligible for free transport tokens. The example of Doxey has been raised in the House of Commons because Doxey is 2.9 miles from the school and the cut off point is 3 miles. The Youth Forum is keen to be involved in the Mikron Steering Group and workshops.

4 Mikron bid

The bid to the Arts Council for the Mikron 'Village Voices' project had been successful, the DCA had been awarded £27 510. The full meeting unanimously agreed to accept the money. The project will address local issues that are relevant to communities throughout the country. Signal radio had done a feature about it and other media had picked up on it.

5 Computer access and Training Courses in Doxey

Kate Lee, the Community Link Worker from Stafford College, attended the meeting to discuss training in Doxey. The 12-week Word Processing course at the school now has 7 people attending but further uptake is needed. It is held between 7 and 9 on Tuesday evenings and costs £5. No booking is required, just turn up at the school. Yoga is well attended on a Thursday evening at the Universal Social Club and Keep Fit and Water Colours are as popular as ever. Recent .consultation led to requests for creative crafts - a Christmas special during the weeks beginning 6th December and 13th December is being held - and Arabic dance for which an event will be held on 20th November on the Universal Grinding site. Family Tree classes were also requested and should begin in the new year. For full details see http://www.doxeyca.co.uk

Report on Clear Out Day

Poor weather meant there had been a low turnout but most items were taken and items left were being taken to local charity shops. The rubbish truck was not required as all items brought were recyclable. Suggestion was made that it should happen earlier in the autumn, e.g. early October. MT thanked everyone who participated and those who advertised it.

6 Proposed programme 2004

Lights Switch on. The Doxey Arms have agreed to host this year's Christmas Tree. DCA will provide a 12' tree and lights and the pub will pay for the electricity. It was felt the lights switch on would be best left until December (12th or 19th). Additional suggestions included involving the school choir and having children in fancy dress, the tree could be decorated by local people and through the school, "Playaway" course ideas and creative craft course items. SC will liaise with the PCC and with the youth forum

Outings JM will ask JE to arrange a trip to this years pantomime as demand was high.

7 Doxey Times

The following subjects were suggested for inclusion in the December issue:

PTA's Christmas fair

Article from PC Croft

Mikron bid success


Procession and carol singing, Christmas services and panto trip

SM may produce a Christmas and New Year issue if space is tight, he also welcomed letters from local people which could feature and reminded people that the full version of the newsletter is available on the website.

Advertising was agreed to be available to commercial concerns within Doxey at £25 for one quarter page or £5 for 2-3 lines. An article will feature to let businesses know they can advertise. Fees for the website are £25 for one year's sponsorship and £5 for a small advertisement. Any proceeds from the advertising will be put back into DCA funds and used to benefit local people.

8 Correspondence

Sustainability Charter - copies of the document are included with these minutes and should be read and returned to the next meeting so a decision can be reached whether to sign up to it, the form will then be completed or discarded (depending upon majority opinion).

Local Development Framework - SM had received the new (replacement) local plan document and drafted a response. The document used a lot of 'jargon', was poorly laid out and difficult to follow. This highlights future difficulties in people using it and will therefore not get the optimum community involvement the Borough Council wants meaning people's opinions are not heard. SM suggested a restructuring of the document asking questions and answering them in a logical order, e.g. what is the document about, who will be consulted and how, what help is available to support community members complete the document, will people be informed of outcomes? Anyone wanting full details or copies of the response should ask SM.

New walks for health programme leaflets have been received.

9 Any Other Business

SDVS have a quiz night on 3rd December, all are welcome. The DCA will pay to rejoin

It is expected that the Doxey ducks will appear in flower beds in the park in the spring.

JM had been on the charities training provided by Skills Base, although it was interesting, there were certain points which needed clarification. SJ will ask the Community Council charities advisor to help.

The William Sutton Housing Association Ltd is repairing the wall which had raised concerns at the last meeting.

MT had received a renewal notice for his building and contents insurance. The cost had increased significantly and he was told it was because of the flood dangers. Others had noticed this increase. If you want to check if your home is in the flood zone use the Environment Agency's website http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subjects/flood/ and insert your post code in the box on the left hand side.


10 Date of next meeting

Wednesday, 8th December at 7.00 pm at the Sutton Centre

There will be tea, coffee and mince pies available


Doxey Community Association

Minutes of meeting held on 8th December 2004

Present: Nigel Barnett (NB), Hannah Burgess (HB), John Corcoran (JC), Isabella Davies (ID), Michele Elliott (ME), Sue Fox (SF), Sally Hems (SH), Sarah Jessop (SJ), Helen Moore (HM), Joan Moore (JM), Stephen Moore (SM), John Perks (JP), Pat Perks (PP), Barbara Simpson (BS), Mike Tripp (MTr), Mike Turner (MT), Alistair Wray (AW), Michael Wright (MW)


Apologies: Joyce Beach, Tom Beach, Susan Corcoran, Jackie D'Arcy, Jane Essex, Gill Smith and John Smith


1. Minutes of the meeting held on 10th November 2004

Approved as a true record.

2. Matters arising

Anti-social behaviour Following on-going issues with cyclists AW suggested setting up an out-of-school cycling proficiency group; JM will investigate if this is already done at the primary school. ME had spoken to our Community Beat Officers about problems experienced by some residents and they have promised to step up patrols when possible, people were asked to keep a note of when they saw officers to monitor this. Stafford Rotary had contacted JM to inform the DCA of a stone-throwing incident whilst Santa was in Doxey on 6th December, they were forced to leave and were concerned this would lead to disappointment for some young families. The procession went onto the Ridgeway but it was not apparent that children were behaving badly, but left Brooklime Gardens as the crowd caused problems. PC Croft will try to be in Doxey when they return on the 20th December and will be invited to talk to DCA about new Anti-social behaviour legislation. Other incidents reported included footballs being kicked directly at a number of vehicles. People were asked to remain vigilant and keep a log of incidents including dates and times and particularly names if they are known.

Parish Council Campaign No progress has been made on this, but an existing parish clerk will be invited to speak at the January meeting about the roles and responsibilities of a parish council.

Post Office Survey Stafford General Post Office should not be affected by the closure programme featured in the press and it was decided that in the New Year SJ and SM would develop and conduct a survey of a sample of houses in the village to gather information about the effect of the closure of Doxey Post Office.

Sustainable Development Charter JM distributed the document and requested signed copies be returned to the next meeting.

3. Village Voices Project (Mikron)

We should receive £24 000 to our bank account by 13th December 2004 to enable us to begin the project, a further £8000 is needed and JM is currently making applications to other funders, such as the Co-op. The steering group have met with Mikron and the Doxey performance will take place at the end of April/early May before touring the country from June. Mikron will return to Doxey on 17th January to talk to people about the history of the area and to gather stories, which could be featured in the play. Please pass your details to JM or BS if you would like to be involved, they need approximately 20 people. A plea was made for people with enthusiasm and/or skills to become involved in the workshops that will be facilitated by Mikron and other local artists and experts after the New Year.

4 Training Courses in Doxey

The Christmas Decoration course was poorly attended on 7th December, but will run again on the 14th, appeals were made for people to take items and support the next session. ME said it was a fun evening with useful ideas and a good teacher. The computer course at the school has 8 people and is going well, it consists a number of exercises, which can be worked through individually with a tutor on hand to help when required. Yoga and watercolours groups continue to be popular but no date has been confirmed for the Family Tree group to start. For full details of courses see http://www.doxeyca.co.uk

5 Proposed programme 2004

Lights Switch on The Doxey Arms have agreed to host this years Christmas Tree, DCA have provided a tree and lights and the Doxey Arms will pay for electricity. The switch on will happen at 6pm on Friday 10th December with carols around the tree (Geoff Moore will play guitar and church will provide carol sheets) followed by mince pies in the pub, everyone is invited. The church carol service will take place as normal on Sunday 19th December - all are welcome and the school carol concert will be on Monday 20th December but entry is ticket only.

6 Doxey Times

The following subjects were suggested for inclusion in the January issue:

Our first advertisement for an oven cleaning service

Post Office survey awareness raising

Village Voices

Thank Rotary and explain which good causes benefit from the money

Advertise Parish council Speaker at the next meeting

Interview with/welcome the vicar

Information about the Patients Forum

Christmas Card recycling collection points (see AOB)

7. Youth Forum

SF thanked ME for the use of the William Sutton Centre for their last meeting. Six people attended, including SF. Issues raised included concerns about school transport costs and a driver leaving pupils at a bus stop on one occasion. The transport bill is still being debated and David Kidney MP continues to support the group. Problems with the bike sheds continue and a letter will be sent from the DCA to Robert Simpson (our County Councillor and portfolio holder for the environment) about the issues, it is unacceptable that damage is continuing and the only solution suggested by the head teacher is for prefects to leave lessons early and supervise pupils as they remove their bikes at the end of school. The Borough Council will receive a copy of the letter as they encourage alternative transport and the problem could lead to increased car use. The leisure barn remains a priority, David Kidney MP has arranged for a business advisor to help the group in their campaign and fund raising, he will attend the next Youth Forum meeting. It was re-iterated that the Forum wish to be involved in the Village Voices project. The next Forum meeting will be on 10th January at the Church.

8 Correspondence

The William Sutton Housing Association is currently under going an audit re their Charter Mark status (award given to agencies for good customer service and partnership working with contractors, suppliers, etc.) DCA have been asked to contribute to the Doxey audit, JM will be our representative. We also received details of other Community and Residents Associations operating where William Sutton have properties to enable us to make contact and offer support to each other if or when necessary.

Community Matters sent details of their 2005 AGM, the matter will be discussed at the next meeting and an appropriate representative identified to attend if applicable

9 Any Other Business

JM and BS are meeting SDVS on 13th December to discuss the implications of charitable status

The cost of some bus journeys on the Number 6 service is different depending on the bus and the driver, it appears some machines have not yet been updated!

As Christmas Cards cannot be placed in the green doorstep-recycling containers people were urged to recycle them at Tesco or WH Smith, SJ is investigating the possibility of obtaining recycling containers from the Community Council to be placed in locations throughout Doxey so that people can leave their cards there and have them collected and recycled centrally. The issue will be included in Doxey Times with details of the location of boxes.

A letter of thanks will be sent to Mark Smith as a sign of appreciation for his hard work on the older peoples' Christmas lunch this year, DCA gave £70 towards the event and reports have been that the meal and activities were excellent and well received.

10 Date of next meeting

Wednesday, 12th January 2005 at 7.00 pm at the Sutton Centre

DCA - 2003-2004

The following is a Chair's report given to the Annual General Meeting of the Doxey Community Association on May 12th 2004.

The year has been busy, eventful and interesting, but more importantly a year in which the community association has made considerable progress in meeting its aims. Rather than follow a chronological account of the year I have grouped the association's achievements and activities into areas in which I believe that the DCA has made a difference to the lives of people living in Doxey and in the wider area.


The association's monthly meetings have been very well attended. Sadly for us we had to lose our secretary. Rachel, is training to serve with the Ionian community. Our best wishes go to her. Members have taken on the various secretarial tasks between them but we have not been as efficient. We look forward to welcoming a new secretary this year.

Doxey Times

Doxey Times has run to 11 editions since last May - and one of those was a double pager. Through its columns Doxey people have been informed of events and issues arising in Doxey and in Stafford. Doxey Times has also celebrated the participation and achievements of several of our young people in the spheres of music, theatre and service to the community. Thanks to Stephen, Doxey Times' editor, to Sally and the team of deliverers who get out each edition cheerfully and promptly. Thanks also to the four new recruits to the delivery team.

Coffee Morning

It is now almost five years since Pat and John organised the first coffee morning at the William Sutton Centre. The event is held each Monday morning at 10.30am. It is well attended by between 20 or 30 people each session. Everyone is welcome and each meeting provides the opportunity for people to meet old friends, to make new ones and to keep in touch with what is happening. If you would like to attend but have problems with transport please contact Pat or John.

Young people

The DCA is proud of the youth forum, which it helped to establish, now in its third year. A separate report details its activities but it should be noted here that members of the Youth Forum have contributed to discussion at each of the DCA meetings. We look forward to the progress of the Forum in its quest to secure facilities for young people in Doxey and have pledged our support.

In January 2004 a drop-in was opened for young people between the ages of 13-17 at the Sutton Centre. Its purpose was to provide a safe and comfortable place for young people to meet with adults around. This is staffed by 4 community association volunteers and runs on Thursday evenings. So far between 6 and 12 young people have dropped in each session. Thanks to volunteers, Gill, Sally, Dave and Paul. More volunteers are needed to ensure the future of the drop in.


Joan and her team at Doxey House organised a very successful Doxey Day last July. Highlights of the event included the opening by the Mayor, the competition led by the Town Crier and the crowds of Doxey people who supported the event.

A new event - Fun Day- was held in August on the grassed area around the Sutton Centre. This was a games afternoon for children and young people. Pat and John's organisation enabled the children of Doxey to enjoy an exciting afternoon where everyone was a winner.

Two further events, a trip to Walsall illuminations in November and the trip to the Pantomime in late December, were well attended. There's something special about being with friends and neighbours, enjoying new experiences. Thanks to Jane for organising these events. These and the other events serve to bring our community close and to earn us the reputation of a strong community.


Post Office

That strong community was up against the might of a national body in December when the Post Office announced its decision to close the Doxey Branch. The Community Association led a campaign to retain the post office and the campaign was well supported by Doxey people, by our MP David Kidney and our County Councillor, Robert Simpson. Sadly the campaign failed. Maybe it could never have succeeded but it is worthy of note here that over 50 Doxey residents wrote to the post office and David Kidney is currently working to secure alternative post office provision in Doxey.

Parish Council

The long standing campaign to have a Doxey Parish Council has met with more success. A petition with almost 600 signatures is to be sent to the office of the Deputy Prime Minister in the next few days. Doxey could have its own parish council in 2005. Thanks here to Pat and John and Stephen for their tireless work in knocking on doors to collect signatures, to our local councillors, Adam Tedstone, Peter Goodland and Robert Simpson and of course to those residents who supported the petition. Having a parish council will give Doxey an official voice in borough and county decisions. It will also give Doxey access to funds for projects to enhance our facilities and our environment.

The environment

The environment has again been high on the agenda of the Community Association. A squad of Doxey litterpickers helped with the clear up in Stafford in preparation for the judging of Britain in Bloom. The association is represented on the Local Environmental Quality Group which as well as improving the environment seeks to improve responsible public access to wildlife sites.

In October the association received a Green Award from the Borough Council in recognition of litter picking, the Clear Out days and the Garden Sale. The Clear Out days enable people to recycle their unwanted items by offering them to others. Thanks to Michele and Richard for organising these events. The latest Clear Out day was held just last Sunday, organised by Mike. The garden sale held each spring, gives an opportunity for people to buy plants and garden items, surplus to the needs of other gardeners in Doxey, at low prices. This event is very much a joint effort and thanks are due to all those who prepared and donated plants, those who bought them and to those who helped on the day.

Arts in Doxey

Mikron Theatre

Last June the association arranged for the Mikron Theatre Company to visit Doxey to conduct theatre workshops and to perform their play All Steamed Up, about the steam Pioneer Richard Trevithick. Both workshops and performance were so well received by Doxey people that the theatre director expressed his company's wish to work again with Doxey people. Clearly this was going to involve a lot of organisation, not least in raising funds in the form of grants. The Community Association appointed Jane Essex as its Arts Officer and Jane will give you more details of what is planned.

Photographic Exhibition

In May 2003 Dan Yates, a student photographer, from Greensome Lane offered to take and collect photographs around Doxey. His efforts, supported by the association culminated in a display in the church in September. His 40 or so photographs were enjoyed by the 40 or so Doxey people who visited. This was no ordinary art gallery. The hall was alive with conversations as people exchanged information and reminiscences about the village.

Film Festival

We were approached by the Stafford Arts Council with a request that Doxey host the launch of their Film Festival Roadshow. The launch took place early in March in the church hall and was attended by many Doxey people as well as by the Mayor, his entourage and other Staffordians. Throughout the day films and videos of Stafford, and notably of Doxey were shown. As an outcome of the launch three student filmmakers are currently busy making a film about Doxey and its people.

That is a summary of the work of the Community Association in the past year. We have taken on new challenges as well as developing the initiatives begun in previous years. We have been fortunate in recruiting active members. Being an active member can include: attending meetings; contributing to or delivering Doxey Times; organising an event or helping someone who is doing so; taking on secretarial or financial responsibilities.

We still need more active members.

Come and join us.

The Doxey Community Association is alive, flourishing and working in the interests of Doxey.

Amended : 21-12-19