Archive for November, 2010

Minutes of VRG meeting on 3rd November

Minutes of VRG meeting on 3rd November at no. 41

Attended by John, Jonathan, Mary, Manda, Diana, Sam, Paul, Ali, Peter, Carol, Celia, Sue, Nick, Anna, Bill and Da     Apologies from Betty, Jelly, Mick, Philippa, Gordon, Sally and Suzi.


Meeting started with an update on Betty; everyone very interested and keen to send her our good wishes for a speedy return to good health.


1.         Matters arising:

On 3a)  The position of Recycling Champion.  Some further discussion re: its relevance (now that the Council has put more extensive recycling arrangements in place) but it was agreed that it would be useful to keep the role at present, as a point of contact and a person “keeping an eye” on how the new arrangements work in practice. Nick agreed to continue until Christmas and Carol agreed to take over thereafter. Position to reviewed 6months after that, to check whether it is still necessary. Nick re-affirmed that he will continue receiving and dealing with old batteries.


On 3b) point of clarification re: VRG Facebook: After the discussion at the last meeting  the decision of the group was that the VRG Facebook should only be available to people who live in the road or who have lived in the road in the past.


On 3c) Water on the pavement: It was agreed that this is a serious health risk – several people have crashed down on the said bit of pavement in bad weather – and that we should keep pursuing it to get it sorted.  Jonathan has tried, unsuccessfully, to get the Council to deal with it. There was general support for the approach described by the Council engineer of cutting a small covered gully across the pavement. Some discussion about the possibility of dealing with it ourselves (with VRG’s resources) concluded with concerns expressed re: our competence and our liability. We felt we should put our efforts into getting the Council to do this work.  Agreed that everyone should keep an eye on it and, if anyone sees water/ice/moss/ other dangerous pavement condition they should make a record of the date, and, preferably, photograph the dangerous area. Jonathan will provide the contact name of the Council person, and anyone who sees such evidence can then send it in to that person.  (Our hope is that multiple vigilance and pressure on the Council will eventually work.)


On 4)  Quiz night:

John thanked all involved in their work to make this a successful, enjoyable evening.  Feedback  (this will be put in the Quiz event file by Ali)

62 tickets were sold (£234), drinks’ donations totalled £190.  Profit from evening was £183. One representative comment was “a successful, lighthearted, neighbourly event”. Half-hour socialising slot in middle of evening was regarded as good, musical questions less so (need to use pre-prepared performers for these). Suggestion that we should announce 10-15mins before we start clearing up, so people have time to finish drinks/ be warned of home-time.  Some discussion re: people bringing their own bottles of wine.  Agreed that we should keep this as our one fundraising event of the year and, in future, make sure that we make it as clear as possible that wine and beer will be available for donations – gently encouraging people to bring their purses/wallets for this fundraising event.  We agreed that this should be clearly stated both on the flyer and on the actual tickets.  (Although of course we cannot ban brought in bottles.)


All other matters were covered in the body of the meeting.


2. Solar Panels and Low Carbon Oxford North:


It was agreed that the idea of collective exploration, and possibly purchase, of solar panels and any other climate-friendly items should now be pursued through the LCON initiative. Sam reminded us that the next LCON meeting is at Cutteslowe Community Centre on 25th November (7.00onwards, meeting starts at 7.30pm) and he said we should raise the idea there. All welcome.


3. VRG – Facebook, blog, website:


Bill reminded us that the VRG Facebook is alive and kicking – so do join in! The website now contains just the diary and the instructions on how to access the blog. Paul will put something on email to remind us all how to do this stuff!


4. VRG finances: Anna reported that our current assets are £682.82

5.         Green Book Day: on 13th November


The event will run from 10.30 to 12.00 at no.41 and people can bring books, etc to the event or to no.41 the previous evening between 6.00-9.00pm. (or try earlier, Sue doesn’t mind). Set up team is Sue, Mary and Paul. Sue will do coffee and tea shopping. Clear up team is Ali, Sam. Take items to Oxfam team is John and Paul. Everyone who can do make cakes as usual.


  1. Christmas carols and drinks on Sunday 5th December:

The evening starts with carols (meeting outside no.105) and singing our way to no. 59 by 6.00pm for the Xmas drinks/ finger foods and instruments!  Paul will write the publicity page a.s.a.p. (including last minute reminder re: GreenBookDay), John and Ali will distribute, John will write the songsheet (any requests for Carols to him, please!), set up team will be Mary, Nick, Jonathan and Sally.  (using 8 bottles of wine from quiz night +), clear up team will be John, Sam, Ali, Mary.   (reminder strip to go out in week before?)


  1. VRG Film season:

Paul is still working on this, with view to a 3-evening film season end Feb/March. No 56 and no. 80 volunteered viewing rooms for this; any other offers?


8.      Any other business:


  • Previous survey of street:  John spoke of a follow-on to the street survey that Sam et al conducted a year or two ago, to ascertain what hobbies/ interests residents have, with view to linking people together, getting people together on common interests. It was agreed that he should proceed with this and he said he would bring a proposal with a draft of a proposed simple survey sheet to the next meeting.
  • Planning permission sought for a big development (19ish dwellings) on Hernes Road. John brought our attention to this – details on notice board.
  • Nick asked if anyone had any spare, non-precious coffee mugs that he could add to the collection that we sometimes use for our events, because some got broken recently. Any offers to no. 41 (perhaps on Green Book Day).
  • Peter alerted us all to opportunities to support the fundraising events for a proper dance floor in the United Reform Church in Summertown. Suzi is very involved in this and believes that the facility will eventually be a great arts/dance resource for our area. Ask Peter or Suzi if you want to know more.
  • Paul wonders if anyone has a pick axe he can borrow.
  • Thanks to hosts Nick and Sue for looking after us for the meeting.


  1. Date of next meeting:


January 11th (Tuesday) at 8.00pm at no.55.








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