It is my pleasure to present the first annual chairman’s report of the Prestwood Village Association (PVA). Thank you all for coming to our AGM and supporting PVA. We are very pleased that many of our local councillors have given up their valuable time too to join us. Our Chiltern District councillors Mark Cunnane and John Gladwin and Great Missenden Parish Council’s chair, Brenda Gover, together with Prestwood & Heath End Councillors Mike Bennett, Jennifer Sole, Chris Ward, Steve Humphreys, Bob Hougham, Laurel Swayne and Anne Mitchell, our Parish Clerk. We have had apologies from our Bucks County Councillor Alan Stevens, Chiltern District Councillor Andrew Garnett and Mike Lee, GMPC.
PVA was formed last April with these objectives:
- To generate interest and increase awareness of what is happening in our community
- To update you as matters arise (issues and events)
- To enable your voice to be heard
- To create a community website to provide links for local groups
- To help sustain and improve the amenities and environment of Prestwood
- To support community activities
We have deliberately headlined this evening as a celebration of our first year because we believe we have been successful in going a good way to meeting those objectives.
Over 630 Prestwood homes, approximately 25% of our village population, have now joined up and subscribe to the monthly emailed PVA newsletter. This highlights the articles and news items on the website covering the many and varied clubs, associations, societies and churches which are hard at work making Prestwood a good place to live. Some are represented here tonight and we thank them for supporting PVA. Please do take the opportunity to visit their displays and find out more about them.
I wish to draw your attention, in particular, to the third objective above because we believe the website makes “enabling your voice to be heard” easy. While attracting around 25% of the Prestwood population is a good achievement in year one, we are very keen to move that up to 50% in year two so that more and more people become proactively involved in local matters with just the click of a mouse.
The heart of the PVA is of course the web site. All involved with the PVA, committee and subscribers, are indebted to Mark Wingrove for initially setting it up and steering us expertly through its development to what we have today. I would like to formally give thanks to him from the committee and I am sure you will join me in this too. Shortly, Mark will update us on the progress through the year and his thoughts on how we can look to the future.
I also express my thanks to all the committee for their input during the year. Two people deserve special mention for the enormous amount of work they have done, under Mark’s expert tuition and guidance, in creating the entries in the web site – Barbara Rowett and Henry Hall.
Looking back to last year’s inaugural meeting, those present were asked to voice their local priorities and concerns on post-it notes. The issues were as expected in that they focused on familiar topics – condition of the roads, speeding, blocked drains, pavements, inconsiderate parking, litter, dog fouling etc. In response, PVA has publicised articles and links to our Community Directory on all these and other matters. The website has empowered you to have your say directly to the responsible authority.
PVA members also are actively involved in supporting the Parish Council and our local Thames Valley Community Police by helping to man sessions of Community Speedwatch and with moving the recently purchased Moveable Vehicle Activated Signs. If you would like to have Speedwatch sessions where you live, do see me or Barbara Rowett afterwards.
Sweet Charity has very kindly funded 30mph wheelie bin stickers to aid the “Keep to the speed limit” campaign. This was a PVA initiative and stickers have been given to 250 PVA members’ homes on the 13 Prestwood roads most prone to speeding motorists, many of whom are local residents themselves. We hope you all approve.
The committee is very keen for many more residents of Prestwood to subscribe to the PVA newsletter and actively use the web site, especially the opportunity to provide your own views and feedback. For example, two hot topics recently are SHLAAs and the DDPD. These may affect you. They certainly affect Prestwood. These topics are extensively covered on the PVA website. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, please have a look when you get home. You may be surprised or concerned, but you will be informed and there’s the opportunity to have your say.
In conclusion and at the risk of stating the obvious, all of us on the PVA committee are just local residents who want to empower local people. We believe we have made good progress in that direction. The PVA belongs to you, the residents of Prestwood and the committee is just putting in effort on your behalf. If you would like to help us then, after the AGM, we will have an open forum and look forward to hearing your views on PVA’s first year and its objectives for the coming year.
Thank you. John Cadman, Chairman Prestwood Village Association, April 15th 2014