Annual Reports 2019
These reports were presented to the Love's Farm Community Association annual meeting on Friday 11th October 2019
Financial Reports 2019 (click here to open)
Reflecting on all that we have achieved together over the past year I’m struck once again by what a great community we live in. So much credit is due to the many volunteers who give their time freely to make this an even better place to be.
Neighbourhood Watch and Street Reps
This time last year there was a significant perception of increased crime and anti-social behaviour across our community and this gave rise to a meeting with our local Police Sergeant who spoke of the pressure being placed on neighbourhood policing by national cuts. Out of this came a renewed drive to get our Neighbourhood Watch scheme up and running, and recently this effort has been led by Caroline Henderson who, supported by Pricilla, Kishore and our Street Reps, has launched our community-wide scheme. Bpha have supported us with funding for signs and we will also be asking for small contributions from residents to support this effort.
We continue to work with Daniel Grant, our PCSO, who maintains an admirable commitment to our community, but we need to continue to apply pressure at the highest levels to improve resourcing for neighbourhood policing.
Love’s Farm Community Garden and Love’s Farm Blooms
The neglected outdoor space on the northern edge of Love’s Farm House has been transformed into a wonderful community resource thanks to the vision, enthusiasm and hard work of Jessica Sanchez who has got the ‘Incredible Edible’ project up and running with a small team.
I’m hugely grateful for the hard work and expertise given freely by Phyllis Hooper who keeps a watchful eye on so much of our outdoor space - from pruning, weeding and tidying, to planting under the banner of ‘Love’s Farm Blooms’. Phyllis will soon be asking for volunteers for the next round of bulb planting - please do spare some time if you can.
We planted another Christmas tree east of the train play area, next to Hogsden Leys (tiny for now, but it will grow!). Sadly the lights were vandalised within days of planting.
Our open spaces have continued to look their best, thanks to Helene Tame and the volunteers who turn out every few weeks, rain or shine, to clear litter from around our community. This is one activity that virtually everyone can get involved in, and we regularly get people of all ages turning up to don a hi-vis jacket, grab a grabber and get collecting!
2019 saw our biggest ever ‘Big Lunch’ and once again this is credit in very large part to Emma Lovelock, who brought her energy to this as well as to the usual variety of quizzes, hunts and bingo throughout the year. Our Great Get Together this year took on a different twist - with a weekend of events across Love’s Farm including a sunny Saturday afternoon BBQ and international food tasting at the Farm House, a community wide yard sale, and our first ever ‘Meet your Street’ where we invited everyone to step out of their front door at the same time.
Parking and Highway Improvements
After years of campaigning we finally have parking controls on Love’s Farm which have alleviated much of the dangerous parking which had blighted our community. The feedback has been largely positive, particularly in respect of Station Square and the area around the shops and Farm House. We acknowledge that the scheme hasn’t won universal support and we are continuing to pass on feedback to the County Council and to monitor areas that have been adversely affected and consider further improvements that might be necessary. Our bid for funding for the removal of two of the most dangerous chicanes - on the Dramsell Rise bridge and on the junction of Hogsden Leys and Cockrells - was successful and this should progress over the next year. Thanks to Cllr David Wells for pursuing this.
With the numbers of broken street lights reaching epidemic proportions, we surveyed the whole of Love’s Farm and set about pursuing repairs to all of them. This involved more than 10 different organisations repairing over 50 broken lights. As we go into another winter we will repeat this exercise, though the task is becoming easier as more roads are being adopted and more street lights come under the responsibility of the County Council.
Marissa Aldrich memorial
Just before last Christmas, our community reeled from the tragic death of Marissa Aldrich. Some of Marissa’s friends raised around £300 for a memorial and asked LFCA to administer this. We have been talking with Marissa’s family and the District Council, who donated a tree which will be planted in Station Square this month, together with a plaque to remember Marissa. As the Council donated the tree, most of the money raised by Marissa’s friends went directly to Marissa’s two children.
Love’s Farm East, Wintringham and Hooper’s Green
We’ve spent much of our meeting time over the last year engaged in discussions with the developers of three new sites around Love’s Farm: the second phase of Love’s Farm to the east, Wintringham to the south, and Hooper’s Green - the last parcel of land on Love’s Farm itself. All of the developers have welcomed the community involvement and we have been able to make significant contributions, especially learning from some of the challenges we have faced on Love’s Farm, and ensuring that the impact of the new developments and construction work takes existing residents into account. L&Q Estates (formerly Gallagher Estates) will be joining us at our next meeting - Wednesday 16th October, 7.30pm at Love’s Farm House - to present the latest plans for Love’s Farm East.
Our website had a facelift this year and we will be continuing work in the coming months to update the content and add useful information. Ben Pitt produces our newsletter to an extraordinary standard 5 times each year, and this year we are grateful to bpha for some extra financial support. Emma Lovelock maintains a brilliant presence on our community Facebook page, directing all sorts of questions, concerns and complaints.
We need you...
There’s a huge amount going on and all sorts of people are involved - but we really do need more people! I would love to see some more folks coming along to our monthly meeting and joining in with the discussions and decisions on a whole range of subjects. If you could spare just a couple of hours each month to come along it would make a huge difference - we need as many voices as possible representing our diverse and wonderful community. If you’re not a ‘meetings’ person, there are plenty of other ways to get involved - on SMART days (indoors at the Farm House or outdoors around our community), planting bulbs, looking after our community garden, helping at events, engaging with councils and developers, raising funds. If you have a skill, an idea, or some time, please get in touch!