Tollgate Hall, Stanway. Saturday, 27 March 2010.
Chairman: Chris Jenkinson. About 35 people were present.
We welcomed Clayton Beckwith, representing the action group Fair Access to Colchester, and Phil Lee.
Clayton Beckwith said: Our aim is to break down barriers: not just buildings, but in matters such as transport, internet access, jobs and schools. We are trying to influence the interpretation of the word "reasonable" which appears frequently in legislation.
Phil Lee said: Some doctors' surgeries are turning to touch-screens for patients to sign in on, and are trying to cut back on receptionists; we want to make sure that they have acceptable alternatives for the mentally and physically impaired. We are trying to persuade Colchester Borough Council to supervise taxi-drivers' understanding of the needs of disabled passengers. The RNIB is developing a way-finding system using speakers on lamp-posts and bus stops to tell you where you are and when the next bus is due; we are also looking at audiovisual systems for buses to show next stops.
Minutes of the AGM of 2009 and accounts for the year 2009 were circulated. No matters were raised for discussion.
Sadly I have to report the deaths of two of our members, Sue Webb and Peter Cooke. Both will be greatly missed.
We have also lost Anne Jackson, for a different reason. Local MD fundraisers have been replaced by London-based staff and Anne, who is caring for her mother, felt she couldn't move. Our new contact is Lizzie Gordon, who has attended one of our monthly committee meetings but could not come today.
On the committee we have been discussing Helpline and Careline; Helpline costs £75 per quarter and it's not clear that it's good value. We should welcome members' views. [Jim Moore said: Mid Essex Primary Care Trust funds a system called Carecall, £12 per month or free.]
We have been contacted by organizers of two local charities which offer help for children; Roy Kemp, of the Colchester Children's Day Care Centre, who have so far given £1500 for equipment, and Carol Lomax.
The chairman presented certificates to Doug & Sylvia Bennett, Les Bennett & Jill Ablitt, Martin Bennett, David Marshall, Norman Saunders, Don Leeks and Jean Jenkinson in recognition of their activity in collections. Another certificate had been prepared for Christine & Peter Cooke; it was a great sorrow that it could not be presented to them now. There was a round of applause for the committee for their efforts.
A vote of thanks was offered to Chris Jenkinson and Gina Clementson for their work as chairman, joint treasurers and welfare officer.
The following officers and committee were elected: