This could be an important way forward for local groups.
Friends of Clarendon Park (FCP) would like to explore ways of local groups working effectively together where there are synergies and learning from each other where there are opportunities. To this end, we invite representatives of ArtBeat to a meeting of local community groups from 7:30pm to 9:30pm on Monday 10th September in the small meeting room at Quaker Meeting House, 16 Queens Road, Leicester LE2 1WP.
Some background: since FCP’s inaugural meeting in April 2015, we recruited over 130 members, held quarterly members meetings with guest speakers, established and grown our online presence, participated in the Clarendon Park fairs, monitored and responded to many consultations and planning & licensing applications, supported local campaigns, liaised with other local community groups and established relationships with large neighbouring institutions such as the University of Leicester and De Montfort Hall. All of this has been achieved with only three or four committee members working hard behind the scenes to make it all happen. Despite our best efforts, the current committee members are now struggling to manage our FCP commitments on top of our other commitments. As a result, FCP have been less active than usual in the last few months and most of the committee members are now looking to either step down or take on a reduced role in future.
We still believe FCP serves a useful purpose for our members and for the wider Clarendon Park community, but we do need to find a different way of working. We’ve discussed options at our recent committee meetings and would like to consult with people running other community groups about how they manage their workload with a view to making proposals for future ways of working at our October members meeting. These proposals are likely to involve recruiting a larger committee to spread the workload, reducing the scope of our activities, and/or working with other community groups to reduce individual groups’ workloads.
This is the list of community groups that we’re inviting to the meeting:
AB – Art Beat
AH – Art House
EFCAS – Evington Footpath Conservation Area Society
FNW – Friends of New Walk
FVP – Friends of Victoria Park
KNF – Knighton Neighbourhood Forum
LCS – Leicester Civic Society
SCAS – Stoneygate Conservation Area Society
SHN – South Highfields Neighbours
Here’s a draft agenda for the meeting, but feel free to suggest what else you’d like to see covered:
FCP issues (too much work, too few people to do it)
Group overviews (structure, officers, membership, meetings, activities)
Identify synergies (opportunities for cooperation and/or collaboration)
Explore solutions (coordinate planning objections, hold joint meetings, avoidance of duplication)
If you’re able to attend, we suggest two or three people from each group – perhaps the honorary officers (Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) or others as you feel appropriate.
We look forward to seeing you in September.
Bart MacCarthy, Chair
Ian Brown, Treasurer