News from the Stanford Ratepayers’ Association Committee May 2015
We would like to introduce you to the Stanford Ratepayers’ Association’s committee for 2015/2016.
They are from left to right as represented in our photograph,
Butch Zeederberg : 076 709 8460 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Viv von der Heyden : 084 685 2641 (email@example.com)
Mignonne (Midge) Farquharson (Secretary) : 076 141 6324 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bob Broom (Chairman) : 084 586 4265 (email@example.com)
Bruce du Plessis : 079 580 0657 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We miss some names from the previous year, and would like to encourage you to keep up your membership by paying your R20 subscription. If you were unable to attend the AGM in February, we have now established that they are payable at Stanford Info with their kind co-operation, or contact one of our committee members in order to do this.
We have had meetings of the committee at the end of March and April this year, with further meetings scheduled for month-ends for the rest of the year, and in that time, have achieved a fair amount.
Your chairman has been busy attending meetings related to Stanford’s interests, namely the monthly Ward 11 Council meetings in Gansbaai where matters of importance to the Ward are discussed. Regular readers of Stanford River Talk will have seen Bea Whittaker’s report back on these meetings as an independent member of Ward 11. Bob also attends monthly meetings on the newly-formed Whale Coast Development Forum, an association of the Ratepayers’ Associations
and other community-based bodies acting on behalf of all residents, from Rooi Els to Pearly Beach. This watchdog is proving very successful, utilising the considerable skills of many of its members in guiding and monitoring the activities and plans of the Overstrand Municipality.
We are also pleased to announce that monthly meetings are now also taking place between all the interested committees of Stanford itself (Ratepayers, Conservation and its subcommittees,) and the Municipal Manager, Ms. Petronella Ferreira. Items discussed range from the appearance and cleanliness of our village, the Meent, issues with the Klein River, maintenance schedules, repairs, municipal by-laws and infrastructure to name but some!
You might remember a survey conducted by your committee earlier this year. We were interested to hear what pleased or displeased you. This has been analysed and we thank all those who took the trouble to respond. The more pertinent remarks from this survey become items for discussion at the above meetings, illustrating the importance of sharing your opinions.
Communicating with our ratepayers has just become easier! Viv von der Heyden (see our photo above) will be posting news on the Stanford Ratepayers’ Association Facebook page as well as on her website at www.scenicsouth.co.za.
New member Bruce du Plessis has brought a fresh new perspective to the committee with his representation from Stanford South. This will be a further huge step in bringing our disparate communities together. One of the main points of discussion at the meeting was the well-organised community Crime Watch that operates in Stanford South, all done on a voluntary basis. It was decided to invite one or more of their members to a future meeting to share their experience with us. Other problems, such as the role of the police and the perception of foreign nationals threatening the livelihood of locals were also discussed. Bruce suggested drawing up a petition from concerned members of the community seeking to address the stricter application of the liquor laws to try to curb liquor abuse, and where necessary, to petition SAPS about awarding Liquor licences where community opposition was a major factor.
He also informed the meeting that a huge festival has been planned by residents of Stanford South for October 2015 with stalls, arts and crafts on show, accompanied by the Viva Arts travelling entertainment centre which will provide the music.
Tourism in Stanford was discussed, with reference to a Government delegation which visited Stanford last year. Generous grants have been promised, which was encouraging. The Ward 11 committee was approached by Bob Broom, the chairman, to institute an enquiry into these promises to produce some tangible results. Government dragging its feet on various issues was recorded.
Business in general in the village was again discussed – the lack of a Chamber of Commerce being, it was felt, a drawback to forming some cohesion in the main streets and surrounds. Efforts towards this have to date borne no fruit, but the hopes of establishing one have not been abandoned.
It is the time of year for the Overstrand Draft Budget to be presented to Ratepayers. Some suggestions about how the budget might be improved in some instances were submitted by a business analyst and member of Whale Coast Development Forum. WCDF will be issuing a press statement in this regard fairly soon. Ratepayers would have been aware of the presentation of the budget in Stanford through flyers in their mailboxes, drawing their attention to the date and time of the presentation. This meeting was held at the Community Hall in April for interested parties. Part of the budget, (where funding is severely restricted), involves the tarring and upgrading of various roads. Progress has been slow in this regard, but enquiries are ongoing and receiving the local municipality’s attention, as well as one or two community initiatives to be revealed at a later date, in an attempt to bring relief to those residents most affected. So, all is not lost!
Our Chairman and your committee have the ratepayers’ interests at heart and are striving for improvements to our lovely village. Do join us on the journey!
Mignonne (Midge) Farquharson