As part of St James’s’ commitment to sustainability and the environment, the PCC appointed Deborah Colvin as its Sustainability Champion, to work with St James’s’ Estates Manager on the development of relevant policies and procedures.
Chris Davies, our Head Verger reported on recent problems with a group of people who are Romanian in nationality and a very organised group, who are creating difficulties for both staff and visitors around the site. Aggressive begging is illegal in Westminster. Members of the community who come across the beggars on the site or at entrances to the site should alert a verger, although they should also be free to ask them to move on if they feel comfortable in doing so. The PCC also discussed the provision of further training for vergers and members of the concerts team in how to deal with confrontational situations that arise from time to time. A Romanian-speaking case worker from The Connection at St Martin’s would be contacted to help communicate more effectively with this group.
The PCC reviewed and approved St James’s’ Health & Safety Policy.
Ryan Tyler, our Estates Manager, reported on completion of electrical works in the courtyard which will enable the lighting for our market to be changed over to much more energy efficient LED lighting. The move to LED lights only will be completed in the New Year. Ryan also reported efforts to liaise with Westminster Council to improve waste management from the site.
The PCC perused the management accounts for the nine months to 30th September. Whilst the current year is in surplus due to one-off additional items, the PCC discussed the current challenge of putting together a balanced budget for 2016. The PCC agreed to invite members of the St James’s community to join a group to consider means of additional fundraising.
The PCC discussed difficulties with the Tuesday antiques market, which was proving less successful that the markets on other days. Some changes were agreed, including the introduction of a number of food stalls similar to those in the Monday Food Market.
The PCC continued its discussions regarding the development of a new strategic plan for 2016-19 and agreed a provisional date of Sunday 17th January 2016 for the next consultation with the St James’s community.
The PCC was advised by the Wren Project Steering Group that St James’s’ architect had now provided an updated feasibility study for the site redevelopment, in response to feedback received from the Diocese. A special PCC meeting will be held to discuss the details later in the month, and consultation with the St James’s community will take place on 17th January 2016 at the same time as that on the new strategic plan.
Recruitment of St James’s new apprentice, Hannah Turner, was reported. Hannah will be the Rectory receptionist and will provide administrative support in the parish office. St James’s will be supporting her studies towards a NVQ qualification in administration.
The PCC approved a Social Media policy, setting out guidelines for staff in the use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
The PCC noted that planning for Christmas services was well advanced. A higher than usual number of carol services will be taking place at St James’s this year. Jane Preest is co-ordinating volunteers to help with collections and the serving of mulled wine and mince pies etc.
Members of the PCC provided feedback on a number of Diocesan events that they had attended.
Minutes were received of the recent staff meeting and Health & Safety Committee meeting.