Sep 072015

Newsletter Issue 19     May 2015


IMPORTANT NOTES ON THE AGM     Please note that at the request of Rockdale the AGM will start at the later time of 2:30 pm.

There is no parking on site at the Rockdale complex.  Nearest parking is in the South Park pay and display adjacent to the Stag Theatre or at Waitrose where parking is permitted for 2 hours.



1   Welcome and Introductions 2.30 pm

2   Guest Speakers


1   Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting

2   Matters arising

3   Chairman’s Report

4   Treasurer’s Report

5   Secretary’s Report

6   Reports on Projects

7   Proposals (if any) to change the Constitution.  Any such proposals must be

          made to the Chairman at least 7 days before the meeting.

8   Guest Chairman takes the chair

9 – 12 Elections: Chairman, Treasurer. Secretary, Committee Members

13  SDSAF Chairman takes the Chair

14  Any other business


Meeting closes by 4.00 pm


2015 MEMBER SURVEY     Vice Chairman Steve Plater (left) and Membership Secretary Roger Bryan start the process of reading through all the survey responses.  We estimate that Members made some 3000 comments (the biscuits were necessary to kick start the process).

Vice Chairman, Steve Plater, and Membership Secretary, Roger Bryan, open up the first survey envelopes (and the biscuits).

Vice Chairman, Steve Plater, and Membership Secretary, Roger Bryan, open up the first survey envelopes (and the biscuits).

The three most concerning issues were Crime and the Police, Health, and Transport.  Further details will be publicised as part of the AGM.  Steve is working his way through all the comments to see how we can present them clearly to Members and to decision makers.

MARCH MEMBERS’ MEETING at Hextable           The meeting included both Committee business and time for a discussion with Members.  Members’ talked of how SDSAF works with disabled Members, transport for older people, difficulties of access (dropped kerbs, automatic doors and so on), the 403 bus, the state of pavements and the lack of responses from KCC Highways, and the absence of police enforcement of parking laws. The cost of hospital transport was raised with 40 pence per mile being mentioned.

Member Nick Allen talked of his project, The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT). This team of volunteers is preparing maps from satellite downloads for areas of the world where humanitarian aid is often delayed through a lack of maps.  We have asked Nick to write a short article for the newsletter to explain a little more on this valuable work. Volunteers are welcome.

Colin Annetts, also a member, briefly addressed the meeting regarding the NWKent Volunteer Centre telling us of opportunities for a number of volunteer roles, such as, volunteer drivers, befriending, supervising chair based exercises, maintaining gardens for elderly people, etc. the Centre faces a shortfall of £30k.

SDSAF PROMISES           From the beginning, SDSAF has promised that it will listen to the views of its Members and pass them on to the major decision makers.  These are the people in local government, the NHS, and anyone else whose work has an impact on the lives of older people.  In 2014  we were pleased to be able to report on our meeting with Dr Pav Ramewal, the Chief Executive of Sevenoaks District Council and we passed on a page of comments from Members.  This year, in April, we were invited to make a presentation to the Health Liaison sub-committee of the District Council on the results of our survey.  The committee wanted to know what our Members are concerned about. We are keeping our promises of feeding Members’ concerns to the highest decision makers.

SEVENOAKS STRATEGIC PLAN         As a result of the growth of SDSAF, we have been invited to become a member of a Sevenoaks District Council sub-committee to represent the views of older people in the development of the District’s Strategic Plan.  This is probably as high as we can get in terms of ensuring that Members’ views are heard by the District Council.  Thank you for joining SDSAF and making it so big that that the Council knows that it can turn to us for good hard information on what older people have as their concerns.  The first meeting of this group is in May.

SEVENOAKS DISTRICT COUNCIL HEALTH BOARD.         SDSAF was asked to make a presentation to the Council’s Health Board in April.  The Board consists of a group of District Councillors and is responsible to the main council for advising on all matters to do with health and well-being. We were given about 40 minutes including discussion time and spoke generally about our 2015 Survey. Only outline information was available on account of the amount of data we had gathered. The presentation was well received and helped to ensure that, as we promise, the concerns of Members are fed right to the heart of the Council.

DONT LET SCAMMERS RUIN YOUR LIFE    There are always scams – there are even adverts on the radio these days to warn people about scams.  NEVER give out your details to people who call. They may sound very genuine but they are NOT from your bank or your credit card company or whoever else they pretend to be. DONT agree to salesmen (or as they often say, ‘surveyors’) coming to look at your boiler: don’t believe their promises of free boilers or anything else.  If you have any doubts, call your energy company, or put the phone down then call your bank and ask if they have been trying to call you. But BEWARE – YOU may have put the phone down but the scammers may still be on the line and pretend to be the Bank when you call.  So wait ten minutes or so before you make your call.

MEMBERSHIP   We start our official year (after the AGM) at some 640. Members registering their email addresses with SDSAF have risen from 50% to 65%.  Come and introduce yourself to us wherever we are present at town and village fetes this year.  We expect to be at events in towns and villages around the Sevenoaks District wherever we can find that our presence will give more Members a chance to tell us what they want us to pass on to the decision makers.  Do you have an event you would like us to attend?

DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES          The work goes on. Many of you commented in the 2015 Survey that you would like to know more about dementia so we will keep up our involvement in this great work.

ELECTIONS 2015           Congratulations to all those who were successful in the recent national and local elections and commiserations to those who didn’t manage it this time.  SDSAF will do its best to keep you informed on the issues that concern older people and we hope that you will do your best to serve the over 40% of the local population who are 50 years old.

LOCAL GROUPS AND EXPERT GROUPS      We are still very keen on creating SDSAF groups in the towns and villages around the District.  Would you like to run one?

THE OLDER PERSONS SUPPORT – TOPS TOPS have applied for funding for a range of services they provide in the north of the District like Community Transport, Befriending, Gardening Support and more.  The ‘AVIVA COMMUNITY FUND’ is running the charitable fund and they ask for votes for the applicants.  It’s not difficult but it is on the web.  Go to  and register (quick to do) and place your 10 votes wherever you want – including all ten for TOPS if you wish.  Voting is open until the end of May.  This is a simple way to give a local voluntary service a chance of getting some very necessary cash. Can we help promote what you and your friends are doing?  If you want more help or info on TOPS or would like to volunteer, contact SDSAF Member Colin on

POPULATION FIGURES         Did you know there are more women than men in the District? (51.6% to 48.4% of the population of 109,000 – 2010 figures).

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