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Bracknell Forest Federation of Community Groups to call it a day

Published: 25 Aug 2013 09:300 comments

A GROUP at the heart of Bracknell's community is set to close. Members of Bracknell Forest Federation of Community Groups have decided to shut their organisation because they cannot find a secretary.

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Chairman Ed Glasson made the announcement at a meeting at Jennett's Park Community Centre last Wednesday.

He said: "The Fed's biggest problem from the outset has been all those involved in it were already heavily committed to their own groups.

"However with the recent, crucial, exception of the secretary's post, we have been fully officered and almost always had our full quota of 15 committee members drawn from the various affiliated groups."

The federation survived a "crunch" annual general meeting in January when Binfield resident Elizabeth Govier agreed to fill the role following an appeal for helpers published in the News, but she later stepped down.

It was launched in 2002 when it acted as a support base for about 40 people in about 14 groups. It became a registered charity in 2005 and expanded to help about 200 people across 55 groups by this year.

It aimed to promote voluntary activity and dialogue between community groups and authorities shaping public services.

Mr Glasson said the group had discussed a range of issues such as the NHS, affordable housing, the town centre and many others.

He added it participated in public events and local partnerships, provided help and advice to local groups and, with funding from Berkshire Community Foundation, published Bracknell Forest's first guide to community activity in 2008.

He also thanked the activists that supported the group, including guest speakers, treasurer Lynn Jenkins - who had been in post since 2005 - minutes secretary David Little, and press officer Sabena Walker.

He added: "I want to thank Lesley Doyle and Abby Thomas [from Bracknell Forest Council], who have been stalwart supporters and the staff, past and present, of BFVA who have done the essential job of distributing notices of Fed meetings. I also want to thank all the community associations, who have hosted meetings - most notably Bullbrook and Jennett's Park.

Mr Glasson said there would still be informal meetings attended by representatives of local groups in the way the federation worked between 2002 and 2005.

He added the federation's directors would be settling any outstanding debts before formally closing the group as soon as possible.

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