Executive Council Minutes April 2008

Living Streets Aotearoa Executive Council
Minutes of Meeting held 12 April 2008 10.00 am
At St John’s Convention Centre, Dixon Street, Wellington
Present: Celia Wade-Brown, Liz Thomas, Daphne Bell, Carina Duke,  Andy Smith, Mike Mellor, Ralph Chapman, Gay Richards  (Scribe).
Also present: Carol Comber and Lily Linton, LSA Projects Officer and Administrator respectively.
Apologies: Graeme Easte, apologies for lateness: Ralph Chapman & Carina Duke
Celia welcomed everyone to Wellington.
Apologies were accepted and it was noted with concern that Gary Stewart had not been in touch and has not been easy to contact.  It was noted that Roger Boulter had tendered his resignation prior to the meeting.
Conflict of interest
Daphne asked that her relationship to Jackie Bell be noted in any discussion of the Footprints newsletter.
What’s on Top
Celia invited those present to state any key issues they would like discussed over the day’s meeting.
Contacts Relationship Management (CRM), membership, relationship with Walk Auckland, branches, policy development and Cycling Advocates’ Network (CAN) membership management, Possible constitutional changes needed, Walking Charter, approach to Local Bodies, Conference, Auckland walking user group development, staff stress levels

1.     Strategic Plan & Partners Review
Strategic Plan document as circulated discussed and additions to strategic partnerships list and its organisation brain stormed.
It was agreed that Vision statement should be simplified to:
“More people choosing to walk more often and enjoying public places.”
It was agreed that strategic partners are existing or potential organisations and individuals which can help LSA achieve its vision.  These should be grouped under broad categories according to their function and displayed in a matrix, as some will fall under a number of categories.  A hierarchy of priority should also be indicated by numbering.
  Participants provided lists of groups not on current list.
Action: Liz to create matrix of groupings of partners with numbered priorities, and
Exec Council members to suggest any further organisations, individuals missing from the list.
2.     Communications Strategy

Liz explained that she had worked with a consultant to produce the Draft Communications Plan (17 March 2008).  It was recognised that this included LSAs key messages but was essentially a Stake holder analysis.
A consultant from Fuzion had then written a paper – Communications Strategy (March 2008) which outlined LSA’s current communications, and provided recommendations for moving forward.
It was agreed that these two documents tabled need to be worked into one, and that we need to develop key messages, then prioritise and cost the delivery of these to complete the communications strategy.
A discussion on Key messages followed:
Celia emphasised that LSAs key message should be
“Right mode for right journey” and that we must not appear rabidly against people using cars.
It was agreed that the following key messages, as concepts rather than final phrases should be added to those identified in the Draft Communications Plan:
Far more journeys could be walked
Walking is a nice thing to do (pleasurable experience)
Walking is a key part of any public transport journey
Walking is a part of the climate change solution
Under Objectives it was noted that no.3 is a key message rather than a communications objective.
Another communications objective could be;
Build more positive attitudes towards to people on foot
There also needs to be a consideration of the national and local components of communications.
It was also suggested that we should ask others how effectively we communicate
Action It was agreed that a Communications Strategy Working Group be formed comprising Andy, Celia and people asked for feedback.
Action: Feedback to Liz
Resolved (Moved Celia / Carina, carried)
That a contract be let to produce the next stage of the communications strategy, ball park cost  around $2000, and
That we note the work done, identifying messages as amended and agreed communications objectives, and that we agree to provide feedback within week, and that we agree to the Director to identify who will carry out future contract work on this strategy.
3.     Relationship with Cycle Advocates Network
Robert Ibell from Cycling Advocates’ network (CAN) joined us at midday to identify high level synergies, and discuss ongoing relationships between LSA and CAN
Robert gave a brief account of CAN 12 years on.
He believes both organisations have common goals, both support active transport and that there should be a joint approach to potential conflicts.  He also noted that government policies and strategies put both modes together.  There are opportunities for combined proposals, appear to work well together. Combined approach helps to address the gender biases of each mode.
Reasons for not combining or working too closely together would include: less overall influence, new ideas not identified and the fact that the two organisations are structured in very different ways.
It was recognised that a good working relationship had developed through sharing office space, hugely useful for informal contact.
The outside pressures to combine were acknowledged:
·        LTNZ would prefer joint conferences, only every two years, currently alternating
·        Local authorities would like to work with a broader organisation
·        Stronger position for pursuing consultancy work
It was suggested that a liveable communities approach could be explored to working with a  broader number of like-minded organisations.  An umbrella organisation may have greater strength.  The possibility of a Liveable Communities coalition for a temporary purpose, e.g.  for candidate surveys, was explored. This may in the long term produce more results in big picture areas such as climate change, reduction of obesity, and sustainable cities
Action: Liz another key message for communications strategy: Walking is part of the bigger sustainable, liveable communities picture.
It was noted that a number of co-operative initiatives were already in place: shared office in several places, shared expenses, some grants, submissions, combining with others to create FAST in Auckland and to work towards walking and cycling across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
E.g. campaign for better transport, CAN and Walk Auckland – on Harbour bridge issue, FAST
It was noted that in some cases joint submissions would be more effective but in other cases it was numbers game and submissions from all interested parties would be more effective.
Robert Ibell was thanked for coming and it was agreed there are a number of areas for further discussion.
Adjourned at 12.30pm for an invigorating urban walk.
Carol Comber joined the meeting at 1.20pm
4.     Financial Report
It was queried whether LSA now had charitable status. It was confirmed that LSA is registered under the Charities Act 2005
Mike queried why there was a significant difference between financial position in February and March.  Andy explained that a number of grants were received in March.
It was noted that CPP (Community Partnership Programme) grant needs to identified separately – as a liability – until it is paid out to qualifying projects.
Celia queried how printing / stationery expenses were coded– may be more appropriate for these costs to be recorded against particular project funds.  
Action: Andy to explore tax-deductible status of donations
Resolved (Moved Andy / Gay, carried)
That the Financial Reports for February 2008 and March 2008 be received.
5.     Director’s report
Liz tabled her report and noted some additional items which should have been included:
·        Launch of John White’s report “Physical Activity takes a Back Seat” in response to submissions to Health Select Committee inquiry into obesity and Type 2 diabetes in NZ. This report was supported by LSA.
·        LSA is now registered with charities commission – see action above to check how this affects status of donations.
Noted that Director’s report includes report on conference organisation progress, and Wellington’s Walk to Work day.
Conference planning progress
Celia provided some background on keynote speaker, Dan Burden – see LSA webpage. Dan takes an interesting approach to walking audits. Liz and Tim Hughes will ensure Dan Burden has speaking, walkshop opportunities in Christchurch and Wellington, prior to conference – he likes to takes people on walks, also a former photographer for National Geographic.
Daphne noted that she would also offer to host him in Hamilton.   The idea is that these would be chargeable seminars, but should not detract from his impact factor for conference.
It was noted that 140 participants was the number hoped for at conference.
The issue of offering membership free membership for six months to attendees after conference was acceptable to meeting.  It was noted this will not appear on registration form.
Increase in price and tightening of wording for reduced fees noted.
Over 30 abstracts received and a team is reading abstracts and designing programme structure. Timeframe for availability of interim programme should be in May.
Wellington Walk2Work Day
Carol Comber reported on this project which she completed on contract before being employed by LSA.  Highlights included reaching employers via travel planners, leaflets handed to walkers on streets prior to event day, posters in community centres, good pre and post- event media coverage.
This event was intended to be a pilot to see whether such an event was viable. Carol has put together an excellent scrapbook recording the event and guidelines for running such an event anywhere in the country will be prepared.
The event was considered a success and discussion followed on where to from here.  Agreed that it should be run in centres which feel they have the resources to do it next year.  Opportunities to co-advertise with Bike to Work day, Bikewise and Feet First week but important to emphasise it as a separate event on the calendar. May be some nationwide advertising and sponsorship but that would be further developed in third year.
Preferred date - Wednesday18 March
Action: 2009 aim to have events where there are active walking user groups e.g. Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch.  LSA office to look at national sponsorship and media.
There was further discussion on what to do with the stories collected.  Agreed to get a quote to do basic data entry.  Ralph thought his students would find analysis of the content of interest for a practical exercise.
Action: Liz to get quote for data entry.
Other issues from Director’s report
Noting the meetings with various politicians, the question was asked: How can LSA ensure other regions are included in conversations with politicians, and be able to voice their concerns? (eg. Auckland – get across harbour bridge initiative , Hamilton – Transit/ TLA disconnect.)
Noted that Geoff Dangerfield is to be head of NZ Transport Agency, and that LSA has put Celia forward as a nomination for the transport agency board; Bevan Woodward from CAN has also put his name forward.
Action: Celia / Liz to let executive know when they are meeting with politicians, and seek feedback from executive on their key issues to be taken to politicians.
A brief discussion of Footprints followed
It was suggested that designer and editor need to be the same person. It was noted that Jackie Bell would like to step down as editor. It would be good to get some sponsorship for newsletter, possibly from MOH Public Health.
Resolved (Moved Celia / Andy, carried)
That the Director’s Report with additions noted be received.
6.     2007-08 Annual Plan Review

Annual plan for year to 31 March 2008 was reviewed and areas needing action in 2008-09 noted.
The following were highlighted as items in the plan needing attention:
It was noted that membership drive needs to be given higher priority.
Outcomes on annual plan document need more detail.
Action: Conference programme note – Inaugural Walking award – to be selected from CPP recipients.  Needs profile on website, at conference
Action: Celia / Ralph to ask Andrew Macbeth for best single measure for walking - measure may be not a perfect measure but could be better than nothing for baseline.
Media monitoring needed to ascertain increased profile of walking - could use free service – also monitor Living Streets appearing in the media – should be part of Communications Strategy.
Goal to have two new Auckland groups – Manukau and group in North or West – with help from Walk Auckland.
LSA should provide support for combined social marketing campaigns such as one proposed by CAN with coalition of National Heart Foundation, Cancer Society and Diabetes New Zealand.
Review of website needs to be conducted once Communications strategy completed – some agreement that it is clear and fairly easy to use but some areas may need work.
Yahoo groups list needs be probed regularly to check for dead email addresses, some consideration of the long term use of this mode of communication needed.
It was noted that we are still awaiting printing of pedestrian guidelines.  Dan Burden may provide useful input into street audit work.
Action: Celia - there should be a call for a volunteer to work with CAN on amending local government  candidates’ questionnaire so it can be used for general election
Action: Conference planning committee – need for a workshop on the recruitment, retention, training and recognition of walking advocates / volunteers.
It was noted that Andy is doing a graduate programme not-for-profit management.
It was suggested that LSA should develop Policy Positions on contentious issues – e.g. Shared walking/cycling routes – this would need to be developed in consultation with CAN.
Projects for raising more funds and to cover cost of projects officer need to be investigated.
In discussing publicity material, Carina asked that there be an LSA policy that all communications and resource material be accessible and available in formats and styles accessible to the vision impaired.  Draft material should be sent to Carina
Resolved (Moved Celia / Carina, carried)
That LSA to have a policy that all materials be available in accessible formats
7.     Budget 2008 – 2009
The year’s budget was discussed focusing on the principle of retaining sufficient reserves to pay staff for at least 3 months should a funding shortfall occur, recognising the $165,000 funding received by LTNZ  was could not be used for lobbying, which meant that membership growth is an important source of income.
Some discussion of how membership funds should be made available to walking user groups as an incentive to build LSA membership ensued.
It was agreed that this discussion should be continued with advocates at the Advocates Talk the Walk meeting on Sunday.

8 Confirmation of Minutes
Resolved (Mike / Celia, carried)
That the Minutes of the LSA Executive Council meeting held on 11 February 2008 be confirmed.
Meeting adjourned 5.15 pm

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Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

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