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Minutes of Annual General Meeting
1st Feb 2008
Present: Martin Calvert (Chair), Peter Foulston, Adrian Coltman, Joan & Mervyn Clayton, Adam & Carol Bull, Paul Ellis, Dorothy Carter, Brenda Lancaster, Clive Montdougall, Adam Wilks, Marcus Rau, Steve Clavering
1. Apologies for Absence
Mike Betteridge, Cllr Valerie Kendall, Cllr Paul Wadsworth, Sian Dodderidge.
2. Minutes of the last AGM 12-01-2007
Agreed as a true record.
3. Matters Arising
- Notice Boards
The Group plan to put up the notice boards this year subject to approval from everyone including Parks and Countryside.
4. Chair's Report 2007 (Martin Calvert)
- Action Mornings
We held 12 Action Mornings during 2007 - work involved planting well over 1,000 wild flower plugs in the meadow area, rhododendron clearing, path and boardwalk construction, repairing paths and keeping them clear, installing gabions, litter picking, cleaning the Bath House, carriageway clearing, planting bulbs and installing benches. Attendances varied between 12 and 30 plus. The results are most gratifying.
Thanks to all the Action morning attendees.
- Core Group Meetings
We held 16 Core group meetings and numerous site meetings.
Thanks to the Core Group members for their efforts. Particular thanks to two Core Group members without official portfolio who provide much of the ideas and direction for the group - our Chief Engineer Mervyn and Chief Executive Joan.
- FunDay 2007
The 2007 FunDay went ahead despite torrential rain in the days preceding the 16th June. I remember sitting with Mervyn in his car at Red Hall the day before watching the torrential rain and doing a lot of head shaking. The event went ahead thanks to a lot of hard work and was a great success with an excellent attendance. This year's event will be on June 14th 2008 subject to discussions with Leeds City Council. Thanks to the army of FunDay helpers without whom we could not run the event.
Thanks to Adam Bull for the continuing success and income from our merchandise ventures. Adam Bull will shortly give his report.
- Environmental Crime
The lake was maliciously emptied on the night of April 6th.
Recently, a tamper-proof manhole cover has been fitted to the manhole in the meadow. This should prevent unwanted access to the lake emptying mechanism.
In the last couple of weeks, flagstones have been stolen from the side of the lake and the surface water drain.
- Chapel Allerton Festival
We attended the 2007 Festival. We also attended the St Mathews Summer Fair and the Gledhow Conservation Group Open Day at the Gledhow sports and social club in July.
- Heritage Open Days
Following on from the 2 previous years, we had two afternoons of guided talks and some guided walks from our local herbalist. No progress to report on funds for restoration of the Bath House. The Bath House is still popular and we intend opening it for longer on one day of the Heritage Open Weekend this year.
- Community & City Pride Awards
We entered with our gabions project but were not even short listed.
- Tree Lopping
The tree lopping bus made a couple of visits to Gledhow Valley Road to attempt to open up the road 'tunnel' into more of a 'cutting'. There is much work still to do.
- ROSPA Work
Following recommendations from ROSPA regarding public safety near watercourses, green railings and signs were erected round the lake. Leeds City Council were obliged to do this work, resulting from the enquiry in to the drownings in Roundhay Park a few years ago.
- Greenspace Section 106 Funding
After announcing the news re the Section 106 Greenspace Funding at last year's AGM of approximately £26,000 to improve access and habitat in Gledhow Valley Woods, we have made considerable progress towards spending it in 2007. The money is Greenspace Section 106 funding and is provided by the developer of Southlands on Harrogate Road. The developer is obliged to pay to contribute to greenspace in a development or in the community area.
We agreed with Fred Duff, the Senior Manager from Parks & Countryside, as to how the grant could be spent. The money was never ours but we were allowed to say how it was used. Firstly, a path was laid by Leeds City Council Parks & Countryside from Gledhow Lane to the lake. Secondly, the island is being cleared in preparation for us doing some planting of appropriate trees/plants/bushes. Thirdly, 3 groups of 4 Beech trees were pollarded to create openings in the dense Beech wood. Finally, it has paid for wildflowers, tools and materials for use by FGVW.
The grant money was split as follows: path work £11,500, pollarding £2,500, island £4,000, FGVW materials, tools, flowers etc. £7,700.
Reaction to all the work going on has been mixed. Lots of positive comments from mothers with children as access and safety has been greatly improved, We are hopeful that a rolling programme to continue to improve the woodland habitat can be maintained. Forestry Officer Justin Williamson will be attending the next core group meeting on Thursday starting at 7.30pm.
- Lakeside & Carriageway
The views across the lake from the footpath have been restored in 2007 thanks to one man and his dog! Michael Betteridge has put a lot of hours in chopping back years of view blocking growth. The results are splendid, so well done to Michael and Sascha. He has also tackled the carriageway entrance, which has revealed what is left of the original, and looks much more inviting.
Michael again gave library talks on FGVW to local schoolchildren.
- Nature of Britain
In early summer, we were asked to turn out at very short notice to be filmed doing one of our activities for the local section of the Alan Titchmarsh Nature of Britain programme. Five volunteers duly appeared on the telly in October for 16 seconds of silent fame.
- Thank You
FGVW has many supporters and helpers. The rangers from the council are always supportive. We have kindly been given 20 pairs of safety boots for our volunteers. Thank you to Emma Steve and Dan for your support.
John Casey and his team from Potternewton Park continue to support the group in many ways.
Chris Bolam, senior Planner from Leeds City Council has been very helpful guiding us through the Section 106 process.
As ever, we are grateful to our local councillors for their advice and support. Councillor Lancaster chaired a Summit meeting with the Senior Manager from Parks and Countryside to clear up a few misunderstandings with the 106 funding.
We look forward to completion of the 106 projects and another enjoyable year.
Thank you all.
5. Treasurer's Report 2007 (Paul Ellis)
Balance at 31.12.2006 = £3,537.21
Interest = £2.65
Deposits = £14,445.63
Payments = £4,484.85
Balance at 31.12.2007 = £13,500.64
Balance at 31.12.2007 = £768.45
The Group are financially better off in 2007 than 2006. Paul confirmed that the Group are in a healthy financial position. He suggested moving some money back into the Reserve Account.
6. Merchandise Sales & Web Site Report 2007 (Adam Bull)
Web Site Report for 2007
In 2006, the site was regularly receiving 4,000-5,000 visitors per month, and peaked at nearly 6,000. During 2007 the site received 5,000-6,000 visitors per month, and peaked at over 8,000 in July. A "visit" is defined as someone arriving at the web site, having a look around one or more pages, and then leaving to go to another web site.
The total number of visits so far (to the end of December 2007) is 267,707.
This year the site has managed to achieve levels of over 17,000 page views per month, but more usually hovers around the 10,000 mark. The total number of page views so far (September 2001 to the end of December 2007) is 488,568.
Web Site Statistics
FGVW Web Site Size
Total number of pages in the web site (HTML) = 254
Total number of images used (JPEG & GIF) = 1,052
Total number of 360 degree QuickTime panoramas (MOV) = 13
Total number of audio files (MP3) = 2
Total number of files (those listed above plus other misc) = 1,325
Total file size (MB) = 48
E-Mail Mailing List
Number of people on the e-mail mailing list = 207 (Up 44 from last year's 163)
Merchandise Report for 2007
Postcard packs x 8 = £ 16.00
Rulers x 10 = £ 10.00
Badges x 15 = £ 7.50
Photos x 22 = £ 22.00
Christmas card packs x 10 = £ 25.00
Greetings cards x 84 = £ 90.00
Framed Photos x 2 = £ 8.00
Fridge Magnets x 13 = £ 6.50
Individual postcards x 195 = £ 89.30
Total income for year = £ 274.30
Total profit to date = £ 497.10
All development and production costs have now been covered, which means that takings from the sale of all remaining stock represent 100% profit.
7. Election of Officers
No new nominations were received so the Group agreed to waive the 3 year restriction on length of time in the role.
- Chair - Martin Calvert
- Treasurer - Paul Ellis
- Secretary - Carol Bull with Adrian Coltman continuing in a Grants role.
8. Leeds City Council Countryside Ranger
Steve Clavering thanked the Group for the work that they do in the woods.
He expressed concern over the FunDay to be held in June. The Group ask Leeds City Council for permission to hold the event each year as it is on their land. This year it was going to be a ranger led event but this would mean that the rangers would have to complete all risk assessments, put the marquees up and introduce baking regulations for offering food at the event. The rangers have suggested that it should be run by the Parks & Countryside Department with the rangers attending as invited guests. This is on-going and Steve will keep us informed of any updates. The Group would like to be covered by Leeds City Council for public liability insurance purposes. Paul thought that our own insurance may cover the event so this could be investigated if the Council change their mind. Steve is hoping to publicise the event in the Parks & Countryside leaflet so it is hoped a decision will be made soon.
- Dead Fox
Dorothy Carter mentioned that there was a young dead fox in the woods and who was responsible for moving it. Steve agreed to move it on Monday if it hadn't been before then.
- St Matthew's Church Fayre
Dorothy also asked the Group if they would like to attend St Matthew's Church Fayre this year. They are meeting later this month to agree a date. The Group agreed subject to enough volunteers.
- 106 Money Timescales
Clive Montdougall from the Gledhow Valley Conservation Area Group (GVCAG) asked for clarification on the 106 money and timescales, which was provided by Brenda.
- Road Works
Adam Wilks showed the Group a letter detailing road works from Allerton Grange Way to Harrogate Road. The road will be closed for resurfacing for 15 days from 13th February 2008.
- Action Morning Volunteers
Joan Clayton provided statistics and a graph showing the number of volunteers at Action Mornings over the years.
Ave No of Volunteers:
2007: Sat = 19.0, Sun = 25.2
2006: Sat = 16.5, Sun = 19.6
2005: Sat = 12.0, Sun = 17.1
2004: Sat = 16.1, Sun = 19.2
- Gledhow Lane Traffic
Adrian asked Brenda if she could help set up a site meeting with the Highways Council. There has been an increase in traffic in the Gledhow Lane area and cars have been driving on the pavement as there is no kerb. This has become dangerous as it is on a main route to school. Adrian also hopes to resurrect discussions over crossing points in the area.
10. Dates of Next Meetings
- Core Group Meeting - Thu 7 Feb 2008 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club, Gledhow Lane)
- Action Morning - Sun 10 Feb 2008
- Core Group Meeting - Thu 13 Mar 2008 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club, Gledhow Lane)
- Action Morning - Sat 15 Mar 2008
- Core Group Meeting - Thu 3 Apr 2008 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club, Gledhow Lane)
- Action Morning - Sun 6 Apr 2008
- FunDay - Sat 14 Jun 2008 (1.30pm to 5.30pm)