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Minutes of Annual General Meeting
15th Feb 2013
Present: Martin Calvert (Chair), Adrian Coltman, Joan & Mervyn Clayton, Adam & Carol Bull, Paul & Hazel Ellis, Dorothy Carter, Mike & Penny Betteridge, Peter Foulston, Claire Standage, Trevor & Diane Kitto, Naomi Watts-Kitto, Steven Johns, Jean & Frank O'Gorman, Robert Jones, Jennie Beadle, Alex King, Claire Welling, Andy Brown, Stephen Tyndale-Biscoe, Kay & Neil McDowell, Sian Dodderidge.
1. Apologies for Absence
Libby Jones, Audrey Robertson.
2. Minutes of the last AGM 27-Jan-2012
Agreed as a true record.
3. Matters Arising
- The Woodcutter's House
The woodcutter's house is now being renovated. Originally the owners wanted to convert the existing out-building into a dance studio but were unable to get planning permission. The current owners have had permission granted to build a house extension instead.
4. Chair's Report 2012 (Martin Calvert)
January: We remove leaves and mud from pathways and steps. Decide that much topping up of existing paths is needed.
February: Our patches of Japanese Knotweed are on the Council map for treatment.
Snowy Action Morning so we spend the morning thinning beech.
At the Core Group Meeting we plan to increase our income through grants and eradicate our income deficit.
March: Top part of the carriageway scraped by LCC and is much improved. Never did come back to do the lower part though. Will hopefully return this year.
Action Morning curtailed due to sleet, rain and slippery conditions.
We discussed the Stewardship idea with Emma Trickett. Sounds good in parts but we are not convinced. No further news but it is due to surface again soon.
The Yorkshire Gardens Trust visit is confirmed. Joan spends hours in negotiations and research to plan the mission, resulting in much new information on the history of the Bath House and Gledhow Hall, and massive stress levels.
April: Path work refurbishment involving 4 tonnes of sandstone and bluebell planting.
The Three Entrances Opening Ceremony is planned. Gledhow schoolchildren coming to plant wild flower plugs. The event is publicised with a press release and local posters. Lovely event but only 2 local people attend. The Gledhow children enjoy themselves and are rewarded with some of Diane's finest buns.
May: FGVW Mugs are ordered. Some of the footpaths are being overwhelmed by the consistent rains hence more path work upgrading with 4 tonnes of stone and 5 drains put in opposite the horses' field.
June: FunDay June 9th. Amazingly took place in the wet month of June. The Queen's Jubilee impacts on the attendance but it is still a major success. Thanks to the small army of volunteers - it can't take place without you. June 8th this year is the date for your diary!
July: more footpath upgrading involving another 4 tonnes of stone. The drainage we put in is being thoroughly tested and is working well.
FGVW mugs selling well.
Some areas of knotweed have been sprayed and are starting to look poorly.
The Swan family start going walkabout on numerous occasions. Police are called to stop the traffic on at least one occasion as the Swans search for a Pelican crossing. They even ended up at the Bath House one afternoon, exhausted after waddling all the way. Mervyn and Avril bravely trap the young ones and the adults follow on a forced march back to the lake. Mervyn cuts the grass next to the lake to provide grazing for the Swans. No more walkabouts.
The Roundhay Live event amazingly survives torrential rain in the preceding days to be a big success. Left over FunDay plants raise £350 for St Gemmas.
August: The wild flowers at Entrance 1 of the Three Entrances project are growing well and looking great. Extremely colourful. All display boards are still intact, with only a couple of minor graffiti attacks.
One of this year's 6 baby swans is missing.
The demise of the long standing FGVW totem pole on the FunDay field is reported.
The Bath House is cleaned in readiness for showing it off at the Heritage Open weekend. The stream is dug out to improve drainage in that area.
September: Another swan goes missing. Only 4 left now.
The Yorkshire Gardens Trust visit goes ahead on a lovely sunny afternoon. A big success. Joan's stress levels reduce considerably.
The Bath House Open Day was a major success. Thanks to all the volunteers for their time and cakes. We raised £339.
Audrey gives us 2 major donations towards our work. We are extremely grateful. We plan to create a wild flower meadow in the area next to Sundar's pond. This will be Audrey's Meadow.
Naomi produces our new range of coasters. These prove to be very popular and sell like hot cakes. Thanks to Naomi and her co worker-grandparents for their major efforts.
October: Work starts on cutting back in Audrey's meadow. The other meadow at the end of the lake occasionally known as Martin's meadow is raked after cutting.
November: Christmas card season starts. Much selling of cards and coasters takes place. Thank you to the hard working sellers. Controversial discounts on card sales helps to maintain impetus. The group's income from these sales is vital to pay for Action Morning materials.
December: New trailer is purchased and collected.
Hilda Kitson's will is obtained confirming a bequest of £150 to LCC towards the upkeep of the path through Bracken Hills Wood. No mention of the Bath House. Joan tracks this down in the Council accounts, where it was worth £4,800. However, this money was considered to be dormant and was transferred and distributed charitably a few years ago. We have been encouraged to apply for a grant from the body that dealt with the money and we are hopeful of a positive outcome.
At the Action Morning, beech trees are thinned, work continues on the meadow and can it be true, another new secret pond begins to take shape. To be continued in 2013.
5. Treasurer's Report 2012 (Paul Ellis)
Paul produced a breakdown of the payments made and any income received by the Group over the year. The main points included:
- Total cash available is £10,675 (£6,403 for 2011). The increase was due to a generous grant from Audrey Robertson and a grant from the Three Entrances Project in Brackenwoods. Paul suggested moving some of the money from the current account to the deposit account.
- The money received from merchandising increased this year due to the efforts of Adam and Naomi.
- Paul is going to change the bank account from the HSBC to the Co-Op as agreed at a previous meeting. Members of the Group will be able to deposit cash at either a Co-Op Bank or the Post Office.
- The money listed under "other" mainly consists of benches, approx. £750, and float for small items.
- In previous years the Group has been spending £2,000 more than monies received so this year the Group has made a concerted effort to reduce spending and stay within budget.
- The Group are hoping to do a lot of work in Audrey's meadow this year so the money may be required to match up some grants.
6. Merchandise Sales & Web Site Report 2012 (Adam Bull)
Adam provided a breakdown of merchandise sales and website statistics. The main points covered:
- 89 mugs have been old out of the 252 ordered.
- The Group have reduced their Christmas card stocks enough to be able to order more this year. Adam would be interested in receiving any winter scene photographs taken by members for the new cards.
- Coasters, by Naomi, are selling really well all year round.
- The number of visits is almost the same as last year, with approximately 17 visits per day.
- There has been an increase from 7% to 19% of people looking at the website on mobile devices such as tablets and mobile phones.
- The mailing list has increased by 12 to 355.
- There was a suggestion at the meeting to have a FGVW Facebook account. It was agreed that this was a good idea but could be time consuming. The Group are looking for a volunteer to take this forward.
A member of the Group raised concerns at the meeting that members who did not have access to the internet or e-mail were being neglected and were reliant on word-of-mouth to find out what was happening within the Group and any events taking place. It was agreed to discuss this at the next monthly meeting.
Joan reported that the average number of volunteers attending an Action Morning is 23 for those taking place on both a Saturday and Sunday. This year we have had a drop in the number of children attending which we believe is due to the poor weather conditions.
Joan thanked various members of the Group and all the volunteers for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. She stressed how important they were to the Group and it didn't matter if they just came and did 30 minutes work or came to help every month, the Group were very grateful. She also thanked all the volunteers who continue to collect litter and care for the woods outside of the action mornings.
There was also some discussion over the type of donuts served at the Action Mornings and opinion was divided over jam or custard!
Joan thanked the Three Hulats for hosting the AGM again.
8. Election of Officers
No new nominations were received.
The following officers were re-elected:
- Chair - Martin Calvert
- Vice Chair - Adrian Coltman
- Treasurer - Paul Ellis
- Secretary - Carol Bull
There was a request to amend the constitution to include a "fit and proper" definition applicable to the nominated person(s).
10. Dates of Next Meetings
- Core Group Meeting - Mon 4 Mar 2013 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)
- Action Morning - Sun 10 Mar 2013
- Core Group Meeting - Mon 1 Apr 2013 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)
- Action Morning - Sat 6 Apr 2013
- Core Group Meeting - Mon 6 May 2013 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)
- Action Morning - Sun 12 May 2013
- FunDay - Sat 8 Jun 2013