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Minutes of Core Group Meeting
21st September 2016

Present: Martin Calvert (Chair), Adrian Coltman, Adam & Carol Bull, Joan & Mervyn Clayton, Trevor & Diane Kitto, Phil Meadley, Steve Johns, Paul Ellis, Geoff Holden, Kay McDowall, Malcolm Robertson, Dorothy Carter, David Miles.

  1. Apologies for Absence
  2. Minutes of the Meeting Held 4th July 2016
  3. Matters Arising
  4. Correspondence
  5. Action Mornings
  6. The New Field - Ecological Survey / Horse / Bags of Help
  7. Aviva Community Fund
  1. Condition of Lake / Flooding
  2. Combined Sewage Overflows (CSOs)
  3. OTRA Craft Fair 24 September
  4. Christmas Fairs
  5. AOB
  6. Dates of Next Meetings

1. Apologies for Absence

Steve Jones-Blackett, Michael Betteridge, Steve Tyndale-Biscoe.

2. Minutes of the Meeting Held 4th July 2016

Agreed as a true record.

3. Matters Arising

None other than those matters to be discussed later on the agenda.

4. Correspondence

  • The Group has received a letter suggesting talking to the Wildlife Trust about wildflower management. Kay agreed to have a look at it.
  • The Group has received a request for a Fungus Foray. Martin thought it might be too late to organise, but he will ask.

5. Action Mornings

  • Saturday 9 July and Sunday 7 August 2016
    A lot of work was carried out on the new field but there is still a lot more to do. In August we had 27 volunteers, which was very good for the main holiday month.

Future Action Mornings

Proposed dates and tasks (subject to change):

  • Sunday 25 September 2016
    It was hoped that the meadow could be cut but there are still flowers so it will be moved to October. Mervyn has some ideas for path work repairs to use up the stone that is left in the woods. There is also plenty of work to do in the new field. Steve agreed to bring some wheel barrows. All volunteers to meet on Gledhow Valley Road opposite the newly acquired field.
  • Sunday 23 October 2016
    May involve meadow cutting. Paul said he could get more scythes if needed for the meadow cutting as there would be 3 fields to complete.
  • Sunday 20 November 2016
  • Sunday 11 December 2016

6. The New Field - Ecological Survey / Horse / Bags of Help

Ecological Survey - Kay completed an ecological survey at the end of July on the new field. She has recorded all the plant species and now needs to write up the report and complete the maps. She is going to bring in an expert friend to talk to the Group about meadow management. She unexpectedly found some greater burnet and knapweed along with some interesting grassland. There is also some creeping soft grass that animals don't like.

Horse - A local person has contacted Martin asking if he can put a horse in the new field from September to February. Kay said it would be good for managing the grass. Martin brought up the problem with liability if the horse escaped, as the field would need to be fenced off properly. The Group agreed to allowing the horse provided that the insurance was OK, the conversion to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation had been completed and that the field was fenced off properly.

Bags of Help - Martin applied to Tesco's for a grant as part of their Bags of Help initiative which was based on all the 5 pences donated when people bought a carrier bag. The application was unsuccessful so Martin suggested approaching Wade's Charity for a grant to help with funding the fence for the new field. Phil said that he had been communicating with Wade's Charity and they had mentioned the possibility of a grant. It would need to be a properly costed project. Martin agreed to cost up the fence and Joan suggested looking at the hedgerow project as well.

7. Aviva Community Fund

Aviva has launched its Community Fund which the Group were successful with last year. There is a new category specifically for the environment and projects that restore, protect, connect communities with and/or encourage the use of green spaces. The Group agreed to try for a £5,000 grant towards fencing and hedgerows for the new field which local residents had helped raise money for.

8. Condition of Lake / Flooding

Gledhow Valley Road flooded last week. Yorkshire Water, Leeds City Council, Environment Office and Duffy's are all involved but there is no joined-up thinking and no one takes responsibility.

Steve Jones-Blackett has been working on finding out about the lake and what can be done.

James Coburn the Becks inspector has cleared the rubbish at the end of the lake but it has all been left to the side.

Phil mentioned that when they dredged the end section that this has made the lake function properly again. It is now at the correct level of water. The exit was silted up so now that this has been dealt with the water is balancing both in and out.

David explained that he and Phil had spent the summer months chasing up a lady form the university who had agreed to take samples from the lake to help with the issues with the silt. He suggested that the Group would have to take responsibility and that a small working group should be set up to look at it. The new constitution allows for working groups. Davis, Phil, Steve BJ, Kay and Joan agreed to form the working group and put forward a proposal as to what to do with the lake.

Phil mentioned that there could be an issue with the silt being toxic.

Joan has spoken to James Coburn about removing the debris from the end of the lake. He has said that the hedge needs to be cut first but this has now been done.

Joan gave a detailed and passionate explanation of who she had contacted and what she had done about the ongoing issues of flooding in the valley. The drains are blocked all down the valley. Two had been reported earlier in the year but not cleared. Joan and Mervyn took pictures of the drains and the Combined Sewage Overflow (CSO) near Kings Lane that is not working. All the CSOs they could access were covered in sanitary products. Joan spoke to Ehinomen Oyakhilomen aka Ken regarding the drains reported in May. He stated that they had sent two teams out but they could not find them. Joan gave them the lamppost numbers to help but she was told the team don't find drains via lamp post numbers. Joan stressed the flood risks on Gledhow Valley Road as all the drains were blocked and she sent photographic evidence. Joan threatened to go to the Yorkshire Post and the Environment Agency and send photos of the blocked drains. Joan received an e-mail saying that a tanker to clear the drains was scheduled and that 51 drains would be looked at on Gledhow Valley Road on a separate visit. The two drains originally reported would be looked at first.

9. Combined Sewage Overflows (CSOs)

The CSOs should only take in water during extreme storms. They were working during the storm on Saturday night but now they are also filling up when it just rains normally and sewage and sanitary products are going through and on into the lake.

10. OTRA Craft Fair 24 September

Martin and Adrian will set up the stall in the morning. Joan and Mervyn will take over later. If the event is successful it is planned to make it a monthly event. It will take place where the Oakwood Farmers Market is and is a free fair to try out for the Group.

11. Christmas Fairs

Joan has received offers for the Group to have a stall at various Christmas Fairs. Jenny has agreed to do the stall at St Matthew's Church in November. There is also the Oakwood Farmers Market on 19th November where the Group has been given their own full stall. There are also The Three Hulats' Farmers Markets at the end of October and November which Adrian and Martin have done previously. The Fair at Roundhay School cost £15 and took £45 last year so it was decided to maybe miss it out this year. Green Leeds also had a Fair last year that Jenny did. Joan agreed to get dates and times and organise volunteers.

12. AOB

  • Geoff mentioned a mattress that had been dumped in the woods. The Council stated that they did not get his e-mails about removal. He e-mailed Judith Blake as it was difficult to move a double mattress and it has now been removed by the Council.
  • David mentioned that he had tried to contact the owner of the Church field and ask where we were on access for the Group. It is still under consideration but not a priority. They will look at it next month but they are expecting around £500,000 if they choose to sell the field.
  • Diane mentioned that they had been asked by a man from SSAFA, the armed forces charity, if there were any ex-soldiers living rough in the woods. There are some homeless men living in the woods but these are not ex-solders and have been contacted by Outreach. The Council are aware of them and Polish Welfare has been in touch with them so there is not much the Group can do to help.
  • Joan asked if anyone had ordered the daffodils. Martin has applied for them. She also mentioned that Glen's dog had died and for people to be aware of this if they spoke to him at the Action Morning.
  • Steve confirmed that the FunDay is still planned for the 17th June as he has checked the dates of the Leeds triathlon.
  • Steve mentioned that a lady had approached him at the Bath House Open Day about her band playing at the next FunDay.
  • Martin said how successful the Bath House Open Day had been with 185 visitors. It had been helped by advertising at the Chapel Allerton Festival on the Charity Day on Sunday. Joan mentioned what a good idea it was to give out the dates of the Action Mornings so we need to do this again for the next dates.
  • Adam gave an update on the takings at various events with £24.80 at The Three Hulats' Farmers Market, £278 at the Chapel Allerton Festival over 2 days and £396.44 at the Bath House Open Day.

13. Dates of Next Meetings

  • Action Morning - Sun 25 September 2016
  • Core Group Meeting - Mon 17 October 2016 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)
  • Action Morning - Sun 23 October 2016
  • Core Group Meeting - Mon 14 November 2016 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)
  • Action Morning - Sun 20 November 2016
  • Core Group Meeting - Mon 5 December 2016 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)
  • Action Morning - Sun 11 December 2016
  • FGVW FunDay - Saturday 17 June 2017 (provisional)

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