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Minutes of General Meeting
24th March 2017

Present: Martin Calvert (Chair), Joan Clayton, Adam & Carol Bull, Adrian Coltman, Malcolm Robertson, Paul & Hazel Ellis, Dorothy Carter, Trevor & Diane Kitto, Alex King, Steve Tyndale-Biscoe, Jenny Page, Phil Meadley, Mike Betteridge, Steve & Wendy Jones-Blackett, Christine Osborne, Mary Cousins, Andy Smith, Janet Leveridge.

  1. Apologies for Absence
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Chair's Report 2016 (Martin Calvert)
  4. Treasurer's Report 2016 (Paul Ellis)
  1. Election of Trustees
  2. Website/Social Media Report 2016 (Adam Bull)
  3. AOB
  4. Dates of Next Meetings

1. Apologies for Absence

Mervyn Clayton, Naomi Watts-Kitto.

2. Statement of Purpose

It was noted that the General Meeting was being held for the following purposes:

  • To receive the Financial Report for the period 1 January 2016 - 10 October 2016.
  • To receive the Chairs report for 2016.
  • To elect the following as Trustees of the CIO:
  • Adrian Coltman
  • Steve Jones-Blackett,
  • Naomi Watts-Kitto
  • Kay Woodward
  • To transact any other business permitted by the constitution of the CIO.

Notes:

  1. Adrian Coltman was appointed a Trustee on 11 October 2016 under Rule 12(4) and, being eligible, offers himself for election.
  2. All volunteer and full members can attend the AGM, but only Voting Members of the FGVW can vote on the resolutions.
  3. The first AGM of the CIO is not due until the following year ending 31 December 2017, as it needs to align with the Charity Commission's reporting requirements for the annual statement of accounts and the trustees' annual report.
  4. Consequently, this meeting is styled a General Meeting and the main purpose is to elect new trustees in addition to the three existing trustees.
  5. It is also an opportunity to receive the final reports relating to the pre-CIO existence of the Friends.

Martin explained that this was essentially an AGM up to October 2016 and that next year would be a full year as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

3. Chair's Report 2016 (Martin Calvert)

What a year 2016 was. We are now a CIO, a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, responsible to the Charity Commission to meet our charitable objectives. As a CIO we don't have to report to the Charities Commission until this time next year. This report is for 9 months as a Friends Group and 3 months as a charity.

The year started off as a normal year. In January we did path repairs on the Lord Mayor's path between Allerton Grange Way and Gledhow Lane, with new edging and top up sandstone.

In February we did more path refurbishment on the same section.

In March, it was the turn of Mrs Hood's Steps to be completely refurbished with new extra strong handrails designed by Mervyn. Many, many buckets of stone were carried from the bottom of the steps to the top! The meadow near the "M62 Bench" was also cut back.

Then at the March meeting, we discussed the field on Gledhow Valley Road being put up for sale. From this and a suggestion from David Miles, a crowdfunding page on Justgiving was created by David. Nobody knew how this would go. The response, thanks to much door to door leafleting, twitter, Facebook, e-mail and word of mouth, was amazing. Many folk were addicted to checking the Justgiving page at least hourly, and the total soon reached £10,000. A fantastic start, but was that it? No, the momentum continued and money flowed in, snowballing with some very generous donations. With a £5,000 donation from FGVW, we reached a target where we could make a bid for the field.

As the appeal was progressing, we held an EGM to discuss a proposal for FGVW to become a CIO.

We had talked about becoming a charity for quite a few years, but the prospect of owning land meant that it was an imperative for us to become a charitable organisation, because as a Friends Group, we couldn't own land. The outcome was a unanimous decision to proceed. Thanks to Steve Johns for steering us through the application process.

Audrey's Meadow came into bloom, with annuals proliferating. The meadow looked great, with yellows, reds, whites and blues amongst the grasses. The brambles and nettles didn't encroach. We await this year's flowering with anticipation.

A total of 440 people contributed to the appeal to buy the field. This was a fantastic show of support for FGVW from the local community and we couldn't let them down. Contributions from £5 to £2000 were received and we are very grateful for this fantastic community backing.

At the Action Morning in May, we finished Mrs Hood's Steps and tackled the steps near Dorothy's Bridge.

Then, after a nervous few weeks, we could finally report that the field was safely in the ownership of our Treasurer, Paul, who's bid was accepted by the vendor. Thank you to Paul, for his calmness and hard work in the process, David for organising the Justgiving page, Jenny for being a lovely, lending bank and Malcolm as our backup.

So June came along and the FunDay. It was a lovely well run day, with an excellent attendance, good weather, the lowest ever costs percentage and a fantastic surplus after the money was counted. Thank you to Steve and his lieutenant Claire, for their hard work. The games were fantastic, a great success. Thank you to all the extremely hard working band of volunteers.

July and August and a few days in between saw us starting work on the field. Lots to do to make it feel loved again.

In September, we did more work on the field and used up the Gledhow Lane stone pile on more path repairs.

We held another EGM to approve the CIO application, the new constitution and the appointment of 3 interim trustees.

As a result of the boon end of the lake being efficiently cleaned out, the lake had dropped to it's proper level, unfortunately leaving a lot of exposed silt. This, along with other water based issues, led to the formation of the Lake Action Group, under David's leadership, with support from Steve, Phil and Kay. Their work in approaching and engaging the various bodies involved with the lake and watercourse has been very impressive. Thank you.

Then, in October, we became a CIO. The interim trustees met to discuss the way forward and the responsibilities of the board of trustees. We will need to demonstrate that we are meeting our charitable objectives. The objectives are similar to the simpler objectives in the old constitution and indeed, all our decisions in the past have been made for the benefit of the woods. We now need to be able to compile a report detailing our success in meeting our objectives.

We had a successful Christmas fair season, with stalls at Oakwood Lights Switch On, Oakwood Traders Market, The Farmers Market, St Matthews, Chapel Allerton and the Three Hulats on 3 occasions. We sold a lot of merchandise which has gone a long way to replenishing the coffers.

In November and December we worked on clearing the sledging slope in anticipation of impending snow which is still impending as we speak.

So it's been a momentous year for FGVW. Thank you to you all for your continued support.

The Chair's Report can be downloaded below:

4. Treasurer's Report 2016 (Paul Ellis)

The final accounts for FGVW as an unincorporated organisation can be downloaded below:

Paul produced a breakdown of the payments made and income received by the Group over the year. He also confirmed that the Group had applied to HMRC and had received confirmation that there is no corporation tax to pay and that the Group can claim Gift Aid. Main points included:

  • We now have the land on Gledhow Valley Road listed as an asset at £36,000.
  • Total receipts including donations for the field total £36,235.
  • Cash funds for the year end total £6,454.

5. Election of Trustees

Adrian Coltman, Steve Jones-Blackett, Naomi Watts-Kitto and Kay Woodward provided trustee statements.

Paul Ellis distributed the voting forms to each of the members.

Voting Results

  • Accept Chair's Report
    For = 15, Against = 0, Abstain = 0
  • Accept Treasurer's Report
    For = 15, Against = 0, Abstain = 0
  • Adrian Coltman
    For = 15, Against = 0, Abstain = 0
  • Steve Jones-Blackett
    For = 15, Against = 0, Abstain = 0
  • Naomi Watts-Kitto
    For = 15, Against = 0, Abstain = 0
  • Kay Woodward
    For = 15, Against = 0, Abstain = 0

6. Website/Social Media Report 2016 (Adam Bull)

Adam provided a breakdown of the website, e-mail and social media statistics. The main points covered were:

Website

  • Total number of web site visits increased from approximately 20 per day to 42 per day.
  • 84% of visits were from the UK, 6% from USA, 3% from Brazil and the rest were split between visitors from 113 other countries/territories around the world.
  • 43% of all sessions where via mobile devices which is 3% more than the year before. These sessions were mostly from iPhones and iPads.

E-mail Mailing List

  • The number of people on the e-mail mailing list is 427 (up 20 from last year).

Social Media

There has been an increase in the use of Social Media:

  • Number of Twitter followers: 512 (up 255 from last year)
  • Number of Facebook "likes": 819 (up 298 from last year)
  • Twitter followers doubled due to Steve's ongoing efforts.

7. AOB

  • Members
    Adrian reported that we have 28 Voting Members made up of 16 annual memberships and 12 life members. Christine asked if other Groups could be affiliated and Martin agreed to find out.

  • FGVW FunDay 2017
    Steve is progressing with the FunDay.

  • Action Morning, Risk Assessments and Attendance Report 2016
    Joan provided a full breakdown of the number of volunteers who have attended the Action Mornings on a year by year basis, including a breakdown between Saturday and Sunday attendances. She also provided a breakdown of the average number of hours and the average cost based on £11 per hour that this would equate to should we wish to apply for match funding.

    - Average Saturday attendance for 2016: 21 volunteers
    - Average Sunday attendance for 2016: 31 volunteers
    - Total number of volunteers for 2016: 323
    - Total hours for 2016: 807.5
    Total Fund Matching since 2004 would have been: £89,952.50

    In 2015 we had a large number of scouts attending which boosted the figures so it looks like volunteers have dropped this year. We did not have many children attending during 2016.

  • Lake Notices
    Mary asked if a notice could be put near the lake providing information on feeding wild birds and what they can eat.

  • Aviva Community Fund
    The Group has received a certificate congratulating them on being awarded an Aviva Community Fund grant.

The matters raised in any other business will be discussed at future Core Group meetings.

8. Dates of Next Meetings

  • Core Group Meeting - Mon 17 April 2017 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)
  • Action Morning - Sun 23 April 2017
  • Core Group Meeting - Mon 8 May 2017 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)
  • Action Morning - Sun 14 May 2017
  • Chapel Allerton Open Gardens Event - Sun 11 June 2017
  • FGVW FunDay - Sat 17 June 2017

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