Saturday, 18 January 2014


COMMITTEE MEETING – JANUARY 15TH 2014

Present: Margaret Jackson (Sec), David Jackson (Treas), Gill Chamberlain, Glyn Platt, Barry Savage

 

Updates

  • Barclays Bank Grant / Brew-room Cooker – a grant of £100 has been received from Barclays Bank via the CVS £100 Challenge to assist in replacing the microwave and the cooker in the Brew-room. An oven and hob unit have been donated by Andrew Holden. We need an oven casing to put the oven in and someone to wire them up. These items will not be installed until we have investigated improving the security of the Brew-Room.
  • ABAS meetings with Council – ABAS is much revitalised. A meeting was held with Malcolm Russell (Bolton Council) on 08/01/14. ABAS will hold a second big meeting at Astley Bridge CC on Feb 12th at which Mr Russell will outline the council’s new management.
  • HLA meetings with Council
    • Lease – We are hopeful that elected members will grant the Co-operative a lease on the Amenities Hut and Community land if not on the site as a whole. This would enable us to apply for grants to improve security.
    • Waiting List – all waiting lists are frozen pending the result of Mr Russell’s proposals but we understand that Harpers Lane’s list is down to just two or three
  • Flooding of Brew Room– The Council’s Landscaping Section surveyed the problem just before Christmas and proposed putting in two drains – they are going to do some costings and see what the section can do.
  • Shop Order – the order has been placed with Mahers – we await a delivery date
  • Andrew Holden – Support for Grant Bids – AH was appointed by the CVS to assist us with bids – he has given us two days of consultancy support. There are two sets of proposals (1)  about working with local firms on major projects to restore the site to something like the situation on the 1946 map and (2) a proposal for us to ‘partner up’ with a local school – create a school plot – and get Awards for All Funding to cover the project. AH is conducting some investigations with Corporate Property and Neighbourhood Services at the Council to see if there are any impediments to extending the cultivated areas on site and whether a formal request has been received from the new owner of the adjoining field for land for access. AH has also suggested we investigate wind turbines and solar panels on the site to reduce electricity bills.

 

Finances

  • We have been advised to have both the ‘Society’ and the ‘Co-operative’.
    • The Society will collect membership subscriptions, pay for site insurance, membership of the NSALG etc. and will receive and administer the majority of grants
    • The Co-operative will carry out all site work, operate the shop and anything akin to trading

  • Society Balances  – The Society currently has £828 in ringfenced funds (i.e. grant funds not yet spent) and £161 in free funds. The free funds will cover the annual electricity bills (£120) and AGM costs (£40).
  • Society Budget
    • Insurance – paid - £295
    • NSALG membership – paid - £146
    • Electricity Bills – payable monthly at approx £10 per month
    • AGM / Admin - £40
    • We will decide on e.g. ABAS subscription as and when the need arises -

 

  • Co-operative Balances – the Co-operative has no restricted funds – the balance in all accounts is £ 666 of which £395 is committed to paying the Maher’s order when it is delivered leaving a free balance of £271
  • Co-operative Budget
    • Shop Purchases – initial order is £395
    • FCA Fees - £55 per year (already paid)
    • On subscriptions to the wider Co-op organisations  DJ will write to Co-op UK asking what the benefits are

 

Setting Subscription Levels for 2014 – the Committee will recommend to the members at the AGM that subscriptions remain at 2013 levels - £ 9 / £7 concessions

 

AGM 2014

  • Date and Venue – The AGM will be held in the Finishers at 7.30 p.m. on February 17th 2014
  • The standard agenda is
    • Secretary’s Report
    • Treasurer’s Report
    • Auditor’s Report
    • Acceptance / Rejection of Accounts
    • Election of Officers - Anyone wishing to stand for election to the Committee is invited to put forward their candidacy prior to the AGM
    • Open Day Feedback
    • Any other business which will include – Setting of date for Open Day 2014 - the date of Open Day will be set by members at the AGM. It was proposed that members be presented at the AGM with a list of charities asked to vote which we should adopt for 2014.
  • Members are invited to suggest any other topics for AoB

 

Site Issues

  • New Tenancies / Transfers – these are frozen during the Council review - once the new arrangements are in place the Society will take appropriate actions
  • Site Inspections – the site inspection regime is suspended during the Council review – once the new arrangements are in place the Committee will resume site inspections
  • Vacant ¼ plots – the Council would prefer that we do not have ¼ plots (except as part of community projects. We have two ¼ plots vacant. The holders of the adjacent plots are not interested in taking these plots over.
  • Flooded Plots – The Secretary has reported the flooding to the Council on numerous occasions. She has arranged that neither plot-holder will be billed for rent. These plot-holders will be offered first choice on any full plot that comes up. Environmental Standards have examined the flow of water and believe it is clean i.e. not sewerage nor grey water. Neighbourhood Services have reported the leakage of water (believed to come from Canon’s Close) to United Utilities. Following no reply they asked the Engineer’s Dept to approach UU. They also have made no progress. The Secretary will contact Malcolm Russell again after 12/02. In the meantime the Committee is examining ways in which the flow can be collected and used on the site. Collecting the water should reduce the flooding / water-logging. All solutions to date involve considerable expense.

Glyn Platt will enquire through a contact at United Utilities if anything can be done.

  • Plot 1 and the Polytunnel – Malcom Russell has confirmed that plot 1 has been assigned to the Society at a zero rent per annum. We still need (as part of the grant funded project) to build and place the raised beds on plot 1 – DJ will purchase the wood and start the building at the start of February. Management of the polytunnel will be by Barry Savage and Tom Liptrot. Richard Isted has offered to be involved. It was reported that people were under the misimpression that the manure pile on plot 1 is purely for that plot and that members cannot help themselves. This is untrue. The only restriction is that the Sec asked if members could restrict themselves to 5 barrow-loads. Barry Savage has offered to put up a sign on the plot saying this. The Secretary enquired whether she should order a second delivery at a cost of £50. The Committee decided against this. The Treasurer reported that someone had removed some of the sharp sand in the bags on plot 1. This sand is for the raised beds only.
  • Water switch on 2014 – this should take place in March – no date has been announced
  • Opening the Shop – it was agreed that the shop will open every Sunday from 12.00 – 1.00 p.m. starting on 02/03. The Secretary will draw up a rota.

 

Other matters

  • Choosing Vegetable for the Annual Competition – we have chosen the COURGETTE

 

 

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