Held in the Pulteney Arms, 30 March 2023
The Committee: Ian Critchley, Henry Ford ( Chair) , Ian Hervé, Suzanne McCarraher, Erica Timothy, Julia Virley, and 30 members, including a councillor, Dr Yukteshwar Kumar)
2: From the Chair: (HF)
A slide show to remind the members of the achievements over the past 3 years.
1: Objects : The gargoyle, the sundial, the stand pipe cover
2: Emergency recovery: tree loss over the years after storms and natural loss.
3: General maintenance : refilling gaps in the hedge , pruning and enhancing entrances, particularly Sunderland Street
4: Memorial Garden : Clearing the Pond, removing laurel and establishing the front beds, maintaining the entrance beds, establishing a new rose bed, preparing the ground for the new insect friendly bed, continuing the work on the woodland bed.
Thanks: The Council Parks Team, The Volunteers, Local Sponsors including the Hotels and Pulteney Arms, The Community Police officers and the Police for keeping us informed, and most importantly you, the Members.
Specifically: Over the last few years, the general maintenance of the park has been kept up and it is now a safe place for the community to relax in. Drug use is a constant but at a low level, and overnight sleeping in tents a rare occurrence. Covid has made us all aware of the importance of green spaces for rest, relaxation and activity.
3: Finance: (ICC)
3.1: Spending Programme: What is the money spent on: The projects outlined later in the agenda, dependant on the Council’s priorities for the park
3.2: Subs : Should we increase the subs to £ 10? This would potentially double our income, but it was agreed after comment from Fiona and ET questioned whether it was in the interest of the FoHP to increase the fees as it might exclude some from joining and therefore participating and feeling part of the community. Wording could encourage people to put in more: “ a minimum of £5” should be prominent. A proposal was offered from the chair, but there was no proposer nor seconder, and no vote.
3.3: Fundraising for specific targets this year and next will be announced after the Council have reported back ( see the proposed targets below).
3.4: World Heritage: Peter Turner (Ex-Councillor for the ward) pointed out that the UNESCO World Heritage programme recognises green spaces as important for the city’s two World Heritage awards and he has agreed to liaise with the committee to explore this opportunity for fundraising.
3.5 Balance Sheet:
Funds as at 2nd April 2022 £3669.35
Funds as at 30th March 2023 £4848.30
Annual subs @ £5 c£650
Miscellaneous donations throughout the year, c£750
plus unknown payees
Sales of 196 calendars (most at £7 each) £1300 Total £2700
RJ Dynamics for annual pond clean out £185
Several new gardening tools, hose pipe reel etc. £171
Annual insurance cover £135
Calendars and envelopes (x220) £626
Miscellaneous plants/shrubs for entrance beds £84
Leaflets (£75), SWIB brochures (£29) postcards (£137) £241
Jubilee tree plaque £42
Volunteer evening at Pulteney Arms £50 Total £1534
Period 02.04.22 to 30.03.23
Total credits £2700.50 Total debits £1485.58 Net gain £1215. Balance at 30.03.23 £4848.20
4: Membership: (IH)
Membership has held up well with 126 fully paid up members and some 30 members unpaid but kept on the books for their continued interest, some having moved away but still retain an interest in what goes in in the Park.
5: Council Liaison (ICC):
The Council’s liaison officer, Jeremy Dymond was made redundant in 2022 and the proposed route for contacting the Council was inadequate. We now contact the Parks team directly ( Paul Pierce and Jane Robson ) making sure that our contact is kept to a necessary minimum. The lack or response remains disappointing, but we recognise that as 85% of the council’s money is spent on Social Care the council is strapped for cash. It was commented that the Park provides a crucial function in the wellbeing of those who use it.
The pond pumps were an example of how we have helped to fix a long running problem of failure: over the years the original filter system and pumps had been replaced by a Heath-Robinson arrangement of pumps designed to be used for only 3 hrs at a time, and the filters were not cleaned. Having realised the problem we have used proper pumps designed for the purpose. The filters still need emptying regularly.
6.1: May 7: Coronation Party : A small event preceding the several others in the area, – Holburne, Daniel St, Forrester Road etc.
6.2: Sept 4: Main fundraising Party in the Park: to raise money for whichever the Council agree is our next target.
6.3: December: Carols in the Park: Date to be arranged
7: Organisational Projects:
A number of Projects have been outlined for the next year suitable for small teams to organise.
7.1: Restoration of the Benches
7.2: Website, Social media
7.3: Wildlife Recording and Pest Control: Bats, Birds, Butterflies, Plants, Insects
7.4: Historical Book based on the research done by two of our members.
We have had offers for Bench restoration and Bat recording
7.6: The Committee : Council Liaison (Politics), Events, Chair, Volunteer organisation
7.7: Liaising with other Groups : Friends, SW Initiatives etc.
8: Garden Projects:
8.1: The Arbour
8.2: The New Memorial Bed
8.3: Pergola maintenance
9 : Your Park Needs You
Special Plea for new committee members to work in association with the current members
In particular Council Liaison and Events, Wildlife recording, Social Media.
With this, the meeting was concluded and some members adjourned to the Bar