logo Minutes of tenth Annual General Meeting held on
25 April 2017 in Wesley Methodist Church

1. Welcome.

The Chair welcomed everyone. About 60 people attended. Several regular members and Anthony French expressed their apologies for absence.

2. Minutes of 2016 AGM and matters arising.

No objections.

3. Treasurer's report.

Sarah Green presented her report for the financial year running from 1st Jan to 31 December. For the 2016 year we started the year with £549.80 and ended it with £570.36. Since 31 December we have incurred further expenditure, and I am very pleased to say received a small grant from Cambridge City Council for 2017/2018 for £370.00, so that our credit balance as at today is £456.79.

Summary of transactions in 2016

Records show that we received £1216. We were extremely grateful to receive a grant of £445 from the City Council last year to buy seeds, plants and hedging and contribute to running costs such as accident insurance for volunteers, petrol for the mower and maintenance and replacement tools used in the orchard. We also received £100 in membership fees and £671 in donations, including £100 from the Beth Shalom Synagogue which neighbours the orchard, and several private donations from members for which we are very grateful!

We spent £1195.22 including £415 for a sit on mower for orchard including delivery; £213.16 Insurance for members working on the Common and tools; £75 for hire of hall for AGM; £492.06 on seeds plants and hedging, tools and parts, swift boxes and a bat boxes and other small items like jute, twine and labels.

Plans for 2017/8 and budget.

We are not planning to buy any large items this year so we will just incur our usual running costs of insurance, hall hire for our AGM, petrol for the mower and upkeep of tools, and we will also buy more plants and bulbs for the orchard. We applied to the City Council for a grant to part fund these, and as I said at the start I am very pleased that our application was successful and we were awarded £370.00. We will aim to fund the balance of £100 or so from new memberships and donations. We are always grateful for any small contributions from members and there are a few collecting jars on the tables tonight! We see no need to ask members for subscriptions this year.

Copies of the accounts were available for members at the meeting. Thanks were given to Andrew Entiknap for examining our accounts.

4. Election of Honorary Officers.

All three serving officers were willing to stand for re-election and no other nominations had been received. Thus the following were proposed by Trevor Hollinger and seconded by Barry Higgs without dissent:

  • Chairman: Susan Stobbs
  • Secretary: Charles Hattersley
  • Treasurer: Sarah Green

5. Election of Committee.

In addition to the Honorary Officers, the following were proposed as Committee members by Susan Stobbs and seconded by Trevor Hollinger: Ismail Akram, Raymond Gay, Josephine Hesselwood, Caroline Lenoury and Dick Baxter remain co-opted as archivist and Orchard Manager. Two further nominations had been received: Mr Cary Parker and Ms Jools Petrie-Symes. There were no other volunteers and no votes against. FOMC wish to thank Amy Tillson, a retiring Committee member, for her contributions over the years on the committee and say she will be missed.

It was subsequently pointed out by the archivist that the Constitution allows for only 8 committee members. To regularize the arrangements the officers agreed to count Jools Petrie-Symes as a second co-opted member, should any formal voting by the Committee be needed.

6. Chair's Report.

The Chair presented her Report.

7. Open Forum.

Anna Smith, Chair of the Cambridge City Council Open Spaces Committee, commented on the remarks by the Chair about the potential increase in the number of large events on the Common. She explained that a Consultant had been engaged to review the use of the City’s Open Spaces for commercial and charity events, but there would be a lot if input from local groups before any decision for change would be made. There was some discussion about the legal implications. It was noted that we have had slightly less charity events on the Common over the last two years after FoMC had encouraged the Council to relocate some to other open spaces. This had been generally welcomed and it was hoped that the numbers would not increase again.

A question was asked about the installation of lighting studs along the new paths. The Chair commented that overhead lighting on the Common was not going to be increased, but provision for some stud lighting along cycleways had been included in the plan for the paths. Ed Cearns from the County Council agreed to check this.

Barry Higgs expressed severe disappointment that parking on the Common outside Fort St George and Midsummer House had still not been sorted out satisfactorily and urged decisive action.

The newly upgraded paths were praised. Additionally it was hoped that the 'trodden' desire paths would not be paved. The Chair commented that this was not likely. Around the new paths there appears to be an excessive amount of hardcore left after the upgrade work.

It was commented that when running events arrive on MSC they tend to arrive via Fair Street gate and excessive rubbish is scattered. Could temporary bins be deployed at such times? Strawberry Fair clearing up was questioned and Martin Twiss (from the SF management) assured the meeting that they were working to improve this process. A stakeholder meeting will take place on 2 May at which FOMC will be present.

A suggestion was made about the possibility of tying back gates during no cattle periods as it was noticed that pedestrians flowed more easily. This was greeted with some caution.

8. Any Other Business.

There was no other business.