logo Minutes of a Committee meeting
held on 15 January 2020

Present: Dick Baxter (Chair), Charles Hattersley (Secretary), Peter Gotham (Treasurer), Sue Gordon-Roe, Kate Hurst, Nick Levine and Sue Woodsford. Apologies from Ros Bates.

Venue: Christ’s College Boathouse courtesy of Kate.

1. Feedback from meeting with the Council

Baxter, Hattersley and Gotham met with two Council officers for a two-way update on current issues and needs. Notes of the meeting are appended below. The Committee discussed these.

2. Money matters

The Treasurer presented the budget. He noted that our current year doesn’t coincide with CCC end-March year; he will discuss adjusting our year end with CCC. The Treasurer presented the accounts. He noted that we are not able to include gifts in kind or financial. Grant input required from Dick regarding a new larger shed. Signing costs for budget - Sue G-R to check for Orchard signs near entrance from Common by cattle trough. Signs elsewhere would need CCC aproval. AGM costs same as in previous years.

3. CIO Incorporated Charity

Peter ran through the benefits and agreed to develop the proposal for presenting at the AGM for approval.

4. PR regarding FoMC

It was agreed that we should work on raising the profile by linking up more closely with other associations that neighbour us, via FoMC announce to our members, and via Nextdoor social media app which already has groups in DeFreville, Riverside etc'.

5. AGM and Committee Officer elections

It was suggested and agreed to slip the AGM into July to enable better preparation for elections and to have the two major events behind us. This is ok within the Constitution. Dick and Charles have said they wish to stand down from posts but will remain on Committee to ensure continuity maintained. Nick will stand down but continue to be associated as co-opted member. Sue Woodsford wishes to stand down. Kate, Sue G-R and Rosica are happy to continue. Suggested new members include Kevin Sampson from Mable Rose boat, Jeremy Francis from De Freville Ave, Richard Warwick from North Terrace who has offered to prepare business plan. We should consider mailing the membership inviting nominations.

6. Next meeting

Scheduled for Wednesday 19 February at 7:30 in Christ’s Boathouse.

Charles Hattersley (Secretary)
17 January 2020.

Notes of a meeting between FoMC officers and Cambridge City Council officers

The meeting was called to enable a two way update on current issues and needs.

Key items

State of the Common

Orchard Licence. This expires on 9 March 2021. "The Council grants FoMC a licence to carry out the Orchard Works at Midsummer Common Community Orchard for a period of five years starting from the 9th March 2016 (“Licence Period”)." This appears to be the basis of our relationship with the City Council and where our Grant stems from.

Biodiversity Policy has been launched within CCC under Exec Councillor Katie Thornburrow. This is already impacting seasonal flower beds which are being changed to contain perennial "wild" flowers and shrubs. This results in a less labour intensive commitment thus releasing the labour force for other work which could embrace the mowing of the orchard? Another change is that no weed killing spraying will be carried out around city streets, trees and such areas. This might have a knock-on effect in future years with weed growth.

We encouraged a planned approach to mowing the Common to control the invasive thistles. Dick to advise CCC ref mowing the orchard.

Midsummer Common Management Plan. The current plan expired in September 2019. CCC are now required to develop management plans as part of the new Biodiversity Policy adopted by CCC in view of the Environmental changes being experienced. To this end they would welcome our involvement in working up an up-to-date plan, bearing in mind our significant contribution to the expired plan. We should involve the Ecology Officer.

Events. The CCC is trying not to add events to the publicised schedule thus enabling cattle to be undisturbed for three month periods. London to Cambridge cycle race has been moved to Parkers Piece. The 10km race in January was a new event. Whilst this is the stated position, we need to keep an eye open. The recent list of events sent out excluded Strawberry Fair because the 'paperwork' hasn’t been completed yet but expected soon. The CCC considering changing some things around and charging event organisers who requested a longer term commitment to enable them to secure sponsorship deals, for example a 5 year deal for the Marathon would enable the per capita charge to be raised annually to the advantage of CCC. Follow up meeting with CCC to be sought soonest to review the shake down meeting. Charles has e mailed a request.

Money. Our Grant doesn’t seem to pass in front of this department. It was suggested that we might adjust our financial year to sync with CCC end-March year.

Illegal parking. The situation seems better recently vs previous years. CCC confirms that the relationship with manager Sheree and Greene King regional manager has been very good apart from the odd relapse. Midsummer House also have better interface person. Positive supervision of visiting vehicles by the pub and fine dining restaurant would be very desirable as it would appear they seem to think allowing barrier to be opened and closed is their only responsibility. It would be useful if we had knowledge of the protocol/agreement around operation of barrier, who has keys, codes or whatever and what are they required to do to manage the access. Some issues were noted wrt the keys in circulation for Residents of Narrow Boats, they have right to have occasional access for deliveries and maintenance. Management of the keys by CCC seems to have got out of control so they reigning in the situation. These are not the raising barrier as used by Businesses. We seldom notice vehicles attending narrow boats.

Cycling on footpaths. A Cycling and Walking Officer is due to be recruited soon to fill the post vacated by the officer who has moved to County Council and will work with the new Officer. Perhaps we can get one of these to address our AGM.

Water drinking 'fountains'. Section 106 money is available and being put into this project around Cambridge. There is a project manager so it would be good for Dick to engage as he provided a lot of input to Cllr Tim Bick, in cahoots with Kate Thornburrow. The Community Orchard is on the list, approx 6 altogether.

CCC Enforcement team exists.