logo Minutes of a Committee meeting
held on 20 August 2020

Present: Dick Baxter (Chair), Steve Cheek (Secretary), Peter Gotham (Treasurer), Rosica Bates, Jeremy Francis, Charles Hattersley.

Venue: Zoom video conference hosted by Jeremy Francis.

1. Minutes of previous meeting on 18 May and matters arising

  • Charitable status. Peter had distributed notes to the Committee and had spoken to Dick about the way forward. Charitable status would make FoMC more attractive to potential donors and give protection from liability. But it would require changes to the FoMC Constitution with a widening of objectives which might not find general favour. Action: Dick to work with Peter to find an acceptable proposal to present to members at an EGM.
  • Management Plan. Dick reported its submission to the Council. Charles reported on the Council's failure to respond to his complaint about a gathering on the Common. Actions: Dick to seek a response from the Council. Steve and Charles to prepare a strategy for the Midsummer Fair in 2021.
  • Ride on Mower. Dick reported that it still needed some remedial work. Actions: Dick to make the necessary repair and Peter to help improve the shelter.
  • Support for hops. Charles presented ideas. Action: Charles to cost these for approval.

2. Future events on Midsummer Common

There was a general discussion about events on the Common and a pending decision about bonfire night. If Councillors decide to go ahead with fireworks and a fair, the Committee thought a bonfire would be unwelcome on health (coronavirus) and environmental grounds (long lasting damage to the grassland), Actions: Steve to add a sentence to the Newsletter inviting views from members. Dick to make the case to the Council.

3. State of the Midsummer Common

There was a discussion about the growing spread of unwelcome weeds (thistles, nettles, brambles, etc) on the Common which were preventing the safe use of the space by people and animals (particularly dogs). Action: Jeremy to contact Guy Belcher and arrange a meeting to discuss Council nanagement of the Common's environment (especially mowing).

4. First Newsletter

Steve presented his draft which was much appreciated. Action: Steve to have 200 copies printed and members to be directed to it on the website.

5. Financial report

Peter presented his summary and called for allocated items to be implemented. Actions: Dick would liaise with the Council and Sue about a sign for the Orchard. Dick to liaise with Peter about buying and storing protective garments for volunteers. Dick said that the installation of a drinking fountain in the Orchard was no longer planned. Kate (and the Conservators) to be asked about repairs to the cattle ramp in the river.

6. Email communications and courtesy

Charles expressed his anger at the chair's correspondence with the Council.

7. Any other business

The next meeting was scheduled for Thursday 29 October.

Steve Cheek (Secretary)
25 August 2020.