logo Minutes of a Committee meeting
held on 29 October 2020


Present: Dick Baxter (Chair), Steve Cheek (Secretary), Peter Gotham (Treasurer), Jeremy Francis, Sue Gordon-Roe, Charles Hattersley.

Venue: Zoom video conference hosted by Jeremy Francis.

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

  • Charitable status. Dick presented a paper with his findings from discussion with Peter and outside authorities and his conclusion was that charitable status would not be in FoMC's best interest. Peter presented a dissenting view. Committee members present were asked to vote and, since there was no majority to pursue the matter further, FoMC would remain unchanged. Dick decided that without the support of his officers he could no longer continue as chair of FoMC and resigned.
  • With Dick’s departure, the committee members present decided to hold a committee vote on installing Jeremy Francis as our interim/acting Chair until a General Members meeting is held in mid-2021. Actions: Steve to circulate an email to the committee proposing that Jeremy serve as Chair until the next AGM. Peter agreed to provide more details around the insurance protection, as some members are particularly concerned whether they have sufficient personal liability coverage.

2. The Orchard Sign

After seeing a picture of the sign we all agree it is great. Good job Peter.

3. Newsletter

It was decided to increase the distribution amount to 300 next time and to set up a system recording areas circulated to ensure widest coverage over the next few newsletters, and consider how best to use the laminated copies. It was decided that a March Spring Edition would be the next, thus skipping a Winter edition. Actions: Steve agreed to ask new members how they heard about FoMC. It could be that the newsletter is effective in gaining new members. Steve agreed to vary the distribution areas this time to achieve wider coverage. Steve to find a contact point in Berkeley Homes as they have indicated an interest in receiving the newsletter.

It was decided that, after the fine editing job Rosica did last time, we will ask her to provide her expertise into the future. Action: Steve to ask Rosica to be the official editor.

4. Regarding the priority of biodiversity issues

Midsummer Common as a potential Local Nature Reserve: Guy Belcher has suggested that part of Midsummer Common could become a LNR with a location on the NE / Cutter Ferry bridge side of the Common as a possible pilot location and a stepping stone to possible future plots. Action: Jeremy to set up a meeting with Guy Belcher and will invite Steve

5. Orchard

Every Sunday in November there will be a volunteer opportunity in the Orchard - this is a special request for concentrated work needed for pruning. After November, this will transition back to once per month. Dick, the orchard manager, is well aware of the need to respect the Government’s Covid rules that are in place from time to time.Action: Steve to circulate news updates e.g., rain cancellations and schedule changes, to Orchard regular volunteers.

6. Treasurer’s Report

Peter introduced a revised budget, as circulated to the Committee, that reflects expenses that were not initially anticipated e.g., the new small mower and the newsletter, but also reports costs running below budget, including meeting and sign costs. There were no questions raised, and the revised budget and report on receipts and payments to date was therefore agreed.

Peter advised that the Council has asked that we review our Health and Safety and Diversity and Equal Opportunity policies that appear to have last been reviewed some years ago. Dick has added suggested policies to the website. Action: Steve to request Committee agreement to these policies.


Steve Cheek (Secretary)
10 November 2020.



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