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Minutes of 12th November General Meeting

Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014

Minutes from Meeting 12th November 2014.

31 Attendees

Present:

J Pollard (Chairman), E Burrows (Temp.secretary/Membership), A Butler ( Treasurer), P Owen (PR/Publicity), L Williams, B Williams, H Limb, S Matthews, J Arkwright, B Taylor, C Morrell, G Oakes, B Oakes, P Wolstenholme, V Wolstenholme, C Healey, C Healey, R Wilson, F Heron ,J Skitt, G Skitt, F Campbell, A Bent ,R Bent, N McLean, T McLean, D Jefferies,J Harrison, H Shaw,N Bokhari.

 

1/ Apologies for absence received from:

Derek & Margaret Brennan, Iain Roberts, Charles Booth (by email received after meeting), Nigel Bent, Edwina Baher, Diane McVicker

2/ Minutes from the meeting of 10/09/2014 approved and signed off.

John announced resignation of the secretary for the past 12 years, Paula Isherwood. He read out his letter of thanks on behalf of the Group for her diligence and hard work over those years. The meeting acknowledged and thanked her for her many contributions.

3/ Matters Arising:

Reed mace removal from pond carried out on October 9, November 11 & 13th..

Pond cleared at South Path end, and in the main channel by the Conservation Volunteers, without whose help this task would be almost impossible.

First Aid Course – The Group needs an extra trained member. Heidi Limb has volunteered to go and will be put forward for next training session

SMBC reconsidering course on use of Mechanical Tools - Alan Butler and Peter Owen to go on course when it is finalised

Community Orchard - Greengage Trees need to be moved as they are blocking the course of the mowers in the pathways between the other trees (Anthony Crook dealing with) – as these are memorial trees and have been donated – we need to find out if council will replace these trees if they die after being removed and replanted.

New Road Signs have been installed during October on the main road in Gatley to further highlight our location.

Lorna Grove Steps - email received from elderly resident of Mitchell Close ref difficulty of access for disabled visitors – J.P. has responded and Public Right of way officer dealing with case has been contacted by Iain Roberts. We have been advised this has been classed as "High Priority" under 2014/15 budget.

Successful Japanese Knotweed treatment was carried out during September

Wild Flower meadow (WFM)- awaiting date from J. Rowlands imminently (SMBC)- ref cutting and then we need to arrange and confirm Task Days to clear the cut hay to prevent damage to the meadow.-( likely to be 23/11/14 for Task Time.)

4/ Treasurers Report

Healthy Bank Balance reported of £3,316.13

Fletcher/Foam Concrete Ltd Bench still not been billed as yet remains unpaid.

Halloween Event raised £603.00.

5/ Correspondence

WFM - Communication received from John Rowlands (SMBC) that Council will spray the Meadow early 2014 to kill Thistles. Numerous communications received from members of the public expressing their dismay at the poor condition and unsightly state it is now in after several years of neglect.

Council will spray treat and seed - we will pay for seed as well.

Christmas Tree on The Carrs

JR (SMBC) likes idea but has warned it has to be a native species - Scottish Pine has been suggested. Suggested that a tree be planted on entrance to the field where the Willow once stood, it has been agreed and purchased.

The idea is that the local community will decorate the tree each year with nature inspired decorations which can be taken down afterwards to encourage conservation of insects etc.

Green Flag Award

We will reapply in 2016 as our current Award is for two years, namely 2014/15. JP to reply to email received in regard to this.

Greenspace AGM - PO and JP to attend 20/11/14 - notification only just received of date.

Gatley Village Partnership (GVP) – Litter-pick - GVP have approached us to help carry out a litter-pick in Gatley - agreed GCCG will participate - EB to contact and liase.

Burt Cross resident of Michell House contacted re steps (see above note in Matters Arising) EB to arrange to visit Burt and discuss what GCCG are doing to assist..

6/ Task Day

Pencilled in 23/11/14 for clearance of WFM - this totally depends on if cut by then

7/ Events

Halloween Event (Peter Owen) – Reported on a fabulously successful event - making over £600 in profit towards conservation tasks on the Carrs – an excellent community turnout and links being established. Many people now asking "when is the next event.

Full report on the website.

Teddy Bears Picnic (Fiona Campbell) - Vernon and GMP Bears attended - great old fashioned fun - this was the springboard for our events and we are sure the amazing success of the Halloween event was due in part to word of mouth of recommendation from people who had attended the TBP in August.

8/ Gatley Christmas Stall (Emma Burrows)

GVP have approached to see if we will run a stall at their event on 29/11- no cost to participate, but they requested a prize be donated to their tombola, we are giving a year’s membership pack and 2 RSPB books.

Volunteers requested to run this and to contact us after by e-mail or mark on the evening’s attendee list if they are able to help. Stall to be used to promote the Carrs and to encourage people to sign up as members.

9/ Social Media, Website use, etiquette and benefits

Explained by Angela and Rachel Bent; Facebook page is now a closed site to prevent excessive “Spam” and commercial intrusion. Rachel explained that Facebook is effectively a “public noticeboard” so should be used for informative and positive comments ref the Carrs, any individual member who has a personal complaint or issue should contact the Carrs committee to seek resolution rather than use this public forum to post remarks which are of a negative or derogatory nature.

If someone has something to say regarding a Facebook post which they feel is incorrect, they should email the person directly rather than comment on the post.

The Facebook Codes Of Practice was bought for reference which clarifies this.

The site will be re-opened to all members but care with conduct will be monitored to protect the Group. People who do not follow the Code of Practice will be removed.

We have now had over 1000 hits on the GCCG website, so traffic is growing and people are looking us up. The site needs constant updates and input.

JP to give AB lists of Flora and Fauna.

PO has supplied bird list for inclusion.

10/ Programme for 2015 - see website for further details.

11/ GCCG and Commercial Products.

JP expressed concerns that this is not overdone.

Discussion from the room felt that if it helped raise funds for conservation these ideas need considering.

GCCG have produced a Calendar which was unveiled to group.

All group agreed it was a great idea and were most receptive with many orders being placed.

Calendars will be available at the Christmas Event on our Stall. Cost £9.50 - profit £5

Our heartfelt thanks to photographers, Nadeem Bokhari (applauded) and “Slideshow John”, who both gave their photographs without copyright restrictions to the Group,

Thanks to Peter Owen and Emma Burrows for production.

Peter Owen totally financed this to ensure GCCG had no financial risk exposure. Many thanks to Peter Owen for his leap of faith!

Mugs, T shirts, fleeces discussed - differing opinions - general consensus was that people were receptive as long as conservation remained the driving force.

Jim Arkwright gave Emma Burrows contact details to get Fleeces and T Shirts made up to half price as we are a local Group (Galley Design and Print, Stonepail Road - Andy) - EB will cost.

12/ Future Of WFM - as mentioned in section (5) - Correspondence.

Main issue is the dominance of thistles and costs/problems of their removal.

More discussions with SMBC to follow to decide the best way forward.

13/ AOB

Jeff Skitt suggested a gift for P Isherwood - explained we have already suggested nomination for Voluntary award but this was declined, as well as other gift ideas.

Decided a tree may be an apt token of appreciation as a gesture of thanks for her work over the past 12 years. JP to discuss with Paula, (she has since accepted that a tree, a Hornbeam, be placed on the Carrs as recognition of her work).

Alan Butler has a contact who can cut up and remove the Goat Willow - concerns as to it replanting itself in the pond had been raised which will happen if it is left as currently is.

Went to vote - Majority voted to remove.

Michelle Inward placed a Grow Wild Funding Application on the FB page - JP has viewed but didn’t agree to it being followed up as application closes in three weeks and has to be for a new project. Both WFM and Pond have been suggested to be used for the application.

EB to contact MI and try and arrange a meet with JP,PO and MI to discuss.

E Burrows expressed concern at second dog running off from the Carrs and being killed on the M56. Latchworth’s dog Henry was killed on Sunday on the motorway.

Signs are to be put up advising owners to keep dogs on their leads once past the D going towards the 39 Steps.

Annie Marchant expressed this earlier in year after Bruno was killed but was told there was nothing we GCCG could do to minimise this.

AB and EB to make signs and install.

Follow up with SMBC and see if there is anything else that could be done as this may have led to an RTA.

14/ Date of next Meeting - 14th January 2015

H&F closing for refurbishment in Jan for approx 2 months - EB to approach Coffee Fix and see if we can hold meeting there. EB to confirm.

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