Notes on Annual General Meeting, 23rd Jan 2014

Meeting at Delice Deli (Chaired by Sue)

We started by going round the table introducing ourselves as we had three new people come to the AGM. One of these people was Malcolm who is going to be seconded in April to a new organisation supporting businesses in the community and we’ll hopefully be hearing more from him over the next few months.

Financial report: We have £1524.83 in building society account which currently looks healthy but £1184 of this is already committed to the community allotment projects from the Area Forum funding. Paul is standing down as treasurer. He said he would like to have reported at meetings more frequently.

Appointment of Treasurer. In lieu of any burning desire from anyone else to be Treasurer, Steve and Caroline both volunteered for the post. Caroline asked if we could have a cheque book, but Paul said that the Loughborough building doesn’t do chequing accounts. Phil and Caroline both wondered if we could move to another bank with an account that had multiple co-signatories on cheques. Phil also said he’d be happy to consider being the treasurer in a year’s time but he doesn’t have the time to take it on this year. No strong objections to moving account. Sue suggested a finance subcommittee but in the meantime Steve will hold the Treasurer’s folder. Decided on having an interim finance subgroup consisting of Paul, Steve, Caroline and Sue to work on moving the account somewhere else.

£70 donation from Quakers. Sue said she’d asked on the Google Group for suggestions which came up with ideas of either an infra red (IR) camera for energy saving promotions or the production of a tip sheet on saving energy. With £70 the IR camera isn’t a realistic option, so Sue suggested using the money to pay for an energy savings leaflet.  Money shouldn’t be used to just pay for meeting spaces.  Phil asked if there was a deadline for spending it – Sue said that there wasn’t a deadline as such but she’d need to report back on it. Phil also said that there’s a lot of information leaflets already and questioned whether we need to make yet another? Sue then said that it could be spent on Transition Leicester Footpaths course books to encourage more people to take part in such courses. Decided to come back to this decision after the May open homes energy saving event.

Revising the original Transition Loughborough guidelines. Malcolm questioned whether these principles showed what TL actually did? Jon said that when the guiding principles were written we hadn’t done anything so the principles couldn’t include such a list, and what we do changes over time. It was also pointed out the guiding principles are possibly more suitable for internal consumption in TL than for public documents. No strong desire to revise our guidelines (other than Martha wanting a semi-colon rather than a comma in the first one!), nor change our current status on the Transition Network. Phil and Paul both felt that TL should be more structured with a Treasurer and a secretary and/or a formal constitution in order to attract grants. No consensus on this at this meeting so we will discuss having a constitution or not on the Google Group and we will organise quarterly general meetings in the future, the first of which can focus on this question.

Diana said that the councils are doing more green promotions now (such as teaching school children about growing, Loughborough in Bloom, etc). Caroline said that CBC have a new allotment manager who she’s been talking to about getting TL posters and events such as the seed swap publicised there. Marie French is Tulu’s replacement and she’s been running a consultation at the moment. Sue asked if she should contact Marie to see if Tulu’s committee would be resurrected – no objections to that. Jon pointed out Leicestershire Together‘s carbon reduction strategy is now in place and the implementation of the strategy is up for consultation until tomorrow.

Energy Sub-group report: Caroline and Phil reported on the projects we’ve got under way: solar PV discount scheme is still open, which puts local people in touch with New World Solar and TL gets a donation of upto £100 per installation which help fund some TL schemes. This has saved 12,000kg of CO2 and generated enough electricity to power six homes. Caroline also said that the energy group have recently met and produced a group response to the CBC climate local consultations. Phil introduced the new Loughborough Energy Efficient Homes scheme that we’ve recently had a £2K grant from Centre for Sustainable Energy to run. We’ll have a training day, public liablity insurance and information in March to help get people involved. Phil said that we’re looking for people with energy efficiency measures that they have implemented in their homes, including everything from high cost measures such as solar panels down to low cost simple ideas such as thermal curtains and draught excluders. We’ll be also looking for volunteers to help run the scheme on the day and we need at least six households to take part.

Hearts, Minds and Community: Sue said that hearts and minds, or “inner transition”, is about behaviour change. Community is links with councils and other local organisations. The Footpaths groups come under hearts and minds. Some TL members have developed close links with a variety of minority community groups. Sue also has links with Charnwood Youth Council and Carpenters Arms. Sue is also looking to do a workshop funded by the Quakers on spirituality and sustainability.

Transport: Jon said we’d done cycle workshops earlier in the year, but we’ve held off since then because lots of other groups in the town are doing them now. Sue suggested forming a link with Action for a Better Charnwood about having them making inputs in local transport issues. Ginny suggested discussing this on the Google Group.

ACTION: Sue to explain how an ABC-TL link up on transport issues could work on the Google Group.

Skill sharing: Steve said that a bird box workshop has been suggested but only has a couple of people keen on doing it, although Martha said there’s a national bird box making week in Feb. Steve said that if less than six people say they are interested in a workshop its not really worth organising based on his experience of running workshops last year. We do have a seed swap day planned on 8th Feb in the morning in the library (which coincides with national library day).

ACTION: Martha to email Steve details of the bird box making week.

Food & Gardens: We have a community allotment with three plots on King George Road, and Andy will be running a workshop on the community allotment on 23rd March. We’ve been involved with providing support to a Fruit Route project, will be taking part in Loughborough in Bloom again and doing a fruit tree pruning. F&G meetings are on first Thursday of each month – Steve offered to get a room in Fearon Hall for the next meeting. Some TL folk are going to Transition Chesterfield’s potato day to see how it works. There’s an Exotic Fruit & Veg workshop planned in May involving a professional Garden Organic present telling us about different crops found as part of their “Sowing New Seeds” initiative. Leicestershire Local Food Festival will be in September this year. There will possibly be a steering group set up for the community orchards. Lastly we briefly discussed clash between Energy Group Open Homes weekend and the Exotic Fruit and Veg event but it was decided to take that decision outside of this meeting.

ACTION: Steve, Caroline and Phil to discuss between themselves about which weekend each event can be on.

Date of next general meeting is Thursday 8th May at 7pm, hopefully at Fearon Hall if Steve can book it.

ACTION: Steve to book Fearon Hall for Thu 8th May for the General Meeting and confirm booking dates to Jon to go on the TL calendar.

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