Notes from Quarterly General Meeting, 8th May 2014

QGM held at Roseberry St Peter’s Community Centre, Storer Road, Loughborough on 8th May 2014 7pm-9.30pm.

Present: Steve, Judy, Martha, David, Sue, Caroline, Jon, Barry

Apologies: Ken & Lillian, Paul

Chaired by Judy.

Sub-group Updates

Food & Gardens: allotment going really well with things being sown and planted out now. Got new faces joining in as well. Fruit cage work planned for Friday & Sunday this week. Work parties take place every Wednesday from 5pm.

Transport: Had first meeting at Sue’s house last month. Sue had already met with Nicky Morgan (local MP) about cycle paths and others had contacted local councillors. Putting together information pack about cycle shops and support organisations in the area. Interest about pollution and air quality monitoring.

Energy: Holding the Loughborough Energy Efficient Homes event on 17th & 18th May. Having a promotion for the event with the MEA demonstration vehicle in Loughborough town centre on Sat 10th May. Thinking about draught proofing workshop in late Summer/early Autumn.

Finance Update

Judy has volunteered as treasurer and has the books handed over from Steve. Going to change Loughborough Building Society account so that we’ll have four signatories (Steve, Judy, Sue & Caroline). Fruit cage project is now completely spent up. £277 in the current account, of which £70.29 is a ring fenced donation from the Quakers. Judy budgeted for meetings costs, insurance in August, Winter Feast and other outgoings – total of approx. £550 pa (£280 for main group for insurance, Winter feast and meetings, and £210 is for Food & Gardens based on historical spending). Need to consider start up costs for new groups (Transport) and projects (potato day). We need to raise about £100 to cover insurance by August. So far this year we’ve raised around £120 from donations, which is more than the whole of last year. Biggest spends this year were fruit cage and LEET project, both of which were from ring fenced grants, with smaller spends for seed swaps, workshops, etc.

Thanks given to Paul and Steve for the treasurer work they’ve done so for and to Judy for taking on the role.

Fund raising ideas

Discussed charging for apple pressing events – suggested £10 per session which would raise £100-£120. Could do a “barter” with schools and community groups – free pressing if they let us hold a meeting at their site.  We also discussed taking donations at pressing events and selling juice (although the latter potentially has food hygiene regulation implications at most events).

ACTION: Jon to change the apple pressing booking form to reflect decision to charge £10 per session for community groups.

Martha suggested plant sales to raise funds. Judy suggested we could do plant sales at car boot sales (£7 cost per stall and then sell excess plants). Could also run our own swapping event, allowing people to rehome unwanted items (maybe charge 50p entrance fee?).

Judy said we could provide energy saving advice to community halls in return for a meeting room booking. Caroline said that the CSE provide information on energy saving in community buildings. We talked about helping community groups get Shire grants for energy saving.

Sue said when we give items to friends, neighbours, etc who want to give us money, we could ask them to make that a donation to Transition instead. Sue also said that Quakers will offer grants to environmental groups that the local Quaker group partner with – we’d need to decide if TL wants to work closely with them on something.

Caroline said that collecting pots, pans, etc from students when they leave at the end of the Summer term and then selling them to new students in the Autumn had raised money for other groups in the past. This reduces waste and could raise some income.

ACTION: Jon to talk to contact in University’s sustainability team about this idea.

Barry offered free use of his house in Shepshed if we’d like to hold meetings there to help reduce costs.

Caroline said that the Loughborough Echo had notes on two grants that might be of interest to TL. Also its hoped that in the long term Potato Days will raise some income.

How to make decisions to spend general funds?

Talked about how we can arrange spending funds so that we don’t accidentally double spend money now that we have more than one group active. Suggested that any expenditure from general funds (not ring fenced project money) should be proposed on the Google group after checking with Judy that funds are available and only be spent if there’s no complaints within five days. If there are complaints first try to settle them on the Google group, otherwise raise them at the next quarterly meeting.

Constitution discussion

Discussed the constitution options after discussion on Google group and at previous AGM. Some for, some against, and fairly evenly split. Eventually the meeting decided to adopt a simple constitution with vague aims that won’t constrain us too much.

ACTION: Caroline to reword an existing template constitution from another group and post it on the Google Group for agreement.

Potato Day

The project needs to spend some money on meeting space and leaflets. Need about £150 in approximately September. Planning on having an apron making workshop to help identify volunteers. Once pre-orders come in there will be money to pay for the potato orders. Judy suggested allowing people to pre-order their potatoes early, if we can get a few leaflets to TL members. Steve and Caroline offered to underwrite the initial costs if needed.

Picnic in the Park

35th year of event organised by Charnwood Arts on 14th June 10-12. We don’t have time to much this year, as we’ve already missed the deadline. Sue said we could just have a stall with some leaflets, information, etc. Steve and Caroline said they could staff the stall.

ACTION: Sue to contact Rebecca, the organiser, to see if we can get a late stall.

CYEC Project

Community Youth Energy Catalyst project is looking for groups like TL to mentor young people in environmental issues and help them work on a project that could promote their understanding and help the group. Caroline put in for the scheme on behalf of TL but the nearest young person ready for mentoring is in Birmingham. The CSE (who are the funders) wondered if we could find our own young person in the town? Caroline asked the group to explore their local contacts to see if someone is interested.

ACTION: Everyone to see if any young people aged 16-25 that they know who might want to be involved in this scheme. Needs to be done in the next week though.


LAGS/Fruit Route are organising and event about moths one evening/night with a walk round the Fruit Route later in June. There is also a climate change related arts event organised by RADAR (University Arts) taking in the Edward Barnsley Building (off Epinal Way next to Loughborough College campus) on 12 May, 9 June, 14 July, 11 August and 8 September 5.30-7.30pm.

David raised the concept of wind turbines – he’d written in support of a wind turbine in Burton on the Wolds which has recently got planning permission. David asked if TL could pass similar planning applications on to our members so that they too could write in support of similar applications? Jon said he’d written supported renewables in the past with the approval of the group and if David could provide the information from FoE he could forward it on for members to make individual decisions and provide letters of support if they felt it appropriate.

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