Present: Ruth, Jon, Jason, Emily, Ken, Janet, Harry, Martha, Sue, Suella, Christian
Actions from previous meeting: Sue said COP26 campaigning was going OK and if anyone was interested in take part please contact her still. We were asked by Fearon Hall about the “Have a Go” scheme in October which we’d discussed on the Google Group shortly afterwards but hadn’t decided upon doing anything for.
Jason said we’d just paid public liability insurance. Current account balance is £3812.54 with an aditional cash balance of £326 being held by Martha. Martha said nobody seems to want to restore the polytunnel sheeting so there is £200 from various fund raising to be divided between LAGS and TL (£100 of that is included in the £326 being held).
Caroline has queried some money that was supposed to have come into the account from Leicestershire County Council which it is not clear whether it has arrived (the Carbon Literacy grant). Jason is going to look into it, and have a chat with Steve to work out what some of the incoming/outgoing amounts were in the Loughborough Building Society account.
Jason was proposed as the new treasurer to replace Steve, with the existing four signatories changed to three. Signatories were proposed to be Jason, Janet and Sarah. Sue and Steve to come off as signatories.
Vote: unanimously in favour
Sue said that at one point there was the idea of a back up finance group, which only met once. Sue asked for this to be noted and Jason suggested that the signatories could form such a group.
Carbon Literacy Update
Caroline had sent a note to say we have two more Carbon Literacy courses running in Sept and Oct, with Leicestershire County Council funding. Everyone who submitted pledges for the first County course has passed, and the next batch of pledges has just been submitted to the Carbon Literacy Project group for assessment.
Jason suggested that the constitution is amended to include two meetings. Emily suggested meetings in the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes. This is something that would need to be proposed to an AGM, along with discussing any other changes to the constitution. Sue said the reason for having a formalised constitution in the past was to help with applying for grants and council run projects. Ruth said she supported the idea of formalising regular meetings. Jason suggested starting a Google group thread to discuss these changes. Sue suggested that the person chairing the next meeting should be decided at the previous one and they are responsible for organising the meeting. Agreed that we should hold an AGM in the Autumn. Ruth had talked to Fearon Hall and the Pitt Room would be £40 for two hours if it was possible for it to be face-to-face (given the pandemic situation).
Jon said we have a Repair Cafe pencilled in for 21st August but with the current pandemic conditions holding it is a 50:50 issue up for discussion. We haven’t yet publicly advertised the Repair Cafe, so we only need to tell the repairers and Fearon Hall if we decide not to run it. Harry said that at John Storer House there was a noticable hestiancy of people coming in, despite them having services reopened, and they are looking at the possibility of having to close some of their services in the next few weeks. Emily suggested putting a page on the web site pointing to videos for common repairs. Some of the repairers/volunteers aren’t comfortable about taking part in face-to-face events they don’t absolutely need to at the moment.
Consensus at the meeting was that we should probably cancel this Repair Cafe. Jon will contact the repairers and Fearon Hall.
Potato Day 2022
Janet said it is happening again this year inconjunction with Transition Chesterfield. Steve, Sarah and Jon have already volunteered to help (and others welcome to join in!). Again because of Covid we’re planning on running it along the same lines as 2021, with largely online ordering starting in October ending in early December. We don’t know if we could have a market stall so we’re planning on running without one again this year. Last year we did all the advertising online without posters as the locations we’d normally put posters were closed. Paul had suggested back in 2020 that we could have a voucher for a coffee/tea at Baxter gate which Janet didn’t want to forget about, even if we can’t do that in 2022 due to Covid. Harry said he was happy to promote it on the general community noticeboard in John Storer House.
Jason said it has been an interesting summer at the community allotment. There has been some discussion about the “vision” for the allotment, which is becoming important now so that we know how we’re running the plots next year. Jason suggested setting out in writing how different areas of the allotment are used (shared work areas, small individual plots, what is expected of people coming to the plots, that the plots are all organic). Martha said the Ruth & Luke and others had their own spaces in the past which have worked well alongside the shared gardening space, but that we need to make sure that people aren’t taking over areas that are already being used for shared space and that they’ve met with the garden group so they understand the ethos.
Jason read out the points that Steve had sent to the Google Group. The members at the meeting agreed with all bar his point about dividing the site up into small plots.
Sue pointed out in the early days of the allotment there was a suggestion that the “community” at the allotment should encourage local people from the area around the site. Jason said it is important for people who start growing at our allotment realise that we only take on the plots annually, which is OK whilst we have money and resources to run the plots. Ken said that whilst the micro-plots may sound good in theory, the allotment plots were originally all community space and he felt uncomfortable that he might be stepping onto someone’s space. Ruth offered some of the space that she and Luke use. Both Ken and Martha were against the offering of any small semi-permanent individual plots.
Consensus was that people weren’t happy that the compost bin space was taken down. It was acknowledged that Steve has put lots of work in the plots but that he should not have allocated space to people without consulting the wider group. Jason suggested such consultations could be done via the Google Group which everyone at the meeting agreed with. New members are encouraged to have the same ethos as the wider Transition group (organic, community, peat free, etc) and take part in shared gardening activities/maintenance.
Harvest Period Activities
We’ve only had one approach to use the apple press this year (on a non-public event), which is current stored in the Fearon Hall garage (which is going to be pulled down at some point- Jason will check with Fearon Hall when this might be). Martha said the University is unlikely to run an apple event this Autumn. Janet said she like to be kept in the loop about the apple press as there’s a scratter there that needs fixing.
Emily said the Coop store in Barrow-on-Soar are now taking lots of plastics that can’t be recycled – this doesn’t include the Coop shops in Loughborough and Quorn because that’s a different sort of Coop.
Jason read out Caroline’s note about the Christian Climate vigil at Jane Hunt’s office, as well as for Great Big Green Week in September.
Next meeting: Potentially hybrid (face to face with Zoom option for remote attendance) later in the Autumn, being chaired by Sue (Janet and Jason said she’d volunteered).