AGM 6 April 2022
The AGM was well attended and significantly exceeded the 30 members needed to be quorate. All votes were carried.
• Minutes of the 2021 AGM were approved
• Accounts for 2021 were approved and have since been filed with the Charity Commission
• All trustees standing were re-elected: Jennie Kettlewell (Chairman), Silvi Spassov (Treasurer), Rhoddy Wood (Secretary), Nigel Brockmann (governance), Graham Franklin (member database), Sandra French (art exhibition), Nicholas Hopkins (website), Joy Puritz (editor), Andy Walker (park observer)
• Roger Foreman was re-elected as independent examiner
Andy Walker reported on achievements in 2021: completion of stage 1 of Holland House conservation, improvements to the Dry Garden started, trees planted along the north edge of the sports field and new signage for the Kyoto Garden. Rhoddy Wood reported there were 940 paid-up members at the end of 2021, fewer than pre-Covid numbers, but now starting to increase as live events recommence. Margaret Rhodes explained the newsletter delivery system, thanked those who deliver the newsletters and asked for more volunteers. Two members offered to help.
Chairman, Jennie Kettlewell, explained that, although we all appreciate the park as a wonderful safe green space to enjoy in many different ways, there are significant challenges. Since the start of the pandemic, visitor numbers have increased. It is wonderful that the park is of benefit to so many, but the consequence is compaction of soil and erosion of grass. Solutions previously used only work for a season and then need redoing, so radical solutions are needed. Radical solutions are also needed to cope with frequent drought, with occasional torrential rain which can cause significant water run-off and flooding where it has no right to be. We would like to see rain absorbed as close to where it falls as possible. Tree felling had been more drastic than anticipated and, though tree planting has started, more needs to be done.
Thanks were given to the French family for another successful art exhibition, to the trustees for their tireless work in running the charity, to Sir Angus Stirling for his wise advice and to the members for their loyalty and support, without which The Friends could not operate.
Photo Jennie Kettlewell