Gardens & wildlife

RHS Minutes 2021-01-19

Minutes of the Round Hill Society Committee meeting, Tuesday 19th January 2021

Present (for all or part of meeting): Summer, Jo, Jamie, Andrew, Kate R, Eva, Gary, Stefania. Apologies: Kate W, Rob, Jan

Next meeting: Tuesday 9th February 7 pm

October meeting minutes – summed up by Andrew (previously circulated) and agreed. The action to add a piece in the Reporter about drug use in the neighbourhood was completed.

Treasurer’s Report – circulated by Andrew prior to the meeting. We have a reasonable amount in the coffers due to not spending much, although there is little income either. Most business is now conducted online, however due to Miriam’s departure a third person is needed to sign cheques, along with Andrew and Rob when necessary (any two out of the three). Jo volunteered to be the third signatory.

• Action - Andrew to arrange change of signatories with our bank.

Toad signage – full discussion postponed until Kate W is with us. It is difficult to do anything at the moment due to Covid restrictions. The discussion broadened to take in initiatives for Nature 2021 and a sparrow and/or swift census were mentioned.

• Action - Kate R to discuss with Kate W which nature ideas can be shared on Facebook and other appropriate channels.

Bike parking and security issues – Summer has been actively exploring ideas. Thanks to her making contact with Simon from the Council, we have 10 high quality bike locks to distribute locally. The council has also promised to pay for a visit from Dr Brighton (whom we have used on previous Play Safe activities) once social events can resume. In the medium term, the Council are more likely to consider funding for repurposing existing spaces for bike storage, rather than a new storage structure (although that is not ruled out). There may be issues with siting because we are in a Conservation Area. We agreed we might consider supporting any bids financially (although probably not meeting the total cost) once more details are available. The project needs to be driven by four or five people in the community (not the committee), perhaps registering their interest with Summer.

• Actions - Summer to continue to develop ideas to establish a small group from the community to drive this forward;

• Explore the possibility of corporate funding from (for example) Sainsbury’s and Veolia;

• Kate R to share information with Dom and Jane to ensure that any bike storage scheme does not interfere with the Greening Project; • Advertise the bike locks in the next Reporter with information on how to contact Summer.

Vision for 2021 - we had a wide-ranging discussion on ways to connect the society with the community we serve, especially in the period before we can arrange social events once again. The items above on Nature 2021 and bike storage also relate to this aim. • Actions - Jamie to explore further community use of the Zoom account including potential for online quizzes or a book club; • Andrew to monitor planning applications in our area with an eye on those that might have a significant impact including but not exclusive to environmental and conservation issues. We agreed that our knowledge of, and access to, the shared google drive and email account is hampering our desire to be more efficient and effective as a committee. • Action - Summer and Stefania to work together to produce a set of simple instructions for the committee on how to use the shared drive and how to share documents.

Communal bin consultation – Kate R reported on the concerns raised by local residents with Councillor Pete West and a resulting invitation to them to present at the Environment Committee on 19 January. We understand that public consultation is likely in the near future. We agreed that it might not be appropriate for us as a committee to take a position on this, but that it would be right for us to do all we can to make sure that our local community have the opportunity to make their views known as part of consultation, and for the committee to reflect the views of the local community in our own communications. • Actions - Summer offered to work out where bins are likely to be put and contact people close to these locations; • Kate R to get feedback from local residents who attended the Environment Committee and share this with the committee; • This to be a main item at our next meeting. Note: The Argus has since reported on the council meeting and the deputation from residents:

Website: Andrew reported that the society has now taken over payment for both the web name and the hosting package. Our web developer has created a pilot area for us to test our planned new site within the existing web domain, thus establishing the principle that we can achieve our aim of having a ‘micro-site’ without having to pay for a second domain. The web developer has also twice in past year resolved issues with the display of images on current site. He is willing to work with us on the next steps. • Action - Stefania will arrange a meeting of the website sub group as soon as possible. • Website to be a standing item from now on.

Long wall: We noted Rob’s update by email. • Action - Kate R will discuss ideas including possible artwork. Summer to assist.

Dog stencils - Eva raised this under AoB: • Action - Eva to buy more paint as required which the committee will fund on production of receipts. The use of the stencils will be prioritised in areas of greatest need (i.e. pollution).

Covid Mutual Aid: Stefania has been asked if she wishes to become a local representative for the group. This would support closer integration between the mutual aid group and the committee but is a major time commitment. We offered committee support through existing (and future) communications channels, including consideration to paying for fliers if appropriate (the cost of the fliers for the AGM was £15, for example). • Action - Stefania to update the committee at the next meeting; • Mutual aid should be a major item for discussion at the next meeting, and a standing item from now on.

Agenda items for 9 February will therefore include: Communal bins and proposals for consultation. Mutual Aid group and future support from the society and committee (standing item from now on). Website progress (standing item from now on). Nature conservation and wildlife initiatives.

Meeting closed at 8.50pm.

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