Annual General Meeting – 17 March 2016 - Gipsy Queen PH

Present:     Hilary Percival, Claire Percival, Philip Sandall, Jim Parks, Keith Percival, Jan Rapetti, Lauren Miller,

Leesland Ward Councillors: Maria Diffey and Peter Chegwyn.

1.      Welcome – the meeting was opened at 1930 the Chairperson welcoming all those present and ensuring
everyone knew each other.

2.    Minutes of the last meeting (17 March 2015)

The minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record of that meeting. Proposed: Seconded: All in favour. 

3.    Annual Reports

a. Chairperson

b. Financial Statement

c. Secretary

Proposed: Seconded: All in favour.

See annex's for copies of individual reports.

4.    Election of Officers and Committee

The standing officers and committee members were re-elected en-bloc. Proposed: Peter Chegwyn; Seconded: Maria Diffey. All in favour.

5.    AOB

Councillor Chegwyn congratulated the Friends for their continued success adding he had just one park related complaint - that of the daily closure of the Cottage Grove gate. 

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 20.00.

Date of the next A.G.M.     Thursday 16th March 2017

Annual Reports

a.    Chairperson’s Report

As spring begins to make itself noticed, with crocuses, snowdrops, daffodils and pussy willow all blossoming in the park, it is pleasing to look back on a busy and successful year for the Friends of Leesland Park.

Workdays have taken place in every month except August, when our volunteers had a well-earned break. During the year we have cut and raked the conservation area and orchard, kept the paths free of bramble and spread woodchip on the muddiest areas and spent several hours fighting the bramble threatening to take over the hedge along Cottage Grove. We have also carried out litter picks at every meeting in those areas that are obviously not covered by contractors. Thank you to all our volunteers for giving up their Sunday lie-in and to Jim for providing the resources we need.

During this last year several projects have been completed or are underway. The month of May saw the completion of installation of the new inclusive play equipment, as well as the welcome and long awaited return of the swings. The play area continues to be very popular with quite a mixture of ages, as does the skate park and the multi-sports area, in spite of its rather dilapidated state. The provision of large rocks for the children’s play area is delayed due to work elsewhere in the borough, but we still hope this will happen in the future.

We finally came to the sad conclusion that the sound bench had reached the end of its life and the time had come to replace it. After much discussion we agreed on a very robust natural oak bench, the wood being very kindly donated by Andy Barker. A successful ‘You Decide’ bid provided the money for the wood to be cut and prepared and it is now awaiting installation in the orchard. 

Another on-going project is a memorial garden to commemorate a popular local woman – Heather Ayling. With the support of her family and financial help from our local councillor, Peter Chegwyn, the garden should be in place in the very near future, with an information board telling her story.

The Summer Passport scheme for young people took place on the park in August – the weather was not too kind so numbers were lower than expected and the flora and fauna sessions were not at all popular. If we are to be involved in the future we may need to rethink what we offer.

In December we repeated the Father Christmas visit, this time at our own expense, as last year’s event was the final contribution from Community Places.  The children who attended seemed very happy, but numbers were fewer than we hoped. The upside of this is that we have lots of gifts ready for next Christmas, if Santa can spare us the time again.

The big event of the year, as usual, was ParkFest and I feel confident in saying it was at least as successful as previous years. Martin from the Monkey Butlars did a great job as our music director/sound person/headlining band and all the music was well received. The dog show was a triumph, Lauren built on the success of the previous year and many of the praise on social media sites related to this part of the event. A big thank you goes to Phil for all his hard work, particularly his patient negotiation of all the obstacles put in our way by a certain organisation! Thanks also to Clive and Teresa for providing all the resources for the bar, as well as putting up with us for all our committee meetings.  A date has been set for ParkFest 16 – September 12th – and planning is already well underway.

Finally, a thank you to everyone who helps in their various ways to make Leesland Park such a pleasant place to walk, play or just sit; a welcome green space in a very built-up and densely populated area. I hope that many will continue to benefit from this and enjoy the new facilities that will soon be in place.

Presented by: Hilary Percival (Chairperson)

b.     Financial Statement

A statement of accounts for the period 1st March 2014 to 28th February 2015 was tabled and shared with those present.

Prepared and presented by: Jim Parks (Treasurer)

c.    Secretary's Report

In the period since the last AGM, we have held 11 Committee Meetings, all of which have been minuted with a public copy posted on the website.

Members have attended 10 volunteer workdays and have in addition been involved in fundraising and timber extraction to replace the ‘Sound-seat’, ParkFest14, Santa’s in the Park, a Tea and Talk session at the Empower Centre – Family
Church and Wassailing.

Funding activities this past year were relatively successful and while we failed with a bid to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fund (ParkFest), we did receive YouDecide Funding for the park bench, County Council Devolved Funding
(Councillors Peter Edgar and Christopher Carter) for ParkFest and Councillor Peter Chegwyn has funded the Heather Ayling Memorial Garden project.

Press activity this year includes 4 articles in The News (thanks to Claire), 1 in the Leesland Ward Focus newsletter (thanks to Peter) and 1 in the Motiv8 Communic8 Special Edition for Motiv8 Gosport newsletter. 

To end the usual thanks to Clive Latimer at the Gipsy Queen for his support not least for
continuing to provide us with a meeting place and to all of our volunteers and friends. And last but not least our canine representative Duke sadly passed away this year.

Presented by: Philip Sandall (Secretary)