AGM 2020 - AS IT HAPPENED
Minutes of 36th AGM of Fishpool Street Residents’ Association - held at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 29 September 2020, via Zoom
Present: Anthony Oliver (Chairman) (AO), Madeleine Sansom (MS), Rosie Cinicolo (RC), Evan and Diane Todd (ET), Kate Taylor (KT), Rich Wilson (RW), Gordon Baisley (GB), Jack Halewood (JH), Adrian Smith, John & Jenny Berryman, Geraint John, Hazel Clifton, Ann & Stuart Stearn, Mike & Vanessa Lovett, Simon Thwaites, Paula Dilger, Peter Godwin, Adam and Jill Singer, David Barnett, Richard Hepper, David Scott, A. Decsillery, Angela Mellen
1. Apologies for absence: Eric Roberts, Clive & Marley Parish, Jette & James Evans.
AO thanked Adam Singer for organising the Zoom session and to all for joining in.
2. Minutes of 35th AGM held on 13th May 2019
Copies were circulated and approved following the correction of name spellings and no matters arising.
3. Chairman’s Report
AO had circulated the Report to all residents and there were no issues reported.
It was proposed as accepted by MS and seconded by Adam Singer.
4. Treasurer’s Report
The Accounts had been circulated and Madeleine Sansom said that in the future it might raise a few eyebrows that in the Glossop accounts were listed wine, weedkiller and a bucket! The accounts are in the black but urge everyone to pay their subscriptions on time. It had been suggested that a Direct Debit arrangement be set up but she had decided against this as the present system worked well. It would be preferable if everyone paid by May but still a few late payers to be chased. AO asked how many had paid this year and MS reported 78 but understandable due to the circumstances this year (last year was about 100).
The Report was proposed by Anthony Oliver and seconded by Rosie Cinicolo and accepted.
5. Election of Officers
A Nomination List had been circulated and all had been proposed and seconded. James Evans was approved as President, Anthony Oliver was re-elected as Chairman, Rosie Cinicolo will stay as Secretary and Madeleine Sansom as Treasurer. All were approved.
6. Election of Committee
Anthony Oliver then read out the names of existing Committee Members: Kate Taylor No.58, Rich Wilson No.29, Evan Todd No.148 and Clive Parish No.26. We are welcoming two new members: Jack Halewood No.13 and Gordon Baisley No.98. All were approved. Three members had resigned - Ann Stearn No.90, Anne Kuhne No.152 and Adrian Smith No.37 - and AO thanked them for their service and great help in the past. KT pointed out that her name had been omitted from the Nomination List and RC apologised and said this would be corrected.
7. Vision Statement
AO said that this had been written three years ago with an agreement to review it regularly. CP had asked if a statement could be added to say that as the streets were narrow that any deliveries should be restricted between 7am and 7pm. GB pointed out that it was usual for supermarket deliveries to be made up to 10pm and these would be very difficult to alter, so was agreed that it should be extended to 10pm.
ET said that we had managed to control the times for waste collections and deliveries to the hotel and school and the situation had improved. CP had requested the addition of a statement that the long-term goal was to have school coaches dropping off elsewhere so they did not come into the street. This was agreed and AO said it is hoped that the current Herts County Council (HCC) traffic review will result in a reduction in school coaches eventually.
8. Any other business
i) Website – AO asked RW for an update and he said that the final testing was being carried out this week as the designer had put it up in ‘safe mode’ for checking to see if any difficulties, but he is sure it will be all okay and going live very soon. Peter Godwin said that a few years ago he had established a website and it is still there so needs to be taken down, but some content could possibly be transferred to the new site. AO said he had not been aware of this and it needs to be sorted out. He also thanked RW and CP for all their hard work in sorting out the new website.
ii) School trees – AO became aware that there is an application by the school to fell/reduce approx. 10 trees on their site. Most are insignificant but three are mature specimens. The most controversial is the large sycamore opposite the Lower Red Lion and a significant part of the street scene. It is multi-trunked but is pushing up the pavement. It had been proposed some time ago to remove it but there were objections and the school planted a London plane behind it and that is now quite large. Do we object again?
There is another tree with a preservation order behind the dining hall – a lime tree and the school has claimed that it is dying. RW queried this and RC asked if we should ask for a second opinion as we had done for the willows at the Ford. MS asked if the sycamore is multi-trunked is it possible to remove two trunks and to leave it to grow for a while longer. But that would prove more expensive for the school? We would have to ask the school’s permission to view the trees for a second opinion – and agreed that FSRA would pay for this. We should ask the school to replace any mature trees with new saplings in their place for carbon footprint reasons.
iii) Geraint John wanted to thank KT for the last newsletter and especially Stuart for his excellent article on the history of pubs in the street. He also asked if AO and Adam Singer are going to meet the Head of the school again soon as it is hoped to continue this arrangement. AO said that there had been a letter sent (FSRA and APRA) to the Governors just prior to lockdown requesting a meeting to discuss the school’s long-term strategy. There had been no answer but he will now pursue this as the school is open.
The local Resident Associations and Councillors have been meeting the school every 6 months but not sure when this will happen again. MS pointed out that the school must be having regular Zoom meetings so there is no reason this couldn’t happen with FSRA/APRA. Peter Godwin agreed that it is very important to maintain this relationship with the school and AO said he would suggest a Zoom meeting. Peter said the only regret might be was that there was no cake!
iv) Peter Godwin asked if we could start a litter campaign in the street and arrange a clean-up. This was agreed to be a good idea and that Veolia could be asked to collect the full sacks during their usual rubbish collections.
v) Hazel Clifton was asked about progress on repairs to her damaged wall. She said it had been difficult during lockdown to get hold of the correct bricks and that obtaining permission from the Conservation Officer had been slow. Test walls had been built but not accepted but she has now met the Officers and that work is scheduled to start in two weeks’ time and that progress will now be made.
vi) KT said that it would not be possible to hold the usual Remembrance Sunday gathering this year but will keep us informed of any plans made. AO said it is still important for a wreath to be put up and this was agreed.
vii) Richard Hepper joined the meeting at this point and apologised for his late arrival. He said that the school is still open to all years and that there had been one case of Covid-19 but this was managed very carefully and there is a positive atmosphere and everyone is just hoping they can carry on. If the students have to revert to working from home they are all well briefed.
They have been encouraging coach use to cut down on car numbers and this is improving. The use of the Sports Hall is not possible.
AO mentioned that a long-term solution would be to drop off students in Verulam Road and use George Street. RH said there is a hope that the High Street can be reopened as caused many problems for everyone but this is dictated by Government guidelines.
AO asked if it would be possible to request a second opinion on the tree felling proposals and RH said it is important to manage the trees on site and they had taken advice. AO said we appreciate that but sometimes useful to have another view as proved by our success in protecting the willows at the Ford. RH said he does not know the details involved and couldn’t comment at the moment. AO will draft a suggestion and pointed out that it would have been nice to be informed by the school about the application rather than finding out by accident.
The Chairman thanked all those attending.
The meeting closed at 8.25pm