FRIENDS OF HIGHLANDS GARDENS AGM -- 6 May 2014

Present:     Apologies:
Anna Cordell (Secretary)
Patrick Gaskell-Taylor
Rebecca Hanley
Duncan Macdonald (Chair)
David Nyman
Helen Oubridge (Treasurer)
Charles Wicksteed
Ian Wilson
    Angela Lodge
Adam Hewson

Treasurers Report

There is £3,587 in the kitty. We need to boost Barnet to get the pipe done in order to get the stream going. With the £3,000, do we inspire Barnet to do the works or keep some back? Charles thinks to keep back £500 and see what to spend it on. Parties are successful. £2,500 could go towards inspection of the cracked pipe to the stream, then hopefully Barnet can match fund. We agreed to keep £500 in reserve for the future years/parties

Subs of £115, same as last year; less than insurance, which is £200.

We had grants for direct works of £4,795. The party in October cost £800. Web-hosting. Spent £1,517. Leaves a balance of £3,587. Need £200 for next year’s insurance.

Groundworks Dept now closed, so no one to check on us. Council should pay for repair of the pumps. We could pay for the pipe inspection.

Future Events

Because of the success of the previous two events (funded by Lottery money) – the last one on 26th April being a huge success, with around 250 people attending. There was great feedback with people wanting more events. They can be done quite cheaply, now that we can hire Cromer Road gazebos, urns etc.

We agreed it would be good to have another party this year – probably the 13th or 14th of September, once everyone is back at school. FoHG can provide food and refreshments again.

Would be good to get some photos of the party on the website – but no clear faces to be visible.

Pond

The pond is still leaking. Above waterline near the bridge by the silver birch tree, there is a visible crack. Should be repaired by Volker (no longer Barnet contractor) but should be part of a guarantee under contract. We could set aside money for the sealant. HO thinks if we say we have volunteers capable and knowledgeable to fix the crack, the Council will probably pay for sealant.

Ian regularly measures the water depth from the bridge with a stick – it has stayed fairly constant for some time. He will inform Rob Wiltshire. There are newts near the island – orange, brown, dark brown. IW

Pipe to the stream

We also need to investigate the pipe to the top of the stream.

Arch

The arch is structurally sound but loose rendering on underside. HO suggested volunteers to mend the cracks, Barnet will probably provide the materials – sealant, tape etc.

Gardening Club

The next one is on 7th June. HO can’t make it. She is hoping someone can pull up the Bracken. She put in half a dozen plants a few weeks ago. Charles and Ian will help. Rebecca has the banner and will hang it up. CW, IW, RH

Election of Chair, Treasurer and Secretary for FoHG, plus other duties

Helen would like to step down from the many duties she has taken on over the years. We decided to split the position between us: Charles agreed to take on the ‘point of contact’ between services, Council, contractors etc; Helen will still be the main contact to Rob Wilstshire from the park spaces dept at the Council. Anna will co-ordinate the newsletters and send out minutes. Adam was asked to be Treasurer, but he turned it down due to other voluntary commitments. Helen will remain as Treasurer.

Duncan has offered to stay on as Chair.

Anna will continue as Secretary.

Ian would like to keep involved with the gardening club, for which we are grateful and Helen and Adam will still help out in other areas.

Any Other Business

Dave Nyman asked whether there are any plans to put more plants in. HO is hoping that if enough people could get delivery of compost, without having to do much tilling as the soil is so hard. The kids can plant stuff outside the pond fence.

David also enquired about the gate at the top, at Prospect Road as it seemed broken. Helen thinks it’s OK.

Rebecca asked whether we should invite a wetland organisation, ie, London Wetland Trust, to look at our newts. (RH to look into it?)

The meadow was cut right back. We should see flowers coming up – primrose, cowslip, plantains, geraniums, etc.

Next meeting will be Tues 8 July 2014, 8.30pm, at Rebecca’s – 161 Leicester Road, EN5.