2016 AGM minutes – better late than never

Apologies for the delay, here are the notes from the AGM held in July:

21 July 2016 at Box 44, Bournemouth

Transition BH Hub continues to be an enabling organization, supporting Transition projects throughout the Bournemouth/Poole/Christchurch area (BH postcode). We can help people wanting to set up projects with a Transition ethos by providing access to networks, insurance, bank account, and publicity channels. Because we have been working in this area for 8 years we have built up good relations with many people in a range of public, private and third sector/community organizations.

Box 44
Gwyn gave us a brief introduction to the Box 44 co-working space. Bright, light, well-appointed rooms available at reasonable cost for individuals and groups working regularly or a one-off basis. See http://www.box44.co.uk/

Transition Bournemouth
Meets 3rd Wed monthly at Boscombe Chine Gardens (Ed Shed) in summer. Winter venue is to be arranged. Pete and Jennie Allen are key supporters. Projects:

Slades Farm Community Garden – Theresa writes: “Year 4 and as a garden is progressing according to plan. As a project to promote sustainability I think that we’re preaching to a converted audience. Still few locals engaged as volunteers although everyone appreciates what we’re doing. Council still very supportive, and we help them tick boxes for green flag judging and RHS judging and are their go-to project for community gardening. We are no longer the only Bournemouth project growing food – Michael French and Alan Kenny have a few initiatives under way, there’s a patch being cultivated in the middle of West Howe, and Boscombe Market will shortly feature more local producers as does the new Food Assembly.

  • Toolshed – this project funded by SUSTAIN included setting up the toolshed, tools, water capture, seating, signage and engagement with West Howe. It is almost completed – we just need to put the sign up.
  • Veg Fence – new fence up around our 4 main veg beds. Still have funding remaining to plant espalier trees round it.
  • Seating – we have funding to procure/make some more seating and to use the residue for fruit trees.
  • Prairie Garden – some more planting to do and we need to sow some yellow rattle to reduce the vigour of some of the grasses.
  • Attendance – haven’t done the stats but my gut feel says this is dropping off
  • Admin – no support available for this so I’m a bit of a bottleneck. This is also a risk.
  • Slades Fest – was a success. We all really enjoyed it and raised about £100 – twice as much as our previous most successful event. It was a really good team effort.
  • Next Steps – We will have a design meeting in late autumn to review our plans against our capacity. I think that without additional admin support it would be prudent to get the project into a state where minimum intervention is required and any future projects are short and simple.”

Weekly green play sessions for pre-school children and childminders continues. Possible involvement with new Growing Citizens initiative which Gwyn is working with.

Count on Me – This new positive project led by Angela Fendley was launched at Winton Carnival in June. It is designed “to bring the people of Bournemouth together in a collective way of counting carbon to show that we care, and that we can make a difference.” https://countonme.today/

Bournemouth Fair Trade – Transition support for this continues. Kim is rep.

Energy Monitor Loan scheme – Monitors are loaned out in libraries. It is a self-sustaining project that requires little input.

Repair Café – This is led by Kim along with Sarah Speakman-Jones of the Bournemouth Council Waste and Recycling Department. There have been 3 sessions so far this year combined with Give and Take Days. Two more planned for Oct and Dec. More fixers would be useful so it would rely less on the six currently volunteering (sewing, electronics, bikes).

Transition Town Christchurch
No longer meeting. Website still live: www.transitiontownchristchurch.org/

Transition Town Poole
Abundance – Cherry writes: “The third Annual Poole High Street Apple Pressing day was held on 17th October 2015, moving this year to a new venue outside Wesley’s café, the Poole Methodists’ church’s café that fronts the High Street. This was quite a big site, allowing us to use the steps for storage and display and to occupy the central pathway of the High Street. The public got involved and many gallons of juice were once again pressed, offered for sampling or bottled for people to take away. Apples came from a number of sources, some old contacts, some new, and surplus fruit for eating was also offered.
The press was loaned out on five other occasions, including once to Lytchett School, with the Speigel fruit mill being used on three of those occasions too. The ‘core’ Abundance group pressed enough juice to be able to pasteurise some bottles for future use. Income from all activities was twice the amount of expenditure. Capital purchases are becoming less likely as we have most equipment we need.
The next Apple Pressing Day needs to be booked again outside Wesleys’ Café, and is anticipated to be Saturday October 8th 2016. We have received enquiries from Poole Town Community Garden and Alderney West Community garden, both supported by Poole Housing Partnership, about borrowing the press this year and shall be pursuing those. The press, mill, pasteuriser and anciliary equipment will be available for hire again in 2016.”
Turner’s Nursery Community Orchard – The fruit trees continue to grow! And the hedgerow we planted 3 years ago has developed into a fabulous 90 m wildlife habitat. Poole Men’s Sheds made us 7 birdboxes which we installed in the woods. Sadly 6 of them were smashed by vandals in May. However, this did give us the opportunity to develop our dialogue with the schools! We also lost a couple of fruit trees – snapped off at the base.
Better news was when we were awarded £500 from the Skipton Building Society for a raised bed area for herbs and lavender. Finding someone with the time, energy and skills to project manage the actual construction is an issue but it will happen eventually.

  • The pumpkins grew well but our Pumpkin Soup Day in November was rained off.
  • Bug hotel constructed.
  • We were awarded Wildlife Friendly Garden status by the Dorset Wildlife Trust.
  • Living willow archway started.
  • Blackcurrants and cherries planted.
  • More pollinator-friendly plants (borage, lungwort, etc.) added to top hedge.

Relations with Poole Council continue to be good. They have installed brand new gates this month and will give us a noticeboard. At some stage in the not too distant future the whole 1 hectare site, including the woods and the orchard, is to be re-designated as public open space (it’s currently educational land). The Council will want to reassess its use but officers have consistently said that this will be in close consultation with the Friends of Turner’s Nursery.
I think we can safely say we have saved the site from developers and/or astroturf for the time being.
In terms of people – there’s a regular band of adults and children on our first Saturday workdays. General support from the residents round about.

Poole Fair Trade campaign – Our flagship employer, the RNLI, has been very supportive and pledges to do 3 events per year. The application for FT status is at the FT Foundation and the result should arrive any day. Amy Gallacher at Poole Council holds the admin for this project, which is a great boon. A funding bid for money to organise a series of cooking courses (run by Vicky Ashley) for PHP residents is currently being put together by Gwyn and Clare Sutton.

Transition Food Coop – Continues to operate well. Fewer members this year but larger volume of orders. Families order ethical, good-quality food and ecological household goods in bulk from Essential Coop, Bristol about every 4 weeks. Admin by Gwyn.

Fizz Bikes – An exciting new transport project led by Felicity Rice. Aiming to get 10% of commuters in Bournemouth and Poole out of their cars and onto electric bicycles. This will create a critical mass of cycle users giving greater priority in traffic infrastructure and enabling all cycling to flourish, thereby improving the environment.
A six-month pilot project has been set up at the RNLI with four electric bikes (kindly donated Southampton-based company FreeGo, who Gwyn happened to meet just at the right time) given to four members of staff to use for their commute. Their use will be monitored and data collected using BetterPoints app.
A leasing scheme will be set up as a social enterprise and more bikes made available.

Green Drinks
Although it’s not strictly a Transition project, Green Drinks is closely allied with the organisation and many Transitioners meet up there for a drink and a chat. This year a wider selection of pubs have been visited, including Ashley Cross, Southbourne and Parkstone. Kim coordinates and publicises. Big Green Quizzes are popular.

Steering group
Current members: Kim Boughey, Theresa McManus, Mike Hodges, Gary Finch, Gwyn Jones, Cherry White, Harriet Stewart-Jones, Andy Hadley, Felicity Rice.

We’ll ask Pete and Jennie whether they would like to join.

The Treasurer reported that we have £8002.95 in the bank account. Almost all is earmarked for local groups and projects, leaving just £392.05 for core funds. We need about £265 annually for Public Liability Insurance plus about £100 for the repair café insurance (Harriet to check amount with Michael). Harriet to apply to Green Goals and Lush for help with general funds.

Other stuff
We coordinate closely with the Sustainable Food Cities Partnership, Poole Environment Partnership, and Sustain.
We talked about ideas for a Apple Day involving RSA members (Gwyn and Cherry to take forward). Also discussed volunteers and how to encourage people to lead on projects without adding to the workload of existing members. In general Transition BH Hub provides a really useful service, allowing new projects to emerge, but it has to be acknowledged that after the initial novelty value wears off it’s often difficult to sustain initiatives without paid staff.

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