Natural Kirklees Annual General Meeting – November 2021
Natural Kirklees Annual General Meeting
2pm Wednesday 17th November 2021
At Beaumont Park Visitor Centre
|Tim Duke||Chair Natural Kirklees|
|Ed Day||Treasurer Natural Kirklees|
|Joan Vevers||Secretary Natural Kirklees|
|David Rudd||Trustee Natural Kirklees|
|Christine Senior||Trustee Natural Kirklees|
|Julie Hirst||FO Beaumont Park|
|Bev & Mark Corrigan||British Horse Society KLS Bridleways|
|Steve & Celia Moorhouse||FO Wilton Park|
|Peter Taylor||Burton Environment Group|
|Karen Mayfield||Ravensthorpe Residents Action Group|
|Lynn Holland||Ravensthorpe Residents Action Group|
|Anne Martin||Badger Protection Group|
|Ken Gledhill||Birkby Community Wildlife Garden|
|Ali Stopher||Environmental Projects in Kirklees|
|Lizzie Windelinck||Clems Garden|
|Tom Taylor||FO Highfield Community Orchard|
|Deborah Wyles||FO Cliffe Rec|
|Jane Griffiths||FO Greenhead Park|
|Glenys Ireland||FO Greenhead Park|
|Colin Berry||Spen Valley Civic Society|
|Erica Amende||Spen Valley Civic Society|
|Andy Goff||Kirklees Council|
|Dave Wilde||Denby Dale Parish Council|
|Phil Slater||Trustee Natural Kirklees|
|Win Harrison||Holmepride-Community in Action|
|Michael Brook||Yorkshire Wildlife Trust|
|Rod Payne||Upper Dearne Woodlands Conservation|
|Steve Hemming||Honley Village Community Trust|
|Keith Saunders||FO Slaithwaite Spa|
|Christine Sykes||Mirfield in Bloom|
|Gill Young||FO Crow Nest Park|
|Andy Wickham||Kirklees Council|
|Gill Logan||Kirklees Council|
|Andrew O’Connor||FO Dean Wood|
|John Griffiths||FO Dean Wood|
|Caz Goodwill||FO Spen Beck & Mann Dam+Red House|
|Simon Lyes||Colne Valley Tree Society|
|Mike Denton||Huddersfield Birdwatchers Society|
|Tim Scott||Burton Environment Group|
|Jason Hawkins||FO Wilton Park|
|Julie Dempster||FO Beaumont Park|
|Welcome and Introductions
Tim welcomed everyone and apologised for the postponements of this meeting. Everyone around the room introduced themselves
ED read out the apologies
|Minutes of the last AGM and Matters Arising
Tim ran through points from the meeting on Zoom held on Thursday 19th January 2020. He also said that this would be his last year as Chair. Proposed by Phil and seconded by Dave the minutes were taken as a true copy.
|Trustees Annual Report
The insurance has been renewed at the same price and the tool stores are still operating. Ed is working on the website. Our Charity has been of particular help this year. The local Council has had to impose many restrictions on the use of Green spaces and Parks and we have had to keep our member groups informed of these and interpret how the restrictions affect our members activities. We have acted as mediators and points of contact as the local authority has moved staff into other roles to fight the pandemic.
We have continued to hold our quarterly meetings by Zoom and been available to our members to sort out their problems, liaise with the local authority and be there for just a chat if required. When restrictions were lifted in stages again we have given advice and provided Covid related risk assessments to enable our members to restart their activities in a safe manner.
Throughout the whole of the lockdown periods we have sent out regular newsletters to keep members aware of developments, keep them in touch with each other and try and keep things as normal as possible . We are now back to meeting in person and most restrictions have been lifted by the Council.
The activity in the past year has been severely impacted due to the Covid-19 virus and as a result both our income and expenditure have been a lot less than planned. Our income derives from a Kirklees Council grant that was less than in previous years due to the inevitable inactivity but is not seen as an issue going forward. The trustees have reassessed the charity’s ability to continue for at least 12 months from the date that the accounts are approved and conclude that no material uncertainties exist which cast significant doubt on the charity’s ability to meet its liabilities as they fall due.
Finance The past year has been a difficult year for many of us with multiple lockdowns and restrictions curtailing the activity of our groups. In direct contrast, notwithstanding the difficulties of renewing our insurance cover, the life of being a treasurer for Natural Kirklees has been a walk in the park with so little activity.
The untimely and tragic death of Rob Dalby has created a degree of uncertainty over the future of Natural Kirklees but our concern pales into insignificance compared to the loss of the man himself. As a result of Rob passing, we were unable to secure the second instalment of the normal grant from Kirklees Council; however, we did receive the initial grant of £10,000 which almost covers the cost of the public liability we provide group members.
In terms of figures, we started the year with a bank balance of £42,769.24 which when adding the £10,000 grant gave us a fund of £52,769. From these funds we have paid the premium for the insurance of £10,058 relating to 2021/22.
We also spent £30 providing stalls for the Beaumont Park Gala, £1,320 on litter pickers and hoops, £417 on the running of our web site, £366 on accounts scrutiny and other admin costs and £2,150 utilising the remainder of a grant we received in previous years for the treatment of knotweed.
The pandemic prevented us from holding or even planning any significant activity, so we exited the financial year with a healthy bank balance of £38,779.
Looking forward, we have reserved funds for the insurance policy premiums for a further 2 years, guaranteeing Natural Kirklees ability to pay for the £5m million public liability and all risks cover for the groups who need it until September 2024. This represents a reserve of £25,000 from the balance of £38,779. We have also reserved, for the coming year, £5,000 for the website and social media improvements, £5,000 for the tool stores and £2,000 for administration. While no reserve has been set aside at this time for grants, this will be the subject of discussions with the council in January and our next quarterly meeting.
Tim and I met with Mark Ferris, Dennis Whittle and Rachel Palmer on 5th November in a “get to know you” meeting and to discuss the role of Natural Kirklees going forward. Tim will report on this later in the meeting, albeit to say, Tim and I left the meeting feeling very positive and with a message from Will Accornley, that finance will be forthcoming when needed to continue our operations.
I am therefore able to confirm that we can continue the work of Natural Kirklees for the coming financial year and have reported such to the Charity Commission.
While renewing the insurance policies, I took the liberty of merging the insurance and membership databases and while a minor glitch caused major problems with the insurance forms, I have sent the certificates out with a covering record of the information we now hold. I am pleased to say that after removing some of the members from the database that we have not heard from for 3 years, we currently have 129 members, 87 of whom are insured via our policy and our newsletter is sent to 235 members and subscribers.
Web Site and social media
Finally, we are very conscious of the fact that our communication and information provision (other than the newsletter!) is very dated and not very exciting. We hope to be working with Stefanie Rofke from Rotcher Woods to completely overhaul all aspects of the various means of communication open to us; and hope to meet up again with her as soon as practical, to progress this project. As a result of our meeting with Dennis and his colleagues we hope to collaborate with the council in this project.
To be honest, renewing the insurance this year was a nightmare. The performance of the underwriters left a lot to be desired taking 4 months to answer questions on what is and what is not covered. We are within a whisker of publishing a definitive list, which I will put in a newsletter in the coming weeks and will update our web site with the new form and greater clarity on the cover. In future we will be providing £5m public liability and, if required, cover for tools owned by the groups from our funds against this specific and definitive list of activities and tools.
|Update from Meeting with Kirklees Council on 5th November 2021
Tim and Ed met with Mark Ferris (Group Leader, Parks & Green Spaces – Development) who is undertaking a lot of Rob Dalby’s role., Dennis Whittle (Parks Services Manager) and Rachael Palmer (Recycling and Waste Officer). We arranged the meeting as a get to know you exercise and to find out what Natural Kirklees’ role would be in the future. The council officers did not see a problem with funding in future years. They think that the relationship between Kirklees and Natural Kirklees is good. Funding will continue and they have ideas about what will happen in the next 12 months and how we can work together. The Council think we do a useful job and they may use our website to promote their initiatives. We intend to plan future meetings with them in the New Year and hope to reintroduce the meetings with the volunteer coordinators. There was a request for NK to provide a structure of the Council and Tim will provide a Kirklees Family Tree as soon as possible. Jane from Greenhead Park said that she would send him the information which she has.
|Appointment of Trustees
Ed explained that 1/3rd or the Trustees must stand down every year. This year Tim and Christine must resign but both are willing to stand again as Trustees. Tom Taylor proposed and Peter Taylor seconded and they were both re-elected. We do need additional Trustees, so if anyone wishes to nominate someone or would like to be a trustee please let us know. Julie Hirst was nominated by Ed and as everyone agreed she was duly appointed. Ed promised to advertise the role of a trustee ahead of next years AGM.
|Appointment of Officers
Tim explained why he had stood down as Chair and as no-one had volunteered to take over we have a new line-up with Ed as Chair, Joan as Secretary and our new Trustee Julie will take over as Treasurer. Tim will remain as Chair until January. Ali Stopher proposed the new line-up and Phil Slater seconded.
|Questions Submitted to the AGM
There was one question from Kirklees Countryside Volunteer David Clarkin. They are considering their future and considering whether or not to be a member or merge with us. Tim asked him to clarify but we have not heard back from him. The Kirklees Countryside Volunteers need to be kept going in some form, they do work with PROW. (Subsequent to the meeting we have heard they have decided to cease operations)
|The Third Sector Presentation by Tom Taylor
Tom began by speaking about Highfield Community Orchard. “We put in 6 apple trees and now it is protected as Community Green space in the Local Plan. The orchard received a Green Social Prescribing Grant. We have joined Natural Kirklees and value their help”.
Kirklees Climate Commission has links to the Third Sector and business. The Kirklees Climate Commission has been established as an independent advisory body to bring actors from the public, private and third sectors together to support and guide ambitious climate actions across all parts of Kirklees. They have a road map and aim to achieve Carbon Neutral by 2038. There are 2 events on 29th at 12.30 and 30th November at 6.30 for all of our community groups to talk about climate change and nature. They hope to link all the groups by Zoom to talk for 1 minute about what their ideas are. This will be fed into the Climate Commission Global Assembly. Ed said that he would send information out in a Newsletter.
Third Sector Leaders Kirklees are a charity working with voluntary and community groups, charities, social enterprises and other not-for –profit organisations in Kirklees to help them achieve their aims, grow and develop. They provided support during Covid and did a great job. Community Anchors contributes to health and wellbeing they are funded to help GP’s and primary care networks going through the Council to Third Sector Leaders to pull everything together. He will send information to ED
Thornton Lodge Action Group has funding for a walking group and David Rudd will send his contact details to Tom.
Greenhead Park asked about electric to replace petrol equipment. Spen Valley complained about a huge Amazon Warehouse on greenbelt and asked how this fits with what Kirklees are trying to do on climate change. There is an email address firstname.lastname@example.org
|Date of Meetings in 2022
The first will be in January, then April, July and October. We will try to have an evening meeting either April or July. Would Wednesday or Thursday be preferred? However, Wednesday is the only afternoon available at the Visitor Centre. Tim and Ed will give some thought on dates and send them out. Tim thanked Dave, Julie and Christine for the refreshments.
|Any Unusual Sightings
Ali said that she had seen Goldcrests in her garden.
Celia from Crow Nest Park spoke about the butterfly house and her observations of Vapourer Moths during lockdown. Some of the caterpillars were much larger than others and after they pupate the males have wings and only live a few days but the females have hardly any wings and they give off pheromones which can attract males from miles away.
Phil said that he had seen a little Egret on the river Dearne. They are still unusual but they are seen often on bird reserves.
|Any Other Business
Patrick Crowley has retired on health grounds and Andy Goff is compiling a book and would like anecdotes, photos etc to be sent to him so that he can put the book together. email@example.com
We have heard nothing about a Rob Dalby memorial but we will consider ideas.
A new word came up in a quiz “Plogging”. It is picking up litter whilst jogging.
Birkby Community Garden has benefited from River Holme Connections treating Japanese Knotweed and wanted to know if that would continue for another year. They treat it in August or September. ED will get back to Ken in the New Year when funding with the council has been agreed.
Win spoke about Natural Kirklees contribution to the new garden at Holmfirth Junior, Infants & Nursery School which was opened after 26 months of hard work. The Mayor opened it and lots of groups have used it. Growing Garden Places have helped raise £21,000 and the garden is now secure. They are on Facebook and ED asked for photos for the website.
Christine mentioned that the Ramblers do some maintenance on footpaths. Contact Oliver Taylor or Christine Senior.
Wilton Park would like to make a small woodland in memory of the people of Batley who have died from Covid and wanted to know what anyone else may be doing. Spen Valley have Jo Cox Community Wood and offered help. There were other suggestion about the Woodland Trust etc.