Summary of ALRA AGM
Held on 24th July 2023, at Little Stoke Cricket Club, 6.45pm.
Robert Townsend (RT), Helen Townsend (HT), Lee Mountford (LM), Nigel Holmes (NH), David Hunt (DH) and 19 Residents.
RT began, by welcoming everyone to the meeting and read out the names of 7 members, who sent their apologies. He then introduced the existing committee, before outlining the process for re-election of officers.
The following reports were delivered by the existing committee officers:
The Co-chair's Report, was delivered by RT. He explained that Covid restrictions had been lifted since the last AGM, and therefore, it was now possible to hold this year's meeting indoors. HT stated that there have been four committee meetings since the last AGM.
The Treasurer's Report was delivered by DH. ALRA has a credit balance of £503.82 with revenue of £76 from the Schools Out Disco to be added. Imminent expenses are: the Liability Insurance at £159, and tools for the gardening volunteers at £103.
The 2023 Co-chairs' and Treasurer's reports were accepted (proposed and seconded by residents).
Election of the Committee Officers
The four committee officers (RT, HT, LM, NH) and the Treasurer (DH) resigned from the committee and put themselves forward for re-election. Their re-election was approved (again proposed and seconded by residents).
A lead volunteer (Mike) delivered a short report on the ALRA Volunteer Gardeners. The group is doing well, with several volunteers joining short sessions, two to three times each week. Volunteers enjoy the exercise, friendship and conversation of the group. The main focus, is on keeping pathways clear, safe and tidy. A request was made for residents to look after their own garden boundaries, to help keep pathways clear. Donations of tools and funds are always welcome, and new volunteers are also most welcome (no regular commitment to the sessions is necessary). The volunteers were thanked for all of their hard work throughout the year.
On completion of formal business, residents were invited to participate in a Q&A session.
A resident advised that caution is necessary in seeking improvements to Pingle Lane, so that potential developers do not view it as an opportunity, to be able to access farmland for building. RT advised that ALRA's representation regarding Pingle Lane, will reflect the results of the survey, by setting out the current risks and dangers for pedestrians, as well as simple measures to improve access and safety for children, adults and the less able.
A resident asked if any information was available regarding when the pot holes at the traffic lights will be fixed. A resident offered to research the requests and plans for this, using the Freedom of Information Act. Residents should continue to file reports using the County Council app. It was noted that quite a few sections of road in our area have been marked, suggesting carriageway improvements are planned, but a timescale is not yet known.
Questions were asked about the possibility of ALRA being able to lease the land from SBC on which the play areas are sited. RT reported a conversation with SBC to discuss the concept, but without ALRA having to take on any responsibilities for maintenance or risk. It is thought that ALRA will need a lease on the land if it is to apply for largescale grants. SBC has recently taken ownership of the land and is discussing the next steps.
The concept of having a defibrillator on Aston Lodge was discussed. It would need to be centrally located and requires a power source. A resident, who lives centrally, suggested it could be sited at their house. ALRA will research and communicate more information on the possibilities and costs.
A resident spoke about the grassy triangle on the long path, close to Farrier Close. The gardening volunteers would like to propose planting a community orchard there. ALRA will look at the proposal. Consideration will need to be given to neighbouring properties, ownership and management.
Rewilding and naturalisation of some grassy areas on Aston Lodge was discussed. The grassy area between Lyndhurst Grove and Mercer Avenue, that has not been mown this year, is as a result of a misunderstanding between ALRA and StreetScene. A survey of residents' views on rewilding and naturalisation will be organised, to make some outline proposals, and assess the level of interest.
A resident raised the issue of residents who provide care for others on Aston Lodge. Can ALRA help to provide information and support for carers, and look at developing any forms of community support? ALRA will consider this proposal and look into providing signposting on the website.
RT thanked everyone for attending, and the meeting was concluded at around 8pm.