MINUTES of the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the FRIENDS OF ASTON’S EYOT, held on Tuesday 13th November 2018 at the Gladiators Club, Iffley Road, Oxford.
PRESENT: The Committee: Anthony Cheke (co-chair and meeting chair) Ruth Ashcroft (co-chair) Laurence Burrell (treasurer) Claire Malone-Lee (membership secretary) Penny Bassett, James Martin, Sue Rowe, Thelma Martin (minutes secretary), together with 23 others of whom a signed list has been retained.
Chairman’s welcome to the meeting;
1. APOLOGIES were received from Zoe Bicat, Ivan and Jaqueline Wright, Jessica Upton, Jackie Ingram.
2. MINUTES and MATTERS ARISING: The minutes of the previous AGM having been circulated, there were no matters arising from them which did not appear on the agenda. Minutes proposed, seconded and accepted nem. con.
3.ANNUAL REPORT: AC & RA summarised the Annual Report, thanking all those who had contributed during the year, highlighting the following: The year had been one of consolidation, with successful work parties, work to provide habitat for Brown Hairstreak butterflies, the contribution of Oxford Conservation Volunteers (who found a live hand grenade of their last visit )and Elsevier volunteer days, well attended dusk and dawn bird walks, Plant and Pollinators walk during which a rare solitary wasp was identified, and Bat and Moth night. A Badger hole count in February revealed 115 entrances, plus 6 in the Convent garden, which, together with camera footage gave an estimated population of roughly 30 adults.
Nest boxes had been used, with a high percentage of success, especially among Great Tits. Blue tits, Greater Spotted Woodpeckers and Sparrowhawks had also nested. Kites and a Tawny Owl had been seen but not observed to nest. A Grey Wagtail had been seen by AC near the jackdaw Lane gate by the newly cleared ditch, and he also reported a Spotted Flycatcher.
Frogs and toads had survived the hot dry summer, but there had been no sightings of live grass snakes. The cleared area of the ditch at Muntjac Point had proved a good nursery for fish fry.
No rare butterflies had been seen, and Small Tortoiseshells had had a poor season as the nettles had been so dry.
Anti-social behaviour had lessened since a Police operation in the area, but there had been three raves causing noise nuisance though only one had left a lot of rubbish and needles.
Thanks were recorded to all those who picked up rubbish and dog faeces, of which there appeared to be less than in former years.
The website had been moved successfully with help found via the TUSK scheme. Assistance was needed to redirect from the old URL, Assistance was offered from the floor for this task.
CM-L thanked the Wildflower Patch Champions for their work and explained why it was valuable.
4, TREASURER’S REPORT was presented by LB, copies having been made available at the meeting.
Taking into account unpresented invoices, expenditure was a little more than income (from Calendar Sales and Membership fees) this year, but the balance was still adequate. Acceptance of report proposed and accepted nem.com.
5. SUBSCRIPTION: On the Committee’s recommendation it was proposed, seconded and accepted that the subscription should remain at £5 and £3 for concessions.
6.E;ECTION OF COMMITTEE: The current committee being willing to stand, election of all members was proposed and seconded nem con. No member wished to offer themselves for the committee at the meeting, but Sarah Wild offered help with planning matters affecting the Eyot, and Kate Patullo offered to stand in on a temporary basis if Committee assistance was needed.. It was emphasised that members can be co-opted at any stage.
7.LEASE PROPOSAL AND CHARITABLE INCORPORATED ORGANISATION STATUS:
AC outlined the effects of Christ Church’s reluctance to expend further monies on evictions etc, The City Council were using their powers under the Public Health Act 1936 to remove campers on public Health Grounds. The meeting was reminded that help was always offered to campers first.
A lease at a peppercorn rent had been offered and AC explained tat charitable status as a CIO meant that the organisation would take the lease, rather than individual members, A discussion ensued on the advantages and disadvantages of a lease. When a draft was available , reflecting the wishes of both sides, an Extraordinary General Meeting would be held to present it to the members
There being no other business, the formal part of the meeting ended at 8.45pm.
Sue Rowe than presented a programme of wildlife footage compiled from the trail cameras during the year, to great interest.
Meeting closed at 9.40 pm.