Minutes of the twelfth Annual General Meeting held on 12 January 2021 at 7.00pm via Zoom.

The Chair, Tracey Adams, welcomed all present and read out the Notice of the Meeting.

1 Present: - Tracey Adams, Alan and Beryl Smith, Pam Reed, Philippa Bonorino, Jean Bartlett, Debbie Barraclough. (All Residents)

Apologies: – Terry Holmes, Abdulnaser Alshurbaji, John Young, P Birchenhough and Glenys Backhouse.

2 Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 January 2020 were approved.

3 Treasurer’s Report
Pam Reed presented the accounts for the year ending 31 December 2020. Income totalled £1260.00 and expenditure £1180.26 leaving a balance of £3660.12. There had been little financial activity in the past year due to the cancellation of the Fun Day because of the Covid pandemic. The items of expenditure were for the renewal of the website maintenance contract £99.30, compost £69.00, clothing £51.96 and the purchase and installation of a new picnic bench £900.00, which was covered by a grant from SMBC.

4 Chairperson Annual Report
At the AGM in January 2020, we looked back at a very successful 2019 and looked forward to the same success in 2020.

At the meeting on 3rd March, the Group set out plans for the year.

After the removal of the laurel and bramble roots in the area marked for the wildflower meadow by the council, then the preparation of the ground could begin.

New trees were to be planted (in accordance with the parks tree plan) to fill gaps and enhance the upper part of the park.

A grant application for a new picnic bench in the play area was to be made to the Werneth Area Committee.

The Fun Day was confirmed as the 20th June.

On the 23rd March, England was put into a national lockdown, due to a global pandemic of the coronavirus Covid19. All activity in the park, by the council and the Friends group ceased.

On the 10th June, after watching the park get more and more untidy, with the agreement of SMBC and following Government Guidelines, the Friends did a revised risk assessment and were finally able to return to the park to garden.

The Community Fun Day unfortunately had to be cancelled. The grant for the picnic bench was approved and was able to be installed in the play area. The floor paintings there were professionally cleaned and have brightened up considerably.

The number of gardening days after the 10th June increased to 3, sometimes 4 per month, for the next three months. As the lockdown meant staying at home most of the time and not travelling out of the area, the Friends had more time to give to gardening and by late summer were able to get the planting areas looking better than ever.

Brambles and nettles have been cut back in many areas, including along the backs of the Carlton Avenue houses. The wet bed near the gym equipment was dug out, the nettles and weeds removed and the Iris, Astilbe and Lysimachia replanted. The beds near the Carlton Avenue and Compstall Road entrances received a lot of attention and now provide a tidy and colourful welcome to the greenspace. The planters have also been receiving more attention, as have the school and opticians beds at the front of the park. The front circle looks stunning, as a result of the continuous work on design, weeding, pruning, relocating, planting and general maintenance. There have been a lot of plant donations, including bulbs, home grown and established plants, all of which are received with appreciation.

We have again been lucky to recruit some new gardeners this year, John and Barbara. Welcome and thanks for your support.

In summary, in this unusual year, the Friends Group have been lucky to be able to, be together gardening. This has given everyone an opportunity to get outside, get some physical exercise and have conversation, providing a sense of normality, whilst giving the park visitors a pleasant and enjoyable place to come to.

Thanks to this year go to:
The fantastic group of Friends, who have worked with enthusiasm and energy, to (give) keep the park an outstanding greenspace for all users.
SMBC Parks and Outdoor spaces team for their help and support.
Anthony Crook, Senior Arboriculture and Habitat officer at SMBC, for his advice and work with trees and preparation work for the wild flower meadow.
Lesley Cranwell, Manager at Romiley Life Centre, for the support to the Friends meetings.
Pam Reid, as treasurer for FoRP
Jean Bartlett, as social secretary of FoRP
Philippa Bonorino, for her exemplary work on producing the Equality and Diversity Policy, Safeguarding People at Risk Policy and Risk Assessment. For setting up Virtual meetings, when face to face were not possible and then completing and distributing minutes. For submitting grant applications and staying in contact with SMBC officers and TLC workers.

Finally, we look forward to another successful year of gardening, social events and laughter and wish everyone Good Health and Happiness.

5 Election of Officers
Chair – Tracey Adams was proposed, seconded and elected unanimously.
Treasurer – Pam Reed was proposed, seconded and elected unanimously.
Secretary – Philippa Bonorino was proposed, seconded and elected unanimously.

6 Appointment of Auditor
The Treasurer advised that it was not necessary to have the accounts audited for the amount of business undertaken by the Friends of RomileyPark

7 Other business
Fun Day – it was reluctantly decided that it would not be possible to hold a Fun Day again this year because of the continuing restrictions but an event in the autumn would be considered, if circumstances improved.

8 There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 19.30.

Philippa Bonorino 15/01/2021