Minutes of the Sixteenth Annual General Meeting held on 9 January 2024 at 10.00 at The Life Centre, Romiley.

Present: - Tracey Adams, Philippa Bonorino, Terry Holmes, Jean Bartlett, Pam Reed, Debbie Barraclough.

1. The Chair (Tracey Adams) welcomed all present and read out the Notice of the Meeting.
Apologies – Beryl Smith, Abdulnasser Alshurbaji, John Young, Anne Granby, Glenys Backhouse.

2. Minutes of the Meeting held on 17 January 2023 were approved as a correct record.

3. Treasurers Report: - Pam Reid had circulated the accounts for the year ending 31 December 2023. Income totalled £434.50; expenditure £495.85 leaving a balance of £2055.63. There were no questions.

4 Chairperson’s Annual Report

2023 has been another successful year of dedication and selfless gardening by the small group of volunteers - The Friends of Romiley Park.
There are numerous planting areas within the green space, that require regular work on. These include:
The Wildflower Meadow. An area that can take at least 2 years to become established. A lot of hard work is required to ensure the meadows success. During the year, TLC cut the site twice which is what needs to be done. The Friends had numerous sessions removing dock plants, which spread quickly and affect wildflower growth. They also scarified the meadow and raked away the debris from this. A large number of wildflower seeds and plug plants sown in 2022/3 are now growing and more will be added in the coming year.
Trees/Hedges. A number of trees were destroyed through vandalism and bad weather. Some have been replaced by the council and Friends provided the funding for others.
A copse of nine multi-stemmed Betula (Birch) trees have also been planted, along the corridor between the front and back of the park. This had been a long-standing wish of Alan Smith.
School Bed. The area designed and created by the Friends in 2022, saw regular maintenance, further plants added and surrounding overgrown hedges cut back. The part of the bed near Sandy Lane, had many hours of weeding and planting in line with the plan.
Wet Beds/Opticians Bed/Carlton Avenue and Stock Dove Entrance Beds have regularly been looked after, weeding, cutting back and removing and introducing some other plants.
Centre Circle the show piece flower bed, at the front of the park, has been worked on throughout the year. Some overgrown shrubs and plants were pruned and divided, with many being transferred around the park. There is also an on-going battle, to keep people and dogs off this area and the planting of alternative vegetation hopes to deter this behaviour.
Compost The autumn leaves that cover the front of the park were gathered up and added to an existing leaf pile to create compost for future use in the park.
Tubs The project to improve the appearance of the tubs has continued under Jean’s supervision. The Lions have again given funding for new plants for the tub at the Compstall Road entrance. Barbara has continued to keep the tub at the Carlton Avenue entrance attractive and well cared for. Herbs were planted in the tub near the gym equipment. Sponsorship of other tubs is being sought.

The Fun Day unfortunately did not take place in 2023. This was due to a lack of the volunteers, that are needed to plan and execute the many behind the scenes tasks.

Thanks To provide the outstanding green space in Romiley, for the residents and visitors, the continuous work and support of volunteers and businesses is needed.
Foremost, Thanks is given to the small group of regular volunteers, who turn up twice monthly, to give their time and energy to the gardening mentioned previously and to raising funds for the park. Thanks to SMBC Parks and Outdoor spaces team, TLC, Anthony Crook, Senior Arboriculture and Habitat officer. Thanks to the kind generosity of local businesses and individuals, to The Romiley and Marple Lions who donate funds. All this helps give the residents and visitors to Romiley Park, a relaxing place to socialise, play and contemplate. Thus, helping the good health and maintenance of the mind and body. Thanks also, to Romiley Life Centre, who provide a room the Friends meetings.
On the 17 September 2023, we saw the passing of one of the founder members of the Friends of Romiley Park.
Alan Smith helped begin the Group, with the aim to improve and make the park a safe and inviting space. As secretary for almost fifteen years, he continuously went over and above the job description. As a gifted communicator and diplomat, Alan was successful in gaining and maintaining relationships with a wide variety of people and organisations, ensuring that the Friends had access to help and monies. He tirelessly completed grant applications, help design and implement all areas of the park. Along with his wife Beryl, for the past eighteen years, Alan turned out in all weather and conditions, to garden and maintain the park. He was a large and intricate part of the extremely successful, Community Fun Days and in the past few years, was able to create a sub-committee of non-gardeners to run them. Without his commitment and enthusiasm, it is unlikely that the Group would have survived, let alone have become the accomplished success it is.
On behalf of the Friends of Romiley Park, I give our sincere condolences to Beryl and her family.
From myself personally I shall miss the man whose generosity and big heart, encouraged me to garden and whose stories of his colourful life kept me entertained over the years. He was a great friend and I’ll remember him with his smile and laughter in his eyes.
Good-Bye Alan and keep an eye on us in the park.

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. Fun Day

Those present were strongly in favour of the Fun Day going ahead this year. A provisional date of 29 June was agreed. There are fewer members of the subcommittee available this year, so a scaled back version may be necessary. Sharon Ackers has indicated her willingness to be involved. Tracey will liaise with her, Lisa and Debbie to get an application to the Local Area Committee for February.

7. There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 11.00.