Documents & Publications
AGM Minutes and spreadsheets
Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve
Minutes of the Tenth Annual General meeting held Saturday, June 24th, 2017
All Saints Church Hall, Hastings, TN34 3BP.
Andrew Blackman, Chairman, opened the meeting at 10.45am There were 25 members present, including committee members.
Apologies have been received from Mike Wilson, Janet Johnson, Judy Clark, Andrew Dyer Minutes of the ninth AGM.
The minutes of the previous AGM were approved.
The chairman’s report is included in full at Appendix 1. Andrew wanted to stress a few points and thanked the committee for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. He particularly commended Stephanie Donaldson for the great work she is doing as editor of the Volunteer, Michael Moor for his support as Vice Chair and his work on the walks and new leaflet, Andrew Colquhoun for his work as Treasurer and Steve Peak for keeping a diligent eye on planning applications that affect the park. He announced that Dave Rudling is resigning as Secretary and thanked him for his contribution for the past 7 years. A new Secretary will be needed. He also announced he will stand down as Chairman at the next AGM. Andrew was pleased to announce that the proposed Visitor Centre has received EU funding for the straw bale construction and Groundworks has put it out to tender.
Andrew Colquhoun paid tribute to the sterling work done by Ray Mills as Treasurer since the founding of the Friends. He provided copies of the accounts for members attending and these are included as Appendix 2. Subscriptions were increased to £10 for the year 2017-18 as agreed at the last AGM. The accounts were approved.
Election of the new committee
Andrew Blackman said that the present committee, apart from Dave, were all willing to stand for re-election and asked if there were any other nominations as there were now three vacancies. As there were no further nominations , Jan Armour, Andrew Blackman, Jill Howell, Michael Moor, Steve Peak, Mike Wilson, Ron Wood, Andrew Colquhoun and Stephanie Donaldson were elected to the committee.
Election of Officers
The nominations were
Chairman – Andrew Blackman
Vice Chairman – Michael Moor
Treasurer – Andrew Colquhoun
They were duly elected unopposed.
Suzanne Grain agreed to stand as Secretary. She was nominated, seconded and elected.
Any Other Business.
Steve mentioned the works due to be carried out on the harbour wall, which would involve the placing of large granite blocks. It is not known how this will affect long-shore drift and ultimately the cliffs of the Country Park. He also mentioned it was the 125th Anniversary of Hastings Museum and Art Gallery and there would be a celebration in August.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 11.40 and was followed with an illustrated presentation by Alan Parker on “From the clifftop... A year living next to the Country Park”.
Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve Chairman’s Report to the AGM, 24th June 2017
It’s always such a pleasure to come to our AGMs - partly as they are always so well attended and we get to see a good cross-section of other Friends; and partly as it is always a moment to reflect on what a happy and friendly organisation this is, and how much we manage to achieve with relatively small resources. In this regard my sincerest thanks go, as always, to our fabulous committee who work tirelessly and without complaint (mostly..!) throughout the year to make the Friends of Hastings Country Park what it is. We should be proud of our wide variety of talks and events, our much-loved newsletter and our campaigns to protect the unique resource which we are so lucky to have on our doorstep.
My usual plea remains the same - if you think you have something you may be able to offer as a committee member, please stand up now or get in touch with me or any other committee member at any time. We really are absolutely fully-stretched and need new committee members very soon if we are to continue offering all that we currently offer. It might be that you could help at walks or talks, or offer some PR skills, or have secretarial experience... whatever it is, please come and join us! Or there may be help you can offer without joining the committee - desktop publishing skills, perhaps, or a willingness to contribute engaging articles for the newsletter.
Dave Rudling is leaving us today as Secretary after five years of filling the role - we thank him for all he has done. So far no-one has stepped forward to replace him; we have currently split the role in two and will have a separate Membership Secretary from now on. At the moment other committee members have taken on these tasks as a temporary measure, but we will need a more permanent solution by next year’s AGM.
I have been Chairman now also for five years and will be standing down from the position this time next year. I think that five or six years is long enough for anyone to perform a role like this and that it is essential to have new blood and fresh ideas. I have no plans to leave the committee unless the new Chairman asks me to!
Planning issues have again been prominent this year and we have done our best to represent your views as effectively as we can. With our current limited resources this is an area where there is huge scope for help from anyone with planning experience - the pressures on the Country Park are only going to increase, I’m sorry to say, and we sometimes feel we are David to the developers’ Goliath (always hoping for the same outcome!).
We were very pleased earlier this year when ranger Nick started a new programme of task days in collaboration with the Friends. The programme is still in its early stages, but we would very much like to see this as a regular feature of life in the Country Park and thank Nick for all the work he has done on this and for all the other ways he and the other rangers have assisted the Friends. We do greatly appreciate it.
Lastly, most of you will have heard already that the long-awaited new Visitor Centre finally has funding from the EU, so an exciting new chapter in the life of the Country Park will soon be opening. A representative of your committee sits on the board overseeing the project so the Friends will have both input and feedback as the work progresses.