Join us at PEDAL’s 10th AGM

7 – 9pm, Monday 13th June 2016
Dalriada pub, back room
PEDALing Truths? How PEDAL began and what we’ve done since:
How has the world and Portobello changed and what’s needed next?
Here are the minutes of last year’s AGM for your delect­a­tion.

Minutes of the PEDAL AGM held on 21 April from 7 – 9 pm at St James church hall, Rosefield Place.

Attendees: Diana Cairns, Ian Cooke, Gillian Dunn, Stephen Hawkins, Ian Humphrey, Justin Kenrick, Gordon McCulloch, Eva Schonveld, Gillian Wilson, Neil Woodward.

No apo­lo­gies were received.

1 Introduction 

The chair wel­comed every­one to the meet­ing.

2 Minutes of the 2014 AGM

The minutes were accep­ted as a true record of the pre­vi­ous AGM, pro­posed by Diana Cairns and seconded by Gordon McCulloch.

There were no mat­ters arising from the minutes.

3 Treasurer’s report

A copy of the accounts that have been sub­mit­ted to Companies House was cir­cu­lated. Income is steady.  We had great­er costs last year but this year PEDAL has made a trad­ing sur­plus, with the res­ult that we have had to pay cor­por­a­tion tax of £159.38.

There is £5,200 in the account that is resid­ual from the CARES grant for the PEDAL con­tri­bu­tion to the wind tur­bine.

It was agreed that the AGM should be held at a dif­fer­ent time next year so that the final­ised end of year accounts can be approved at the AGM.

4 Election of board mem­bers

Ian Cooke stood down from the board because of work and oth­er com­mit­ments.  He was thanked for all his hard work, his skill and his wis­dom.

Justin Kenrick and Diana Cairns stood down and were re-elec­ted to the board.  Justin Kenrick was nom­in­ated by Stephen Hawkins and seconded by Diana Cairns.  Diana Cairns was nom­in­ated by Eva Schonveld and seconded by Neil Woodward. 

5 Chair’s report

Eva Schonveld explained that PEDAL has done a great job in main­tain­ing the community’s Market and Orchard, as well as explor­ing how to expand our grow­ing spaces. We have had a lower key year than expec­ted because PEDAL had been con­sid­er­ing com­munity con­sulta­tion and how to go about it if and when the tur­bine applic­a­tion is approved and money starts to come through.  The tur­bine is not cer­tain to go ahead so we have dropped back in our efforts to start con­sulta­tion.  The pro­cess has been frus­trat­ing as we have been wait­ing for a long time to find out wheth­er or not the pro­ject would go ahead.

Some mem­bers of the board had been on a trip to West Kilbride last sum­mer, which has branded itself a craft town.  We met com­munity mem­bers and learned about their activ­it­ies and pro­jects.  

6 Update on projects/activities

a) Turbine

We have been told that the recom­mend­a­tion is likely to be for approv­al of the tur­bine applic­a­tion, which will be con­sidered in the first half of May. The plan­ning per­mis­sion lasts three years but build­ing can’t hap­pen until the issue of radar for Highland and Islands (H & I) air­port is resolved. It will cost £800,000 so we can’t afford it.  Another option is radar blank­ing which would cost £25,000 but that only oper­ates in con­trolled air­space, which H & I air­port is not the moment.  Ian sug­ges­ted that we could com­bine efforts and resources with oth­er groups in a sim­il­ar pos­i­tion.  

Justin sug­ges­ted we stop think­ing about the tur­bine as a pro­ject that may hap­pen and so lib­er­ate our atten­tion for oth­er pro­jects. 

Action: Get in touch up with Tom Black about who is going to fol­low up on this. We need to tell the com­munity here about what is hap­pen­ing after 1 May. 

Justin said he had prom­ised not to fol­low up on Seafield until we had exhausted this aven­ue but now pro­posed we think about under­tak­ing that. 

Action: Ian — speak to Matt Roy at Greener Leith about Seafield. Veolia (land own­ers) clearly feels a degree of guilt and is think­ing of a water tur­bine.  

b) Growing spaces:

Electric bun­ga­low com­munity garden on Bath Street got bull­dozed overnight by the own­ers which was very sad. The most act­ive pro­ject is the High Street Surgery garden, where the Doctors are very keen on a com­munity garden.   Plans are being drawn up but the land­lords have changed so their per­mis­sion will need to be sought. The oth­er garden is the long thin strip of land over the road from Towerbank play­ground. It is wait­ing for someone with energy. The school is keen. 

Pizza oven group — Joel’s plan is to make a mobile pizza oven which will live in Earthy’s back yard.  This should be going ahead over the next few weeks.

c) Bees

Bees have an ill­ness — chalk brood — which weak­ens the colony.  The bee­keep­ers will need to get a new nuc­le­us.

d) Market

The mar­ket is keep­ing its head above water how­ever, although if we start to be charged a rent by the Council then we’d have to look at the viab­il­ity of it. Its suc­cess is down to Graham’s hard work and innov­a­tions. 

At the moment we have between 25 and 30 traders and it is able to con­tin­ue for anoth­er three or four years but we are hop­ing to get a wider range of traders into the mar­ket to make it more viable.   People come to the mar­ket wheth­er or not it is good weath­er and full of people (it only doesn’t work if it is com­pletely chuck­ing it down). 

The new elec­tric­al sup­ply to Brighton Park has only been in use for three months. It’s used for the hand wash and for cook­ing but we need to get traders to come who can use it. 

There’s a con­cern about access to stor­age and use of the tables and chairs once/if St James church hall is sold. 

Ian says he is happy to con­tin­ue con­trib­ut­ing to the research on the mar­ket. 

e) Orchard

The site is doing very nicely. We have settled down into hold­ing two events a year: (1) Apple Day in October atten­ded by 100 people; (2) Wassailing day in January with singing and christen­ing of the trees with cider for a fruit­ful har­vest.  It’s look­ing like an orch­ard now with Irish, French, Dutch, English, Swedish, Welsh, American and Scottish apple trees. It is self-fin­an­cing with Gordon’s apple juice and chut­ney sales. 

7 Discussions

a) Community spaces:

Graham Acheson will be doing a ses­sion at Big Things on The Beach Imagine Portobello event on 30 May, map­ping what spaces the com­munity uses and how (this ties into the PCC which is also map­ping this).

We under­stand St James is going to be sold in June. Bellfield will be harder to sell because of the grave­yard and lis­ted build­ing status. 

Ian said that we need to think about what space we need; that he would cla­ri­fy with the church what their plans are and what times­cale we have.  Out of the Blue who have the Drill Hall at Leith sur­vives on income gen­er­ated by the Bongo Club.  Any com­munity owned facil­ity here would need sources of fund­ing as well. 

Action: Ian to con­tact the Church, then we check with Graham Acheson re 30 May event, and make that or anoth­er event (e.g. an earli­er event if they are selling in June) the focus for invit­ing people to meet to decide wheth­er to try and do a com­munity buy out. This ties into our land reform agenda.  [Done but unfor­tu­nately no new inform­a­tion was avail­able.]

Action: We agreed to held a meet­ing to dis­cuss how we might pre­serve these assets for the com­munity and that this could flow from the Big Things event on 30 May, if the tim­ing is right.

b) Community charter 

This derives its strength from a piece of EU legis­la­tion that says com­munit­ies have a right to pro­tect their assets. So it’s a state­ment of val­ues, of the assets the com­munity wants to pro­tect, which can be used as a leg­al doc­u­ment to try and influ­ence the plan­ning sys­tem to pro­tect the assets we value.   A com­munity charter has been used by a group in Falkirk at a plan­ning inquiry into an applic­a­tion for frack­ing.  The out­come of the inquiry is not yet known and it will be inter­est­ing to find out what weight (of any) has been put on the charter by the Reporter in his/her decision, and how the com­munity uses the leg­al sys­tem to appeal if the charter is not giv­en weight.

We dis­cussed how PEDAL might want to be involved in the com­munity charter being drawn up by Our Forth.  It was acknow­ledged that a wide base of sup­port is needed for a suc­cess­ful com­munity charter and also that it is dif­fi­cult to engage with an issue like this when there is no imme­di­ate threat.  However, there is still con­cern about frack­ing and uncon­ven­tion­al gas extrac­tion and two loc­al people are mak­ing films about the issue.

There being no fur­ther busi­ness, the meet­ing closed at 9 pm.

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