Please see below for the agenda of this year’s AGM, followed by the minutes of last years, which we need to approve this time round. There will be a few printed copies available at the AGM, but feel free to bring your own. See you there!
Minutes of 2017 AGM
Election of Board Members
Report on current work
Brighton Park Market
Updates and discussion on future work
Can we get Porty off petrol?
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MINUTES OF PEDAL AGM HELD ON 29 AUGUST 2017 AT THE DALRIADA
Attendees: Eva Schonveld (Chair) , Stephen Hawkins (Treasurer), Justin Kenrick, Neil Woodward (Secretary), Gordon McCulloch, Diana Cairns, Lys Anzer, Elaine McElveen, Jenny Messer, Melanie Main, Richard Shore.
Apologies: Kathleen Byron , Rona Gray, Anne Marte Bergseng
1 Introduction and AGM
a) Minutes of 2016 AGM
The minutes were approved as a correct record of the 2016 AGM, proposed by Neil Woodward and seconded by Stephen Hawkins.
b) Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer circulated the accounts for the year 2016–17 and made the following points:
• We are in a better financial position this year.
• The market is ticking over financially.
• The orchard has a healthy amount in its ring-fenced fund but there will be some expenses to be incurred through the replacement of stolen and vandalised trees.
• The tools and apple press have been written off from the accounts.
• The stock such as T‑shirts and Porty Shoppers are ticking over and and we have reduced our stock holding through sales of these items over the last year.
• We have some uncommitted ring-fenced reserves which give us some flexibility and we are keeping some remaining funds from the wind-up of the turbine company for a possible future energy project.
The Treasurer’s report was approved, proposed by Diana Cairns and seconded by Gordon McCulloch.
The Chair thanked the Treasurer for his work on the accounts.
c) Election of Board members
Eva Schonveld, Stephen Hawkins and Diana Cairns stood down from the board and were re-elected en bloc, proposed by Neil Woodward and seconded by Gordon McCulloch.
d) Chair’s report
The Chair made the following comments in her report on the year’s activities:
• The wind turbine project has finally been laid to rest.
• The market has performed better this year.
• The long term solid projects such as the market and orchard keep going. There have been no new projects this year but we have looked at some possibilities.
• There is the possibility of future new community growing spaces.
• New projects are dependent upon the energy and enthusiasm of board members and the community.
2 Community Shop
Talks from Melanie Main (Dig In, Bruntsfield) and Rich Short (New Leaf, Marchmont), followed by discussion on the need/possibilities of something similar in Portobello.
The Chair introduced Melanie Main, who described the process by which Dig In in Bruntsfield came into being and how the business has developed in the three years of its existence.
Key points about Dig In:
• It came out of concern about a local deli being taken over by a Sainsbury’s Local shop and a traders’ and residents’ association was formed.
• There is strong community support and buy-in to the project and money was raised through a community share issue.
• Some grant funding was acquired and help was given by the Co-op Hub.
• Market research was done in advance of setting up the shop.
• A five-year budget was set in advance.
• There is a steering group and office bearers who make decisions.
• The shop sells fruit and veg plus dried goods, which helps to make ends meet.
Rich Shore of new Leaf Co-operative in Marchmont explained how the shop had been set up and what its guiding principles are.
Key points about New Leaf:
• It is a workers’ co-operative with no hierarchy.
• There is a lot of communication and discussion and the model has produced strong buy-in.
• The aim is to be local, accessible, ethical, affordable and good quality.
• The amount of time and labour required was underestimated.
• The shop sells fruit and veg, dried goods, milk, bread and caters for special diets.
• The shop has been going for five years and is open six days a week.
• It was an existing successful business that was taken over the the co-operative.
• The set-up was crowd-funded.
During the subsequent discussion it was acknowledged that it would be a lot of work to set up a community-owned and run shop in Portobello. It is not known how much of an appetite there is and how much energy is available for setting one up. The increase in local residents from all the new housing being built should help to boost the high street.
3. Update on projects / activities
a) Orchard (Diana)
The orchard is well established now, with plenty of fruit. There have been a few problems with vandalism and theft of trees this year however. We held three successful events at the orchard over the past year: the apple day last October, the wassailing in January and the the Power of Food Festival in June. The orchard is a well-used and much-loved space by the many people who visit it.
b) Market: (Stephen)
The market is washing its face but if it falls below 20 traders it could become precarious. The board is considering trying a promotion with the traders, which will be discussed at the next board meeting. It was agreed that the money in the market fund should be spent on investing in its long-term sustainability.
c) Bees: (Diana)
The bees are surviving and the group managed to catch a swarm this year so there are now two hives on the site. There has been very little honey this year due to the poor summer.
d) Growing spaces: (Diana)
There has been no more activity with regards to growing spaces in Portobello but a consultation has been undertaken about the garden space at Bellfield church, which is shortly to be acquired by the community.
The meeting closed at approximately 8.45 pm