Documents for AGM 2018

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

Chair’s Report

Treasurer’s Report

Election of Board Members

Report on cur­rent work

Apple Network

Brighton Park Market

Donkeyfield Orchard

Updates and dis­cus­sion on future work

Community Shop

Can we get Porty off petrol?

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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 201617 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 Treasurers 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 years 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 tradersand res­id­entsasso­ci­ation 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