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