Meeting 2019 07

Notes taken at the General Meeting Tuesday 9th July 2019 held at the Lane Theatre, Newquay

Present at the Meeting: 82 (including 3 new members and 1 visitor)

1) Welcome: Gret introduced herself as the Chairman, then pointed out the fire exits before asking people to make sure their handbags were tucked out of the way and their phones were switched off or on silent. Gret then introduced the speaker, Jenny Hindson from Newquay Community Orchard.

2) Newquay Community Orchard: The very personable Jenny Hindson is the Operations Manager of Newquay Community Orchard. She gave us an interesting talk about the Orchard which is 7 acres of green space on Duchy land, gifted and then crowd-funded to make Newquay a greater place. Work started in 2015. So far about 500 people have been involved in this sustainable organisation, built by the community for the community. There are currently 120 apple trees, plus pear and plum trees in the Orchard itself. Support has been given by John Harris who has a wealth of knowledge of the history of the different apple varieties, some with weird and wonderful names. The first apple harvest will be this year.

In “An Lowarth” (the growing space) other crops have been grown by volunteers who now have their first crop of blackcurrant jam. In the propagation greenhouse they also do courses in various aspects of horticulture. They now have a large poly-tunnel with another due to be erected in the near future. Things growing in the “Forest Garden” can either be eaten or used in some other way. In the “Kreft” (workshop) they do woodwork, making bird-boxes and other things from pallets and other materials. “The Den” is a covered area which is used for workshops and exhibition space. They now have a "Heart and Soul" food wagon, an outside kitchen, where free hot lunches are provided for the volunteer workers, who work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The whole idea of the Orchard is to provide a sanctuary where anyone can come at any time: a green community hub. In August construction will start on a new Community Building (“The Hive”) where rooms will be available for hire, and where they hope to hold pop-up feasts with guest chefs. Construction will also start in August on a 600 seat amphitheatre (“Plen an Gwari”), which will be the second largest indoor venue in Cornwall. Although the first two years it will be an outdoor venue, as they need to raise money for a roof first. Various events are already held at the Orchard, with about 2,500 people attending their Spring Fair. They hold regular craft markets and farmers' markets, and great fun was had at their Wassail in January.

Jenny certainly captured the interest of our audience. Some members indicated they will probably be visiting sometime in the near future. Some indicated they may even be volunteering. Gret thanked Jenny for her interesting talk, and said she hoped she and John would soon be visiting Newquay Orchard.

3) Apologies: Christine Bramhall, John and Miranda Taylor, Sheilah Terry and Rosemary Plant.

4) Minutes of the General Meeting held on 11th June 2019 were approved and signed as a correct record by Shirley Scammell. Copies were available for perusal on the notice board.

5) Matters arising: No matters were raised.

6) Chairman’s Report:

  • Vice-chairman: Gret thanked Shirley, our new Vice-Chairman, for chairing the General Meeting in June. Gret said she was rejoicing in the fact that she now had a Vice-Chairman who had a lot of experience after being on the Committee for some time.
  • Changes of Addresses, Phone Numbers or Email Addresses: Gret asked that members notify Valerie Tams, our Membership Secretary, of any changes in order for our database to be kept up-to-date.
  • Car Park Marshals: Our previous car park marshal has not yet renewed his membership, so Gret asked for a couple of volunteers to take it in turns to be marshal, to enable members to double park if necessary to give more room in the car park, as Newquay U3A is getting bigger all the time and there isn’t another suitable bigger venue.
  • Recent Events Slide Show: Gret thanked David Stevens for organising a slide show of recent events so members could come into the auditorium after they had their refreshments. She that this would ease congestion in the Green Room. She then asked members to send David Stevens more photos to share what they have been doing with other members at General Meetings.

7) Vice-chairman’s Report: None.

8) Groups Coordinator’s Report:

  • Recent Events Slide Show: David Stevens said that he hadn’t had too many photos, and asked that if people send photos they should put some narrative so we know where they are and what they did. He also asked for the photos to be in landscape, rather than portrait.
  • Group Leader’s Meeting: David said this will possibly be the third Tuesday in September, probably at Crantock Village Hall.

9a) Treasurer’s Report:

  • Current Bank Balance as at 30/06/2019
  • (Includes £446.38 Gift Aid) £7,144.32
  • Minimum reserve £1,500.00


Current Income for Year £3,634.00
(Includes £446.38 Gift Aid)
Estimated Expenditure for Year £3,000.00
Petty Cash £25.00

9b) Finance Seminar: Victor Williams said he had been to a Finance Seminar to teach him how to do the job and found out that we were not doing some things we should be doing, and we were doing some things that we should not be doing, therefore we need to make some changes. It will all be discussed further at the Group Leaders’ Meeting.

  • All income needs to be reported to the Charities Commission, including trips where moneys are collected in advance for block booking payments.
  • Table Tennis money needs to go through the accounts as does money for any special events, except those booked through travel agents.
  • Floats are not fully insured therefore we now have a Petty Cash float of £25, otherwise we are going against U3A rules and the money is not protected.
  • Money collected must be transferred to U3A. Depositing into one’s own bank account means it is not insured and, if the person who has collected the money were to die, could cause problems with probate. If money is deposited into a personal account it must be immediately transferred to U3A.
  • The Charities Commission can demand to look at our books at any time.
  • When we have on-line banking we will be able to make payments directly.
  • Victor has designed a new spreadsheet which will hold any funds as ring-fenced for various groups. The money will not be lost into the general U3A funds.
  • An event is NOT a U3A event if money is paid directly by a member, and the event is therefore not insured.
  • When is a tip not a tip? A whip round for a driver on an excursion is a tip, but not if it is paid on a regular basis.
  • Victor needs to continue to look at the books and project our expenses correctly. He also needs to look at the reserve and at the excess funds we have.

10) Membership Secretary’s Report:
We currently have 212 fully paid up members, 81 of whom are present at the General Meeting, including 3 new members. We also have 1 visitor present.

11) Publicity Coordinator’s Report:
Gret is going to produce a newsletter for September. She has had some contributions but would appreciate more.

12) Interest Groups:
12a) Garden Appreciation Group:

  • Bonython Gardens: Margaret L said that the minibus was full for the trip to Bonython Gardens, Helston, on Tuesday 23rd July. However, cars would also be going so if anyone could give a lift to people on the reserve list it would be appreciated. The minibus will leave 6 Veor Road at 10am. Please bring a packed lunch as they only serve tea, coffee and cake.
  • The September Garden Party will be held in Janet Bailey’s large garden at 21 Chester Road, when everyone is welcome and should bring a plate of food to share and if possible a fold-up chair. A raffle will be held on the day.

12b) Miscellaneous Events: “The Odd Couple” at the Lane Theatre is on every Tuesday and Wednesday at 8pm from 18th June to 24th July.

13) Any Other Business: It was mentioned that the 26th August was a Bank Holiday, but Antiques and Collectables has been scheduled for that day and was it correct?

14) Next General Meeting: Tuesday 10th September 10:30am for 11:00am at the Lane Theatre. Refreshments will be served from 10:15am and will finish at 10:45am, giving time for the clearing up to be done before the meeting. There will be no speaker. Interest Groups will be showcasing their activities. Our Chairman and Secretary, Gret and John Woodason, will not be there. Shirley, our Vice-chairman will chair the meeting and David Stevens will be assisting the Group Leaders with their presentations.