Warwickshire Conservation Volunteers Committee.
Meeting Wednesday 16th December 2020. Bagots Castle 1:00
Present: Pam Reason (Chair) Chris Bills (Secretary)
Trevor Simpson (Treasurer) Mike Skinner (Task coordinator)
John Phillips John Clements Milton Vaughan
Tim Johnson Mike O’Donnell Craig Hanbury
Apologies: Eric Austen
1 Minutes of previous meeting accepted.
2 No Matters arising
3 Activities Report:
1 We have now completed 8 years as an independent group and our tasks to date have been some 573. 2020 has been an odd year due to the various restrictions and "lockdowns" brought on by Covid 19. However we will have managed to do 42 Wednesday tasks so only losing out on 10 altogether. These tasks were made up as follows: - 20 for Coventry City Council, 6 for Guy’s Cliffe House, 3 for Keresley Parish Council at Jubilee Wood, 3 for Bagot’s Castle and 2 for Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Other one day tasks were at Willoughby, Temple Grafton, Budbrooke, Holly Drive, Pam’s Meadow and Bishops Itchington Primary School. In addition to this, John Phillips has supervised 16 Thursday tasks alternating between Pig Wood and Coundon Community Wood.
2 Our annual outing this year was on 8th July when 7 of us managed to reach the summit of Bredon Hill.
3 We have had one new member join us this year, Dominic Smith who has joined the Thursday “gang". Also it was good to welcome back one of our old BTCV members (Craig Hanbury) who has joined us for a spell whilst on furlough and now job seeking.
4 Future work is still a little uncertain as Warwickshire CC and Wildlife Trust are being very cautious about sending out volunteer groups at present. They are waiting to see if restrictions are eased in the new year. There is still work to do at Jubilee Wood and Willow Park but both Keresley and Balsall Common Parish Councils want to put their work out to tender. It is highly unlikely that they will find anyone to do the work cheaper than ourselves so we shall see what transpires. I have sent 2 e-mails to Kasia at the Landmark Trust asking about work at Astley Castle but have had no response.
5 The good news is that Coventry City Council have given us the go-ahead to carry on work for them as long as we work within the guidelines. There is also some diversity now as we have management plans for both Tile Hill, Limbrick, Hearsall Common and Coundon Community Woods. I have also been having a scout around Allesley Park and it’s Walled Garden with a possibility of doing some work at these sites.
6 There is a task to do (a bridge extension) behind Kenilworth Castle if we think we can do it whilst “social distancing”. I have also contacted the curator of the castle to suggest we make some improvements to the perimeter path around the castle which would involve the installation of steps and some strimming.
7 In conclusion I would just like to thank everyone for their hard work over the last 12 months and for coming out and braving the virus. If we work sensibly we should remain safe. I must also apologise for so many rainy Wednesdays. I will try and organise better weather for next year.
4 Chairman’s Report
Pam thanked everybody for another good year.
What a strange year we’ve had - almost surreal at times! During the first lockdown, we obeyed the rules and didn’t do any tasks. Then we were set free and Mike quickly organised some tasks for us. There was lots of talk in the media about how being outside was good for our wellbeing and it did feel good to be back working again. During the second lockdown, we couldn’t work for Coventry City Council, but we found a couple of replacement tasks to fill the gap – Bishops Itchington Primary School wildlife area and Barbara and David Pink’s woodland.
Many thanks go to Mike for his continued hard work in finding us tasks and to Trevor for keeping the books. I’m afraid I missed quite a few sessions this year, on top of the enforced ones, including our jolly day out. Lastly, thanks to all of you for your support and company. Let’s hope 2021 is a better year and slightly more normal.
5 Treasurer’s Report:
Accounts end of year figures are on the Web.
Income from task work was £960 down on last year at £3350. (£2000 from Coventry City Council - £400 down from April & May closure, but still have the contract with them for doing 6 tasks per quarter when they let us!)
Administration and training costs dropped to zero - insurance has been deferred for 6 months and 1-year TCV membership was free (this year is also free due to TCV sponsorship arrangement).
Mileage paid was less by £559 against last year at £888 with Equipment £251 higher at £1032(net). Garage rental has gone up again - now over £600 p.a.
So the end of the year shows a deficit of £280 reduced from £368 last year, leaving a bank balance at the end of the year of £2505.
As agreed previously I have made a further one-off clothing and tools maintenance payments based roughly on how many trips out made during the year. I used this to bring the bank balance down to just over £1000.
I would propose keeping the mileage rate as it is at 25ppm and 30ppm shared.
Web site - I aim to keep it up to date showing the next events and locations, and the accounts I update about once a month.
See accounts page for the detail as the formatting doesn’t seem to work here
John’s Chain saw licence needs renewing but WWT aren’t doing them at the moment
Mike had followed-up on John C’s suggestion about silky saws from Cov CC. He had suggested it to them but had heard nothing more.
The meeting ended at 2:10