BOG Business meeting6/1/08 Etal Village Hall

Present Sarah Eno (Chairman), Roberta Carruthers, Marina Catt, Val Smith, Liz Cameron, David Brettell, Robert Leetham, Lorraine Douglas, Ruth Morozzo, Pam Boyd, Heather Whitaker, Keith Banyard, David Catt, Bill Smith, Maggie Warner, Sue Watts, Jayne Brettell, Judith Davison (minutes), Tom Stewart.

1. Apologies Blair and Sarah Cummock, Frances Lindsay, Frances Tecckam, David Banks, David Griggs.

2. Minutes.

The minutes of the last meeting were unanimously approved.
3. Matters arising.

BOG has received a letter thanking us for our visit to Paxton walled garden and our intended support of the feasibility study for the project. David Brettell has had further meetings with Carol and Betty and has agreed to be part of the group managing this study and its submission to the Paxton House trustees. Part of this process will be the creation of an independent legal entity for the group who eventually manage the project, but this may difficult for them to establish before applications for finance and grants are made. David asked if BOG would be prepared to “host” financial applications and spending for the feasibility study until proper legal status is organised. He estimated that, if this were necessary, it would probably be for no longer than around 9 months. We agreed to this and that David would act as BOG’s representative in overseeing the spending of the £500 BOG has made available for the feasibility study, and the applications, tendering, spending etc. done though BOG.
4. Report of “green issues” group.

Marina outlined the two areas which the group had identified- giving guidelines to members and ensuring that the BOG infrastructure promoted green values. The topic was scheduled for a meeting after the business meeting.

5. Programme of events.

David Catt and Jayne Brettell outlined the proposed programme which is nearly complete.

After some discussion we decided to discontinue the insert list of events which accompanies the first BOG news of the year, and to increase details given on the back page. More details of forthcoming events will also go on the website.

We also decided to cut down on the number of things we attempt p cover on AGM day and limit ourselves to the AGM and lunch, after which we are usually too full of food to do much else!

6. Website

We discussed which parts of the website should have open access. We agreed that anyone should be able to read articles and blogs, but that only registered members should be able to add material or have access to the florum. We need to improve the structure for members replying to florum topics. Frances T will be organising more training soon.

7. A.O.B.

David Catt will buy some more display boards.

There is still a need for someone to look at the whole area of display and display materials. We could do with an overall style for our displays, and having ready to go displays on a number of topics.

BOG will be sponsoring more prizes next year at local shows. More information from Judith.

Maggie reminded us that direct debit membership payments should now be going into the new-ish Triodos bank account.

We discussed the need to keep on reinforcing the principles of organic gardening to both the public at large and the membership. Regular displays, the website, newsletter and talks can be used to do this.

We also discussed the need to encourage people with small plots to try organic methods and to grow fresh food for their families.
Green issues- 6/1/08

The core group took the opportunity of a semi-captive audience to explain our ideas to other interested members after the business meeting.

We discussed the ideas on advice to give to members at some length. Ideas which emerged were

* Use the florum to set a topic and promote discussion
* Robert will discuss the categories we identified in the newsletter and suggest a few actions which members might take
* A dynamic approach is probably better than a fixed list. Members welcome pack/display material/website page could include a list of green gardening ideas which could be refreshed or modified regularly.

Green tips/ thought for the month etc. short pieces of advice could be included in the newsletter and website.

We also discussed the group’s suggestions on improving the green credentials of the way BOG works.

We already try to minimise paper usage, sell the BOG shopping bags and arrange our programme to minimise travelling.

The discussion mainly concerned ways of encouraging car sharing. Regular attenders at meetings are well organised on this, but we need to find ways to make this easier for members at large who wish to attend event. There are some privacy issues to consider when putting people in contact with each other.

* Have a volunteer in each area to coordinate
* Get people to ring if they intend coming to and event and the event organiser to ask about willingness to share cars.
* Encourage members, especially new members, to contact their nearest committee member who would put interested parties in contact with each other.
* Do a pilot run with the people who regularly volunteer to help at Potato Day.
* At the end of each meeting, include a request for people to car share for the next meeting.