Minutes of HBUF Meeting, St Barnabas Small Hall, Mon 12 March 2018

Present at meeting: Kate Henery, Steve Thompson, Josie Lewis, Bob Sherman, John Ballman, Amanda Musto, Sue Gwinnell, Marianne McPherson, Mary Farragher

Apologies for absence: Stuart Batsford

Minutes of last meeting: Josie wished to have included remarks she had made at that meeting that:

1) you can only plant on agricultural land and 2) her reference to the Public Health Act being a barrier to planting trees on Cricklade Field.

Matters Arising:

  • Steve reported back on the replies from the Gas Board and the Environment Agency whereby the former would impose a stay of 10 metres from their pipe, and the latter that we would need to leave an area 26’ from the river.
  • He also reported that he had researched Public Health Acts back to 1848 and can find no mention of any bar to tree planting. Furthermore, the lease, clause 3.3.1, does not preclude the planting of trees on the site.
  • Marianne asked the meeting to consider the continued availability of a flat space where children could play.
  • Steve referred to the fact that it is written into our Constitution that our purpose is to plant trees.

[Clause 2:  To promote for the benefit of the public the provision of woodlands as a public amenity.]

  • Steve pointed out that we had already voted positively on this matter, that he had researched Public Health Acts and found no bar to planting trees, and that he was going to start looking for grants to do so. He talked about his wish to extend the area behind the pavilion as well.
  • Josie remarked that if he planted trees on Cricklade Field, she would pull them up.

[John Ballman spoke about the ways in which land could be earmarked for housing by transferring land, for example, from the Housing Revenue Account land into the General Fund, from which it would then be more easily allowed to be built on.  This is, in effect, the way in which much of the land would originally have been built on in the Haboakus scheme.]

  • Sue asked if we might compromise by making the boundaries a little bigger.
  • Amanda asked if we might meet again to talk about this one issue.
  • John B talked about SBC removing covenants, legally, in order to clear the way for building at the time of Haboakus.
  • Steve asked why did we get the land when Haboakus were got rid of.
  • John sort of replied that it almost just happened – ?
  • Josie started a formal motion proposing to over-rule the chairman.
  • John asked Kate to sketch out ideas of what the Cricklade Field would look like in detail.
  • Sue seconded that idea.
  • Kate was all right with that. Steve would give an A3 copy to Kate, which she would annotate and populate it with ideas.  We will all talk about this at the next meeting.
  • John gave an overview of the decision-making process: that we voted to plant up Cricklade Field with trees, then the process of doing so would take place. And that the process itself would take time.
  • Steve asked the meeting:

Are you in favour in principle for having trees?  And the vote was 6 in favour and 1 against.

Mini Opinion Poll:

As Matters Arising had taken up much of the meeting, Amanda passed this to Mary to type up and email back to her.

Hiring Mini-Dumper:

Paths started but not finished.  We agreed therefore to hire this for a week (exact date to be decided as we have to book in advance, as it is a very popular piece of equipment) at a cost of c£250.  Steve will order, and will try to book it for a time when the Wellbeing Group should be here – Thurs 22nd March.

Celtic Tree Calendar:

Crowd-funding needs to start soon for this.  Kate will calculate cost (thinks it should be about £2-£2½ K).

Approving Cost of Hive:

This is £550 – and it was agreed.  The cost includes putting it up.  The man in charge of the organisation is willing to speak to groups of children/people about the whole process.  He has visited HBUF and established the best place for the hive.  Early May is best (to avoid wasps taking over the hive).

Kate – we should make an event out of this e.g. Scouts, Brownies, Sheltered Housing, Twigs are all a possibility – agreed.

Change of Bank:

Our bank, the Co-operative, is closing its Swindon branch.  It was, therefore, proposed that we should move to another, Lloyds being the suggested bank, being particularly convenient.

Proposed: Steve

Seconded: Josie

Passed unanimously

Tree Pruning:

There are three willow trees beside the river that are dead or dying/falling down.  John Ballman will take this up with Andy Reeves tomorrow (Tuesday).  If the council is not prepared to deal with them, we would have to find the funding to do so ourselves.

Fence by Pond:

It was agreed that we would install pig wire on the fence to protect the bank.  Kate suggested planting up with Virginia creeper; generally thought a good idea to plant up, maybe with ?vine (forgotten the name).


We decided that for future paths we would use road planings again (rather than hoggin).

Next Meeting: 7.00, Monday 9th April, St Barnabas Small Hall.