Thursday, 15 September 2011

Minutes of Executive Committee Wednesday 10th August 2011 at The Prince Pub

Note: minutes have been updated to reflect revised Film Night date of Oct 1.


Phil Jakeman, Nick Holder, Pat O’Leary, Ken Rorrison, Diane Dyer, Christophe Lutard, Rachel Murrell, Andy Clough.



Bron Jones, Barbara Read, Rajni Shah, Flora Graham, Maggie Chattaway, Annie Wilson, Matt Temple, Susanne Ballhausen,

Minutes of July meeting approved.

Vivid Festival - review
The event went well and 60+ people came to see strange constructions in the woods and listen to sound-scapes made in workshops during the preceding month. In spite of poor weather on the day, children enjoyed the lantern procession, and both adults and children enjoyed the music and performance.
A huge thank you to the organizing group, the musicians, and especially to Geoff Was, who did a phenomenal job in both categories.
Thank you too to the Big Lottery Fund for their grant.
In reviewing the event, the meeting felt that running several pre-event workshops was too much work for a small group: in future, we could focus our efforts on a single day. Also, while the musicians were a huge success, paying art-workers didn’t seem to achieve significantly more or better work than we ourselves could help children produce.
We spent £3,093, and will return the overspend to the BLF.

Venue for meetings
Our usual meeting place, SWAPA, is under new management and has indicated that if we wish to use it for meetings, it will have to charge us a higher rate. We discussed the options – local pubs, cafes and Bron’s Studio – and opted for the last of these, since it’s cheap, local and accessible. So monthly meetings will be held at 62 Allen Road, and occasional larger meetings at Bodega’s for a fee. To ensure meetings are open and encourage local residents to come on a drop-in basis, we will put a sign outside when meetings are on (Andy has a board we can use.)
We will write to SWAPA to say we want to continue to work together where possible to support the local area (Rachel)

Ken expressed concern that the SRA exec is small and over-stretched, so our future is uncertain. Nick argued that the core group of activists is actually larger than that in many comparable organizations, so we can be positive. Nevertheless, we decided to lighten the load by ceasing to arrange big quarterly meetings with speakers, and focusing instead on activities and the AGM.

Film night 3 - 1at October(everyone)
We chose a film – Grease – with some fancy dress and possibly a singalong. Nick offered his band to provide the warm-up act. Responsibility was taken for the following:

Projector, screen, electrics            (Andy)
Security (Andy)
Refreshments/ Cinemarettes (Ulla)
Licence (Nick)
Music (Nick’s band)
Paperwork – Temp Event Notice (Andy), Health and Safety (Pat)
Volunteer co-ordination (Rachel)

We will hold a separate Film Night meeting in the Shakspeare pub at 8pm on Tuesday 23rd August. (Note: later changed to 7pm)

Sainsbury’s development in Wilmer Place
The campaign against a Sainsbury’s on this site continues, but little is heard from it. When the application goes to Planning, the SRA will take a vote on if/ how we respond. The arguments are available online, both for (e.g. and against (
The campaign is apparently discussing an alternative plan for the development, but Ken argues that this may be less effective than objections based on acknowledged planning concerns, e.g. traffic. The key thing is not to oppose the development of the site – provided that it is consistent with Hackney’s avowed planning priorities – but to ensure that the likely tenant isn’t one that would damage the local economy as many feel Sainsbury’s would.

Rachel noted a story in The Hackney Citizen that Four Communications, the PR firm retained by Sainsbury’s to promote the development, is also retained by Hackney Council to promote local business, which appears to be a clear conflict of interest.

Orchard damage
Many of us were distressed by recent damage to the orchard: in late July, three or more trees were vandalized by young lads using unripe plums as missiles, and wantonly breaking the trees. The police were called, but came too late to act.
We are responding in several ways, and members can help:

·      The police Safer Neighbourhoods Team has agreed to keep an eye on the orchard. To report a problem, call 0208 721 2923. Or ring 999 if criminal damage is underway.
·      We have put signs on the affected trees questioning the damage and asking people to respect them.
·      We have had specialist advice from Russell Miller of the Tree Musket-eers who has very kindly agreed to lead a pruning group to help the trees recover. We are very grateful to him for his time and expertise.
·      We will tidy the orchard at the next BG gardening day (14th August).

As a group, and in the light of the recent riots in Tottenham, Mare Street, Dalston and across the country, we want to resist the urge to react in anger. We therefore encourage members to visit the orchard, help on clearing days, and show local youth that it is loved and cared for.

Nick reminded us that, although there has been vandalism over the five years since we planted the orchard, the majority of the 30 trees we planted survive and thrive, and the orchard is well-loved and used.

All info should be sent to Pat asap, but as the next meeting won’t be a big one, we can be a bit more relaxed about printing and distribution. The main thing is to get the newsletter out in time to publicise Film Night (Oct 1th) and Apple Day (October 16th).

The recent riots have shocked us all, and underline the importance of our efforts to care for our local environment, foster community relations, and work with SWAPA.

Dates for Diaries

·      Aug 14th – Butterfield Green work day, 2-5pm
·      Sept 14th – Next meeting – open to all, 8pm at 62 Allen Road
·      Oct 1th – Film Night 3

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