Annual General Meeting

17th September 2008 at 7.30pm

Fairford Library




John Davis, Rachel Delves, Eileen Ferguson, Arthur Finney, Richard Harrison, Robert Jeanes, Suzanne Jones, Lavinia Kent, Joan Kinnock, Martin & Diana Lee-Browne, Simon Mumford, Ella Richardson, Albert & Deirdre Sampson, Mr & Mrs Peter Smith, Guen Taylor, Ted & Eileen Trowbridge, Jackie Tugwell, Mark Wardle, Colin Watkins, Peter Whiteman, Ann Wightman

Sue Trotter - minutes


1)       WELCOME

Suzanne welcomed and thanked everyone for coming.  It was a momentous year and the coming year looks to be equally if not more important.  It was decided to hold this year’s meeting in Sept to avoid the holiday season, however this was not as successful as we hoped given the following:


2)       APOLOGIES

Geoff & Margaret Bishop, Stuart & Christine Benzie, Phil & Mary Green, Bev & Lawrence Young, Graham Young, Ivor & Kath Price, Quentin Tailford, Pete Evans, Jane & Bill Greenoff, Frank & Connie Richmond, Bill Blencoe, David Grobecker, Steve Jones, Gillian Billborough, Chris & Alison Hobson, Margaret Martin, David & Pauline Jury, Joan Amphlett, Adrian Trotter, Caroline Mumford



It was noted that the minutes of the 2007 AGM had two point 3’s.  There were no other comments and the minutes were passed unanimously. A copy was signed by Suzanne Jones.



During the past year FES joined the Open Spaces Society who were able to provide invaluable help with both the planning appeal for Lake 104 and our subsequent application for Village Green status.  Membership subscription was £40 for the first year but will reduce to £30 for the second year.





Thank you: Suzanne thanked each of the committee members for their hard work and thanked the members and those people who donated money to the Lake 104 cause and wrote letters to the Planning Inspector, attended the enquiry and helped with research.


The lake 104 public inquiry lasted 6 days, with news of the appeal’s rejection reaching us on Thursday 24th April.  Suzanne quoted the reasons for rejection from the appeal rejection letter and went on to thank the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England for their assistance particularly with regard to the defence of the landscape and ensuring that the flood measurements were recalculated.


Question:  What happens next?

Answer:  Cygnet are proposing to submit new plans


Other Activities of FES

a) We have provided comments on the draft Master Plan for the Cotswold Water Park stressing the need to take flooding into account:

·         that there should be no more development in the floodplain

·         no more second homes until the current ones have been sold and occupied

·         new development should be restricted to new barren lakes

·         utmost importance should be given to nature conservation and bio-diversity

b) FES objected to new development of an office building with car parking at the concrete plant at Whelford Road due to this being a zone B area at Lake 107.


c) After considerable lobbying by Chris Roberts asking that we oppose planning for a club house at the waterski club at Lake 106, we investigated and saw no reason to object to the proposal.


d) As the only group in the area that have won their case at a public enquiry we have been approached by other groups, such as Save Keynes Country Park and Oaksey Parish Council, for advice.  The Cotswold Water Park Society have recently leased Kings Country Park to Watermark who want to build a cable–water-ski and 800 space car park there. 

            Question: Are they looking at re-zoning at the waterpark?

Answer: No, they appear to be moving away from second homes now towards sports activities to attract day trippers.




As Quentin was unable to be present, Mark Wardle made this report in his absence.


FES accounts were certified, as is the requirement.


Mark pointed out that in addition to the £6,641 raised by membership fees, donations and market stall sales, FES also received numerous ‘in-kind’ donations, for example all admin costs, printing, postage, photocopying etc have been met by various committee members.


FES expenditure was in two areas, the cost of hiring a Barrister for the enquiry and the fee for joining the Open Spaces Society.  With regard to the costs relating to the Barrister, these were also kept to a minimum as our Barrister’s accommodation for the week was generously provided by one of the committee members.


The surplus in the account has been used towards the Village Green Application.


            Question: Donations are shown on the accounts as “R” or “D” what does this mean?

            Answer: Donations were made on the basis that any surplus to requirement could be either returned to the donor or donated to ……….   Donations were not quite sufficient to cover the cost of the Barrister, so other funds were used to make up the remainder.


Question:  Was any donation made to the Campaign for Protection of Rural England?

Answer:  It was agreed to mail our members to invite them to join the CPRE


Mark Wardle proposed that the accounts be accepted, seconded by Simon Mumford.  All in favour.



Chairman:  Suzanne Jones was proposed by Eileen Ferguson, seconded by Joan Kinnock, All in favour


Treasurer:  Quentin Tailford was proposed by Simon Mumford, seconded by Mark Wardle, All in favour


Secretary:  Sue Trotter was proposed by Guen Taylor, seconded by Suzanne Jones, All in favour


John Davis chose to step down.  Nicky Clarke had to relinquish her position as secretary earlier in the year due to work commitments. John and Nicky were thanked for their contributions throughout the year.


The present committee comprises: Guen Taylor, Arthur Finney, Mark Wardle, Simon Mumford and Pete Evans.  Richard Harrison proposed that all be re-elected.  This was seconded by Martin Lee-Browne and passed unanimously.



Simon Mumford explained some of the background and what is involved in the application for Village Green status for Lake 104. 


The evidence in support of the application was collated and submitted requesting that Lake 104 be designated a village green for the occupants of Fairford and Horcott.  The County Council then give notice to the owners of the land, who objected and provided evidence in support of their objection.  This means that it is very likely that there will be a Public Inquiry to decide the matter, potentially in November or December this year.  It is likely that we will employ the same Barrister as for the last enquiry.


This is a different process to the previous inquiry and relies on what the land was used for in the 20 years up to April 2007 when the barbed wire fences were erected.  Evidence is required for the full 20 years and Simon stressed that anyone willing to give a statement should also be prepared to stand as a witness if required.


What a village green means:  It does not have to be in or relate to a village.  It has to relate to an area of property that has been used for sports and other lawful pastimes for a period of 20 years.  Walking is an activity that can take place on a footpath and so the landowner may suggest the activities are ancillary to walking on the footpath.


If the application is successful it does not take land away from the landowner but it does prevent them doing anything that could stop the lawful sports and pastimes.


            Question: What are the dates involved?

Answer: 12th April 2007 back to April 1987.  Anything before that is not strictly relevant.


Question: The footpath was not a restricted footpath.  It is irrelevant that it can’t be proved people were not on the footpath.  There was no marked footpath, in fact there was a footpath through Milestone House.

Answer: It is possible to divert footpaths.  The current definitive footpath marked on the map does not prevent us providing evidence that we have walked elsewhere.  However a footpath inquiry takes even longer than a Village Green Application, which is better if we win.  Also, this does not prevent us from making a footpaths application later.


Suzanne added that the Barrister was providing a written response to Cygnet’s objection letter and that we have 28 statements from newcomers through to those who’ve been here the full 20 years, covering a diverse range of activities.  In addition there are already precedents for a lake as a village green and for the area it relates to being an electoral ward.


Any enquiry should take 2 to 3 days and we have requested that it take place in Fairford.  The Barrister we used at the previous enquiry did a good job and is able to represent us again at a reduced rate of £85/hr (usual rates are £120-130).



Suzanne put forward several options:

·         A larger membership fee (currently only £10)

·         Keep the £10 membership fee and leaflet Fairford for donations

·         Market stall – successful previously it also generates publicity, but we need volunteers

·         Raffle this evening


There was an open debate and it was felt that there is democratic legitimacy from having more members and low fees may encourage people to join.  In addition there is variable ability of members to contribute. 

Mark Wardle proposed that the subscription remain at £10. This was seconded by Guen Taylor and passed unanimously.


It was also decided to run another market stall and Eileen Ferguson, Joan Kinnock and John Davis kindly volunteered to man this.


It was also suggested that we hold a Tea Dance and Ane Wightman and Joan Kinnock offered to look into arranging this.


9)       AOB

Horcott Lakes: It had been thought that the lakes had been sold but it is Hanson that have been bought by a German company.  They own the lakes.  There are plans for the development of some sort as the fishing club have been given 1 year’s notice and the permissive path has not been renewed.  We could lose that amenity.


            Question: What about the Scout Hut?

Answer: It is not known – please could anyone who finds out let Committee Members know.


Bedislow Cup:  FES have been asked to organise the entry which involves keeping the village tidy and environmentally sound.  It needs a group to organise this and Fairford Forward were hoping FES would take it on.


            Question: What about litter and overhanging hedges?

Answer: Hedges are an issue for CDC.  There are more co-ordinating groups that do things for the environment and Walnut Tree Field is a known problem.

Question: What about asking the school if it can do anything to help?

Answer: There is currently a group of teenagers who have chosen to maintain the skateboard ramp and asked for an additional bin.

Question:  Where does FES remit end?

Answer:  It is for the Committee to decide whether an issue is something we should get involved in.  We are also defined by the ‘Objects’ and by a geographical limit.


It was felt that the Bedislow Cup would be a distraction for FES at the moment but that we should reconsider this in a year or two.


Contact:  We will be contacting everyone regarding membership, donations, dates for stalls and the Tea Dance. 

            Question:  Can we have a regular Newsletter?

Answer: We update the website with important dates but due to only a small number of our members using email any newsletter would have to be printed and hand delivered.  In the circumstances Mark Wardle suggested FES publish news in other publications that are already being delivered in Fairford and Horcott.


10)   RAFFLE

The raffle was drawn and raised £57.





The meeting was closed at 9pm.