AGM Minutes 2014



28th November 2014 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2014Keats & Shelley Room The Thistle Hotel 4pm





















Trisha Gaskell-Watkins   BHCIB   Brunswick Town in Bloom Treasurer

Denise Taylor          BHCIB       The Lanes Traders Group   Chair

Gabrielle Villermet     BHCIB       North Laine Comm. Ass. Minutes Secretary

Cllr. Ken Norman                     Withdean Ward – Working Group

Paul Skelly                               Seedy Sunday – Working Group

Cllr. Carol Theobald                 Patcham Ward – Working Group

Sue Addis                                 Donatello

Tony Benton                            Chair, Friends of Preston Park (Speaker)

Elspeth Broady                         Chair London Road Station Partnership

Sandy Eldridge                         Florist

Linda Goldsmith                       Secretary Ovingdean Gardening Club

Juliette Hunting                         Brunswick Town in Bloom

Alan Moon                                 Chair Friends of Hove Park – Working Group

Tom Morey                               Brighton Marina in Bloom – Working Group

Cllr. Ken Norman                      Withdean Ward – Working Group

Walter Sargison                         Broadfield Tenants Association

Grant Scott                               Craven Vale / Walk on the Wild Side

Cllr. Sue Shanks                    Withdean Ward – Working Group

Stuart Derwent                         Chair, Friends of Withdean Park

Gary Murdoch                           Vegetablism

Pete Taylor                                Vegetablism


Apologies Anne Glow, Allotment Federation, Christine Fitzgerald, Friends of Waterhall, Richard Bradley,Head of City Clean and Parks, Elerie Sampson, Judith Street, Woodvale Cemetery,Bille Crabtree, Marketing Bunny, Cllr Pete WestBarbara Aston Kemp Town Gardening and Community group


Minutes previous AGM There were no matters arising from the 2013 AGM minutes. Minutes Agreed.***
Chair’s Report Trisha Gaskell-Watkins was thanked for her hard work for BHCIB despite having to commit to her family at a very difficult time.In 2014 we re-established competitions that had been dropped by the council and this year we had twelve categories sponsored which was two up on last year. Brighton & Hove Bus Company came on board as a sponsor as did Priors Letting and Estate Agents. Unfortunately two sponsors went out of business so BHCIB had to sponsor Best Front Garden and pay for prize giving out of funds. Gunns Florist sponsored the flowers for our Launch and prize giving and our Lifetime Achievement Award. Donatello sponsored Most Imaginative, Most Creative and Most Resourceful.

We entered Brunswick Town in Bloom into South, South East in Bloom and they won Silver Gllt. We also entered Woodvale Cemetery as a first time entry and they also won Silver Gilt award. We have discussed these accolades with Richard Bradley Head of Cityclean and Parks and he is happy to have further talks with us for taking this forward in 2015.

The working group agreed that more support is needed with administration as the workload becomes more difficult to manage.

We enlisted the help of CVSF and The Food Partnership and we have had a few enquires through this.

Thanks to Sandy Eldridge who has said that she is willing to join our committee.

Thanks to Pete and Gary from Vegetablism who have said they can give assistance.

Thanks were conveyed to the Working Group who support the process through the year and thanks to all the judges who support us at competition time.

Despite our attempts throughout the year, the Welcome Sign in Patcham remained unplanted for the summer. It was planted up in October with pansies in time for SSEIB awards ceremony at Amex. We will continue to try and find answers to our questions regarding the lack of corporate sponsorship.

We have drawn up a business plan to specifically address sustainability.

We have had a meeting with Billie Crabtree of graphic designers and web developers Marketing Bunny who is going to help us update our web site on a regular basis.

Paul Skelly continues to administer our Twitter account.

The working group were thanked for their support along with all judges.

The workload was also increased for the judges this year as all 22 judges were asked to make observations on every entrant as well as mark on the given criteria.

Plants have now been delivered by Stanmer Nurseries to four winning schools.

Rudyard Kipling was awarded a vine. St. martins Primary was awarded a kiwi. Moulsecoomb Primary was awarded a kiwi. Carlton Hill Primary was awarded an Apple.

BHCIB paid £100 for Brunswick Town in Bloom to enter South,South East in Bloom.They achieved a Silver Gilt award.

BHCIB expected the council for pay, as match-funding, the £100 entry fee for first time entrant Woodvale Cemetery to enter SSEIB, but paid in advance so that they could attend prize giving to receive their Silver Gilt award. To date BHCIB have not been paid back by the council.

BHCIB supported Brunswick Town in Bloom with the lighting of the annual Christmas Tree at the Floral Clock Palmeira Square in December last year.

Thanks to the council who have once again supplied the tree which is already erected and on Monday December 1st at 3.30pm there will be children from Davigdor Road School singing at St.John The Baptist Church and then the Rotary Club choir will be at the tree for when the Mayor arrives at 4.20 to light the tree.



Treasurer’s Report Two of our sponsors had dire financial difficulties which left us with a deficit of £800.00 which we funded ourselves.We produced our sponsor pack that enables us to approach sponsors in a more professional way. All of our initial stationery needs have now been paid for.
In 2015 we will be increasing the awards categories by bringing in a Charity garden category. Due to our success in increasing and maintaining the competitions we will need some administration help. We are hoping to get more volunteer help but failing that funding from our budget will be necessary. We have had an offer of printing which will help us enormously next year.

Expenditure for this year has been £4085 with income during the year totalling £2100.
After three years of organising the competitions our financial situation is robust with an £18,415.00 balance.
This will again be carefully managed in the year ahead to help us achieve our eventual aim of being fully sustainable.




Election The proposed candidates for election were as follows :-Denise Taylor – Chair

Trisha Gaskell-Watkins – Treasurer

Gabrielle Villermet – Minutes secretary

A nomination form for committee members was sent out with the Agenda. None was forthcoming.

As there were fewer candidates than committee spaces available all nominees were elected without challenge. A show of hands indicated that the attendees agreed with the procedure.

The candidates were recorded as elected.



Information on proposed Friends Of Groups Network 












Chair, Friends of Preston ParkBHCIB has endeavoured to forge an alliance between Friends of Groups for several years. There had been an indication that there would be a Friends Of Seminar arranged this year . That has not been forthcoming so we are still trying to develop this initiative to support FO community groups so that information can be shared across the board. Lack of information and a paucity of guidance can hold groups back from accomplishing more. We are still hopeful that we will be working with the council so that the work done by FO groups is acknowledged and supported.Alan Moon, Chair of FO Hove Park has agreed to co-ordinate the scheme.


Tony Benton Chair of Friends of Preston Park was welcomed and introduced as Speaker.


































































FO Preston Park was set up four years ago in partnership with the council and Rangers. They have a committee of 5 who have diverse skills with all having a passion for the park. The main three areas of actions are Events, Community and Campaigns. They run a very successful annual Easter Egg Hunt with Sainsbury’s donating the eggs. Another successful event is Halloween where over 500 people attend. Other events are organised are Picnic in the Park within PrestFest. It is extremely hard work.Communication with users of the park are paramount to the operation. They carry out surveys on behalf of the council such as the impact of Pride. They are involved with mulching the elm trees. They produce at least four newsletters a year for distribution locally.

Campaigns such as those related to rogue parking in the park are part of their remit.

The group follow a four P’s process. Passion, Partnership, Politeness and Patience.

The committee has clear roles and responsibilities. They work with park users including sports groups and people who run the cafes. They are mindful of being polite and diplomatic in all dealings. Their experience is that the process to an end goal can be lengthy so perseverance and patience are necessary to implement change.

As with most community groups it proves difficult to get people to commit to volunteer. With a mind to the cuts being

made in city parks maintenance, it will further fall on Friends Of groups to have a more important role in the future. It will be constructive to be seen to be working as one voice to interact with the council. The proposed alliance could match up skills with Friends Of requirements and the council could be instrumental in meeting these needs. Paul Campbell of the Parks Projects team could be an excellent conduit with the council.



How do people get to know who is looking after their parks – how do you publicise the work of Friends Of groups ?

TB. Notice boards by the cafes advertise the groups activities.

Local business associations and The Argus should be more involved in these community activities. Try LAT for London Road area (EB)

Withdean Park has resources promised from a nursing home but do not know how to spend it due to lack of partnership with the council. There needs to be a communication strategy. DT. Lack of communication has lead to FO planting wildlfowers and the council mowers subsequently removing them.

These must be seen as our parks with the council in partnership and   FO groups facilitating the use of them.

Has been against withdrawing support funding from parks.It need not cost a lot – Local communities need support.

It is important to find a way to get all groups working together – Having one voice has more influence. Hove park have lost their rangers but the are grateful for those who do have an input.

The larger voice of the combined Brunswick Town in Bloom has been beneficial rather than the separate Lansdowne Area Residents, Palmeira Residents, Brunswick Residents etc. All chairs meet bi-monthly.

FO needs a bigger voice. We need to set out what we need to achieve. Their group have been restricted by bureaucracy. A surveyor needed to be consulted over a project. Need partnership in council expertise. They are involved with the Greenway Project at New England Quarter.

BHCIB used to work closely with the council. It is the obvious group to be co-ordinating all representative groups.

The Open Space Forum was a group that met 2 or 3 times a year and should be re-introduced.

An update of the directory on the council’s web site would help.

Rangers have been lost and more expert advice is needed.

There are still park rangers

BHCIB should have a voice on developing open spaces. They could ask all parties what they proposed in their election campaigns and maybe work with the local charity Community Works to reach more volunteer groups.

This group has been represented at CVSF meetings

It was agreed that due to the strength of opinion in the room there was much more to be discussed to ensure that groups are valued in their work. . We will refer back to Food Partnership. Support is paramount and BHCIB will organise the first seminar of the Alliance of Friends of Groups to find out their requirements.


SpeakerCllr Ken Norman


The RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood campaign supports community groups in cleaning up their local areas.Any volunteer gardening group can join. The competition encourages Friends Of groups who look after a local park to enter. Sign up and inform BHCIB for support. There are no size limits – a group is more than one and must be voluntary led. Joining the campaign in free and brings many benefits to often neglected areas.Deadline for entry is February 2015. Entry forms available from BHCIB


Any other businessKN










New category for 2015Cllrs. Ken and Ann Norman have offered to sponsor a new Most Innovative category which will be open to everyone. This will encourage a much wider set of entrants without the restrictions of the other categories. Judges through all categories will look out for most innovative across the entries.

The Chair thanked them both for this offer

Will approach Hove Business Association regarding affiliation.

There will be no Lilac Lark in Withdean Pak this year due to lack of assistance.

Thanked the committee for the work they do.

Offered to sponsor another category for 2015. The Chair thanked them for this offer.



THE CHAIR THANKED Tony Benton and Cllr. Ken Norman and everyone for attending.The meeting concluded at 5.25.

Dates for diary:-

Seedy Sunday 2nd February 2014

Brighton & Hove in Bloom 2014 Launch , Jubilee Library Monday 30th March – Photo call / Mayor 1pm

Prospective dates for Working Group Meetings . :-

Wednesday 18th March at 2pm Ante Room Brighton Town Hall

Thursday 23rd April at 2pm Ante Room Brighton Town Hall

Thursday 28th May at 2pm. Ante Room Brighton Town Hall