AGM Minutes 2015




4th December 2015



Bagelbar Duke Street Brighton 4pm







Trisha Gaskell-Watkins           BHCIB Brunswick Town in Bloom

Denise Taylor                           BHCIB      The Lanes Traders Group

Gabrielle Villermet                     BHCIB       North Laine Comm. Ass.

Cllr. Carol Theobald                 Patcham Ward – Working Group


Apologies  Barbara Aston Kemp Town Gardening and Community group Paul Skelly Seedy Sunday Cllr. Ken Norman

Jim Alison G.Burley. Alan Moon, Chair FOHove Park Jackie Beecham FO Hove Park



Minutes previous AGM  There were no matters arising from the 2014 AGM minutes.

The subject of more support had been addressed during the year. However, two appeals via the CVSF database had no success.

Minutes Agreed


Chair’s Report It had been decided to keep the AGM low profile this year with only committee members to take the AGM through the formalities.

It has been a very demanding year with regard to people-resources.

As there were few attendees it was decided that the meeting would be ratified by proxy, (Working Group member Jim Alison) so the requirements of a quorum were met .

Despite adverse circumstances and lack of support the achievements have been many.

See Annual Report.


Treasurer’s Report Expenditure for us this year has been just £360, thanks to generous sponsor packages.
After four years of organising the competitions our financial situation continues to remain robust .The council’s outgoings each year were £25,000 before we took over, therefore our voluntary group has brought to the city £100,000 worth of an activity that would have been lost – for just over £7000 spread over four years.

Our generous sponsors have allowed us to get ever near to achieving 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

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





BHCIB has had talks with a view to creating an Alliance between Friends of Groups. As the council takes a lesser role in management of parks and open spaces the onus is falling more and more on the voluntary sector.

We need everyone to be fully informed of funding sources and how to implement the diverse use of our open spaces. We need to get it across that there are economic advantages that sit alongside many of our open spaces through revenue brought in by commercial ventures which in turn can improve tourism.

We will endeavour to find a way of working with the Council towards meaningful dialogue that will allow us to open up debate on this.

The International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration ( has written:-

Benefits of Urban Parks establishes that there is sound scientific evidence that parks contribute to human and social wellbeing.

We have been informed that the council will be taking Ranger numbers down from 9 to 3 and we have signed the GMB Union Petition to save the posts on the grounds that voluntary groups cannot take on fuller responsibility of our parks and open spaces. It is our fear that the groups, who currently work very hard, will become demoralised and the areas neglected.

We have had a meeting with Mark Drayton of The Trust for Developing Communities who informed of the work being carried out with an affiliation of FO Groups in the West of the city

We will aim to engage with diverse FO groups to determine the sort of support there is for this initiative. We can only take this task on if we have supportive manpower.

For the Alliance to have meaningful status we need to decide a realistic and achievable route and we will work towards this in 2016.   DT will contact B & H ‘s Wildlife Forum to see how they feel about the proposition.


Any other business 1.     We could not have our meeting at Brighton Town Hall due to Health and Safety regulations as the ground floor rooms were booked and there is not permission to use rooms on other levels for groups that do not have a member of the council in representation.

2.     DT will be contacting Stella Richardson to try and arrange our proposed meetings for next year. See below.

3.     Addressing our own sustainability and responsible management of our group we will be scaling down our competitions for 2016 to put our efforts into more sustainable projects including the FO groups Alliance.

4.     There will not be a launch  in 2016 . It was agreed that the amount of people who enter our competitions from this source is negligible.

5.     It was agreed that we will only run the following competitions. :-

Best Community Garden

Best Charity Community Garden

Best Street / Urban area

We would also like to still encourage the Best Wildlife category and we will be looking into having someone assist with the organisation of that. As it entails access to back gardens it is particularly difficult to administer.

We would like to encourage Best Front Garden entrants to enter a Best Sustainable Front Garden category.

6.     We are hoping that, after our success regarding entry of city parks into SouthSouthEastInBloom the council will enter again in 2016.

7.     At last the corporate sponsor deal seems to be in place with a previous sponsor agreeing to pay for the Patcham Welcome sign. We are delighted that at last this is in place and that this year we will not be having to appeal to the council to plant up this important site. Many thanks to Donatello for taking up this sponsorship.


THE CHAIR THANKED those in attendance

The meeting concluded at 5.15

Dates for diary:-

Seedy Sunday 7th February 2016 Corn Exchange

Dates for Working Group Meetings . ROOM 1 BRIGHTON TOWN HALL :-

Tuesday 22nd March at 2pm

Wednesday 20th April at 2pm – proposed Alliance meeting

Wednesday 25th May at 2pm.







29th November 2013


Shelley Room The Thistle Hotel



















Trisha Gaskell-Watkins              BHCIB  Brunswick Town in Bloom

Denise Taylor                           BHCIB The Lanes Traders Group

Sheila Jones                            BHCIB  Brighton Marina

Gabrielle Villermet                   BrHCIB  North Laine Comm. Ass.

Barbara Aston                         Kemp Town Gardening & Community Group

Linda Austin                            Friends of St. Ann’s Well Garden

Anne Glow                              Allotment Federation

Russ Howarth                         Allotment Federation

Alan Moon                               Friends of Hove Park

Tom Morey                              Brighton Marina

Cllr. Ken Norman                    Withdean Ward

Paul Skelly                              Seedy Sunday

Cllr. Carol Theobald                Patcham Ward

Cllr Pete West                         St. Peter’s & North Laine Ward

Diane Harris                            London Road Station Partnership

Jim Alison                                City Parks





Denise Taylor

Apologies Juliette Hunting, Cllr. Sue Shanks, Cllr. Ollie Sykes, Richard Pearson, Bernadette Skinner, Spenser Kennard, Cllr. Anne Pissaridou, Mara Crippa, Linda Anglin, John Burns, Sue Addis.

Minutes previous AGM There were no matters arising from the 2012 AGM minutes

Chair’s Report DT announced that Paul Skelly had stood down from the position of Chair and wished him well for the future. A gift of a plant was awarded for his services over the past two years. Citywide gardening competitions that had been dropped by the council due to lack of funding were re-introduced during 2013. The Best Commercial category was split in two with the introduction of Best Licensed category. This proved very successful with a record number of entries being received.BHCIB  introduced the new category of Best Primary School garden, which brought in more entrants than for the SSEIB competitions in this first year   This category was sponsored by Brighton & Hove City in Bloom.Representatives form Lansdowne, Brunswick, Kemp Town, North Laine community, The Lanes, Brighton Marina, The Allotment Federation, The Food Partnership and City Parks were all thanked for their collaboration and support, plus the councillors who sit on the working group.Sponsors were thanked for their endorsement of the City in Bloom principles.Cherril Starmer of The Thistle was thanked for her generosity towards the group.The groups’ Annual Report was available for everyone and an overview given of achievements covering the successful launch at Jubilee Library in February, re-branding of BHCIB, web site, running 10 gardening competitions along with judging and collation and an award ceremony for 120 people.

A busier year is expected ahead and the group is committed to working with local communities on the In Bloom theme. Promoting a sense of pride amongst communities was referred to and the award ceremony was held up as an example where the coming together in a sense of communal well-being and satisfaction was experienced. The council was thanked for their support and initial grant funding.

It is also the groups’ objective to go beyond just gardening competitions. They will continue to draw attention to unsightly areas and work towards improving the appearance of unappealing localities.

Appeals were put out for assistance and Barbara Aston volunteered to assist with some computing skills.

Treasurer’s Report TG-W took the meeting through the procedures of the council’s one-off grant.She explained that the group had this year set about putting everything in place to make BHCIB run sustainably and economically. The expenses for this year were largely used to set up the group. This included prize money for the winner of the logo competition who was a student from a local college, setting up the web site and design and printing costs related to branding. The launch and award ceremonies were self-financed. Where competition categories were not fully funded or sponsored the Group bore the expense.We will therefore be producing a sponsor pack for 2014 to attract more sponsors to cover annual costs.

Election Those present were asked if anyone wanted to nominate themselves or anyone else for election.Non were forthcoming.A list of those nominated to stand was included in the Agenda and had been circulated before the meeting.DT had been nominated as Chair. This motion was seconded and a show of hands carried the motion.TG-W was re-standing as Treasurer. This motion was seconded and a show of hands carried the motion.GV was nominated as Minutes Secretary. This motion was seconded and a show of hands carried the motion.SJ re-stood as a committee member.

The committee was thanked for all their dedication during the past year.

SpeakerJean Griffin Jean is a Royal Horticulture Society judge and a regular contributor to the BBC Radio Sussex “Dig it” programme. She expressed her joy at returning to Brighton as a judge after an interval of many years.  She described South and South East in Bloom, of which she is a judge and trustee, as covering the largest gardening area.  It stretches East from the Isle of Thanet to North East Hampshire in the West.  Despite this there were several areas not entering into their competitions. She described being a judge and how important first impressions of an area were.  She explained how to enter the competitions and said that all the information was on the S.and S.E. in Bloom website.Jean then talked about the RHS scheme called “It’s Your Neighbourhood”.  Groups and communities can enter this free competition and the benefit is that gardening skills and achievements are recognised and assessed.  Advice is given from experts and certificates for the five levels of achievement are awarded.  She stressed that it was not all about hanging baskets and acres of blooms, it is about the community you represent.She suggested entering schools, Friends of groups, the city centre and heritage gardens and maybe crematoria.Some changes were being made to the rules and entrants would no longer need a portfolio but her advice was to keep a photographic record throughout the year. Brighton and Hove City in Bloom will be working with Friends of Groups and Community Groups to make sure the city is fully represented in the It’s your Neighbourhood Scheme.The aim for the future was to integrate with as many groups as possible and to encourage gardening in schools.DT thanked Jean Griffin for her informative talk.

Any other business
  • There were questions from the floor about entering the It’s Your Neighbourhood competitions and it was agreed that as much information as possible will be put on the BHCIB web site.

DT will liaise with Jean Griffin


  • Jean suggested contacting Anne Holman of SSEIB for advice on categories


  • It was agreed that the committee will get together with Cllr. Norman for a brain storming session regarding the sort of entries within the city to enter SSEIB.


  • The meeting concluded at 5.45.

Dates for diary:-

Seedy Sunday 2nd February 2014


Brighton & Hove City in Bloom 2014 Launch

Jubilee Library Foyer  MONDAY 24th MARCH 2014

THE MAYOR WILL ARRIVE AT 1PM to officially launch Brighton & Hove City in Bloom 2014.

Everyone is welcome.

The stand will be unmanned for the rest of the week where our competition forms will be available.



Wednesday 26th February  2pm – Hove Town Hall – Mezzanine

Thursday 3rd April  2pm – Brighton Town Hall – Ante Room

Wednesday 21st May 2pm – Brighton Town Hall – Room 1