OLD HAMLET OF LLANMARTIN RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Date: 11 October 2023 Venue: Llandevaud Village Hall
Present: Janet, Sarah FB, Mark and Brenda Robotham, Richard and Susan Rayment, Eirlys Cawdery, David Price, Sarah, Kristy, Kaye, Jacqui and Tony Ford, Rosi and Mark Hollister, Jan Collins, Ian Neale.
Apologies: Sharon Keiller, Carol Joynson, Will Routley, Kate Olsen.
1 Chairman’s Welcome: Mark opened the meeting by welcoming all those present and outlined the Agenda for the evening.
2 Minutes of last meeting: Agreed for accuracy and signed off.
3 Matters arising: There were no matters arising.
4 Chairman’s Report – Mark Robotham
This last year has been an interesting year with some unexpected activity. It was a year which we expected to be dominated by the celebrations of King Charles III’s Coronation.
However, it was actually dominated by two other things. Firstly by the saga with our little storage shed and secondly, more positively by our success in Wales in Bloom winning our first Gold Award, Best Small Village in Wales and achieving level 5 (Outstanding) in the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood Award’. Carl, our founding Chairman, would have been so proud.
This was our first entry into Wales in Bloom for some years having missed the last two due to the after effects of the Covid pandemic and our lead, Wyneira, emigrating to Australia. At last year’s AGM we endeavoured to enter this year with fresh enthusiasm. This was done under the stewardship of our new Wales in Bloom representative, Carol Joynson. Of course, the success could not have achieved without support across the whole community and from Janet Myers’ immense contribution with her book about what we have achieved within our community.
Of course, the Residents’ Association is not only about Wales in Bloom but what Wales in Bloom has done this year has highlighted all the good things we have in the way of community within our little hamlet.
The saga about our storage shed has been going on since February of this year and remains unresolved. For those who don’t know much about it, I will spare you the details! What has become clear is that the shed will be used by us again but there are still some issues remaining, largely relating to whether we should be actually paying for it. As an association with limited resources unwilling to increase annual subscriptions unnecessarily we will do our best to continue to fight our corner for the benefit of our community.
After the AGM last year, the association held our usual events which included Bonfire Night, Carols under the Christmas Tree and Carols in the Barn. The Carols under the Christmas Tree event was a limited success partly due to the wet weather but also due to the poor attendance. This year we hope to have the lit Christmas tree provided by Langstone Community Council but we have decided not to repeat the Carols under it.
Bonfire night was once more a successful event but there was a reduction in numbers attending. The fireworks display and catering (burgers, hot dogs etc) were excellent. This year the event will be held at Pencoed Castle thanks to the owner, Simon Wright. Simon has promised us a good bonfire with plenty of dry wood so hopefully our usual difficulties with lighting it will not apply! Simon has also promised a contribution towards the fireworks so we are expecting a great display this year.
The Carols in the Barn remains a favourite and as always, we are grateful to David and Pam Price for welcoming us to use the barn.
Having started the year planning a Coronation event on the weekend of 6th May, we found out nearer the time that LLandevaud were planning a similar event at the same time as us. In full consideration of the situation we decided to drop our event and support the event on LLandevaud common instead. At a later date we held a ‘Big Lunch’ party in the patch which was attended by about 20 people.
Since Richard resigned from his position as secretary and the committee we have not had a secretary in place. In the meantime most of the secretarial work has been carried out by Jacqui and myself but with some excellent support from Sarah Stead and others. Jacqui will discuss future events planned for the coming year in her treasurer’s report.
Jacqui has been at the heart of our association for many years and we are continually grateful for all the hard work she puts in to keep everything running. Without Jacqui the association would struggle to move forward.
The Hamlet Newsletter, together with flyers and emails enables us to keep our community up to date with news and activities. The newsletter continues to be produced by Jan Myers with support from her daughter, Sarah. Our thanks go to Janet once more for all she does for the Old Hamlet. This year we have been dragged into the 21st century by Andrew who has encouraged the association to use Facebook.
Thanks also to Richard who has continued all the work for the community despite not being a member of the committee. He continues to keep the grass mown on the green at the bottom of Pencoed Lane and he and Susan continue to litter pick along the Magor Road. Incidentally, if there are any volunteers to litter pick please let us know. It is always easier to take pride in our community if it is free from litter!
Finally, my thanks to the other members of the committee, Janet, Sarah, Sarah, Andrew, Kaye, Mike, Kristy, Carol and Carol. We have had some excellent help this year from some of the newer members of the association so hopefully the committee with be further strengthened this year. All successful associations evolve to move forward and we are no different. Not only are we looking for a new secretary but we will also be looking for a new Chair. I have been in post for far too long, longer than our constitution allows. Consequently I need to be replaced even if it is only for a year or so!!
Thank you for all your support over the years.
5 Secretary’s Report – Jacqui Ford
Litter picking – Our excellent team of litter pickers, Richard, Sue, John Harper and myself continue to keep our Hamlet clear of litter. We are part of the Langstone Litter Picker Volunteers and come under the wing of Keep Wales Tidy. If anyone wants to get involved, John Harper could do with some help in keeping Pencoed Lane clean.
Bonfire Night will be held on Sunday 5 November. We will be announcing details shortly.
Carols on the Green - LCC have yet to announce whether a Christmas tree will be provided this year and whether it will be a cut tree or one that they are hoping to plant.
Carols in the Barn - will be held at Gwentlands on Sunday 17 December 2023.
Wales in Bloom - We will be clearly building on our success this year and a sub-committee will commence work in the new year. Janet is hoping to create a new book which will be entitled ‘This is my Garden’. Please have a look at her article in the latest Newsletter., or have a chat with Jan over a glass of wine so that she can outline her vision.
6 Treasurer’s Report – Jacqui Ford
a) The cash book currently stands at £1,015.92 which is a decrease on last year’s balance on £164.30 but this is in line with the figure required to allow for contingencies - £1,000.
b) The main source of income remains membership fees with £465.00 collected. Subscriptions for the year remain at £20 and are now payable for the year. 7 people have paid in advance for 2023-24.
c) Other sources of income have been in the form of donations and grants. The grant from Langstone Community Council has fallen for the second year running. Historically we would receive £750. Last year it reduced to £250 and this year £150.
d) We all benefit from income received from our events which covers expenditure such as our Hamlet Newsletter, our website and maintenance of the green and cemetery which enhance the Hamlet.
e) Other expenditure incurred include our Public Liability Insurance and a donation we made to Cerys who was helping to run the Scout Jamboree in South Korea.
7 Election of Officers:
a) As no interest had been shown or nominations received, the Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary agreed to continue in their role for the time-being. Jacqui had taken over the role of Secretary on a temporary basis and did not want to continue in the 2 roles. Mark stated his intention to set down as Chair. Discussions to take place at the next Committee meeting to try to resolve a way forward.
b) No nominations had been received to fill the 2/3 vacancies on the committee.
8 Any other business:
a) Kaye has been helping with the Litter Picking on Pencoed Lane and stated she was happy to continue. Jacqui/Rosi to liaise with Kaye to ensure she has the correct equipment/ppe and to confirm that she is covered by the insurance provided by Keep Wales Tidy (Langstone Litter Pickers).
b) Ian Neale stated that he has a near miss when litter picking by the Crematorium with cars overtaking on the wrong side of the road and almost causing an accident. He has requested that we approach our City Councillors to see about having double white lines in this area of Magor Road.
c) Tony presented a plaque to Janet which replicated our Best Village Award from Wales in Bloom. The plaque will be put on Carl’s bench on the village green shortly.
d) Sue proposed that we discuss the possibility of raising the Annual Subscription from £20 to £25. This will be put on the agenda to be discussed for 2024/5.
e) June Lewis of Court Farm had approached Sue to ask whether we could approach our City Councillors to get the Green Lane cut back. Horses used the Green Lane for access to Chepstow Road but now have to use the roads.
9 The meeting closed at 8.30 pm. Date of next annual general meeting: To be determined