AGM Minutes 07/10/2013






The Chair, Rupert Higgins, welcomed those who attended the meeting. Eleven persons were present.

Trevor Furness played his family of recorders and sang.

  1. Hon. Secretary’s Report 2012-13 (see below)

Ian Baker presented his Report and after seven years in office stood down. He was thanked for his work.


  1. Hon. Treasurer’s Report (available to members on request)

Sarah Thomson presented her Report, being the twelve months account for 2012-13 and the six month account from 31.03.2013 to 30.09.13.


  1. Election of Officers:

Chair, Rupert Higgins: proposed Ian Baker, seconded Sarah Thomson.

Hon. Treasurer: Sarah Thomson, proposed Rupert Higgins, seconded Nicky Biggs.

Hon. Secretary: Steve Onyett, proposed Rupert Higgins, seconded Sarah Thomson.

The election of officers were unopposed.

(Steve Onyett will commence on 4 December, when a Business Meeting will be held.)


  1. Any Other Business:

a)      Gavin Spittlehouse indicated that the two Google groups had merged. For the Annoucement group, individuals could unsubscribe if they wished.

Alison Murphy maintained overall membership. There were 210 members.

Others who joined Sustainable Bishopston would be invited to join the Google group.

A Facebook page had also commenced.

Gavin maintains our website and seeks further contributions.

b)      Gloucester Road Traders Association will become a Business Improvement District, a company limited by guarantee.


The Chair, Rupert Higgins, closed the meeting.




Agenda Item 2: Secretary’s Report, 2012-13 (tabled)

Sustainable Bishopston has maintained its momentum. Its mission is in four parts:-

  1. 1.       To encourage sustainable living


a)      Wessex Water and Dan Green presented a talk and slide show. We use on average 150litres of water a day, per person.  Wessex Water turn waste and sewerage into biogas and produce electricity.

b)      Bev Knott & David Willingham gave a talk on the Lib-Dem policy on climate change and future energy supplies. Bev Knott is to be congratulated on being appointed as Alderman.

c)       Bees & Honey by Kay Crowe & Jo made us consider natural bee-keeping and pollination. Honey is used as energy by bees, but the bee population numbers are decreasing with pesticides.


  1. 2.       To network with other Groups


a)      Golden Hill Community Allotment has volunteers on Wednesdays and celebrate Spring & Harvest Festivals, with good attendances. Sustainable Bishopston provides cakes and its own stall.

b)      Theatre in the Park (St Andrew’s) was crowded in July. Sustainable Bishopston set up its stall and had lots of visitors.

c)       Beating the Bounds of Bishopston allowed walkers to follow a modern route towards Horfield Common, Muller Road and Sefton Park. Denis Wright, a local historian, entertained us. We ended up at The Robin Hood’s Retreat.

d)      Our noticeboards, Google Group and website convey communications and we correspond with articles in Bishopston Matters.  We have a steady flow of new members.


  1. 3.       To present our agenda to decision-makers


a)      Hustings – Gavin Spittlehouse drew Bishopston’s candidates together for electoral hustings. A sizeable audience asked questions. David Willingham was retained as Lib-Dem. Councillor and Daniella Radice was elected as Green Party Councillor.

b)      A Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson, was elected on a small turn-out. He favours a ‘green’ agenda, which is welcome.

c)       20mph is to be promoted in Bishopston from October, 2013. We support this issue and its safety features for pedestrians and cyclists.

d)      We are members of the Bishopston Forum & the Neighbourhood Partnership.




  1. 4.       Projects


a)      Bristol Pound – Martin Fodor convened a meeting for a presentation of the Bristol Pound. We support local independent traders and shoppers who use the Bristol Pound.

b)      Noticeboard – a revamp of the Promenade is taking place. Amongst the changes, we will receive a large noticeboard, facing  Zetland Road.

c)       Benches and traffic calming on Sommerville Road – Sustainable Bishopston has received a Active Neighbourhood Transport Grant of £16,000 which allows benches to be placed on locations on the Gloucester Road and on Tyne Path, Egerton/Arundel Road and Effingham Road. Traffic calming with planters will ensure greater safety on Sommerville Road. The benches are an encouragement to walk, shop and rest.

d)      Bristol Energy Network – Martin and I took part in a strategic development for BEN. The paper was presented to the Mayor


Sustainable Bishopston is in for the long-term. We are already exceeding our carbon limits in the UK and our future weather patterns will not be easy. We are in danger of producing even greater carbon emissions and other green house gases. We need to resource local foods, eat less meat, reduce fossil fuel consumption and become more energy efficient and promote renewable sources.

It’s not easy dealing with the climate. It stretches ahead of us, is not readily comprehended and needs stability. But the planet is warming and the Arctic ice is melting.


Sustainable Bishopston is a community-based group. There are other similar groups. We work from the bottom-up and each step we take we share and commit.  Bristol is ‘green’ and proud and in 2015 will become the European Green Capital City.

We, the grown-ups, owe this to our children and grand children otherwise they will have an even more taxing time. Our resources are finite and we must ensure environmental not economic growth. Its complex, but we must be sustainable.


We are fortunate in having many active helpers and for those who compose the Business Committee, we are very grateful for their ideas and contributions. I am standing down after seven years in post. I wish my successor well.


Ian Baker

Hon. Secretary.

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