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Around 27 members and friends turned out for the Glastonbury Conservation Society’s annual general meeting on October 20 at St Mary’s Hall.
The question of tree-planting arose from the minutes of the previous AGM: should the society double its radius for this activity? Five miles from the Market Cross is the present remit. The chairman said the committee suggested bringing the radius in line with the facts, namely 10 miles. Janet Morland suggested that tree-planting should give priority to schemes within five miles of Glastonbury. Ian Rands said that Wells Civic Society had asked for help, also Brookside School at Street for its 25th anniversary and the International Tree Foundation.
Bill Knight, a founder member, felt we should not concentrate our efforts beyond our remit and that perhaps Ian Rands’s brilliant achievement should be contained within a separate committee. Dennis Allen confirmed that tree-planting finances were kept separate in the accounts. The chairman said there had been unfortunate controversy over a donation to Glastonbury in Bloom.
After further discussion, Martin Blake proposed that the rules should remain as at present (5 miles) while keeping powers for the committee to authorize special cases. This was seconded by John Morland and carried unanimously. John Brunsdon said Ian Rands would in future bring tree-planting schemes to the committee sooner.
Chairman’s report: John Brunsdon pointed to the October newsletter for his summary of the year’s activities. He thanked committee members for their hard work, including Lizzie Knight for footpaths (which she wanted to give up) and Jan Morland for seven years as secretary, also Dennis Allen as treasurer and Ena Allen as membership secretary.
Trees: Ian Rands thanked John Brunsdon for hospitality for committee meetings. The 25,000th tree had been planted this year. He thanked tree-planters and the donors of trees.
Accounts: Dennis Allen circulated the accounts and reported that the society has 125 paid-up members and 25 memberships not yet renewed. An additional 40 newsletters are handed out to interested parties. Martin Blake suggested that the new committee could try to expand the membership.
Officers: The chairman presented Jan Morland with a small token of thanks for her services as secretary, which she said she would gratefully spend on the garden. Jean Pike proposed Janet Morland as secretary, seconded by Keith Mathews. (Janet is the daughter of Margot and Stephen Morland, founder members of the society.) Similar motions resulted in further terms for the other officers. Three new members of the committee were proposed: Alan Fear, Adrian Pearse and Jo Joseph. Other members were unanimously re-elected, namely Martin Blake, Neill Bonham, Geoffrey Brunt, Roy Coles, Bill and Lizzie Knight, Alan Levitt and John Morland. The committee will be looking for a new footpath officer.
Other business: John Brunsdon had just come from a Town Hall meeting discussing a planning proposal for the Morlands site; the problem of the sewage works had not been resolved. Stephanie Morland said this would be discussed at the public meeting next month on the Local District Plan.
The chairman said Bill Knight had raised the question of the Glastonbury Conservation society: if people feel there are things we should be doing, members should let the committee know.
Jim Nagel said the pavements in Glastonbury are in a filthy state, compared to the sparkling new slabs laid only a few years ago. The scrubbed pavements of Germany and the Netherlands put ours to shame. He will research the cleaning methods used there. Chewing gum, said John Brunsdon, is the main offender around St John’s church; the committee would write to the local authority, which is responsible. Paul Branson pointed out the damage caused to pavements by lorries parking on them, also the problem of double-parking.
Jean Pike raised the question of more housing in the town. The chairman said planning permission in Glastonbury was restricted because so much land is of high amenity value or hardly above sea level, but the government is obliging other towns to release land: Street will soon merge with Walton. He said few local materials are used now, and unfortunately it is not always apparent from plans what the buildings will finally look like.