Thanks to all who attended the AGM at the 2nd Sunday Social on 8th May. We were blessed with glorious weather and had great turn out. Below you can find the minutes from the meeting.



Present: M Siebert (Chairman), A Clark, C Brown, V Hyde, D Lucas, P Hempstock, D Simpkin, 

A Hagues, D Hill.   

45 NPRA members/residents. 

1. Welcome: the Chairman welcomed members and residents at 1pm to the outdoor AGM in Newcastle Circus.

2. Apologies: none.

3. Minutes of AGM: Minutes of the AGM held 25/3/2019, available for inspection.  No matters arising. 

4. Officers: The Chairman confirmed 3 new members had joined the NPRA Committee: Vicky Hyde, Tony Hagues, now maintaining the website, Helen Gibbard, now moved to the NPEL Board.

5. Statement of Accounts: unaudited accountsas distributed for inspection. The Chairman commented that the current bank balance was £35k derived from NPRA membership fees and events which were designed to break even, not lose moneys and the ‘war chest’ was available for when agreed spending projects arose.  That the Accounts Statement be accepted proposed by D Hill, seconded by V Hyde.

6. Memberships: totalled 345, which the Chairman estimated, assuming 2 per about 80% of households, totalled 620 members, that is roughly 20% of Park residents, which was probably high for comparable communities, but with a  target of 33% to aim for. 

7. Events: the Chairman summarised events since the pandemic, for which NPRA set up on line support for residents initially. Boules have continued, with the next event Saturday 16th July. The Shakespeare Performance Company will appear on Sunday 17th July. The Safari took place after lockdown eased, but Farmers Markets had been replaced by Second Sunday Socials. The Spring and Autumn Talks were booked for the year. The Jubilee Street Party was scheduled for Saturday 4th June, with entrants to the Pudding Competition requiring to be registered by 15th May. There will be no more fireworks due to the tennis courts being resurfaced.

8. AOB: Park Bowl. The Chairman gave a brief update on the future of the Bowl area, since the EBA had moved out and the lease taken by Active Ace a company now having ceased operations. The NPRA were waiting to hear from NLTA, current operators of the area if terms can be agreed for NPRA to take on the lease and by so doing protect the Bowl.  As part of this, an ACV application had been submitted and ratification was awaited. If terms are agreed NPRA will share funding and usage with the Tennis Club and funds raised either through membership increase or possibly a fee increase. NPRA existing funds could be used to cover any capital costs at the outset, but not without prior discussion with members.

Bay of Biscay. The Chairman gave an update on options for taking over this area on the edge of The Park, for which fund raising would be required, possibly via crowd sourcing and with local community inputs. In response to residents’ queries, the Chairman confirmed that the NPRA would be working with the Park Tennis Club, NPEL and the Conservation Trust; that the sort of uses could include a kiddies playground and small allotments; and that if the project went ahead the NPRA would need to become incorporated as a more formal body – a limited company or a CIC –  to take on the lease. 

A further resident query was whether the NPEL could move into one of the 4 pavilions in the Bowl area and sell the Office. The Chairman confirmed that much of the site was currently underused and comprised 17 tennis courts and had 3 leased plots each with a rental value of around £6k per annum. Access to part of one of these, known as The Paddock may also be an issue with badgers present. A further query was whether there could be a playground. 

Dan L, Conservation Trust, commented that it was doubtful that the NLTA had a serious intention to sell, and to sell a Park asset, the Office, to fund a lease would be contentious.

A Clark, on behalf of NPRA members, proposed thanks to the Chairman for all the work put in, which the meeting endorsed.

There being no further questions, the Chairman welcomed and introduced Martin Orrell, a Park resident, who outlined his proposal for an Arts Network based in the Park, including existing groups and individuals from the arts world and asked for NPRA support to start the network. Ultimately there could be a Park Arts Festival. There was positive interest for the project from the meeting. One query was raised about possible conflict with U3A, but the creative network groups would not compete. The Chairman agreed to send an email inviting members to indicate their priorities as to where to start the network. 

A resident, Christina JB, proposed thanks for the work of the NPRA, which the meeting endorsed. 

The Chairman acknowledged the input from local Councillor Angharad Roberts in completing the ACV application, and closed the meeting at 1.45pm.

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