The Annual General Meeting of the Kirknewton Community Development Trust took place on Thursday 28th January 2011.
An upbeat and jovial meeting, the hour and a half whizzed along with good news, healthy banter and the sense that the objectives of the organisation are progressing in a positive direction.
Chair Stewart McKenna kept proceedings tight and at a pace, galloping through approval of the minutes, the budget, the auditors, changes to the constitution and re-electing directors. Although these items of business are the usual lynchpins of an AGM this meeting was about questions from trust members, encouraging others to get involved and a report on the actions of the last year and what is to come over the next twelve months.
The work of Lisa Morton and the Powerdown team, who are managed by the Trust, helped to ensure a healthy turn out of the membership who heard about a number of current projects such as encouraging the growth and purchase of local food , promoting cycling and developing walk audits in the village The success of the energy visits, the support and advice being given by the local energy advisors was also recognised by the meeting.
Partnerships with the Allotments Group had, quite literally, born fruit . Successful local campaigns, such as the redevelopment of the play park, are leading to further discussion about improving the village green space. A food waste collection scheme will also be launched shortly, with bin champions being recruited throughout the village. Work has also begun on developing a Community Resource Hub on ground donated to the Trust by local resident Malcolm Scott
It is hoped that all this good work by the Powerdown team will continue with further funding for the next financial year currently the subject of a new bid to Climate Challenge Fund
Funding from the Big Lottery, in the form of a technical assistance grant to develop the Anaerobic Digester Plant project, was reported. This has led to the employment of Tony Foster as the Trust Development Officer who will help to provide a complete development plan for a £1,000,000 bid to the lottery. A recent meeting with the Lottery advsior had suggested possible other income streams being available for ideas that come out of the Community Consultation that takes place in February. Everyone was encouraged to put forward their views and attend the Drop-In session on Sunday 6th February, from 10:00 am to 6pm
The Board asked approval for the right to buy available land in the village if suitable for the trust to do so and subject to the availability of finance. This was agreed unanimously.
With the Board looking at new projects, such as a Micro-Hyrdo scheme at Harperigg, and engaging in discussions on wind energy developments that may provide income to support projects in the village for the future the next twelve months look to be very exciting indeed.
Everyone in the village is encouraged to join the Trust as a member, to help strengthen partnerships, improve our lottery bids and to help support our ‘Right to Buy’ options.
Finally, with potential constitutional reform across the whole development trust sector ringing in our ears (but that is another story!) we bid the Kirknewton Community Development Trust Annual General Meeting adieu for another year.