Minutes of the AGM – 22 September 2022

Minutes of the AGM held at 19.00hrs on 22 September 2022 in the Garden Building

Apologies: Cate Gatti, Emma Darnell, Serena Michel, Vanessa & Richard Price, Sez Szgndrez, Joost, Jane & Bruce White.

Present: Rebecca Chee (RC), Brian Cox (BC), Liz Cox (LC), Avazeh Ghanbarian (AG), Carol Holloway (CH), City Councillor David Levien (DL), Diego Magrini (DM), Nancy Muir (NM), Julian Querino (JQ), County Councillor Philippa Slatter (PS), Ian Storr (IS), Chris Taylor (CT), and Carol Wright (CW)(Treasurer and Chair).

Financial Statement

There is a Balance of £2529.74 in the bank account, of which £2,088.02 belongs to the Garden and £441.72 belongs to Clay Farm Food. During the year, income was received from the visiting Food Trucks, the café, and grants for the strimmer, the plants and trees in the pond area, and the Jubilee Party.

The insurance for Garden assets and Public Liability is due in December and estimated to be c£350. The main expenditure in future will be for mulch for which Countryside should be paying. Lobbying for this may something with which our Councillors could assist, otherwise the cost could fall on the City Council. BC asked if the mulch from Waterbeach could be used. DM had asked about this but the site had been closed over the summer. This could now be pursued as they will actually deliver the mulch to the Garden.

Management of the Garden

There have been problems with drainage for the pond and surrounding area. It floods in winter and sets hard in summer It was suggested that Cambridge Water might offer advice on drainage matters. DM and JQ to discuss regenerative methods for the area with Chris Macfarlane.

It was also suggested that Cambridge Water might offer advice on separating water metering for the garden from that for “domestic use” in the building.

Astra Zeneca has sent working parties to the Garden twice and there was a group of 25 young volunteers from a Summer Camp.

Emma, who now runs the Beanisimmo café at the Garden, is very supportive and we will try and help her through the winter months by allowing her to use the canopy outside the Garden Building if necessary.

There will be a meeting with Countryside on 30 September to establish the exact layout for the table which is being supplied as part of the Public Art for the site. Eventually, there will also be a couple of benches.

The Core Group has been operating on an ad hoc basis since the last AGM in 2019.


There had been no notifications of proposed revisions to the constitution. There was a discussion about membership. There are members who have signed up to our mailing list and to various What’s App groups. JQ suggested that there were two types of member – those who wished to be actively involved and those who wanted to be kept informed of activities. It was agreed that active members should be asked to sign a form agreeing to abide by the constitution and our various policies. This would be our membership. Those wishing to be kept informed of events would continue to receive that information via whichever medium they had chosen but they would not be voting members. There was no agreement about whether we should charge for membership but one suggestion which found favour was to ask for a token membership fee on joining. It was agreed to contact the What’s App groups and the mailing list to ask individuals:

  1. Do you want to sign up?
  2. Are you First Aid trained?
  3. Are you DBS checked?
  4. Are you a BPHA tenant? (This could be useful if we wanted grants from BPHA)
  5. What skills can you offer to the Garden?

The website needs updating and keeping up to date. CT said that he had experience of using WordPress and it was agreed that he should discuss this further with DM and CW.

Election of Officers and Core Group

Chair – Julian Querino
Secretary – Diego Magrini
Treasurer – Carol Wright
Core Group – Liz Cox, Cate Gatti, Serena Michel, Lauren Anderson Dring, NickWalton, Jane White and Bruce White

The above were elected unanimously.

Budget 2022/2023

Income will be from the same sources as previously. Outgoings would be mainly for the Garden e.g. seeds and mulch and bulk ordering would be investigated.

Future matters

There will be a pumpkin carving event on 30 October and Pimp my Fish will come at lunchtime. Pumpkins will be needed.

As yet there are no details of the handover from the City Council. There have been discussions over a Licence to Occupy for the first two years. JQ mentioned a “Tenancy at Will” as a possible option. If the City Council wanted the group to manage and finance the building then this would be a very dramatic change in the Group’s circumstances and would require considerable thought.



The meeting ended at 20.15hrs.