View of Warneford Meadow, Oxford

Friends of Warneford Meadow, Oxford

Minutes of Meetings



Steering Group: James Rowland (Chair), Graeme Salmon, Sietske Boeles, David Sutton, Kerry Patterson.

Apologies: Chris Dunabin, Anthony Eccles.

Plus 23 Members

1. Annual Report

James lead the meeting through the Annual Report which had already been circulated and members offered updates on the various issues mentioned in the Report. There are currently no planning proposals for developments on the Meadow or on the other two sites included in the rejected NHS proposals. It is almost certain that no proposals will be made on the Meadow until the Town Green application is settled; the enquiry on this reconvenes in the Town Hall on the 19th and everyone was encouraged to make a visit. The meeting noted the large amount of work that had been required in the year, notably on the Town Green, and thanked those members of the Steering Group who had put in an enormous amount of effort during the year.

2. Annual Accounts

Graeme Salmon circulated the Accounts for the period to Feb 29th 2008 which had been slightly revised from the version sent out with the Agenda. The meeting approved the Accounts and thanked Alison Williams for agreeing to be the Auditor and signing the accounts. Noted that at the end of the Financial Year we had £1,413.05 in hand, of which ££29.89 was earmarked.

David also reported that CPRE had received approx £30,000 in donations earmarked towards the Town Green legal costs; when Gift Aid is added this will amount to approx £37,000 which is probably about £5-£7,000 short of the final target. The meeting expressed its thanks to CPRE Oxfordshire for agreeing to fund the Town Green Appeal, noting that CPRE would shortly be approaching their members for donations.

3. Steering Group

Graeme, Chris, David and Sietske agreed to remain on the Steering Group and this was unanimously agreed. Andrew Carter, Jo Aldhouse and Rupert Griffin have offered to join the Group and all were unanimously voted onto the Group. Noted that this meant that the Group had seven members which is the minimum allowed; the Group is authorized to co-opt up to a further five people.

4. Membership Fee

The Steering Group proposed that a membership fee of £2 was set for the current year and this was unanimously agreed.

5. Boundary Brook

James reported that the NHS were looking to outsource the maintenance of the Boundary Brook area to the north of the Meadow and that FOWM were one of the groups to be considered. It had been hoped that a proposal might be brought to this meeting but Auriol Hamer reported that the process had stalled in recent months. The meeting raised no objection in principle to such a contract but the Steering Group may need to convene a General Meeting if a contract is offered.

After James closed the meeting at 8.50pm the Members were treated to a quiz which the best team duly won.



Present: Chris Dunabin (chair), Floris van den Broecke, Sietske Boeles, James Rowland (minutes), Kerry Patterson, Anthony Eccles, Helen Ganly, Jo Aldhouse, Chris Cornforth, Glen Williams, Alison Williams, David Sutton, Andrew Fry, Auriol Hamer, Rosie Pocock, Jane Slee.

1, Introduction

Chris Dunabin explained that the main purpose of the meeting was to establish Friends of Warneford Meadow (FOWM) with a constitution and a Steering Group. Many of those who had been running FOWM as an informal organisation were willing to continue but they had decided that FOWM should now be formally established since it was not likely that the campaign would end in the near future.

2. Report on Activities

Sietske Boeles gave a brief report on the history of FOWM, the main activities to date, the current state of the planning proposals and Town Green application, and the events planned in the near future. She requested help with the fundraising event in the Bingo Hall on March 17th and for completing the current petition.

Glen Williams queried that the petition also opposed development on the Playing Field. Sietske explained that this was the original intention of FOWM and suggested that the petition should be completed with this original wording although it was now accepted that development on the Playing Field might now be conceded in order to protect the Meadow. Chris D supported this view and the meeting agreed to continue the petition with the original wording. Floris reported that 750 names had been received and that the aim was to reach 1000; the Lord Mayor has agreed to receive the petition.

3. Boundary Brook

Auriol Hamer reported on the vexed situation of the large wall built without planning permission next to Boundary Brook and covering an agreed footpath route and part of the wildlife corridor. A report on the situation will come to the next NEAC meeting but campaigning for the wall to be removed was not thought to be realistic; it is anticipated that retrospective planning permission will be given. Residents are therefore likely to focus on pressing for guarantees of long-term maintenance of the area. The other question is whether FOWM should press for compensation of the wildlife corridor on the Meadow side. The planners claim that this is not possible as both sides of the Brook don’t have the same owner. However FOWM understand that the Radcliffe Trust are due to purchase the Meadow in the next month and so will own both sides. But pushing for compensation might deflect from the main campaigning aim of no development and so agreed that FOWM needed to stay it’s hand. Noted that this example of “developers creep” will help our arguments if we reach the stage of having to fight specific development plans.

4. Warneford Orchard

Sietske reported that Heather Armitage and others were campaigning hard on the Orchard where the Warneford are continuing to fly-tip despite warnings from planning officers. Floris reported this to the last NEAC meeting who asked for a report from the planners.

5. Constitution

Floris read through the proposed Constitution. The meetings approved the draft after making the following changes:

a) That the Steering Group may co-opt up to three extra members so bringing their maximum number up to twelve.

b) That the quorum for Steering Group decisions shall be four, or 40% of the members, whichever is higher.

c) To delete reference to what FOWM may do with the e-mail addresses of members. It was agreed that the Steering Group would not circulate everyone’s addresses to all members but that any failure to do this should not be seen as an act against the Constitution.

d) That the three references for calls for action requiring “fifteen members or 8% of the Membership” should be changed to “fifteen members”.

The meeting thanked Floris for drawing up the Constitution,

6. Membership of Steering Group.

The following were elected:

Chris Dunabin. Floris van den Broecke, Sietske Boeles

Kerry Patterson, Anthony Eccles, David Sutton, Graeme Salmon

It was noted that the Steering Group will now decide who should fill the four honorary posts but that it was expected that Graeme will agree to be Treasurer. Both Andrew Fry and James Rowland will continue to work on the website.

7. Fizz ‘n Quiz

A toast was drunk to the Meadow, a “Friends” quiz was won by Helen and her team and Chris Dunabin was thanked for his Chairing of the meeting.