ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Held at The Ordulph Inn, Tavistock on 25th May 2006

Present: John Taylor (Chair), Christopher Kirwin (Vice Chair), Veryan Barneby (Secretary), Pat Westaway (TF Exec),Martin Taylor (TTC) Larry Base (TF Exec), Chris Hair (TF Exec), Lisa Hair (31 Club), Jeffrey Stackhouse (TF Exec/FF Chair/31 Club), Wendy Stackhouse, Simon O’Connor Thompson (TF Exec), Dick Eberlie (WDBC), Guy Talbot (TF Exec/Chamber of Commerce/Rotary/31 Club), Alex Wood (Governor Tavistock College), Anne Johnson (Vice Mayor), Robert Plumb (WDBC), Martin Dudden, Caroline Keane (Town Mayor)

1) Apologies: Rob Mulliner (TF Exec), David Incoll, Jenny Metcalf (TTC), Sarah Walker, Roger Matthews (WDBC), Diana Moyse (WDBC), Jan Kelway, Colin Eves (Tavistock College), Mrs Kate Berriman (Boots Manager)

2) Chairman’s Report:
The Chairman started by thanking all those present and everyone who had supported Tavistock Forward throughout the year.

BEST LOCAL FOOD TOWN AWARDS
The most successful activity during the past year has been Tavistock Forwards entry into the Best Local Food Awards competition where not only did we win the award in Category C for the Best Large Town but also took the overall award for Best Food Town in the South West. The Chairman gave particular thanks to Jeffrey Stackhouse, Christopher Hair and Veryan Barneby who through their hard work with the Tavistock EatWise ~ Eat Local Campaign enabled us to win this award.  In addition we received very important funding from West Devon Borough Council, Tamar Valley Services and Dartmoor National Park and could not have been able to win these awards without these Authorities support. The EatWise ~ Eat Local Campaign was an ongoing matter which will be discussed further later.

GUILDHALL
Although it took a long time to arrive, English Heritage eventually produced (at no cost to ourselves) a very detailed and thorough 81 page assessment of the Police Station and the Guildhall by Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants. Following completion of this report we were able to agree the Heads of Terms with the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary to acquire these buildings on the basis that the Police would remain in situ. The existing Police Station will be leased back to the Police Authority until they are in a position to move into suitable alternative premises. It seems likely that the Police will maintain a presence in the building on a long term basis but that their main operations will be moved elsewhere.

Negotiations have now commenced with English Heritage to see what physical alterations can be made to the building before we go back to DTZ Pieda Consulting for them to complete their feasibility study to enable Tavistock Forward to secure the necessary funding for the project.

NEW ORIENTATION CENTRE & TOILETS (Lighting Project) GUILDHALL SQUARE
Tavistock Forward has liaised closely with West Devon Borough Council, Tavistock Town Council and Tamar Valley Services concerning the possible provision of a new Orientation Centre adjoining the River Tavy by Abbey Bridge. The final format of this development will depend on what funding Tamar Valley AONB are able to obtain but as the site was in the same location as the proposal to flood light the River Tavy at Abbey Bridge, the lighting project had been put on hold until the outcome of the latest funding round was known.

TAVISTOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL
The 4th Tavistock Music Festival was held this year which proved to be very successful although the most difficult as we no longer had the core funding from the RDA. The Chairman thanked in particular, the Festival Chairman, Christopher Kirwin for organising all the private sponsorship and to Simon Ible, the Artistic Director for putting on such a varied programme. The new events such as the Rock Concert in the Townhall and the Youth Concert at Mount House School were particularly successful. Christopher Kirwin would be giving further details of the outcome of this year’s and proposals for next year’s Festival later in the meeting.

WEBSITE www.tavistockforward.org.uk
At this point the Chairman thanked Veryan Barneby for all the work she has done over the past year in setting up and expanding the Tavistock Forward website which was now in the process of being redeveloped to give visitors another source of useful information about Tavistock and the surrounding area, particularly food related!

DEVON & CORNWALL BUSINESS COUNCIL
Tavistock Forward continue to be an active member of the Devon & Cornwall Business Council which provides an excellent platform for us to link into the regional business community and lobby for projects such as the extension of the railway line to Tavistock.

TAVISTOCK FOOD FESTIVAL
Tavistock Forward has been actively involved with the Food Festival, the third event (and by far the largest with 118 stalls) which will be held in the Bedford Car Park on 29th & 30th July. Jeffrey Stackhouse was invited to talk about this in more detail later in the evening.

MARKET & COASTAL TOWN ASSOCIATION
The group continues to be a member of the Market & Coastal Town Association and attended their Annual Conference in Torquay last January. Tavistock Forward was also a member of the Devon Towns Forum and made use of their workshops such as the excellent one held in Tiverton about setting up Development Trusts.

TOWN ALIVE PROGRAMME
Tavistock Forward had decided to review the Town Alive programme which was now 5 years old. John Taylor has had a meeting with Graham Vallis and the Executive have reviewed the original 102 ideas with a view to holding a further updated Town Alive programme this autumn, to be headed by Graham Vallis. Funding for this project was being sought from Devon Renaissance.

SPONSORSHIP
Tavistock Under 12’s Football Team have been sponsored by Tavistock Forward with the provision of new kit for the whole team. We have therefore been particularly fortunate that they have not only won their league (without loosing a game!) but they have also won the Devon Cup!

John went on to give special thanks to Will Smith, Vice Chair and Treasurer who had recently departed to pastures new in Ireland. Will was a keen participant in the group’s activities since its inception and his original thought and wit would be sorely missed.

The Chairman concluded his report by thanking all the Executive Committee who had worked so hard over the past year. Particular thanks were also given to West Devon Borough Council who had not only given Tavistock Forward a small grant towards the overheads, thus enabling other projects to be carried forward over the coming year, but had also given Officer support for individual projects.

Existing Committee: Chairman: John Taylor, Vice Chair: Christopher Kirwin  Treasurer: Rob Mulliner, Secretary: Veryan Barneby, Executives: Chris Hair,
Larry Base, Pat Westaway, Simon O’Connor Thompson, Jeffrey Stackhouse and
Guy Talbot.

3) Election of Officers and Executive Committee:
Dick Eberlie took the chair temporarily and John Taylor was proposed to continue as the Chairman by Christopher Kirwin, seconded by Guy Talbot and John Taylor was re-elected for another term.

All the existing members on the Executive Committee were happy to stand again and as no new members were proposed from the floor no objections were raised, the existing Committee was re-elected.

It was agreed that the Election of Officers would take place at the next TF Executive Meeting.

4) Minutes of Annual General Meeting – 17th March 2005:
Circulated to all present and are available to members, were approved signed by John Taylor, seconded by Christopher Kirwin.

5) Matters Arising:  No matters were raised for further discussion by those present.

6) Finance and Accounts:
Will Smith (previous Vice-Chair & Treasurer) had produced the Accounts and Guy Talbot explained that he would submit them for approval from the floor. Discussions followed regarding funding projects and the need to reimburse John Taylor for costs he had personally paid. It was hoped there would be no need for individuals to put money ‘up front’ in the future. However, the Chairman explained that WDBC financial requirements meant grants were paid on receipts. Consequently there was often no other way to even begin a project without private sponsorship. There were no other queries from the floor – Guy Talbot proposed, seconded by Pat Westaway that the Accounts be approved and this was unanimously agreed with no objections and the Accounts were signed off by John Taylor and Christopher Kirwin.

7) ‘EatWise ~ Eat Local’ Campaign
As a continuation of the EatWise theme a new Food Trail, funded by WDBC, would take place over a 14 day period during which everyone in the area from hotels, pubs, restaurants, farmers, manufacturers and shops who were involved in the production and retailing of food would offer special ‘deals’. Robert Plumb explained to the new Mayor, Caroline Keane that the Food Trail would also be signposted with a flier along with press releases in the Tavistock Times, Western Morning News and Evening Herald. Jeffrey Stackhouse thanked those involved in WDBC as the Food Trail initiative would compliment the Food Festival which followed on 29th & 30th July 2006. Lisa Hair, Dukes Catering said she was very impressed with the literature sent out by WDBC and the prompt response to her application. John Taylor offered to send out details of the Food Trail along with the Tavistock Forward’s Minutes.

8) Town Alive – Projects Update:
The Chairman referred those present to the original report when 102 suggestions were made and at least 38 had been implemented in part or whole such as the commemorative plaques around the town. Town Alive Revisited was due to be held with Graham Vallis in the autumn and once again would act as a catalyst linking the Local, Strategic and Community Plans together. David Farrant asked for another copy of Town Alive document.

Music Festival
One of the original Town Alive Projects was the Music Festival. CJK explained that the RDA funds of £6,000 were no longer available and the festival budget totalled £17,000, with only £538 deficit. JGT thanked CJK and the Musical Director, Simon Ible, WDBC, the Town Council and especially the individual sponsors for all their help. The Chair was particularly pleased to report that the events undertaken by Tavistock College and Kelly College were very successful. The Tavistock Forward Music Festival Sub Committee had agreed to organize another festival for 2007 and CJK was seeking financial promises from now on, which would enable them to commit to contracts and get well known celebrities. The new Mayor, Caroline Keane said she went to the Rock Concert and it was very good and she was pleased to see so many young people. Tavistock Forwards’ original concept was to attract quality artists from both national and local talent to give the town new inspiration and attract more visitors. The Music Festival Committee had agreed to extend the time frame to 10 days (28th April to 7th May) next year incorporating 2 weekends. CJK went on to say he had already been asked to include an Art Exhibition and they were considering drama but any new ideas would be welcomed. CJK thanked JGT for all his help and support. 

Any Other Business:
Dick Eberlie (WDBC) congratulated Tavistock Forward members for all they had done and said WDBC would continue to support TF projects within their financial constraints.

Tavistock College and Kelly College were working hard together to get an All-weather running track said Alex Wood, Tavistock College Governor. Students now numbered 1800 with at least 15 primary schools feeding into the College. He was keen to encourage investment from WDBC, TTC and other community groups for the young especially with current property prices driving young families out of the town.

TF Exec member, Larry Base is also the Chairman of Youth Network and would be reporting on their involvement to the Exec at the next meeting.

Jeffrey Stackhouse said the Food Festival was 30% larger this year and would cover an area of 22,000 s.f. plus a Farmers’ Market along with a 2 day cookery demonstration area which was being arranged by Master Chef, Peter Gorton. JFS said the Food Festival took pride in the compliments made by the exhibiters as they had designed the event taking into account that they had also been exhibiters themselves in the past.

Martin Dudden thanked Tavistock Forward on behalf of all the local farmers for all the promotion of their produce they had received recently with the EatWise campaign.

Martin Taylor (TTC) said there was still expectation that they would receive a report on the Guildhall and in the light of future bids suggested a clear report was required. Chairman John Taylor explained that the Guildhall project could not proceed further until English Heritage had indicated what alterations could be made to the building. We needed to know how to deal with disability access, new flooring in the courtroom to protect the seating – would it be glass or just an access point, where would be the new access to the buildings be? All these and many other factors were being deliberated by English Heritage along with external factors like the outcome of the World Heritage Status in July and Stage 2 in the Bid for the Mining Heritage status through Tamar Valley AONB. David Farrant expressed concerns regarding the state of the public conveniences in the meantime! All agreed that the Guildhall was a most important building in Tavistock and information regarding it should be given regular publicity.

JFS asked for priority to be given to meet with the bank to discuss bridging accounts for new projects. The Chair agreed to put it on the Agenda for the next Executive Committee Meeting.

Robert Plumb asked if it were possible to have a Tavistock Forward Newsletter and JGT referred him to the website but also said he would discuss the idea at the next meeting.

Dick Eberlie said if the information was sent to Robert Plumb, WDBC now had a very efficient distribution system to disseminate such information.

The meeting closed at 8.15 pm

Next General Meeting proposed:  Thursday 6th July 2006

Location: Details to follow   Time: 7.00 pm

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