RUSHMERE COMMONERS COMMITTEE
Minutes of the meeting held on the 17th of February 2021 on Zoom, commencing at 6:30pm
Present: M Gilson (chairman),R Whymark, D Grayston, A Pledger (Vice Chair), K Driver.
In Attendance: R Godsen (Warden),C Kendall (clerk)
It is noted that Carole Evans formally resigned as a trustee on 13th January 2021.
Before the meeting proper, John Adams joined us on Zoom as he wished to be co-opted as a trustee. It was explained that John has been the Chairman of RCC previously and it was agreed by all the trustees that he should be co-opted.
Sadly, David Flett, who was a trustee and vice chair, passed away recently and a few moments were given to reflect on his passing.
1. Minutes of meeting held on Tuesday 12th January 2021: These were agreed.
2. Matters arising from meeting on 12th January 2021:
Rushmere Golf Club- they were advised by Chris that we do not feel that a cull of the rabbits is warranted at this time.
Green Light Trust - Bob and Chris sorted out the donation cheque.
Tree Survey - Chris formally requested the tree survey to be carried out by Arboreal.
3. Management of the common:
Request for memorial bench - the matter was fully discussed. The decision was made that Chris should reply that as we have several requests we find it very difficult to agree to memorial benches and say that they also tend to become a meeting place for youngsters. We decided to suggest a bird box with a plaque on it and we will advise more on this when both the tree and ecological surveys have taken place.
Little Heath - Mike reported that some earth jumps had been created and he told the people using the jumps that they needed to be removed. If the group do not flatten the jumps themselves, Mike and Bob will deal with them.
Dead wood - Tom has dealt with removing of dead wood from trees on the heath side of Linksfield and his invoice has been paid.
Tree Survey - Ray will be liaising with Arboreal after Easter
Ecological survey - the last survey was done in 2006 as part of the 'big scheme'. Ray will look into getting the same person back or investigate whether Jason (from Arboreal) could help.
Snow damage to gorse - the recent heavy snow has pushed a lot of gorse down onto the footpaths. Ray will ask Adrian to clear all the main paths (those shown on our map) but ask him not to widen any of the paths.
Dead hedging - John asked about who had done the dead hedging to the right on the 2nd fairway. It was discussed that GLT have been doing this to help with nesting and to create a good habitat for bugs. It also means that not so many fires are needed to dispose of cuttings.
4. Heath Wardens report:
Lockdown - as more bikes and ball throwing have taken place during lockdown, things have been very challenging on the heath. There have also been some lockdown breaches.
Barriers - two barriers have recently become either damaged or rotten and Ray will ask Adrian to repair them. The barriers are located at the Camberley Rd and Woodbridge Rd entrances.
Payback - they were due to return in reduced numbers due to the lockdown. Bob asked the trustees if they were still required. The trustees agreed that we do still want them to work on the common when they are able to return and that they should do the more simple tasks.
Green Light Trust (GLT) - Bob had a meeting with Peter Foster of GLT. It was a positive meeting and they were very grateful for our donation of £500. They want to come back and we will give them a structured plan when we have received the tree and ecological surveys. We have agreed to purchase a lockable storage box when they return.
Police - there has been some anti-social behaviour which Bob has reported to the police.
Damage - some damage has happened to the edging round the pond and the GLT will repair this when they return.
Helpers - some users of the heath have been good enough to help with jobs such as litter picking. Chris will prepare letters of thanks and Bob will give Chris the names of the people to be thanked.
Parking problems - there have been a llarge number of cars parking along the driveway to the golf club and at the Woodbridge Rd end of Linksfield. Bob has been putting notices on these cars to remind the owners that they cannot park on common land.
Dog waste bags - the print is still coming off the bags and Chris will raise the matter again with our suppliers.
5. Green Light Trust: already covered above
6. Golf club matters:
Snow damage - there has been some snow damage to the golf course.
Reopening - it is hoped that the course will be able to reopen soon. Meanwhile the greenkeepers, who are working on a rota basis, have been doing a good job looking after the common and emptying the dog bins. Chris will prepare thank you letters for the three greenkeepers.
Mike suggested that before we discuss the Linksfield track itself, the trustees should consider the matter of 'conflict of interest'. It has always been the case that when any vote was necessary on Linksfield matters, those trustees that lived along Linksfield could not take part in any vote. As the Linksfield track issues are still ongoing and may be for a considerable time, the trustees re-considered the position going forward. After a lengthy discussion it was agreed by all that in order for there to be no perceived conflicts of interest that Linksfield matters should be dealt with initially in a Special Meeting (and possibly thereafter by a sub-committee). Any one with a 'conflict of interest' would not be included in those meetings. All correspondance should go through the clerk.
8. Any other business:
Barclays bank mandate - Chris asked if a trustee would be willing to sign on the accounts to replace Carole Evans following her resignation. Alison agreed and Chris will sort this out with the bank.
Rusty pole - Diane has noticed a rusty pole/stump sticking up on the common and Mike and Diane will endeavour to sort this out.
Dates of next meeting: Zoom meeting on Wednesday 31st March, commencing at 6:30pm.
Mrs Chris Kendall
Clerk to the Managing Trustees
minutes February 2021