Notes from tonight’s meeting

No camera at tonight’s meeting, but we started the autumn with a small meeting and two big topics.

Present were Joyce, David, Ian, Tom, Rob and Finn.

We started by discussing the meeting Rob has arranged with the Maltings on Monday, then moved to how we are going to decide as a group how to spend our group funds. We also briefly discussed a car share scheme.

Announcements were made about Bysh’s yurt, the  upcoming meeting at Waverley Borough Council, and the possibility of a Community Play.

No chairman was chosen for next week’s meeting, which will be at the Barn.

We started by discussing the meeting that Rob has arranged with the Maltings on Monday. We agreed that it was best to start by understanding their overall aims and objectives. Then move to explaining Transition’s view that a lower-carbon future must mean a more local future, in which the presence of a local arts centre (like the Maltings) becomes even more important. Then we can discuss their specific issues and opportunities around energy. If they are interested in further conversations around generating arts events and understanding the deeper impacts on their business, then we can go back for further conversations.

We next moved to the issue of how to decide as a group how to spend our group funds. Joyce liked the idea of a small committee to whom we would send our comments about any funding requests and who would then decide on the group’s behalf. David suggested that we circulate requests using the email group, then have an electronic voting system to decide by majority decision.

Rob pointed out that what we need rather than a fund-spending committee is a fund-raising committee.

We also discussed whether there are likely to be sufficient funds in the bank to cover more than minimal expenditures, or whether a better attitude/approach would be to assume that there is no money in the bank and actively raise money to fund specific projects.

Robert pointed out that an even better approach would be to find out what funds are available, looking for projects like ours, and then pursue those that fit well with a Transition agenda.

In the end we decided that the approach we want to follow is:

  1. Any person who wants group funds to pay for something circulates an email to the members of the core team saying what they want to do, how much money they want, what the money will be used for, what will be the benefits to Transition Farnham.
  2. The chairman informs the core team how much money is currently in the bank account (plus any other projects that are currently due/likely, etc and which could also use the funds).
  3. Team members then decide whether they support the application or not
  4. The application is discussed at the meeting one or two weeks later (giving 7-14 days for discussion around the group)
  5. People who cannot be at the meeting pass their votes to the chairman
  6. The funds are allocated IF:
    1. at least 50% of people in the core team vote
    2. the majority of those that vote are in favour

This proposed approach was agreed by all those at the meeting tonight, and will now be re-presented at the next meeting to give those who were not there tonight the opportunity to give input.

If passed, we will try this approach for a month to see how it goes, and learn and amend as appropriate.

Ian Bysh said that he wanted to set up a car-share scheme and asked if anyone was interested. Several people said that they were, and Bysh said that he would post something to the discussion group.

Ian is also looking for a space to put up his new yurt. He is going to live in it. The yurt is around 21 feet across, if anyone knows of a suitable area. (The Coxbridge roundabout was rejected as not being suitable!!)

Robert announced that Hampshire has now set up its new Credit Union and there is a branch in Bordon.

David said that there were several interesting talks as part of British Science Week in Guildford, and he had posted these to the discussion group.

David also reminded us that it is now Peak Apple time, and we should remind any people with apple trees that Paul has an apple juicer that he is happy to hire out, or come to people’s houses to juice the apples.

Finn reminded people that on Monday 28 September we will be meeting members of the other Transition groups in Waverley, at Waverley Borough Council offices in Godalming, from 7pm.

He also asked whether people would be interested in a Community Play as Abigail McKern had introduced him to someone who helps to create them. The way it typically works is that people are asked to bring in old photos of the town. This builds up a picture of the history of a place, and gets people talking to each other. From this an exhibition might be organised, or a guided tour of exhibitions of photos in different places, or some sort of relevant parade, or so on. Children might write and put on a play about some of the things that happened, and perform them to each other. All this might take place over the course of a year and would use multiple events to build connections within the community as well as generate a sense of what has happened there.

Then a professional writer is invited to write a play, connecting events in the past with the current life of the town, and examining how this might play out into the future. Anybody who wants can then be part of making the play happen. Often it is set across two or three stages, perhaps in a church, with the audience in the middle. People who do not want to act can get involved with making costumes, props, sets, or masks. Or music. After 18 months or so the town has a play that tells its story, and hundreds of people have been brought together to share in making that happen.

This is a very ‘Transition’ thing to do, but it would not be a Transition project as such — it would be a project in its own right, with a separate steering committee.

Finn asked for people who would be interested in hearing more to get in touch, so that he can gauge whether there is enough interest to invite Jon Otram down to Farnham to make a presentation in October.

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