Phil Campbell (Chairman) welcomed 24 members and visitors to the Annual General Meeting.

Apologies: David Hardy, Pat Hardy, Ros Earthy, David Cornwall, Barbara Barker, Keith Hutchinson, Louise Hutchinson, Elizabeth Silman, Angela Storrar, Eleanor Woosey.

Minutes of the meeting of 6th November 2013:

The time that the meeting closed was corrected to read 7.45 pm after which Kath Keeler proposed that the minutes be accepted as a true record – this was seconded by Ian Dodsworth and passed unanimously.

Matters arising:          None     

Secretary’s Report:                John Dent

The 2013/14 winter programme of lectures was well received by all who attended the events. We were the organisers of this years “Bradbury Memorial Lecture” where Andy Lowe gave a lecture on Lakeland architecture. A special members meeting was held on 19th March. Unfortunately only one member who was not a committee member or partner attended.

The annual dinner was held at the Allerdale Court Hotel on 30th April where the after dinner speaker was John Cusack.

The annual day trip was to Barrow in Furness on the 19th June and was enjoyed by all who went.

The first member’s “Garden Party” for many years was held on the 22nd July at Phil and Shirley’s house and was a great success.

The Trust has continued to comment on the various planning applications as and when appropriate and is using the “Building for Life” method of assessment. We continue to be more pro-active than in previous years by talking to the developers before any submission for planning permission. We held discussions with owners of the Oakhurst petrol station prior to their planning application. We have also taken up various valid comments with the appropriate authorities with some success. We have been involved in the formation of the new Cockermouth Neighbourhood Development Orders and we have done some preliminary work on the formation of a Local Heritage List.

The Trust continued to have involvement in the Main Street repairs but were exasperated by the chaotic planning and execution of them.

The now annual “Walk of Pride” was postponed until after the Main Street returns to normality. We were able to help the Town Spring Clean Day organised by Joe Broomfield (Town Manager) on Friday 6th June.

The Trust continues to be a member of the North West Association of Civic Societies (NWACTS) and of the national Civic Voice. Members of the Executive Committee have attended various meetings organised by Civic Voice and NWACTS.

We are participating in the WWI Commemoration Committee.

We organised an exhibition of “Britain from Above” photographs in association with English Heritage and have produced a leaflet that can be added to our Town Trail leaflet.

The Trust has continued to host a website. Publicity throughout the year has been quite good with regular articles in the “Times & Star”.

We have established contact with the Chamber of Trade and with our President, Lord Egremont.

Proceeds from the sale of the various publications this year have continued to ensure that our membership fees remain affordable. The “Walks from Cockermouth” booklet is currently being checked for accuracy by walking the routes.

We presented a “Certificate of Merit” for the design of the new Cockermouth Health Centre.

The Trust participated in the “Heritage Open Days” event in September for the sixth year. Eleven premises, including a Roman Papcastle exhibition, were open on the day plus one lecture.

The Trust has taken various groups round the Town Trail including Lytham St Annes Civic Trust and groups of French and German students and a French choir. Two groups of schoolchildren (Whitehaven and Sheffield) have been taken on flood related tours. In addition, Castle visits have been hosted in support of the Summer Festival. We have also hosted a visit from Carlisle Civic trust.

A Civic Trust in Wigton is being formed and we have been to the first meeting to help and give advice.

Membership at the end of the 2013/14 year stands at 104. Currently 65 members are on the email list which saves the Trust printing and postal costs 

Chairman’s Report:              Phil Campbell

Our Secretary has already reported on the detail of our activities over the last year. I would just like to focus on key issues for us in the coming year.

We will continue in our opposition to the intent of Cumbria County Council to impose on-street parking charges in Cockermouth, on the basis that it will have a negative impact on the viability of our attractive and historic town centre, in contrast to the national initiative to enhance our town centres. Information that we have obtained to date from the council under the Freedom of Information Act does not support their own argument.

Allerdale BC have now agreed to pursue local listing with Cockermouth as the pilot area. We have agreed that Cockermouth Civic Trust will take the lead for Cockermouth and this will be a significant activity this coming year. Duncan Keeler is taking the lead for us on this.

Allerdale BC are undertaking an external condition survey of all Grade II listed buildings within the borough as part of a national project for English Heritage. We have agreed to assist in this project for Cockermouth and 15 of our members have agreed to participate. Training will be given and this work will be undertaken within the next few months.

We will continue to support the Town Council in their efforts to commemorate the anniversary of World War 1.

Now that the work on Main Street has largely been completed, we will resume our ‘Walks of Pride’, which we suspended this year.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for their contributions over the last year, elected officers and members. Thanks in particular to Duncan Keeler for arranging the lecture programmes over the past few years. He has asked to stand down from this role after this year’s programme so that he can concentrate on Local Listing.

Thanks also to Rebecca Hanson who has served on the committee for the past 2 years but has asked to stand down now due to work commitments.

Treasurer’s Report:

Ian Dodsworth presented the Income and Expenditure Account and the Balance Sheet for the year ended 31st March 2014, copies of which were circulated to the meeting.

He reported that there was a deficit of income over expenditure of £154. He had projected a deficit of no more than £250 at the last AGM and this figure was lower. He pointed out that the profit from the sale of books was £657 and explained the reasons behind the £2 surplus on artwork.

He said that with no major projects currently planned and with the balance sheet showing a balance of £8353 (including book stocks of £5080), there was no problem in running the Trust with the above deficit. There was no need therefore for any increase in membership subscription which has remained unchanged for over 10 years.

Brian Munday proposed that the accounts be accepted as a true record and this was seconded by Tom Hughes and passed unanimously.

Election of Officers and Committee Members:

The present officers Phil Campbell (Chairman), Ian Dodsworth (Treasurer) and John Dent (Secretary) were happy to continue in their roles. There being no other nominations, Georgina Dent proposed that the officers be appointed and this was seconded by Kath Keeler and passed unanimously.

Rebecca Hanson is not standing for re-election but the remaining current committee members, Shirley Campbell, Darren Ward, Duncan Keeler and Brian Coley were happy to continue. Their re-election was proposed by Margaret Coley                               and seconded by Georgina Dent and this was passed unanimously.

Shirley Campbell proposed the election of Ros Earthy and Margaret Coley to the committee. This was seconded by Duncan Keeler and their election was passed unanimously.

Any other business:   None 

There was no additional business and the meeting closed at 7.45 pm