Apologies were received from Julie Kirwan, David Lawrence, Peter and Gill Humphrey.

The meeting was attended by thirty six members

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

The Minutes of the last A.G.M. held on 16th April 2016 were read by the Chairman.  Their acceptance was proposed by Eve Sorrell and seconded by Roger White and carried unanimously.

Matters Arising: None

Chairman’s Report:  Caroline Evans – The Caldy Society has seen some changes of personnel this year,  but we will maintain the traditions of the Society whilst also  improving it’s service to our Members.
Successes this year have included the development of an electronic mailing list for Membership, which is making it easier both for us to contact you and for administration generally and our thanks go to Richard Lloyd for developing and maintaining this system.
The Christmas Carols on the Green were once again a success and the children in  particular enjoyed our guest – Santa Claus! A new initiative was the Afternoon Tea, kindly hosted by Marg Kalil, which was attended by 70 members and their guests. This raised £450 for the Society. We have other events planned, Caroline which I do hope you will attend, which are detailed in the Spring Newsletter.
The Caldy Open Gardens was once again a resounding success and the the Society congratulates them and hopes that this tradition continues in future years, after a well deserved break.
I would also like to thank all Committee Members past and present for all their hard work and to welcome the new Members of our Committee.

Finance Report:

Donald Lamont – A copy of the yearly accounts had been distributed to members before the start of the meeting.  The Treasurer, Donald Lamont said that the finances are now all computerised and on spreadsheets.  He explained the subscription income change from a 3 yearly to one yearly cycle.  The acceptance of the accounts was proposed by Nigel Lanceley and seconded by Eve Sorrell.


Planning Sub-Committee Report:

Nick Lean – Last year I reported that applications were down on previous years @ 19 total.  This year, back up to almost normal levels @ 27 to date.
Geographical areas covered are mostly in Cons’n Area (15 total), spread across Croft Dr, CDE, CDW, Caldy Rd, and around the village core.  Remainder (12 total) spread across Barton Hey area, Melloncroft, etc.

Of the 27 applications, 2 were re-submissions of old applications which were time-expired (ie not developed within the statutory 3 year period).  These were the schemes for ‘Sawrey Knotts’ in Croft Drive, next to The Croft, where there have been a number of successive applications, all slightly different, in an attempt (we assume) to provide a scheme that would make the plot saleable (the current house is still standing, presumably still rented out).  The other re-submission was 17 Links Hey, where the original house was bulldozed around 5 or 6 years ago without consent and the plot remains undeveloped and also presumably awaiting a buyer.  There was a further re-submission of a contentious scheme in Pikes Hey (across the main road) where the first scheme was withdrawn.
The applications this year have predominantly been for extensions of widely varying size and design.  Some people’s idea of an extension is to simply build on incrementally, whilst there have been 4 schemes (1 left over from last year) where this has been taken to its ultimate conclusion and the houses are to be very extensively re-modelled to the point where little if any of the original will be visible.
There have also been a small number of full redevelopment or new-build proposals – you are probably aware of the large site on CDW (recently opened up by the removal of boundary trees and many year’s vegetation), where the small gardener’s cottage is to be demolished to make way for a very substantial new property with ancillary buildings and pool.  This scheme has been approved.  The bungalow on Caldy Rd (next to ‘Little Dene’),  also now visible for the first time due to extensive tree/shrub removal, is to be replaced with a new house on the same footprint as the original.  This scheme is still awaiting planning consent.
However, there have been 2 further redevelopment or new-build schemes which have been particularly controversial.  These are the partial demolition and conversion of a property on the hill at the far end of the village, outside the Conservation Area and almost into WK, to provide a small apartment block.  This scheme was, to the consternation of the Society, approved by the planners.  There has also been a recent submission for a ‘back garden’ development on CRW (within the CA), still awaiting planning, which the Society are actively fighting and hope to get refused.
One particularly controversial recent scheme was for a 15m high telecoms mast on the grass verge at the corner of Caldy Rd & Melloncroft (outside Cons’n Area boundary).  This application sneaked in to the planning system over Xmas, on a ‘Prior Approval’ basis…  56 day rule… doesn’t go to committee unless very good reason why…  Generated huge amount of interest & correspondence, both for and against, & I apologise if I didn’t reply to all my emails.  Scheme was approved by default.
Other than the above, most applications this year have now received planning consent.  The Society intervened on a small number of schemes, either by way of a letter of objection or by liaison direct with the planning officer concerned.  We involved our local ward Councillors on at least 2 schemes.
Not much in the way of physical development in the village over the year.  Still a few schemes awaiting a start on site.  You will have noticed the half-built house on Caldy Rd towards the roundabout, which at long last is nearing completion.  The bungalow scheme on Caldy Road previously mentioned is an eye-sore, and will hopefully be developed very soon to avoid further vandalism.  The CDW plot will also hopefully be developed soon before nature takes over again and the little cottage falls into disrepair.
Future trends – always difficult to assess, but supply and demand dictates that ‘adding value’ by way of extensions or remodelling will be the norm.  Still scope for demolition and new-build  as plot values outstrip the value of the bricks and mortar.
One positive note is that recent schemes are predominantly Architect-designed, and we haven’t seen many of the poor quality schemes of recent years ‘designed’ by surveyors, etc.
Finally, the Society as ever invites you to speak to the Committee or Planning Sub before make planning applications or to comment on current schemes.


Tree and Planting Sub-Committee Report:  Margaret Kalil – Firstly, may I say that we hope that you are enjoying the daffodil bulbs in Caldy Village again this year. However, this year we have also been treated to a delightful display of purple crocus bulbs and we must thank Denis Blamey and the Rotary Club for planting these bulbs. A big thanks must go to all those who have helped in whatever capacity during the year.  If I may take just a moment of your time to thank the Tree and Planting Sub Committee -Rachel Summers, Judy Wilcox, John Casson, Jean Taylor, Jacquie Walsby-Tickle, Richard Williams and Jean Monks, who have been fantastic. I would also like to thank all those who have helped in our ‘Community Gardening’ days.
This year we have not planted many more shrubs or bulbs, as we decided to have a look at what we have coming up and consider which areas could do with a bit more attention.  The ‘Community Gardening Days’ have mainly involved the tidying up of the areas where we have already planted things. The maintenance of the entrance to the horsefields has been by a professional contractor-a continuation of the previous year.
However-there is nothing like a bit of competition. For those who have driven passed the Thurstaston roundabout with their absolutely fantastic display of daffodil bulbs this year…… I am  green with envy. So-I think that in the autumn Caldy will be planting more daffodil bulbs in our verges to compete. We don’t want to be outdone by Thurstaston.
All this work, however, does require some effort on the part of Caldy residents. And we really could do with the little bit of help. So-if you are able to spare just an hour, please let yourself be known-there is a list on the table if you would like to help-only very occasionally.
I would like to thank all those who have given donations towards the bulb planting etc. There have, however, been some donations given not specifically for our gardening project, but for the general enhancement of the village. We have been considering various projects, and are at present looking at the erection of a Caldy railway sign on the site where Caldy station used to be. The rangers will help erect the sign.
And finally, it has been suggested that we have a kind of ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’, one afternoon/evening, perhaps in the church hall, with a panel of those who know something about gardening. If you may be interested in this at all, please sign the sheet on the table.
The acceptance of the Report was proposed by Peter Wilcox and seconded by Rachel Summers.


Re-election of Officers and Committee:

The Chairman stated that all existing members had agreed to stay on.  David Lawrence and John Cassons will sit on the Planning Committee.  Penny Hall is to be the new Minute Secretary.



Richard Lloyd outlined progress relating to the Broadband problems in Caldy. He reported good progress including:
– the conclusion of a local survey
– the support of senior BT / Openreach executives
– positive investigative action over the last few weeks by Openreach
– ongoing liaison with local councillors and responsible Government Minister
– planned meetings with Councillors regarding Mersey Connected funding
The next steps are to evaluate investigations / upgrades made by the Openreach operational team and agree an approach to further improvements with BT / Wirral Council
Richard reported a very good working relationship with BT Openreach including executive support, single point of contact and regular updates.

Brian Crabtree, Assistant Church Warden, said that he would like the Church Hall to be used more.  He explained the ease of access in case that was a deterrent to people.  He said that in order to gain funds from church authorities the Hall needs to be used more.  Jean Pickering is in charge of bookings.
The Chairman said we would like to work more with the Church.

The Meeting closed at 8.24pm.