The IGM and establishment of the General Management Committee
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The Hasland and St. Leonard's Community Forum made a £100 start-up grant to the Friends officers in order that the IGM could be held in the village hall, sited in the park. Every effort was made to notify the widest possible community audience of the IGM and the meeting was well attended. The Constitution agreed and four further committee members elected.
It was agreed that the Committee would provide regular updates to the Community Forum, post notices, as appropriate, on community notice boards and other places and hold a mid-year meeting, prior to the AGM, which would be in October 2007.
The IGM was followed by regular committee meetings and further meetings with members of the Leisure Services Department.
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Discussions prior to 2006 at the Hasland and St. Leonard's Community Forum highlighted the concerns that several members of the community had about the deterioration of the park and its facilities.
The public toilets had been closed, the crazy golf removed, the tennis courts in a state of disrepair and the management of the bowling greens given over to a group of 'bowlers' to manage on behalf of the Council in the absence of a Park Keeper.
Local school children were involved in a project to outline their plans and wishes for the park and the Forum tried to engage with the wider public in an attempt to gather suggestions for improvements.
In May 2006 an Open Meeting was held, chaired by the Community Forum Chair, to garner public opinion and measure the depth of commitment of the community to set in motion the establishment of a formal 'Friends' Group. At this meeting a list of 'Friends' was collected. In June 2006 a further meeting was held to elect the Officers of the Friends of Eastwood Park, Hasland.
The Officers immediately engaged with LINKS to write a Constitution, seek initial funding, construct a Business Plan and open a bank account. An IGM was booked for October 2006...allowing time for the production of the various necessary documentation and advertising of the meeting.
In the meantime, in August 2006, the Chair and Treasurer met with members of the Leisure Services Department to discuss the role that the Friends Group might have and how it might engage with Leisure Services in the regeneration of the park.
At this time it was made known that the Council was seeking to create another project within the Borough like the successful Queen's Park project and the Friends were very keen to encourage the Council to consider Eastwood Park!