STAG Steering Group meeting notes – 10th November 2020

1. Merchandise

1.1 Caroline Millman picked up the remaining unsold STAG merchandise from Cecilie about a month ago. 

1.2 Caroline has successfully sold £326 of merchandise in the last 3 weeks.

1.3 There are about 30 aprons and lots of cards still in stock, the latter being particularly hard to sell.

2. Tree Disease Forum about phytophthora

2.1 Caroline has made great progress this last month and the date is set for 2nd December, via Zoom.

2.2 Lots of national experts coming. Caroline will facilitate the Forum and Paul S will also play a significant role.

2.3 The aim will be to get an agreed strategy for dealing with the infected trees on Thornsett Road and other similar locations.

3. The Core Investment Period trees under threat

3.1 All the remaining 309 trees under threat in the CIP period will be removed from the list and formally “saved”.

3.2 However, Amey will then re-submit a list of trees into the agreed joint process that they still want to fell. Whilst it was agreed that this was a positive move overall it did leave some questions unanswered. Christine and Paul S have met with Darren Butt about this and reported back to SG. 

3.3 Darren was very reassuring. He accepted that trees awaiting Joint Investigation will still be investigated as agreed. 

3.4 He also agreed that we should test the process for trees Amey still wanted to fell, which STAG have disputed, by convening a full discussion to build trust. 

3.5 Paul S will put this verbal agreement in writing, send it to Darren, and Karen from SCC to ensure a proper audit trail.

4. Poor Amey communications

4.1 Paul S raised this as there have been two recent poor examples of Amey communications. 4.2 Firstly there was the surprise announcement of work on Rundle Road and then a similar situation with Western Road. STAG only found out about these two actions when road closure notices were installed. 

4.3 After discussion the consensus was that Amey internal communications are so chronically poor that we have no option but to cope with these circumstances as they arise.

4.4 However, Paul S took an action to include concern at poor Amey communications in his email to Darren and Karen previously noted in 3.5 above.

4.5 In addition Helen Kemp took an action to contact her contact in Amey (Yvonne in Comms) requesting Amey’s advance plans.

5. Future of STAG

5.1 No progress has been made in the last 4 weeks since the new constitution was signed off by existing Steering Group members.

5.2 Rebecca took an action to work with Chris to push this forward as all recognised the urgency of this matter. Heather agreed to support Rebecca with this action.

5.3 Rebecca to put together a suggested email to send to existing mailing lists asking for volunteers

6. STAG Bank Account

6.1 No further progress has been made on new arrangements required; banks aren’t opening new bank accounts due to Covid.

6.2 Paul S emphasised the risks to the members of the Future STAG Steering Group, given that the SNET Bank Account will be closed in the next 2 months. 

6.3 SG members agreed that a contingency plan needed to be put in place.

6.4 Rebecca, supported by Heather, agreed to work with Chris to formulate a plan.

7. Archive/Repository

7.1 Russell Johnson has been interacting with Cllr Mark Jones on this topic.

7.2 Cllr Jones seems genuine about wanting it to be as transparent an archive as possible and is listening to suggestions from Russell and others. 

7.3 Russell will continue to talk with Cllr Jones to progress.

8. Potential legal actions

8.1 A campaigner is proposing potential legal action in relation to the campaign and is asking about possible support from STAG in a variety of ways.

8.2 After extensive discussion Russell undertook to discuss the matter in detail with the campaigner to clarify the details of the proposed action and what assistance, if any, STAG could offer before any action is approved.

9. Moderators and Administration of STAG Facebook

9.1 Ann Anderson provided an update saying that there are now just four moderators and, whilst traffic is low, there are still “peak incidents” which can be time consuming.

9.2 She made it clear that “Future STAG” will need to find new Moderators in the New Year.

10. AOB

10.1 The remaining whips will be given to an educational scheme that aims to grow these on and replant as urban trees. Russell is leading this.

10.2  Tree decorations/ribbons. These are becoming increasingly worn. It was agreed that it was for local groups to decide whether to keep or to dispose of them, though iconic items should be kept for historic value (for example items from Western Road).

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