meeting notes

ACE Meeting Notes from 12th March 2024

Meeting Title: ACE Monmouth Open Meeting

Meeting date and time: 12th March 2024, 7pm

Venue Details: Zoom

Present: Cheryl Cummings, Vivien Mitchell, Charles Emes, Michael Dunsbee, Sally Jones, Katja Klein, Chris Seabury, Fiona Wilcock, Nichola James, Anthea Dewhurst, Katharine Pitts-Tucker, Peter Davies

Apologies: Cherry Taylor, Sarah Read

1. Welcome and Introductions

Attendees introduced themselves and Sally Jones was welcomed as a new member to ACE.

2. Rescue the River event

Mike Dunsbee reported on the Rescue the River event that was held at the Blake Theatre with an audience of a little under 500! The request to the presenters was what progress has been made in the last three years and what progress will be made in the next 3 years.
Fourteen presenters from campaign groups spoke along with the two key authorities: Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales. Cherry Taylor presented on behalf of ACE Monmouth. Nicola Cutcher, a freelance investigative reporter writing for The Guardian and The Times, was the Chair of the evening. Nicola did an excellent job in asking searching questions.
Overall the evening showed to the public that progress is being made. A huge thank you to the Blake Theatre for their support and to the public for attending.
Friends of the Lower Wye have now merged with the Upper to become one major group we hope giving us more power to make progress. A video of the event is available on YouTube.

Nichola suggested that the public can help by choosing local food produced using regenerative farming methods and by incorporating more seasonal vegetables into their diet.

3. Seed Swap event
The Seed Swap event was held at Bridges on 17th February. Cheryl reported that she was very busy at the event on one of the many seed stalls. There was a lot of interest from the public on wild flower seeds and on vegetables. Anthea attended the event and was very impressed by Dylan’s hedgehog stand where he had an example of a hedgehog house. ACE has booked Bridges to hold the event in 2025.

4. ACE / Habs event 30th June – 2 July

Charles provided a recap on the Sustainability Conference that is being held at the Girls Haberdashers School on 30th June – 2 July. ACE has been given the opportunity of using a large marquee on the Sunday 30th June. An initial Zoom meeting was held by the Steering Group. Nichola spoke about the challenges of the venue being away from the centre of town and suggested that we could hold a ‘feed the community’ event where deforestation-free food is prepared and served to the community for free. The Cook Along Club will be approached to see if they can supervise school children in preparing the food and provide an estimate for the cost.

The Monmouth Carnival is on the same day and there was some discussion of how we might work together. Fiona and Anthea will bring this up at the next Carnival meeting.

Action: Everyone – anyone else who would like to get involved in helping organise the event on Sunday should contact info@acemonmouth.org

5. “Six Inches Of Soil” screening

Katja is organising a screening of the “Six Inches Of Soil” documentary. This is a film about farms that have moved towards regenerative agriculture. The screening is on the 22nd April at Llanarth Village Hall. The aim is to sell 100 tickets.

ACE will need volunteers to serve food and for setup and clear up. If you can help please contact info@acemonmouth.org

Action: Charles to email the volunteer group to ask for help

6. Update on Repair Cafe

The monthly event remains very well attended with many items successfully repaired. A new Repair Cafe banner has been approved that will include “3rd Sunday of the month”.

7. Garden Mentoring scheme

The garden mentoring scheme is going well with each mentor having spent time with their mentee. Early spring is a good time to start preparative work.

8. AOB

a) Biodiversity audit project
Sarah has volunteered to lead the biodiversity audit project.

Action: Charles to put Chris, Katja, Cheryl and Jess in touch with Sarah.

b) Monmouth Cemetery

Anthea and Cheryl reported that since their appeal at a Monmouth u3a meeting they have a group of enthusiastic volunteers.

c) Public Liability Insurance

Charles reported that the existing Public Liability Insurance provided by Keep Wales Tidy is no longer available and that a scheme from Zurich was offered as an alternative. Mark said that MCC were aware that other community groups are also affected and would investigate if there are alternatives.

Action: Charles to ensure that Public Liability Insurance is renewed

d) Circular Economy officers

Mark announced that two Circular Economy officers have been appointed by MCC and will be able to support community schemes like Benthyg, the Community Fridge and Repair Cafe.

9. Date of next meeting: 16th April, Zoom, 7pm. This meeting is the AGM. The roles of Chair, Treasurer and Secretary are open for election. If you would like to be considered for one of these roles please contact info@acemonmouth.org