We have been asked how many members came to the AGM. Sue Warren (Membership Secretary) recorded 39 paid up members attending. A quorum is 25 people or 5% of the membership, whichever is greater. We had 517 members at the time of the AGM (520 now), which means that the required number for a quorum was 26.
The Business Plan team met for the first time last night since its work towards winning the Pen Y Cymoedd grant. The next version of the business plan is to go to the Welsh Government and local authorities aimed at getting a decision on transferring the ownership of the tunnel to a Welsh statutory body. It will require case studies looking at the economics of running similar types of attraction throughout Britain and the economic benefits that the tunnel and the cycle route down Rhondda Fawr will bring. The cycle path from Blaengwynfi to Cymmer will become part of that route - NCN882 from Porth to Cymmer through the tunnel. Sustrans is helping. This information is going to take some time to gather, and yesterday we agreed on assigning the various tasks. We anticipate having to make several business plans at different stages of the project, each tailored to it specific audience.
Minutes of the Second AGM of the Rhondda Tunnel SocietyHeld in the Parc n’ Dare Lounge at 7.00pm on Thursday 16th. November 2017
Apologies: None. All Trustees and members of the main subcommittee were present except Dan Jones (in USA). Ian Roberts was introduced as a main committee member who speaks Welsh.
Video: The latest version was shown and comments invited. Members were generally pleased with it but the following observations were made:
Chairman’s Report (Steve Mackey)
A busy year with a long list of people and organisations that we have visited.
Treasurer’s Report (Lesley Crew) Accounts are on the website. This year the accounts included a complete profit, loss & balance; last year’s were just income & expenditure. This year’s accounts have greater detail. Members were encouraged to examine them and ask questions. Lesley also asked for support for our forthcoming Treorchy Wind Farm funding bids by voting on Sunday 26th. November. The annual concert had been a success again and we were seeing if we can put on a similar event in Port Talbot in the spring.
Elections: Chaired by Jim Maggs.
Steve Mackey, Lesley Crew, Tony Moon and Tom Green all stood for re-election according to the rules of the constitution, and were re-elected unanimously:
Proposer: Doug Hicks; Seconder: Robert Morgan
Constitution Changes recommended by the trustees
Tony Moon presented the “non-controversial” changes. Simon James, Head of Interlink RCT explained why they recommended the change to Clause 15.2 (to remove a trustee by a vote of the trustees rather than a general meeting).
The revised constitution was approved unanimously.
Proposer: Jim Mackey; Seconder: Charlie Combs
Tunnel Visit scheduled for 1st. Dec. 2017 & Detailed Examination
Steve Jones – Chair of Tech. Subcommittee explained why the visit was needed and how it would be conducted. In particular we needed to see the block wall, air shaft and cog ahead of the detailed exam.
Debra White – Chair Business Plan Subcommittee explained what would be needed to create a business plan that would be presented to the Welsh Govt. to persuade it to take ownership of the tunnel, and the steps being undertaken to gather the information that the report would need.
Publicity Banners Two designs for publicity banners were shown and comments invited. Main comments as follows:
Questions from the Floor
How would commuters be supported? Local residents and commuters would not be changed a toll.
Certificates of Merit were awarded to Shay Fisher, Kaci Jones, & Demi Hayes in thanks for their support.
17th. November 2017
If you live in Treorchy or Cwm Parc, please do vote for our bids for funding from the Wind Farm Community Fund, this Sunday 26 Nov. 11am to 4pm at the Treorchy Boys & Girls Club, Station Road Treorchy CF42 6UA. Please take with you proof that you live in Treorchy (utility bill or similar). Proxy votes are also allowed if you have, for example, children at college living away.
On the 16th of November 2017, the Society met for its second AGM at the Parc and Dare with a full compliment of Officers, Trustees and Committee Members along with a PCSO to make sure no ugly scenes took place as last year produced, and an executive member of Interlink to guide us through the legal side of changing the Constitution.
With a full house of members who all contributed to the Agenda and voting, the AGM passed without a hitch. Voting took place on various changes to the Constitution. Discussions took place on all items on the Agenda, and all comments and recommendations were noted and will be implemented in due course.
The Chairman, The Treasurer, Project Secretary and the Newsletter Editor all stepped down from their roles to adhere to the rules of the Constitution. A vote took place and each Officer was voted back into their respective roles UNANIMOUSLY with no abstentions.
The Officers would like to thank all members for their vote of confidence in the Committee Members and Trustees, and all are humbled by the unanimous vote.
A short discussion took place on the problems the Society faced in the early part of this year 2017, and all Members from the Rhondda AND Blaengwynfi agreed that it is now totally understandable why the action was taken to remove the Trustee from Office. It is now fair to say that things have settled down except for 1 disgruntled member who lives in England.
So, all in all, an excellent evening, informative, light hearted fun, and more importantly, not a cross word the whole evening. Thank you to all who attended.
The Business Plan Sub-Committee (minus Steve who was ill) met with Ryland Jones of Sustrans Cymru today at their office in Cardiff Bay. The aim of the meeting was to review what needs to go into the business plan that will be presented to the Welsh Government along with the detailed examination report on the condition of the tunnel.
Ryland gave us some very helpful suggestions on what the Welsh Govt. might expect to find in that report. Sustrans also have a research group and the RTS is likely to commission some work from them for the report on the economic impact of a re-opened tunnel. A very helpful meeting, but lots of work ahead for the business plan team.
A new Artist has hit the South Wales Valleys, and of course so far He/she has been as allusive and as secretive as the counter part being emulated by the artist.
He or she has used a play on words and Rhymed their name with the now famous 'Banksy'.
Well, the Rhondda's answer to him is 'BAGSY'
It was great to see that the Rhondda Tunnel came high on his/her list and has been immortalised on a lidl's
'Bag For Life'. Do you know 'BAGSY'? Is 'BAGSY' a He or a She? Who owns the bag with the Tunnel on? Could you get it donated to the Society? Please call 01443 776665.
BBC's Stephen Fairclough visited the Chairman , Steve Mackey this afternoon to ask him about his views on this latest work of art. You can find out more about the light hearted interview by visiting BBC Radio Wales later this evening. (14/11/17.)
A planned entry into the Tunnel has now been finalised. A Rhondda Tunnel Society Engineer (Mr Steve Jones) will be entering the Tunnel along with an Engineer from Balfour Beatty In preparation for the detailed Survey which will take place in the early months of next year. December the 1st 2017 will see the team of people entering aided by Mines Rescue with the Security supplied by SWCMR.
The Rhondda Tunnel Society applied for grants from the Treorchy Wind Farm and all applications has been accepted. The vote is from 11am to 4pm on Sunday 26th November 2017 at Treorchy & Cwmparc Boys & Girls Club. The vote results will be published on the fund website at 9am on Friday 1st December 2017. Successful applicants will then be asked to complete the grant agreement and cheques will be issued at an awards ceremony on 2nd February 2018 at the Parc & Dare Theatre. http://www.treorchywindfund.co.uk/
We will pick up and take you home on the day if you need Transport, details of this will be available nearer to the date of the voting day.
Just over a week ago we reported that the Promotional film was ready to be released. A meeting of the trustees took place and it was decided that the film lacked a few things and need to be put right before accepting the final Cut. We are awaiting talks with the company who produced the film (Mango) to try and resolve the problem. As soon as the film is ready for release, it will be shown for the first time in the G2 in Blaengwynfi.