Meetings & Minutes




Following the Covid 19 outbreak, Cheadle in Bloom had a dilemma regarding this year’s summer planting. Should we go ahead with the displays and if so, how would we manage it? The majority of our volunteers are retired and therefore deemed at risk. However, the plants were ordered in December and by the time of the outbreak the plugs were ready for import from Holland to be grown on by T Derek Thursfield’s Kerry Hill Nurseries, so we were already financially committed. Fortunately, the nursery has come to our rescue and undertaken to do the planting out for us, possibly assisted by a few of our volunteers and this will be done over a number of days at times and in a manner consistent with the social distancing rules.

We hope that in what will undoubtedly be a difficult summer the flowers will do something to brighten the day for those who are out and about and that those staying at home will at least be able to enjoy a drive-by viewing of the High Street under the new rules.

Due to the lock-down situation and “be alert” considerations, it would be inappropriate to do the normal visits to our business sponsors to request and collect sponsorship donations. This will leave our charity with a funding shortfall of nearly £4000 at year end and may place winter planting and next summer’s planting in jeopardy. We do recognise the financial pressures businesses and individuals are under but those wishing to make a donation can still do so by cheque payable to Cheadle in Bloom and sent to our Treasurer, Ian Plant c/o 12 Doulton Place, Cheadle, Staffs. ST10 1LF. . All donations will be very gratefully received and acknowledged.



On 6th May 2020 the meeting scheduled to take place was cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

On 4th March 2020  with regard to recruitment of new members ,the Chairman advised that we have been allocated space in the town library for a recruitment notice board for two weeks from 23rd March and that on 8th April we will be allocated space to recruit at the U3a Coffee Morning and at Morrison’s store on Saturday 18th April. Regarding Saddle or barrier troughs – the trustees having looked at some options that were too expensive would do more research and call a special meeting to decide what to do. Arrangements were made to purchase and trial water reservoirs for the hanging baskets. The Treasurer reported on contributions from the SMDC Councillor’s Community Funds and advised that  that SMDC and Cheadle Town Council have confirmed our annual grants. Arrangements were made to sort out the baskets and troughs and tidy the storage compound. Regarding Well Street Border it was advised that the trustees had agreed that we should no longer weed and maintain this and that Ian Plant would advise SMDC accordingly. Winter Plants out day was confirmed as Sunday 24th May and that Summer Planting day would be 7th June. Date of Next Meeting set as 6th May 2020. 

On 4th December 2019 we also held a General Meeting at which discussion first turned to membership. The Chairman stressed the rather urgent need to recruit more members to ensure continuity of Cheadle in Bloom and undertook to book a library window for us to use to mount a recruitment display, the display to be echoed at a U3A Coffee morning and we would also book publicity at Morrisons. The Treasurer reported on finances as at the AGM and confirmed our Town Council grant had been included in the budget. Members of the Plant Sub-Group agreed to continue and volunteers for the Collections sub group were appointed. Regarding work days done it was noted that attention had been given to the Well Street Border, Lulworth House and Osborne House. A number of volunteers had also met on 15th September and relocated a  square planter to Leek Road, the previous one having been wrecked by a motorist, whose identity was believed to be known but who had failed to volunteer recompense for his actions! Regarding 2020 Summer Planting Gill Laws had spent a lot of time determining the plants requirements for the summer taking into account the changed numbers of square planters and barrels re-locations and had obtained a quote for plants which the Trustees had approved. Planting day will be Sunday 7th June. Nick Hale and Tim Laws agreed to look at improvements to the website and facebook page. Concern was expressed that the border on the Well Street car park consumed too much of our members’ time and anyway was not really relevant to our aims. The matter will be referred to the next trustees meeting. Date of Next Meeting was set as Wednesday 4th March 2020 .

On  4th December 2019 we held our Annual General Meeting. The Treasurer reported that sponsorship income was slightly up and grants slightly down but that we showed a small surplus of income over expenditure and were in a position to finance the order for spring planting and some expenditure envisaged for some new baskets with water conservation. The vice chair indicated she would not stand for re-election and there being only one nomination for each position no vote was required. The following were appointed; 

Sally Roberts was re-elected Chair

Nick Hale was elected Vice-Chair

Richard Grice was re-elected Secretary

Ian Plant was re-elected Treasurer

Nick Hale was re-elected Web Site Manager

Under election of Trustees the incumbent trustees, Sally Roberts, Richard Grice, Ian Plant, Nick Hale, Tricia Lynch, Stuart Lynch and Tim Laws were all re-elected making an executive committee of seven. Although not a Charity Commission requirement for a small group like CIB due to small monetary turnover, it was agreed that CIB would continue to have the annual accounts examined and certified by JC Barker & Co.  This has to date, been done free of charge as a sponsorship donation.  The date for the  next AGM was set as Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

On 13th October 2019 rather more volunteers than the previous week turned out for winter planting. The planting plan was the same as last year’s successful formula – primulas and pansies. The rather heavy rain at times seemed to spur on members to see the task through and it was completed in record time. Thanks are extended to everyone who attended.

On  6th October 2019 it was time to remove the summer plants, take down the hanging baskets and top up up all planters with compost. There was rather less than usual volunteers but those present set to amidst intermittent showers and duly completed the task.

On 4th September 2019 membership was discussed and the Chairman explained that there may be occasional opportunities to display a Cheadle in Bloom notice board at the library that could include appeals for new members. The Treasurer reported on finances. He confirmed that the SMDC grant had now been received and undertook to provide further analysis of this years sponsorship in view of there being quite a drop in business sponsorship which though expected in the current financial situation gave rise to some concern. It was reported that on 17th August one of the planters on Leek road had been demolished by a car colliding with it. A group of members had removed the remains of the planter on 19th August and cleared up. It was understood that the driver concerned had been identified by police which was therefor likely to lead to an insurance claim. It was however also reported that the planters were no longer manufactured and the decision was taken to relocated the planter situated opposite to Chell Engineering. This task was completed by a group of members on 15th September. Concern was expressed that with our declining number of volunteers perhaps we should consider reducing our work-load.  In particular it was suggested we stop doing hanging baskets.  After some discussion it was decided that we should try to continue with most of them but perhaps cease the single ones in High Street. Discussion was deferred to our next meeting on 4th December which would be preceded by our AGM. 

On 10th July 2019 at our meeting it was first noted that Edna Locker had now retired from the group after many years’ service and it was agreed that the chairman should write to her expressing thanks and appreciation. A report from the Treasurer with a revised budget indicated that our financial situation was healthy. Door to door collections from local businesses had been completed successfully, the Town Council grant had been received and the SMDC grant should arrive soon. We had also received notification that Cheadle Lions planned to make a donation which was gratefully acknowledged. Care of planters was allocated to members and the dates for winter planting set as 13th October with plants out day the week before. Arrangements were agreed for a small group to meet to replant the Post office garden and this was completed on  Sunday 14th. 

On 2nd June 2019 members of the plant group arrived early to take delivery of and sort out the summer plants . Unfortunately the delivery was significantly delayed with the knock on effect of a late start to planting out, not helped by some very heavy  but fortunately intermittent rain showers. With the main planting  completed (and members soaking!) by lunchtime most volunteers were then able to get away. A few stalwarts stayed on until nearly 4 pm to complete the hanging of the baskets around town. Though the circumstances were unusual this year, it was fairly heavy work and did highlight the need for a few younger volunteers to assist on the two days a year when we are moving baskets around.

On 19th May 2019 there was a good turnout of volunteers in reasonable weather for the removal of the winter plantings and topping up of compost. Some early birds had arrived and started work well before the scheduled time so we were “done and dusted” by 11:30.

On 8th May 2019 at our meeting we were advised we had a new member likely to join us, which was welcomed. U3A advised that as a charity and now that  CIB was also now a charity it would be inappropriate to sponsor us. On finances it was reported that our bank balance was the same as at the last meeting. Door to door collections from local businesses had commenced and would  be reported upon at the next meeting. £200 had been received from SMDC Councillor Ellis’ Community Fund. It was understood that SMDC and Cheadle Town Council have budgeted for their usual grants.There was detailed discussion of the arrangements for winter planting removal on 19th May and summer planting on 2nd June. 

On  27th March 2019 our meeting began by extending a warm welcome to Zenobia Routledge as a new member. The Treasurer reviewed the budget that had previously been approved by the trustees. The Secretary reported on approaches made to councillors for funding, noting that the situation had changed but he would progress. He also reported that some weeding of planters remained to be completed , which he subsequently chased by email.  It was also noted that weeding and tidying of the Well Street car park border and Lulworth House would resume for the season on 14th April, and that GL would contact Thursfields to decide a date for collection of the troughs and baskets after Mothering Sunday.  Volunteers were required to attend the Recreation Ground on the due day to get them ready, for which a number of members volunteered. Regarding summer planting, winter plants would be removed and compost topped up on 19th May with replanting taking place on 2nd June. The Treasurer was authorised to sign and progress the watering contract. The next meeting was agreed for 9th May.

On 5th December 2018 at our General Meeting it was noted that the various methods agreed at previous meetings to increase our membership had been unsuccessful though it was hoped we would have more success with our recent facebook page. Sheila Meyrick and Edna Locker confirmed their retirements from the Plant Group and were thanked by all members for their excellent efforts. It was noted that Brookes Solicitors have now given formal permission for us to attach our sponsors listing board to the wall of their building where it would be more prominent. Regarding sub-groups:

Plant Group – GL will join and take over the plant lists and plans from SM and liaise with the plant suppliers but needed someone with better plant knowledge to assist.  She would ask JG if she will continue with the group and also ask Glynis Fallows if she will join.

Collections –     SR and TL – High Street

                        GL – Town centre off High Street

                        SL – Industrial areas

Work days were reviewed and it was noted that the wooden barrels at the Recreation Ground have been replaced with plastic ones. 

On 5th December 2018 at our AGM the minutes of our last AGM were approved. The Treasurer reported that sponsorship in 2018 had been down and that we had incurred unusual expenditure in purchasing additional plastic tubs. In consequence our year end balance was down nearly £1000. Chairman Gill Laws thanked all members for their efforts during the year which was reciprocated by members. Under Election of officers, there being only one nomination for each position no vote was required.

Sally Roberts was elected Chair

Gill Laws was elected Vice-Chair

Richard Grice was re-elected Secretary

Ian Plant was re-elected Treasurer

Nick Hale was re-elected Web Site Manager

Under Election of Trustees the incumbent trustees, Sally Roberts, Gill Laws, Richard Grice, Ian Plant, Tricia Lynch, Stuart Lynch and Tim Laws were all re-elected and Nick Hale was elected as an additional trustee making an executive committee of eight. Although not a Charity Commission requirement for a small group like CIB due to small monetary turnover, it was agreed that CIB would continue to have the annual accounts examined and approved by JC Barker & Co.  This has to date, been done free of charge as a sponsorship donation. The date of the next AGM was agreed as 4th December 2019.

On 14th October 2018 There was a good turnout of members with the plant group having started at 6:30 meeting the plant delivery and sorting the plants out. By the time most members arrived it was pouring with rain which continued throughout planting! No photos were taken as the bunch of stalwarts pressed on undeterred and planting was finished by 11:30, by which time members were all soaked to the skin and ready for a hot bath. Despite this induction, our latest recruit remarked she had enjoyed herself and would be back!

On 7th October 2018 a relatively small number of volunteers met at 8:30 to remove all the summer planting and top up compost. The weather was warm and despite the limited numbers we were finished before mid-day.

On 12th September 2018  at a full members meeting the Chairman advised that she would not be standing for re-election at the AGM  but would remain a member and that two of our long standing members Edna Locker and Sheila Meyrick were both standing down reluctantly for health reasons. Thanks were expressed to them. Various proposals and activities were made to try to increase our dwindling membership. The Treasurer reported that we have now received our grant from SMDC but had also had considerable expenditure for watering amongst other things. Members were also advised that the financial year end date has been moved from 30th November to 31st October. When summer planting was reviewed, all agreed that the displays has been magnificent this year thanks in part to the heatwave but mainly to the excellent plant selection by the plant group, who were congratulated.  The hanging baskets  had suffered from the heatwave initially but mostly recovered after water “reservoirs” were added. Many members had received glowing comments from members of the public and from sponsors. After some discussion in which members expressed the view that they now preferred the low and maintenance free plastic barrels to raised planters that would require regular maintenance, this approach was agreed and NH reported he was awaiting quotes from the supplier. ( Note -now ordered). Dates for winter planting were confirmed and the plants had been ordered. The Secretary expressed concern that with the declining membership, door to door collections from sponsors may be difficult or even impossible to achieve next year and that we should perhaps make the councils aware of a possible shortfall in funding. It was decided that as most sponsors are keen to continue supporting us we should make every effort possible to continue with collections.  The problem would be addressed again, if necessary, when we saw how many volunteer collectors we had. Plans were agreed to make the people of Cheadle more aware of our activities, including starting a facebook page.

On 17th July 2018 a small group of volunteers met at the memorial garden at Lulworth house and completed pruning, tidying and spraying the flagstones with anti moss treatment.

On 12th July 2018  at a full members meeting it was first noted that we had 2 potential new members. It was reported that the new planter for Greyhound Walk had not arrived and it was assumed that the offer had been withdrawn. The secretary would look at the cost of making one ourselves but NH would also price up 12 new plastic planters as a fall back.The Treasurer reported that we had now received Cheadle Town Council’s grant, one from Councillor Ellis’ Community Fund  and the promise of further support from Mark Deaville’s  County Council fund. Sponsorship money was in and we had raised £400 from the sale of the wooden barrels. Arrangements were made for tidying the garden at Lulworth House and for weeding days and planter maintenance assigned to members. Thanks were expressed to Rowlinson signs for making improvements to our sponsors’ signboard free of charge. The dates associated with winter planting were agreed as above.

10th June 2018 was summer planting day with the Plant Group meeting to unload and sort the plants at 6:00 and other members arriving for planting from 8:30. With nice weather everyone set to and the planting was completed by 1:30.

On 20th May 2018 we met again to complete the planter changeover and this time the job was completed to everyone’s satisfaction for mid-day. A big thank you to all the volunteers who turned out on both days!

On 13th May 2018 there was a reasonable turnout of volunteers for the first day allocated to replacing the wooden planters with plastic ones. This involved removing plants, part filling planters with gravel (no less than 3 tonnes!) setting them in place and the disposal of the plants and wooden barrels. We were fortunate to have two trailers and a van to assist in this task. In what proved to be a long and arduous task, volunteers pushed themselves very hard to break the back of the job, with the last members leaving at 3:30 pm. We all took consolation from the fact that we were moving forward to our objective of having all maintenance free planters and that once completed our volunteers would not need to face any such exertion for many years.

On 2nd May 2018 at the full members meeting the Chairman first reported that Sylvia Shaw,a long-time member and regular work day attender has regretfully resigned due to personal circumstances and she had sent a letter of thanks and appreciation. The Treasurer reported on our significantly reduced bank balance following the purchase of the new planters. The Secretary advised members that on 11th April he had written to all Cheadle SMDC Councillors asking that they consider donating to us from their Community Funds and that they lobby for an increase in the £5000 grant we get from the Council which has been static for over 10 years an that sadly to date there has been no response from any of them. The Chairman gave a detailed update on the state of preparation for replacing the existing wooden planters with the new plastic one and confirmed the dates as 13th and 20th May and for Summer Planting on 10th June.   It was reported that The Discovery Group had been moved out of the ground floor of Lulworth House and so SR will no longer be able to tend the memorial garden there as she used to do it whilst on duty for the group.  RG would see the new tenants to see if they want to take over the garden.  Otherwise it was agreed that we will look after it as before and hopefully get a donation from them. Date of next meeting set for 11th July. (Subsequently amended to 12th July following England’s successful progress in the FIFA World Cup)

On 14th March 2018 the Chairman reported that we had a place at Cheadle Expo (formerly Showcase Event) on 24th March from 10:00am to 3:00pm and volunteers were appointed to man the stall. On matters arising it was notd that Sheila Meyrick had moved from the plant sub-group to High Street collections. The meeting was formally advised of Charity Registration application success – Registration No. 1176882. As members had asked whether, as a registered charity, we could now register for VAT and so recover the VAT paid on purchases, the Secretary had enquired at HMRC who had advised that as we did not “trade” (i.e. buy and sell) then we are ineligible. However if we receive donations from taxpaying members of the public then it may be possible to claim Gift Aid. Tim Laws would therefor look into the possibility of utilising the on-line Just Giving site. Inviting public donations via the local press would be considered at a trustees meeting. The meeting confirmed that we would accept a generous offer from a member of the public to make and donate display planters to replace the plastic half-barrel planter set in the middle of Greyhound Walk.  A work group had met to draught a design for the planters which had been passed to the benefactor. It was reported that at the trustees meeting on 7th March it had been agreed that we now have sufficient funds and should buy the 70 plastic barrels necessary to replace all of the wooden ones and Nick Hale was authorised to order 70. There may be additional cost for gravel ballast, and sundries. Dates for barrel changeover were set for Sunday 13th May and Sunday 20th May subject to logistics review Arrangements were put in place to to order compost when quantity required is determined, get quotes for watering and to ask ARB if they will help with the hanging baskets and troughs again. Summer Planting day was confirmed as Sunday 10th June. Date of Next Ordinary General Meeting Wednesday 2nd May 

On 24th January 2018 we held our general meeting deferred from December. The Chairman began by pointing out that we had recently lost several very active members and were likely to be short-handed on work days.  She asked for ideas for recruitment of new members.  PR said that he would ask the local press to publicise our need for new members and would also give it a mention in his Mayor’s message. IP advised us that the Showcase Event is to be repeated on 24th March, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  GL said that she will prepare a presentation as she did for the last one which had been quite successful. It was also tentatively agreed to take a stall at the Party in the Park on 5th August. The Chairman then reported that Joan Grattage had resigned from her position as Treasurer and asked for nominations for a replacement.  Ian Plant was the only nomination and was duly elected Treasurer. Regarding sub group members: for the Plant Group Sheila Meyrick and Edna Locker agreed to continue and it was understood that Joan Grattage would also probably continue.  Sally Roberts agreed to join the group and it was said that Wendy Smith may assist as a co-opted member. For Sponsorship Collections Tim Laws and Stuart Lynch would do the High Street, Sheila Meyrick and her sister Carol would do other town centre collections and Stuart Lynch the Industrial Areas. There was no Treasurers Report but the Chairman advised that there had been no cash movement since the AGM. Regarding Finances the Secretary advised that he had applied for a grant from the Veolia/SCC Envirogrant Scheme but the application had been unsuccessful. He agreed to ask Your Housing Group if it was running its grant scheme again this year.  On Summer Planting the Plant Group reported that they had agreed a scheme of pinks, purple and white to include plants such as begonias, antirrhinums and impatiens. A quotation for these had been received and accepted.Plants for U3A would be added.  Summer Planting day has been moved from the traditional first Sunday in June to 10th June because the first Sunday clashes with school holidays. Regarding “Charity Status and Constitution” the Secretary reported that our application for registration had been submitted and we had received acknowledgement.  Subsequently we had received notification that our “object” wording did not satisfy Charity Commission requirements and we had been provided with an alternative suggestion.  The suggestion, previously accepted by the trustees was agreed by the members.  The Secretary would amend the application as required and re-submit it. It was reported that Nick Hale had suggested and made a case for replacing all of the wooden half-barrel planters with plastic ones over the next two years.  There was a brief discussion and then the subject was deferred to the next meeting. Date of Next Ordinary General Meeting was set for Wednesday 14th March 7:00pm 

On 6th December 2017 we held our AGM. The minutes of the previous AGM were approved and the Treasurer then presented her report and accounts which were agreed and signed off. With regard to the group registering as a charity, the Charity Commission’s model constitution as discussed at the general meeting in September had been circulated by email with the agenda prior to the meeting.  After a little discussion its adoption was agreed unanimously.The constitution includes a new CIB ‘object’ – To improve the environment in and around Cheadle by providing and maintaining floral displays for the benefit of residents and visitors. This would be taken forward to the first Trustees meeting for completion of, and attachment to the application for charitable status.We then moved on to “Composition of a by-law for election of officers and committee” and it was agreed that: “Officers, Chair, Vice-Chair (optional), Secretary, Treasurer and three or four other full members shall be elected by the full members at the AGM.  Proposals for office or committee may be ahead of or at the meeting. Votes will be taken if multiple proposals are received” . Discussion then moved to ” Defining Membership” and In line with Charity Commission guidelines the membership structure was agreed as: “A Committee” of Trustees elected by the full members, consisting of Chair, Vice Chair (if appointed), Secretary, Treasurer and three or four additional full members. The committee will make policy decisions and take full responsibility for day to day running of the group. A second tier of “full members” who can attend general meetings and have a right to discuss and vote on constitutional and operational matters and by-laws. A third group of “associate members” who join in with planting, weeding and maintenance work but have no voting powers.Official Town or District council representatives shall have full member status.” We then moved on to Election of Officers. Nick Hale as retiring Acting Chairman thanked officers and members for their help and support during his term of office.  The members thanked Nick for his work as Acting Chair for the last 7 months.There being only one nomination for each position no vote was required. All officers are Trustees.

Gill Laws was re-elected Chair

Sally Roberts was elected Vice-Chair

Richard Grice was re-elected Secretary

Joan Grattage was re-elected Treasurer

Nick Hale was re-elected Web Site Manager

Regarding Election of Other Trustees to join the officers on the committee Tim Laws, Ian Plant, Tricia Lynch and Stuart Lynch were elected as further Trustees. Regarding Appointment of Independent Examiner it was resolved that although not a Charity Commission requirement for a small group like CIB due to small monetary turnover, CIB would continue to have the annual accounts examined and approved by JC Barker & Co.  which to date, been done free of charge in lieu of sponsorship. Under AOB the plant group reported that they had agreed which plants will be grown in 2018 and had requested a quotation from the usual supplier. The date of the next AGM was set at 05.12.18. A Trustees (Committee) meeting would take place on 11.01.18. Due to time constraints the date for the next ordinary general meeting originally scheduled to immediately follow the AGM was re-scheduled to 24th January 2018 at 7:00pm.

On 22nd October 2017 we again met, this time to plant out winter pansies. Members of the plant group had arrived early and once again had everything organised for the volunteers with plants segregated and planting instructions available. Despite early spits of rain the weather soon cleared up and planting was completed by 11am, noticeably speeded up by no longer having to plant out the roundabout as this had now become the responsibility of AA Silencers/Paradise Nurseries. Thanks to all volunteers for showing up on what started as a cold day.

On 15th October 2017 volunteers met at Greyhound Walk for the removal of summer planting, compost topping up and the removal of hanging baskets, High Peak having kindly removed the railing mounted baskets. We also replaced a couple of worn out tubs. There was quite a good turnout and the work was accomplished quickly and without incident.

On 29th September 2017 a small sub-group, as previously minuted, met to explore the way forward for our planned registration as a charity. Good suggestions were received and it was concluded that it would be a simpler task than many had anticipated. This proposal will be put to the next general meeting on 6th December for formal adoption.

On 13th September 2017 The Treasurer reported relatively healthy finances despite the purchase of plastic barrels, but the balance remained to be finalised. It was noted that the grant from SMDC had now been received, with a further grant from Councillor Deaville expected, including sufficient to cover the costs of mowing the roundabout. Weeding of the roundabout and Well street was cancelled. Regarding Winter Planting it was reported that plants had been ordered, at a slightly reduced cost on last year as we would not be planting the roundabout. Plant allocation cards and planting plans woud be ready for planting day. Plant removal, tub replacement and topping up of compost was scheduled for 15th October(8:30 am) and planting day for Sunday 22nd October starting at 08:00 am for the Plant Group and 08.30 am for other members.  Note the change of dates from those in the minutes of the last meeting. The Secretary would ask High Peak Borough Council Parks Department to remove the troughs and baskets as they have done previously.  The ones they will not remove for H & S reasons would be removed by our members on plants out day. Sally Roberts addressed the meeting on the subject of the groups charity status and the need to register at such. There was lengthy discussion on the implications thereof, with particular concern that the requirement to have the group’s officers as Trustees might deter members from coming forward. After an explanation of the minimal reporting requirements and the ability to Insure Trustees against any financial obligations incurred, it emerged that there were enough members present to form a committee as required.  The determination by members to keep Cheadle “blooming,” was a major factor in enough members coming forward to serve. A Working Group led by SR, plus NH, RG, JG, MP and TL (as available) will meet as required in order to determine and plan the way forward to Charity Commission registration and compliance.  The first meeting will be 29th September 2:00pm at The Master Potter.  

On 12th July 2017 our meeting began with the very sad news that Terry Grattage who was a long time enthusiastic member had passed away. Members asked the Acting Chairman to convey their condolences to his wife and our Treasurer Joan. On finances a report of our bank balance was received and it was reported that sponsorship collections were substantially completed and were down about 19% on last year despite significant donations from three new donors. The Acting Chairman thanked all the collectors for their hard work. We have also received a grant of £200 from Councillor Stephen Ellis from his Community Fund. It was reported also that an application for grant from his Community Fund has been submitted to County Councillor Mark Deaville. The application was for the regular £500 plus £240 to pay for roundabout mowing through the summer. By way of explanation of this members were informed that Councillor Mark Deaville, on behalf of Staffordshire County Council had resolved the future roundabout grass mowing issue by granting AA Silencers, in partnership with Paradise Nurseries, permission to take over responsibility for floral displays and mowing on the roundabout. Cheadle in Bloom will cease to care for the roundabout after plant removal on 8th October 2017.  In the meantime, M & S Contracts and Services will mow the grass “as and when necessary” with payment by CIB funded by an additional grant to Cheadle in Bloom from Councillor Mark Deaville’s Community Fund. Summer planting was reviewed and the Acting Chairman thanked all concerned for the excellent turnout and particularly the plant group for their excellent choices of plants. SR advise the members that she was knowledgeable in matters of publicly funded organisations and charities.  She asked about the constitution of Cheadle in Bloom in respect of charity status, trustees, officer and committee responsibilities etc.  NH referred her to our constitution on the website and asked that she look at it and offer her advice and recommendations at the next meeting.

On 7th June 2017 There was again a very good turnout of members, this time to replace the barrels in Greyhound Walk with new plastic planters, the delivery of which had unfortunately been delayed until just too late for planting day. All the existing tubs had to be emptied of compost and plants then the new tubs had to be ballasted with broken slabs refilled and planted.This was heavy work but with the enthusiasm of volunteers was completed in 5 hours and moved us one step nearer to a maintenance free future. 

On June 4th 2017 Summer Planting took place with a very good turnout of members and with good weather the planting was completed quickly. ARB again provided a cherry picker to assist with hanging baskets and wall mounted troughs.

On 21st May 2017  members met early to remove all the winter planting and top up compost preparatory to summer planting. The tubs sponsored by U3A at the Guildhall were also set out and filled.

On 14th May 2017 All members assembled to paint the barrels on the High Street which was accomplished without incident.

On 8th May 2017  a small group met to drill the current stock of barrels

On 3rd May 2017  at our meeting the Chair was taken by Nick Hale, the vice chairman and began with an Extraordinary item, namely that our Chairman Gill had decided that she needed to stand down as Chair though she would continue as a working member. NH expressed the gratitude of all present by formally thanking her for six years of excellent service as Chair. He went on to say that though it would normally only happen at an AGM or EGM, the position of Chair needed to be addressed at that meeting and asked if anyone present would be willing to fill the vacant Chair. As no-one stepped forward he  said that, as he had accepted the Vice-Chair position at the last AGM, he felt duty bound to offer to take-on the vacant position now, but only as Acting Chair, until the next AGM when he would, with absolute certainty, not be accepting any office of CIB. He added that CP had withdrawn her offer to take on the treasurers duties at the AGM and that RG would at that time, in all likelihood be standing down from the job of Secretary. That would leave a need for a whole new set of officers!  He asked that, rather than leaving the whole issue until the deadline, if anyone felt they might be able to help then they should let him know in the coming months.  It was agreed that the matter of officer vacancies would be on all meeting agendas in the coming months. In closing this item NH advised that constitutionally the Cheadle in Bloom volunteer group needs to have three officers – Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.  He said that this wasn’t an abstract concept, it was necessary to fill these positions in order to keep the group running.  “If, by the time of the AGM no-one steps up to the plate it will mean facing the sad task of winding up CIB in accordance with the Constitution.”

EL showed the planting diagrams that have been prepared in readiness for planting day and advised that she has prepared the labels that we use when setting out the group plant batches on planting day.SR confirmed that the Discovery Centre Group will care for the Memorial Garden at Lulworth House.  They will call for assistance if required.  CIB will continue to supply the plants. Collectors reported that commercial door to door collections were ongoing.  They said that there seemed to be more reluctance to donate than previously – possibly due to reduced trade on the High Street.Sponsors have expressed concern that the list of sponsors is no longer on display in Greyhound Walk due to the loss of the cart.  It was agreed that we should seek permission from the SMDC to mount it on the wall of the public toilets.Regarding the cutting of Tape Street Roundabout, a meeting of IP, GB and County Councillor Mark Deaville to discuss the future of the roundabout grass had been put on hold until after the County Council elections but  IP undertook to ask the High Peak staff to strim the grass “as a favour” in the interim.

On 9th April 2017 The roundabout and the Well Street border were weeded and the Memorial Garden at Lulworth House was tidied, trimmed and weeded.

On 15th March 2017 at our meeting we were pleased to welcome new volunteers, namely Sally Roberts, and Glynis and George Fallows. Also recruited but not attending were – Kate Reynolds, Sue Winning, Betty James, Margaret Dyche and June Jackson. It was first noted that the Secretary had been in touch with Mary Sheldon of Biddulph in Bloom about uniting in an appeal to SMDC for extra funding.  She was of the view that any such appeal would be refused and might put current funding at risk.  Given her experience and her position as a Councillor it was decided to take her advice and accept what we already get for the time being.The Secretary also reported that he had been unsuccessful in clarifying the position in Leek regarding town planting. The Treasurer reported on finances and confirmed we had had sufficient reserves to place an order for summer planting. Work days were provisionally planned to tidy up the roundabout and Well street and Lulworth House, subject to change based on weather forecasts. The plant group’s idea for wooden planters similar to ones in Tean for Greyhound Walk had had to be put on hold as the carpenter who made them had retired and an alternative maker had not been found.The possibility of seeking funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for something such as coal carts relating the Cheadle’s Heritage was raised. Following further discussion it was agreed that for the present and probably for the rest of this year, we would leave the current barrel arrangement in place. Regarding work days Planting Day was confirmed as Sunday 4th June – 6:00am plant unloading and sorting by plant group followed by all available members planting from 08:30 am. The pansies and polyanthus will be removed on Sunday 21st May – timing details and arrangements for compost topping up to be agreed at our next meeting. Regarding the Tape Street Roundabout IP met with County Councillor Mark Deaville to discuss alternatives to the grass surface so as to avoid the dangers from strimming.  A number of options were discussed but the issue remains a Council problem.  GB will join with IP and Mark Deaville to try to find a solution.  Members stressed that whatever is to be done needs to be completed well before summer planting. 

On 25th January 2017 at our meeting apologies were received from the Chairman due to illness and Nick Hale as deputy took the Chair. He welcomed new members Carol Purslow and Tony Plant to the group and it was noted that Carol was prepared to act as Treasurer at year end if required.Regarding sub-groups all of last year’s sub-group members agreed to continue this year except that EL can no longer do the town centre collecting.

Plants – Sheila, Joan, Wendy, Becky and Edna.  Gill will continue to support as required.

Town Centre Collectors – Joan, Sheila and Tricia.

Industrial Area Collectors – Gill and Stuart.

Ian Plant reported that he had asked SMDC Councillors about the prospect of an increased grant but none thought it likely.  He will however continue to lobby them.The cash situation is unchanged since the year-end report and the accounts have now been audited and signed off. The Secretary reported that Your Housing Group which has granted us significant funding from its Project Fund in the last few years has no current plans to run such a scheme this year.After the last meeting we were invited to take a stand at the Showcase Event being organised by Team Cheadle on 28th January and it was reported that the invitation has been accepted and GL has worked with NH and others to organise our stand. Regarding the Greyhound Walk Cart and subsequent to the decision that the cart is no longer safe to display our barrels, RG had visited Jim Oakes who agreed to remove it after we empty it. Arrangements were made to empty it then subsequently relocate the barrels later to the centre of the walk. This was subsequently accomplished, the former event in a downpour! RG reported that he had hoped to have a sample barrel from Carrick Cooperage to show at the meeting but unfortunately it didn’t arrive in time.  It was agreed that RG should decide whether or not the sample, when it arrives, is acceptable and if so, to place our order for the 20 required. Regarding Tape Street Roundabout the proposal to replace the grass with bark had been questioned by GB because he thought that bark would be blown off the roundabout and into the road during high winds. He had suggested second hand Astroturf as an alternative. RG had been to see the supplier and brought a sample to the meeting.  All agreed that the product was good though much heavier than they expected. Though noted as an ideal solution it was also noted that Cheadle in Bloom volunteers don’t have adequate labour, equipment or skills to carry out the necessary work.It was agreed that the problem should be resolved by Staffs County Council which owns the roundabout. IP agreed to talk to County Councillor Mark Deaville to try to find a solution. 

On 7th December 2016 our normal meeting also took place. It was reported that subsequent to the last meeting we had received almost 3000 crocus bulbs from Cheadle Round Table.  SM and her sister Carol Deaville had planted them in all of the town centre barrels, the gardens by the Post Office and Well Street car park.The Chairman, thanked all who did for their work on Winter Planting day in what were horrendously wet conditions.  Everyone was absolutely soaked to the skin! The Secretary reported that the high quality barrels he had seen previously were no longer available and was authorised to order 20 barrels at £35 each ready painted and drilled, from Carrick Cooperage, for delivery in early spring.After some discussion it was agreed as a precautionary measure to remove Les Oakes’ cart before any further deterioration in its condition in 2017 which the Secretary undertook to arrange. Members were asked to come to the next meeting with ideas for a replacement. Regarding ongoing issues with the maintenance of the Tape Street roundabout, Ian Plant reported that ArB Tree Consultants’ owner had said that he would donate sufficient bark mulch to replace the grass.  Members expressed their sincere gratitude for this kind offer and accepted it as the most viable solution.  

On 7th December 2016 our Annual General Meeting took place. After last year’s minutes were approved the Treasurer reported on finances saying that the closing bank balance is up on last year and is what we aspired to so that we could place our order for the summer plants with sufficient funds to back the order. Sponsorship was significantly down on last year mainly due to business closures and reported poorer trading.  We had also had additional costs of £150 for replacement pansies when the weather destroyed many of the initial planting. The Treasurer and all other officers were thanked for their work by the Chairman and the following appointments were made:

 Gill Laws was re-elected Chair

Nick Hale was elected Vice-Chair

Richard Grice was re-elected Secretary

Joan Grattage  was re-elected Treasurer

Nick Hale was re-elected Web Site Manager

JC Barker & Co were re-elected to audit the 2017 accounts and the date for the next AGM set as  Wednesday 6th December 2017. The meeting then closed.

On 16th October 2016 winter planting took place. We were a bit short on volunteers with several away on late holidays. It also began to rain just as we began and for the first time ever no photographs were taken as members dispersed as fast as possible, heading for a hot bath and in many cases a hot toddy. A big thank you to all who attended.

On 2nd October 2016 there was a good turnout of members to remove all the summer plants and take down all the high-level planters and troughs. The  work was completed in a few hours in fair weather. Over the following 2 weeks various members topped up planters with compost ready for winter planting. 

 On 14th September 2016 at our meeting, under matters arising, the Chairman reported that the vandal identified on CCTV damaging planters had been prosecuted and sentenced – details were circulated to the meeting and published in the local press. She also reported that sponsorship signs were now in place, Rowlinson Signs having once again provided some free by way of sponsorship. The Treasurer reported on finances, indicating we once again have sufficient reserve funds to pre-order summer plants. We had received a grant from County Councillor Mark Deaville’s Community Fund  of £500 and SMDC Councillor Stephen Ellis had donated £100 from his Community Fund. There was a review of Summer Planting and work days done, as detailed below and the Chairman thanked all volunteers for their contributions. Arrangements were made for the repair of Les Oakes cart. The meeting was also advised of the arrangements for new planters and plants near the Guild Hall, funded by U3A in celebration of their 25th anniversary. The date of the AGM was confirmed.

On 9th September2016 Osborne House garden was weeded and donated perennials planted.

On 27th July 2016 YMCA volunteers cleaned and tidied Osborne House and dead-headed High Street flowers. 

On 17th July 2016 Lulworth House was weeded, trimmed, pruned and tidied and later pressure washed and the WI garden in the car park completely cleared and re-planted with plants 

On 7th July 2016 at our meeting in response to earlier concerns raised about transport, namely that N Hale was the only member with a tow ball on his car,it was noted that in addition to Alan Bentley offering the use of his trailer, Wayne Durose would make his transit van available whenever possible, as he had this planting day. The Treasurer reported that sponsorship collections had been completed and council grants and donations from our two biggest sponsors received. Overall we were down around £800 on last year’s income. The resultant current excess of income over expenditure would not be sufficient to cover the necessary costs of replacement barrels, extra plants and repair and painting the cart in Greyhound Walk.  Hopefully a grant from Mark Deaville’s fund will cover any shortfall to avoid any reduction in our carried forward funds. The Chairman thanked all volunteers for their turnout on Summer Planting Day, allocated ongoing maintenance of tubs to members and agreed forthcoming work days. A report was received from the Secretary regarding plant thefts and vandalism. Plants had been stolen just two days after planting and also plants had been prepared for theft on the day of the meeting, presumably for collection later. We had also suffered two separate incidents of major vandalism of tubs on the High Street. In the last incident CCTV review revealed the identity of the perpetrator who  has been bailed and charged to appear in court on 26th July. The possibility of CIB providing floral displays for U3A’s 25th anniversary celebrations was discussed and is to be investigated. Winter Planting date was agreed as Sunday 16th October and Next Meeting as 14th September

On 5th June 2016 Summer Planting took place in good weather. We were once again assisted by ArB tree consultants with the kind loan of their cherry picker to hang the baskets and in consequence of that and a large number of volunteers work was completed well before mid-day. Thanks to all members and those additional volunteers who attended on the day. 

On 22nd May 2016 members met and all pansies, ivies, conifers and bulbs were removed. Later that week a few members topped up the compost in all planters

On 8th May 2016 members met at 8am and all the barrels on the cart on Greyhound Walk were removed and replaced.

On 4th May 2016  at our meeting it was noted that there had been no further progress with Cheadle Academy regarding the possible involvement of pupils with Cheadle in Bloom.The Chairman reported that she had spoken to Equalbase regarding the memorial garden at Lulworth House and they still intended to take on care for the garden but weather had prevented them from doing so to date.  It was agreed that we give them two more weeks after which, if they have not done it, then we will do it ourselves again. Regarding finance it was agreed that collecting from sponsors would begin the following week.Work days were agreed as detailed above. 

On 23rd March 2016 it was noted that there was no news from PC Stubbs on the proposed prosecution of the vandal caught on CCTV so the matter was assumed to have been dropped. Neil Plant had spoken to Sarah Booth at Cheadle Academy concerning pupil involvement with Cheadle in Bloom. The idea was well received and a meeting would be arranged to discuss possibilities.  Jim Oakes (Les Oakes & Sons) had given permission for us to repair and paint the Greyhound Walk cart although If extensive work, such as wheel replacement, were found to be required the cart would have to be taken away for repair. On finance Your Housing Group had donated £250, AA Silencers Ltd had given £500 for sponsorship of the roundabout and SMDC had confirmed that our annual grant of £5000 is in the budget for 2016 and would be paid in April. Sponsorship collections would start in May. Regarding Brookhouses Corner it was reported that following discussions with the owner of the plot, he would now plant it himself. Regarding the deaths of pansies, opinions from both Thursfields and radio professionals were that our pansy losses were due to excessive cold, wet weather.  In addition to the pansies replacements on 2nd February the worsening situation had resulted in further replacements on 23rd and 24th and again on 3rd March. Work days (as detailed above) were arranged.

On 7th January 2016  at our meeting all members of sub-groups (plant and collections) agreed to continue in their roles.It was reported that there was no further progress on the proposed prosecution of the vandal caught on CCTV and the Chairman undertook to contact PC Stubbs. The Treasurer reported that the only cash movement since the last meeting was payment of £161.24 for insurance.The Secretary reported that an application for funding has been submitted to Your Housing Group. Ian Plant undertook to contact SMDC to confirm that our annual grant has been included in the budget again this year.Planting at Brookhouse corner was discussed and members felt that the ongoing cost of supplying the plants – £219 this year plus compost and watering – was not sustainable,particularly as last year it had cost almost double that due to replacement plants being required after frost damage following the first planting. The Chairman undertook to discuss with the plot owner. She also reported that whilst other colours were doing well, lots of the purple pansies needed to be replaced to ensure a good show during spring. Purchase of 22 trays was authorised.  A number of members agreed to meet at Greyhound Walk at 09:30 on Tuesday 2nd February to do the planting.She also undertook to discuss the possibility of repairing and repainting the cart in Greyhound Walk with its owner. A quotation for the summer bedding plants, troughs and baskets was accepted and approved. The roundabout would be planted with all antirrhinums in pink, yellow and white and this colour scheme would carry through everywhere else using antirrhinums, sempervirens, alyssum, calibrachoa and begonias. Under AOB members received a brief presentation from a new, not for profit, Community Interest Company called Equalbase now based in Lulworth House.  The company provides craft based occupational therapy for adults with learning disabilities. They wanted, initially, to tend the garden at Lulworth House on our behalf and hopefully become more involved with our work as time goes on.  Members agreed to this unanimously and to support Equalbase however we could.

On 22nd December 2015  At the AGM the minutes of the last AGM were approved and the Treasurer then presented the accounts which had been audited by JC Barker & Co (free of charge in addition to its sponsorship contribution). It was noted that despite the favourable results it still left us short of our aspirations to end the year with sufficient funds to cover the cost of the following year’s summer plants. The Chairman thanked officers and members for their help and support during the last year.All officers of the club were re-elected as follows;

Gill Laws Chairman, Dennis Newboult Vice-Chairman, Richard Grice Secretary, Joan Grattage Treasurer. Nick Hale would continue to act as website Manager. JC Barker & Co was re-elected to audit 2016 accounts and the date of the next AGM set at 7th December 2016.

On 22nd December 2015  at our normal meeting it was noted that 4 people had offered their services on work days. It was reported that there has been no progress on getting school children and parents involved and there was no further news about the prosecution of the vandal caught on CCTV. The Chairman would contact PC Stubbs. County Councillor Mark Deaville had expressed regret that our application for funding from his Community Fund had been declined and had suggested meeting us before applying next year. The annual application for the Cheadle Town Council grant had been submitted and it was understood had been approved at £3300 as last year. Under “Winter Planting Review” the Chairman began by thanking all members and volunteers for the excellent turn-out on planting day and remarked that there had been some vandalism of the planters in Oakamoor Road and by the Guild Hall but less than after previous plantings and less plants had been stolen! It was commented that working the last three Sundays in October had worked well.  However it was agreed that, as the summer plants were looking rather ragged towards the end, we would take the plants out earlier next year and leave a two week gap until planting day which would be a week earlier. Regarding Brookhouse Corner it was felt that we should reduce the substantial annual cost of bedding plants for this quite large area by planting some low growing shrubs – possibly evergreen and conifers removed from the square planters, at the back of the bed. The Chairman would undertake discussions to allow this to be resolved at the next meeting. She then outlined the work days undertaken by members since the last meeting and meetings of the plant group before closing the meeting.

On 25th October 2015 Winter Planting took place in fair weather. Due to the exceptional number of volunteers on the day and the earlier Sundays spent in preparation, planting was completed by 11:30 which was something of a record. Our Chairman expressed her thanks to all present for their good work over the last three Sundays.

On 18th October 2015 there was again a good turnout of volunteers, this time to remove the summer plants with the task completed by 11:30.

On 11th October 2015 there was a good turnout of volunteers to take down and empty the hanging baskets.

On 28th September 2015 a number of volunteers met at the recreation ground and completed the drilling and painting of all of our stock of half barrels.

On 16th September 2015 at our meeting Neil Plant suggested that we should contact schools before summer planting with the intention of getting younger children and their parents interested in CIB, and he undertook to contact Helen Hunter about the legalities of involving children. We could also contact High Schools and 6th Form College. Regarding vandalism issues, the Chairman reported that the Secretary had not received a reply from Councillor Stephen Ellis re. the meeting with PC Stubbs. However PC Stubbs has identified another person caught on CCTV vandalising the plants in the High St and the person is to be prosecuted. On finance it was reported that we have received £100.00 from Peter Wilkinson of The Raddle, £5,000.00 from SMDC and £250.00 from Councillor Ellis’ charity fund. Thank you letters have been sent. Our application for a grant of £500 from Councillor Mark Deaville’s Community Fund has been rejected on the grounds that we have a projected end of year surplus. Neil Plant undertook to contact Cllr Deaville reiterating that we always need to carry a surplus to fund summer plant purchase which takes place before any income can be guaranteed. Reviewing the summer planting the Chairman reported that the allocation of maintenance of specified planters to individual members to maintain at their leisure had been very successful. Dates were established as detailed elsewhere for the preparation for and completion of winter planting. Notice was given that the AGM and Ordinary General meeting would be held on Weds 2nd December 7.00pm at The Swan Town End Cheadle.  

On 13th September 2015 a small group met to carry out weeding at Well St and the roundabout. 

On 6th September 2015 a number of volunteers repainted the High Street planters.  

On 19th July 2015 a large group met to weed the beds at Well Street car park and the roundabout.

On 15th July 2015 it was reported that recent notices placed in the local press, the library, Morrisons and Lulworth House had resulted in six new volunteers on planting day and that Cheadle Town Council has appointed Phil Routledge (already a CIB volunteer) and Wayne Durose as its representatives on our committee.The treasurer reported on sponsorship money received and the grant from Cheadle Town Council and a generous donation from Moorland Housing Group. The SMDC grant was yet to be received. The intimated donation for us to maintain the Lulworth House garden has not materialised and is not now expected to.The Chairman thanked all volunteers for their hard work on planting day, the Planting Group and ArB for the loan of the cherry picker.She reported that despite incidents of vandalism, theft and frost all of our displays are now looking good after the necessary replacements of plants. We had been advised that some vandals have been apprehended and will be dealt with by the police and that some of the vandals were, surprisingly, not youngsters nor drunks! Work days were arranged for 19th July (weeding), 6th September (barrel painting),18th October (summer plant removal) and 25th October (winter planting).It was reported that due to a prior commitment Mayor Stephen Ellis had been unable to attend the meeting but that he, PC Stubbs and officers of CIB would meet regarding CCTV and protection of our plantings from vandals. 

On 7th June 2015 there was probably our best turnout of volunteers ever for Summer Planting. The usual members were supplemented by quite a number of new faces answering the Chairman’s appeal in the local newspapers and they were warmly welcomed and invited to attend future meetings. We are very grateful for their help. The usual early birds having arrived at 6am to offload and sort the plants out, planting proceeded quickly once the majority of members arrived between 8 and 8:30, by which time it had warmed up to a nice day! We were grateful to Gary Bentley for the loan of his big trailer and an air of adventure was added to the proceedings with the arrival of a “cherry-picker” kindly loaned to us free by ArB Tree Care Specialist together with its driver/operator. This made the task of placing the hanging baskets so much easier.Planting was completed in record time.

A big thank you to all volunteers, new faces, Gary and ArB. 

On 24th May 2015 volunteers met to remove the winter pansies preparatory to summer planting day. This was accomplished quickly but with some sadness as given the cold start to the year the pansies were only now really at their best!

On 6th May 2015  the Chairman reported, that in hope of recruiting more volunteers available for work days she had posted notices in the library, Morrison’s and Lulworth House.  There had been no responses to date.  The local press would be asked to publish an appeal for new volunteers and we would try to get an appeal into the U3A newsletter.The Treasurer reported that we were in receipt of £20 from the person caught vandalising our plants, £500 from the Moorlands Housing Group and £67.50 from Councillor Peter Elkin’s Community Fund.It was confirmed that the SMDC grant this year will again be £5000 despite our appeal to local Councillors to lobby for an increase. Local sponsorship was reported to be going well.In terms of activity by small groups it was reported that Weel Street planting area had been weeded as scheduled, barrels had been painted, new supports for the Brookhouse Way sponsorship board erected and the flags at Lulworth House pressure washed. Plans were outlined for replacing defective barrels on 10th May and for removing pansies on 24th May. Summer Planting Day was confirmed as 7th June. 

On 7th April 2015 a group of volunteers met to tidy up the gardens at Lulworth House, leaving it in a much better state, the task only needing pressure washing to complete, which was in hand.

 On 25th March 2015 under matters arising it was reported that Moorlands Housing were reviewing their fund and expected to advertise it in March. The Secretary undertook to make contact. He also reported that sadly none of the SMDC councillors he had written to lobbying for an increase in grant had responded! Neil Plant offered to follow this up.  The Chairman reported that AA Silencers had again sponsored the roundabout with a cheque for £500 and also reported that PC Dave Stubs was unable to attend our meeting but had sent the message that all of the CCTV cameras were working.  The one person that has been apprehended for damaging our displays has been cautioned and will be paying £20 compensation. He will also be doing some Community Service. The Treasurer in a written report confirmed that the plants order has been placed and that the significant shortfall of £987.86 will be covered from this year’s income before payment is required. Regarding Sub-Group membership Edna Locker, Wendy Smith, Rebecca Davies and Sheila Meyrick all agreed to continue with membership of the plant group with the assistance of Dennis Newboult  as previously. Joan Grattage, Edna Locker, Sheila Meyrick and Tricia Lynch all agreed to continue with Town Centre Collections  – Gill Laws agreed to continue and Stuart Lynch agreed to do Industrial Areas collections. Regarding work days it was noted that;(1)Risk Assessments will be made available on all work days for volunteers to read or re-read as appropriate.(2)The permanent planting area at Well Street car park has been weeded by a person doing Community Service and that an excellent job had been  done.(3) Another Community Service person painted the barrels at the entrance to the Recreation Ground.  (4) A small group had sorted and labelled the troughs and baskets stored at the Recreation Ground in readiness for collection by Thursfields.(5) It was planned that we prune and tidy the Lulworth House Memorial Garden on Sunday 29th March.  (6) Well Street weeding would take place on the second Sunday of each month during the summer starting 12th April.(7) Sunday 19th April will be a painting day for barrels in the town centre and any others that still require painting. On May 10th the rotten and broken barrels in Greyhound Walk and High Street will be replaced.  The dates for pansy removal and summer planting were confirmed as agreed at the previous meeting. Regarding the Watering Contract, the Treasurer will send out requests to quote and tender documents to known interested parties. 

On 28th January 2015  under matters arising, Neil Plant reported that the CCTV cameras in Cheadle were all working and being monitored and that in the light of the long discussion about the lack of effectiveness of the system in preventing, or bringing about punishment in respect of, vandalism of CIB displays he would invite PC Dave Stubbs, the local constable looking after CCTV surveillance, to our next meeting to talk about the issue.  He also said that he would raise our concerns at the next appropriate Town Council meeting.It was also reported that the Rotary Club no longer has an interest in the Doctors Saint memorial garden at Lulworth House. Under finance it was reported that the only cash movement since the last meeting was payment for annual insurance cover. Neil Plant confirmed that our application for grant from Cheadle Town Council had been approved. The Secretary circulated a copy of the letter that has been sent to all of Cheadle SMDC Councillors asking them to lobby for an increased grant and said that he would write to Moorlands Housing to ascertain if and when its local community fund will be open for applications. Neil Plant informed us that County Councillor Mark Deaville would be awarding us an additional £300 from his Community Fund in respect of us taking on the Lulworth House garden. The Chairman reported on a pre-meeting of the officers of CIB held to discuss the logistics of replacing the many damaged barrels we have. It was agreed that to minimise disturbance of bulbs and pansies the replacements would not be carried out until May except for any urgent needs that arise. It was agreed that a small party of volunteers would visit Stanton Bonna, concrete pipe manufacturers of Ilkeston about the availablilty of seconds chamber rings or pipe sections that might be suitable durable replacements for our failing barrels. On summer plantig it was reported that the plant group has met on several occasions and decided on a scheme of red, purple, orange and lime green.  Dennis Newboult presented his usual excellent set of planting plans.  A quotation from Thursfields was also presented.  The scheme and quotation were approved. The pansies will be taken out 24th and/or 31st May dependent on condition and Planting Day will be 7th June.

On 3rd December 2014 we held our Annual General Meeting followed by a normal meeting. At the AGM and following the approval of the minutes of the last AGM, the Treasurer reported that the accounts had once again been audited by JC Barker and Co, again free of charge and he presented said accounts to the meeting together with a more detailed breakdown of income and expenditure.The closing bank balance was £3144.08 which was significantly lower than last year mainly due to the purchase of 15 new square planters. 33 new half-barrels had also been purchased – mostly at much greater cost than previously due to Les Oakes and Sons being unable to source any more at the lower price enjoyed in the past. It was agreed that we need to be extra prudent when ordering plants for next summer and that further capital expenditure would have to be restricted until more funding is obtained. The Chairman approved the accounts. Gill Laws, as retiring Chairman thanked officers and members for their help and support during the last year,noted that Nick Hale had decided to stand down from his position as Treasurer after 6 years and thanked him for all that he had done. 

Gill Laws was re-elected Chair

Dennis Newboult was re-elected Vice-Chair

Richard Grice was re-elected Secretary

Joan Scraping Was Elected Treasurer

Nick Hale was re-elected Web Site Manager

Subject to their agreement J C Barker & Co were re-elected to audit 2015 accounts and the date for the next AGM set at Wednesday 2nd December 2015.

At the general meeting Jeanette Routledge was welcomed as a new member. Under matters arising it was noted that the hanging basket ‘tree’ was still in place at Brookhouses cross-roads.It was subsequently confirmed by Neil Plant that it had been removed and that he had asked the council staff to place it in storage. Under finance Neil Plant reported that he thought our application for a grant from Cheadle Town Council had been approved but needed to check. Joan Grattage reported that Co-operative Community Fund is no longer available and that CIB doesn’t qualify for BIFFA grants.  National Lottery Awards for All is still a possibility if we can present a suitable project. In this context the Chairman asked for volunteers to work up a project then deferred discussion to the next meeting. The Chairman  thanked the vice chairman for organising planting day in her absence and thanked the members working on the day for making it such a success. She reported that the multiple incidents of damage and loss to the small conifers and pansies has been reported to the police.  PC Mark Bridgewood of Staffs police had informed her that they have a CCTV image of damage being done but it is not very clear. An investigation is ongoing. A small group was set up to meet to discuss the logistics of replacing the rest of the barrels which are in serious need of replacement and report back at the next meeting. Under work day discussion it was noted that following the repeated uprooting/theft of the small conifers in High Street, volunteers had removed most of the remainder and planted them in the Well Street bed with the remaining spare pansies used to fill the gaps.The Chairman had replaced the pansies in the four barrel sets at Brookhouse Way and Carlos Close.  They had apparently been eaten!Three of the small conifers re-planted at Well Street have subsequently been removed to the square planters at Brookhouses as they looked rather poor without any after the originals were stolen.All of the recently acquired barrels had been painted on 10th December.The Chairman thanked Joan Grattage for growing new poppies for the barrels at the War Memorial Garden so that they were in bloom for Remembrance Sunday. Subsequently under AOB she expressed disappointment that recent press reports about the refurbishment of the War Memorial Garden acknowledged the work and donations from many contributors but failed to give any credit to CIB or Gary Bentley. In discussions about ongoing maintenance of the Lulworth House Memorial Garden and in the absence of Ian Plant from the meeting, there was no news from the Rotary Club enquiry. However Neil Plant reported that County Councillor Mark Deaville would grant CIB an extra £500 from his Community Fund for taking over its maintenance.  It was agreed that work there would start next spring.The date of Next Meeting was set as Wednesday 28th January 2015 7:00 pm at The Swan, Town End, Cheadle.

On 19th October 2014  there was a good turnout for Winter Planting Day and planting was completed in good time. Thanks to everyone that turned out.

On 15th October 2014 our meeting was Chaired by the Deputy Chairman. Arrangements were made for the basket tree from Brookhouses to be removed to storage. The Treasurer reported that after allowing for outstanding commitments there will be a bank balance of a little under £3000 at year end. He also gave advance notice that he will not be standing for re-election at the next AGM but he does intend to continue as a working member of the group and webmaster. A letter of appreciation for the work of Cheadle in Bloom had been received from the Town Council and was circulated.It was noted that an application for grant in 2015 has been submitted to the Town Council and that the SMDC grant had remained at £5000 since the start of Cheadle in Bloom over ten years ago. It was reported that all was in hand for winter planting day Sunday – 19th starting at 08:30am.It was noted that many of the dwarf conifers that we planted in the summer have been stolen and that there were about 10 spares that would be used to ensure that all of the High Street area single barrels have one.  Any that were stolen from the planters outside of the town centre would not be replaced. A survey of barrels had been carried out after the last meeting and about 15 were identified as being in need of urgent replacement.  It was not possible to be exact because the rot could sometimes only be identified when the barrels were moved.  It was felt inevitable that over the next couple of years many more will need to be replaced. A discussion on the difficulties experienced this year in obtaining exact style replacements ensued and it was noted that we had or would purchase some 50 replacements of varying sizes before year end. It was agreed that if no other group comes forward to maintain the Doctors Saint Memorial Garden then Cheadle in Bloom would take it on but that we should first continue to try to find who is responsible and hopefully get some funding from them. Ian Plant would consult with The Rotary Club as it was believed that it was responsible for organising the establishment of the garden.  He had talked to the new owner of Lulworth House and who was happy for us to look after the garden.  

On 14th October 2014 a small group of volunteers met to replace 5 rotten single barrels and the one from under the Penny Lane overhang was removed and used as one of the replacements.The opportunity was taken to complete the topping up of the compost in all of the barrels and planters. 

On 10th October 2014 a small group of volunteers met to drill and paint the barrels from Fletchers and the salvaged ones.

On 5th October 2014 the summer plants were removed as scheduled.  We also took down the hanging baskets and wall mounted troughs.The High Peak staff later removed the rail mounted troughs. In previous years they have also removed the baskets and wall mounted troughs for us but can no longer do so as they are now not allowed to use ladders.

On  10th September 2014  at our meeting the Treasurer reported that we would end the year with a reasonable balance considering the purchase of the square planters this year. In answer to a query he agreed that we would not have our usual balance sufficient to fund next year’s planting and watering, but would have to rely on the various grants we receive and sponsorship coming in as in previous years. On grants it was noted that there remain a number of sources to explore including BIFFA which the secretary was looking into. The Chairman and one other undertook to attend a publicity event in which they would be formally presented with a cheque by AA silencers who sponsor the roundabout. This years summer planting was reviewed and it was agreed that after a few hiccups at the start it had turned out well and many compliments had been received from the general public. In particular Joan Grattage was congratulated for her idea of poppies in barrels at the war memorial and for her work in implementing this personally. Concern was expressed at the deterioration of many of the barrel planters and the need for their ongoing replacement. Difficulty had been experienced in contacting our usual supplier (Les Oakes) and in the interim it was agreed that the Chairman purchase as necessary from an alternative supplier following an inspection of tubs by her on 12th September. Regarding Winter Planting the plant group reported they had selected white, yellow and blue pansies.  Greyhound Walk barrel sets will each have solid colours alternating. Summer plants will be removed 5th October and compost will be topped up between 5th and 19th.  High Peak will be asked to remove the baskets and troughs when appropriate. Winter planting day was confirmed as 19th October at 08:30.  The plants will be delivered at 08:00.  As the Chairman will be away on holiday the Deputy Chairman will take charge. Ian Plant reported he had not yet been able to investigate who is responsible for the upkeep of the Doctors Saint Memorial Garden but will contact the new owner and the Rotary Club. Regarding Brookhouses corner it was agreed unanimously that due to the nearby hedge and the plethora of signs, the hanging basket tree does not ‘work’ well in that location and so the cost – £350 this year is not justified and the tree would be removed and stored. Next Meeting Wednesday 15th October 7:00pm at The Swan.

On 16th July 2014 at our general meeting  it was noted that the barrel cleaning and/or painting day that had been postponed due to bad weather would now be left until later in the year. The Chairman thanked all concerned in assembling and placing the new square planters. The Treasurer reported that we would end the year with a balance of a little over £4000 which would allow us to place the summer plant order for 2015 as usual. Grants had been received from the Local Community Fund of County Councillor Mark Deaville , Cheadle Town Council and he was chasing the promised grant from SMDC. Our application to Your Moorland Community Project Fund for £500 as last year had been declined on this occasion but we were encouraged to apply again next year.  However, Gavin McAlister, Community Projects Officer of Your Housing Group has granted us £250 from another fund to which he had access. The Chairman reported that Summer Planting day had gone well and that subsequent issues with some of the tagetes supplied had been resolved with the suppliers by the planting group. A small number of the miniature conifers had been stolen and replaced with spares left over from planting day and there had been a few incidents of vandalism of barrels and troughs which were repaired as far as was possible. It was noted that when some rotten and damaged barrels were being replaced prior to planting day it had been observed that the condition of many more was very poor.  It was clear that we have to plan more replacements before winter planting and needed to consider a major replacement programme for next year – possibly with something different. It was reported that after quite extensive considerations being done on the potential major project of acquisition of Gothic style planters to replace the barrels, it had been concluded and it was agreed by members present, that perhaps the Gothic route is not as appropriate as at first thought and that it would anyway be far too expensive. All members were asked to investigate alternative solutions. It was accepted though that the barrels had lasted well for many years and it may be that like for like replacement was the best solution. It was confirmed that the summer plants will be removed on 5th October and winter planting will take place 19th October. Concern was expressed that the Lulworth House Doctors Saint Memorial Garden was being neglected even after the extensive work we had done there a few months ago. It was noted that the memorial garden was originally organised by a local group with the help of public donations but no provision had been made for upkeep.  Ian Plant undertook to investigate further. 

On Ist June 2014 summer planting took place in quite pleasant weather. There was a good turnout of volunteers, including some younger ones to tackle the more arduous task of hanging baskets, though the older ones gave them a run for their money. Despite this, the view was expressed that we should look at the feasibility of loaning a cherry picker to assist with this task in future years. Planting of all the other planters took place without incident and was completed by lunchtime.

Between 17th May and 25th May 2014 delivery of the Brodco Groundpods was taken and members met over three days to empty the existing tubs and assemble the planters culminating on 25th May when all planters were emptied of winter bedding and topped up with compost preparatory to summer planting day. Members were most grateful for the assistance of staff from High Peak in the heavy work of emptying the old planters and collecting them up.

On 14th May 2014 at our general meeting it was first noted that the date for removal of pansies had been moved to 25th May to avoid leaving the beds empty for too long. Regarding finance the Treasurer reported we were on budget and it was noted that grant applications had been submitted under the Local Community Fund initiative and to Your Housing Group (Moorlands Housing). Collectors reported that sponsorship collection was going well and appeared to be in line with previous years. The Chair reported that following the report on planters at the last meeting and in view of planting day approaching and supply constraints, the group’s officers had met and taken the decision to purchase 15 two tier BRODCO GROUNDPODS. The decision to go with Brodco ( was based on their unique construction method from recycled materials, durability (up to 50 years), them being maintenance-free and their aesthetically pleasing appearance. First delivery was expected on the 17th May with assembly to commence on 20th May and subsequent days as necessary. Members would be advised of arrangements nearer the date. It was decided that the Well Street permanent planting area would be weeded every second Sunday of the month during summer with available volunteers showing up on an ad hoc basis. A small group of volunteers would meet on 18th May to prune shrubs on the roundabout and at Lulworth House. Regarding watering it was reported that the officers of the group had met to open tenders received and M & S Contract Services had won the contract. Next meeting was set for 16th July.

Sunday 11th May 2014 was a day planned for cleaning up the tubs and repainting them as necessary but had to be called off in view of the weather forecast which proved correct with torrential rain most of the day. To be rearranged at the forthcoming meeting.

On Wednesday 30th April 2014 a special meeting was held to develop proposals for a significant grant application from one of the sources identified by Saltbox. Sheila Meyrick and Rebecca Davies made proposals for the replacement of the existing wooden tubs which were deteriorating, subject to regular maintenance and becoming difficult to replace. Their proposal to use durable Gothic design replacements,in keeping with Cheadle’s unique status as the home of Pugin’s Gem were well received and they were asked to develop the idea and report back to the group.   

On Monday 28th April 2014 a group of volunteers met at the recreation ground to drill and paint the 13 replacement planters supplied by Les Oakes and Sons. The weather was favourable and the work soon completed. 

On Sunday 13th April 2014 there was a good turnout for weeding the Permanent Planting Area in Well Street Car park and the opportunity was taken to cut back all the daffodils which had gone over.

On 26th March 2014 under matters arising it was noted that an application for grant would be submitted to Moorlands Housing when invitations to apply are advertised. The plant group reported that a potential alternative plant supplier had been found. Concern was expressed regarding the lack of response from an owner of two hanging basket bracket which was no longer considered suitable and it was agreed these would no longer be used. The indemnity letter for brackets would go out in Easter week.The Treasurer reported on a fairly healthy funding position which allowed us to go forward with replacement square planters, recognising this would severely reduce reserves.The Secretary reported on a meeting between himself, the Treasurer and Suzanne Clark of Saltbox which had identified further potential funding sources.The Secretary also reported on the Risk Assessments he had conducted which had been circulated to members for comment and which would  now be issued to all members including new volunteers. Work days were discussed and the need for a truck to facilitate moving hanging baskets. (Subsequently one was acquired by the Treasurer off ebay at a bargain price).A report was received on the newly established Cheadle Events Committee and Vice Chairman agreed to represent us at future meetings.  

On 15th January 2014 at the meeting it was noted under matters arising that there was no change with regard to Morrisons or Asda sponsorship but that this was being progressed and that contact would be made with AA silencers concerning sponsorship of the roundabout. Regarding our Public Liability insurance premium the broker has informed us that risk assessments are now a requirement under the terms of our policy.  GL, RG and NH will meet to arrange the assessments.The Councillors present assured members that a Cheadle Town Council grant of £3300 was confirmed and that a £5000 grant is included in the SMDC budget awaiting approval. Regarding Summer Planting the plant group has decided on red/apricot/yellow flowers with a lime green foliage plant.  Plant species have been selected and quotations invited. GL suggested that we approach the Round Table, Lions and similar groups for assistance on work days – especially Summer Planting. As a letter had been received from the Town Council inviting us to an open meeting on 27th January with a view to forming a Cheadle Town Events Committee it was thought this might provide an opportunity to ask.

On 4th December 2013 at the AGM the Minutes of the previous AGM were approved.The Treasurer advised that the accounts had been audited by JC Barker & Co (free of charge in addition to its sponsorship contribution). Copies of the accounts were distributed and subsequently approved by the membership.  The closing bank balance of £6224.21 was considered very healthy and necessary as the Summer Planting order had to be placed before we know what grants will be received in 2014.  It should also provide for replacement or refurbishment of some of the large square planters.

GL, as retiring Chairman thanked officers and members for their help and support during the last year.The incumbent officers:

Gill Laws                                 Chairman

Nick Hale                                Treasurer & Web Site Manager

Richard Grice                         Secretary

Were all re-elected by unanimous vote.

In addition, Dennis Newboult was elected Vice-Chairman to ease the burden on GL a little.

JC Barker & Co was elected to audit 2014 accounts and the date for the next AGM set as 03.12.14

On 4th December 2013 at the General Meeting  under matters arising it was noted that ;

The proposed nomination for the Lord Lieutenant’s Award for Volunteer Groups by County Councillor Mark Deville could not proceed as it was too late for this year,David Oaks has said that he will supply half-barrels at the same price as previously if we contact him February or March and that discussion about replacement of other planters would be deferred to next meeting.Regarding sponsorship Deb Reece of Morrisons has been advised that we would appreciate Morrison’s financial support for the roundabout and the Well Street permanent planting area.  She awaits a response from the manager. Asda have a system in store for allocating funds to local causes.  JG will submit a form on behalf of CIB requesting that we be included in the distribution.

The Chairman again thanked members for their help on planting day and it was noted that the antirrhinums transferred from the roundabout to the Well Street car park border have been trimmed in hope that they will grow and flower next year,several half-barrel planters moved, tipped over and plants stolen by vandals have all been re-sited and re-filled and that a half-barrel planter outside Moshi was crushed by a lorry.  An offer of £100 compensation was made verbally by the lorry owners but had not materialised at that time.  A formal claim has now been submitted. 

On 20th October 2013 winter planting took place with a good number of volunteers turning out in what looked like threatening weather. However all the work was completed successfully shortly before lunchtime and just before it started to pour down!

On 16th October 2013 the meeting began by welcoming new member Phil Rouledge. It was reported under matters arising that the broken barrels stored at the recreation ground have been repaired, that the compost has been delivered to the recreation ground and that Hilda Sheldon of Biddulph in Bloom would be asked to come to talk to us at our January meeting. Current funding status was reported “as previously reported”. The Secretary will make formal grant application to Cheadle Town Council. The possibility of having a Cheadle in Bloom recruiting and fund raising stall at next year’s Party in the Park was discussed briefly.  The Chairman reported that she had been approached by Deb Reece from Morrison’s regarding the possibility of helping us through its “Community Liaison” scheme. Whilst it was agreed that CIB could not provide specific planters for individual stores, the Chairman would explore other options with them and also Asda. The Chairman reported on the success of the activity day on 6th October and noted that the group needed to schedule some formal weeding days for next year as opposed to this year’s ad-hoc arrangements. The meeting discussed reported issues arising with replacement barrels and reviewed the use of low maintenance replacements. A sub-group consisting of Dennis Newboult, Rebecca Davies (and later Nick Hale) was established to explore options and report back. All arrangements for Winter Planting were reported as in hand.

On 6th October 2013 a work day was held at which members spent the morning removing summer planting and topping up the compost ready for Winter Planting day.

On 11th September 2013 at the meeting the Chairman handed round a letter from the Town Council thanking members for their work. This acknowledgment was well received. It was reported that funding was adequate to leave ample to purchase the winter plants and compost and to still have sufficient funds to confidently order plants for next summer and to acquire the necessary replacement barrels and planters. On workdays, it was reported that since the last meeting various members have weeded almost all of the beds and planters. Weeding would be completed at Well Street on Monday 16th September. The antirrhinums on the roundabout had also been dead-headed and were re-flowering. Removal of summer plants on 6th October (09:00am) and winter planting on 20th October (08:30am) were confirmed.  A number of cinerarias and antirrhinums will be re-planted at Well Street. The Plant Group reported that they had met on 30th July to decide on our order quantities for winter plants and bulbs.  The only significant change to our requirements from other years is that red only pansies will be used at the entrance to and inside the garden of remembrance and mixed pansies have been ordered for the triangle at Brookhouses cross roads. The plants have been ordered. The Chairman asked if members could research replacement planters. Members were informed that Hilda Mary Sheldon, the organiser of the highly successful Biddulph in Bloom group would be pleased to come and talk to us about it in the hope that we can benefit from their experience. The Secretary would contact her.   

On 24th July 2013 it was first noted that some hanging basket locations had changed as a result of owners of brackets not replacing them when requested. It was also reported that Staffordshire Housing had formally given us permission to maintain the flower beds at Osbourne House. The Treasurer reported that finances would be sufficient to ensure that we could place an order for summer planting 2014 in advance of knowing what funding would accrue in 2014. Sponsorship received from local businesses was only very slightly down on the previous year which was considered excellent in the current economic climate. The Chairman thanked all volunteers for their efforts, particularly on planting day and began a review of those activities. Members expressed disappointment that the antirrhinums in the roundabout were rather late in flowering – about a month after planting. The need for plants to be “flowering or at the point of flowering at the time of deliver” will be stressed to the supplier next year. The million bells supplied and planted were very poor with lots of deaths and poor performance.  We were informed that our supplier had originally had wrong plants delivered to him hence the correct ones were very late for him to grow on. The plant group asked for two more volunteers to join them to spread the workload in future.  Sheila Meyrick said that she would join the group and said that she would ask RD whether she is interested.  The next meeting of the plant group, to organise winter plants, will be Tuesday 30th July 2:00pm at The Master Potter. It was decided that additional compost should be added to the square planters so as to form a central mound and so provide better views of the flowers. Summer baskets and troughs will be removed early in October and we will remove the plants from the barrels and planters on 6th October ready for planting day on 20th October. Next Meeting will be on Wednesday 11th September at 7:00pm

On 8th May 2013 there was some discussion on ways of increasing our membership  with it agreed that an article would be placed in the local press and various members also agreed to try to recruit at local societies to which they belonged. It was noted that two businesses have still not agreed to re-new hanging basket brackets nor returned their indemnity forms despite several visits by the Chairman.  Without these we will not be able to site baskets at the properties concerned. The Treasurer reported on current finances and the Secretary confirmed that emails have been sent to the newly elected County Councillors for the area (Mike Whittaker and Mark Deaville) to request grants from their Staffordshire Local Community Funds. Letters requesting financial support have been sent to all of the national retailers with shops in the town and to JCB. The annual collection from businesses in the town centre has so far raised a good sum. Collections from the outlying areas will take place in the next two weeks. A donation of £50 had also been received from a local resident via Ron Locker. Regarding work days the WI beds at Osborne House and in the car park were tidied on April 28 and painting of barrels and square planters was carried out on Sunday and Monday 5th/6th May A work day to remove most of the winter pansies was confirmed for Sunday 19th May – 09:00am, meeting at the market place.  On the same day the ivy plants will be removed, replaced with similar plants contained in pots and the compost refreshed. The police station beds will be planted with thymus. The planters and barrels at Tean Road, Mill Road, Recreation Ground and Ashbourne Road  will be cleared by two volunteers at their own convenience and the Roundabout pansies will be removed on Sunday 26th by a small group of volunteers. Planting day was confirmed as Sunday 2nd June 2013The plants order will be delivered at 6:00am.  The plant group plus anyone else who wants to be there will unload, check and sort them before planting starts at 8:00am.

On 20th March 2013 it was noted that the notice board advertising our meetings has been acquired and was in place outside the Swan for that meeting as it would be for all future meetings. It was also noted that indemnity forms concerning hanging brackets had been issued to the occupants of buildings where we provide hanging baskets and that a couple of businesses had been contacted to replace brackets on their premises which were no longer considered suitable. The treasurer reported our annual insurance premium had been paid and that the order for summer planting was within budget. A grant from Councillor Peter Elkin’s Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Councillors Community Initiative Fund had been received. The cheque was accompanied by a very nice letter expressing gratitude for the work that we do. The secretary reported that a grant had also now been received from Moorland Housing Regeneration Fund and letters sent to both expressing the Group’s gratitude. A work day was arranged for a small group of volunteers at 09:00am on 7th April to clear and till the soil in the WI beds at Osborne House and in the car park. A further general work day for all volunteers to remove winter pansies was arranged for Sunday 19th May – 09:00am meeting up at the market place. The Treasurers undertook to place advertisements for watering tenders in the usual local three newspapers. These appeared Wednesday 27th March.

On 16th January 2013 under matters arising it was noted that the barrel planter under the High Street canopy now seems to be being looked after, that the provision of a ‘notice of meeting’ board to be placed outside the Swan in the days leading up to a meeting is still outstanding but arrangements were in hand and it was decided not to proceed with a proposal to sell “Cheadle jn Bloom Supporter” car stickers as a means of raising funds. Under finance the treasurer reported no change from the accounts presented at the AGM. SMDC had been contacted and we were assured that a proposed grant of £5000 is in the 2013 budget but that there is little likelihood of any increase. An application had been submitted to progress the offer of a grant from the SMDC Community fund, courtesy of Councillor Peter Elkin with an application also made for a grant from Moorland Housing Regeneration fund. It was reported that the Cheadle Town website now contained a link to the Cheadle in Bloom website in the “volunteers” section. The need for various activity days was identified-dates to be agreed at the next meeting. The composition of the various subgroups is to remain unchanged viz :

             Plants: Joan Grattage, Edna Locker and Wendy Smith.

            Town Centre Sponsorship Collectors: Joan Grattage and Edna Locker.

            Other Business Sponsorship Collectors: Gill Laws and Richard Grice  

 The plant subgroup reported that invitations to tender for summer plants had been sent out to a number of local suppliers, and a supplier selected. Planting day was confirmed as Sunday 2nd June 2013.

On 5th December 2012 at the normal meeting  it was reported under matters arising that the additional £450 grant, in respect of the new police station planters, from the Community Fund of Councillor Mike Maryon was applied for and received after the last meeting.  Soil, compost and plants have been acquired and put in place.  The deep “planter” was left empty other than for some of the pre-existing plants because it was deemed unwise to fill with soil above the damp-proof course and to deepen the manhole access to drains. Low growing perennials are to be acquired and planted in the spring with the balance being used for further planting at the police station. It was also noted that the bare ground left after removal of redundant square planters has been raked and seeded where applicable. The treasurer’s report and balance sheet was presented in the earlier AGM.The Town Councillor members present advised that the Town Council would be increasing its grant from £3000 to £3300 for 2013 following our application for an increase. A similar request is to be made to the District Council. Following a meeting of the Plant Group it has been decided that next summer’s theme will be pink, purple and silver.  Appropriate plant species have been chosen and quotations to supply requested from a number of potential suppliers.  No replies have been received to date. It was reported that several of the planters were without ivy on the posts holding the baskets and that those still with ivy were being over-run by the roots.  It was agreed that we look for alternatives before summer planting. It was suggested that a notice of our forthcoming meeting placed outside the Swan in the week before the meetings might bring in new volunteers. The Chairman said that she would talk to the landlord about it and, if agreed, would obtain an appropriate sign.

On 5th December 2012 at the AGM it was first agreed that the minutes of 7th December 2011 were a true record of that meeting. The Treasurer advised that the accounts had been audited (free of charge by JC Barker & Co in addition to its sponsorship contribution) Copies of the accounts were distributed and subsequently approved by the membership.  The closing bank balance was considered healthy and necessary as the Summer Planting order had to be placed before we know what grants will be received in 2013. Gill Laws, as retiring Chairman thanked officers and members for their help and support during the last year. The incumbent officers were all re-elected by unanimous vote viz: Gill Laws- Chairman, Nick Hale-Treasurer & Web Site Manager, Richard Grice-Secretary. There was no formal election of Section Members as this was deemed a matter for a general meeting and left-over to January. J.C. Barker & Co was elected subject to their consent to audit 2013 accounts. The next AGM will be Wednesday 4th December 2013.

On 6th November 2012, two volunteers successfully excavated the police station beds, refilled them with large quantities of compost and relocated the recoverable existing plants. The following day other volunteers planted three beds out with pansies. The remaining bed was too deep to plant out similarly as it contained a manhole and would also have caused rising damp issues for the police station. Larger perennials and shrubs are to be planted in Spring.

On 28th October 2012 a number of members weeded the permanent planting bed in Well Street car park and planted all the bulbs recovered from last years planting, which it is hoped will make a good display.

On 21st October 2012, Winter Planting Day, there was a good turnout of members who arrived to a rather frosty start to the day which soon brightened up. Planting was carried out in a fairly record time of 4 hours and the local newspapers photographed the event and published them later. Both articles made some play of the theft of 2 bags of bulbs and several trays of pansies which had been placed at both ends of the High Street ready for planting but been stolen before the planting members got to them. Whilst we have had plants dug up by thieves before, this was a first and very disappointing! 

On 17th October 2012 at our meeting, it was noted that the Mayor had asked if a 4 barrel set could be placed at the corner of Barley Croft. It was explained that our policy was to concentrate on the town centre. The treasurer reiterated how tight our finances were as explained at the previous meeting. The Chairman reported that provisionally she had been advised, via the Secretary, that funding for planting the beds at the police station would be available though this was yet to be confirmed and it was noted that any grant received would be for this specific purpose. It was agreed (and later confirmed in the Minutes as done) that the Secretary would submit a grant application to the Town Council. The Chairman distributed maps to show which square planters were now being maintained by CIB. The rectangular planter has been re-sited at Leek Rd, 2 square planters each on Froghall Rd and Oakamoor Rd and the 4 barrel set at the junction of Mill Rd and Park Ave. Two members had repaired and painted the re-sited planters. Arrangements were made to seed the 3 plots where the planters were removed. Regarding planting day, the Plant Group would arrive at 8:00am to check and sort the delivery in time for members arrival at 8:30.The Plant Group undertook to meet in the next two weeks to discuss planting schemes for next summer and to seek quotes thereafter.

On 5th September 2012 at our meeting, despite suggestions to the contrary, the group agreed to try to once again ensure that sufficient funds were available at financial year end (Nov 30) to meet the order which would be placed for next year’s summer planting order. It was suggested that as a possible alternative to last meetings decision not to adopt the police station flower beds due to lack of funding. the secretary query if funding might be available from County Council Community Funds, which the secretary undertook to do. The Chairman read out a letter of appreciation for our displays from the Town Council which was well received by those present. The Treasurer reported now change to the financial position reported and it was agreed that the usual grant applications would be sent off by the secretary with a request for an increase in funding ,given the inflation in costs we were suffering. Arrangements were in hand for winter planting with plants and bulbs ordered and planting day still on schedule for 21st October at 8:00am. The bulbs recovered and stored last spring would be planted in the Well Street permanent planting area on 28th October at 9:00am.Following on from discussions at the last meeting the removal/relocation plans for square planters was agreed. The Chairman and Secretary agreed to write and meet potential “adopters” of redundant planters.

On 25th July 2012 at our meeting the Chairman thanked all members for the hard work put in on planting day and thanked the planting group for their selection of flowers which had produced such good displays. We had been advised that the Town Council would be writing an official appreciation of the quality of the displays. The Treasurer had submitted a report indicating that whilst sponsorship had been gradually increasing, our grants had been static for several years and that we faced ever increasing costs for watering and plants. Cost projections showed we would reduce our reserves by over £600 which in turn meant we would not have sufficient reserves to place an order for our summer planting in 2013. Members expressed concern that a disproportionate amount of our funds and effort were spent in planting and maintaining the square planters in by-roads in the Brookhouses area.  These are Tower Crane Drive, Brookhouse Road, New Haden Road and Dilhorne Road.  It was agreed that savings would be made by giving up all seven planters in Tower Crane Drive, one in New Haden Road, two in Brookhouse Road and five plus an unofficial barrel in Dilhorne Road. Businesses and neighbours of planters would be asked whether they want to adopt the planters and service them themselves.  One in Brookhouse Road is already fully serviced by a neighbour.  Any planters not adopted will be removed and, where possible, relocated to main routes into the town.  This includes the plastic planter in Delphouse Road. For the same cost reasons members agreed to decline a request to “adopt” the planters incorporated in the new Police Station as the local police had indicated that no funding for compost and plants had been allocated or was available. Regarding winter planting two quotes had been received and an order was subsequently placed with the selected supplier. Winter planting day will be Sunday 21st October, when a good turnout is expected.

On 20th May 2012 we had a very good turnout of volunteers for summer planting day and the work was completed by lunchtime. There will be a few photographs going up soon. Thanks to everyone who showed up.

On 2nd May 2012 it was noted that town centre sponsorship collections were proceeding well and that despite the financial position were slightly up on last year. Collections from businesses were yet to start. Letters had been sent by the secretary to 7 major businesses/supermarkets with only 2 responses received to date, one donating £10 and one declining as they have a national charity policy. It was confirmed that the SMDC sponsorship is in the approved budget. The position on Cheadle Town Council sponsorship is unconfirmed. Requests for sponsorship under the County Councillors Initiative have been submitted. The Treasurer reported that he estimated our residual funds at year end will be down on last year and technically not sufficient to fund the summer planting order. It was also reported that watering contract tender documents had been sent to three potential applicants following the usual advertisements in the local press. Due to an administrative error the date for opening bids had been deferred to 9th May. The Group had and would be busy in preparation for planting. Ten new half barrels have been acquired, drilled and painted in readiness to replace those damaged and rotten.  We now have 14 barrels in hand, about 8 or 9 of which are required for the summer.  These will be changed on Wednesday 9th May with the kind assistance of High Peak BC employeesBarrel painting scheduled for 29th April was rained off and rescheduled for 6th May when the basket hooks around the town would also be repaired or replaced. Members would meet on 13th May to remove all the winter planting with planting day scheduled for 8am on 20th May. It was reported that 12 triangular raised beds have been made by Richard Grice with timber kindly donated by Wards Fencing. Thanks were extended to both parties. The beds have been put in place and part filled with soil prior to topping up with compost. High Peak BC have removed and replaced the top few inches of “rubble” in the permanent planting area and replaced with good soil. It had not been possible to go deeper due underground services. It was agreed that this area would be planted with any residual annuals and any plants donated by members or the public as there were insufficient funds this year to purchase perennial plants and shrubs.

On 21st March 2012 Brian Slayney, Sheila Mayrick and Rebecca Davis were welcomed to their first meeting. It was reported that the four tier planter had been relocated by Dennis Newboult and Nick Hale using two pallet trucks kindly loaned by B & M stores. It was noted that a notice inviting new sponsors has been added to the Greyhound Walk sponsor board, the local press has published a letter from the Chair inviting new members and sponsors and that dead and missing pansies have been replaced in the town centre planters. Arrangements were made for the Secretary to contact the  corporate businesses in town for sponsorship. A work day was planned for 29th April to paint the barrels and it was agreed to the purchase of replacements for those beyond repair. Arrangements were set in motion for the delivery of baskets to the plant suppliers, the collection of the water standpipe, the placing of press advertisements for the watering contract, the replacement of one of the horseshoe planters which had sadly been stolen and the securing of the remaining ones. It was reported that Mike Ward of Ward Fencing had kindly donated the wood for the plant beds on the roundabout, which Richard Grice would make. Members were invited to personally assist in the garden renovation at the County Primary School at 10am Wednesday 11th April, noting that this was not in the remit of CIB.  

On 18th January 2012 Members expressed their deep sorrow on hearing of the sudden passing of Mrs Liz Wood, the wife of vice -chairman and asked that a sympathy card be sent on behalf of CIB with members agreeing to contribute personally to a memorial donation to the British Heart Foundation. New member Neil Plant was welcomed and it was noted that two other new members had joined, Brian Slayney and Sheila Mayrick, but were unable to attend this meeting. Arrangements were made to move the planter opposite the police station. Terry Grattage resigned from the Plant Group, which now comprises Joan Grattage, Edna Locker, Wendy Smith and Sylvia Shaw. Dennis Newboult agreed to assist as required with planting layout diagrams. Regarding sponsorship collection, Gill Laws and Richard Grice would do the industrial estates with Edna Locker and Joan Grattage collecting from the town centre. Regarding planting, orders have been placed for plants and we will also be planting the main roundabout in Cheadle for which designs were approved. Members were invited to assist on 19th February with the maintenance of planting and the cleaning of the garden in front of Lulworth House,prior to its reopening as the Pugin Centre.

On 7th December 2011 the normal meeting was preceded by the AGM at which Gill Laws was elected Chairman and Ray Wood as Vice Chairman. Richard Grice and Nick Hale were re-elected unopposed as Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Thanks were extended to the outgoing Chairman, Dennis Newboult for the hard work he had put in during the year and for producing a very substantive document “Cheadle in Bloom Guidance Information” which was distributed during the meeting. The Treasurer presented audited accounts for the part year January to November 2011, it having previously been decided that our financial year would end November 30th. At the normal meeting it was agreed to relocate some planters. It was reported that whilst we appeared to have a healthy bank balance, this money was essential as we would have to order plants this year prior to confirmation of grants from Cheadle Town Council and SMDC. Though both applications for grants had reportedly received a favourable reception, neither was guaranteed until budgets were formally approved. The plant group reported that as agreed previously, planting would be on a red, white and blue theme for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year and that they had invited quotations to supply the agreed plants. It was of concern that early indications were that plant costs might rise by as much as £2000 on the two previous years. The Chairman reported that as there appeared to still be some confusion as to sponsorship of planting at Lulworth House by the Pugin Steering Group, she would a meeting with Hannah Barber to clarify the position. It was agreed we would seek a separate sponsor for the intended planting on the main roundabout.

On 26th October 2011 the treasurer reported that our finances were in reasonably good shape and undertook to make a copy of the accounts available to the Town Council in respect of our application for a grant in 2012. Members agreed to maintain planting on the main roundabout in Cheadle, subject to Gary Bentley obtaining quotes for installing raised beds to overcome the lack of soil there and Ian Whitehouse clarifying the position re David Oakes’ involvement. Ian Plant is to meet with High Peak to clarify the position on the permanent planting area and hopefully arrange soil replacement there. A colour scheme for summer planting of red, white and blue was agreed in recognition of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and as the celebrations of this take place over the Ist June, planting day was to be brought forward to Sunday 20th May. It was also agreed that in recognition of the Pugin celebrations, a predominantly red and gold planting scheme would be attempted in hanging baskets near the market cross and in Cross Street.

On 23rd October 2011 there was a good turnout of members for winter planting day, which was accomplished without incident by lunchtime. Thanks to everyone who turned out.

On 11th and 12th October 2011 members of the Committee assisted  the High Peak workforce in relocating and refilling planters to the arrangements previously agreed.

On 27th September 2011 at the meeting, members welcomed Edna Locker as a new member. The Treasurer reported that whilst there were some outstanding issues the funds seemed in good shape which was necessary as we now have to commit to next years order for summer planting in the absence of any firm commitment on Council Funding, although this would shortly be applied for (for the same amounts as this year given current financial constraints). It was reported that County Councillor Mike Worthington had already committed the whole of his Community Fund Allocation so unfortunately this would not be forthcoming. Members were updated on the barrel painting work undertaken and plans for the removal of summer planting and relocation of planters. Winter planting was arranged for Sunday 23rd October commencing at 08:00 at the Market Place. This will consist of red pansies for the Recreation Ground, mixed pansies elsewhere. There will also be Tete-a-Tete daffodils in all planters plus hyacinths and narcissi in the cart in Greyhound walk. Regarding the roundabout and permanent planting area, Messrs Whitehouse and Plant respectively advised that the situation remained confused and was ongoing.

On 16th and 19 September 2011  A large number of members met in at the recreation ground to drill and paint the 32 new barrels supplied by David Oakes and a further 8 purchased.

On 31st August 2011 a meeting was held to which Rosemary Marlow was welcomed as a new member. The Group was also advised that Pat Dance had resigned. On grants it was noted that these had been received from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and Cheadle Town Council and thank you letters sent. It was agreed that Councillor Mike Worthington be approached for a grant from his Staffordshire Local Community Fund allocation following his by-election success after the sad death of Barry Mycock. Business sponsorship was reported as down around 14% on 2010 which was not surprising in the current financial circumstances. There was considerable discussion on the somewhat disappointing displays this summer largely due to mildew on the begonias and complete failure of isotomas. The impatiens had also failed due to a fungal disease that had affected them nationally. The planting group reported that they were already researching next summer’s planting with a view to minimising the risk of a repetition. The Acting Chairman undertook to organise the replacement and reorganisation of planters and displays including the 32 barrels donated by David Oakes.It was decided to not proceed with planting of spring daffodil bulbs in the verges of the approach roads to Cheadle due to the high level of bureaucracy and legal commitment it had been discovered was involved. Ian Whitehouse reported that, in his role of Town Councillor he had been asked to look into the possibility of Cheadle in Bloom improving the appearance of the roundabout in Tape Street. It was noted that the soil needed improvement before anything could be done and also that there was lack of clarity on who had authority to authorise work.Ian Whitehouse and Ian Plant as Town Councillors agreed to investigate further in hope that improvements could be made for next year.A similar situation existed with the permanent planting at Well Street Car Park. Ian Plant would investigate further. A revised Constitution for CIB was presented and approved subject to minor amendments.  

The 5th June 2011 was summer planting day and a large number of volunteers were present including a group from Cheadle U3A to whom thanks are extended. Whilst the weather was reasonable, the day got started half an hour later than planned due to a misunderstanding over plant delivery times. Apologies to those who arrived at the planned start time. Nevertheless with the number of volunteers present many hands made light work, with the last of the volunteers leaving around 1:30. Thanks again to all who attended.

On 11th May 2011 a meeting was held to review plans for planting day. Gary Bentley kindly offered the loan of a trailer to move the hanging baskets to their locations.

On 13th April 2011 at which our grant applications and sponsorship collections were reviewed. The Group was advised that David Oakes will be taking over sponsorship of and planting the main roundabout and that he had also generously supplied us with a number of new tubs. Various new administrative procedures were covered and in particular regarding ownership of the tubs and planters members were advised that at the Town Council Meeting on 4th April the Council agreed and minuted that ownership of all of the planters we look after should be vested in Cheadle in Bloom. Permission to store planters etc. at the recreation ground compound was also granted. Arrangements were made for tendering for watering advertisements to be placed. The date for summer planting was confirmed as Sunday 5th June, with a few volunteers arriving early to receive and sort the plants and the remaining volunteers requested to arrive from 8 am.

On Monday 28th February 2011  a small group met to weed and tidy all of the town centre planters and to replace missing pansies. This was accomplished in a couple of hours.

On 23rd February 2011 a meeting was held at which the group was pleased to welcome two new members, Silvia Shaw and Wendy Smith. We also received news of the resignation of Dave Barber from the group and a letter was sent thanking him for all the hard work he had put in over the years. The group was advised that we had received favourable responses to our grant applications to the Town and District Councils and in consequence the Planting Group had selected summer planting and ordered the plants. The Acting Chairman reported that recent changes within the Group had brought to light the need for some immediate actions that had been undertaken by the officers to formalise the activities of the group and some that needed to be address over time.

At the AGM on13th January 2011 (as subsequently amended at an EGM on 26th January 2011),Dennis Newboult was elected as Acting Chairman, Richard Grice as Secretary, and Nick Hale as
Treasurer. The final audited accounts were presented to members and it was noted that subject to receipt of the anticipated grants from our District and Town Councils, the group would be in a position to continue in 2011 and therefore now place an order for summer planting. The decision on whether to
participate in the Heart of England in Bloom  competition was deferred until the next meeting.

On 25th November 2010 a meeting was held in which the future grant and financial position for the coming year were discussed. The committee agreed to investigate the cost of replacing the square planters with tubs as the former were no longer in keeping with the colour scheme being used in the town rebranding programme. They would also look at tubs for elsewhere in the town. Various proposals for increasing the number of volunteers were made

On 24th October 2010 volunteers arrived at 9am on a sunny but still frosty morning and worked for three hours weeding and generally tidying up the permanent planting which is now well established.

On 17th October 2010  volunteers showed up, (some as early as 7am!)  to commence planting out winter pansies and bulbs, which was completed uneventfully by lunchtime.

On 14th October 2010 a meeting was held at which it was noted that David Oakes was likely to take over sponsorship of the roundabout near Morrisons.The Group congratulated Hammersley Hayes for receiving an “Award of Merit” for this year’s Heart of England in Bloom event. Grants were discussed and it was noted that an order for summer planting would need to be placed fairly soon. The secretary gave early notice of his intention to resign from the post after three years at the next AGM, asking volunteers to consider the position re his replacement. Winter planting day was confirmed as Sunday 17th October and in view of the condition of the permanent planting area near Netto, a further activity day was arranged for Sunday 24th October.   

On 6th June 2010 Volunteers turned out in large numbers from as early as 5:30am, the Treasurer “leading” the “second shift” which arrived at 9am! Volunteers really set to and planting of all the tubs and the hanging of baskets was substantially completed by mid day. Thanks are extended to all who helped.

On 20th May 2010 a meeting was held at which the arrangements for securing the new cart were discussed together with compost requirements and watering arrangements prior to planting day on 6th June.

The Sunday 16th May 2010 activity day to exchange the cart in Greyhound Walk had to be cancelled at short notice (apologies to those not informed) but was completed later in the week with a very fine replacement cart kindly provided by Les Oakes and Sons. 

On 28th April 2010 a brief and informal meeting of the Admin Group and Plant Acquisition Group took place at which the Chairman reported the Oakes family had kindly offered a replacement cart. He also proposed that the winter pansies be transplanted into new flower beds to be created near the Tapes Street. In consequence of this two new volunteer days were arranged as detailed above.

On 25th April 2010 volunteers met to repaint the bands on all tubs with a metal paint and complete the varnishing of tubs in Greyhound Walk with the exception of those on the cart which is now in poor condition.The Chairman undertook to speak to the Oakes Family who had generously supplied it with a view to a replacement.

On 11th April 2010 at 9am there was a good turnout of volunteers for painting on a clement day and all green tubs were given two coats of paint and the tubs along the High Street all re-varnished and painted before lunch, leaving only Greyhound Walk to complete.

On 8th April 2010 the funding position was reviewed.Ian  then Richard Grice reported on his inspection of the tubs. A painting/maintenance morning was arranged for 11th April. On watering the Secretary reported little response. (Subsequent to the meeting the Administration Group arranged for advertisements to be placed in the local press). Following the last meeting’s H& S review gloves were issued to all present, with the vests reported as on order. Arrangements for delivery of flowers and compost was finalised.

On 11th March 2010    it was first noted as an amendment to the minutes that Hammersley Hayes would still be entering Heart of England in Bloom. The Chairman reported that he had not received confirmation of the SMDC grant and would follow up. The Plant Acquisition Group reported on visits they had made to possible suppliers, the type of plants proposed and prices. It was agreed to go with Greenhouse 2000 (Stoke City Council). The proposed date for planting is 6th June. On watering arrangements it was agreed the Secretary would contact Cheadle Town Council to see if they could assist this year, and formally seek quotes from Greenhouse 2000  and any other parties that had previously shown interest. Arrangements were made for the condition of tubs etc to be inspected. It was also agreed that as an H&S requirement gloves and high visibility vests would be purchased with a requirement that all volunteers wear them.

On 25th February 2010 the Group ratified the previous meeting’s decision to withdraw from Heart of England in Bloom this year and confirmed the operating structure of the Group to be;

 Administration Group

Chairman Peter Oakden                                        

Nick Hale                 Treasurer & Web Site Manager         

Dennis Newboult       Secretary                                           

 Business Sponsorship Group    Richard Grice    Andy Brown   

 Plant Acquisition Group            Joan Terry Scraping Scraping Val Johnson  

Hammersley Hayes Neighbourhood Group     Ian Whitehouse

Brookhouse Area Group             Gary Bentley                         

Volunteer– Ray Wood  

 Arrangements were also made to get ideas and tenders for plants and to explore alternative options for watering. The Group also agreed the allocation of “independent” funding to Brookhouse Area Group to proceed with a plant acquisition trial.

On 11th February 2010 at the Annual General Meeting of the Group, Peter Oakden indicated that for personal reasons he wished to take a more background role this year and advised that for personal reasons Ray Wood had stood down as Treasurer. Vice Chairman Dave and Diary Secretary Andy also stood down, the latter indicating that he had run out of new ideas for the Heart of England in Bloom diary. Dennis Newboult confirmed that he was prepared to continue as Secretary and Nick Hale volunteered to take on the role of Treasurer. There followed considerable discussion as to the future activities and role of the Group and ways of spreading the workload, with Dennis broaching the idea of form forming small working groups of three. It was generally agreed that the volunteers wanted to continue providing flower displays for the benefit of the town but thought that we should withdraw from participation in Heart of  England in Bloom for this year with the position to be reviewed next year. The Chairman formally completed the business of the AGM and called a meeting for 25.02.10 to give members time to reflect on the evening’s discussions.

On 11th October 2009 members met at 9am in some numbers and planting of the pansies and bulbs was completed without incident and in record time.

On 7th October 2009 the Group held a brief meeting at which the planting out of the winter display of pansies and bulbs was arranged, the plants coming this time from Heath House Nurseries.  Peter Oakden reported that troughs were now in place and filled ready. Helen Anderson advised that she had written to a leading rose grower (Fryers) enquiring as to the possibility of naming a new rose “Pugin’s Gem”,given Cheadle’s forthcoming celebrations and would report back on progress. The Group welcomed Margaret and Ron Locker who had been instrumental in forming Cheadle in Bloom some 7 year earlier. The Chairman advised he would be presenting certificates to the schools which had participated and contributed in the Heart of England competition. After discussion of funding Group members participated in an excellent celebratory buffet, the donor of which wished to remain anonymous.   


On 3rd September 2009 Peter Oakden returned from the Heart of England in Bloom presentation awards ceremony in Pershore and announced to a special meeting held in The Swan at 7:00 that Cheadle in Bloom had received a Gold Award, the highest possible. To add to this success Keeling Rd had received an “Outstanding” certificate in their category again the highest possible. He congratulated everyone involved. Under pressure he also “confessed” that he had personally been awarded a discretionary “Certificate of Merit” for his own personal contribution to Heart of England in Bloom and was duly congratulated by all present. He noted that in the space of just three years Cheadle in Bloom had gone from a silver to silver-gilt to Gold award, an achievement which was truly outstanding given that other participants had taken more than 10 years to achieve this. The judges report noted “Areas for Improvement” as “None”!!

There followed a brief discussion on the Cheadle rebranding exercise being conducted by the Council and it was agreed that those responsible be contacted with the suggestion that the proposed new Cheadle signage at entrances to the town refer to the Gold Award. It was also agreed that Sponsors be contacted by letter, advised of the results and thanked for their contribution. Finally Peter Oakden reported that in view of time pressure he had ordered winter pansies for winter planting which was only 5 weeks off. The next meeting would be on 7th October at 7:00 at a venue to be confirmed.   

On 5th August 2009 Peter Oakden began the monthly meeting with the sad news of the sudden death of Mike Steele from Little Island Nurseries. Mike had been a great supporter of Cheadle in Bloom, had shared his expert knowledge of plants with the Group and supplied the majority of plants used by the Group, including extra plants this year at his own expense when funds were tight. He would be sadly missed. It was noted that Peter Oakden and Ray Wood were to attend the funeral and members asked that they extend the Group’s sympathies to his wife, daughter and son-in-law.

The Chairman reported on judging day, noting that the weather had been good and the atmosphere festive, with initial feedback from the judges being good. He extended his thanks to all the people and groups who had volunteered their services to make the day so successful. The purchase of a water bowser and ongoing watering was going well though it was noted that due to the weather plants had suffered a mildew attack, that they had been sprayed to kill this which seemed to have worked reasonably well but that some plants, particularly those by the Guild Hall were too far gone and would be removed. Looking forward it was noted that funding continued to be gained with Lafarge having contributed £500 and grants received of £500 each from both County Councillors. It had been determined that the grant from the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council was a rolling one and incidentally not conditional on entering Heart of England in Bloom. It was noted that Biddulph had not entered for this year only. The position on the Cheadle Town Council grant had yet to be determined. The presentation day for Heart of England in Bloom this year was on Thursday 3rd September in Pershore and after some discussion it was agreed that this was to be attended by Peter Oakden and Dave Barber with representation next year to be reviewed. In view of this there would be no meeting on September 2nd. Instead the Group would meet at The Swan in Cheadle at 7:00pm on Thursday 3rd September when the Chairman would announce the judging results.

On 10th July 2009 judging took place for the Heart of England in Bloom Competition, with the judges again being Les Goodman and David Wassell M.B.E.The weather was fine and the judges were given a tour of the town on a vintage bus kindly provided by Roy Hine accompanied by the Chairman and other volunteers. They were particularly shown and were impressed with the new permanent planting in Well Street arising from their recommendations last year and also saw the excellent decoration of the fencing at the bottom of the car park which had been carried out by pupils from Painsley Catholic College. They then adjourned to the Market Place where there was Irish dancing and music performed by Murphy’s Marbles band and free tea and cakes available to all. With banners in place, the Council having organised an exceptional weeding all around and the Market Place crowded out, the atmosphere was truly infective and a good times was had by all.

On 1st July 2009 in place of the normal meeting members met at Greyhound Walk and spent about an hour weeding and deadheading the displays.    

On 31st May 2009 on a gloriously hot day numerous volunteers turned up for planting out day with the result that it was completed without incident and before noon.

On 6th May 2009 the first meeting was held at Cheadle Fire Station at 7:00 p.m. The Chairman advised that he had made contact with Les Latham at High Peak BC who was now looked after maintenance in Cheadle. He had undertaken to assist by arranging the partial emptying of tubs, the spare compost being placed in the area identified for permanent planting. Planting day was agreed as Sunday 31st May, meeting at the market at 8:30 am and was likely to be extended as members agreed to do it all on one day rather than the normal two. All are asked to attend with appropriate equipment. The Chairman updated members on the grant position and it was also agreed he would contact Heart of England in Bloom to arrange a Judging day anytime after 1st July to allow greater public participation. It has since been confirmed Judging Day will be Friday 10th July. Ray Wood undertook to investigate positioning of banners on the day.  

On 19th March 2009 the AGM took place at 7:00 p.m. at The Swan Public House in Cheadle. Key points are: (1)The Committee was re-elected.(2) Arrangements are in place for the purchase of a water bowser and pump primarily to be operated by Peter Oakden and David Barber but with volunteer assistance as necessary (3) The plants have been ordered and in view of the financial situation Little Island Nurseries have kindly offered to upgrade the proposed “cheap and cheerful” plants for outlying plantings to the same as the main planting for the same price quoted.(4) The winter planting will be kept in place as long as possible-date for their removal and new planting the following week will be announced later.(5) The Chairman will seek to move the judging date by Heart of England in Bloom to around 2nd or 3rd of July to enable greater participation by local schoolchildren.

On 8th March 2009 7 volunteers attended a maintenance session at 9:00am in which we successfully removed all the small upstanding basket supports, which as discussed at our last meeting, have proved to have caused such a problem with vandalism.

On 26th February 2009 a meeting was held to determine this year’s planting arrangements. A lengthy discussion ensued and in view of the limited funds available it was decided to go primarily with mixed Begonias (non stop begonias) with geraniums in the Memorial Garden. Guidance was taken from Mike Steele of Little Island Nurseries who has supplied plants previously. Alternative quotes are awaited from Heath House Nursery. Prices were also sought for cheap and cheerful planting in “outlying” displays as the Chairman did not want to see unplanted tubs around Cheadle.