Back in April we held our first ever virtual AGM. Last year’s AGM was cancelled due to Covid 19 and the introduction of social distancing. In fact, the night before the very first lock down three of our committee were sat round a kitchen table planning the agenda. This all ended rather abruptly as phones pinged to tell said committee members to get home sharpish.
And so, 2021’s AGM started as usual, with a warm welcome and a run down of the previous minutes - this time from 2019.
Ian Saunders gave the annual chair’s update. The full version is here - but here are a few highlights.
- Government launched a revolutionary new cycle policy and design guidance leading us all to have some hope for the first time in forever that better infrastructure is possible and will be funded
- Government announced a new body would be set up to help council’s deliver the new guidance, and hold them to account if not!!!!!!!
- PCC won funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) for Transforming Cities (mainly bus schemes) and Active Travel measures related to Covid 19. Cue the debacles of the proposed then immediately scrapped Eastern Road lane take for cycling, and the doomed Elm Grove cycle lane “trial” (although efforts of council officer to make these work are recognised)
- PCF responded to national consultations on pavement parking and changes to the highway code; and Portsmouth consultations on the draft Local Transport Plan 4 (LTP4), and draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) among others - keeping the all-too-small committee, and a few very welcome new helpers, rather busy over the summer
- Committee member Mike Dobon finally, finally, finally, after years of cajoling, got Colas (the city’s maintenance contractor) to add “do these works affect cyclists?” to their roadworks form
Also to note, long-standing committee member, treasurer and secretary, Roger Inkpen stood down. We thank him for his many years of effort and dedication to the cause.
Ian highlighted some big opportunities and risks for the next year - so plenty to be campaigning on, including: planned upgrades to the cycle route along Eastern Road planned for Autumn, the LTP and LCWIP, and the introduction of a clean air zone.
Ian also announced that this will be his last year as chair and reminded everyone that we’re really keen to welcome anyone who is interested in volunteering, in any way that they can, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Then followed a quick update on the accounts. Although we’re still not charging for membership, costs last year were very low as everything went online and no venue booking fees were required. We have around £500 in the bank. Enough to keep us afloat but any new publications or events are likely to require crowdfunding, which has worked well before.
The rest of the AGM was then spent as an open Q&A between all the members who joined us. We thought it worked really well, and hope you did too. The wide ranging conversation covered everything and anything including: the power of stories; infrastructure; pop-up schemes; e-scooters; cycling accessibility and adapted cycles; cycling with children; facebook group rules; cycle theft and bike hangars.
There’s no sign that 2021 will be any less exciting that 2020 as far as cycling is concerned so again, if you’re interested in finding out how you could get more involved - or just to test to the water - please do get it touch, we’re a friendly bunch!
Full minutes of the 2021 AGM including a Zoom chat summary and links shared here.