Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held in the United Reform Church Hall on Wednesday 3rd October 2018.The meeting started at 7.30 pm.
Veronica and David Brunt, Claire Axten, Marina Richards, Tom Winn, Barbara and Martin Cowell, Gabbie and Martyn Butler, Jacqui and Francis Knight, Reg Alford, Helen Phillips, Shirley Gunter, Maureen and John Parfitt,Catherine Atkins, Gill Davey, Brian Read,Yvonne and Denys Jones, Trevor Skinner, Sally Wood, Mark Lewis, Viv Squires Tina Della Valle and Fiona White.
Kay Strain, Paul Badman, Kay Winn, Avril and William Berry, David and Hilary Mozley, Jenny Lewis, Rebecca and Stuart Wells.
David welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Minutes of the September Committee Meeting
David checked that everyone had read the minutes and he signed them as a true record.
There were no matters arising.
David began by thanking members of the committee for their support and hard work throughout the past year. Special mention was for Claire, who is standing down as vice chair, but will remain a committee member and for Dianne, Reg, Grace and Bernard, who are leaving the committee but will remain members of the association.
He continued with a review of events of the past year, the Christmas Cracker, Christmas Party, assisting with the Barbeque at Elmhurst School, the Strawberry Tea at Avril and William Berry’s house, Merriman Park Fun Day and the recent Bric a Brac stall in Street Market. All were successful as fundraising events, as well as social gatherings.
He suggested highlights of the year were the day trip to Paris, during our visit to Gravenchon and the trips to Bristol for the SS Great Britain and to Lyme Regis with our friends from Isny.
Marina presented the accounts for the financial year to 31st August, as checked by the accountant.
There were a number of complaints from the floor with regard to lack of dates and clarity and there seemed to be inaccuracies, especially in the case of expenditure for the visit from Isny. This was listed as £905, when the true figure was £2434.90.
Marina presented an income/expenditure sheet, prepared for this meeting, showing the true costs. She explained that the confusion is due to the accounts being closed on 31st August, when some bills for the visit had not yet been processed. Unfortunately this situation may always occur for events which take place close to the year end.
Specific questions were:
Q: Why was the cost of the Merriman Park stall so high.
A: Included in this figure was the wine purchased for a number of events, not only that particular Water/Wine stall. Q: Why were insurance costs so high this year and what was being insured.
A: This was a result of the change in the accounting year and this figure represented insurance for the years 2017 and 2018
Election of officers for 2018/19
The following nominations were received by the deadline of 19th September:
David Brunt for Chairman
Jacqui Knight for Secretary
Marina Richards for Treasurer
Tom Winn for Vice Chairman
As there was only one nominee for each position, candidates were asked to leave the room and the vote taken by a show of hands. All were elected. There had been no votes by e-mail.
Review of Financial Procedures and end of year statement.
It was queried why, in view of the confusion expressed earlier, did we employ an accountant at a cost of £50? Marina explained that this was a nominal fee to check the accounts as they were at the year end date. She said an audit by the same firm, would cost in the region of £1000.
She was asked why it was necessary and could they not be checked by any independent person. The answer was that it was necessary in order to apply for the annual grant from Street Parish Council.
It was agreed that an itemised income/expenditure sheet would be produced for each event. This could be circulated to members together with the minutes of that month’s committee meeting.
It was noted that the accountant recommended that the committee should recommend a policy on cash payments for inclusion in the constitution.
The future of Street Twinning Association
David pointed out that, should the full Isny costs have been included in the accounts, they would have shown a deficit of approximately £1000 and this reflects similar losses over the last 4 or 5 years. Our current bank balance is approximately £10000, but if these losses are sustained, the association will soon cease to function. This is hardly the legacy we would wish to leave to future twinners.
The solution is to raise more funds or spend less, or possibly even both. Our fund raising events are not as well supported as they used to be and support does not mean just attending, but encouraging friends and family to come too. Some members always give their full and generous support whenever they are able. Sad to say, there are some we seldom see.
Our membership fees are quite modest and may have to increase
Would members please give us their views with regard to raising funds or saving money. This can be done by mail or via any committee member.
Members volunteering to serve on the committee for the coming year are:
Claire Axten, Barbara Cowell, Sally Wood, Trevor Skinner, Catherine Atkins, Gabbie Butler, Barbara and Peter Fry, Francis Knight, Kay Strain, Katrina Dumontroty and Paul Badman.
The next meeting will be at 7.30 on Wednesday 7th November in the Parish Rooms
Invitation letters will be sent at the end of October. Lucky winners in the October draw are:
£20 No 52 Catherine Atkins
£10 No 32 Grace Squire
£5 No 10 Catherine Atkins
“Discovering Your Community” is an event promoted by Street Parish Council, to be held in the Crispin Hall on Saturday 27th October, to which local organisations have been invited to take part. This is an ideal opportunity to showcase our association and possibly recruit new members. Jacqui and Francis Knight have volunteered to organise our input and Jacqui will be asking members to help during the day. The event will be from 9.30 to 4.00.
The Bric a Brac stall in the market was considered to be successful and will be repeated on Thursday 8th November. Once again, help will be requested.
The twinners from both Gravenchon and Isny have new members who would like to host/visit. If you know anyone prepared to accommodate them, please contact a committee member.
It was proposed that the membership fee should increase to £15, effective from the next AGM. This received unanimous support.
Street Twinning flyers have been sent to local schools and Strode theatre.