AGM 2019 : Minutes

Draft Minutes of the first Annual General Meeting held on 11th April 2019 at Union Church and Community Centre, N8 9PX
1. Welcome
The Chair of the Steering Committee, Sue Felgate, welcomed all those present and thanked so many for attending the first Annual General Meeting of the Crouch End and District U3A (CEDU3A).
2. Confirmation of a Quorum
The Vice Chair of the Steering Committee, Sally Whitaker, confirmed that the quorum of 65 members required to be in attendance at the meeting had been more than surpassed by the numbers present, estimated at over 100.
3. Approval of the Constitution
In introducing the Constitution, which had been circulated to all members, the Vice Chair confirmed that it was based on the national Third Age Trust model and had been adopted by the Steering Committee at an early stage in CEDU3A’s development. The Constitution now required formal adoption by the membership. Questions regarding content were invited but none were forthcoming.
Approval of the Constitution was proposed by David Barry and seconded by Chris Nicholson. A show of hands demonstrated overwhelming support.
4. Appointment of Trustees
The Secretary to the Steering Committee, Jackie Langford, detailed the process by which nominations had been called for the appointment of Officer and non-Officer Trustees. The process had lasted one month from 11th February to 11th March 2019. All members had been given the opportunity to nominate others and all members could agree to be nominated. The list of those nominated was read out, and had already been made available to members together with the names of proposers and seconders. There were nine vacant Trustee positions to be filled and nine nominations had been forthcoming, including one nomination each for the four Officer Trustee posts. It was therefore confirmed that an election process did not need to be followed in the meeting. It was further confirmed that the Steering Committee would henceforth be designated the Executive Committee.
Approval of the nine nominations was proposed by Alison Horton and seconded by Kathy McHale. A show of hands demonstrated overwhelming support.
5. Financial Report
The Treasurer to the Steering Committee, Andrew Sich, delivered the Financial Report and Accounts for the period September 2017 to end December 2018. A written report and accounts had already been made available to members.
He confirmed that CEDU3A’s income was derived mostly from members’ subscriptions. It had been possible to invest £8,000 of surplus income in a fixed term savings account, which was the equivalent of approximately 6 months’ worth of expenditure and considered a prudent move. Because subscriptions for 2019 had been paid towards the end of the previous year, total funds in the report needed to be viewed in the knowledge that expenditure throughout 2019 would be deducted from current funds held.
Although CEDU3A was not required to seek a full audit of the accounts, one of our members, Paul Soper, had kindly undertaken to examine them and report his findings. His report was read out in full and would be included with CEDU3A’s submission to the Charity Commission for publication on their website.
In response to a question from a member of the audience, the Treasurer estimated that by year end 2019 there should be between £8,000 – £10,000 funds in reserve.
The Treasurer thanked Jayne Forbes for the excellent work she had carried out as his predecessor in that role and Anne Hutchings for her meticulous bookkeeping and records.
The adoption of the financial report and accounts was proposed by Marie Campbell and seconded by Joan Lindeman. A show of hands demonstrated overwhelming support.
6. The 2017/18 Annual Report and Plans for 2019
The Chair presented the key points from a written annual report that had been made available to all members. She confirmed that CEDU3A currently had 662 members, 16 of which were concessionary, and that 82 had not renewed membership at the end of last year. Given that the CEDU3A had only been in existence since September 2017 the extent of current membership was a real achievement. Of the current membership, 98% used email and the remaining number were communicated with by post.
The many conveners, who had made CEDU3A such a success, were thanked wholeheartedly for their ongoing efforts. Members of the Steering Committee (now the Executive Committee) who were not Trustees were identified for the audience and thanked for their ongoing contributions to the running and development of the CEDU3A.
In looking to the future, there would be efforts made to increase diversity / inclusivity of membership, raise the profile of CEDU3A, mobilise more volunteers and expand social events. As an example of the latter point, it was announced that a Summer Garden Party was planned for 4th July. Members’ views on CEDU3A activities would be sought via another questionnaire in future.
The Chair welcomed two newly appointed Trustees to the organisation, Diana Janus and John Hinshelwood, who would be replacing retiring Trustees Sue Picano and David Pashley. Warm tributes were paid to both retiring Trustees in recognition of the support they had given in ensuring the success of the CEDU3A. David, in particular, had left a legacy of over 70 active groups, led by roughly 100 convenors or co-convenors, a remarkable achievement in so short a time. Both retiring Trustees expressed their thanks and good wishes.
The Vice Chair announced that, following David Pashley’s retirement as Groups Organiser, Diana Pavey would be taking over this responsibility, with Graham Bennett focussing on new group organisation. They will be supported in their roles by Ed Allen and Carl Parker. Further information would be circulated in due course.
7. Questions from Members
In response to a question from a member of the audience, asking why CEDU3A did not provide members with copies of The Third Age Trust’s quarterly magazine, when some other U3A branches did, the Chair replied that a decision had been made at an early stage that that the £3 per copy per member cost was not justified in terms of content. However, the Executive Committee would revisit this decision in the light of improvements to current magazine content. The Executive Committee would find out if individual members could sign up to receive a copy directly, provided they funded it themselves. There is also a monthly emailed newsletter which any member can sign up for on The Third Age Trust website.
There was a request to re-visit the communications with those who do not use email. It was recognised that the flow of communication was much improved but some members were still missing out. The phone contact needs to be re-confirmed also. The Executive Committee would review this.
No further questions were forthcoming but the excellent quality of CEDU3A’s website, compared to those of other U3A branches, was commented on by a member of the audience and agreed by others.
8. Closure
The meeting was closed by the Chair, who reiterated her thanks to all of those who had attended.
For information
Apologies for absence were received from the following members:
Patricia Adams, Jeannie Davidson, Frances Heidensohn, Anne Hutchings, Patsy Nightingale, Greta Sykes and Penelope Woolfitt.