Minutes of the Committee Meeting held on Wednesday, 25th June 2014 starting at 19.30 at

Audrey Hartley’s house – 168 Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, CM1 4HF





Present: T Cockle, A Cundy, L Fleet, A Hartley, B Hunt, T Philpott, K Thompson and D Valtisiaris


1.     Welcome and apologies for absence: Dennis Valtisiaris as acting Chairman, welcomed all those present and accepted apologies for absence from N Bardsley, M Curtis, G Randall and S Riach.  


2.     Minutes of the last meeting held on Wednesday, April 23rd 2014 and Wednesday, May 21st 2014: These had been circulated prior to the meeting and were agreed to be a correct record.


3.     Matters arising from the minutes not already included in the agenda:

a.     Item 3b: The Super League:  Audrey reported that the Saxons had made a creditable performance and finished their TGRs Super League season in 3rd place just missing promotion. Four members of the Saxons had finished in the top ten of the overall Butler IMP ranking out of 86 players.

b.    Item 3d: County Working Groups:  It was agreed that John should continue with Dennis to represent the ECBA Committee on the Eastern Counties Working Group and to represent that group on the EBU’s National Counties Working Group. John would be presenting a “What good counties should do” paper for discussion at the next meeting.

c.     Item 9. The future of the Selection Committee: At the last Committee meeting it had been agreed that John should have further discussions with Ian Moss concerning the future of the Selection Committee when Ian resigned on 31st March 2015.  As John had resigned, this needed attention.  Bernie said that the Selection Committee had discussed this and wished to propose John Williams as the successor to Ian.  It was agreed that Audrey would ask John if he would be willing to take on this position.

d.    Item 10.  E. C. L. Home venues: Audrey had received a letter from Roger Amey of Norfolk saying that some of his players had found Barleylands a long way to travel for their E. C. match with Essex and could we find a venue nearer the M11 for them.  Barleylands had been agreed as the home venue for E. C. L. matches with the proviso that the Committee would reconsider if there was a complaint.  It was agreed that we would find a more convenient venue for the next Norfolk match.  The last time Thornwood was used for an E. C. L. match Ian had asked Keith Thompson, who was not playing, to prepare the venue.  It was pointed out that this job should be delegated to one of those playing in the match and Linda volunteered to do this on July 13th.


4.             Chairman for 2014 - 2015: After a short discussion it was agreed that Paul Mollison should be invited to become the Chairman of the ECBA Committee and that Val Mollison should be invited to join the Committee as a co-opted member for the remainder of the year to March 31st 2015. Audrey was asked to write the invitation.

5.     Reports from Hon. Officers:

a. Hon. General Secretary: Audrey said she had prepared the AGM Minutes and County Newsletter, and the programme for September to May of next year. And presented copies of their contents.  Neither were yet in booklet form.  She had emailed committee members about the Xmas Party and it was agreed that it should not be held.  She had taken comments made at the AGM on board and found (with some help) three other competition venues; Romford Community Centre, Danbury Sports and Social Centre and Stock Village Hall.  She had changed the venue for the Championship Pairs, and the only competitions still being held at Navestock would be the Fletcher Trophy and Club Trophy as it was the only hall large enough to cater for these competitions.  She had complained to Navestock about the poor lighting.  Mountnessing had become too expensive so she had not used it for any of our events.  She had also, regretfully, accepted that the parking at Writtle was generally too much of a problem so that even though it was a very reasonably priced venue she would not use it again.  The parking had been very good for the George Curtis and the weather wonderful; the potential for picnics on the green during a two-session event in the summer had been why she had chosen it.  The number of events held at the various venues in the Winter Programme is: Barleylands -7; Romford-3; Danbury, Stock & Thornwood-2; Little Baddow, Navestock & Thorpe Bay-1.          

She had formed a Conduct Committee as a result of a complaint of bad behaviour.  After taking evidence from those present at the incident the members of the Conduct Committee decided that a verbal warning would be appropriate and this was accepted.


b.     Hon. Treasurer: The ECBA had £7,295 in the Barclays Bank Account and £15,060 in the Skipton Account. 

Of the Competitions since the last meeting, the Essex Pairs had a surplus but sadly only three not four pairs had gone forward to the Corwen Trophy; the Mixed Teams and the George Curtis had made a loss in spite of the very reasonable rent paid.  She also reported that the winners of the teams of Four Competition had not entered the Pachabo Cup.  Yet again we had not been represented at this Competition. 

Travelling expenses (from the Development Fund) had been paid to three people who had been assisting Bernie with his mentoring sessions.

Linda said that receipts from P2P had fallen by 20% in the last three months.  At some clubs, attendances had fallen but hopefully with Clacton and Burnham on Crouch now affiliated income should improve.


c.     Hon. Tournament Secretary: Ted produced a list of our competitions and the number of entries to each.  For most of the competitions the number of entries varied little from year to year, but this year Alaric had advertised the PRO/AM more strongly and 20 pairs entered.  Audrey made the same effort with the Club Pairs but the number of entries had fallen.  He said that entries to our competitions were still coming in very late which made it difficult to plan the number of boards and tables needed.  

Several clubs were unhappy that their scoring program could no longer submit their results to the EBU.  When they complained to the EBU they didn’t get a reply.  Ted asked that we tell Club Secretaries that if they do not receive a satisfactory reply from the EBU then they should contact the ECBA.  It was agreed that this should be put on our website and that Audrey would include it in her July letter to secretaries.


d.    Hon. League Secretary: Bernie reported that the league had finished on time and that the draws had been made for the League Cup and would be made shortly for the Premier League.  Audrey pointed out that the League Cup should have been drawn in January 2014 and completed before the AGM, as had been agreed at the Committee meeting held on Wednesday, 20th June 2012.  The late running final held in September 2013 had been the 2012 – 2013 League Cup and there was no League Cup in 2013 – 2014.  The draw that Bernie had made in June was for the 2014 – 2015 season.  It was agreed that a Summer League Cup was preferable as teams had fewer match commitments at that time of year.


e.     Hon. Teachers’ Liaison Secretary:  Alaric said that very few teachers wished to be on our website.  He had advertised the PRO/AM to many of the teachers and received a good response.  He had made a little progress with tablet/Android/smart phone method of scoring and was hoping to hold a trial run shortly.  Audrey had recently played in a game where this method of scoring had been used.  It had worked well; but care would be needed as there was a lot of information on the screen that could slow the game.


f.      Hon. Webmaster: Sandy Riach was not present.  It was noted that some found the Hertfordshire’s website easier to use than ours but that ours had by far the most hits.


6.     AGM debriefing: It was agreed that it had been a sad ending.  The Committee regretted that John had resigned but had felt that they had to accept it.

7.     Schools’ Liaison Officer: It was agreed that an advert should be placed on the website asking for applications from teachers or people involved with education to become the Schools’ Liaison Officer on our Committee.  It was reported that the playing of bridge at some schools had lapsed.


8.     Essex/Herts Joint Venture: Linda reported that entries were now coming quite fast.  She had received 48 entries for the Swiss Pairs and 23 entries for the Swiss Teams but only ten had paid by BAC.  She said that Essex and Herts had agreed 23 – 24th July 2016 dates for their joint venture for the year 2016.


9.             AOB: Bernie said that he would like to continue with his mentoring programme in September and asked that the entry should be subsidised by the ECBA Development Fund.  At present he charged £6 per person per attendance and he proposed that the ECBA should pay half of that amount per person.  This was agreed.  He said that he would like to ask clubs to suggest people who might benefit from this programme.  It was agreed that Audrey include this in her letter to club secretaries.  Bernie said he envisaged a progression of two courses – one following on from the previous and then starting again with a new intake.


10.          Date of next meeting: Wednesday 5th November 2014 at Audrey Hartley’s home.  Dennis closed the meeting at 10.10 pm and Audrey was thanked for her hospitality.