Minutes from Larkhill Bridge Club AGM held on Thursday 3rd October 2013
1. Apologies for absence were received from Judyth Rowles, Jean Banks, Paul West and John Beattie
2. Minutes of the last AGM on 29.9.12 were read out by Chris Embury. There were no matters arising and Hilda Parkinson confirmed they were a true record, with Pat Corker seconding this.
3. Election of Officers. The existing committee were all willing to stand again for their posts. The meeting confirmed their support for the committee and the Committee was re-elected.
4. Chairman’s Report
Anne Richardson covered a number of issues.
i) the purchase of the bridge mates prior to Christmas has been a significant expenditure but had proven to be very beneficial to the running of the duplicate sessions. The cost of the 25 bridge mates and associated equipment had been £3,770 which had depleted the club’s bank balance. We have also bought 2 extra bridge tables.
ii) Larkhill members had done well at the Manchester Congress 2012 with Moira and David winning Paul’s new event on the Saturday and Rak & partner coming 2nd in the Kevin Comrie event on the Sunday.
iii) Anne mentioned Paul West and how we were all saddened by Paul’s health problems and wished him well for a very speedy recovery.
iv) Anne mentioned how grateful we’d been for help from Clive Worthington in supporting us to implement Scorebridge and Bridgemates. Clive had been to some of our sessions to provide tuition and was always available via the telephone should there be any problems during our duplicate sessions. Susan Triggs was particularly grateful for Clive’s help in sorting out some of the problems that had occurred.
v) Anne also thanked Peter Dawson for his generous offer of help and the amount of time he had put in to Directing sessions and running a number of training sessions to help volunteers to learn more about running duplicate events. Susan Triggs and John Beattie attended an EBU Directors Course to improve their knowledge.
vi) Larkhill BC and our members have generously supported a number of Charities during the year including MacMillan, Marie Curie, Bone Cancer and Dementia. In total we have raised over £1,600.
vii) Congratulations to Joyce Woolley and Maureen Beresford who did very well in the Cantor Cup organised by the Manchester County Bridge Association.
viii) Very successful holidays were organised in Buxton and Menorca as well as Albrighton Hall in August. Next year we have already organised a bridge holiday to take place in Stratford on Avon in April and further holiday plans will be announced soon.
5. Treasurer’s Report
Chris Embury submitted a copy of the accounts to the meeting and confirmed that the club’s financial position was good. Chris raised a slight concern about the setting up of the proposed Friday session as this might have a negative impact for the club if the numbers attending don’t cover the cost of hiring the hall. But there are no other financial concerns on the horizon. The insurance (£63.20) has already been paid and the Bridge webs annual licence fee is due at the end of the month.
6. Correspondence – there were no items of Correspondence to report to the meeting
7. Special Business – items submitted for discussion/agreement
i) the Committee proposed keeping membership fees at the current level – which was unanimously agreed by the meeting
ii) the Committee proposed to introduce a joining fee for new members of £5 – and this was agreed by the meeting
iii) the Committee proposed to increase the permitted member level to 160 (from the current level of 150). Anne reported that there were currently 33 people on the waiting list. Considerable discussion followed. Daphne asked whether there were people on the current membership list who didn’t attend any more and could they be asked to resign? Anne replied that she was currently going through the renewal process and hoped to make more places available by November. In response to a question, Anne confirmed that we keep a register each week of attendance. Linked to this discussion was a proposal from Rak to introduce another session possibly on a Saturday/Sunday or on a Friday. Chris explained that it was very expensive to hire the hall over the week-end and it wasn’t possible (because of special events) for the Bridge Club to hire the hall on a regular basis. However the Larkhill Community Centre had suggested Friday as an alternative and we could hire the hall far more cheaply. Members at the meeting were generally not keen on increasing the overall membership for Thursdays but supported the proposal to run an additional event on Fridays at 1pm and to give priority to people on the waiting list to come along on Fridays. 11 people were in favour of this proposal with no-one against.
8. Any Other Business – as notified in Advance
i) A proposal was put forward by Jane Caffrey, Val Watson, Don Watson and Joyce Woolley to do away with the tea break. This item provoked considerable discussion with many differing views. Anne felt strongly that the intention when setting up the Larkhill Bridge Club was to make it a friendly and social club. There are many other clubs which are far more competitive and fit in as many boards as possible. Anne felt the loss of the tea break would affect the friendly feel of the Club and would only mean one extra board could be played. The break is also often useful for the Committee to answer queries, take renewals, sort out seminar and holiday bookings etc. Daphne asked whether it would be possible to play an extra round and keep the tea break, so finish at approx. 3.30 pm. Other members were concerned about this as they couldn’t stay so late as they needed to pick up grandchildren from school etc. It was also suggested we could have refreshments at the start or end of the bridge session. At the end of the discussion a vote was taken with 30 members in favour of retaining the current tea break and 9 against.
9. Date of Next AGM – it was proposed this should be 2nd October 2014 after the duplicate session (this has since been changed to Thursday 9th October – also after the duplicate session – to enable Chris Embury (Treasurer) to attend).
10. A member of the club tried to raise an item of AOB at this point. Anne Richardson, Chair, explained that this was not possible as items need to be raised in advance. The item related to what should be done with any surplus funds the club had. It was agreed this should be discussed at the next AGM when the club was likely to have more funds available than it currently has.
11. Gillian Cook, on behalf of members, thanked the Committee for all their hard work during the last year.