AGM Crowborough Bridge Club - Monday 27th July
- Apologies for Absence
Steve Dennison, Lynn McCormack, Pamela Rich, Anne Thorpe, Patsy Tarbuck,
Alan Sills, Sylvia Hall, Joan Webber,
- Introduction by Chairperson
Linda welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for coming. She went on to explain how the arrangements for the AGM, (e.g. website and proxy voting), had been made in order that all members are able to be involved. She said that all members also had an opportunity to express their views on the website in a club decision. Linda added that if we had arranged a virtual AGM members would have been asked to download and then to have sufficient confidence to speak and follow the different protocols for voting. This would possibly have been stressful and not something suitable for an important meeting like this one. The message forum on the website allowed members to express their opinions and feeling to be taken into account and not just those of the members present today.
Linda then went on to give examples of the different risks that many of us will have had to cope with during our lives where we had to make a decision for ourselves but felt we would not be able to determine risk for others. She then addressed the Covid situation and how this could impact on people particularly those living in isolation.
- Approval of Minutes AGM 2019
There were no issues with the Minutes 2019 at the meeting or proxy voting and they were therefore adopted.
- Treasurer’s report and adoption of the statement of account
Richard explained that the club is in a good financial position with a ‘cushion’ of just over £12,000. We also have a credit of £800 with the Community Centre. Although table money is down a little, the bridge lessons had brought an additional £900. Linda added here that it was a big disappointment that these had to be stopped due to the lockdown.
The Treasurer’s report was unanimously accepted at the meeting with no proxy objections.
- Election of Committee members:
Richard Penticost was duly re-elected as Treasurer by the meeting with no proxy objections or alternatives.
Steve Dennison was duly re-electred as a Committee member by the meeting with no proxy objections or alternatives.
- Presentation of cups:
Linda gave details of the cups to be presented as follows:
Best master points Monday evening sessions – Richard Clark
Best master points Thursday sessions – Chris Sandford
Best master points Friday evening sessions – Jean Smallwood
Best percentage improvement – Lyn McCormack
Chris Sandford received his award at the meeting and Linda will present the remainder of the cups to the relevant individuals.
- Issues for members’ discussion and vote:
(a) The committee’s proposal that subscriptions for the year 2020/2121 should be £20 with table money unaltered was carried by the meeting and proxy voting.
(b) The amended club constitution and rules as published on the website were passed by the meeting and proxy voting, (20-0), with no objections. Linda explained that Richard and Sue had worked on these as they were rather ambiguous in some areas. Richard added here that two of the changes related to problems experienced by Tunbridge Wells Bridge Club whereby they had been taken to court in a situation relating to unsavoury conflict with a member. We therefore needed to ensure that our rules had appropriate measures to prevent a similar situation arising.
(c) Linda explained that the proposal from Ian Higgins and seconded by Caroline Poole regarding remaining with the Community Centre was not an issue as at the present time there is no alternative for the club other than to remain with this venue. Linda explained that this did not mean that the committee would not consider other alternatives to be brought to an AGM or EGM. The meeting agreed that the club would therefor remain at the community centre with proxy voting 20-0.
(d) The meeting voted that the Friday afternoon sessions which had not proved to be popular would cease with proxy voting 20-0. Linda said this would be for a trial period.
(e) The meeting voted in favour of a Tuesday afternoon session if this becomes possible at the Community Centre with proxy voting in favour 28-0.
(f) Regarding Friday evening sessions and the proposal from the Committee that these should cease counter proposed by Ian Higgins and Caroline Poole, Linda reiterated the arguments listed in the Chairperson’s report in relation to the agreed trial period, albeit cut short, and lack of numbers on these evenings. The meeting voted that the Friday evening sessions should cease with proxy voting in favour 16-3 a total of 27 for and 5 against..
Lesley C reflected upon when she first joined the club there was a similar problem in relation to lack of attendance on Thursday afternoons and although Friday evenings should now cease as they are not practicable, this may change and we should review this in a year. Chris S added that Tunbridge Wells are also now struggling with numbers on Friday evenings and Richard P said we should keep our options open.
Nick L added that although he has been ‘a lover of Fridays’ he felt that the Committee had considered at length and gone into due process and vet analogy to make a fair and unavoidable decision. He added that the Friday evenings had always been a platform for learning and improving and asked if there had been any thought given to how middling players could encourage eager players to improve. He also asked whether Tunbridge Wells Bridge Club would welcome Crowborough players and if this could be negotiated.
Linda explained in reply that whilst teaching the sessions allowed for two week breaks when the new learners could be supported by members as gurus not only to help with practice but also to integrate them into the club. She added that she felt this decision was very sad but was also certain it was the right decision.
- Chairperson’s address:
Linda then gave a resume of the addition to Chairperson’s report 2020 which has been entered onto the website for all members to read and be made aware of the necessary health and safety adherence measures that are being taken to ensure the continuation of Crowborough Bridge Club. She said she is desperately trying to get across the seriousness of the situation for our club.
In response to an ebu communication regarding the size of bridge tables, the meeting were shown the extended table tops that are being prepared in order for ‘Social Distancing’ to be adhered to at our club. Linda explained that the Community Centre have not yet fully opened for bookings and explained some of requirements that have been put in place for Covid protection including gloves, hand-washing and use of our equipment. As a club we would not be going to organise on-line sessions and these are available for members with both Cross in Hand and Tunbridge Wells clubs. Also members who still feel the need to isolate will be able to form their own ‘bubbles’ if they do not feel able to return at the moment.
Lesley C raised the issue of potential damage to the skin of hands if gloves are worn for 3 hours and it was suggested that at a certain stage during a session, all gloves would need to be changed in order to prevent this. There would also possibly be a set ‘refreshment time’ in order to prevent unnecessary movement around during the session.
Questions were raised regarding toilets, use of mugs, bidding boxes and need to keep possessions and clothes separated. Linda explained that the Community Centre have completed a risk assessment to address many of the necessary issues. The question of payment for sessions was discussed and it was decided that a system of tickets that could be bought and exchanged for sessions was thought to be the best idea and will be organised.
The meeting was asked with a show of hands how many would return to play at the moment and all present felt they would be prepared to do this. Linda talked of the effect of fear on people and also how the eventual opening of our club would impact on others.
Sue C said we would need to undertake a risk assessment and Moira explained how this had been undertaken at the golf club. Margaret asked if tables would be limited and Sue C suggested that perhaps we would be able to hire the large hall for the Thursday afternoons. Moira added that the golf club checks everyone in for the track and trace system and Linda added that this would be via the Bridgemates.
It was suggested by Lesley C that if tables are limited then a booking system be arranged in order that we can ensure we do not exceed numbers for social distancing.
The ebu and their formal approval for our return to play was raised. Richard said we would need to check on our insurance liability. Nick L added that the ebu may not wish to take on any responsibility and therefore we should not seek their formal approval and he strongly agrees that it is important for us to get back to playing. He added his congratulations for the thought and processes which had been put in place.
Linda addressed questions regarding the cleaning arrangements that will be undertaken by the centre staff and the possibility that we will be able to book from September.
The meeting closed at 8pm.