- Apologies: Paul Hackett, David Alderson, Rosemary Brown (Oswestry)
- Matters arising: There were no matters arising from the July meeting and the minutes were signed off. Three matters were addressed from the September AGM. (dates corrected 30/3/18)
- Pay to Play
- Abandonment of Ladies' and Men’s Pairs
- Confirmation of Handover of Accounts to the new treasurer Jane Sheehan
- Pam Booth-Jones chaired the meeting welcoming Sally Boardman the secretary of Tettenhall Bridge Club and Hazel Paynter the treasurer of Eccleshall bridge club.
- Treasurer’s Report
Kath Adams reported on the success of the Andrew Robson event distributing an accounts sheet for the event which was reviewed by all present. The final operating profit of £1385.00 for the county was agreed. PBJ thanked Kath on behalf of the county for organizing the event including selling the tickets and providing the highly commended catering.
Jane Sheehan officially took over the role of treasurer and is now the authorized signer of two bank accounts being a current account which holds £6808.16 and a deposit account which holds £11904.53. Before leaving the meeting appreciation for Kath’s work as treasurer over the last 7 years was expressed. Kath volunteered to help organize another Andrew Robson event in 2019 agreeing to enquire of Andrew his availability. A date can then be finalized at the next committee meeting.
- Membership Secretary’s report
Pay to Pay is the preferred method of collecting County subscriptions by all but 2 counties in England and a discussion took place about the best way forward for Staffs and Shropshire. Eight of the twelve clubs in the county were represented at the meeting by either a committee member or club representative. After a very lengthy discussion a vote was taken. With some reluctance from Stafford to convert to Pay to Play - voiced by Ann Sleightholme which was seconded by a communication received from David Alderson and read by Paul Cutler - ‘Pay to Play’ was seen to be the way forward bringing the county in line with the majority but mainly cutting out unnecessary administrative work such as finding out who has paid and who has not, a confusion caused by joint club membership.
A surcharge of 6p was agreed, as it had been calculated that this would almost cover the current subscriptions and leave no financially disadvantaged. The county would absorb any small shortfalls. Direct members would continue to pay £3 per year. The changes will be from April 1st 2018.
If, after the first year the subsequent deficit to the county is too great, a small increase may be considered but not before monitoring and in any event not before April 2019.
- Events Secretary’s Report
Although there had been very poor support for the Ladies and Men’s pairs this year resulting in the cancellation of these events the abandonment of future events raised strong objection at the AGM in September. A discussion to find a replacement event such as open pairs or changing times of day, days of the week and months of the year all resulted in no new alternatives. The committee will monitor the absence of these events and review the concern if it remains. The likelihood of re-introducing the events is probable with enough interest although it was noted that those who raised the strongest objections do not play in these events.
The No Fear event for February 2018 is being organized by JJ. PBJ asked about the qualifying criteria, which remains the same, that is, any player below the rank of Tournament Master may enter. It is preferred that experienced players play with a lesser skilled player. The competition is open to non EBU members. Any player requiring preferential parking, dietary requirements or a downstairs table should make a note on the entry form or contact Jeff Jones.
JJ raised his concern about players not adhering to the rules of the County league such as keeping to start times, carrying up to date convention cards and forwarding information on re-arranaged fixtures.
- Congress Secretary’s Report
JM has produced leaflets promoting the 25th Shropshire Congress being held on 28th & 29th April 2018 at Telford Park Inn and also leaflets for the Shrewsbury Swiss Pairs on 4th March 2018.
The inclusion of non EBU clubs being able to enter the SIM pairs was raised. Due to the work involved in organizing, scoring, producing hands and commentaries it was agreed that the SIM pairs would remain exclusive to EBU clubs.
- Captains Report
PC reported that the County had started the Dawes season well with the first team winning 2 of their 3 matches while both the second and third teams won 1 of their 3 matches. More players are needed to fully cover this competition.
The Tollemache also started well resulting in 3rd place for the teams after half time, winning against the team that eventually won. After the second half however, the team finally finished in 5th place not qualifying for the final.
Amendments for the Dawes calendar were agreed by those present.
JV reported that county matches, in particular league matches, were impacting on the numbers playing at regular pairs sessions at Wolverhampton Bridge Club on the same night The point was bought up at the last WBC committee meeting when some felt that it is having an adverse effect and would like the county to consider moving the league to another night.
The county has considered this before and after re-consideration cannot change the league night without having a similar effect on other clubs.
In the absence of Paul Hackett, KE raised the awareness of the new data protection act being introduced in April 2018 which will impact on how clubs store personal data and details. Details on how these changes will affect clubs and how to manage the changes will be forwarded early next year.
JM reported that when the county moved from Stafford to Wolverhampton there were some trophies which were no longer needed. She offered to try to sell a couple for the worth of the silver as scrap. Only recently she remembered to take them to auctioneers where they were sold as scrap silver.
A cheque will soon be sent to her for the net amount, probably between £70 and £80 and Judy would send the proceeds to the County Treasurer.
As JJ did not want to take over the Competition Secretary's bank account and the new treasurer did not want to take them over just yet, JM would administer this account until the end of the county's financial year."
Meeting closed at 9.45 p.m.
Date of the next Meeting March 22nd 2018 @ 7.30 pm
Minutes submitted by: ……………………………………………… Date………………
Minutes approved by: …………………………………………………Date …………….