UNAPPROVED AGM MINUTES - 2020
UNAPPROVED MINUTES OF THE VIRTUAL ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD BETWEEN 23 MARCH AND 4 APRIL 2020
Notice of an AGM to be held at the lecture meeting at the Coalport YHA, Telford on 4 April 2020 had been circulated to members on 31 January 2020. In the light of the subsequent worsening coronavirus situation, this meeting was cancelled on 14 March 2020. In order to satisfy the Society’s constitution, be able to make financial returns to the Charity Commission, and continue managing the Society by way of a properly elected committee, members were given notice on 23 March 2020 that the AGM would be held by email. This approach was endorsed by the Charity Commission in its online ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector’, which said, “Where there is no such clause in your governing document [to allow charities to meet virtually or to use telephone facilities] and you decide to hold meetings over the phone or using digital solutions, we will understand but you should record this decision and that you have done this to demonstrate good governance of your charity.”
On 23 March 2020 papers were sent to the membership of 97 households by email, or by post where no email address was available, with a request for votes to be returned by 4 April 2020. 33 votes were so received, all in favour of items 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 below.
1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the AGM of 6 April 2019 were APPROVED.
2. REPORT FROM THE CHAIRMAN AND OFFICERS
The chairman’s report had been circulated to all members, as follows:
- We were very sorry to cancel the spring 2020 meeting, but our paramount concern was the wellbeing of our members and speakers. In order to fulfil statutory requirements and allow the Society to continue operating, we are taking the unusual step of holding this AGM by email.
- Until the progress of coronavirus is understood, it is difficult to say when we will be able to hold our next meeting, although the autumn one is scheduled for Saturday 3 October. However, we hope to continue producing and distributing the quarterly newsletter to you.
- In the last year, the Society held two most enjoyable meetings. Our thanks go to everyone involved in the organisation of these, particularly the programme secretary, Brian Allaker.
- During the year, the Society has published four interesting and high quality newsletters. Our thanks go firstly to Chris Brown as editor for his time and hard work compiling these; secondly to Roger Thornhill and his son David for producing such a professional and brilliantly laid-out magazine; and thirdly to everyone who has contributed articles. Between you all, we now have a newsletter that is the envy of the ceramics world.
- As you will have read in the last newsletter, Chris has decided to stand down as editor, a post that he has held for the last 12 years. If we had been having the scheduled meeting, we would have been able to thank Chris in a more tangible way, but that will have to wait until we can meet again. For the time being, I will just say a very sincere thanks to Chris for his enormous contribution to the Society, not only as editor since 2008 but also as the holder of various offices since the year 2000.
- I would also like to thank all of the other officers and committee members for their contributions to the running of the Society. We can be proud that, as a result of their input, we have an active and thriving Society run on a professional basis.
- Although not officially a member of the Society, I would like to thank Kate Cadman for her input. She works tirelessly behind the scenes to support us.
- You will all have seen the photographs of the terrible flooding that hit the Coalport China Museum with the appeal letter that was sent out on behalf of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. Thank you to those who have contributed so far. If you haven’t yet contributed, I would urge you to do so to help the Museum get back on its feet.
- On this score, I would also thank Kate and her team at Coalport for their hard work in restoring the Museum.
- As you will see from the accounts produced by David Wright, the Society continues to be in a healthy financial state. David is retiring as treasurer, a post he has held for 6 years, although he is continuing as a committee member. Our thanks go to him for the meticulous way he has kept the Society’s accounts.
- Current membership of the Society is 97 households, slightly higher than at the same time last year.
- At the last AGM, I announced that editions 1 to 60 of the newsletter would be available digitally. An order form will be included in the next newsletter for members to purchase these either on a single DVD or memory stick.
- Sales of the pattern book were buoyant last year, with more than two a month being sold. By the end of last year, the pattern book had raised a net total of just over £12,000 for the Society.
- We were very grateful to be given the late John Dismore’s collection by his son. Its sale at meetings has so far raised £905 and will continue. We are also able to claim gift aid on the amounts raised.
- Finally, the committee is always looking at how things can be further improved for the benefit of members, whether it be the format or content of meetings, the newsletter, or any other Society matter. If you have any suggestions, please let me or any other committee member know.
3. ACCOUNTS FOR 2019
The income and expenditure accounts for the year ending 31 December 2019 had been prepared by the Treasurer, David Wright and circulated to all members. In line with Rule 23, these had been examined by John Benbow. David had highlighted that the financial situation continued to be sound.
It was AGREED that the accounts as presented be adopted.
4. SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 2021
In the light of the financial situation reflected in the accounts, it was AGREED to keep subscriptions for 2021 unchanged i.e. UK: £20 per household; overseas in sterling: £25 per household.
5. ARRANGEMENTS FOR EXAMINING THE ACCOUNTS FOR 2020
John Benbow had kindly offered to examine the accounts for the financial year 2020. This was AGREED.
6. ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS FOR 2020/21
The following elections were AGREED:
Chairman - Chris Riddle
Secretary - Roger Thornhill
Treasurer - Thelma Smith
Archivist & librarian - Richard Collier
Meetings organiser - Chris Riddle
Membership secretary - Ivor Smith
Newsletter distribution - Chris Riddle
Newsletter editor - Roger Thornhill
Press & publicity - Olly Cartwright
Programme secretary - Brian Allaker
Committee member - Simon Bailey
Committee member - Allan Smith
Committee member - Ann Stubbs
Committee member - David Wright
Registered charity no 1137851