The AGM for 2009 took place at the Village Hall on 9th June.
The following is the collected reports of the various sections, beginning with the minutes of the meeting of 2008.
Minutes of the 16th Annual General Meeting Tuesday 10th June 2008
Present: D Walton (Chair), A Bloxham (Secretary), D Davis (Treasurer), J Clark (Hall), KBarton (Entertainment), C Scott (Environment), E Burley (Planning), A Hackney (Strategic Planning & OIAW), Cllrs K Trott and J Murray and 35 members.
Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm
Apologies: V and H Lees, R Trowell, B Wilcox, L Cox, L Buckley and M van der Heijden.
Minutes of 2007 AGM: Proposed R Downing and seconded B Cox that the minutes should be adopted. Carried without dissent.
Matter arising from those minutes
Concerns about managing the riverbank had been allayed by confirmation that it does not form part of the Wallington Conservation Area. Comments on environmental issues had been taken on board and were receiving attention.
Summary of Reports
Written reports from Chairman, Treasurer, Planning, Hall, Entertainment and Environment sub - committees and the Editorial Board of the OIAW had been submitted to the meeting and were summarised for the benefit of members. Comments on the reports were invited and received as follows:
The Treasurer paid tribute to the work of John Bolton who had examined the Association's accounts over a number of years and who had now left the area. A request was made for a volunteer to come forward to take on the independent examiner's role. This post will need to be filled by the Executive Committee. (ACTION: EXEC)
A question was raised as to whether WVCA had applied for grants available from CATs. (Community Action Teams). It was explained that WVCA did apply for funding for the running of the Wallington bus but the application was turned down.
It was emphasised how important it is for local residents to seize any opportunity to comment during the consultation process for the LDF. They will know better than anyone the reasons why particular areas should not be developed.
Posters identifying Himalayan Balsam and giving details of the clearance operation will be issued. (ACTION: CS)
Adoption of Reports
It was proposed by J Wilcox and seconded by R Downing that the reports should be adopted. Carried without dissent.
Election of Officers
It was proposed by R Downey and seconded by B Cox that the following were elected as Officers and Members of the Executive Committee for the year 2008/2009:
|Chairman||David Walton||Alan Bloxham||Dennis Davis|
|Secretary||Alan Bloxham||David Walton||Dennis Davis|
|Treasurer||Dennis Davis||Alan Bloxham||James Clark|
|Evelyn Burley||Arthur Hackney||Alan Bloxham|
|Keith Barton||Dennis Davis||Arthur Hackney|
|James Clark||Dennis Davis||Alan Bloxham|
|Arthur Hackney||Evelyn Burley||Alan Bloxham|
|Charlie Scott||James Clark||Dennis Davis|
|Margaret Ward||David Walton||Alan Bloxham|
The date of next year’s Annual General Meeting will be Tuesday 9th June 2009
There being no other business the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.15 p.m.
NB: The notes from the Open Forum/Discussion forming the second part of the proceedings can be found under ‘AGM Forum 09’.
30 years ago in 1979, concern over proposals to encase the river in a concrete culvert, caused the formation of WVC. On 16 May this year, 90 of us celebrated the wisdom of the Founding Members at an Anniversary Dinner in the Hall. In those 30 years, WVC and then WVCA has grown into a Charitable Community Association with a total worth in excess of £0.5M – quite an achievement you might say!
I said last year “In many ways 2007/8 has been a un- remarkable year for WVCA…..”; the same could hardly be said of this. The sudden death of our Treasurer Dennis Davis in October of last year served to remind me, not just of our own frailty, but how much we rely on certain individuals. Stabilising the financial affairs of WVCA became an immediate priority and our new Treasurer Clare, who took over in the most difficult circumstances, deserves our unreserved support and thanks.
You will have seen from the Spring OIAW that the village sites previously earmarked for development in the Local Development Framework (LDF) have all now been safeguarded; we will never know how much influence we had in that decision, but let’s celebrate the outcome regardless. Monitoring development of the “North of Fareham Strategic Development Area” (SDA) however remains a major issue and this is reflected in our proposed Aims for 2009/10, which are attached.
Some 12 months ago, recognising the synergy between the OIAW/Website and the ability to re-use material between the two media, I asked Arthur Hackney to re-launch the latter. I must confess to not having realised quite what a “poisoned chalice” that task was; suffice to say, the new website is now up and very much improved; thank you, Arthur.
The Spring OIAW contained an update on FBC’s proposals and the imminent consultation process to address the problem of Commuter parking in Residential roads in the Town Centre (which includes the Village). My message on parking is simply this: This consultation represents our only opportunity to address the problems of Commuter parking for the next 5 years; the problem WILL get worse during that period. Please follow the lead of our Founding Members and “look to the future” (Tomorrow will be too late)
Not only am I pleased that all the existing members of the Executive Committee have agreed to serve for another year, but I am delighted that Chris Morgan who was co-opted earlier this year, has agreed to serve in 2009/10.
And finally, next year represents my 2nd (and final) 3 year stint as Chairman of WVCA (I am being told that 6 years is more than enough!). It is a great and thoroughly rewarding job; applications to the Secretary by May 2010!.
As this is my first report for the AGM, I would like give some background to the preparation of the financial statements. As a small charity, with income under £100,000 we are able to report on a receipts and payments basis. The main report produced is a complete list of monies in and out for the year.
It may appear that hall income has decreased compared to last year. However, the monies collected for hiring in March were lower than usual but the monies received in April were higher resulting in an overall balance. The hall continues to be well used and appreciated. The income generated by the hall helps ensure our other objectives can be met financially.
Income and expenditure on social activities has increased this year, with successful events being held throughout the year. One of the aims of the committee is to provide a full programme of social events for this next year so the increased financial activity should continue.
As well as the list of receipts and payments in the year, we are also required to give a list of our assets and liabilities at the year end date. This is where we show what we own, where our monies are held and what we are worth. We have taken account of expenditure paid in advance and for income that is receivable but not received at 31 March. The deposits paid for the anniversary dinner have been included as the dinner was held in this financial year although the first costs were incurred before the end of March. Also included is the interest in relation to the fixed rate investments taken out last year. The interest is only paid on maturity but because the rates were fixed, I can show the accrued interest.
We are also required to state the intended use of our total funds. These are split between restricted and unrestricted funds. Restricted funds are those that have been given to the charity with restrictions to their use dictated by the donor. The unrestricted funds have been built up over the years and are split to show how the trustees have designated their use. This shows that of the funds held, £65,000 has been put aside to ensure that in case of a disaster, there would be funds to help the rebuilding of the hall. It also shows the commitment to the conservation of the water meadow with extra reserves being designated each year.
The attached financial statements are submitted for your approval.
Note: Strategic Planning issues are covered in the Chairman’s Overview and current issues and the WVCA position can be found on the website under SDA/LDF in Important Links. The following report concerns local issues only.
I am sorry to say that I have nothing exciting to report for 2008/9.
I attended, together with other WVCA representatives, the local CAT meetings sponsored by Fareham Borough Council and reported back to the Executive. Unfortunately we were not able to secure a grant even though there appeared to be a mint of money swilling about.
I will continue to keep a close eye on any developments within the village.
We hope that the style and content of the Once in a While over the last year has been attractive to members. The purpose of the magazine continues to be to entertain and to inform, carrying articles of general interest alongside those about more serious local matters.
At £3097 the printing costs are up on last year but this was largely due to the commemorative 2009 (30th Year) Calendar that accompanied the Christmas edition. The magazine is an expensive production and we do try to make every page 'count', whether text or graphics. Advertising charges were increased last year to help to offset the costs. A full-page advert costs £80 for the three editions, £40 for half page and £20 for less than half. This is broadly in line with normal commercial rates. We are not inundated with applications by advertisers, it has to be said, and we have lost a couple of regulars this year. Whilst extra revenue is welcome we imagine that you would not want to be swamped by adverts. However, adverts can sometimes help to separate the contents beneficially and they do provide a service – especially when they offer lower rates for villagers.
An important part of the service that the OIAW is intended to deliver is to carry columns for the various village interest groups. We like to think that issues are well received but welcome any suggestions about possible improvements.
In the last AGM report I explained that the Website had been taken down in order to remodel it and tidy it up. This was because, over a period of time, it had fallen into some disrepair and become out of date in several important areas. We had to hold our hands up and admit that the Webmaster, Nik McCartney, had not been as well supported by the Executive Committee as he should have been in terms of material and updates.
I reported that a local web design company had been enlisted and that it was hoped that the site would be up and running again soon. When completed the intention was that it would come under the wing of the OIAW Editorial - the purposes being not dissimilar. Unfortunately the system did not prove to be robust and the work stopped.
In October of last year we engaged a new web designer (Marks Hobbs) and the site is again operative with new material being loaded on a regular basis. One of the reasons why it has taken longer than we would wish is that the specification we gave included a requirement that a number of User Portals would be built in. This was so that certain material (e.g. News, Social Event notice etc.) could be loaded without always involving the Website maintainer – i.e. so that the site could become more dynamic and up-to-date. Some of the content will also derive from the Once in a While.
We hope that you will agree that it is looking very promising and that the new features that are planned will be useful to village Internet Users.
Aim: To maintain the hall in an "as new" condition, market it to its full potential and make efforts to reduce its carbon footprint
Another year passes and the Hall continues to be a very valuable asset for the WVCA. Above is the stated aim of the Hall Sub Committee and I feel this year that we have made a number of improvements to the Hall not only to enhance what we already have, but also to make it a more marketable and pleasant facility for our users. Below I have listed some of the things we have undertaken, this is by no means exhaustive but are some of the more major items of work. Of course the day-to-day maintenance continues under the stewardship of John Wilcox and for this we as a sub Committee are very grateful, to both him and his staff. It would be very easy to sit back and take all the credit for all that is good with our Hall, but this would be unjust. Much of the work outlined below is discussed and agreed in Committee but the actual work of obtaining quotes deciding what is needed, and the actual supervision of the job itself is undertaken by John and I personally offer my thanks to him for all his hard work.
We will continue to work on reducing the energy use of the Hall and we will be installing energy saving measures during the course of maintenance and replacement work. Users are reminded to turn off lights and turn down the heating wherever possible, and to always be minded of the need to conserve energy. We have undertaken an energy audit self-assessment and this has highlighted some areas we need to concentrate on in the coming year.
Other works undertaken during the year include the replacement of the curtains, the main Hall floor has been skimmed and resealed, and further work has been done to the general upkeep including door hinges and minor decorating work. We still find ourselves subject to statutory requirements and these are managed and actioned as and when required. Public buildings are now required to display an energy usage certificate. This new piece of legislation was considered in committee but it was found that we fell below the minimum size to make this a requirement for us. We will continue to monitor this, as it may well be the case that future requirements may change.
This year saw the sad passing of Dennis Davis, everyone is aware of his sterling work as treasurer for the WVCA but I think it may be less well known the work he also did on the Hall sub committee. He was my predecessor as Chairman and was a great help to me when taking over. He had a great understanding of the Hall and its workings and continued to serve on the sub committee after standing down as Chairman. I very much miss his presence at meetings and the help and guidance he was able to give.
Once again I would like to thank John and his staff and all the members of the committee for their work throughout the year, and we look forward to perhaps welcoming new members next year.
The last year's entertainment programme was better than I expected. Most of the events were a success and very well attended. The one failure we had was the comedy show by Dominic Holland, which was cancelled by them due to low ticket sales. This is an ongoing problem which if not over come will prevent me from putting on new and interesting shows in the hall. Most of these events cost between £400 and £700 just for the acts and I price the tickets accordingly only to cover the cost. Some of the events have had an attendance of less than 50 which means the WVCA takes a loss. The biggest problem lately has been the Forest Forge shows, the lowest attendance normally being in the autumn show. I'm hoping this will change as it would be a shame not to have them perform after all these years and every show is well worth seeing.
There is a change to the way tickets are sold, there will now be one contact for shows on in the village hall. This is to try and keep an eye on the numbers coming to an event. To try and encourage early ticket sales the cost of tickets will be higher if bought on the door. Advertising will go out sooner with the hope of having an idea on how many tickets sold a week before any event. Look out for posters on the village notice boards and in the village hall, also events will be shown on our new website.
Another social activity I would like to see started is I.T classes in the hall. I have had ago at this already but had very little interest. Now we have WiFi in the hall anyone can come in with their laptop, a few desktop's can be set up if I had enough people interested. Various skills can be taught and with enough people forming a regular group a different subject could be covered each time. If anyone is interested please call me on the numbers below. Also any suggestions on entertainment you would like to see on at the hall please call. Alternatively please look out for a suggestions box that I intend to put in the hall for any of your idea's or comments.
Up coming shows to put in your diaries
Sat August 29th - Village BBQ (Tickets through the cob & pen & event held at the pub)
Sat September 12th - Seven ages of man, (comedy theatre) supplied by hog the limelight
Sat October 3rd - Forest Forge (Around the world in 80 days)
For information on any of the above please contact me on:
The past year has been a good year for the WVCA environment group. The effort put in by all volunteers has been tremendous, and I would like to thank them on be half of the WVCA for their hard work.
This year we will be continuing with work projects on the river and its banks that include control of Himalayan balsam and coppicing. On the meadow we will be continuing with controlling the spread of brambles and selective scrub clearance.
Coppicing has been neglected for some years, so I am really looking forward to this autumn project.
Environmental issues are not just the river, water meadows and trees etc. The environment also includes the whole of the village and the people who live in it, yet I am baffled by some people’s attitude and the things that happen here. Take Sainsbury’s shopping trolleys. People in the village in general complain about them being abandoned and chucked in to the river etc. yet it appears some residents bring their shopping home in their trolleys and regularly leave them in places like the Cob & Pen car park. Due to the frequency they arrive in the car park, I’m sure the people who leave them there must be local.
Some residents are asking for a lower speed restrictions in the village, and other residents treat roads such as North Wallington and Wallington Shore Road like a race track. Some residents look after the river and participate in the annual river clearance while others use it as a disposal method for there garden waste.
I could go on with the list.
What baffles me is why in such a small community the small minority of people do the things they do. Is it they have no respect for their neighbours and the traditional village environment, or are the just unaware of the problems their actions cause for others?
I would like to remind all volunteers who intend to get involved in projects such as clearance of balsam or any other activity in the river or on its banks that the WVCA’s insurers have placed restrictions on the cover their policy gives. Amongst these clauses are: Specifically excluding cover for any person on their own in the river. And where the depth of any water at any point in the working area is 12 inches and over. These restrictions follow the current standard safe working code of practice for volunteers and are used as the basis of the WVCA’s environmental working party risk assessment.
If you want to help with any project please join in with a group activity.
The WVCA is aware the some individuals have been in previous years, working solo in the river removing balsam etc. and also entering into deep water. The WVCA and its environmental sub-group DO NOT endorse or encourage this practice. Anyone who unilaterally decides to venture in to the river or on the riverbanks to clear balsam or for any other reason, or at any time enters into water depths of 12 inches or over does so entirely at their own risk.