AGM Minutes 12th December 2017

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
SHIPLAKE TENNIS AND SOCIAL CLUB

Clubhouse, Tuesday 12th December 2017

Committee Members Present:

Amanda Andrews (Chair), Diana Jones and Q Jones (Joint Treasurers), Karen Peters (Membership Secretary), David Channon (Secretary).

Other Members Present:

Paul Shienfeld, Caroline Cousins, Zac Fisher, Jacqui Williams, Milly Thomas, Matthew Thomas, Len Mitton, Sheena Darke, Richard Ormerod, Dale Thomas, Mike Lynskey.

Welcome

Our Chair, Amanda Andrews, welcomed members to the meeting and thanked them for their attendance so close to Christmas.

Presentation of Cups and Shields

Amanda then talked us through these presentations, especially thanking our Head Coach Tim Rose for expanding the breadth and depth of junior participation at the Club and for  encouraging Juniors to participate in the LTA’s Road to Wimbledon event.

She advised that nominations by Tim Rose for the Sandra Greenslade Shield for the Most Improved Junior were: Dylan Gadsdon, Zac Fisher and Ashleigh Poolen. The winner was Zac Fisher. The trophy was presented to him jointly by Sandra Greenslade and Tim Rose.

Amanda Andrews then presented a voucher to Millie Thomas in recognition of reaching the finals of the ‘Road to Wimbledon’ competition and also participating at Ladies’ match level.

Amanda then presented the Chairman’s Shield for Most Improved Adult to Caroline Cousins, on behalf of Lorna Cousins, who could not be present.

Agenda Items:

1. Apologies

David Channon indicated that apologies had been received from: Rachel Richardson (Junior Secretary), Sue Koomen (Social Secretary), Tim Dunn (Prospective Chair), Clare Pelling, Helma Marlow, Andy and Sarah Waiton, Nigel Richardson, Sharon and ‘Pugs’ Hearn, Gary Butler, Kate Binning and Janette Verrall.

2. Minutes of the 2016 AGM

Amanda indicated that a signed copy of the 2016 AGM minutes had been on display on the Club noticeboard during the past year. Acceptance of these minutes was proposed by Sheena Darke and seconded by Sandra Greenslade.

3. Chairperson’s Report

TENNIS COURTS

The Committee is very well aware of constant remarks being made about the Courts and their state of play by a number of playing members.

Following the last full committee meeting in November, The Committee has decided, unanimously, based on Chairman’s recommendation, that a report on the state of the courts be organised through the LTA, who would nominate a firm expert in court surfaces to visit the STSC courts, study their condition and make recommendations to the Committee on what, if anything, needs to be done.

That report is now available in abridged form.

Amanda then drew the meeting’s attention to the key points from this abridged report:

– All three courts require resurfacing  within the next 6-18 months

– There is settlement and displacement to Court 3, sufficiently significant to warrant a trial section investigation. If this trial section reveals a sub-base defect this court may have to be reconstructed.

– The Club should allow £20,000 + VAT for resurfacing Courts 1 and 2 and a further £25000-£27500 for the reconstruction of Court 3, should this prove to be necessary.

Amanda continued: This Committee has taken the view that, bearing in mind the heavy investment made in floodlighting and in the significant expense incurred in updating of the Club website over the last 18 months, it was wise to have a pause before embarking on what could become a very significant capital expenditure item with a related severe effect on the Club’s financial reserves.

You may remember that there was an investigation into the Court surfaces four years ago. This also involved the LTA and the obtaining of quotes from contractors expert in this field.

At that time the strong recommendation of both LTA and all of the quoting contractors was that all of the courts were in excellent condition and that no action was necessary and indeed would be a waste of money. The then Committee took the advice and adopted that recommendation.

Amanda indicated that the full report from the LTA’s recent inspection should be available soon. She asked that the Committee be given time to absorb the full report and to work out how to implement it within the Club’s financial capabilities.

FLOODLIGHTING

The Club has invested heavily in new floodlighting in the previous financial year.

Playing Members have generally been delighted with the improvement in lighting levels for play brought about by the provision of the new poles.

In the financial year just ended the Committee authorised expenditure on maintenance of the existing poles to bring the lighting levels up to the standard of the new poles.

To that end, all of the lamps were replaced, all poles and reflectors cleaned and the installation checked for compliance with current regulations.

At the same time a new timeclock was installed which automatically adjusts for the beginning and ending of British Summer Time.

You may recall that we are constrained on the provision of new poles by the planning requirements of the local planning authority, whose overriding concern, expressed in writing, is consideration of the Club’s neighbours and their views on the acceptability of the provision of new poles.

The Committee took the view that, although ideal for the Club, a new pole on Court 1 adjacent to the home of Club Members Mr and Mrs Fisher and family would be too obtrusive and, although shown on the original plans drawn up for the Club by its professionals, decided that it would be unacceptable given the light that would be thrown on the Fisher property.

It was this revised lighting plan which received formal approval from South Oxfordshire District Council.

You may also remember that, on completion and early use of the new floodlighting, that the Committee were contacted by Mr. and Mrs. Fisher with a request to deal with the angle of the reflectors on the new pole on Court 1 because of light intrusion into their house and garden.

The Committee undertook an inspection with Mr. and Mrs. Fisher at their property and as a result of this requested the contractors to return and adjust the reflectors to try and improve the position for the Fisher family.

The adjustments did the trick, and, while this has meant a slight reduction in lighting levels in the north eastern corner of Court 1, all ended up satisfied that a reasonable result had been achieved for all interested parties.

You may also be aware that the Club neighbour Mr Evans, whose home is behind the eastern end of Court 3, has been a constant thorn in the side of the Club over lighting levels and intrusion on his property, amongst other complaints, since early 2000!!

Regrettably, but necessarily, this has involved lawyers, and under Q’s remit, the matter is almost at an end with an agreement in place and small adjustments to the boundary and planting due very soon.

At the moment, therefore, there is no appetite for making a further planning application for additional lighting poles, given the planning and neighbour issues, and not to forget the possible expenditure on the Courts in the current financial year which will use an awful lot of the Club’s reserves if the work were to go ahead.

Other maintenance and property issues have been addressed this year, including court cleaning, the purchase of new patio furniture and the refurbishment of our traditional benches. Matt Thomas has once again become invaluable to the club for his role as Maintenance Man and I hope you will join the committee in thanking Matt for his hard work again this year.

ACCOUNTS

Despite some large item expenditure, Q and Di have held a tight rein on our accounts and I am very pleased to report the numbers look healthy. Q will update you all shortly on the bigger picture.

Work was also been undertaken and completed by the committee on a Health and Safety policy and a Safeguarding policy. As you can imagine both policies are legal requirements and with that comes a rigid and comprehensive framework we have been obliged to follow.

TEAMS

Our teams have had mixed fortune in the past year. The Ladies A team notably flying the flag for this corner of South Oxfordshire by having a very successful season and being promoted to the newly formed Premier League in the Oxfordshire Winter league.

The Ladies B team has seen a lot of injuries and illness of late, but I’m happy to report Janette Verrall is back at the helm and is hoping to steer the B team to success again. The Ladies C team had a satisfactory season finishing mid table.

Amanda then asked Richard Ormerod, Men’s B Team Captain, to comment on the Men’s teams’ results.

Richard reported that in the winter (Oxfordshire) league the Mens’ A Team finished 10 out of 13. They have been relegated to Division 2 but this is due to reorganisation of the divisions. The Mens’ B Team finished 2nd in Division 5 and have been promoted as result! In the summer (Berkshire) league the Mens’ A Team finished in first place in Division 5A and was promoted as result! The Mens’ B Team finished 3rd out of 6 teams in Division 7B. Richard commented regarding the difficulty of finding regular players for the teams: e.g. a total of 18 players was used for the Mens’ B Team in the winter league!

Amanda continued: Our Juniors go from strength to strength and now feature in many adult league teams. Notable additions to the Ladies C team are Zoe Richardson and Lottie Botterill both of whom provide a breathe of fresh air and young legs.

Meg Hearn and Millie Thomas also continue to progress and have both played for the Berkshire B team.

The Mens and Ladies Summer League teams continue to do well with both teams providing further competitive tennis to many of our players.

THANK YOUS

Once again the club is indebted to many of its members for their ongoing and valued support. Tirelessly and without seeking any attention or gratitude the following people deserve our thanks:

Paul Shienfeld for the supply and distribution of club and match balls

Mike Lynskey – for the club session rota

Tina Dalzell – for the beautiful floral displays on our patio

Matt Thomas- for the maintenance

Tiina Verran. Janette Verrall, Jacqui Williams, Tim Rose, Rachel Richardson and Karen Peters for their work and help in running a very successful Club Championship

Our team Captains:

Clare Pelling with Nikki Botteril, Captains of the Ladies A Team

Janette Verrall – Captain of the B Team and the Ladies summer Oxfordshire team and an extra thanks for delivering shoe tags in Shiplake

Karen Peters – Captain of the Ladies C Team

Caroline Cousins – Ladies Berkshire summer league Captain

Tiina Verran and Sharon Hearn – The Berkshire winter league Captains

Tim Rose – Captain of the Mens’ A team

Richard Ormerod – Captain of the Mens’ B Team

Peter Greenslade – for auditing our annual accounts.

Finally, a special thankyou to a lady who has worked tirelessly over the years as a team captain for both the ladies A & B teams. If she could have captained the mens’ teams she probably would have! She has been our oracle on tennis rules, she’s pulled more teams together and driven to more matches than she cares to remember. She’s the only player I know who can keep score on the other court as well as the court she’s playing on! The committee felt her extraordinary commitment to the tennis club was worthy of special mention. I am pleased to say that she is staying on as match secretary, but she has hung up her captain’s hat for Shiplake Tennis Club. Amanda then asked members to join her in thanking Sheena Darke for her work and dedication over the years. (There followed enthusiastic applause).

CHARITABLE DONATION

Our Charitable donation this year: £50, in lieu of Christmas cards, has been made to the Penny Appeal, a charity which supports many worthwhile causes, including the Rohingyas who are currently being persecuted and exiled from Myanmar.

We hope you agree that this is worthy cause.

OUR COMMITTEE

After several years of service, It’s time for some fresh blood and impetus at the helm. I’m very happy to confirm that Tim Dunn is our new Chair elect.

I’m sure Tim will bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to the role as well as testosterone which will help with the current hormonal imbalance. I’m sure like the rest of the committee you will support and welcome Tim in the Role.

We are Very Very Lucky to have secured the continued service of the rest of the committee, with the exception of Sue Koomen who, it is expected in the near future, will depart to the west country. Until then Sue will continue as Social secretary. But now seems an opportune time to formally Thank Sue. (There followed a round of applause).

So that Leaves Q and Di, Karen, Rachel and David. The commitment, dedication and diligence that these people should be commended.

An awful lot of unseen work by the Committee goes into many club matters . Without exception this committee are fair, hardworking, honest , unbiased and modest . They work tirelessly to serve the club and its members and to them all I am entirely grateful. However, these people do not grow on trees, and cloning as far as I am aware is illegal and unethical! Next year and beyond, they will require successors. And once again I ask you to sit down and reflect on how you can help the club. If you need any food for thought, let me give you some definitions of the word MEMBER : Associate, Affiliate, Fellow, Participant, Supporter, Colleague, Partner, Representative.

This club can not rely on the participation of the few. Many many of you enjoy many benefits of the club for a bargain price. And remember, no one has ever become poor by giving.

So for the very last time as chair, I ask you to thank this committee for serving you and the club for another year. (There followed a further round of applause).

4. Treasurers’ Report

Diana and Q Jones presented all those present with a copy of the Income and Expenditure Account, Cashflow Statement and Balance Sheet, all as of the last year end 31.10.17 and signed off by Peter Greenslade our auditor.

Q Jones then proceeded to comment on the accounts as follows:

The accounts we are presenting to you this evening show the Club’s financial affairs are in good shape today.

INCOME

On the income side, for member dues we have seen the increase in dues approved at the last AGM reflected in the income received, together with a significant number of new member joining fees.

Breakdown of Membership income last year is as follows:

Junior Membership Renewal £5,035.00

New Junior Membership £560.00

New Adult Membership £2,610.00

Adult Membership Renewal £12,215.00

Total Income to the Club: £20,420.00

We are indebted to Karen for her never-ending attention to Membership and visitor income and the tight control she maintains.

The following breakdown of membership forecast for 2017/18 you may find interesting:

Adult Members

Currently 177

Vast majority pay £75 as they renew before Jan 31st.

Averagely 30 don’t renew each year, to be replaced by those on waiting list.

Thus £11,025 from existing Adult members.

Junior Members

Currently 162

Totalling £4,860 if they all renew promptly,

What usually happens with Juniors is that quite a few don’t renew as they no longer do the coaching, to be replaced during the year with those who are doing the coaching.

However, those who join during the year pay the higher membership fee of £35, so this figure isn’t too far out.

Social Members

10, of which 5 are complimentary

Total £50

New Member joining fees (adults only): 14 adults on waiting list so £60 each totalling £840.

They also pay the higher membership fee of £85.

Total subscription income for 2018 will be. £17k. +/-

Coaching

Coaching income reflects a continuing positive position and includes collection of a number of delinquent dues from last year which has helped.

For the first time these costs include a monthly fee to Tim Rose, our indefatigable coach, who takes so much on board with the administration of the Club Juniors together with a never ending representation at the Club for events of all kinds.

The Committee agreed that a fee of £250/month should be paid to reflect all that Tim does for the Club beyond coaching.

Can I also thank Rachel for all of her work in streamlining the administration of the coaching and Juniors which has also had a great effect on income collection.

We have also benefited from the introduction of online coaching enrolment, no pay no play, which has much helped income collection.

PAYPAL

95%+ of income for the Club now comes through PayPal and this reflects the convenience of this payment method on the website for Members, with a one stop shop for membership enrolment and coaching rather than having to then go to a different website for payments to be made.

BALLS, EQUIPMENT AND MAINTENANCE

The increase in costs here refers to the maintenance on the poles and reflectors and light replacement on the existing floodlights.

The Club invested heavily in new floodlighting in the previous financial year.

In the financial year just ended the Committee authorised expenditure on maintenance of the existing poles to bring the lighting levels up to the standard of the new poles.

To that end all of the lamps were replaced, all poles and reflectors cleaned and the installation checked for compliance with current regulations.

At the same time a new timeclock was installed which automatically adjusts for the beginning and ending of British Summer Time.

WEBSITE

I referenced this earlier when looking at income.

Running Costs in the year totalled £4,215, which relate in the main to implementation of the website itself – there has been a lot of once-only setup entry cost once we really got going – much of this input is now handled by individual Committee Members, whereas in the early stages all of us needed to help.

Annual core cost of running the site for the current year should be as follows:

Monthly website support package £1,200.

Annual Website Hosting fee £119.

Annual Domain renewal £20.

Annual SSl Certificate £99.

Annual WooCommerce PayPal Pro Hosted Gateway £127.

Annual Website Plugin purchase to power form for Junior Coaching (no pay no play) £79.

Total of all this is an annual £1,644.

David Bell, our consultant, has been a huge help to the Committee in getting the site up and running and he has not charged for much of the additional assistance. We have all needed to learn how to input directly to the site.

LEGAL COSTS

Boundary Dispute – £1,342.

We reported on this dispute at length at the last AGM and the saga has been ongoing.

We have a draft agreement with Mr. Evans’ solicitor at the moment and are waiting to hear back.

The legs to the Agreement are as follows:

Memorial Hall are not involved – does not affect our lease with them.

Mr Evans stakes out boundary and we agree.

He will erect a fence along the agreed boundary at his expense.

He has right of access on reasonable notice to STSC to enter and maintain said fence.

STSC will erect 2 hessian screens at 2 gaps to screen out light, at STSC cost.

STSC will circulate all members instructing them to switch off the floodlights once playing on any and/or all courts has ceased.

STSC pays £250 to a charity nominated by Mr Evans (they asked for £1,500!!)

Parties bear own legal costs.

We are at this time awaiting a response to the draft agreement submitted.

There will be some further legal costs to finalise everything which we will endeavour to keep to an absolute minimum.

BALANCE SHEET

Cash balances are the most important feature for the Club. At the accounts date balances totalled £57,740.

For the year the accounts reflect a small increase in cash balances and include for the first time the PayPal account.

I should mention that the analyses available to us from PayPal, not just for Treasurers but for membership and Coaching are hugely helpful in assisting all of us to manage our functions.

We continue to depreciate the floodlighting, all other assets having been previously written off to zero.

This annual write off is reflected in the decrease in net assets.

CASH FLOW STATEMENT

I have no comments on this

FINANCIAL ASPECTS OF COURT RESURFACING

Before inviting questions, which I will try and answer or get back to the questioner after the meeting, I want to touch on the financial aspect of the question of court resurfacing/replacement touched on by the Chairman.

As you know, the courts inspection by the LTA Rep was on Tuesday December 5th. (attended by DJ) – we can resurface 1 and 2 but 3 may need complete reconstruction – report to follow.

In the view of the Rep., time span for 1 and 2 resurface is within 6-18 months – thus a choice of Spring 2018 or Spring 2019 is what it comes down to.

Indicative pricing suggests 2 x £10k for resurface of 1 and 2 and for Court 3 up to £25k.

Thus total would be £45k. Plus 20% VAT for a total of £54k +/-.

This is without any netting replacement.

That could be say £5k. + 20% VAT for a total £6k.

Thus total costs could amount to £60k +/- without allowing for any contingencies or professional fees if needed.

As a reminder we have £53k. in the bank at this time.

Our Membership Fees remain incredibly low.

I know we will be doing nothing at this AGM to raise fees.

Therefore to achieve what is necessary to deal with court resurfacing/possible replacement of Court 3 needs more cash then we have in the bank.

We could not start without having the cash available.

We also need to maintain a reservoir in the deposit account to deal with unforecast issues.

This Club has never as far as I am aware had a sinking fund to prepare for capital items which need to be replaced.

This is also an issue which this Committee is going to have to study as well and its introduction for the future would ensure cash availability for replacement expenditure.

We are going to have to find a solution, which could be:

– A one off levy for Adult Members,

coupled with

– an increase in Adult Membership fees

and/or

– a Loan from the LTA

At the same time Committee members need to be able to call on competent professional advice if necessary to protect the Club and themselves and this can cost real money.

We need to make sure that financial resources are available to the Committee and that it is armed with the necessary financial resources to deal with all issues.

We are fortunate that our Committee, in the last 12 months, has been able, from its own resources, to put in place a Health and Safety Policy, current with good practice, by David Channon, a Safeguarding Policy second to none, put in place by Rachel Richardson and a work in progress by myself dealing with the general Data Protection Regulations for the Club, as mandated by the EU, which come into effect in May 2018.

All of this reflects the high level of professional skills available in the Club committee an no cost – which is a very fortunate position to be in.

Food for thought for all of us I am sure the sub-committee will be considering all of this.

THANKS

My thanks as usual go to:

Peter Greenslade for his ongoing support as auditor

Diana, our Data Entry Queen

David Channon, for doing the second signatory role on payments

Karen – Mem for short – for her untiring work in reconciling payments made to the membership list and to

Amanda – for all her hard work and dedication to the Club. Always there for us.

Q then asked if there were any questions members would like to raise concerning the accounts.

Richard Ormerod asked regarding the cost of Paypal. Q drew his attention to the £892 figure indicated in the Income and Expenditure accounts and commented that this expenditure was good value bearing in mind the ease with which payments are now made and received and the very useful reports generated by PayPal.

Sandra Greenslade asked whether Mr. Evans would be able to raise his boundary concerns again, even after the envisaged legal agreement is completed. Q responded that that would not be possible. The agreement embodies a ‘full and final settlement’.

5. Fees for 2018

Amanda confirmed that no increase in fees is proposed for 2018.

6. Appointment of Auditor

The re-election of Peter Greenslade as auditor was approved.            

7. Election of new Committee

Amanda indicated the nominees, proposers and seconders as follows:

Nominee Position Proposer Seconder
Tim Dunn Chair  Amanda Andrews David Channon
Diana Jones Joint Treasurer Caroline Cousins Tina Verran
Q Jones Joint Treasurer Robin Andrews Howard Poll
David Channon Secretary Richard Ormerod Jonathan Palmer
Karen Peters Membership Secretary Sarah Waiton Sandra Greenslade
Rachel Richardson  Junior Secretary  Janette Verall Andy Waiton

 

There were no objections to these nominees and no other candidates were proposed. Amanda indicated that all the above nominees were now approved.

8. Any Other Business

Sandra Greenslade asked whether our Head Coach Tim Rose attended any courses each year, to keep himself up to date with coaching methods, and whether the Club paid for these. Amanda indicated that any courses attended by Tim were paid for by him. Karen volunteered that Rachel would be asked to check whether Tim went on any courses.

Dale Thomas asked whether the Ladies’ Team practice session on Monday evenings would continue through the winter period. Amanda responded that it would.

There was a general discussion on how the Club could identify new committee members. Amanda felt that each member should make some contribution or at least sound out those who might be interested. Karen asserted that such voluntary activity can upgrade one’s CV and so enhance one’s career.

There was a discussion led by Richard Ormerod regarding how to get more men in the Club suitable to play in our teams. Richard felt that, when assessing applications, priority should be given to good players.

Finally, a presentation of a large flower bouquet was made to Amanda as a token to thank her for all her hard work for the Club over many years. This was followed by a rousing round of applause.

Click here to download committee meeting signatures for 12th December 2017.