Committee Meeting Minutes 10th Sept 2019

Shiplake Tennis and Social Club
Minutes of Committee Meeting 10th September 2019


Present: Tim Dunn TD Chair, Charlie Calderbank CC Treasurer, Rachel Richardson RR Junior Secretary, Andrew Stallwood AS Membership Secretary, Helma Marlow HM Social Secretary, David Channon RDC Secretary


  1. Matters Arising from Last Meeting

– Arrange summer BBQ event: Insufficient interest from members (HM)

– Consider other events, including those not including tennis: Bring a plate evening, with tennis, arranged for 13th September. Little support for non-tennis events (HM)

– Investigate awning alternatives: Investigations carried out but decision to defer purchase to next season (HM)

– Look into safety requirements for stepladder purchase: Done (RDC) and suitable ladder purchased (HM)

– Send thankyou emails: Done (RDC)


  1. Membership Status

AS reported we currently have a total of 296 members, including 36 who have joined this year (22 adults and 14 juniors). A further six are currently being processed. In accordance with our new policy stated in the June minutes, if this takes our total membership beyond 300, then only local applicants will be considered until the membership drops below 300 members again.


  1. Treasurer’s Report

CC reported balances in our accounts as follows: £1882 in the 666 account, £1171 in 160, £6998 in the deposit account and £8952 in Paypal, for a total of £19004. This compares with £15941 last year. Although we are still over a month away from our financial year end October 31st, CC felt we are on course to be able to save the budgeted £5100 p.a., or an amount close to it, towards the eventual next resurfacing etc. of our courts (the so-called ‘sinking fund’).

CC plans to investigate taking out a new account with a minimum investment of £10,000 (to include the sinking fund) to give a better interest rate than our current deposit account.


  1. Next Year’s Membership and Coaching Fees

This was discussed in detail and the figures agreed. TD will propose at the upcoming AGM.


  1. Preparation for the AGM

It was agreed that this will be held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 3rd December in the clubhouse. The format and organisation will be the same as last year. AS agreed to provide drinks and nibbles. HM suggested a ‘save the date’ note to all members; RDC will arrange.


  1. Junior Matters

RR indicated her main concern at present is the lack of a second Coach. Our Chief Coach Tim Rose is doing his best to find one, but there is a shortage of trained coaches on a Saturday morning throughout the region.  Otherwise the coaching has been proceeding well, with additional support from helpers.

RR indicated she is happy to continue as Junior Secretary for a further year but prefers we look for volunteers to run the Junior Championship next year. It was agreed that the need for volunteers to run this plus the Senior Championship and Wimbledon Draw will be highlighted as an agenda item at the AGM. This matter will also be added to the note to members sent prior to the AGM.


  1. Social Events

HM reported that a Christmas Party is planned for 6th December. She has already put a note out to all members. This will take the form of a ‘bring and share’ supper; Amanda Andrews has very kindly agreed to hold it at her house. The ‘bring a plate’ event in the clubhouse has been mentioned above and a similar event is possible in the new year. RDC asked if HM could persuade the Bergers to repeat their popular ‘Burgers with the Bergers’ at a Sunday club session next year!

HM expressed the wish that members email any suggestions for future social events, to


  1. Health and Safety

RDC reported two accidents in the Incident Book since the last meeting. Both were relatively minor, not requiring an ambulance or later treatment. He noted that the number of accidents has dramatically decreased since the courts were re-surfaced.

AS reported that a member had been slightly injured by the gate to Court 3 flying back at him and hitting him in the face when thrown open. RDC agreed to look at the problem to see if a modification to this gate could be made.


  1. Status of Dispute with Neighbour

TD reported that Mr Evans has a new solicitor who has contacted us again to have the existing proposed agreement expedited. This agreement would require the boundary he has proposed between his property and ours to be staked out, a fence erected at his expense and a light-reducing screen erected at our expense at the boundary, to lessen the effects of our floodlights on his property. However this agreement is possible only if the freeholder of both Mr Evans house and our premises, i.e. the Memorial Hall, agrees to become a party to the agreement and in the past they have declined to become involved. RDC will raise this again at the expected December Memorial Hall committee meeting, however it is felt they are unlikely to change their position. The onus is on Mr Evans to persuade them to become involved, otherwise agreement to his proposed boundary definition etc. is not possible. TD will respond through our solicitor.


  1. Possible use of Sonning Common Courts

TD indicated we have been approached by South Oxfordshire Council in relation to a planning application from Sonning Common Parish Council to construct some new tennis courts there. Would we wish to use them if constructed?

This was discussed in detail. It was felt that the times when our club needed additional courts were rare: e.g. occasionally at club sessions and during the summer championship. It was agreed that RDC would respond indicating it is unlikely our club would use those courts on a regular basis, however we might wish to use them occasionally if there were no cost to our club involved.


  1. Procedure at Club Sessions when there are members waiting to play.

A proposal was put forward by a club member that instead of reducing the number of games played when there are members waiting to play to six it would be better to keep to the eight games but have ‘sudden death’ each time a game reaches deuce, i.e. at 40 points all, the winner of the next point would be the winner of the game. The member feels that this would shorten the waiting time and ensure that each participant gets two service games.

There was much discussion of this proposal. In summary, the committee agreed to some advantage that each player would get two service games but did not agree that the waiting time would usually be shortened. Further, it was felt that many members would prefer to play full games, i.e. not shortened by the ‘sudden death’ deuce. Therefore the proposal was not agreed. RDC to respond to the member.


  1. Reduced Rate Membership

A number of cases have been raised where individual members have requested reduced membership fees for various reasons including injury or availability limiting their ability to play. A discussion then followed and the committee agreed that there would be no reduced membership fees or refunds available.


  1. AOB

HM proposed that we should thank all those who organised or assisted with the club championships this year. This was agreed unanimously.


  1. Next Meeting

This was agreed as 7.30pm on Tuesday 4th February in the Clubhouse


Actions before Next Meeting


TD      – Prepare speech for AGM

– Respond to Mr Evans solicitor re: boundary agreement


CC      – Produce Year-end accounts

– Research deposit account with better interest rate

– Prepare speech for AGM


AS      – Provide drinks and nibbles for AGM


HM     – With others on the Social Sub-Committee, arrange Xmas Party

– Continue to arrange further social functions (see above)


RDC    – Conduct Re-registration procedure at LTA website

– Prepare agenda, notices, ‘save the date’ etc. for AGM

– Investigate/expedite possible improvements to gate to Court 3

– Raise the issue of Mr Evans boundary agreement again at the next Memorial Hall       committee meeting

– Respond to local council re: use of Sonning Common Courts