Committee Meeting Minutes – 9th Mar 2021

Minutes of Committee Meeting – 9 March 2021

Present: Marcus Bining (MB) – Chair, Charlie Calderbank (CC) –  Treasurer, Rachel Richardson (RR) – Junior Secretary, Karen Peters (KP) – Membership Secretary, Helma Marlow (HM) – Social Secretary, Olly Bonser (OB) – Secretary, Nick Wrigley (NW) – H&S Officer

  1. Matters arising from the previous meeting
  • Most actions had been dealt with.
  • Note needs to be sent to members regarding recording when guests play and the need to pay a guest fee
  • Gate to court 3 still needs securing
  • KP had looked at roadside banners to promote the club, but it was felt that other methods of promoting membership availability would be more effective (eg Henley Standard, Shiplake and Binfield Heath newsletters, word of mouth etc.)
  • OB and MB to create a comprehensive list of roles and responsibilities at the Club
  • Website changes had been made, but still need a wider brainstorm session with David Bell
  • Q Jones had provided a vast amount of historical information, documents etc.. to MB
  • All Committee members need to review all policies and then sign document confirming that this had been done
  1. Membership Renewal Status
    • 127 adults
    • 63 juniors
    • 7 social members
    • 3 honorary members
    • 4 new members since January
  • Four email reminders had been sent to members who had not yet renewed
  • 54 still haven’t renewed (mix of juniors and adults) – if all these members renewed, this would put us back to 240 members
  • We have lost several longstanding members who have moved out of the area
  • For those who had renewed, shoetags had been delivered – many thanks to Di, Helma and Nick for the hand deliveries, saving a large amount on postage costs
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  • The Club currently has a surplus of £35,471 which includes: £16,218 in the 32-day sink fund account; £963 in the main account; £17,347 in the paypal account; and £943 in the sports and social account
  • This leaves the Club in a healthy financial position, despite membership numbers being down
  • Most membership revenue goes into the paypal account, and then operational costs and sink fund contributions come from this account.
  • We should therefore have enough money to pay for clubhouse repairs and new decking
  1. Junior Matters
  • Junior tennis camps to start on 29 March.
  • The camps may clash with Shiplake College on some of the proposed dates
  • The Clubhouse cleaner would be asked to clean when more was known about the clubhouse/decking timings.
  • We must make sure that the children can only enter the premises if it is safe for them to do so, bearing in mind any work to the clubhouse and decking area. They will need to access the courts from the side gate, and we will probably need to padlock the normal entrance gate to courts 1 and 2 to reduce the risk of people walking through an unsafe area. NW and RR to liaise on the gates nearer the time when more is known about the clubhouse and decking works.
  1. Social Events
  • HM has been planning a few ideas once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
  • One idea is for Sunday 23 May, a BBQ could be held at the club for up to 30 people (legally permitted after May 17) after the Club session. We would need to know who was attending in advance to ensure no more than 30 people attended. It was agreed that the Committee would provide all food and drink for the BBQ. The BBQ situation would need to be managed carefully regarding the cooking of burgers/sausages/chicken. As many Committee members as possible should be present to welcome back the members. New members in particular should be specifically invited to both the tennis and the BBQ so they could meet other members. We would need to invite the membership through Karen’s membership list as it was felt that the usual list is now very out of date and has many people on who are no longer members.
  • Another idea was to host a large event after June 21 – the suggestion was a Friday night tennis session followed by finger-buffet style food. The proposed timing of this event would allow more than 30 people (assuming the government’s plans went ahead). If the June 21 restriction lifting was delayed, hopefully we could still have the event but just up to a maximum of 30 people.
  • We could invite the Henley Standard to these events and they could help promote the club in the local area to encourage new members to join.
  • A bulletin would be sent to all members once these ideas were more developed. Karen would send the updated members list to David Bell who would then send out the bulletin asking members to “Save the Date”.
  • The Committee thought that these were all excellent ideas and that we should make them happen.
  1. Current status of dispute with Neighbour
  • Mr Evans, the complainant, had sent another letter, this time with a plan of where he thought the boundary should go. The Club does not own the land, so has no influence on boundary disputes; the Memorial Hall owns the land – the Club just rents it, so this is not our dispute, and we will not have any further correspondence with him on the boundary issue.
  • However, we have said that we would put up hessian fencing where it is needed in regard of the nuisance complaint
  • This situation has been ongoing for many years and we will be writing to Mr Evans with our very final position on this matter.
  1. Health & Safety
  • Check-in signage has been put up all around the club premises, so there is no excuse for people not to sign in; data should therefore be available on who has been playing (member and guest) at any one time.
  • Play can be resumed for members on 29 March
  • According to LTA guidelines, club sessions can be legally held at the Club, but there is to be no group socialising before or after playing
  • If work isn’t completed on the clubhouse by then, then it may be difficult to have too many people waiting on the side terrace, and people may need to wait on the grass areas outside of the main entrance gate
  • No food or drink will be provided for session participants
  • MB will speak to Mike Lynskey, who runs the session rota and organises the volunteers; Mike will need to give detailed instructions on how the sessions need to be managed
  • Much of what we can and can’t do at the sessions will depend on how the decking and clubhouse repairs are going, so we will need to wait until nearer the time to determine how things need to work. Whatever happens the Club sessions must go on!
  1. Clubhouse update
  • There has been lots of progress and we have decided on the contractor to carry out the works.
  • The anticipated cost will be c.£5,500 (c.£1,300 for the clubhouse and c.£4,200 for the decking replacement)
  • Members were asked to help remove and clear the decking – many thanks to Tim Verran, David Blomfield, Nigel Richardson, Pete Roberston and a few other willing helpers who spent a Saturday morning doing this. The Henley Standard was invited down by Nick Wrigley to take some photos and write a report based on an interview with Nick. This will hopefully give the club some local profile and highlight that we are looking for new members.
  • Once the decking was removed, it was seen that all the power cables had been stuffed messily under the decking, so a trench will need to be dug in which to put the cables to make it neater and safer.
  • The joists and timber were rotten, but they were more than 20 years old so they just need replacing.
  • The contractor will start as soon as the weather improves.
  • The decking boards have been ordered and will take 14 days to arrive, and then it will take 5 days to instal the decking. The decking in front of the clubhouse will be done first.
  1. AOB
  • Do we need to consider a new floodlight in the dark corner (the corner near Chris Fisher’s old house)? Could we get planning permission? Could we afford it? It was discussed for a while, but overall it was felt that the benefit of a small bit of extra light wouldn’t outweigh the potential hassle and problems in getting the lighting set up.
  • It was agreed that we should also get the Henley Standard back to the Clubhouse once all the work had been completed as a before and after, and to help promote the club. As mentioned above, this could also involve them attending one of our social events.
  • Club Championships – MB said that the Championship Committee would be meeting in a couple of days to finalise everything. The Finals Day had been set at 12 September; the draw for the tournaments would be made virtually
  • MB suggested setting up a WhatsApp group for the Committee – it was agreed that this was a good idea.
  • Visitor scheme proposal – to be discussed at the next meeting
  • MB asked about court usage stats. OB said that he had worked with David Bell last year to look at some court usage stats and he would find these and send them on.


  1. KP to send note to all members asking them to sign-in and sign-in and guests
  2. NW to oversee the fixing of the Court 3 gate
  3. OB and MB to create list of roles/responsibilities
  4. MB et al to set up website brainstorm session with David Bell
  5. All committee members to review policies and confirm this had been done
  6. NW and RR to liaise regarding gate usage/safety issues for Junior Tennis Camps
  7. HM to develop social/tennis events and send bulletin to members (esp new members)
  8. MB/CC to liaise with solicitors to send appropriate letter to Mr Evans
  9. MB/NW to liaise with Mike Lynskey on Club Session Management
  10. MB to set up WhatsApp Group
  11. OB to provide court usage stats

Date of next meeting:

  • Tuesday 4 May 2021 at 7.30pm
  • Location TBC