Minutes of AGM – Tuesday 4th December 2018

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGTHE SHIPLAKE TENNIS AND SOCIAL CLUB.   TUESDAY 4th DECEMBER 2018

Honorary President Present:

Len Mitton

Committee Members Present:

Tim Dunn (Chair), Diana Jones and Q Jones (Joint Treasurers), David Channon (Secretary), Rachel Richardson (Junior Secretary).

Other Members Present:

Andrew Stallwood, Amanda Andrews, Sheena Darke, Clare Pelling, Janette Verrall, Peter Robertson, Charlie Calderbank, Sarah Waiton, Karen Peters, Helma Marlow, Fiona McKechnie, Simon Blackwood, Sandra Greenslade, Andy Waiton, Richard Ormerod, Graham Cooper, Tim Rose.

  1. Apologies

These had been received from Paul Shienfeld, Nikki and Andrew Botteril and Anne Richards.

  1. Approval of 2017 AGM Minutes

Acceptance of these minutes was proposed by Q Jones, seconded by Andy Waiton and approved unanimously by members present.

  1. Chairman’s Report

TENNIS COURT RESURFACING

At last year’s AGM, the Chairman reported that following an LTA organized survey and subsequent report, all 3 courts needed to be resurfaced. Following an extensive tender process, the courts have now undergone Phase 1 of the resurface and will be painted in Spring 2019. The work was completed within budget and time-scales with the total expenditure being £51,250.80. The final payment of £6,256.14 will be made following the colouring and white lining of the court in Spring 2019. All funds were budgeted and accounted for in 2018. A more comprehensive breakdown is available in the minutes of the October 2018 Committee meeting.

The LTA recommends resurfacing takes place every 12–15 years. The courts had not previously been resurfaced for 18 years.

DEFIBRILLATOR

Following a training session on how to use a defibrillator in the summer and an assessment of the practicality of the location of the Social Hall’s defibrillator, it was decided that our club needs its own to be situated near the club house.

You will see that we now have our defibrillator installed in a cabinet on the corner of the clubhouse.

ACCOUNTS

The Committee and in particular the treasurers, continue to keep tight control over expenditure.

Q will report on the overall financial position in a moment, but I would like to make a couple of points after my first year in the role.

The membership fees have remained below the rates for clubs in our region. The income from the fees allows us to break even, but does not provide a surplus for additional or extraordinary expenditures.

The court resurfacing was a major capital expenditure and has left us with a small balance for future capital expenditures. The LTA recommends that clubs should maintain a “Sink Fund” of £5,400 per annum on the basis of court and floodlight maintenance over a ten-year period. For this reason, Membership Fees are proposed to rise for 2019. The new fee structure is based on extensive financial and market research by the committee to ensure they are appropriate. We have also based our sink fund on a 12 year plan rather than 10 year to lower the cost.

Adult £110 or £120 if paid late.

Junior £40 or £50 if paid late.

There is no change to Joining fees, Coaching fees and Social members.

During 2018 we did not have a social committee or social secretary on the committee. As such we have done little in terms of social events throughout the year and consequently had very little financial outlay for social activities.

Fortunately, this will change for 2019, with a new Social Committee being established, but this will result in the club providing some financial support to social events rather than them being 100% self-funded.

TEAMS

At Shiplake T.C. we play in two different County competitive leagues, Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

Shiplake Teams in Oxfordshire Winter League – three ladies, two mens, in the Summer League – one ladies, one junior under-18 girls. In the Berkshire Winter League –  two ladies, one junior under-18 girls, in the Summer League – one ladies, two mens.

All the Teams in both Oxordshire and Berkshire are doing their best to remain in the division they are playing in but always their goal would be a promotion to a higher division.  If the promotion happens it means it is even harder to gain wins and remain there but that is what competitive sport is all about. Of course one more important factor comes
into the matches, it is meant to be enjoyable and a general team spirit is crucial to how the club views its team tennis.

Shiplake have an excellent reputation in the these leagues as a sporting, welcoming, fair side to play against and this reputation should continue.  The Club is very grateful for all the many, many members who give up their time, energy, to compete for the Club, and welcome any new members who may be interested in playing for these teams.

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

Matt and Peter – for the maintenance

Howard Poll, Marcus Binning, Rachel Richardson, Karen

Peters and Tim Rose 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

Sheena Darke & Amanda Andrews – Captain of the Ladies C Team

Tiina Verran – Ladies Berkshire summer league Captain

Tina 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.

OUR COMMITTEE

I would personally like to express my gratitude for the support I have received in my first year in the chairman role from my colleagues on the committee. Having the experience of the rest of the team at my disposal has made my role significantly easy in a very busy year.

As mentioned earlier, we have not had a Social Secretary this year and I’m delighted this will change for next year.

Q and Di are stepping down as treasurers after 5 years and Karen will be stepping down as membership secretary. Nobody could actually remember how long Karen had been in the role and the consensus seemed to be “many, many years”. I can’t overstate the impact these three people have had on the club and I’d like you to join me now in showing our appreciation.

Following the nominations and ratification of the new Treasurer, membership secretary and social secretary, we will have a full committee for 2019 and your support for the new team (in which I still include myself!), is appreciated.

PRESENTATIONS

Following his report, the Chairman made presentations of flower bouquets to Diana Jones, outgoing joint treasurer and to Karen Peters, outgoing Membership Secretary and of wines to Q Jones, outgoing joint treasurer.

These were accompanied by rousing applause from all the members.

The Chairman then indicated the Committee had decided to instigate a new award: The Jones Shield, in commemoration of the enormous amount of work undertaken for the Club by Di and Q Jones as committee members over the last five years. The first recipients of course were Di and Q themselves and he had had their names engraved on the shield accordingly. He then presented the shield to Di and Q, indicating the intention is to award the shield from time to time when a truly exceptional contribution is made by a member. This was accompanied by rousing applause from all present.

  1. Treasurers’ Report

The accounts we are presenting to you this evening are different from previous years.

In no order of priority these differences include:

Income

On the income side for member dues we have seen little change.

The difference between the years reflects debt collection done in 2018 for 2017 where some members had not paid timely.

Thanks are due to Jeanette for her untiring work collecting our used balls for recycling – good for the environment and great for the club. £280 was raised for the club from this source in the year.

Junior Coaching

Junior coaching figures reflect  refunds given for inclement weather in the spring and one month less of income due to the October courts closure. Hence the small loss.

Boundary Dispute

£600 of legal fees have been incurred for our neighbour boundary dispute in the year. We have a final form of agreement ready for signature with Mr. Evans but he will not sign unless the Memorial Hall as our landlord are included in the agreement. There is no privity of contract with the Memorial Hall and Mr. Evans and quite rightly they do not wish to join the  party. We will see what happens over time.

Website

As can be seen from the reduction in spend, costs are now stabilised as forecast. The website now fulfils all of the functions intended and, having dealt successfully with the requirements of GDPR, is being used as the go-to message medium for our members and the various groupings.

Paypal has continued to work well for the club and its members and their costs to us are stable.

Balls, equipment and maintenance show significant reduction as we expensed the work on our lights and lighting poles in the P & L account last year.

Final Result

The year reflects a very small deficit compared with 2017 and reflects a continuing sensible control on costs.

Cash Balances Reduction

The last and very significant element of change in the accounts reflects the reduction in cash balances of the club – from £57k to £16k at year end – a reflection of the investment in the reconstruction of court 3 and the resurfacing of courts 1 and 2.

Other Matters

Chiltern Sports Contractors performed to time and to contract cost. There are no extras.

The club has accrued in these accounts the expenditure remaining –  in round figures £6k – for the outstanding work in repainting the courts and provision of the windbreaks. We also hold a 2.5% retention on the contractor and a 2 year workmanship guarantee.

After discussion with our auditor it was agreed that we would not take first year depreciation in the 2018 accounts as the work was only finished a few days prior to the year end. Thus it will not feature until the next set of accounts.

Our chairman has dealt with the issue of provision of a sinking fund for future replacement cost of the floodlights and courts and we commend the decision to create this fund.

The other capital investment has been the defibrillator – costs of this have been written off in the P&L account.

Thanks

We all know this is the last of 5 years as joint treasurers and some thanks are due.

To Diana who has worked tirelessly as data entry queen for 5 years and has done so much work in the background, including riding point on the courts contract with Chiltern – at the courts 2 or 3 times a day to ensure smooth running -great job.

To Peter Greenslade for his ongoing support as auditor. The club is fortunate to have a seasoned professional doing a very thorough job and it is an excellent check and balance for the club.

To David Channon as ever for doing the second signatory role on payments.

To our fellow committee members – We have thoroughly enjoyed working with you over the last 5 years.

The depth of talent on the committee, to be able to manage safeguarding, health and safety, GDPR and other statutorily imposed requirements is remarkable for a club of our size and it is terrific that  we are also fully compliant with the latest LTA set of requirements.

We both wish the new committee the very best of luck in the future.

I will be happy to answer and questions.

Diana Jones took the opportunity to thank the committee and club members for their support throughout her  five years as joint treasurer, which she had thoroughly enjoyed.

  1. Fees for 2019

The Chairman formally proposed the fees for 2019 as £110 for adults (£120 if paid late), £40 for Juniors (£50 if paid late). The fees for Joining, Coaching and Social Members to stay the same.

There followed a discussion of the proposed fee levels:

Joining Fee

Karen Peters asked why the joining fee has been exempted from an increase? Sandra Greenslade wondered if a joining fee is needed at all. Sheena Darke indicated that Wargrave club dropped this fee seven years ago. Tim Dunn noted that a joining fee helps prevent members dropping in and out of membership. Rachel Richardson pointed out that, as regards juniors, she makes no distinction in fees whether the junior is joining for the first time or is rejoining. David Channon pointed out that we do not currently have a waiting list and we have heard from the primary school that less families with young children are moving into our area than previously; therefore this is not a good time to put people off from joining us. Tim Dunn concluded that the committee would assess the joining fee further during the coming year.

Membership Fee

Tim Dunn pointed out that Diana Jones had conducted extensive research into fees charged by other clubs in the area, which showed  that our club fees remain very competitive, especially as we don’t charge for use of floodlights as some other clubs do. Graham Cooper understood that only a smaller increase is needed to cover the sinking fund, so why had we made effectively a £35 increase? Was it simply because this was what emerged from the comparisons with other clubs?  Tim Dunn responded that all the increase was needed to cover the sinking fund requirements and reminded the members that we had in fact reduced the increase by scheduling the fund over twelve years rather than the ten years suggested by the LTA.

Graham also asked whether the committee had considered the possibility of less members rejoining in January due to the fee increase and whether the increase proposed is therefore adequate?  Tim Dunn responded that this matter had been fully debated within committee prior to setting the proposed fees. Sandra Greenslade suggested that if we did have this problem we should consider a membership drive in the spring.

Following this discussion our Chairman formally commended the fees for 2019 (see Item 3 above) to members. This motion was formally proposed by Q Jones, seconded by Richard Ormerod and carried by members present with one abstention.

  1. Appointment of Auditor

Q Jones indicated that Peter Greenslade had agreed to undertake this unpaid role for yet another year. The appointment was formally proposed by Q Jones, seconded by Janette Verrall and approved unanimously by members present.

  1. Election of New Committee

David Channon pointed out the nominations, proposers and seconders he had received as follows:

Chair: Tim Dunn. Proposed by Amanda Andrews, seconded by David Channon

Treasurer: Charlie Calderbank. Proposed by Diana Jones, seconded by Q Jones

Secretary: David Channon. Proposed by Richard Ormerod, seconded by Jonathan Palmer

Junior Secretary: Rachel Richardson. Proposed by Janette Verrall, seconded by Andy Waiton

Membership Secretary: Andy Stallwood. Proposed by Tim Dunn, seconded by Rachel Richardson

Social Secretary: Helma Marlow. Proposed by Nicki Botteril, seconded by Andrew Botteril.

All the above nominations were approved unanimously by the members present.

  1. Changes to Club Rules

David Channon indicated he had reviewed the current club constitution and suggested two changes:

– to make new members aware of our rules and byelaws by referring them to the club’s website rather than handing them paper copies on joining the club,

– to render the Rules and Byelaws gender neutral by changing the term ‘chairman’ to ‘chairperson’ etc..

These changes were put to the vote and approved unanimously by members present.

  1. Any Other Business

Janette Verrall asked why she could not get the floodlights on sometimes on dark days. Q Jones replied that they were set not to come on before 3pm.

Janette also wanted to be able to identify which members had booked a particular court so she could approach them, e.g. to ask them to modify their booking to accommodate her team’s requirements. Tim Dunn responded that this might be difficult bearing in mind current GDPR requirements, however he would bring this up at the next committee meeting.

Amanda Andrews asked why the LTA affiliation fee shown in the accounts for 2018 was twice that shown for 2017. Q responded that this simply reflected the timing of payments. There had not been any increase in the annual affiliation fee.

Janette asked if the arrays of hooks on each court for hanging clothes etc. could be replaced. Q Jones indicated that those removed were rotten and so had not been replaced. Sandra Greenslade asked why this could not be agreed now? David Channon indicated that this item was already under consideration, resources are currently limited, however it would be considered alongside a list of other proposed expenditures to be debated at the next committee meeting.

Janette and Sheena Darke asked why the ball supplier Henley Sports no longer gave the club a discount. Tim Dunn promised the committee would look into this matter.

Sandra Greenslade asked why Henley Sports no longer conducted evening racquet demonstrations which she felt had been enjoyed by the members. Karen Peters suggested he had probably lost interest. Sandra also felt the club should express its thanks to Tina Dalzell for her amazing flower displays. All present concurred with this.

Sandra concluded by proposing a vote of thanks to the committee. This was greeted with applause by all present.

This is a certified copy of the minutes of the AGM meeting of the Shiplake Tennis and Social Club held on 6th December 2018:

Please see a copy of the signatures page here.