Report from 2015 AGM

Minutes of 2015 Annual General Meeting held Thursday 19
th November at 7.30,


Committee: Members:


Nailsworth Subscription Rooms

Les Haines (Acting Chair); David Watts (Secretary); Deirdre Lister (Treasurer); Fern Bratby; Fred Ashworth; Derek Pitt.

Gail Smith; Pam Brown; Gavin Pond; Judith Haines;

Mark Peer (Tennis Club); Jonathan Duckworth (NTC); Emma Bonner (NTC); Heather Nicholls (Minutes)

John Rowley (Chairman); Liz Rowley

  1. Registration and Welcome:

    The Acting Chairman, Les Haines, welcomed those present and thanked everyone for their continued support. A convivial glass of wine with ‘nibbles’ was enjoyed by all on a wet November evening, prior to the beginning of the meeting.

  2. Minutes of AGM 12th November 2014.
    Minutes approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman. If anyone wishes to refer to them they have been placed on the website.

  3. Matters Arising:
    It was resolved (see Item 6): ‘The next step is for the trustees to engage with the Charity Commission about a change of status to that of a CIO’. The outcome is outlined in the following Chairman’s Report.

  4. Chairman’s Annual Report:
    Firstly, may I welcome you all this evening – thank you for supporting our charity,

    Nailsworth Youth & Community Enterprise. I am deputising for our chair John Rowley who, with his wife and fellow Trustee, Liz, is visiting family members in Australia. They send their apologies.

    At last year’s AGM it was resolved that the Trustees pursued NYCE’s ambition of benefitting from changes to charity law by becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation or CIO. The advantages of taking this route are many, including enabling NYCE to become a legal entity in its own right, limiting Trustees’ personal liability and most importantly enabling acquisition for the first time of the freehold of the site, including the land which is leased by Nailsworth Tennis Club. Many of you already know in fact that the Charity Commission granted us CIO status in April along with the new charity number, 1161113.

    After a great deal of work behind the scenes, the Trustees have also negotiated with the former custodian trustees (Ambition, the successors of the National Association of Clubs for Young People) to transfer the freehold to them, thereby securing the future of the premises for the benefit of the local community. The charitable objects of NYCE remain unchanged. The role of the Trustees is to enable appropriate services to be offered here by other people properly trained and motivated to do so, to maintain and improve the property and to hire out space to members of the community for various functions. These developments represent a significant turnaround in the fortunes of the Subscription Rooms as not many years ago there


was a risk that charitable youth work carried out at the venue would cease and the assets lost to the people of Nailsworth.

Our new constitution also allows the Trustees to invite other interested parties and user groups to nominate a representative to enhance the management team and they have voting rights. Invitations were duly sent to Nailsworth Town Council, Nailsworth Tennis Club, Phoenix Table Tennis Club and the Community Workshops. The latter also has a role in representing the views of smaller user groups such as circus skills. It is important that all users have a voice about what is best for the Subscription Rooms although any major decisions made have to be for the general benefit of all users.

It is a significant point of interest and heartening to note that all the user groups started life here on these premises and without exception, under their leaders, and with active encouragement from the Trustees, have gone from strength to strength. I also feel that they will have even more success in the future.

We continue to make internal and external improvements to the appearance, general comfort and sustainability of the building through a phased refurbishment programme. This has been made possible by accessing grants available in the county and by increasing income mainly through the hiring of the space and by working in partnership with user groups.

In the past 12 months, changes include better lighting in the main hall, installation of a stair lift from the workshops on the lower ground-floor to the landing (and WC), the fitting of 4 double-glazed windows in the main foyer and adjoining toilet block and the fitting of 2 secondary glazed windows on the upper stairway and above the foyer door. These are all visible changes. Less obvious have been some essential roof repairs and re-pointing.

Also some internal decoration has been carried out recently plus some substantial tree felling to remove dangerous specimens between the tennis courts and our neighbours’ land. Working parties are a regular feature to ensure that inside and outside look presentable. Also you can all see some new tables and chairs in this room sourced by our keen supporter, Iain McIvor, to whom we are grateful.

The next phase of this major makeover will be a new entrance area and side doors at the front of the building to replace a very dilapidated area. Work started in October with the removal of the asbestos roofing and metal structure. This project is being funded partly by a grant of £10,000 from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust and the rest by our own funds (about one third). We will also need to spend some time and a little money in 2016 on tidying up the ground at the rear and side of the property.

People are often surprised when they see the range of activities which take place in the building - especially what is available for young people. We fully support our user groups in the development of their offer so well done to the Phoenix table-tennis club, Community Workshops, the badminton players, circus skills, fitness and dance classes and the drama students and tutors of Ruskin Mill College for all their hard work. Throughout the year a wide variety of other groups and individuals have hired space for music events, dances, meetings and private gatherings. Our hiring


situation is favourable but there is still some capacity for further bookings. Trustees have recently been looking at altering the space requirements even when a regular block booking is underway.

In summary many local people over the years have worked hard to safeguard the Subscription Rooms and its grounds for the benefit of the community, particularly young people. The threat that these amenities might have been lost has now passed and in securing the freehold we can look forward with much more confidence as we continue to develop the facilities. Older buildings like ours are costly to maintain but we have reduced that burden by making many energy saving improvements as well as increasing comfort levels and sound insulation for users.

Finally, on behalf of John, our Chair, I would like to thank all the current team of Trustees for their commitment and work in making this a reality. Fern, Fred, Deidre, Derek, Liz (in absentia) please take a bow! We are fortunate too in having Pam supported by Gavin on site throughout the week and they act as the public face not only of the Workshops but of the Subscription Rooms and are there to answer queries about bookings and to show people around. Special thanks also go to David, our secretary, who helped me bring some complex legal issues to a successful conclusion this year. And of course all their time is given freely. New Trustees nominated by the main user groups, will following this AGM become more involved in the administration and running of NYCE and I welcome them to the team.

5. Statement of Accounts: Treasurer’s Summary

Amazing year for the NYCE, we now own the building outright and have new status as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Since I started in March 2008, it has been the main aim of the NYCE to claim back the ultimate ownership of the building from a London based organisation who gained control through a legal technicality. My personal thanks go to all those involved - in particular David and Les who have spent many hours reading dry documentation, dealing with Ambition and lawyers to make this historic event possible. I for one and (I am sure) one for all are delighted with this achievement.

In this year from the last AGM on 12/11/2014, we have spent £16,043 on refurbishment to the building (a total of £155,350 to date since I started keeping the records). There has been £3,560 spent on damp proofing, electrical £3,231.60, tree maintenance £1,200, windows in the coffee bar £4,719 and roof work £1,629.The annual regular rental income is around £23k (2014 £22k).

There are a few irons in the fund raising fire and a grant for the work started at the front of the building on canopy and doors of £10k was achieved by Les and Pam’s hard work. The total cost of this is expected to be around £14k. Work is started but no costs incurred yet.

There is £18,081.72 (2014 £17,937) in the bank accounts at the time of writing this report. I have attached accounts for the financial year to date. Any further information can be given on request.

Again thanks to all our partners including: Phoenix Table tennis, Community Workshop, Nailsworth Tennis Club and Ruskin Mill.

On behalf of the Committee, Acting Chairman extended his appreciation to Deirdre for all her hard work, attention to detail and expertise in keeping the Charity’s finances in order.


6. Election of Officers:

The Chairman highlighted the new situation, following the change of the organisation to charitable status and confirmed that the meeting was eligible to vote in eight Trustees. The Chairman was pleased to report that the current eight Trustees had all agreed to continue in their roles. The Chairman proposed that those eight current Trustees be voted in en bloc. The meeting agreed unanimously with the proposal. A list of the committee members is attached to these Minutes. The next Committee Meeting will invite community/user groups to join the organisation. It was confirmed that Iain McIvor had agreed to be a co-opted member. The Chairman confirmed there was no limit to the number of Trustees that could be voted into the organisation.

For the benefit of the meeting, the Secretary, David Watts, explained the difference between trustees co-opted and those who were simply trustees. A short discussion followed on this topic.

7. Resolutions:

The Secretary, David Watts, suggested a resolution to formally ‘wind up’ the old designation. Deirdre had already transferred all funds from the old to the new, updated the website and cross referenced on the charities website. It was felt that the Charities Commission should be advised of these intentions. The Chairman said he had no objections to these suggestions.

8. Questions:

Mark Peer thanked the Committee for their efforts in securing the premises and getting it registered;

The Chairman asked whether everyone present were kept well informed about NYCE and said that Nailsworth News was used regularly to inform the public with the latest item being published in the October edition, other local media was used as appropriate and the website was currently undergoing a major revamp;

A member of the audience proposed that perhaps next year’s AGM should be held in Australia, so that John could chair the meeting. The Chair responded
by saying that for that to happen everyone would have to pay their own air fares!

The meeting was formally closed.





John Rowley

Fern Bratby


Deirdre Lister

John Rowley


David Watts

Fred Ashworth


Committee Member

Fern Bratby

Les Haines

Committee Member

Les Haines

David Watts

Committee Member

Liz Rowley

David Watts

Committee Member

Fred Ashworth

Derek Pitt

Committee Member

Derek Pitt

John Rowley