2017 AGM minutes


Minutes of Annual General Meeting held Thursday 29th November 2017 at 7.30pm in Nailsworth Subscription Rooms


Trustees: Les Haines (Acting Chair/ Charity Secretary), Deirdre Lister (Treasurer) 

                 Fred Ashworth, Fern Bratby, Iain McIvor, Derek Pitt, Tracy Shipp, Jonathan 

                 Duckworth (Nailsworth Town Council), Pam Brown (Community Workshops), 

                 Peter Cluer (Nailsworth Tennis Club) later, Michael Davis (Phoenix Table- 

                 Tennis Club), co-opted: Alice Watson (Circus skills)


Others Present: Mark Peer, John Rowley, Liz Rowley, Judith Haines, Gavin Pond


Apologies: There were no apologies


  1. Minutes of Previous AGM 10 November 2016: 


The Minutes had been approved by the committee at its first meeting in 2017 and had been placed on our website.


  1. Matters Arising


There were no matters arising.


  1. Acting Chair’s Report


May I extend a warm welcome for your attendance at our Annual  General Meeting this evening; it is especially good to see some old friends back again. This meeting was announced in November’s                 


The Committee of NYCE, now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, continues to work to meet its charitable object i.e.” the provision of facilities for education in particular, but not exclusively, for young people resident in Nailsworth and the surrounding area through their leisure time activities”. In furtherance of meeting this object, the Trustees have been busy again this reporting year carrying out essential practical and governance functions which I will detail in a moment. This report is in essence a summary of what we have done and is in praise of teamwork and partnership development.  

Some members of the Committee have worked successfully together for over ten years now but this is the first full year of having our Town Council and User Group representatives fully engaged in this process as Trustees. This has strengthened our performance capability, provided much needed stability to the Charity and increased the flow of ideas. At the same time this has reduced the average age of the team a little – which is beneficial for the prospects of the Charity into the future.

The range of activities which take place in the building continues to expand. As you know, the ground floor is home to Practical Intelligence whose workshop classes go from strength to strength. The Phoenix Table Tennis-club continues to prosper and now has nine teams in the Stroud League


(its largest constituent club, I believe). The number of Circus skills classes has increased in line with a growth in participation levels; badminton players continue to enjoy the facilities each week.

The Tennis Club, as tenants of our land are very active in the day time and evenings throughout the year offering friendly/social tennis sessions, coaching sessions for juniors and senior members and County League Matches; teams from across the county come here frequently to play in the League matches which are always hotly contested. The Tennis Club committee continues as ever to keep the three courts and infrastructure in tip-top condition and for this the Trustees are very grateful.

These sports all help to consolidate the Subscription Rooms’ rich sporting heritage which extends back to 1960 (almost 60 years).

We also have weekly meetings of a community choir, harpists, Spanish learners and an addiction group; then there are music events, quizzes and parties at regular intervals. 

We thought in the Spring that we were to permanently lose Ruskin Mill as a partner but fortunately they changed their minds and students and staff came back in good numbers at the start of term.

To give a focus and direction for our work Trustees produced and adopted a new 3 Year Business Plan in time for the start of the current financial year. It is written under the key headings of Legal and Management Considerations, Team Development, Development of the Building and Grounds, Format of Delivery, Marketing and Promotion and Finance and Fund-raising. Progress of the Plan is reviewed every 6 months and the first review has been carried out recently. 

The additional hiring activity touched on has put the Charity in a strong financial position which enables the self-funding of a long list of improvements this year, the most important of which are:  

Installation of light sensors and heating controls in the upper ground floor rooms and toilets to conserve energy; building of a new enclosed storage area off the hall and paint it (thus freeing up much needed space elsewhere); fitting of new emergency double doors for the doorway from hall to lower staircase; commission a contractor to paint the walls, ceiling and beams in the hall (we took the opportunity to vacuum clean the long curtains at the same time) and making the new front entrance canopy damp-proof. That work has been carried out since April and the costs of about £14K will appear in the next set of accounts (not this). All this work has made the building even more energy-efficient and comfortable and more attractive to the eye; and it was all done without recourse to outside grants.

We are always keen to save money, so Trustees also carry out work group sessions for grounds maintenance and interior painting tasks – without payment of course.               

In fact, if one looks back to 2008 when we commissioned a major building survey report detailing all that needed to be done to make this place fit for purpose you will soon realise how far we have come in that time and how much voluntary effort and hard cash has been expounded to make it happen. Our next expenditure and effort will centre on painting the stairwell area from the hall to lower ground floor, painting the cafe and the upper stairwell and perhaps fit a kitchenette, modernising the old toilet block and purchasing new folding chairs and portable stacking for them. Also we are going to improve our security arrangements with installation of CCTV and a side- gate which is currently being made by the Workshops.   


But the work of the Charity isn’t only about the maintenance of the building and its land. We are also required to exercise due diligence, adhere to the Charity Commission’s rules and keep our users safe when enjoying the facilities. For example, earlier in the year we conducted a review of our safeguarding policies and asked the User groups to do the same. Having largely reassured ourselves, a Trustee, Tracy, came forward to take the lead on safeguarding issues. But this subject is not the sole responsibility of one nominated person; it is the collective and ongoing responsibility of everyone. If anything remiss comes to notice or any complaint is made, the expectation is that a Trustee will be informed immediately and appropriate investigative and remedial action commenced.    

Promotion of our work and of the facilities is ongoing. A Facebook page has recently been created, our newish website is regularly maintained and Nailsworth News receives regular copy from us. Trustees took the opportunity in April to have a display stand at the Mayor’s new-style event at the Town Hall and engage with the town’s wider voluntary and community sector. May I make another plea on Tracy’s behalf for photos and text for Facebook and website as our promotion tools.   

 On a slightly contentious note, I have been happy to serve as your Acting Chair this past year as no one else wanted to take on the role. We attempted a rotating chair system but that has not worked out. But as I have pointed out in committee, the role of Charity Secretary also rests with me and it is very poor practice for there to be no division of roles. We have a hard-working and careful Treasurer and with the Secretary duties covered, the Chair’s job is an easy one!   

This has been another year of solid achievement with a lot of positive stories to tell. Our bookings situation at present is very good but there is still some opportunity for room hire at quieter times of the week – so please spread the word on that front.

Finally, may I record a big ‘thank you’ to all of the team for what has been collectively achieved for the benefit of the local community - all of it done, I repeat, on a voluntary basis. Some contributions have been greater than others, particularly on the finance and building improvement / maintenance aspects of our work -Deirdre, Fern and Derek, take a bow! It is good to see that the team will look similar into the New Year; Alice has agreed to step up from being Co-opted to become a Trustee. But I think we still need one or two fresh faces as we consider the sustainability of the Charity so we will be making a further plea in early 2018 including an article in Nailsworth News.  I am happy to try to answer any questions.Thank you.

  1. Treasurer’s Report:

Another quiet year in general but the front of the building has been improved further with a complete refurbishment of main hall with more to come.

In this year from the last AGM on 22/11/2016, we have spent £15,557 on refurbishment to the building (a total of £190,739 to date since I started keeping the records in 2009). There has been £7,601 spent on storage area at back of hall, £3,100 on decoration and expenditure on doors of £2,415.79, The annual regular rental income is around £25k (2016 £23k).  Of this £1,710 relates to income from parking. 

At this stage a small amount of money has been earmarked for projects eg CCTV, Tree maintenance & some further work on the hall floor to provide small kitchen facilities to allow separate rent of the coffee bar.  No big projects in the pipeline at the moment.


There is £25,795.30 (2016 £23,380) 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.  We also have other user groups this year including Narcotics Anonymous, Yoga, The Harp Orchestra, Circus Skills and Spanish classes.

The Financial Accounts and Charity Report for 2016/17 will be updated on the Charity Commission’s website.

  1. Election of Trustees 2017/18:

Every Trustee had indicated their wish to stand again including Alice Watson who was co-opted onto the committee last year. No other person had expressed a wish to stand for election. The full list of Trustees with their proposer and seconder, where applicable, is attached at Appendix A.

  1. Election of Officers:  

Chair: Vacant; after a short discussion, it was agreed that from the next Trustees’ meeting in January a real effort will be made to properly rotate the chairing of meetings.

Secretary: Les Haines

Treasurer: Deirdre Lister 

  1. Resolutions: 

There were no formal resolutions.

  1. Any Questions:

Les Haines took the opportunity to ask Cllr Jonathan Duckworth, Town Mayor, if there was any news about the setting of next year’s budget. Jonathan responded that there was likely to be a small reduction in the town’s precept, full details of which would be announced soon. 

Jonathan also said that Stroud District Council has embarked on a further review of the car parking capacity, usage and charging arrangements for the District’s towns and Nailsworth will be scrutinised in December onwards. The threat of future car parking charges being imposed is therefore with us again. The Town Council has set up a sub-committee to lead on its response and it will not include any Town Councillors who also happen to be SDC elected representatives. The sub-committee will be looking to engage with the Chamber of Trade, other businesses and voluntary and community groups to measure their response and to obtain supporting evidence.       

Finally, Jonathan said that he and the Town Council were keen to build on the success of the  voluntary and community event held in April (referred in Les Haines’s report) by seeking to increase the amount of public participation. To do this they are likely to hold the event in the town centre (not the Town Hall) perhaps using a marquee. Details to be announced when known.   

Derek Pitt suggested that in an effort to get more help from members of the public NYCE should be producing a range of publicity materials such as posters and flyers to back up Facebook and the


website. This was agreed and the work which has already started on this will be given greater attention in the New Year. 

The meeting was formally closed and everyone thanked once again for their attendance.