Nailsworth Youth & Community Enterprise

Minutes of Annual General Meeting held virtually at 7.30 pm on 

Wednesday 25th November 2020 

 

Present: Les Haines - Chair, Tracy Shipp (Minutes), Fred Ashworth, Fern Bratby, Deirdre Lister, Derek Pitt, Jonathan Duckworth, Pam Brown, Iain McIvor, Dave Parker        

1. Welcome: 

LH welcomed everyone to the Subscription Rooms’ first-ever ‘Zoom’ -enabled AGM and thanked Iain McIvor for making the technical arrangements.

2. Apologies:

 Sophie Forster (vehicle broken down), Mark Peer (work), Andy Hammond, Simon Wade. 

3. Minutes of Previous AGM held on the 28th November 2020: 

 The Minutes were circulated on the 28th November 2019 and approved at committee on the 15th January 2020. 

4. Matters Arising:

There were no matters arising and they were accepted as a true record and published on the website.

5.  Chair’s Report: 

Les Haines reported “2020 will always be remembered as the year that the coronavirus, Covid-19, arrived in a wave of deadly destruction from the east of the globe and spread across the UK causing untold misery to families and placing enormous strain on the National Health Service. Lockdown 1 caused months of closure for much of our business and after a period of easing in the late summer and autumn, Lockdown 2 is having a similar but slightly lesser effect as we head into the winter months.   

The management team remains robust and active with just one change in personnel and the Charity continues to benefit from having Town Council and User Group representatives fully engaged as Trustees.  We are pleased to welcome Andy Hammond to the team to replace Mike Davis who has stood down after many years of faithful service as Phoenix Table-tennis Club’s representative. At this AGM we welcome two new faces, Simon Wade and Dave Parker, who the management committee would like to co-opt onto the team.  

We are indeed fortunate in having a settled team of Trustees who voluntarily carry out the governance functions of the Charity and I would like to thank all of you for your selfless contributions once again this year – we should never take this support for granted. I know I could get into trouble by naming just three people particularly, in this Covid year but I will take that risk because they have coped admirably with unprecedented and additional challenges and have worked very effectively with me throughout the pandemic. So well done Deirdre Lister for all her skilful work on our finances, Pam Brown for managing bookings, being the main contact for our client groups and for Covid control measures and Fern Bratby for time-consuming contractor / projects / utilities negotiation and supervision. I wish to mention, too, our cleaner, Maria Smith, who has been very diligent and flexible in her hours in making sure that our building is as clean and hygienic as possible for our users.   

NYCE remains in a strong financial position and this has enabled further investment in the building; bookings remain at an acceptable level and new business emerged as groups took advantage of our Covid-secure re-opening when other public buildings remained closed. Our Treasurer will give more detail about this.  

The Safeguarding of all users, particularly the young and the vulnerable, continues to be a priority for Trustees and indeed of the various group leaders and coaches who run classes and sessions on the premises. A number of leaders have received appropriate awareness training and are positively encouraged to report immediately any matters of concern. No relevant matters of concern were reported in the past year.   

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Covid restrictions prevented the Annual Town Meeting / Showcasing Event from taking place in April but hopefully sometime in 2021 the town’s voluntary organisations will once again be able promote themselves at a community event and NYCE can put its new table-top display boards to good use again. Having had a very successful Heritage Open Day in September 2019, Trustees decided not to participate this year but in any case Covid put paid to any plans. Any similar involvement by us in 2021 will be decided on at the appropriate time but we know that we have the necessary expertise in-house to make such an event a success.   

For about eleven years now Trustees have managed a successful renovation programme and at each AGM we summarise our achievements. Being custodians of an old building (circa 1852) means that there is always some new maintenance or renovation issue to plan and pay for and this year has been no exception. The following list gives you a flavour of what has been done:- 

  • Contractors were commissioned to carry out extensive stone-works following the successful cleaning of the front facade. Firstly, many damaged facing stones were cut out and replaced with new ones; then the worn out retaining wall supporting the footpath platform to the side entrance was re-built, capped with a re-configured metal balustrade at a safer height and complemented with a new end pillar; thirdly the tall chimney was re-pointed and made safe and lastly broken corner stones at 2nd storey level    were replaced. We are all very satisfied with the workmanship on display and the investment made.  
  • A reasonably-priced canopy was erected above the side door to give cover from the rain for visitors to the main hall.  
  • An unwelcome severe infestation of dry-rot was discovered in the front room of the workshops just prior to Lockdown 1 and this required later removal of all wood flooring, wall panelling and much of the plaster to a height of 7’/ 8’. This emergency work was turned to great advantage because it provided an opportunity to open up that room into the main workshops space behind by removing a section of wall, installing supporting beams above and creating access steps (the rooms being at different levels). The front room has already been decorated and new flooring and fittings are to be carried out soon. Workshops users are delighted that additional light now comes through and social distancing is made easier.
  • The redundant and ancient toilet cubicle has been removed from the landing by the new WC’s, services cut off and the void has been block-filled, re-plastered and painted on the inner side.        

The number of small working groups was reduced this year because of Covid meeting restrictions but a few have been arranged to maintain the grounds and gardens in good order, to paint the three toilet areas on the upper ground floor and to paint the block and plaster wall on the landing between workshops and hall.  

A brief word on Marketing and Charity Development.  Appropriate material is regularly added to our  Facebook page and to our website www.nailsworthsubrooms.org.uk although the latter now needs some refreshing. Nailsworth News did the Charity proud in its April edition with comprehensive coverage of the activities on offer at the Subscription Rooms on the front and centre pages.     

Trustees continue to strive 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 the reporting year we have again worked successfully together to perform the charity’s governance functions, to promote the Subscription Rooms as a first-class public venue available for hire and to continue making improvements to the building as finances allow. We are guided by the 2020/23 Business Plan (the third of its type) which is monitored through half-yearly reports to committee. Acting as unsalaried volunteers, Trustees continue to exercise their legal responsibilities by reporting our activities and financial position to the Charity Commission each year.  

Planning for the coming year I suggest that our Charity developments ought to include:-

  1. a small grants project to give young people a helping hand to pursue a sport or activity on our site and hopefully to improve their life skills,

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  1. carrying out further improvements to the building if such investment is deemed sufficiently beneficial to current and prospective users whilst at the same time offering good value for money,
  2. helping to Beat Loneliness by looking at new ways of engaging with the community and developing existing methods. 

To conclude, 2020 has been a very unusual year for the Charity because Covid-19 prevented many income-generating activities taking place for many months especially during Lockdown 1 and to a lesser extent in the current Lockdown 2. We have collectively risen to the challenge and are looking forward to working in partnership with long-standing partners and new user groups in 2021 as restrictions are eased”.

6. Statement of Accounts – Treasurer’s Report:  

Deirdre Lister reported “Income in the last year totalled £26,366.60 (2019 £34,366.97). A grant from SDC was received for £10k due to the Coronavirus measures put in place and our thanks go to Pam for encouraging us to apply. The income from all sources since I started keeping records is a very impressive £443,815.80.  

In this year, from the last AGM on 21/11/2019, we have spent £20,897.02 (2019 £27,601.56) on refurbishment to the building and overheads. There has been £7,547 spent on the front room for the Community Workshop and £9,987.60 on the outside of the building. We have bought a defibrillator which cost £960. Annual regular rental income is around £16,367 (2019 £24k).  Of this £1,170 relates to income from parking.  The rent is substantially down due to the loss of a regular day time rent for Ruskin Mill.

There is £45,392 (2019 £45,289) 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 and Nailsworth Tennis Club.  We also have other user groups this year including Choir, Circus Skills, tai chi, box fit, badminton and Nia. There are new groups joining but obviously the pandemic has resulted in a loss of income but still we have maintained our bank balance but that was with the help from SDC.  Fern took the water company to task and managed to get a £828.94 credit on our account.  Well done Fern!”

6.1 Approval of 2019/20 accounts

Fern Bratby proposed approval of this year’s accounts and it was seconded by Derek Pitt. The accounts were unanimously approved and will now be reported to the Charity Commission along with a second report on the governance of the Charity.  

7. User Group Reports:

7.1 Report by Community Workshops-

Pam Brown, Administrator reported, “It has been a successful year for the Community Workshops, not least because they have continued to open and support the community through Covid-19. It is open to Cotswold Chine, Home schooling groups and The Men’s shed. It has also had work undertaken to open up the front room and this has made a huge difference to the space. Works are close to completion, with the floor going down at the moment. This has been paid for by the Community Workshop. She thanked Les Haines for his support”.

7.2 Tennis Club Report-

Mark Peer, Chairman reported “This year has been a particularly bad year as it has for many other groups due to Covid-19. The summer match season which is our most competitive time was cancelled, normally 7 teams competing in the county leagues. Restricted play was allowed for club members only but only on a booking system. To be compliant with Covid safety we have installed a sanitiser dispenser and are well stocked up on various cleaning products. We also have a signing-in book for 'track and trace' and a strict code of conduct re. use of facility.

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In March we purchased a new club room, badly needed as the old one had seen better days. The new club room has been fitted out with units and has new electrical fittings. Just after the installation of the new club room was made, lockdown came in so it has had very little use. Senior playing membership is down, but there is better news on the junior front. Our new coach, Joe Waters, now has 38 juniors signed up to his coaching programmes. 

The 2 main courts are in need of a re-surface; we will be looking at that project again early Spring next year. Cost to re-surface including VAT will be around 20k”.

8. Election of Trustees/Co-opted persons 2020-21.

Trustee, Sophie Forster, has today indicated that she will be re-locating to France in January 2021 and will therefore be standing down as the School of Larks nominee. The position will remain vacant until her successor is found. She has been thanked by the Chair for her contribution to NYCE.  

This year we have 2 co-opted proposals and our Constitution allows up to three persons at any time. Firstly, Simon Wade has attended some committee meetings as an observer and would like to introduce basket-ball sessions for young people in the hall. Secondly, Dave Parker is an active participant in the Workshops and has already volunteered at a recent working party. Both men who live locally are willing to serve.  

The full list of Trustees and Co-opted for the coming year therefore is as follows:- 

 9. Election of Officers.

 The following Officers were elected:

 Chair – Les Haines

 Treasurer – Deirdre Lister

  Secretary - Tracy Shipp   

 Les said that would not be standing for Chair at the 2021 AGM but, if supported, would be happy to remain a Trustee. He would welcome the opportunity to ‘coach’ someone to take on the role.   

10. Any Questions or Comments:

  • Jonathan Duckworth thanked the NYCE committee and said it was good to see their contribution within  a great community; although things have been difficult around us the NYCE has continued and given support to the community; he thought that as things improve they will move from strength to strength.
  • In conclusion the Chair thanked everyone for attending the Zoom AGM and closed the meeting.

11. Date of Next meeting:      

 2021 Annual General Meeting – 7.30pm Wednesday 24th November 2021

The first committee meeting of the year will be on Wednesday 20th January 2021 at 7 30pm. 

 A draft schedule of meeting dates for the remainder of 2021 will follow soon.

Approval of Minutes:

 

 

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      Registered CIO No. 1161113                              www.nailsworthsubrooms.org.uk

 

 

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