Extraordinary General Meeting

Many thanks to everyone who attended the EGM on May 18th '06,

The meeting was called to follow up the discussion at the AGM in September, about the election procedure for the officers of the Old School Trustees.  After a well argued debate, the meeting voted to have the Chairman, Treasurer and Company Secretary elected by the AGM to serve in their respective roles for a period of two years.  After this time, they could be re-elected for a further two years.  Other resolutions discussed and passed were more of the housekeeping type e.g. filling vacancies that occurred between AGMs; fixing the maximum number of trustees to twelve; the notice of any motion to put before the AGM to 21 days prior to the date of the meeting.

Then there was a very constructive discussion about membership and membership fees.  The meeting was unanimous in agreeing that a membership structure was the best way for people to show their support for the Old School as they would then have an active part in its management. There was also a consensus that the existing number of members (100) was insufficient and that a membership drive was needed.  As a first step to double the numbers, it was suggested that every member recruited one or more new members.   Another proposal which was generally welcomed was that we create a Membership Secretary who, I hasten to add, would not have to actively recruit 100 new members but who would keep the lists and organise the communications with the members.  If someone would be interested in taking on this challenge, please call me on either 370559 or 371103.  Agreement on the membership fee levied was more difficult but after a well spirited debate  concluded with a vote that we should retain the minimum fee to be 10 for the coming year.  Donations above this fee from members who felt that it should be more, as it was extremely good value, would be very welcome!

Another good debate was about the Building itself and the future plans of its layout.  There were no motions proposed or passed as such but a general feeling was that the Bell tower (also known as the Leaning Tower of Stoke Climsland) should be preserved if at all possible as it was an integral landmark for the village.  The idea of utilising the roof space for further meeting rooms was widely supported but there were more differing views about making the Main Hall larger by putting in a soundproof partition wall in place of the present fixed one.  The old Toilet block did not have many friends and was almost unanimously consigned to the great bulldozer in the sky and an equal level of support emerged for the restoration of the old Washroom by the Office door.  Again very many thanks for all the thoughts and observations, they will help the Trustees draw up the Master Plan which the Conservation authorities require.

Earlier in the meeting, I outlined an unaudited set of management Accounts for last year.  This had shown a surplus of just over 6000.  Our income comes from a variety of sources eg events such as Jazz/Themed Dinners made over 10,000 after all direct costs were deducted from ticket sales.  Catering made almost 5000 on the same basis; room rental produced 7000 while the 200 Club, the Saturday market, courses and the Newsletter each made a little more or a little less than 2000.  The Grant income was just 2700 which has had to be spent on specific remedial work.  Our costs came to 29000 which included maintenance of 8000.  I cannot emphasise enough that we do not receive any Grants for routine maintenance and being an old building those costs will just keep coming at us.

Sadly Brigette Dixon has tendered her notice as Treasurer.  There will be many other occasions to thank her for all the hard work she has put in at the Old School but I would like to thank her publicly in this column for her efficiency and dedication to the community.   I also would like to take this chance to ask if anyone would like to step forward to help us in this area.  Someone who has experience with Quikbooks software would be welcomed with open arms and a red carpet.  The job could also be restructured and so anyone who is interested in even a small part please contact me at 370559 or 371103.  Come and join the Old School whose aims are to provide culture, entertainment, internet access and courses for our all in our local community.