AGM Minutes - 2022
Meeting opened at 18.30 hours
Addendum whilst minutes being produced on 18th November – Sadly we learnt that our member Bob Downer passed away on Thursday 17thNovember 2022. Having gone into the hospice on the day of the AGM.
1 -Presidential Opening
The meeting was opened by President Christine Rogers who asked that we all hold a minutes silence in remembrance of one of our members Gwen Burke.
1a -Presidential Address. This has been published but I will read it out for those that haven’t seen it:-
“Another season has passed and thankfully without the interruption of Covid. Like all clubs its success is not only down to those that play the game, but to the volunteers who put themselves forward and lead the club both on and off the “Green”. I would like to thank all those members that have stepped forward and volunteered this year, and also to those that have put themselves forward for nomination next year. It is important for good governance and that all positions are filled at the commencement of each year.
It is also encouraging to see that membership is increasing each year, with the proposed development and training, hopefully this will propagate more full bowling members.
Financially the club continues to be in a healthy position after completing the refurbishment of the club house. A big thank you to all those who contributed in this venture, and in particular Andy Ennis who project managed the work.
This year it was good to see the club promote itself, when we hosted two Kent County bowls competitions, namely the men’s Cox Cup and the ladies Kent County Benevolent Competition, thanks to all those who made it a success.
Congratulations to all our players on their achievements this year, unfortunately, we were not successful in winning any of the leagues a first time for several years. I am looking forward to next season with a positive mind set, and together we can all enjoy the forthcoming year both on and off the “Green”.
3 -Approval of previous minutes
Proposed by Bob Waters, seconded by Mick Davis
Minutes accepted by all those in attendance
4 -Matters Arising
The Chairman chose not to address the meeting tonight and there were no outstanding matters to report on.
5 -Treasurer’s Report
As we have several new members I will start with a little bit of history for those new members. At the AGM in 2011 the current Treasurer Tom Blair wanted to resign, he had been Treasurer since 2000. I was approached to see if I would be willing to take over the role as nobody else was willing to. This meant that as I was not a full member the attendees had to vote on a constitution change to have Honorary Membership for a person carrying out an essential role. This would continue all the time an active interest in the club was shown. It has been custom and practise that the secretary and treasurer remain in office unless they want to resign or the club feel that they are not carrying out their duties for the good of the club. I can see that the current constitution could imply that all GPC members serve a 3 year term.
I feel I have carried out my duties diligently ensuring that the club remains on a sound financial footing. If anybody feels that I have not carried out the tasks in the manner that is appropriate or feel there is something that can be done better please let me know. Also if somebody wishes to take over the role let the club know. I would feel sad as I enjoy the role and strive to obtain commodities be it bar stock, biscuits toilet roll and any other items at the best price. Also, although not in the role of treasurer I found that I could print the fixture books saving about half on the cost of printing.
We are showing a loss this year of £6468 but we spent over £34,000 on refurbishing the club to make better use of the space and have a more modern feel, plus the addition of the patio area which has been utilised well this year. We had a loan from Bowls England of £21414 to be repaid over the next 8 years. The payments for this should be covered by the winter social events together with Bingo and Canasta.
Thanks to the accounts examiners who make sure the accounts are in order.
Are there any questions?
Christine Rogers asked if the subscriptions were being raised this year, the treasurer replied that no there was no need at present. The answer therefore was NO.
Can the accounts be adopted?
Proposed by Barry Elks and seconded by Daphne Smith
6 - Reports
Secretary’s Report – Carol Fisher
Having given up the secretarial role in 2018 after 6 years I had hoped to play more bowls. Then in 2020 along came the pandemic and lock-down. Unfortunately our then secretary had to retire through sickness. As a club cannot exist without a secretary I agreed to take on the role on a temporary basis, this was mid 2020 so technically in my present spell I am unelected. For the past year I have had help from Pam Goodwin who has taken on the administration of the Tennis Courts & MUGA use, doing an excellent job. She has also put her name to succeed me which I am very grateful for, I will always be on the end of the phone to prompt her if required. Thank you all for the support and help you have given me in the past.
Ladies Captain. Barbara Hafford
I would like to thank all the members of Birchington Bowls Club for their support to the club over the past year. I would express my sincere thanks to all the Ladies for the support you have shown to me during 2022. Each of you have stepped up and shown your desire not only in playing, but in your willingness to learn and improve your game. 21 Ladies have competed in Leagues, Friendlies and Cup Competitions this year, resulting in in 2nd place in both the Isle of Thanet League and the Heron League.
In addition to internal fixtures, I would like to congratulate Sue Goodchild in reaching the Final of the County Singles. I am extremely proud of her and feel sure the whole club feel the same.
Aside from the actual bowling, we have all begun new friendships and enjoyed each others company outside of the club too. Ladies lunches and meeting for Coffee have been a success and a great way of showing our support for one another in our private lives too.
2023 will start the process all over again and Brenda will be Ladies Captain and will have Sue at her side as Vice Captain. I wish them both all the success in 2023 and will support them in any way necessary.
To both Ladies and Men members of Birchington Bowls Club, stay healthy, enjoy your bowls and most of all be kind, patient and support each other in the times to come.
Men’s Captain. Bob Waters
Good evening everyone, thank you all for your support this year. I would like to thank Tony Petts and Andy Ennis for running the Premier League this year. Also to thank John Alchin for running the Combination League for me. We didn’t win any leagues this year which is a first for a long time, however we have won more games than we lost, so that is a great achievement. Herne Bay were EKTL Champions and Ramsgate set out to do well in the CWL. We have a strong club here and we have had new members joining which is a good omen for the future. I want to thank John Alchin who volunteered early in the year to be Vice Captain and he has attended on many occasions throughout the season and learned a great deal, Congratulations. Good Luck for the coming year as Captain, backed up by Alan Back as Vice Captain. To you all I wish you good health, winter well, keep warm and look forward to next year.
KCBA representative – Paul Proctor
Good evening all, I must report that Birchington have gained a great reputation in County for the playing surface of the green, their hospitality this season for the Cox Cup Divisional finals and the Ladies Benevolent day. There are always great standards and the friendliness of the members is very much appreciated. There are at least three fixtures next year, The Cox Cup Finals and the County visiting twice. I will become President on Saturday 19th November 2022 so will be looking to promote my club heartily.
KCBLA representative - Vacant
Sylvia Pritchard has sent her apologies for absence but has volunteered to become KCBLA representative next season, this was warmly welcomed by all.
7. Constitution will need an overhaul in 2023 with SGM possible
CF – The fact that the Constitution is under review by a group of four members, I would like to point out that Proposal No 4 is I believe premature as if carried it would go against the Current Constitution. I would therefore offer a Counter Proposal that this matter is best deferred at this time, as it is possible that the topic is part of the complete review.
I would like a seconder please. Christine Rogers agreed to this on the night.
Discussion continued on this subject for some time with many opinions and advice from KCBA rep Paul Proctor, Christine Rogers stated that we could vote on the proposal number 4 tonight with the votes counted and recorded to to be given to the new management and adopted when the Constitution Review is complete, and adopted at the SGM before the start of next playing season. PG suggests that the new GPC invite the two Captain’s to the first meeting of their reign. The counter proposal being unnecessary – means the original will still be voted on in the next sector.
8 - Propositions
1)Proposed by Jerry Sullivan and seconded by David Kirkpatrick 22/9/2022
Dispense with tea break during games. On 31st August they wrote “Let’s simplify and speed up our match day experience” A bowls match should be continuous, there is no reason to stop half way, this adds half an hour to the game time. By doing away with the tea break it does away with the need for members to do ‘tea duty’, an unnecessary complication prior and during matches. The time saved makes it possible to socialise with our opponents even if you need to get away early after a game. Ordering after game drinks from the bar, to be ready after the match will do away with long queues and congestion in the clubhouse. The drinks list can be taken by the number 2 player at the start of the game. Please continue giving money prizes for the raffle.
After Jerry outlined his proposal – there followed a very lively exchange of views and information that showed it is not simple for one club to make this decision in isolation. The Leagues we play in IOT Mens, IOT Ladies, EKTL, CWL, Heron League all have their own AGM’s. When fixtures are booked and green fees set this normally takes in to account the cost of providing refreshments during a break. PG pointed out that there is no time to liaise with these leagues this year as many have already had or about to have their AGM. We have 16 league games and 29 friendly games. SG suggested we have tea at friendlies only as these are social events. This was well received, however in order to do away with tea break at league matches the Captains of each match would have to agree in advance of each game until the whole league set up can be ratified. There are many reasons why some players need that break and BH pointed out that up to 36 players, could potentially have to leave the play during matches, causing much annoyance to the other players, and lengthening the game. A vote to the proposal gave 4 FOR and 30 AGAINST
We would like to propose that Hut Duty is reduced from 7 days a week to 4 days a week. The proposed days would be Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday., or an alternative 4 days that members felt would be better.
This would mean that social members would only be able to play on those days unless they were playing with a full member whose responsibility it would be to take the fee accordingly and lock the club house as per normal.
This would also mean that equipment for the games in the afternoon on non-hut duty days would be put out by the players just as they would put the equipment away at the end of the match.
The context behind this is that currently we have 72 full members. Out of these 72, 8 work full time, so only undertake 1 hut duty, 18 are exempt for various reasons, (health, over the age of 80 etc.) This year we had 7 no shows on hut duty. As it stands, we have approximately 153 days to cover from 54 members with a further 8 undertaking 1 Duty due to working full time. Added to this We are conscious that we have members that already contribute considerably to the club, bar duty, weekly gardening club, ground maintenance etc., and it is felt that these people should also only undertake 1/2 Hut duties per season. Reducing to 4 days a week, 66 days saving, will support all our members and help those that already give considerable time to the club. Social members will still have 4 days to play or more if they are with a full member.
After Brenda outlined her proposal – many different views were expressed on this subject and the overall idea was that we should always have someone on duty 7 days a week. However the need for strenuous cleaning is possibly only needed 3 or 4 times a week. DS stated that over 80 years is not necessarily a bar to doing a duty, if they are fit to bowl then they are fit to be on duty. BH stated that the aged members could come and sit but not do a physical duty. Therefore a counter proposal by Brenda says they will send out a letter before next season to all full members asking if they agree to doing a cleaning day or a sitting down and taking money day. This would make it possible for those less physically able, to still be able to man the clubhouse for the benefit on social members doing roll ups.
A vote on the proposal gave 2 FOR and 20 AGAINST
A vote on Brenda’s counter proposal vote 20 FOR and 1 AGAINST
3)Proposed by Brenda Stewart and seconded by Babs Hall 10/10/2022
We propose that the contribution from the member for not attending either Hut duty or Tea Duty be increased to £20. This year we had 7 members not showing for Hut duty and 5 not showing for Tea Duty which is causing inconvenience to our other members. 1 We must rely on the good will of our members to cover for these people often meaning they are not able to play in matches themselves or are playing in a match and helping with the teas. 2 it is a lot of work for 1 individual when there are 6 rinks to prepare for and clear up after and 3, these members are doing over and above their quota for the good of the club. Persistent offenders may also incur additional penalties to be discussed by the members at the AGM.
Brenda then outlined her second proposal on the increase figure for fine for missed hut or tea duty. There should also be a further penalty for repeat offences like – Stop playing for a Month – This has been a recurring problem for years. It is only a limited number of members. VW confirmed that social fees amounted to £1600 this year. VF then indicated the likely loss of income if members decide to leave. PG believes strongly that there should be a severe penalty. Persistent offenders even though they have signed a letter that they agree prior to joining. These Letters are held by the Secretary. BW indicated that we should question the Validity of the member who offends repeatedly.
A vote on the proposal gave 6 FOR and 15 AGAINST.
4)Proposed by Brenda Stewart and seconded by John Alchin 10/10/2022
I would like to propose that the captains of the Bowls each year sit on the committee with full voting rights, their proxy to be held by the vice captains should the captains be unable to attend a meeting. As a bowls club it is right that the captains should bring any issues to the committee for discussion and not go through third parties.
This proposal having been discussed at item 7 Constitution Review, we need a vote tonight 21 FOR and 1 AGAINST to be effective at the SGM in 2023.
5) Proposed by Barbara Hafford and seconded by Diana Hughes 12/10/2022
I would like to put in a proposal, that matches during the 2023-24 season commence at 2.00pm. This would enable players to get home for their evening meals a little earlier.
All clubs in Thanet are in favour of an earlier start. CR said what about Away matches, we would have to agree to follow their league permissions. A vote gave 30 FOR and 3 AGAINST
6)Proposed by Babs Hall and seconded by Brenda Stewart 12/10/2022
I would like to propose a drinks pre order system for our home games. This would mean the skip for each rink would complete an order slip and leave on the table so that bar staff can prepare and have ready on the table for the end of the game. The skip would then collect the money from their team members and pay at the bar at the end of the game. I believe this would then reduce the wait time for drinks at the end of a match, as well as taking some of the pressure off the bar staff. A vote gave 31 FOR and 1 AGAINST
9 - Election of officers & other positions-Adjudicators for the ballot were CR, SG & MD
Ballot for G P C positions x 4Judith Alder, Sheila Graham, Babs Hall, Tony Petts
Honorary Secretary Pam Goodwin
Ladies CaptainBrenda Stewart
Ladies Vice-Captain Sue Goodchild
Men’s CaptainJohn Alchin
Men’s Vice CaptainAlan Back
Match Fixture SecretaryMark Hinds
KCBLA RepresentativeSylvia Pritchard
KCBA RepresentativePaul Proctor
Catering Officer John Alchin
Members Almoner/Welfare OfficerSue Goodchild
Pavilion & hut duty rotaBrenda Stewart & Babs Hall
Competition SecretaryTony Petts
Press OfficerJudith Alder
Heron Ladies League RepresentativeVacant position
IOT Ladies Representative`Pam Back
IOT Men’s RepresentativeBob Barclay
Welfare & Child Protection OfficerSimone Warren
Auditors x 2Terry Dunn, Bob Barclay
Greens MaintenanceAndy Ennis, CG, AB,TP
Life membership proposals for:- None
Short Mat Carpet & Stand has been suggested as a good use for our bequest from Jean Thompson – we only have room for one mat, making it impossible to compete in any league. We must ask the members for their opinion. Much discussion and questions, broad agreement.
A vote 23 FOR and 5 AGAINST
We need more Bar Staff – Bar volunteers B Beck, P Mount, M Brown, S Goodchild
We also need more help in the kitchen at times and any member can take a Food Hygiene Course – who is interested? Catering course volunteers B Waters, B Hafford, S Graham, G Brown.
Ladies KCBLA representative needed and Ladies Heron League representative needed.
Volunteer Sylvia Pritchard
Any further questions from the floor …………………………………………………………………
Tony Petts asks if at Selection will the club consider putting the same three players together if they are having a winning streak. This is the Captain’s choice, it has been done before and it will be considered for next season.
Christine Rogers This year the dress code has been so varied it is time we looked at standardising. It is disappointing to see some in blazers and some in fleeces. Bowls England do some Zipped jackets for £22. Could we address the whole issue and look at a new range?
BH stated that some comments this year have been made – Oh anything goes for you all then!
PP asked how much Blue Trousers might be? VW agreed that the colour conformity would be better than various shades of grey. Discussion was very interested in updating and CR and SG agreed to look into sourcing a new uniform.
A date was then fixed for the first GPC of the new season as Monday 12th December 2022 at 10.30 am in the clubhouse.
There being no further business the AGM meeting was closed at 20.22 Hours