AGM minutes

Minutes of the 164th Annual General Meeting
held at St Edmund’s Church Hall, Lidgett Park Road, Leeds LS8 1JN
on Tuesday, 19 April 2016

1 Introduction
The President, Ian Wray, opened the meeting and welcomed the 48 members who were in attendance.
2 Minutes of the 163rd AGM
The minutes were unanimously approved.

3 Matters arising
There were no matters arising.
4 President’s opening remarks
Ian Wray said that although the AGM might seem to be one of the less interesting meetings of the Society it was an important one and gave members a chance to have a say in how the Society was run. In particular, he highlighted that the members would be voting for a new Constitution that evening and there would be a presentation of trophies to members.

5 Treasurer’s Report
Paul Armitage presented the Treasurer’s report.  Copies of the audited accounts had been sent to members by email in the previous week with spare copies available at the meeting.  Paul thanked John Chester for his very thorough auditing of the accounts, which were for the financial year 1st March 2015 to 29th February 2016, and then presented a summary of major items:

Income for the year was £5,448.75 and expenditure was £4,752.35 giving a surplus for the year of £696.40.  The carried forward balance is £6,909.43.

Subscriptions are the main income stream and were up approximately £200 compared to the previous year.  This was the first year that the Society had charged evening visitors and this measure had raised £158.  The income from the sales table had increased by £100 and sales of tea and biscuits at Society meetings continued to bring in substantial revenue.  However, the income comparison with the previous year was impacted as last year there had been two large donations but nothing in this year.

On expenditure, Paul noted that the charge for renting the church hall had not been increased for several years and we should anticipate that the church would want to increase it before too long.  Speakers’ fees had been £1,100, compared to £575 last year, following the decision to focus on more external speakers and a similar amount was forecast to be spent in the coming year. Two other items of expenditure highlighted were £291 on Goods and Equipment (primarily laptop repairs) and expenses for the Society’s trip to Malham which had been incurred in this financial year although some income had been received in the previous year.

There were no questions on the accounts raised by members and the accounts were accepted unanimously.

6 Presentation of the Trophies
Certificates, trophies and cups were awarded for the ‘annual’ competitions plus any awards for the Annual Exhibition competitions that had not been given on the night.

7 Presentation of Photographer of the year and Presentation of the Trophy
Tim Munsey was announced as being the winner of the Photographer of the Year award and was presented with the C W Dalton Trophy.

8 President’s Remarks
Ian Wray congratulated Tim for, once again, winning the Photographer of the Year competition and also congratulated all members who had won trophies or certificates in the past year or just entered the Society’s competitions.  The standard in the Society is high and showing our work is an essential part of the Society.

In the past year the Society had taken part in two novel competitions, one against a group run by photographer Chris Ceaser (where the Society was beaten) and one against the Fstop photographic society in South Africa (which we won).  The Chris Ceaser competition in particular was good as it encouraged entries from many members and was publicised on Facebook.

During the year we had presentations from a number of internal and external speakers, and Ian particularly thanked members Tina Bulley, Stuart Eggington, Ray Hattrell and Phil Hunter for their efforts.  The number of external speakers was increased to nine and the overall standard was very good.  Ian thanked the syllabus committee (Ted Clements, Nicola Billows and Ray Hattrell) for their efforts in arranging this and also commented that Tony Biscombe, who is taking over the role of Syllabus Secretary, has made a great start and the programme for next winter is already nearly complete.

Ian also thanked a number of other members for their efforts in supporting the Society over the past year and particularly highlighted Pennie Keech who in the past has been President and Membership Secretary and has been General Secretary for the past two years.  Pennie is now stepping down from the running of the Society but was thanked for all her contributions over the years.

9 Update to the Constitution of the Society
The Vice President, Clive Hudson, proposed that a revised version of the Constitution of the Society should be adopted.  The changes from the current version fell into two main categories: removing some inconsistencies and streamlining the procedure for election of the Officers and Committee Members of the Society.  A draft of the proposed new Constitution had been sent to all members on 10th March and two subsequent changes had been made; one to correct a reference to a clause number and one to Clause 16 to clarify that the Committee could only act to expel a member where they had a reasonable belief that it was in the Society’s interest to do so.  A vote was taken on whether to adopt the new Constitution and all members present were in favour.  The new Constitution was then adopted with immediate effect.

10 Election of the President
Ian Wray was elected as President for a second year.

11 Election of Society Officers
The following Officers of the Society were elected unopposed:
Vice President – Clive Hudson
General Secretary – Mike Cooper
Treasurer – Paul Armitage
Membership Secretary – Catherine Hilditch
Syllabus Secretary – Tony Biscombe
Publicity Secretary – Stephanie Bigglestone

The role of Past President is vacant following the resignation of Stuart Burrows from the Society.

12 Election of Committee Members
The following Committee Members were elected unopposed:
Ruth Baumberg
Tina Bulley
Ted Clements
Monty Trent
Andrew Winfield

John Ferguson had offered to continue as a Committee Member but withdrew prior to the start of the meeting.

13 Election of Non-Committee Posts
Ian Wray confirmed that, in accordance with the new Constitution, the various non-Committee posts would be allocated at the first meeting of the new Committee on 25th April.  He said that Tina Bulley had offered to take on the Competitions Secretary role but would require a deputy to cover for holidays etc and a volunteer to act as projectionist was being sought.  If anyone was willing to help with any aspect of running the Society they were encouraged to speak to Ian or another Committee member.

14 Proposal to Increase Subscriptions from September 2016
Paul Armitage proposed that the subscriptions for full members should be increased from £35pa to £40pa from September (with a corresponding increase of £5 in the rate for existing associate members).  Although the Society has a considerable sum in the bank Paul felt an increase was justified for a number of reasons:
 The charge for renting the church hall has not been increased for several years and we should anticipate an increase soon;
 Speakers’ fees had doubled in the 2015/16 financial year and were likely to be higher still in the coming year with the focus being put on getting more good speakers at Society meetings; and
 The cost of replacing equipment could be considerable, in particular he estimated that replacement of the projector was likely to cost more than £5,000.

Paul proposed that the Society should aim to keep a reserve of £10,000 and noted that subscriptions were the only significant income under the Society’s control.

Jaqueline Horsfield requested that a reduced rate for students and people who were unemployed should be considered and wanted potential members to see what the Society offered.  Ian Wray commented that we are already trying to make it clearer to potential members what they could expect and there were several comments saying that the Society offered good value compared to other clubs which typically had higher subscriptions or charged members a fee for each meeting they attended in addition to an annual subscription.

A vote was taken on the proposal to increase subscriptions and it was passed unanimously.

15 Any other business
i – Tea and Coffee prices – Nicola Billows suggested raising the prices for tea, coffee and biscuits at Society meetings (currently 25p for tea or coffee and 25p for biscuits).  Gary Hope  said that churches typically charge 50p for tea or coffee only and Frank Reynolds commented that meetings he attends never charge less than 50p.

The matter will be decided at a future Committee meeting.

ii – Interclub Report – Clive Hudson announced the scores and judge’s comments for each of the Society’s entries in the final Interclub competition of the year which had taken place the previous Saturday.  The Society had scored 94 points out of 100 in the final round (coming second on the night to Castleford Camera Club with 98).  Over the four rounds the Society scored 362 points which put us in joint first place with Castleford.

16. President’s closing remarks
The Society is thriving in 2016 with membership currently standing at 98, an increase of 6 compared to last year.  This includes 17 new members who joined the Society during the year – it is really good to see new members coming in and participating.

Many members arrive early to help set out the room but the Society is always looking for members to help in other ways so if anyone is willing to assist in any way please speak to one of the Committee.

17. Close
The meeting closed at 8:30.

President’s signature    ………………………………………………………………………