2023 AGM – Minutes


Annual General Meeting

Thursday November 23rd 2023, 7.30 pm

1.    Present: Jillian Gardner (vice chair), Mary Cooper (secretary), Chris and Jackie Bow, Chris Cooper, Jim and Kathleen Foreman, Geoff Gardner, Kate and Tim Jessop, Anand and Vijaya Pillai, Jo and Tom Robinson, Tony Smith, Patrick Thouroude.

Apologies for absence: Tony Hore (chair)Wendy Heap, Louise Graham, Jeannie and Peter Green,  Fiona and Alan Holliday, Jean Hore, Gillian Pett, Tony Smith, Soraya Taraghi, Patrick Thouroude, Paul Tomson.

2.     Minutes of the AGM held on 17th November 2022

Accepted as correct and signed by the vice-chair Jill Gardner in the absence of the chair.

3.    Matters arising

There were no matters arising.

4.    Chair’s Report (Tony Hore 2022-2023)

Before Jill read out Tony’s report, she thanked Kathleen Foreman, who was resigning from the committee, for all she’s done in her rôle as membership secretary, 100 Club co-ordinator and writer of the newsletter.

Chairman’s Report

Welcome to everyone this evening and my apologies for not being in attendance.

We have had a very busy year mainly preparing for and entertaining a group of 13 friends from Villedomer.

Myself and Tony Smith met them at Stansted Airport where we had arranged for a coach to bring them to the Pavilion for a welcome drink and a fish and chip supper which was very successful and enjoyed by everyone.

On the Saturday we arranged an outing to the Bressingham Steam Museum and Gardens which proved a good choice by us and it was interesting to see everyone’s “inner child” come out on the Carousel. The steam trains were also great fun. We also arranged for a Ploughman’s Lunch which was excellent both in quality and service. After Lunch we explored the beautiful gardens.

On the Sunday we had a Progressive Lunch around the village which although involved a lot of work was much enjoyed by our visitors.

It was an early departure for them at 4.30 am on the Monday morning to Stansted Airport. We again arranged for a coach and they were accompanied by Jill and Geoff Gardner.

I am pleased to report that a return visit by us to Villedomer is scheduled to take place on the first weekend in May. Ryanair have now published their flights for this month. We can fly to Tours on the Friday but will have to come back from Poitiers on the Monday. We are waiting to hear back from Villedomer if this works for them. This arrangement is for the whole of May. We will keep you updated.

We have one retiring committee member this year, Kathleen Foreman. Can I thank her for looking after the membership and 100 Club lists and for producing the Newsletters? She has been a great supporter of the Twinning Association over the years and we wish her well for the future.

Can I finish by thanking the Committee for their support during the past year?

Thank you, Tony

Matters arising: Jill has been in touch with Lisa Benoit, President of the Villedômer committee. The 1st weekend in May, which is a Bank Holiday in UK is acceptable to the French for a visit. There are Ryan air flights to Tours on Thursday May 2nd or Friday May 3rd returning from Tours on Sunday May 5th. In a vote, 4 people chose Thursday, 9 Friday. There will be some people driving. Jill will tell Lisa that the majority would prefer arriving on Friday May 3rd. Ryanair fares to Tours are £30 at the moment so it would be good if a decision could be made soon.

5.    Treasurer’s Report read by Jill. See audited balance sheet at the end of these minutes..

Copies of the Audited Accounts have been distributed. Additional copies are available if anyone would like another copy. As you can see we have made a loss this year which is down to the visit from Villedomer.(Excess expenditure over income of £1220.87 leaving a balance of £2893.21 –see attached audited balance sheet.)The items are self-explanatory but I will expand on the item of Social Events and Fundraising.The expenditure is for the Summer BBQ held in August and the purchase of a publicity banner which had its first outing at the Village weekend. The Income relates to a Raffle held at the Film Evening in March.The item of Import Duty relates to the gift sent to us by Villedomer for which they have reimbursed us. As you will see, the exchange rate was marginally in our favour. If anyone has any questions please let me know and I will endeavour to answer them.

Matters arising: none

6. Membership report –Kathleen Foreman 

Sadly we lost Stewart Kerr, one of the founders of the Association, in January this year.  Carol and Bryan Davies resigned their memberships in April and Jane Steadman is not renewing hers. Sophi Berridge took out a Joint Membership following the Village Weekend. 

The Membership currently stands at 32 individuals.

There are 13 joint subscriptions and 7 single subscriptions. Wendy Brown, Joan & John King, Paul Tomson and Terry & Mary Miller are honorary life members (non-paying).

Subscription reminders have been sent out again to those who have not paid at the time of writing; The projected income is £465 from these 31 subscriptions at £15 per person over 18 years. 

7.  100 Club report:

17 subscriptions @ £30 each giving a projected income over a 12 month period £510

Prize money = £25 per number giving a projected expenditure over 12 month period £300

Excess £210.

8. Newsletter

In order to keep the Membership informed, Newsletters have been sent out every month with reference to coming events, always citing the website, and giving 100 Club Winners.  One winner returned the prize to STA funds. Members are always invited to bring any matters of interest to Committee meetings. 

8. Publicity Report:  Tim Jessop

Raising the Profile and Promoting Membership 

There are a number of initiatives working towards raising our profile in the village and informing residents in the area about what we do – all aimed at encouraging people to join.

Website – http://twinning.staplefordvillage.org.uk

Our website, newly created in 2022 as the hub of all our promotion activities, has been continually expanded and updated throughout 2023. It is achieving the objectives that were prioritised at the outset:  greater impact; easy navigation; and focussing on new and recent activities (particularly social events, exchange visits, 100 Club draws and news from Villedômer). Information about older events has been retained and reorganised in a new ‘Archive’ section.