MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD AT ST PETERS CHURCH HALL, WEDNESDAY 19TH MARCH 2003
At the last AGM I reported that funds would stand at just £ 34.00 when all of the envisaged bills had been paid and that I expected to collect £1,020.00 probably and a further £ 370.00 possibly. As at 31/12/2002 the funds stood at £ 1646.22 so clearly Gordon Brown would admire my prudent forecasting. This figure is unaltered as of today, I have a promise of payment of £ 50.00 in respect of 2002 which I believe will materialise.
On a road by road basis there are 3 households in Wheatsheaf Lane who do not support us. Last year I received a payment from every house in Riverside Close, you may draw your own conclusions as to why this happened for the first time.
4 households in Thameside failed to support us but one of these was empty last year and now has tenants and one was owned by a serial non payer who has moved out. I have spoken with both of the new people who seem disposed to support us.
As advised in the Winter newsletter it has been decided not to continue with the Public Liability Insurance.
My ex-employer’s trusty old laser printer has finally given up the ghost and I can no longer print newsletters etc for the SSRA for nothing. The figure shown for photocopying reflects this and must inevitably increase unless anyone can access either a printer or photo-copier F.O.C. on behalf of the Association.
Joan Tait commented that the reason why there was less profit from the summer party was due to the committee responsible for the party arrangements being given the wrong numbers at the last minute and having to buy extra food.
David Prangley asked for a vote of thanks for David Rowley and all his hard work.
The Chairman began by welcoming a new resident, Paul Deschamps at 72 Thameside.
At the last AGM we were celebrating the completion of the resurfacing of Riverside Close and mourning the loss of our bank balance. Since then and into the future we are rebuilding the finances ready for the next stage of resurfacing the access road to Thameside, hopefully in about 2 years time at the going rate of subscriptions.
Onwards through the year to the summer party – another great success thanks to Joan Tait and her many volunteers for the food, Phil and Susan Berquist for the marquee, music, tickets etc., David Prangley for the quiz, all the many others who manned the BBQ’s, help erect the marquee, collect and return tables etc. and of course David and Pauline Rowley for all sorts of help and guidance throughout, everyone did a great job and it was a great success.
Then onwards to the great flood! I did warn you a couple of years ago that instead of frittering your time away on summer parties you would be far better employed building an ARK!
Many of us were affected in one way or another and there will be more about this from David Rowley later.
David Rowley informed us last year that he would be standing down from the committee at the end of the year and Linda Graves would be joining the committee to take over the job of treasurer. Before we advance to the election of the committee for 2003-04 I would like to pay tribute to the work David has done for the association.
He has been on the committee now for more years than he probably likes to remember and took over the treasurer’s job in, I believe, 1995. The job of treasurer is a most frustrating task, you watch the subscriptions come in, too slowly at times to match the rising costs of repairs but David has always had a clear view of the job in hand and the strength of character to make sure the job gets done in spite of all the difficulties. He has been so well supported by Pauline, his wife, who herself has done much to further the progress of the Association. I would therefore like to couple her name with David’s when I thank him for all the sterling work he has done for the Association, on your behalf.
David Prangley is also leaving us, and he, and his wife Alison, have also done much supportive work for the Association and we wish them both well in their new venture
ELECTION OF COMMITTEE:
As previously stated, David Rowley was resigning as was David Evans and David Prangley.
Geoff Richardson agreed to remain and stand as chairman, Ann Peake agreed to remain and stand as secretary and Linda Graves was joining the board and agreed to stand as treasurer, these were all proposed by David Blum and seconded by Bob Grainger. Susan Berquist, Tony James, Alan Seward, Bob Douglas, Paul Dodd and Richard O’Halloran were proposed by Freda Douglas and seconded by Mrs. Prangley.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
David Rowley commented that the Terms of Constitution for the Association were primarily set up to deal with the roads, they could be amended and due to the problems caused by floods this year to the area it was asked if the mandate should be amended to cover the issue of flooding, those present at the meeting agreed that it should be changed. Geoff Richardson, the new chairman said that the new committee would meet and draw up a new constitution to cover flooding.
Pauline Rowley asked if any funds would be going into this new area and G.Richardson said they would not.
Re the flooding, D.Rowley commented that 5 houses had suffered sever flooding, (water over floorboards), 4 in Riverside Close and 1 in Thameside and there were at least another 4/5 on the brink. Using the Environment Agency’s yardstick of flooding, i.e. 300ml or 12inches from floor level another 10-12 houses were affected. A.Seward asked if the constitution could be changed now but the chairman wanted it left to the next committee meeting.
D.Peake asked why the constitution was being restricted to roads and flooding as he felt much more could be covered making the SSRA a more comprehensive and effective association. He said he had found that other local areas had much stronger associations and felt if we took a stronger stance than locals would be more encouraged to get involved. D.Evans responded that he felt the responsibility and strain would be too much for any committee to handle in an area where so many people had different views on how they wanted the neighbourhood to be. David Blum commented that the field, although not covered by the constitution, had always been a significant issue over the years as had dealing with the waterfront and he felt the roads and now the floods were more than enough to cope with.
D.Rowley further commented that the SSRA had no power as such which would make dealing with any awkward people or problems rather difficult reminding the assembly of the days when the roads were cleaned up and trees cut which did not go down well with everyone.
J.Russell asked about Neighbourhood Watch and D.Evans replied that we were in a scheme but we did not keep up with current events as these days if you wanted to be active you had to agree to be in contact with the local police station and aware of all that was happening locally and he found the extent of involvement somewhat prohibiting.
G.Richardson said if anything came up that the committee felt warranted dealing with he would be happy to consider it.
David Rowley mentioned it was suggested at the last committee meeting that subscriptions for 2003/04 would be going up to £60, this caused some dissention. P.Berquist suggested a £5 increase, after much discussion D.Blum suggested £50 this year, £60 next year or £100 if you wanted to pay 2 years in one go, this was found to be favourable and was therefore proposed by D.Blum and seconded by D.Rowley.
David Rowley commented that he had been to the EA meeting and made contact with an action group called ThamesAwash and suggested that as an association with 84 houses we should join and he would be happy to be the representative.
Their tel. no was 01784 452 805 and Phil Scott was the co-ordinator, they preside over 3 areas of flood risk action groups and they need numbers of who were affected and funds to get answers from the EA as to what actually happened and he urged anyone who had not contacted them to get in touch and register their details to add weight to the fight.
From our point of view Silvery Sands let us all down badly and the bank needs building up, drainage was a problem and dredging needs badly doing, at present an independent consultant was due to give a report at the end of March, A.Seward commented that the EA would spend according to the number of houses affected.
J.Tait thanked D.Rowley for his help at the time of the crisis, advising on sandbags etc., he said for future reference he would let people have the floodline numbers and sandbag details.
I.Evans commented that using bin bags with the sandbags helped their effectiveness.
G.Richardson asked if anyone had had their insurance renewal premiums yet, only one member, 97 Thameside, said that they had, and there were no problems.
D.Evans asked if we wanted the annual summer party, it was agreed to go ahead, the last Saturday in June, the 28th. M.Braund at 24 Riverside Close agreed to be the co-ordinator for the food, N.Keyser said his van would be available, Paul, Alan, Jim and Nick said they would help with tables etc.
Joan Tait asked about graffiti down Thameside and asked if a gate could be put at the path adjoining No.97 to stop youths using Thameside to get to the river, this was agreed to be done and the cost would come out of funds.
D.Rowley said he had had a letter about improving the sign at the end of Wheatsheaf Lane for 67-71 Thameside and it was agreed this would be done, P.Deschamp commented he could supply any road signage at cost!
I.Evans asked if we could be included in the A-Z, it was agreed this had come up for discussion before and details submitted and it was felt a reprint had probably not come out yet.
David Blum suggested a vote of thanks to David Evans for his chairmanship duties and all his help over the years and this was heartily agreed.
The meeting ended at 9.20pm.