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Minutes of the A.G.M. held on 27th November 2011 at the Bowling Club, Old Basing.

The meeting was opened by the Chairman at 10.30 a.m.

1 Present
Maurice Bates (Chairman)
Janet Cloke (Treasurer)
Sally Friday
Chris Hall (Membership Secretary)
Tony Hall (WebMaster)
Tony Stoney
Philip Ward (Plant Sales Co-ordinator)
Jenny West (Secretary)
Richard West (Trading Secretary)

Apologies received from Les Orvis (Vice Chairman), Janet Lucas

2 Minutes of the 2010 AGM
The minutes of the meeting were read and approved.

3 Matters arising
Both Maurice & Les took up some points in the new tenancy agreement and some rules have been improved due to our involvement.
Les has continued his attendance of council meetings and has been involved with the settlement of several issues related to OBAGS members.

General state of the site
The new water supply has had issues with leakage and drainage but now seems to be functioning well.  

Despite continued supply of publicity and a letter from Maurice to the Basinga editor, we are still experiencing difficulties with getting our monthly reports into the published Basinga.

Web site
The 2010 AGM minutes were published on the web-site in early November.
Irene Alloway’s Basinga articles are also published on our site now.
A few recipes have been submitted but we could use some more.

Village Show.
There was no interest from the Village show in our request for a shared stand at the show.

Excess Fruit for the shop
No fruit was supplied for sale at the shop.

Shop opening
It has not proved possible to list the opening hours on the back of the membership cards as the printing would have been too small and our cards are only single sided.
4 Chairman’s Report
The Chairman thanked all of the committee for their work in ensuring a smooth operation of the society over the last year. Everyone has carried out their jobs with minimum need to refer which has greatly simplified my involvement. I would also like to use the minutes of the meeting to thank all members who have assisted with running the trading shop and have supported the society. Without an active membership we cannot continue to provide a useful service. I believe that our biggest challenge is to increase our membership in the future.
Thanks to all who assisted in our annual spring clean and maintenance effort. This not only helps ourselves by maintaining the facilities but makes them cleaner to work in and more inviting to our customers.
As usual we held a plant sale (May 15th) and were blessed with bettor weather although the growing period in early Spring was not conducive to some crops. Nevertheless thanks to the efforts of many members we received a good level of donated plants and had a good attendance on the day.
At the allotment site we have had some problems with leakages to the water system replaced in 2010. After some false starts the Parish Council appears to have been able to cure the problems. Les Orvis participated in the bi-annual inspection of the plots as a result of which a small number of tenancy cancellation notices and warning letters were issued. The council has been taking action to reduce the number of multiple plot holders particularly where they are not being actively cultivated. Encouragement has also been given to divide plots to permit the reduction in the waiting list.
Although the thefts were reduced this last spring there have been regrettably instances of produce thefts from plots and some recent break-ins to sheds. Plot holders should continue to be careful with leaving valuable tools in sheds.
On the social front we had to delay the barbecue event for July due to bad weather. This was held in early September when unfortunately I could not attend. I believe that this was a success and Richard will provide more information. Finally thanks to Richard for again arranging a thanksgiving dinner at the Bolton Arms for the helpers & committee members.
5 Secretary’s Report
Very little correspondence received again this year. All correspondence has been passed on to the relevant committee member as required.

A total of 62 members joined or renewed for the 2011 season, down 3 from the 2010 membership. The 62 members included 4 who took advantage of our special deal and joined during September – December 2010. (Seven people have joined for the 2012 season since September 2011).
In order to obtain a record of agreement from members that their address details be lodged with NSALG, a membership form was introduced in 2010. Since these forms are serially numbered and remain with the member from year to year, the following motion was agreed by an email vote amongst the committee, conducted during August, 2011: ‘That from the 2012 season a member's membership number will be the number of the application form they filled in and signed on joining the Society, or used to renew during 2010’.

6 Trading Secretary’s Report
Yet another year with plenty of shop helpers, I would again like to thank all volunteers who have spent their Sunday mornings in all weathers with either long queues or talking to each other. Again this year we will have around 30 helpers for the shop.
The membership scheme has again worked well. Thanks to Tony & Chris for all their hard work.
The seed orders & delivery went very smoothly again this year. Thanks to Phil for his time and organisation.
Thanks also to all who helped on this year’s shed tidy weekend. We will soon have to carry out more involved maintenance on the shed fronts due to water damage.
The stock has again been run down to year end. We have just received a shipment so we should be able to hold next year’s expected price increase, due in January, off for a few months until we have to buy more stock.
Prices have again been quite stable again this year some items have reduced in price.
We are now stocking organic compost from a Cornish supplier.
If you have any products that you would like us to stock then please let me know and I will see if I can find a supplier. Also if you see any bargains – 2 for 1 or BOGOF on items that you think the shop could stock then please get them and present the receipt at the shop and get your money back.
The Social Sunday in July was rained off, we tried again in September with more success and had over 20 people sitting round three barbeques for most of the afternoon – and the weather was good to us. Thanks to all who brought salads, quiches and curry puffs.
We had our third shop team ‘Harvest home’ dinner at the Bolton Arms earlier this month. This went off very well and I think that everyone had a very pleasant evening.
7 Seed order
Phil reported that the seed order went very smoothly again this year, although there was a mix up over the requested return dates and those detailed on the web-site.
The orders were returned just in time for early November trading date
Phil requested that the November trading date be moved back one week.

8 Publicity Report (including Website)
Web Site
The number of hits since January, 2008 has reached 3427, an increase of approximately 1280 in the last 12 months (37% of the total).
Three initiatives introduced since the last AGM to make the site more socially interactive have had mixed results:
1. Irene Allaway continues to send us copies of her monthly Gardening Notes and each submission is used to update the previous year’s corresponding month.
2. Members’ Recipes section: We have sections on Curds, Jams, Pastas and Soups thanks to the support of Chris Hall, Di Stoney and Jenny & Richard West. There is plenty of room to extend the categories and increase the number of recipes published, so the appeal will be continued into 2012.
3. Classified Advertisement service to self-employed members: We have had only one business take up the offer, but we will continue to offer the service in 2012 as it costs nothing to provide.
9 Treasurers Report
A quiet but steady year for the society. The plant sale was again a success and the society appreciates the raffle prizes that were donated to help raise funds. The profit from the event helps to cover the society’s payments to NSALG subscriptions and insurance, which continue to rise each year. The overall profit of the society increased during 2011 very slightly on the last year.
The trading hut sheet can sometimes be a muddle and this takes some time to decipher. I would please ask that volunteers do not add up the totals, especially as they are going along because this is very time consuming to sort out and can lead to discrepancies on ‘sale totals’ or membership for the accounts. Finally can I thank all volunteers who collected and returned the bag and cash box to me on Sundays when the trading hut is open. Thank you I really appreciate it.
A set of accounts using the new format has been produced and showed profits of £269.35 for 2011 (£223.7 was the 2010 total)
Bank interest is still very low.
The plant sale raised £328.38
The seed order raised £101.08
The profit from trading was £173.12
Subscriptions were £248
We were carrying £1989.74 stock at the end of October 2011
We paid £130 to the NSALG for subscriptions
Insurance was £394.5.
Insurance is due for the huts in January. Janet has the new forms and will get them filled out in time for the renewal date. We will detail 61 members and insure up to 12 persons working at the huts at any one time. Janet believes that the insurance costs will increase again this year.

10 Resignation of Officers
Maurice Bates announced that he did not want to continue as chairman; he had maintained this role for five years. Maurice offered to remain a committee member. The committee thanked Maurice for his dedicated work over the past five years for OBAGS members.

11 Appointments of Officers
The following officers were appointed:
12 Any Other Business
2012 plans.
Shed Inspection 25th March
Shed Tidy Weekend 14th & 15th April
Plant Sale 13th May
Social Sunday 8th July
Seed order final date 30th September
Harvest home dinner 9th November
2012 AGM 25th November

It was agreed by all that the membership has fallen over the last few years. We requested a couple of years ago that the council supplied information about OBAGS to new plot holders. It was agreed that we should try this avenue once more.
Committee members should also try to boost membership where possible by letting new plot holders know about the society (we are sure that most do already).

Tony Stoney offered to make up some flyer holders to fit on the gates. Les will check with the council to see if this will be possible. A portable poster advertising shop opening to be placed at the end of Riley lane was also suggested. Flyers advertising OBAGS should also be placed in local shops where possible.

Trading huts
The condition of the hut doors was again raised – the LHS trading hut doors are very soft in places. The main trading hut front is also rotten on places. Richard will get a quote for new doors from Peter. The trading hut roofs were again raised as they possibly contain asbestos. We should not do any maintenance to the roofs – any holes should be just filled with filler.

Shop Stock
Richard agreed that the non-standard items were now in short supply and will buy some more items locally to re-stock the shelves.

Basinga web site
It was pointed out that the information on the Basinga web site is well out of date – this should be corrected.

Plant Sale
It was requested that during the plant sale any person attending the plant sale should be able to purchase items from the shop. This was agreed.

Membership cards
Richard requested that we be vigilant on membership cards at all shop openings to ensure that we only allow members to purchase items from the shop (apart from the plant sale day). Other committee members related instances where they had inspected cards and had been shown cards several years out of date.

After a discussion on subscription rates it was agreed to leave the subscription rate at £4 for this year. The rate will be increased for next year (from September 1st 2012) to £5.

The committee thanked Maurice Bates for arranging the venue of the Bowling Club for the AGM as this saved costs as the Council wanted to charge for the use of the Meeting room at the Council Offices.

The meeting ended at 12.30pm with refreshments and cakes (Thanks to Chris).

Vice Chairman

Membership Secretary
Trading Secretary
Asst Trading Sec
Seed Sale Organiser
Richard West was nominated as Chairman by Tony Hall - seconded by Tony Stoney, and he accepted the post.
Les Orvis agreed to continue as Vice Chairman and council representative.
Janet Cloke agreed to stay on as Treasurer.
Janet Cloke will continue as Publicity Officer.
Jenny West will remain Secretary.
Chris Hall will continue as Membership Sec.
Richard West agreed to stay on as Trading Sec.
Tony Hall agreed to stay on as Asst Trading Sec.
Tony Hall agreed to stay on as WebMaster.
Philip Ward will continue as Seed Sale Org.