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Minutes of the A.G.M. held on 24th November 2013 at the Bowling Club, Old Basing.

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

1 Present
Maurice Bates
Steve & Aileen Brown
Janet Cloke (Treasurer)
Chris Hall (Membership Secretary)
Tony Hall (WebMaster)
Janet Lucas
Bob & Jenny Noel
Les Orvis
Russell Pollard
Tony Stoney
Philip Ward (Plant Sales Co-ordinator)
Jenny West (Secretary)
Richard West (Chairman & Trading Secretary)

2 Minutes of the 2012 AGM
The minutes of the 2012 AGM were read and approved.

3 Matters Arising
Society Insurance
The new insurance with RHS has saved us money and we have the added bonus of discount cards and a free group visit to an RHS garden each year.
The committee thanked Janet Cloke for her efforts to save the society money on insurance and in arranging the visit to RHS Wisley in July.

Parish Council Inspections
OBAGS has had representatives on the Parish council allotment inspections in 2013, this has worked well and the input from our representatives has been useful to the council. Thanks to Maurice, Jenny & Chris for their help.

Parish Council Partnership Evening
Richard and Jenny attended the parish Council Partnership event year.

Bank Account Signatures
Les Orvis was added as a third signature for cheques, Les has resigned this year, we will have to find another committee member third cheque signature.

Allotment Toilet Plans
The allotment toilet is now almost complete. The committee thanked all members for their help with the toilet works.

Social Sunday
The picnic went very well, the committee agreed that this was a better format than the Barbeque and that we should keep this event the same this year.
4 Chairman’s Report
This is the end of my second year as Chairman of OBAGS

We have finished the toilet now and all will be ready for use when the danger of frosts is over.  I would like to thank Tony Hall for his time spent on getting the toilet shed ready. Old Basing & Lychpit Council have been very helpful in this matter and we have worked with them to keep our costs to a minimum.

I would like to thank Les Orvis for his work with Old Basing & Lychpit Council on our behalf in respect of the toilet and other matters.   Les has had to resign as Vice Chairman this year and we are looking for another Vice Chair and Council rep.

We now have representatives from OBAGS attending the council allotment inspections, this has proved very beneficial and the council is finding our presence a great help. Thanks to Maurice, Jenny and Chris for their help in the inspections.

As usual, I would like to thank all volunteers who helped in the shop and for all who helped with the shed tidy weekend.   We had new doors fitted to the RHS shed early in the year.
Thanks also to all who donated plants and helped with the plant sale this year.

Thanks to Janet for organising the visit to Wisley, it was a great day out and I hope that more members will attend the planned visits in 2014.

This year we had a picnic rather than a barbeque, this worked very well as we were all able to sit down together and all had a very pleasant afternoon.

Thanks to all committee members who have worked together to keep the society and the shop running so smoothly.   We are quite few and are always looking for new blood to help with organisation & ideas.
5 Secretary’s Reports
Very little correspondence received again this year as most correspondence is received now as e-mails. All correspondence has been passed on to the relevant committee member as required.

Chris reported that we have a total of 77 members joined or renewed for the 2013 season, up 4 from the 2012 membership. The 77 members included 8 who took advantage of our special deal and joined during September – December 2012. (So far eight people have joined for the 2014 season since September 2013).  Also the number of cards issued tied up with the number of members exactly.

Chris again pointed out that it is important that shop volunteers are reminded of the importance of checking that customers hold a current membership card before finalising sales.

6 Trading Secretary’s Report
We have had another year with plenty of shop helpers, although we have had quite a few helpers who have either forgotten or turned up on the wrong day!  

This year we have opened on Saturday afternoons in the busy season and Sunday mornings as normal.  I would again like to thank all volunteers who have spent their Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings helping in the shop.   Again this year we will have around 30 helpers for the shop.  There is a prospective shop helper’s schedule – please let me know if any dates are a problem for you.
We have a bit of a problem with reliability of some volunteers,  would it be a good idea for the lead volunteer to pick up the bag on Friday evening from Janet’s house ?  This would give us time to organise replacements if the lead forgets.  Any other ideas ?

The membership scheme has worked very well again this year (thanks to Tony & Chris) with over 70 members registering.  Thanks to all volunteers for their vigilance on checking membership cards.

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 have a problem with roof leakage in the trading hut and some items are getting very wet on the shelves near the door.   The problem with the shed roofs means that we can do little maintenance as they are cast asbestos concrete.   Do we have any members with experience with this type of building ?

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 picnic in July was a great success and I think we should have another picnic this year.
We had our Fifth shop team ‘Harvest home’ dinner at the Bolton Arms earlier this month.
This went off very well and I thought the food and company was great.
10 Seed order
Philip reported that the seed order went very smoothly again this year,  
The orders were again returned just in time for early November trading date, unfortunately falling on Remembrance Sunday this year.
60 members had seed catalogues, 40 members ordered seeds etc
The seed order made £192.04 profit this year.
11 Appointments of Officers
The following officers were appointed:
14 Any Other Business
2014 Plans.
Shed Inspection  23rd March
Shed Tidy Weekend  12th & 13th April
Plant Sale   11th May
Committee Meeting  1st June
Social Sunday   13th July
Seed order final date  5th October
Harvest Home Dinner  7th November
2014 AGM   30th November

Third Cheque Signature
Tony Hall agreed to be a third cheque signature.

Trading Sheds
Richard will get quotes for re-roofing the trading sheds and investigate grants.

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
Council Representative

Committee Member
Committee Member
Committee Member
Richard West agreed to continue as Chairman
Russell Pollard was elected as Vice Chairman .
Janet Cloke agreed to stay on as Treasurer.
Tony Stoney 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.
Janet Lucas agreed to attend Council Facilities meetings where Society business is affected.
Maurice Bates
Steve & Aileen Brown
Ben & Jenny Noel
7 Treasurers Report
The plant sale earlier this year was again a great success, making the Society a profit of £328.65.  This was the Societies only fund raising event this year.  Income from membership subscriptions increased due to a rise in numbers and raising the cost of membership this last year to £5.00.  

Unfortunately losses (from sales sheets) have been significant this year, at £134.68.  I can see several reasons why this might have happened:
1) Mistakes when ‘ticking’ the sales sheets.
2) The total amount charged not tallying appropriately on the sheet.
3) The amount paid not concurring on the sheet.
4) Payments not paid, e.g. Values of £46.05 & £24.35.  This could be also for various reasons e.g. incorrectly charged , incorrect ‘ticks’ made on the sheets, members not having funds on their person at the time of purchase, but the sheet not being altered.
When calculating sales, I personally can only go by what is on the sheets when the bag/cash boxes are returned to me.  This figure does not take into account any discrepancies on the sheets or in the cash box.

Having a separate membership cash box and Tony being around for membership applications and renewals most weekends has helped although one membership fee was missing.

I would also like to point out a problem that has happened a couple of times this year when volunteers have either changed shifts and the member who has kindly changed with them does not then turn up to collect the bag containing the cash box and sales sheets.  Also, on one Sunday no one collected the bag but did not inform anyone.  There have also been some occasions when the bag has not been returned after the shed has closed.  It would help if the lead members ‘on duty’ who are returning the bag advise me if they will be delayed and that they will return the bag over the next few days. I do not wish to sound intensive, but this I feel, is only a fair comment.

The HCC grant for £3,000 for the facilities at the huts has covered the costs.  At present before groundwork there is a surplus of 2275.78.  Hopefully, when the groundwork account has been submitted these costs will be paid from the balance.  The cost of maintenance and supplies e.g. toilet rolls, hand wash general materials, costs and upkeep needs to be assessed.

The Society joined the RHS scheme to facilitate insurance, and overall the Society has made a saving of £246.70 by joining this sheme compared to obtaining insurance cover with other companies.  In addition, Society members have the added benefit of affiliation to the RHS and members have gained by now having a ‘free’ garden visit each year plus discounted flower show tickets.  Only a few members have used the RHS discount card to visit RHS gardens this year.  But, the cost is only £10.00 pa and I feel that considering the overall gross savings and the fact that the RHS discount card enables members to other discounted visits to any RHS garden the Society should consider this.

Total Saturday sales amounted to £204.80, although on June 15th, sales amounted to only 40p!

Overall 2013 was a very quiet and steady year.

Gross profit this year was £379.63

Membership subs income was £364.00
Plant sale income was           £328.65
Seed order income was         £192.04
Shop gross profit was              £6.06

There followed a discussion on shop duties, trading procedures and other related issues.  The Trading Secretary agreed to change the volunteer instructions to try to improve the trading situation and volunteer reliability.

The Treasurer also requested that all bills for more that £20.00 be paid by cheque rather than being taken out of shop takings as several times this has caused issues this year.

The total cash in the societies accounts is £xxxxxxxxx

Janet proposed that we have a committee meeting after the plant sale to discuss half yearly issues, this was agreed.
8 Publicity Report
Tony Stoney has had great success getting copy into the Basinga every month.
9 Website
The number of hits since January, 2008 has reached 6414, an increase of 1542 in the last 12 months (24% of the total).
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.

Classified Advertisement service to self-employed members: The number of businesses taking up the offer this year has reduced to one. The facility is advertised on the Trading Hut notice board and on the News page of the website. Depending on interest during 2014, it may not be worth continuing the service into 2015.

There have been additions to our Members’ recipe section: thanks to Jenny and Richard West.

I would like to stress again the importance of ensuring that the email box on the member application form is filled in correctly, and to update any change in email address at renewal. Our global email facility is becoming increasingly important to keep members apprised of forthcoming events, particularly in view of our new affiliation with the RHS.
In the current year 75% of the membership provided an email address.
12 Allotment Toilet
The allotment toilet is nearly complete, all that is required as to fit some paving slabs (Janet Cloke has some).  Janet will get some supplies for the toilet, Jenny West has some soaps spare that we can have.   Once we are ready we will announce the code number to members.   We will need some notices etc.   Jenny West volunteered to check the toilet and to ensure it is kept clean.
13 OBAGS Constitution
Changes to the OBAGS constitution were discussed.  
It was agreed to change clause 4 to state ‘Membership shall be open to all’.
It was agreed to change clause 11 to state ‘An independent  auditor (preferably a member of the Society) shall be appointed at the Annual General meeting to certify the books’. Les Orvis agreed to certify the books in 2014.