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Minutes of the A.G.M. held on 24th November 2019 at
The Pavilion Tea-Rooms, Old Basing.

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

1. Present
Maurice Bates
Mervyn Badger
Tracy Braybrook
Chris Hall (Membership Secretary)
Tony Hall (Chair)
Steve Layland
David Oakden
Les Orvis (Treasurer)
Richard West

Apologies from Janet Lucas, Tony Terry, Philip Ward

2. Minutes of the 2018 AGM
The minutes of the 2018 AGM were read and approved.

3. Matters Arising
4. Chairman’s Report

Welcome to the 2019 AGM, our first in the Pavilion Tea-Rooms thanks to the good offices of the Parish Council.

I would like to thank all volunteers who helped in the shop and for all who helped with the shed tidy weekend in April.

We must also thank all who donated plants and raffle prizes and helped with the plant sale this year, which was very successful.

Thanks to all committee members who have worked together to keep the society and the shop running so smoothly again this year.
We have continued our affiliation with the RHS. One member has taken advantage of the card giving discounted admission for two people to RHS gardens.
No problems have been reported with water supply to the allotments this year. A few thefts have been reported.
I was present at two of the three allotment inspections. I raised the issue of the condition the allotments were in when handed over to new tenants. The newly-appointed assistant Parish clerk is responsible for keeping records of the tenants, vacancies and waiting lists. When I enquired, I was told Stephen, the groundsman, was in the process of clearing six vacant allotments; approximately five tenancies have not been renewed and there appears to be twenty people currently on the waiting list. Neither she nor I think these figures are accurate, but I hope to be updated.
One person has so far rented space for beehives on the site previously agreed, i.e. on the cemetery boundary adjacent to the railway line. The hives are well screened. The beekeeper and his father are very experienced and have selected particularly docile strains of bees. They have circulated a mobile number to use as a contact in case of any problems.
Our plant sale in May was very successful thanks to increased donations, good weather and increased footfall. Thank you to all who helped.
Eight of us enjoyed a very pleasant Harvest lunch on Friday November 1st at Barton’s Mill. Thanks to Richard for organising this.
Plant Sale 10 May         Richard and Maurice to co-ordinate arrangements
Social Sunday              Look into combining hire of Tea Room and a BBQ outside
Harvest Home Dinner     6 November. Lunch or dinner TBA
Annual General Meeting 29 November, 10:30 - 12:00
Les Orvis, our treasurer, distributed copies of the Profit & Loss Account and the Balance Sheet for the year ending 31 October, 2019 and took us through the details.

The net profit for the year transferred to reserves was £706.44
There were no contributions to the website by the membership during the year.

Only three members did not provide an email address this year, demonstrating the importance of the global lists as a means of disseminating information.
    The following officers were appointed:
Vice Chairman
Trading Secretary
Asst Trading Sec
Membership Sec
Council Rep
Committee Member
Committee Member
Committee Member
Committee Member
Currently Tracy Braybrook
Currently Chris Hall
Currently Les Orvis               
Currently Tony Hall
Currently Tony Terry
Currently Tracy Braybrook
Currently Chris Hall
Currently Tony Hall
Currently Chris Hall
Currently Maurice Bates
Currently Steve Layland
David Oakden
Currently Richard West
There was no other business and the meeting closed at 11:30 with refreshments.

Thanks to Chris Hall for providing excellent home-made cakes.

A total of 72 members joined or renewed for the 2019 season, an increase of 14 over 2018. This is the largest membership figure since 2015 (73).

The 72 members included 3 who took advantage of our special deal and joined during September – December 2018. (Five new [2] and re-joining [3] members have joined so far for the 2020 season since September 2019). Reconciliation between the number of application forms filled in or updated and the number of membership cards issued showed no discrepancies – 80 were printed, and 8 remained at the end of the season.

Once again can I emphasise that shop volunteers need to remain vigilant in ensuring that customers hold a current membership card before finalising sales if we are to improve further on our current membership levels.

As last year, a new code for the Suttons discount for 2020 will be used, and the toilet code will be changed during the week before our first 2020 opening, which is the 12th of January. Both of these codes will be divulged on joining or renewal. I will send out a global email to existing members informing them of this in early January.

We had a successful year’s trading, with a turnover of £2125.

The top sellers were:

The first item requires bulk purchase to provide a reasonable selling price. The second is purchased on special offer which occurs once or sometimes twice a year.  The other items are purchased from our regular supplier, Fargro. Until recently Fargro included delivery in the purchase price of each item, making it easy to top-up items that were running low. Now there is a minimum order value of £180 inc VAT to obtain free delivery, which means we may need to delay replacement of out of stock items until we have built up a minimum order.

These factors highlight that we have limited storage space and logistical problems around delivery, for example 200 bags of mushroom compost weigh 5 tonnes and are delivered on an 18 tonner.

A plan was drawn up, together with the groundsman, to address these issues by improving access for these lorries. The scheme includes moving the gate and tapering the fence on both sides at the Riley Lane entrance and laying a concrete raft in front of the bulk storage hut to facilitate off-loading of these items by the pallet-load. This would reduce the multiple handling of individual bags and increase storage capacity – a single pallet-load of stock held together by clingfilm typically requires six pallets when the bags are stacked individually. The Parish Council agreed to carry out this work in-house with a contribution from OBAGS of £500. At the committee meeting of 11 April, 2019 it was agreed to proceed. The work should be completed early in the New Year. Thanks are due to Stephen, the groundsman, for his valuable input.

The Riley Lane entrance is not the ideal choice for accessing the OBAGS huts with a large lorry because the lane is narrow and the far side is laid to grass, but it has the advantage that the route is reinforced with 6” or more of scalpings  and the concrete extension can be accessed with no further turns. If it were not for this, the car park entrance would be a better bet, but the route is simply grass on soil and the lorry tailgate could not be lined up with the hut entrance.

However, it has come to our notice that the car park is to be upgraded to provide more parking spaces and this may occur as early as next year. I would like to propose that we keep an eye on developments with a view to include upgrading the grass strip from the car park gate to accommodate an 18t lorry and extending the concrete slab to meet the rear of the truck without it having to turn, as part of this project.

This proposal was approved. Post-note: The Council’s car park plan has been put on hold.

Thanks to Les Orvis for his help with the stocktake, and to those members who helped with the Shed Tidy. Also, a thank you to all those who made such a great success of the Plant Sale by contributing to its organisation and publicity, by donating plants and prizes and by helping out on the day.

The investigation carried out by the officers of the committee into the loss of £100 of income and their decision to write off that sum were approved by the committee. Steps had already been taken to minimise the likelihood of a recurrence.

5. Treasurer’s Report

6. Secretary’s Report

7. Membership Secretary’s Report

8. Trading Secretary’s Report

10. 2020 Plans

9. Website Report

11. Appointments of Officers

All members agreed to continue to serve except Maurice Bates who announced his retirement from the committee.

Chris Hall thanked Maurice for his many years service on the committee, both as member and chairman, and for arranging to make the Bowling Club clubhouse available for our AGMs.

12. Any Other Business