Minutes of the Fakenham Society AGM held at the Fakenham Sports Centre on 22 March 2018 at 7:15pm

Apologies

Apologies were received from Malcolm and Maggie Hunter and Helen Shaw.

Minutes of the last AGM

The minutes of the 2017 AGM were unanimously agreed.

Matters arising

The Chairman reported that, while last year’s trip to the Royal Albert Hall and the V&A had been a great success, the committee felt that the outsourcing of the arrangements had not delivered any significant benefits to the Society.

Gas Museum report

The report was given by Mr Harry Yates Director of the Museum.
The new constitution will be implemented on conclusion of negotiations with National Grid that will see Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust cease to be involved with the museum trust.
The museum’s bid to be accredited by the Arts Council England has been successful and it has achieved “Full Re-Accreditation”.
Mike Bridges Memorial Award was awarded to Alligan Bundock after an extensive sifting process which involved a large number of students.
The new site lease from National Grid is currently being reviewed and should go before the Trust Board for approval in April this year.
A lack of volunteers, particularly Stewards, leaves the museum vulnerable to failing to meet the primary objective of opening to the public which obviously adversely impacts on revenue and reputation. Anybody who would like to volunteer would be very welcome.

Treasurer’s report

Sinny Mallett thanked Roy Gibson, Dave Siseman and Phil Parry for their help in preparing the accounts and Christine Dawson for her help on the reception table during the season.
The society made a surplus on the season of £220.60 with a carry forward balance of £3,479.82. The full treasurers report is available and is filed together with the examined accounts.
The annual paid membership decreased by 24 to 133 in 2017/18 with guest attendance increasing from 22 to 33.
The Christmas raffle produced £67 and Barry Blades very generously donated his speakers fee to our chosen charity. The total of £142 was sent to The David Parr House Charity and was acknowledged by a delighted Tamsin Wimhurst.
Acceptance of the accounts was proposed by Kate Hall and seconded by Sheila Robson. All agreed.

A copy of the Income & Expenditure Account can be viewed here.

Chairman’s report

At beginning of the season the committee prepared a Fire Emergency Plan for the Society. While the Sports Centre has primary responsibility for fire safety within their buildings, the Society also has a duty of care with respect to the safety of its membership. Accordingly, the Society carried out its own Fire Risk Assessment relating to its activities and prepared a Fire Emergency Plan. This will be reviewed annually. Steve Fuell, Sue Parry and David Riddle took the lead on this important initiative.
Towards the end of the season the Committee also grappled with the new “General Data Protection Regulations” that come into force in May. All members will need to complete their data protection consent forms as soon as possible otherwise the Society will not be able to communicate with them in future. Thanks go to Dave Siseman, Martin Shaw, Steve Fuell and David Riddle for their work on this.
As Sinny Mallet has already reported our finance situation has remained on a par with the previous year. Accordingly, the committee have not seen it necessary to increase the annual subscription rate. While the membership has fallen by 15%, last year’s subscription increase means income was largely the same. The Society has some vulnerability if member numbers keep falling, room hire increases, or speaker costs continue to rise. However, the best way to address such vulnerabilities is to extend the membership and the Chairman encouraged all members to recommend the Society to friends and colleagues.
The Chairman thanked his wife for her tenacity in putting together our speakers programme and for continuing to find superb speakers and topics.
Season highlights are always a personal thing but the Chairman’s selection included Matt Champion and the Gt Ryburgh Dig, Tamsin Wimhurst with David Parr’s House and the Christmas Variety Night, especially the wonderful Ukulele Band!
Finally, the Chairman thanked all the other committee members for their contributions and support, and also our President, John Birt, for his quiet and calm manner – a true Gentleman.
Acceptance of the Chairman’s report was proposed by Gordon Lane and seconded by Janet Bowden.

Election of Officers and Committee

The president John Birt took the chair.
There was no contest for the officer appointments and the following were elected unanimously:

Officers

Chairman: Phil Parry
Vice-chairman: David Riddle
Treasurer: Sinny Mallett
Secretary: Martin Shaw
Membership Secretary: Dave Siseman

Committee members

Steve Brettell
Christine Dawson
Steve Fuell
Robert Mallett
Sue Parry
Susan Riddle
Jasmine Siseman

The Chairman Phil Parry took the chair.

Comments from the floor

The Chairman invited the members to offer their feedback on ways to improve the organisation of the Society, its programme and trips.
Roy Gibson suggested meeting earlier at 7:00pm rather than 7:30pm. There appeared to be little support for the proposal.
A trip to David Parr’s House was suggested from the floor but the size of visitor groups is currently limited to only six. Sue Parry reported that this may change in future and such a visit could form part of a possible wider Cambridge trip.
The Chairman floated the idea of short trip to go on a “Man in Black” trip to Norwich. It was reported that although the Man in Black who spoke to the Society had now retired a replacement was taking over and this could be explored.
Sheila Robson enquired whether in future we could arrange trips that either limited the amount of walking required or included alternative options for those less mobile. The Chairman agreed to consider this when planning future trips.
The AGM closed at 19.50.

After the tea break Peter Lawrence presented “This Policeman’s Lot”. A social view of policing in the late 20th century – from the Krays to the Crown.