BUCKHURST HILL RESIDENTS’ SOCIETY
54th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Wednesday 10th May 2017 at 7.30pm
ST JAMES’ UNITED REFORMED CHURCH HALL
PRESENT: Jenn Page (Chair), Peter Foxton, Margaret Sinfield, Margaret Drew, David Freeman,
Steven Neville, Ken Williamson, Anthony Young, Lynn Jones, Frances Davies, Fiona Wheeler
1. Welcome: Given by Chairman Jenn Page
Committee: Ken Williamson
3. MINUTES OF THE LAST AGM - Wednesday 11th May 2016 were AGREED
4. CHAIRMAN'S REPORT
Thank you all for coming to the Society's 54th AGM and for supporting us throughout the year.
Did I have any idea what I was taking on last year; indeed did you have any idea what you were taking on? To follow 10 years of Tony Oliva’s chairmanship was always going to be difficult and I would therefore like to thank the current committee for its support, criticisms and laughter. You are a great group and even if you don't have much time to devote to activities just bringing your views to the table is an enormous positive.
Sadly, after many years of sitting on the committee, Jean James has retired. I would like to pass our thanks to her for all the work she has done for the Society. Reuters has posted Ralph Gowling to Beirut thanks to him for joining us for a short time. This year we were delighted to welcome Anthony Young to the committee.
On the reverse of the Agenda you will find changes being made to the Constitution. I will be asking you to vote for these changes at the end of the meeting.
We haven't received any comments good or bad, so we hope you approved of the new format of the Spring Newsletter. It will be different again for the Autumn edition as there will be two new editors. Do please let us have your views on ease of reading, style, typeface etc. of successive Newsletters. We plan to take the best of each publication for a final layout.
Thanks everyone for the tremendous amount of work you did on making the Fair the best yet. But I have to single out Margaret Drew, for her precision planning, dedication and for being the driving force behind the day and for taking a great photo of me and Harry Potter. This year the Fair will be on Friday 1 December, we have funding, have met with the Parish Office and booked the essentials; further details will be in the next Newsletter.
We continue to monitor every Planning application within Buckhurst Hill and your Society make objections to Epping Forest where required.
Thanks to Peter Foxton our deputy chairman and other members of the committee who did excellent work keeping residents informed of the Plan. Sadly the Parish and Council's lack of information left most residents in the dark, confused and many worried about blight on their properties which could be brought about by building on the small car park in Lower Queens Road. A big thanks to Peter for writing our response so assiduously.
We have maintained pressure on TfL for secondary and step free access to Buckhurst hill station and for completion of the redecorations. Two weeks ago. in response to my enquiries I received an email from the General Manager of the Central Line saying that whilst he is confident work will be funded and will go ahead, he can’t commit to specific timescales. On the decoration of the station he said this will have to wait until money is available.
There have been changes to current Bus Routes and we are particularly concerned about the future of route 20. We will keep you informed of any proposed changes.
Easter bunny hunt
With co-operation from local schools, children were asked to find Easter bunnies which had been hidden in various shop windows in Queens Road. Winners were awarded book tokens. Last year Margaret Drew applied for and received a grant of £1000 from EFDC's Town and Village Centres Opportunities Fund. This was excellent news and the money will fund a project with our local primary schools. Margaret has already been in talks with St John's PTA and plans for the project are well under way. Activities like these benefit children, traders and they advertise the Society. Thank you for your work on these two activities Margaret.
We have an ever greater presence on Facebook and Twitter mainly thanks to Margaret Drew and Anthony Young. Peter also does an good job of maintaining our Website. Please look at all our media sites for up-to-date information and let your friends know about us.
We had our usual stall at the Bedford House Christmas Bazaar, selling homemade cakes and local jams plus a guess the weight of the cake competition.
Last September the Society hosted its Annual Coffee Morning at St James United Reformed Church for Essex Macmillan Cancer Support. Thanks to all those who attended and also to those who contributed the delicious homemade cakes.
If you like to bake please think about donating a cake to us for this year's cake events.
The lunch at the Toby Carvery (once the Bald Faced Stag) is a very pleasant way to meet with other members and the committee. You also get an opportunity to complete one of Margaret's gruelling quizzes; our booking this year is at 12 noon on Thursday 27 June. The booking form was in the Spring Newsletter. Please do join us.
More food, in the form of a cream tea, will be consumed on Friday 19 when we hold the Mad Hatter's Tea Party do come along and wear a mad hat if you wish. There are one or two surprises in store.
Talks and Walks
Film night has become a great success. This year we sniffled our way through Brief Encounter. The committee dressed appropriately and to keep in the spirit of the times, sloshed tea out of huge teapots. Next year we carry on with showing the best film of the decade and will be searching through films of the 1950s.
In February we joined with Buckhurst Hill Community Association for a joint quiz night. The evening was so successful it is to become an annual event. We will of course continue with our own Quiz Night in October.
On Sunday Peter Sinfield led our bi-annual Walking the Boundaries. This is always a popular and enjoyable afternoon and this year we were joined by about 20 people (pleasingly some coming because they had seen the event advertised on social media) Peter gave a brief talk about the history of Walking the Boundaries and Margaret an excellent Risk Assessment which made some of us think twice about doing the walk. During the six miles, which was walked in sunshine Peter and Lynn Jones gave us snippets of history including that in the late 1800s a British company won a contract to build an train engine for use on a in Portugal but the proposed line had a slight gradient. Strangely it was considered that Monkhams Lane within Knighton Woods replicated that gradient, so the engine was brought here. The trails were successful but unfortunately in 1873 the ship the Northfleet carrying the engine to Portugal sank off the Dungeness coast.
We continue to be lucky to attract interesting speakers and have a full programme of events for the rest of the year; in fact enough to keep you off the streets on at least one evening of the month.
After the report, the Chairman was thanked by Vice Chairman Peter Foxton on behalf of the rest of the committee for agreeing to take on the Chairmanship a year ago, and for steering the Society through a successful year
5. TREASURER'S REPORT
Margaret Sinfield (Treasurer) presented the BHRS Accounts for 2016.
Margaret said that as charity collections and donations had been included in the 2016 accounts (the previous year they were entered separately) it appeared from the Balance Sheet that both Income and Expenditure had increased considerably from 2015.
However there was also an increase in Income for 2016 due to the extra meetings and events which were held last year, and Expenditure on various items was less compared to 2015, notably the new website added another £400 to the 2015 expenditure.
There was thus a surplus for 2016 of £930, taking the Total Reserves at the end of 2016 to £4192.34.
The Treasurer concluded by thanking Hilary Rothera for acting as Honorary Auditor.
6. APPOINTMENT OF AUDITOR
Re-appointment of Hilary Rothera
Proposed by Sara Callen. Seconded by Chris Marshall AGREED
7. ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE
The present and proposed officers were as follows and were duly elected.
Chairman Jenn Page
Vice Chairman Peter Foxton
Treasurer Margaret Sinfield
Membership Secretary Jenn Page
Minutes Secretary David Freeman
Committee Members Margaret Drew, Frances Davies, Steven Neville, Fiona Wheeler, Ken Williamson
Anthony Young was formally elected, after being co-opted last year
Chris Martin proposed the re-electon of the Committee
Chris Drew seconded the motion AGREED
Jenn Page asked if any of the members would like to fill the two committee vacancies. No one applied on the night so the two vacancies remained open
8. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION
Peter Foxton proposed the following changes to the constitution
Notice of Proposed Changes to Constitution
(Deletions in brackets, amendments in italics)
Note: The full Constitution can be downloaded from the website; a number of copies were made available at the AGM for those members without internet access.
I Full membership shall be open to all persons residing (within the postal district of Buckhurst Hill) in Buckhurst Hill, taken to be the postcode area IG9.
Reason – the postal district of Buckhurst Hill has not existed since at least 1974 when Postcodes were introduced. An alternative would be to allow membership only within the area covered by BH Parish Council and EFDC, but that would exclude historic parts of Buckhurst Hill now in Redbridge and Waltham Forest.
4. MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
ii Any member of Buckhurst Hill Residents’ Society elected as a representative of the Society to a Local Authority shall sit on the Management Committee. Officers of the Society elected (as above) to a Local Authority as representatives of any Political Party Organisation shall be deemed to have resigned their position as Officers upon election.
Reason – the current wording was incorrectly drafted, and actually says the opposite of what was obviously intended. Currently Officers elected as a representative of a political party are NOT deemed to have resigned their office (though they may do so anyway).
5. CONTRIBUTIONS AND FUNDS
iii A membership card shall be issued to each Member if requested immediately upon receipt of the membership fee, and no other form of receipt shall be issued.
11. COUNCIL REPRESENTATION
Add new sub-clause
iv The Management Committee may resolve that the Society support candidates nominated for election to a Local Authority who are not standing as representatives of the Society, provided they are not standing as representatives of any Political Party Organisation.
Reason – It must be recognised that the Society is very unlikely to nominate candidates to stand in elections as representatives of the Society. Therefore, consistent with the position of the Society as a non-political organisation, the Society ought to be able to support candidates who share the aims of the Society, but are standing under another banner, for instance as Independent or as a member of another Residents Association. This is not actually forbidden by the current wording of the constitution, but the addition of this clause makes the possibility explicit.
The reasoning for the changes was questioned by Barbara Blossom and an interesting discussion occurred which was finally resolved by the vote.
The proposal by Peter Foxton was seconded by Marlene Honne AGREED
9. MATTERS ARISING
Chris Marshall asked about the current situation regarding 1 Powell Road. Peter Foxton responded by stating that although discussion were still in progress he didn’t believe there would be further developments for at least 12 months. It had been included in the EFDC local plan but it suggested only 2/3rds of the area were being considered.
Margaret Drew asked members to pass on their thoughts and question regarding the Resident Society as we need to know how we can better help members. She also pointed out that we can advertise events via our Facebook and twitter feeds.
10. QUESTION TIME
No additional question was raised.
The formal part of the evening concluded, Chairman Jenn introduced Len Taphouse who talked with much gusto and at length about “Five years as a dockyard Apprentice”
He was kindly thanked at the end of his talk by Chairman Jenn Page.