Wye Valley Music 2020 AGM
October 28th 2020 – Online Zoom Meeting
Present: Martin Fenn-Smith (Chair) Margaret Ralph (Secretary) David Rees (Treasurer) Mike Haines (Programme Secretary) Corinna Arnold, Michael Bradley
Members present: Committee members (as above), Douglas Battersby, Maggie Biss, Christine Haines, Jane Harvey, Alice Hogge, John Hurley, Jennifer Jones, Richard Jones, Patrick Mills, Keith and Sue Norman, Kenneth Prandy, Jean Sheraton, Mike Weeks, Ursula Williams, Gill Wright.
Non-members present: Judy Craven, Kenneth Crawley, Rosemary and Stephen Hall, Ed Logan, Nicholas Lowton, Mike Topp, Julie Waller, David Young.
The Notice of AGM dated 7th October 2020 gave the 21 days' notice required under the Constitution.
There were 31 attendees including 22 members present in total which, being more than 10 or 10% of the present membership of the Society, constitutes a quorum under the provisions of the Constitution.
Ron and Jennifer Birch, Anthea Prest, Bob Osborne, Helen Owen, Mary and Stephen Walsh, Judy and Geoff Capps, Richard Lemon, Lord Lipsey, Rachel Chegwin.
2. Minutes of 2019 AGM held on 12th October 2019
These were circulated in October 2020. There were no Matters Arising apart from two amendments, firstly of two members’ names which were omitted from the Apologies, and the second, where the year of the AGM was omitted. These will be amended so that the minutes can be signed as a correct record of the 2019 AGM.
Adoption of the minutes was proposed by Keith Norman, seconded by John Hurley and agreed unanimously
3. Chairman’s Report
This had been circulated prior to the meeting. Martin Fenn-Smith mentioned the more significant events from the past year, especially the diminished activity level due to the pandemic. The funding from the Lark Trust enabled the continuing schools’ workshops - reaching around 1200 primary schoolchildren and which will continue when the pandemic regulations permit. Plans for the future will depend very much upon the limitations imposed on the society by the Welsh Government, but the committee will continue to keep members informed via emails and newsletters. Martin continued by informing members of his intention to stand down as Chairman and to propose that Corinna Arnold be elected in his place. He also informed members of the resignation of Linda Day, the administrator and thanked her for her valuable contribution to the society. In conclusion he thanked the members of the committee and the others whose services are integral to the society’s success for their support during the past year.
There being no questions the report was accepted.
4. Secretary’s Report
The secretary reported that there are currently 104 members of whom 19 are silver members. This is a drop on the previous year but probably reflects the impact of the Pandemic on late renewals. Contact is being made with those who have not renewed. She commented on the likelihood of there being no live concerts during the winter months and that the brochure for the second half of the year has not been produced because of this. The committee had continued to meet, using Zoom and the regular updates to those on the database were outlined. The decision to issue a regular newsletter had been welcomed by members and will continue throughout the coming months. Margaret paid tribute to the huge amount of innovation and streamlining of the work of the committee that the Chairman has undertaken and thanked him on their behalf. She also spoke of the work of the Administrator and wished her well in the future. Members were reminded that the Society needs new committee members and asked members to consider whether they time and/or skills that they could offer.
Questions: Keith Norman asked whether the Administrator would be replaced.
The Chairman replied that it was not proposed to do this at present, but that the post would be considered later when there is a clearer view of future needs vis a vis the funding available.
The secretary’s report was unanimously accepted by those present.
5. Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer’s Report and the Approved Accounts had been circulated prior to the meeting. They show a surplus of £1249 in this rather curtailed year. Members were reminded that the £4000 grant from the Lark Trust is ring-fenced as it has to be used for work with schools. As of July 31st there is £9,684 on deposit.
Questions/comments: Keith Norman commented that the society is in a strong position financially, bearing in mind the problems it has faced in the past year.
Stephen Hall said that the gift to KN should not appear in the accounts as it could be queried by the Charity Commission.
David Rees responded that the figure was in fact donations from two people and that the Society is not actually sending gifts. It was agreed that the wording be amended to “other payments”.
The Chair proposed that the accounts be accepted Proposer: John Hurley Seconder: Keith Norman
The financial report was accepted unanimously by those present.
6. Election of Officers and Committee
The Chairman has decided not to stand for a further year but has agreed to remain on the committee. He nominated Corinna Arnold to take over as Chair and she has accepted the nomination. There are no other nominations.
The nomination was proposed by Martin Fenn-Smith and seconded by Mike Topp,
This was unanimously accepted by those present.
At this point the new Chair – Corinna Arnold took over the meeting.
All other members of the committee had agreed to continue in their present roles and have therefore been nominated.
The Chair asked for a member of the meeting to propose that the remaining committee members be elected en bloc.
Proposed: Judy Craven Seconded: Ursula Williams
Unanimously agreed by those present.
7. Appointment of Independent Examiner.
Rachel Fenwick finds herself unable to continue as Independent Examiner and it has not been possible to find a replacement in time for this meeting. The secretary will circulate the name of the new Independent examiner as soon as one has been found. In the interim approval was sought for the Committee to appoint someone to this role.
Proposed: Alice Hogge Seconded: John Hurley
Unanimously agreed by those present.
John Hurley commented that the Assembly Rooms committee in St. Briavels had recently found a new Examiner –Paul Bennett from Coleford. It was agreed that the Treasurer would approach him.
8. Proposal to Amend the Constitution
This is exactly the same proposal that was put to members at last year's AGM with no changes whatsoever to the language put forward then. There have been no concerns raised with them and as the Chairman went into detail then and members all have the documents online, the Chair asked a member to propose that these changes be approved.
John Hurley questioned whether members had been sent the copies of the proposal in sufficient time. Martin Fenn-Smith replied that the documents had been on the website since the beginning of October, and that was within the prescribed timescales.
Proposed: John Hurley Seconded: Alice Hogge
Accepted unanimously by those present.
9. Programme Secretary’s Report
Mike Haines Report had been circulated already. He summarised the main points of it, reminding members that there had been six successful and well-supported concerts before lockdown in late March.
An additional venue had been found in the new purpose built studio at Monmouth Girls’ School which has an impressive Steinway piano.
Mike reported that there are eight potential concerts planned for the future, half of which have had to be postponed, and that the others are unlikely to be held in the current situation. He reassured members that all the musicians are keen to re-schedule their performances and that these will be arranged as soon as it is safe to do so.
In the meantime members are being kept informed of the situation and a first monthly newsletter has been emailed. This contains details of streamed concerts which can be accessed online as well as CDs and books that members may find of interest. Any members are welcome to contribute suggestions and ideas, which should be sent to the secretary.
The programme secretary’s report was accepted unanimously by those present.
10. Items for Discussion
No items for discussion were raised.
The Chair had one item of additional business, which was to extend the deepest thanks of the Society to Martin. She expressed her pleasure at being elected to the Chair and a hope that it will be possible to live up to the high standards set by Martin, not just as Chairman but as Secretary and as a Committee member before that. Over this time he catapulted WVM into the 21st century, using technology to run everything from the website, to online booking and membership renewal. He introduced a shared online financial system for the Committee that can generate financial statements at the push of a button; Mailchimp for mailshots and membership records, and Direct Debits for subscriptions. He created a professional brand image for us and has also begun to transform our financial footing by introducing Silver Memberships and securing grants from the Lark Trust. Perhaps the most striking innovation has been the overseeing of the launch of Wye Valley Music In Schools—the program that allowed us to reach more than a 1,000 pupils, with just £4,000 during our initial year. She said that the committee in particular are delighted that he will remain on the Committee and continue supporting it with both vision and pragmatism, as well as his many tech skills. As a small token of the Committee’s gratitude and esteem, a gift voucher for St George’s in Bristol will be sent to Martin.
Martin Fenn Smith responded by thanking everyone for their support over his time in office, and for the gift which he will enjoy using when live music can resume.
There being no further items of AOB the Chair thanked all who had attended and the meeting closed at 8.08pm.