Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at 7.30 pm on March 8th 2017 at the Club
On behalf of the Committee, the Chairman welcomed all to the meeting. He confirmed that the meeting was quorate and requested that if there were any questions, they were left to the conclusion of each Report.
Sophy Berry, Ann Bishop, Liz Bonser, Judith Cutler (Match Secretary), Ros Gray, Sally Ann Ingram, Mike Knight (President), Jamie Maslen, Jenny MacDougal, Jennifer McLaughlin, Mary Ann and Colin Pelton, Sainath Reddy, James Turner (who had requested that the Committee be thanked for all the time and effort that they put in ensuring that everything at the club ran smoothly), Mr and Mrs A Vandeleur, Jacky and Roger Witt.
Stephen Berry (Chairman), David Booth, Mike Brodie, Peter Coley, Liz Crossley (Committee Member), Richard Demain-Griffiths (Committee Member), Tim Douglas, Joe Fuller (Committee Member), Ian Griffiths, Theresa Griffiths (Committee Member), Alison Herod (Committee Member) , Lee Mahony (Head Coach), Deborah Moloney, Lesley Maynard (Membership Secretary), Richard Pearce (7.45pm), James Sinclair, Douglas Smith, Trina Smith (Secretary), Rebecca Walker, Alison Ward, James Watson, Simon White (Treasurer)
3). Minutes of AGM held on the 16th March 2016 (as displayed on the notice board and website).
Mrs T Griffiths proposed and Mrs E Crossley seconded the proposal that the Minutes be agreed and signed. This was unanimously agreed.
4). Matters arising.
The Secretary reported that the issue of the provision of a defibrillator at the Club had been discussed at several AGMs and was being kept under regular review by the Committee. The Heart Foundation had recently arranged for one to be fitted at the Grasmere Hotel, just opposite the Club. The Foundation was willing to train members of the public on how to use the equipment and had agreed to run a course at the Club. They had now given two dates and once agreed, the Secretary would e-mail the membership asking if they wished to take part in an evening’s course.
5. Chairman’s Report
The Chairman reported that this year is the Club’s 122nd year with our Lease dating back to 1895. It had been a good year for the Club generally. The Club is financially sound and we are well over half of the way to repaying the loan for the Clubhouse. We have taken on an additional £16k loan from the LTA, repayable over 10 years at 0% interest, to help pay for the new Floodlights.
He confirmed that membership remains stable, although the Committee are conscious that female numbers lag behind men, particularly with regard to team players, and they are looking for ways to redress this imbalance.
Courts 8 & 9 have been pressure cleaned, but it is clear that as a result of the amount of use they get, they will need repainting this year. By taking part in the Forte Village 24 hour Tennis Marathon on 25th February we had hopefully raised approx. £2,500 which will go a long way to paying for this. The Club was represented in one of the 12 – 4 hour playing slots by Mr J Sinclair, Mr D Brock, Mr L Burt and Mr O Thorne.
The Committee is in the process of securing and evaluating estimates for this repainting work. We are also conscious that the clay courts have been down for approaching 16 years and needs far more maintenance and money spent on them than the hard courts. We are committed to retaining them in the medium term, not least because this was a condition of the Funding received at the time they were installed. Miss L Maynard in particular, and our Groundsman, have spent a considerable amount of time dealing with weeds and moss over the Autumn and Winter and have vastly improved the quality of the playing surface and they are in better condition than for some time. Each year a considerable amount of clay is laid by your hard working Committee Members re-dressing them.
Since the last AGM, when Wiltshire Council refused our Planning Application to Floodlight the first two purple Courts, we submitted an Appeal which was allowed by the appointed Planning Inspector, thereby granting Planning Permission.
We made a successful application to the LTA for a loan to cover 50% of the projected project cost of £32,000. The Club’s share was eventually £14,000 as we were able to bring the installation in some £2,000 under budget. A Fundraising Appeal was launched within the Club which has raised over £8,000 towards the Club’s share of the cost. As part of this effort, a Davis Cup Fundraising Day took place on 3rd September last year when Danny Sapsford and Luke Milligan came to deliver a range of coaching sessions throughout the day, culminating in an Exhibition match with Francis Smith and George Nixon. This event alone raised around 10% of the total.
The new floodlights were installed in October last year and have been much appreciated by all members. The Chairman thanked all those who had generously donated to the Fund and enabled the Project to go ahead so quickly. This Fundraising Appeal is now at an end as we move on to other projects.
The Club again hosted the Wiltshire County Junior Championships in August last year, following a most successful event in 2015. It was also very well received by the County LTA and players alike, and made a worthwhile amount of money for the Club.
During the February half-term we hosted a Grade 3 junior tournament, a high level regional event, which was very well attended with numbers up from 111 last year to 159 this year – some 43%. Feedback was very positive with both players and parents commenting on the friendly, family feel projected by the Club
We will be hosting the Adult County Championships on the 1st & 2nd of April and it would be great if as many members as possible entered. We have also have been successful in pitching to host a Grade 3 Junior Tournament this August starting on 20th August which will attract high quality players from across the Region and possibly Nationally. The Chairman noted that credit should go to Roger Witt for securing this level of event.
The Chairman confirmed that Fletcher and Partners have provided sponsorship of £500 for the Roehampton Marathon and this Summer Tournament. We have also been offered Sponsorship for the Summer Tournament from a former member.
Social evenings have continued to be very well attended, even on the thankfully very few wet evenings. The new floodlights have increased playing capacity substantially and reduced the competition for courts with coaching team.
The Coaching Team is working well with a very active programme covering all ages and abilities and the Committee is committed to supporting them in all their activities. We have maintained our strong link with Bishop Wordsworth’s School through its Head of PE, Richard Demain-Griffiths, who is a Club member. A training programme runs through the year and the school uses our courts for its home matches. The School won the Education in Tennis award at the Wiltshire LTA AGM last December. Four years ago, tennis was not on the Curriculum, but thanks to Richard, the School is now one of the top tennis schools in the SW. We also have links to other Schools in the area.
The Chairman reminded members that the indoor courts at Downton are again available at discounted rates to Club Members. The Head Coach had negotiated this arrangement he was thanked arranging this.
He noted that Committee Members are all volunteers and regularly put in a huge amount of their own time to make the Club run smoothly. Catering at tournaments, Club Social evenings and other events, etc., is all provided by Committee members supported by other Club members. He highlighted the work that the Membership Secretary had put into integrating the membership system into the National LTA system “Clubspark” and thanked her for all her efforts.
He confirmed that Mrs T Griffiths was standing down after 5 years on the Committee and thanked her for having recently run, amongst other things, the Christmas Tournaments so well. Mr R Demain-Griffiths was also standing down owing to pressure of other commitments principally as Head of PE at BWS and father to a very young family;
Everyone expressed their thanks to both and Theresa was presented with a small gift to thank her for all the work she had done during her five years on the Committee.
Resulting from submissions from the Club, Mrs T Smith, the Club’s Hon Secretary, was voted Volunteer of the Year by Wiltshire LTA at their AGM last December. The Chairman noted the amount of time and effort Trina had put into the smooth running of Club and Committee and congratulated her upon her Award.
The Chairman thanked Roger Witt for running our tournaments so efficiently as Club Referee and for the hard work he puts into making the Floodlight League and Cup so enjoyable for so many members. He noted that it was important to recognise that the tournaments bring in significant income for the Club, not just in the entry fees but also the catering and bar profits.
The Chairman noted that Michael Brodie had been a Member of the Club for many years and had served on the Committee. He was also President for at least 10 years until 2010 when Mr M Knight resigned as Chairman and was appointed his successor. He is still a Trustee and has been a generous supporter of the Club over a considerable period. The Chairman confirmed that the Committee has decided that it is appropriate that Michael Brodie be made an Honorary Life Member of the Club. Mr M Brodie was thanked by all for everything he had done for the Club.
The Chairman finished his Report and asked if there were any questions.
Mr J Sinclair asked the Chairman how long the clay courts had to remain in place. The Chairman advised that as part of the original grant, they had to stay in place for at least 21 years.
6). Hon Secretary’s Report
The Secretary reported that it fell to her to fill in all the gaps between the other Reports.
The Committee had held 8 full committee meetings since the last AGM and various other sub-committees mainly based upon the appeal and fund raising for the new flood lights
She thanked Mr R Witt, the Club Referee, who has continued to run the annual floodlight league through the winter and congratulated the “Eagles” – Andy James, Cilla Cunningham, Rebecca Walker and Jo Edmonds who won this year’s League, and “Hit and Hope” - Dale Brock, Fiona Thomas, Abby Burns and Virginia Rolfe who won the Cup on Saturday. It had been great to see so many people here to support the teams and take part in the presentation.
As in previous years, the Club had also hosted the Sarum League Mixed Tournament and the John Barrett Tournament both events again raised a considerable amount for Charity so thank you to all those involved.
The Annual Men’s Open was won by Mr G Nixon who beat Matt Mae of Portsmouth in the Final. Mr F Smith teamed up with Mike Hollingbury from Victoria Park to win the doubles final.
She reiterated the Club’s thanks to Mr and Mrs R Witt for all the time they have given to making these events such a success together with the County Championships.
A huge thank you was extended to all those that helped with refreshments at all the events and those who provided some delicious cakes. The Junior Tournament last month saw a particularly good entry with all volunteers working particularly hard and over £2,000 being raised. She confirmed that it was never easy creating the rota but a number of people give their time tournament after tournament – particularly those on the Committee who often fill in all the outstanding slots. There had been two finishes after 9.30pm in last month’s tournament!
The food on a Friday continues to be of an exceptionally high standard and thank you to all those people who prepare food each week.
The doubles tournament before a Christmas Meal this year was a particular highlight and all those that attended had a great night; a big thank you to Theresa for organising it so well. The Club House looked really festive and the food was excellent.
On a sadder note, she reported that two of our former members passed away this year. John Reeves, who many older members will remember used to a remarkable amount of work around the club and Liz Webb whose Memorial Service will be held later this month.
She congratulated Suzy and Graeme Ellis who had a little baby girl earlier this year and Tom and Kelly Compton who had baby Walter at the weekend.
There were no questions.
7). Hon Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer presented the accounts which had been circulated to those attending the meeting.
He reported that the Club had had a very solid year and had been able to produce an excess of income over expenditure of £15,799, up 7% from £14,776 in 2015.
Once again the Club had reached £30,000 plus for subscriptions (up 3.5% on previous year). Tournament fees continue to be a good income stream of nearly £5,000 and that is despite two day’s weather cancellation resulting in return of entry fees.
Whilst the bar turnover is down £1,200 it continues to provide us with an important resource especially the tournament weeks. He urged members to continue to use and support it as it is the easiest way to generate club funds.
800 tennis balls had been recycled over the year which has generated £80 so members were requested to leave their old ones with us so that we can continue to do this.
Expenditure during the year has been very much along the usual fixed costs that we have such as heat, light, water and maintenance of the floodlights and clay watering system.
More water was used to keep the clay in good condition (£479 - up 28%) and ensure one of our major assets is not underused. New clay of £3,294 was purchased, an additional £720 on the previous year. The gas tank has also shown its benefit with costs down 44% on 2015.
Other additional notable costs have been PAT testing of electricals (£237) and fire safety equipment (£315), and £190 for the licensing variation process undertaken.
We have been able to carry over the required amount under the loan terms and best LTA practice of £11,500 to the Facilities Sinking Fund and £4,299 to other reserves – 31% more than in 2015.
Our facilities expenditure from this Fund was £3,816 on the update of the clay irrigation to an electrical hydraulic system and £250 insurance excess on the cage court fence. Also of note is the floodlight fundraising prior to the project which will be shown in the 2017 figures of £6,760.
Overall the Club has net assets of £17,698 at 30 September 2016, up from negative £795 in 2015.
The loan for the Clubhouse still has seven payments to be made and our additional loan will start repayment in May 2017. Best practice and loan terms will mean our Facilities Fund transfer will be £16,800 in 2017 (up £5,300) so our challenge going forward will be to meet this and it is achievable.
So, on that note the bit you all really wish to know is the Bar best seller’s league:-
Jelly Snakes 2016 :365 2015:315 trailed by and down one place…
Pinot Grigio 2016 :343 2015:453
Budvar 2016 :275 2015:216
Sparkling Water 2016 :238 2015:211
Doombar 2016 :200 2015:305
Becks 2016: 186 2015:212
He asked members to support your Club by exceeding these figures substantially in 2017.
Mr P Lloyd asked whether it was an LTA requirement that the Sinking Fund had to be maintained at a certain level or did we just have to pay in a specific amount annually. It appeared as though due to the new floodlights, the Sinking Fund requirement had increased by £6,300 (This figure should be £5,300). He noted that there was no depreciation element to the accounts. SB and SW confirmed that the accounts were only cash based. Mr D Booth asked if the LTA every checked this and the Treasurer responded that they could but they never had.
Mrs E Crossley asked what margins the bar was working on. The Treasurer responded that there was generally a 30 – 35% mark up but it was not an exact figure. Generally, it was priced on the basis that if it were priced competitively, people would spend more and it was more convenient to have all beers sold at the same price rather than each variety costing a different amount. Many of the cost prices of those products stocked had not changed price for a considerable time.
Miss A Herod noted that the Club was still very reliant on volunteers and it was the hours that they spent ensuring the site was kept in good order that kept the expenditure down. There would be a Maintenance Day later in the year and she urged people to help. If it weren’t for the time given by so many members, the Club would have to pay for these services. The Secretary confirmed that she would be advising members of the date shortly.
Mr D Booth asked how much of the Sinking Fund was attributable to maintenance of each court
The Membership Secretary confirmed that the Committee had taken this into consideration and she herself had done some work on the advice from the LTA on annual costs to maintain courts. She had particularly reviewed their recommendations for the clay courts and they were suggesting £7,000 for two clay courts. However, as a club we reduced this figure as much of the maintenance was done by volunteers rather than paid help.
Mr J Watson enquired why the rates had doubled in the last year. The Treasurer explained that the Council’s discretionary rate relief had been reduced by 50%. In his opinion, they would slowly reduce this more and our rates payment would increase over the coming years.
Mr D Booth noted that the new floodlights must have increased the overall electricity costs and maintenance charges and asked whether the committee had taken these into consideration when budgeting. The Secretary confirmed that the cost of the maintenance of the lights was covered for the first year. The Treasurer explained that the majority of the electricity costs would be covered by the sale of tokens and the increase in the Sinking Fund would go towards the maintenance charges in due course.
As there were no further questions, Mr J Watson proposed that the accounts be approved, as drafted, and Mr T Douglas seconded the proposal. The Accounts were unanimously approved and signed by the Chairman.
The Treasurer was thanked for all his work during the year.
8). Memberships Secretary’s Report
The Membership Secretary asked whether everyone had received their invitations from Clubspark. As some appeared not to have done, she suggested that they check their junk mail and spam boxes.
She clarified that the membership year ran from April 2016 to March 2017 so the income was not the same as had been reported in the Treasurer’s Report.
She presented the current membership year 2016/2017 to March 1st and compared the figures to 2015/6.
Income £30,247 (£29,800)
Total membership 351 (346)
Total Adult 163 (159)
Adult Male 91 (88)
Adult Female 64 (67)
Off peak and social 8 (not recorded separately)
Total Junior 188 (187)
Junior Boys 133 (123)
Junior Girls 56 (62)
Under 10: 86. Under 16: 56 Under 18: 7
Total Not re-joined 105 (114)
In 2016/2017 we gained more members than we lost. The number of juniors lost was a far higher proportion than the adults. Juniors especially the under 10’s have a high turnover for a variety of reasons.
She had looked at the data available since 1998, although none was available for the years 2011 to 2015. There was a spike in membership from 2001 to 2006 when the average was 411, but for the next 4 years it averaged 340. After the gaps 2011 to 2015, there is a slow growth in numbers to the current 351 members. Another trend is the increase in the proportion of Adults to Juniors since 1998.
The overall picture from the data available is that the club membership numbers have not changed significantly over the last few years. The income has been increasing slowly, but since 1998 has fallen behind inflation by 10% even though the Club has invested in better facilities and extra flood lights.
The number of Members that did not re-join at the start of the year was very high and a bit worrying, but, by the end of the year, the new members evened it out. However, from a Membership Secretary’s perspective, the Club should be looking at ways to increase the number of new members and hence the income, which could lead to lower fees and /or further improvement of facilities.
Since last year she been setting up the ClubSpark software to manage the admin of the membership and although there have been quite a few glitches, some self-inflicted, using it will offer many administrative advantages. It is now up and running quite smoothly. ClubSpark can provide the Club Officers with live data, and there are numerous filter options available, which provide detailed breakdowns far more easily than the old system. Now that internet banking has also been introduced, the reconciliation of the fees with the new ClubSpark system is a far simpler and a much quicker process than in the past. She hoped that other benefits of ClubSpark can be considered for the future.
Mr P Lloyd enquired when the Club had last had a positive drive to increase numbers. Mr D Smith asked whether we actually actively needed to seek new members. The Secretary confirmed that during the last few years, the club had not participated in LTA sponsored events to encourage new members such as the Great British Tennis Weekend, as the Committee had felt that the club did not have the facilities to accommodate a large increase in membership. There were still many social evenings when the weather was either particularly poor or good, when there were large numbers of people waiting to go on court. There were obviously periods when the courts were very underused, but initiatives to encourage people to play at these times had been unsuccessful. The Chairman reiterated that we had already indentified the need for more team playing ladies and posters etc., had been distributed encouraging people to join. Along with many other clubs, it was difficult to retain girl players.
The Head Coach thought that the higher number of members had been when children from Harnham Junior School had automatically been joined when they came to the Club as they did not have to pay a Membership Fee.
Mr D Booth noted that Riverside intended to build more courts and possibly a new Club House which may have an impact on our own membership numbers.
9). 2016/17 Membership Subscriptions
The Membership Secretary reported that the Committee had agreed that there should be a small increase in the subscriptions for the following year. These had already been sent out using Clubspark with a request for payment at the reduced rate before the 31st March 2017.
The rates agreed were
Paid by 01.04.17
Mr P Lloyd asked whether the Committee had considered how these fees compared to other clubs and whether we offered a reduced membership to members of the Armed Forces. The Chairman confirmed that the Committee had considered what other clubs were charging and that we had previously offered a reduced membership to members of the MOD and Armed Forces but this had been phased out.
The Head Coach felt that as a Club, we offered considerable more than other clubs – reduced charges for the indoor facilities at Downton, social play and tournaments.
10). Match Secretary’s Report
The Secretary offered the Club’s best wishes to the Match Secretary who was not well and unable to attend the meeting. In her absence, the Secretary read the Report as drafted by the Match Secretary
First of all, I would like to thank all team organisers and the coaches. Every year is busy and this year was no exception.
Roger Witt ran the Men’s teams for the Hampshire and Southampton Leagues
and Theresa Griffiths ran the ladies’ teams.
Hampshire League Seniors’ teams were run by the following –
Mens O45A Roger Witt, Mens O45B Simon White,
Ladies O40s Judith Cutler Ladies O50s Judith Cutler
Sarum League teams were run by -
A team Liz Crossley (winter 2015-16)& summer (2016), B team Trina Smith (winter) and Dale Brock (summer), C team Trina Smith (summer)
Julian Hemming was captain of the Aegon Regional division men’s team.
Joe Revelle ran both the Aegon Senior & the Junior Team Tennis.
Hampshire League Men’s A ,having been promoted to division 1 ,came 5th and were relegated. Men’s B 4th in division 4b. The ladies team came 3rd in division 3a.
Hampshire League Seniors – O45Me’ns A having been relegated to division 2 came top of the division and were promoted , O45Men’sB having been relegated to division 3 came second & were promoted again . O40 Ladies having been promoted to division one came last and were relegated. O50 Ladies 3rd in div2
Winter 2015-16 A team were runners up in division 1. The B team were runners up in division 3.
Summer 2016 A team was top of div 1 and won the trophy for the third year running. B team, having been promoted to division 1 came last and was relegated. C team came 4th in division 2.
Southampton Winter League 2015/2016 Men’s A 5th in div 1, Men’s B were top in division 3 & promoted, Ladies top in division 2 and promoted.
Aegon Men’s ‘A ‘ team
5th out of 8 in the Regional South West – East division & remain in that division for 2017
Aegon Men’s Senior Team tennis (county based)
Men’s team came 4th in division 1
Aegon Junior Team Tennis (County based)
8u 2nd in 8u south
9u 2nd in division 1
12uboys 3rd in division 1
14uboys 3rd in division 1
16uboys -2nd in division 1
Unfortunately for the second year running there were no girls’ matches as, whilst we had players, no other clubs in the county could field a team.
Players representing the county during 2016
Francis Smith & George Nixon played winter county cup .
Jenna Wippell played o35s at Eastbourne
James Sinclair & Glen d’Mello played matches for the o65s
Joshua Knight played u9 county cup.
Hari Chowdhury ,Tom Campbell & Phoebe Moloney played u10 county cup
George Grant, Oli Martin & Louisa Fuller played u14 county cup
SUMMER CLUB TOURNAMENT WINNERS 2016
Men’s Singles George Nixon; Ladies’ singles Sue Burt
Men’s Doubles Stephen Berry & Francis Smith
Ladies’ Doubles Fiona Thomas & Virginia Vandeleur ,
Mixed Doubles Simon White & Judith Burns
Veterans’ Mens o45 Alex Vandeleur Ladies O40 singles Liz Crossley
Men’s O45 Doubles Julian Foster & Alex Vandeleur
Ladies O40s Judith Cutler & Ros Gray
Mixed Doubles Andrew James & Judith Cutler
U14 boys Benedict Travis. U14 girls Isabella Fuller
We will continue with the new tournament format this year. Finals Day will be held on Sunday 17th September . All other dates will be advertised at the club and also by email to members.
11). Election of Officers
The Chair confirmed that as per the Agenda, those that were willing to stand for re-election were
PRESENT HOLDER PROPOSED/SECONDED
President Mr M Knight Mr M Knight
Chairman Mr S Berry Mr S Berry
Hon. Secretary Mrs K Smith Mrs K Smith
Hon. Treasurer Mr S White Mr S White
Membership Secretary Miss L Maynard Miss L Maynard
Match Secretary Mrs J Cutler Mrs J Cutler
Mrs E Crossley, Mr J Fuller, Miss A Herod are eligible for re-election
Mrs T. Griffiths and Mr R Demain-Griffiths had resigned.
Mr P Lloyd has been proposed by Mr D Frier and Seconded by Mr C Ambrozie for election to the Committee
Mr R Pearce has been proposed by Mrs S Ingram and Seconded by Mrs K Smith for election to the Committee
In view of the above the Chair suggested that in accordance with the Constitution everyone be voted in en bloc. Mr R Demain-Griffiths proposed the motion, it was seconded by Mr D Booth and agreed unanimously.
12). Coach’s Report
The Head Coach thanked his current Coaching Team for all the work they had done over the year – particularly Joe Revelle who provided a high level of support. He thanked all the volunteers who had helped with tournaments during the year and the Tennis Leaders who were invaluable helping on court.
He reported that there was currently a very healthy coaching programme and the new floodlights would provide more scope to increase squads and ensure that lessons etc., were not having to be cancelled because of the bad weather.
It has been a good year for the Juniors with many winning local and regional events during the year particularly at mini tennis level and many of the older Juniors were taking part in County training.
The Club’s school links with Bishops Wordsworth continue to be strong.
He reported that the Club still had a very strong relationship with the LTA.
Junior numbers were up but it was getting harder to attract new members as there were so many other activities that they were being offered.
Many members had taken part in at least one part of the Adult Programme including cardio team practice and the Hungry Hitters but he was always open to suggestions if members had other ideas.
68 members had made use of the reduced cost of using the indoor courts at Downton. This benefit was not available to members of Riverside.
Mr P Lloyd asked about the qualifications and DBS checking for the coaches. The Head Coach confirmed that this was renewed each year. It was not necessary for the Tennis Leaders.
Mrs A Ward left the meeting.
He thanked the Committee for their continuing support.
13. Resolutions for consideration of which at least 14 days written notice has been given
No resolutions had been received.
Mrs D Moloney asked that as the coaches had their photos etc., on the notice board, would it be possible for the Committee Members to do the same.
The Secretary confirmed that she would put this suggestion on the Agenda for the next Committee meeting.
Mr I Griffiths reminded everyone about the Easy Fundraising web site and how easy it was to raise money for the club. He asked whether new members were made aware of this.
Mr P Lloyd proposed a vote of thanks for the Committee for all their hard work during the year.
The Chairman thanked all those that had attended and the meeting closed at 9.10 pm.