AGM Minutes – 17th April 2016
The meeting opened at 11.00 hrs.
Executive Committee Members Present;
Doug Brodie (Chairman), James Robson (Hon Secretary), David Rice (Hon Treasurer), Jim Cusiter, Barry Eagles, Tony Holley, Rosie Jacob, Peter Sheppard, Paul Smith.
Additional Trading Company Directors Present;
28 Further members signed the Register of Attendance
1. Chairman’s Welcome and Report
Doug Brodie (DB) welcomed members to the meeting noting continued good attendance and support for Shieldhall. He apologised for limited catering facilities on board whilst refurbishment work was taking place.
DB summarised a successful year for Shieldhall with increased bookings and a number of new initiatives both in sailings and alongside activities. It had been particularly pleasing to see Shieldhall as number one attraction in Southampton on Trip Advisor. He commented on the extensive works now nearing completion funded by the Lottery project. He hoped that members would take the opportunity to look around the ship and view the changes that had taken place. 2015 had been a busy season and it had been noticeable that the need to reposition from 110 berth for passenger sailings had placed considerable pressure on crewing. He could offer little prospect for improvement in the berthing position in the immediate future but this remained a priority for the Society and Board.
DB expressed thanks to the Executive and Board teams and to the volunteers whose work throughout the year enabled Shieldhall to function. He also thanked those organisations who continued to support Shieldhall in cash or in kind.
2. Apologies had been sent to the Secretary in advance of the meeting by:
Maldwin Drummond, Terry Brook, Nigel and Gill Robinson, Barry Quest, Maurice Dibsdall, Peter Roberts, Paul McNab, Sam Dobell, Mr and Mrs Dominic Carlton, Iain Dewer, John Thompson, Roger Leathlean, Tony Francis.
3. Minutes of the AGM held on 12th April 2015 were approved as a correct record.
4. Treasurers Report.
Dave Rice (DR) informed the meeting that with turnover in year amounting to a figure in excess of one million pounds, attributable to the Heritage Lottery Fund grant, it had again been necessary to commission a full audit of the annual accounts. The audit had concluded a satisfactory set of accounts and he was pleased to present those accounts to the meeting having been approved by the Executive.
DR provided an explanation of the key components of the accounts giving detail of the source of funds and expenditure incurred. He reported a current healthy financial position reflecting a good trading year, a positive response from members to the dry dock appeal and additional donations and legacies. He was pleased to be able to report that the Society was entering the new sailing season in a healthier financial state than had been the case for a number of years. He pointed out however that the cost of dry docking the ship was still something of an unknown quantity.
The Annual Report and Accounts were adopted by the membership.
5. The meeting approved the continued appointment of the Auditor Messrs David Gamblin Chartered Accountants and authorised the Executive to agree and pay the audit fee.
6. Membership Report, Subscription and Rule Changes
Jim Cusiter (JC) presented his report as Membership Secretary showing a small reduction in the overall membership. He noted that new members were still joining the Society but at a slower rate suggesting the need for greater energy to be applied in attracting members. He also noted that the reduction in overall numbers was in part attributable to a “cleaning” of the database. He informed the meeting of improvements that had been made to data management in the Society and plans to make the process of membership application and renewal easier to administer.
JC informed the meeting of the history of membership subscriptions, noting that it had been some years since fees were last reviewed. A proposal was placed before the meeting for an increase in subscriptions from April 2017. Following discussion of the proposal and agreement that subscriptions for Registered Disabled members would be set at the same level as those retired or unwaged, the new rates were endorsed by the meeting.
The Secretary gave a presentation on the history of the Rules of the Society and the need to update the Articles of Association to reflect legislative changes and simplify the administration of the Society’s business. He drew particular attention to changes that had been advertised on the website relating to classes of membership, rotation of the Executive and general administration. He described the process of consultation proposed as a preliminary to rule change and sought agreement to implement after due process.
Members responded positively to the proposed rule changes. However, it was suggested that continuation of the rule requiring that a minimum of 20 members must be present for the AGM to be declared quorate may prove onerous in the future and it was proposed that this number be reduced. It was further suggested that if any significant changes were made during the final stages of redrafting, then the revised proposal should be brought back to an Extraordinary meeting.
7. Election of Executive Committee Members
The meeting was advised that in accordance with rule 33, Doug Brodie, Barry Eagles, Tony Holley, Peter Roberts, Rosie Jacob and Andy Mabbett were retiring from the Executive by rotation and with the exception of Peter Roberts, all offered themselves for re-election. One new member, Jim Cusiter, had previously been co-opted to the Executive and now applied to join.
Members unanimously endorsed the appointment of the above Executive Committee.
8. Chairman’s Closing Address
In closing the formal part of the Annual General Meeting, the Chairman thanked all involved in keeping Shieldhall operational and in good order for a further year. He noted that notwithstanding the success of the 2015 season the ship was still unable to make a profit from sailings alone and the need to generate new business, particularly maximising the potential of the newly refurbished saloon, remained paramount. He reflected that some sailing opportunities had been missed due to cost and registration issues, these new and different initiatives would continue to be explored by the Executive in the search for expansion of the ship’s potential. It continued to be important to the future of the Society that every effort be applied to attract new members and volunteers.
Issues over berthing of the ship in Southampton would not be resolved in the short term and the Executive continued to be concerned over how this might impact on the future. Every effort was being made to work with ABP to find a solution; in the meantime using 48 berth for the majority of sailings seemed inevitable for the forthcoming season.
DB recorded formal and personal thanks to Capt Peter Roberts who had decided to stand down from the Executive and Board after many years of dedicated service. Whilst Peter would continue with his support as a Master of Shieldhall, his management contribution would be greatly missed.
The formal meeting closed at 11.50.
On completion of the AGM, reports were presented on behalf of the CEO of the Trading Company and by the Project Manager for the HLF Project.
9. Report from the Trading Company
James Robson (JR) updated members on the activities in the Trading Company. He noted challenges that had presented at the beginning of the season with the high cost of power generation at 110 berth and the temporary loss of catering services. Notwithstanding these problems the season had been a success operationally with higher passenger numbers that ever before. 2016 was looking positive with good advance bookings and the ship in good order. New volunteers were still needed, particularly those willing to assist in the delivery of on board functions in any capacity.
10. Saving Shieldhall Project.
Graham Mackenzie (GM) reported on behalf of the HLF Project Team. He noted that the Lottery works were now 94% completed and that final completion was expected in the Autumn with the project closing on time and on budget. He encouraged all members to look around the ship at the improved facilities and urged all members to take advantage of what the ship had to offer.
Nigel Philpott advised that the new sailing programme was available and would be distributed widely. Bookings were going well and some sailings were near capacity. Considerable support was now emerging from tour operators and a number of filming prospects were being pursued.
Paul Smith presented a case for the formation of a New Business Initiatives group and asked that any members interested in joining the group should contact him direct.
All business was concluded at 13.00.
JR. Hon Secretary
Post meeting note.
The Half Year Meeting of the Society will be held on Sunday 30th October 2016.
The next AGM will be on Sunday 9th April 2017