BRA AGM 2021 - Minutes

John Howarth - Company Secretary


Company Limited by Guarantee - Number 10053863

Minutes of the 94th Annual General Meeting

Held on Thursday 16th September 2021


Directors: Cllr Clare Curran (CC), Andrew Freeman (AF), Chris Pullan (CP), Peter Seaward (PS)

Company Secretary: John Howarth (JGH)

Bookham Councillors: Cllr Roger Adams, Cllr Sarah Chambers, Cllr Richard Moyse

Members of the Association.

1. Chairman’s Welcome & Introduction

Peter Seaward, Chairman, thanked everyone for coming.  He said that there was a repetitive similarity to this year’s comments this despite all the COVID disruption we all have had to deal with.

2. Apologies for Absence

Apologies had been received from Cllr Elizabeth Daly, Carolyn Elson and Cllr Paul Kennedy. 

3. Minutes of the 93rd Annual General Meeting

3.1 Accuracy

The Minutes were ACCEPTED as a true record of the meeting.

3.2 Matters Arising

There were no matters arising that would not be covered on the agenda.

4. Chairman’s Report

Peter Seaward made the following comments:

All our Governance matters are well under control thanks to the diligence and efforts of John Howarth, our Company Secretary.

Our membership work through Carolyn Elson continues and our Road Stewards are out and about again and COVID aware. A positive from COVID is that it has accelerated our efforts to move more into the online world. Half of your subscriptions are now paid online and every time another of you takes this route, we gain another email address. This make it so much easier to keep in touch and let you know more immediate information than is possible by paper channels.

Les Hutt who manages all of Communications matters has done miracles in all aspects of our media and contact forms. A very big vote of thanks to Les.

Planning is a big part of our work and Nigel Smith and his team look at over 200 planning applications every year comments where necessary as well as speaking to any member who wishes to discuss matters with him.  This year Mike Brookes who has been our Planning secretary for well over1 25 years at least has stood down because of health issue. Thanks Mike we all owe you a great deal.

On our Finances Chris will cover these shortly but in summary our numbers are healthy.

A problem here in Bookham is that spending on what can be called “the public realm”, that’s parts of the public spaces looked after by both Councils is almost zero apart from Highway’s improvements.

 We are trying to redress this by using some Community funds and Frances Fancourt who leads Bookham’s Tree Warden is managing a scheme to improve the High Street, Frances and her team do many other “gardening” tasks around the village as well as continuing the tree planting programme she has so well managed (over 200 trees) in the past 5 years.

Margaret Lawson does wonders with her Litter pick programmes the latest being recruitment of well over 40 Street Wombles who look after their own “patch” with help in equipment etc via Margaret. If you want to be involved, please just ask.

Young people and education. David Cox, Jenny Coffin of BYP and Julia Dickinson   David spent many hours on the Outline Planning approval for the Youth Centre. All we need now is for this building to be delivered Please Councillors do all you can to get this through the legal and planning hoops from both SCC and MVDC. We would not like to see a repeat of the Fetcham youth facility which has fallen through due to complex difficulties in the legal process.

Roads always take a lot of time and with residents of LBS and SCC and our Surrey Councillor we have now obtained speed warning devices which will soon be installed there. We have persuaded SCC to do further studies on the problems you all raise about the rest of LBS and Church Road and plans have been drawn up to stop some of the speed excesses thar occur in Church Road.  Remedial drainage work will start soon on the Squareabout and parts of the Lower Road. Some 10 years have passed since we started the campaign to get this work done.  Michael Agius with Councillor Clare Curran has been key over the years in this task and many others.

Keith Francis does battle regularly over Bus and train information as well as his work with police liaison. Always the public transport issues are never simple or consistent.

Working with the Trading organisation continues and these last two 20 months have been especially challenging. The street party paid for by MVDC organised also by the Traders with Dan Coffin and Richard Davey in spite of the rain was a boost and great success. And what about the Food Festival? This seems to have been well received and hope it will be a regular feature of Bookham life.

Diane Poole and Steve have created a new world through their Blue Hearts scheme and copied everywhere. This will be reviewed to see how it can be even better next year.

Future Planning under Geoff Tranter has been challenging this year and we will discuss together the Local Plan later the work done so far has highlighted our concerns enough in fact that at last night’s meeting it was a major item. We will talk more about “what next” in our discussion.

 There is always more we are involved in, Allotments, replacement skateboard park improvements to the cricket facilities, War Memorial tasks are just some.

 We think that your £5 is well spent!

On being put vote the Chairman’s Report was ACCEPTED.

5. Treasurer’s Report

Chris Pullan made the following report:

This is the fourth occasion on which I have had to present a full year’s Accounts for a Company Limited by Guarantee but the 14th for the BRA.  The surplus for the year was £215 compared with a surplus last year of £692.  The figures are in the old format and John Howarth prepares figures to submit to Companies House.  They are available for inspection but the one page version does in my opinion give an adequate picture.

We have two main sources of income.  The subscriptions which were £8495, 8% below last year’s figure.  This was a very good result given the problems of COVID.  A major charge on BRA funds was the £2800 on Xmas lights.  There were contributions of £5,000 for COVID projects from MVDC with corresponding expenditure. 

Other organisations asked us to donate to their projects.  In 2020 they were low but higher in 2021.  We are pleased on behalf of the village to make such donations.

You will note that the BRA has a number of sub-funds which amounted to £12300.  These are reserved for specific purposes.

The sub-fund called Education was formerly the money held by us for DDOCA.  It has been passed to us on the understanding it is used for matters relating to the education of children from Bookham and one use in 2020 is in connection with the replacement of the Youth Centre.

6. Election of Directors

 6.1 Resignations from the Board

There were no resignations to note. However it should be noted that two of the positions on the Board are nominees of the local authorities. Simon Edge was the MVDC nominee until he stepped down from the Council at the last elections. His replacement as MVDC nominee is Cllr Nancy Goodacre.

6.2 Retirement by Rotation

Peter Seaward and Chris Pullan Retired by Rotation under Article 55 and offered themselves for re-election. On being put to the vote this was AGREED.

6.3 Election of new Directors

No nominations had been put forward. The Company Secretary reminded the meeting that the Board could make such appointments during the year and that they would have to be ratified at the following AGM. He said that anyone wishing to join the Board should contact him.

7. Election of Officers

7.1 Election of Chairman

Peter Seaward was nominated as Chairman. On being put to the vote this was AGREED.

7.2 Election of Vice Chairman

Michael Agius was nominated as Vice Chairman. On being put to the vote this was AGREED.

7.3 Election of Treasurer

Chris Pullan was nominated as Treasurer. On being put to the vote this was AGREED.

8. Independent Examiner

Chris Pullan proposed that Lawrence Penney continue as Independent Examiner. This was AGREED.

9. Membership Subscription

It was AGREED that the membership subscription remain at £5 per household for the year 2022.

10. Any Other Business

There were no other items.

11. Date (and format) of Next Annual General Meeting

To be advised in due course.


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