Minutes of the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday July 21st 2020 at 7.30pm.

This meeting was held on a zoom platform due to the Covid -19 virus and the restrictions imposed by the government regarding group meetings.

Present:

The Committee Steve Piotrowski (SP) Rebecca Bedwell (RB) Stephen Dean (SD) Roger Walsh (RW) Paddy Shaw (PS) Helen Gooderham (HG) Andrew Green (AG) Donna Dean (DD) Kevin Allenby (KA) Sue Alderman (SA).

There were also approximately 6 club members.

1. Welcome and Apologies

1.1 The Chairman welcomed everybody. Apologies were received from John Garbutt, Jane Watkins, Keith Watkins, Keith Walker, Mary Walker.

2. Minutes of the AGM 2019

2.1 The minutes of the meeting were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

3. Matter Arising not elsewhere covered in the Agenda

3.1 There were no matters arising.

4. Election of Officers

4.1

President Steve Piotrowski
Chairman Steve Piotrowski
Vice Chairman John Garbutt
Secretary Rebecca Bedwell
Membership Secretary Jane Watkins
Treasurer Stephen Dean (Until December 31st 2020)
Ringing Liaison Officer Roger Walsh
Projects Officer Paddy Shaw
Events Organiser Helen Gooderham
Recorder Richard Walden
Communications and Publicity Officer Donna Dean
Website Kevin Allenby (ex-officio)
Ordinary Members Sue Alderman, Keith Watkins, Leslie Cuthbert

4.2 Although Roger Walsh and Sue Alderman were due to stand down, they have agreed to stay on in their roles.
4.3 SP reported that he was pleased that Richard (Dick) Walden had agreed to take over as County Recorder from Andrew Green. We were still looking for somebody to take over as Treasurer ASAP.
4.4 The committee was then voted in en bloc.

5. Chairman’s Report

5.1 There was a time when I thought that our 2020 AGM would never happen? Like so many voluntary organisations our club events were cancelled whilst Governments around the world dealt with a pandemic that none of us have seen in our lifetime. Therefore, I’m so pleased that enough members have embraced new technology which has allowed us to progress our AGM tonight.

5.2 When we look back to 2019, the Club had a very good start. In partnership with RSPB, we were in the midst of forcing through a project that would benefit those less mobile by providing a path that wheelchair users, others with walking difficulties and even mums with prams could easily access the East Hide at Minsmere. The East Hide arguably provides the reserve’s best vantage points to view birds at close quarters, but is currently effectively out-of-bounds to these groups of people. We had received the good news that £100k legacy had been left to be spent on the path. We successfully applied for a grant of £3.5K to cover surveys for molluscs and reptiles. The work has been delayed due to Covid 19, but is on track to be completed in 2021.

5.3 The Club prepared and extremely adventurous outdoor programme that included a trip to Assam in NE India. This tour was our furthest-flung and most ambitious to date and it went extremely well providing a lifetime memory to all attendees. We also programmed some long-distance long weekends at tried and trusted venues such as Frampton Marsh, Lincolnshire and Portland Bill Bird Observatory, but we also tried some new venues such as North Wales and the South Coast Harbours in Hampshire. These events were thoroughly enjoyed by our members.

5.4 Stephen Dean has meticulously looked after our accounts for many years but has now expressed a wish to stand down due to ill health. As Chairman, I’ve made strenuous efforts to find a replacement including lots of arm twisting, appeals through our newsletters, etc., but to no avail. The club cannot function without a treasurer, so we will be in crisis if a replacement is not found. Stephen is well aware of our situation and has graciously agreed to stay on until the end of the year to give us room to manoeuvre and I’m extremely grateful to Stephen for this noble gesture. However, he WILL stand down at the end of the year so please help us find somebody; otherwise we may have to disband. The Committee is struggling to get new recruits to take on Committee places due to be vacated by Roger Walsh and Sue Alderman by rotational retirements. It’s good to have new blood on the Committee so if there’s anyone here that would wish to do a stint, please say so when we come to the election of officers. If no one comes forward; we will ask Roger and Sue to extend their term until the end of this year.

5.5 Andrew Green is one of the Club’s three founder members (Roger Walsh and myself being the other two) and has completed a long stint as Recorder. Work commitments means that Andrew has had little time to devote to this task, so he also wishes to stand down. Andrew will give his final presentation tonight and will continue to lead field events for the club. The club owes Andrew a huge thank you for his commitment and enthusiasm to Club business over so many years. Thankfully, we have a replacement as Dick Walden a long-term member and former County Recorder has agreed to take over as Recorder.

5.6 Finally, a huge thank you to all Committee members who have worked so hard throughout the year. Also, to Chris McIntyre for hosting the event and his help with setting up the technology for our meeting to take place.