AGM Minutes 2023

Date: 07 November 2023

Annual General Meeting

Thursday 31st August 2023 @ 7.30pm


1. President’s Welcome

Keith Brierley welcomed 30 members to the meeting and advised of the death of Bob Thornthwaite. A few moments silence were held in respect of those members who had passed away.

2. Apologies for absence

Joe Moxham; John Dewhurst, John Le Page, Henry Porteous, Michael Lough, Mike & Kath Forshaw, George Erdozain, John Smith and Natalie Jones

3. Approval of Minutes from 2022 AGM

The minutes of the meeting held on 1st December 2022 were proposed by Neil Ashton and seconded by J Powell. Members unanimously approved the minutes.

4. Matters arising from 2022 minutes not covered elsewhere on the agenda

There were no matters arising.

5. Treasurer’s Report & presentation of accounts.

The Treasurer made a presentation explaining that whilst the club was making a profit, this was mainly due to income from the sandpit and land disposals. Bar revenue and catering produced less income than anticipated and whilst capital income had allowed significant expenditure on the structure of the club house to take place, it had also covered losses made in the previous two years. However, the Treasurer reported that there was currently significant cash in the bank ensuring that the club was solvent.

The Treasurer answered a number of questions regarding income and the club’s assets and was pleased to report that the club had a strong balance sheet. It was agreed that the club had a good turnover and members should be proud of that.

6. Appointment of Reporting Accountant.

The Treasurer proposed that SBCA be re-appointed as reporting accountants for the coming year and this was proposed by John Chesworth and seconded by Neil Ashton. Members unanimously approved the proposal.

7. Rugby Report.

Mike Bailey reported on the last season of rugby and thanked both Paul Arnold and Gareth Dyer for their work over many years at the Club. There had been problems appointing new coaches for the season and the signing of players was delayed because of that. This resulted in a small number of players signing for other clubs. Partway through the season, it was decided to appoint Alex Keay as Director of Rugby , Joel Unsworth also moved on by mutual agreement.

For the 2023/2024 season the players have been signed up in January and February and that had given some security to the playing squad. Bill Bailey thanked players who had decided to retire from playing rugby. He also indicated that Ben Dorrington had decided to continue to play rugby despite his injury. A number of new players were joining the club and details of those were provided to members. It was also advised that Ian MacFarlane was emigrating and he was thanked for having done a sterling job over the years but new volunteers were now needed.

The captaincy during the coming season would be shared between Harry Moulding and Scott Richardson. The club would continue to build its positive relationship with Sale Sharks and endeavour to secure the services of peripheral squad members when available.

Updates were provided on the current position with mini juniors and Colts as well as the women’s and social teams. Of particular note to Members was that the mini juniors had more than 500 players registered for the first time.

8. Chairman’s report

The chairman gave a full report for the past year. He advised that the club was trying to appoint a general manager but had not been successful so far. Concern was expressed regarding social rugby membership where only 34 members had paid subscriptions. However, this number had already doubled for the forthcoming season and higher numbers were expected. Communication within the club was often a concern for members and it was accepted that whilst the website was not great, social media use was very good. The newsletter had started again and the chairman requested volunteers to help with this area of work.

A strategic plan was being prepared to take the club forward and the framework was provided to members with an explanation of our purpose, vision statements and the main areas of focus. The chairman thanked volunteers for their help during the season.

There are a number of areas which are of concern for members and all frequently raised. Catering provision is a matter of concern and the chairman pointed out that, whilst the terrace bar was popular during the COVID times, it did make a substantial loss. The current staff are all committed to the club and want to ensure its success but there is a need to control costs. Staffing levels are often raised as an issue, but the chairman advised that this was always under review. Members were often concerned at the cost of pre match hospitality and whilst this will remain at £35 per person during the coming season it will only just cover the costs, as margins are reducing all the time.

9. Election of Officers:

Keith Brierley (President), Neil Ashton (Chairman), Graham Cox (Hon Secretary) and
Chris Dew (Hon Treasurer) were proposed as Officers of the Club. As there had been no other candidates proposed, Members unanimously confirmed their appointment.

10. Election of Committee:

Michael Lough, John Chesworth, Michael Bailey, Hugh Duckworth, Natalie Jones and Phil
Tomlinson were proposed as committee members and members unanimously confirmed
their appointment.

11. Amendment of the Club rules

The Management Committee proposed to update the Club rules to be closer in line with the RFU Model Rules and copies of the proposed amendments were made available for members.

The changes proposed related to committee members’ interests which were currently not referred to in the club rules whilst the licencing rules needed updating. It was also proposed to amend the date for annual general meetings so that they should be held prior to the 30th of September in each year. It was advised that some wording within the club rules needed tidying up to ensure that the relevant legislation was referred to.

The amendments to the rules were proposed by Michael Anson and seconded by John Chesworth. Members unanimously approved the changes.

12. Appointment of Life Members

The Secretary advised that the management committee had approved the appointment of two life members. John Dewhurst and Michael Forshaw had both been great volunteers for the club over many years. Their contributions to the club were greatly appreciated by members who unanimously approved the life membership appointment.

13. Any Other Business

Queries were raised regarding the cancellation of the summer ball although it was
acknowledged that whilst ticket sales had been poor advertising had not been sufficient. It
was also confirmed that bonfire night would take place on the 5th of November as usual.

The meeting closed at 9:02 pm and members were thanked for their attendance.

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