Minutes of Committee Meeting held on Tuesday 21st October 2008 at 63 Hamilton Road, Reading.
- Apologies for absence: John Lerpiniere, Chris Robinson, Colin Wilson
- Minutes of the Committee meeting held 22nd July 2008 were accepted and signed by the chairman.
- Matters Arising and review of actions:
- Kennet Valley Park development: On behalf of the Club, Neil Bucknell had submitted comments to GOSE supporting the decision to exclude the KVP development from the SE Plan. Colin Wilson had provided a specimen letter to members requesting that they make individual submission to GOSE.
- Queen Mother Reservoir access: Renton Righelato reported that he was still waiting for the final draft of the license agreement with Thames Water. He had had offers of help from Club members willing to act as “wardens”.
- BOC/Atlas Group sponsorship memorandum of understanding: Renton Righelato reported that the memorandum of association previously circulated had been signed by BBAG and the BOC. John Roberts suggested that it may be desirable, for ease of management, to open a separate bank account (as is done for the conservation fund). The Committee agreed that this could be done if he considered it necessary.
- Treasurer’s Report: John Roberts corrected the figure for costs of room hire and speakers to £2,350.
- Berkshire County Show: Neil Bucknell noted that the joint stand with the NDOC had been a successful collaboration at which a “sponsor a species” appeal for the Berkshire Atlas had been launched.
- Bird Fair: Ray Reedman reported that the trip had made a small profit, thanks to a number of last minute bookings. For future coach trips, he would offer to pick up at Newbury if NDOC were interested and demand warranted.
Treasurer’s report and 2007/8 accounts: John reported that the accounts had been completed but copies were not yet available. He noted that the net flow of funds into the Club was £572 and the Club’s capital was £10,200 on 1st October 2008. The gross cost of publication of the 2004 Report was £2,158, against which there were contributions from advertising and sponsorship. In a discussion of saving of report costs it was suggested that the report might be provided on request to members, rather than sent to all. Against this it was noted that the costs were largely offset by advertising and sponsorship and the marginal cost of provision of the reports to all members was relatively small. Moreover, several of the Committee felt that the report was a strong attraction for members; though the price to non-members may be too low.
It was noted that the excess of income over expenditure was only around 5% of turnover and that inflation is currently around that level: so it would be prudent to consider an increase in subscription, which had been held constant for six years. John Roberts said he would include this possibility in his report to the AGM and raise the possible ending of the retirement rate for new members from 1st October 2009.
Andy Tomczynski agreed to benchmark BOC subscription rates and the report price against other county clubs.
The Birds of Berkshire Conservation Fund balance was c £5,600, following the donation of £600, the proceeds of sale of Derek Foskett’s library.
- Committee appointments: The Committee welcomed the news that Ken Moore, Hugh Netley and Debbie Reynolds had agreed to stand for the Committee at this AGM, when the elected terms of Ruth Angus, Ted Rogers and Ray Reedman come to an end.
- AGM arrangements: The chairman will make the report on behalf of the Committee and the Treasurer will present the accounts (NB, JR). It is hoped that the attraction of Gordon Langsbury’s talk will attract the quorum of 50 members needed. The Secretary will prepare a briefing note (RRi)
- Any other business
- A training session for setting up at indoor meetings will be held before the meeting on 22nd October (RRi).
- The small projects grants offered by Natural England were noted – this is for the Conservation Officer to progress.
- It was agreed that the proceeds of raffles at meetings would continue to go to the Conservation Fund.
- A proposal to the Conservation Fund for a nest pole from the Earley Environmental Group would be welcome (R Re).
- Renton Righelato reported that the Reading Borough Council had called a meeting to review the plans for a wetland reserve at Fobney and hoped to have the funding soon.
- Newsletter items to Ted Rogers by 10th November (All).
- Volunteers to help in the December Social needed (RRe to announce).
- Ruth Angus was authorised to buy the Birdwatchers’ Yearbook as a raffle prize.
- Date for next meeting: 7.30 pm, 21st January 2009 at 71 Kidmore Road (tel 0118 948 2137 for directions, if needed).
Distribution: Committee Members: Ruth Angus, Gordon Langsbury, John Lerpiniere, Dot Lincoln, Ray Reedman, Renton Righelato, John Roberts, Ted Rogers, Rosalind Stanley, Andy Tomczynski, Marek Walford, Colin Wilson.
BTO rep Chris Robinson, County Recorder: Chris Heard.