The 2017 AGM of The Friends of Pagham Harbour will take place on Saturday 28th October at North Mundham Village Hall (PO20 1LA) starting , starting at 2.30pm.
An agenda, minutes of the 2016 AGM and a financial statement are attached below . . . . . . .. .
2. Minutes of 2016 AGM (copy below) & matters arising
ii) Treasurer (Statement of accounts below)
iii) Membership Secretary
4. Election of Officers/Trustees
5. Any Other Business
5. RSPB Update including Sidlesham Ferry Project
6. Future of the Friends
Minutes of 2015 39th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2015
24th October 2015 2.30pm at North Mundham Village Hall (PO20 1LA)
1 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from 15 members.
2 MINUTES OF THE 38TH AGM (2014)
The minutes of the 38th AGM held on Saturday 25 October 2014 circulated in advance and also made available at the meeting were agreed.
3 MATTERS ARISING
A member asked whether an alternative site other than the Discovery Area could be found for the bench in memory of John Norton. Alternative sites would be investigated.
4 THE CHAIR’S REVIEW
Peter Driscoll explained that the annual report was required under charities law and could be downloaded from the Friends web site.
The charity is managed by the following Trustees elected at the AGM held on Saturday 25 October 2014:
Peter Driscoll – Chair and acting Treasurer
Jenny Etienne - Trustee
Trevor Gibson-Poole – Vice-Chair
Bill Martin – Membership and Events Secretary
Francis Parfrement – Secretary
In May of this year Mrs Jane Scotland was co-opted to the committee as Treasurer
While the financial position remains strong and membership remains in the hundreds the charity had a disappointing year. Requests for funding from the management of the Local Nature Reserve (the RSPB) totalled only £2400, membership continued to decline and participation in events was sporadic. The Trustees attribute this disappointing outturn above all to the difficulty the RSPB has in identifying projects for immediate implementation. For the year in question legal uncertainties have prevented work that involves surface disturbance in the landfill area and medium- and long-term projects such as the provision of replacement toilets at the Visitor Centre have had to shelved. In these circumstances, it is difficult to raise new funds although in the long run we know that very substantial sums will have to be spent to upgrade the visitor facilities and as a result of proposed sea-defence works.
Our Constitution provides for a total of seven Trustees but at the 2014 AGM only five candidates presented themselves for election. Subsequent appeals for members to fill the posts of Secretary and Treasurer respectively yielded no results. The outcome was that for the whole of the year under review the Chair acted also as Treasurer and our temporary Secretary became permanent. We were delighted when in May of this year Jane Scotland came forward and was co-opted as our new treasurer.
5 TREASURER’S REPORT
The Treasurer, Michael Cox, resigned in August 2013 and there being no other Committee member willing to act, the Chair, Peter Driscoll assumed the role of acting Treasurer.
A simplified version of the accounts has been distributed although the full 8-page version is available on the website.
Total income of almost £3800 compares with £4000 in the previous year. In both years we were able to recover income tax on much of our income under ‘Gift Aid’. Members should be warned that the highest rate of interest now available to the charity is 1% per annum.
In response to requests for funding the Friends donated £2100 to the RSPB as a contribution towards the cost of resurfacing the car park at Church Norton. We also gave £300 in the form of a bursary to a student at Portsmouth University.
Of the funds on hand £25,000 is invested for 1 year, some £10,000 for 7 days, and £4,600 on demand. The respective rates of interest we are earning are 1 per cent, 0.4% and nil.
The Chairman invited the members to adopt the accounts and appoint Wendy Peters as the independent examiner. Both were agreed unanimously.
6 MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY’S REPORT
Bill Martin reported that prior to renewal the membership totalled 333 Friends which was made up of 149 annual memberships as well as 70 Life or Honorary Friends. Seven new members have joined since the last year's AGM.
One hundred and sixty six members use email (76%) and receive monthly enewsletters updating them on developments and activities at the Reserve. This has enabled us to reduce our administrative costs in respect of printing and postage.
Fifty three members (24%) do not have access to email, but have received a paper version of Harbour Flyer four times during the year. Most of our annual Friends (28/36) made an additional donation to cover the additional costs of printing and postage. 2/15 Life and Honorary Friends gave an additional payment.
The Harbour Flyer continues to be printed using the RSPB facilities at the visitor centre for which we are very grateful. However, as the editor of both Harbour Flyer and the e-newsletter it would be good to receive some feedback.
The website has a News Update section which gives the latest information. There are also links to other websites, RSPB Pagham Harbour, The Pagham Blogger (including Beach Beach) and the Sussex Ornithological Society. This resource does not receive many visits and the blog has yet to receive a comment!
This year we held 7 events for Friends, advertised as part of the RSPB Events programme. Four walks, two beach cleans and a Salt House Sundown. These events have been held jointly with the RSPB and advertised in their programme; again these have not been well supported by the Friends.
2016 will be our own 40th anniversary. We are currently working on our own timeline and would welcome memories or stories from the membership.
7 ELECTION OF TRUSTEES
Trustee Jenny Etienne wished to step down. The remaining committee members were willing to stand as trustees and were accepted unanimously:
Peter Driscoll, Trevor Gibson-Poole, Bill Martin, Francis Parfrement, Jane Scotland
Anthony Atkins offered to be a co-opted member of the committee.
8 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
A member asked about the Environment Agency’s coastal defence works. Tim
Callaway (RSPB) explained that those in the Slipe Field were complete and those on the causeway were expected to finish soon. There were several options for phase 3 (around Sidlesham) and for these timing was uncertain.
INTERVAL – REFRESHEMENTS AND RAFFLE
RESERVE MANAGER’S REPORT (TIM CALLAWAY)
Tim Callaway presented his report. The headlines were:
The most successful breeding Little Tern colony (the Reserve’s most important breeding species) on the South East coast in 2015.
Populations of breeding waders of shoreline and wet grassland all increased on 2014, but productivity was mixed
Visitor numbers to the visitor centre up on 2014 and visitor satisfaction scores continue to increase
School visits and Outreach up 37% and 6% respectively on the totals for 2014/15
Number of volunteer hours up 8%
The continuation of the People Engagement Officer role allowed increased engagement with local community youth groups.
Woodland grant fencing and tree planting works and HLS started
Visitor experience ‘Uplift Project’ - consultants appointed and draft work programme (including schedule for planning applications) completed - Phase 1 delivered by April 2016
The Reserve team for Pagham Harbour and Medmerry consisted of:
Tim Callaway acting site manager and Area Manager for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Work would start to recruit a dedicated site manager early in 2016
Ivan Lang and Pete Hughes - Site Wardens
Roy Newnham - Visitor Experience Officer
Jan Atkinson - Little Tern People/Community Engagement Officer.
Jan’s contract has been extended until the end of December 2015
Lucy Tozer - Learning Officer and the Learning Team based at Pulborough
Roger Johnson - (Pagham Harbour and Medmerry Volunteer Coordinator)
THE FUTURE OF THE FRIENDS (PETER DRISCOLL)
Peter Driscoll presented a SWOT analysis of the current state of the Friends:
Long-established 1976, Loyal membership (333 Friends in 2015), Valued support (volunteers & funding), Local voice, Hard-working Trustees, £40,000 in the bank
Declining membership (632 in 2008, 467 in 2011, 333 in 2015), Average 7 new friends each year from 2011, Local voice - only 10 Sidlesham residents, Poorly attended events, Administrative workload - Small committee, Unable to fund projects (Landfill & EA Issues)
Memorandum of Understanding with RSPB, Local voice for local reserve (RSPB Community Forum), Future potential of Medmerry, 40th Anniversary in 2016
Administrative workload on fewer individuals, Lack of new members / committee, Rationale in 1976 fulfilled – rationale in 2015?, Friends roles now undertaken by RSPB, with 100 volunteers
Many of the functions of the Friends, such as stewarding the Visitor Centre, were now undertaken by the RSPB. However, there were a large number of changes proposed which presented an opportunity for fundraising:
Disabled toilet, including access, Replacement of the main toilet block, Wooden decked walkways around the visitor centre - ‘all user’ access to the Visitor Centre, Visitor Centre car park – maintenance and improvements to make more welcoming, Discovery Area/Garden - improving it for education visits, including a shelter, Replacement of the Ferry Pool hide, New signage around the reserve and within the Visitor Centre.
Peter Driscoll put forward three options for the Friends and invited debate:
Continue with reduced administration and updated rationale/remit
Mothball organisation until RSPB/WSCC can utilise funds.
Trustees oversee bank account.
Wind up the organisation – transfer funds to another local charity.
A lengthy discussion took place with many views expressed. A recurring theme was the need for a local organisation to put forward the views of local people, who visited the Reserve for many different reasons. A vote was taken and those present unanimously preferred option 1: Continue but with a reduced administration and updated rationale/remit.
Peter Driscoll concluded the meeting by thanking members for their input and continued support.
YEAR ENDING 31 MARCH 2016
INCOMING RESOURCES 2016 TOTAL (£) 2015 TOTAL (£)
Donations and Membership 1,366 3,390
AGM Raffles and Teas 0 85
Bank interest 294 291
TOTAL INCOMING RESOURCES 1,660 3,766
Charitable Activities 2,000 2,596
Governance costs 590 420
TOTAL 2,590 3,016
NET INCOME FOR THE YEAR -930 750
Donation in memory of the
Late Mr Felix Lieven-Bauwens 25,000 25,000
BALANCES BROUGHT FORWARD 39,666 40,596
Jane Scotland, Treasurer
Wendy Peters, Independent Examiner