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The 30th Annual General Meeting of The Hadleigh Society

held in Hadleigh Old Town Hall on Monday 18th June 2012 at 8 p.m.

29 members attended.  Apologies for absence were received from 8 members.

The minutes of the 29th AGM were accepted.

3.         Treasurer’s Report (Chris Drake)

Accounts to 30th April 2012

I am happy to say that it has been a boring year on the financial front with no nasty surprises. The increase in subscription rates has now fully worked through and, thanks to the Margaret’s sterling work as Membership Secretary, has had no discernible effect on membership figures. We showed a surplus on the year and can comfortably cover our routine costs. Subscription rates are always under review because of the time taken for changes to produce results. No change is proposed this year but I cannot promise the same for next year.

Any variations in income and expenditure between the past year and the year before are mainly explained by idiosyncrasies in the way bills are presented and paid.  The exception is in the donations made and received: last year we gave our stock of tea-towels to the Friends of St. Mary’s and this year we have received a donation (among others) from Sue Andrews with respect to sales of her Hadleigh Historian magazine. The stock of books written-off refers to the Hadleigh 1881 book published in 1990: keeping track of them was becoming increasingly tedious.

As before, expenditure from the Fighting Fund is dictated by activities on the Tesco front. There was a revised planning application and some costs were incurred sending information packs to Babergh councillors but the major expenditure was on a leaflet produced last June. It is handy to have cash available quickly to meet urgent needs but if it should come to legal fees it would not go far.

My thanks go to Paul Garrard of Walter Wright Chartered Accountants for his help once again in the preparation of the accounts.

4.         History Group Report (Sue Angland)

This time last year I reported that the History Group had just embarked on a new project.  We had decided to study life in Hadleigh during the decade 1910 – 1920.  Having looked at the parish magazines and the Hadleigh Urban District Council Minute Books of that era, it became clear that there was more than enough information for our presentation.  So we have narrowed our period of research to the war years 1914 – 1918.

We hope to discover how national events and national policies affected life here in Hadleigh, and of course which local people were directly involved in the Great War.  We are in the early stages of our research and we hope, for instance, to discover more about the 15 Hadleigh men who died on the same day in Gallipoli in 1915.

The year 2014 will commemorate the centenary of the start of the Great War, so we thought we would jump in early and give our presentation to the Society in December 2013.  We hopefully will be finished by then!

5.         Planning Report (Jan Byrne)

When initially thinking about this planning report for the last year my immediate reaction was 'there is nothing much to report' but surprisingly I was quite forgetting the two big events, let alone a few others. 

Last summer we had Babergh District Planning committee making their decision for the second time on a Tesco application. As you know the councillors tried to refuse the application on three grounds, but the officers only allowed it to be refused on the design of the building. Those of us who attended the meeting where horrified at the way the officers conducted the meeting and showed little respect for the councillors who voted against the officers recommendations.  

We now await the new Tesco planning application.

Meanwhile, what some of us expected, at last happened and Morrison’s are developing the Buyright building with the intention of opening around Christmas. As you will remember, as long as Morrison’s were redeveloping the old building they did not need planning consent. At their public meeting they identified that they would be seeking planning consent to place canopies, over their and Buyright’s entrances. When I asked what would happen if they were refused consent Morrison's replied that it would make no difference to their opening a store it just would not look as good. That planning application was to be decided at Babergh's meeting last Wednesday, and the officers were recommending approval. However there had been one objection, and at the meeting last Wednesday Babergh deferred the discussion whilst they take legal advice.

The objector is reported to be a company representing Tesco and the objection is under the "Environmental Protection Act, part 3, Statutory Nuisance. As there are no Babergh minutes on line at the moment we do not know what happened, but it seems a little odd that as the objection had been received in time to go onto the councillors papers, and on line, that the legal department had not taken advice in advance of the meeting.

Over the year we have seen the start of the development at the top of Lady Lane and the new roundabout being opened. There has also been a planning application for four small houses on the land behind Cinch, but for some reason the decision on that development has been delayed.

Meanwhile, Babergh are working on their new 'District Plan' and have spoken to the Town Council about where they see future developments in Hadleigh. The Town Council have identified that they wish to produce their own Neighbourhood plan. They required permission from Babergh to proceed with this and after a number of e-mails back and forth The Town Council are arranging meetings with other Towns in Babergh and Mid Suffolk, and Babergh to start progressing this.

The Town Council will be holding consultation events in the Town when they are able to proceed.

6.         Society Representation on Other Bodies (Nina Sherwood)

 

7.         Chair’s Review (Jan Byrne)

The Past years meetings have been very successful. We have averaged 60 members at a meeting, probably more as some of us, and I am the worst offender, forget to sign in. We have also had 58 paying visitors which helps with the funds.

We again mounted a display at the May Show, and repeated it in the Church for the Jubilee weekend. While our tent is never busy, unless it is 'tipping it down' we had a steady number of people coming to look and commenting on our display.

The committee has met six times, plus being the main working party for the Show, ably assisted by Roger Kennel and Roger Young. (anybody need a Tent Erecting party - we are available for hire.).

I would, on your behalf thank the members of the Committee. Steve, ably supported by Nina, has continued as our Secretary, through the year, and has ensured that we have had an excellent group of speakers, who all turned up at the right place on the right day. Unfortunately for us, not them, Steve and Nina are moving out of Hadleigh in a few weeks’ time, and this is expected to be their last meeting. We thank you both very much for your hard work.

Chris as Treasurer has kept a firm hand on any excesses I might have tried on, and as you see our accounts are looking healthy.

Margaret continues to be very 'on the ball' as membership secretary and l know when she has sent out reminders by the influx of reused envelopes with money in them dropping through my letterbox.

Between Graham's production of the posters and newsletters and Sue's organisation of the distribution, we have been kept up to date with events. We thank Mr Denny for delivering posters over the most wide spread of our rounds, and have a new 'post boy' on our team.

That just leaves Hattie and me to thank, and we have both done what was required of us. I am well aware that it is disastrous to pick out a particular member of the team, so I am going to court disaster. We have had our displays at the May Show for a number of years. In the early years much of the display work was undertaken by my husband, with the maid of all work helping out. In recent years I have been very dependent on Sue Angland and this year we reversed the role. This year the Subject was Sue's idea, she sought out and produced many of the pictures and I reverted to my role of 'little helper'. This I know involved a vast amount of work on Sue's part plus a couple of days working at mine, helped with outings for lunch. So I am breaking all of the rules by saying a special Thank You to Sue.

At last year’s A.G.M. Sue Andrews proposed that the Committee look at a change of venue within the Guildhall complex as some members had difficulty in climbing the stairs.  WE have looked at this. The Market Feoffment have on a number of occasions looked at access to this room. Because of its Grade 1 listing and the building’s construction we cannot put in a lift, nor can we put stair lifts on either of the staircases.  

The stairs that we normally use would not support a stair lift and the access on the ground floor is not suitable. The main stair case 'narrows' and the Charity are not able to put a stair lift there. If stair lifts were able to be put in the rooms would not be permitted to hold as many people, so we could not meet up here. 

If we use the Guildroom the cost would increase greatly, plus in that room we have to arrange and dismantle the room, or pay the caretaker to do so.  In saying this I am aware that you will have noted that Sue Andrews has not been at meetings, but due to her health Sue has not been attending meetings or indeed has not been coming to the Archives which is on the ground floor. So Sue's absence is not directly related to this room. 

We have also looked at the dining room but it is too small for the numbers that attend out meetings.  So I am sorry but at the moment we will be continuing to climb the stairs.

8.         Election of Officers and Executive Committee Members (Jan Byrne)

We have not received any new proposals for membership of the committee. And as said previously, and since the committee met last week, Steve and Nina has resigned. As it stands at the moment the proposed committee is:-

Chair: Jan Byrne

Vice Chair: Margaret Woods

Treasurer: Chris Drake

Membership Secretary: Margaret Woods

Members, Sue Angland, Hattie Bawden, Graham Panton.

The Secretary post is vacant, but I hopefully have an interim arrangement between Graham and myself.  If over the next few weeks any of you are prepared to offer to join the committee we will be delighted. Please do not be put off by the vacant Secretary's post; I really would not be so mean as to pressure a new committee member into being secretary.

The meeting agreed to elect the officers, en block.

Cheese and wine was then served.

The Hadleigh Society