One year’s vacancy now filled
In a well attended Annual General Meeting Members were able to fill the Chair, which had been vacant since the AGM of 2005. Hitherto Committee Members had filled this role in turn. Tony Rice acted as Chairman on this occasion. He said:-
My first duty is to record our collective sadness at the recent demise of our old friend and last Chairman, Tom Arnott, to offer our sympathies to Shirley and to register our collective gratitude for all the efforts Tom put into the Alton U3A during his difficult period of office. Tom would appreciate these sentiments, if I point out that nothing exemplifies his thorough and conscientious approach to his role better than the xhaustive nature of his Chairman’s report in last year’s minutes. He would be the first to acknowledge that he was not a man to use one word where ten would do. Though I suffer from the same affliction, this one, from a temporary, stand-in Chairman, will be much shorter and in the form of a series of brief bullet points.
1. In the absence of a replacement for Tom as Chairman at last year’s AGM we have operated a rotating chairmanship during the last year, with individual committee members taking on the job for roughly one month each. Hopefully, this rather unsatisfactor situation is about to be resolved.
2. Thanks largely to the efforts of our treasurer, Jack Webb, the financial situation has continued to improve from last year’s, partly as a result of careful financial management, but mainly because of the funds returned from the Inland Revenue as a result of our Gift Aid status.
3. Our Membership seems to be reasonably stable. Any organization with our demographics must expect significant annual losses, but these have been more or less offset by new recruits. We should not, however, be complacent and plans to try to attract new members are afoot.
4. Similarly, our programme of activities continues to expand and this year we offer no less than 38 courses, a study day dedicated to local notables and a rich and varied programme of excursions and speakers at our monthly meetings. We are fortunate, indeed, to benefit from the efforts of Carolyn Goodrham, Pat Stamp, John Chaplin, Don Hardy and all the Group Leaders in organizing such a diverse programme.
5. In summary, the Alton U3A seems to be fairly healthy. However, with your help we can do even better. Is it your turn to serve on the committee, find good speakers, organize an excursion or lead a course? Please think about it. Treasurer’s Report Treasurer Jack Webb reported an improving financial situation. Income from Subscriptions had an additional £1,476:00, but he pointed out that this was from fewer total Members paying at the now increased annual rate. The principle source of income apart from Subscriptions has been from Gift Aid. He was pleased to report a generous “Christmas Present” from Gordon Brown totalling £4,233:83.
However, he expressed his disappointment, that there remains a third of all Members, who have not signed a Gift Aid declaration. He urged all taxpayers to give him this facility, which he guarantees will in no way affect their income. The main increase in expenditure comes from Room Hire; a combination of a 10% increase in rental and an increase in the numbers and size of Groups.
The bottom line is that Income was £17,152:25 versus an Expenditure of £11,347:72 showing a surplus of £5,804:53, which is some £520:00 more than the previous year. A review of the Balance Sheet and a forecast for the 2006/2007 Budget led him to recommend no change to the current level of subscriptions.