Barkham Village Residents Association
Tuesday 10thth November 2020
Present: Alison Goudge (AG); Alan Dixon (AD); Gill Powell (GP); Shirley Warner (SW); Stewart Richardson (SR); Dave Clements (DC); Suzanne Trigg (ST); Richard Roberts (RR).
The AGM was not held as a Public Meeting due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Residents were invited through the BVRA Website to submit questions or highlight issues/concerns. None were received. The Committee Meeting did take place and any resident may request copies of the reports submitted by the individual committee members. This summary highlights the key points that were discussed and agreed.
This has naturally been a strange year in terms of expenses given that there have been almost no social events. The production of the Newsletter continues to be our biggest expense. The new treasurer Alison Goudge has made good progress in automating our finances, resolving issues with HSBC bank and tightening the auditability of our accounts and payments. We have a positive balance on the fiscal year of £132 and continue to have a positive bank balance. The meeting did discuss changing the fiscal year to the calendar year but after some discussion it was decided to leave this as it stands. The fiscal year will also be documented in the BVRA constitution.
We continue to look for a replacement for this position. Consequently, this has been handled by the Chairman on a stand in basis for the whole of 2020. It is very disappointing that we have no volunteers for this key role despite advertising every quarter. We continue to have an excellent and dedicated team of distributors within minimum turnover. We currently have two gaps that we would like to fill. Due to the fact that we stopped collecting cash as a result of Covid 19 the number of paid up members is down on 2019 and this will have an impact on our overall financial situation going forward. Direct Debits have been introduced by Dave Clements and this automated process has gained good traction. We will continue to push this payment option with the winter edition of the Newsletter targeting those residents that paid in 2019 but have not yet paid in 2020.
Suzanne Trigg has successfully taken over the role of editor and has managed to produce 3 Newsletter so far in 2020 despite the disruption to social activities and other contributors activities. There was a good debate as to who should receive the Winter Newsletter – paid up members only or another full distribution. The final agreement was a compromise and the Winter Newsletter will be distributed to all members who have paid for 2020 plus those that paid in 2019 but have not yet done so for 2020. These residents will receive an individual note with the newsletter asking them to pay by Direct Debit The Winter edition will come out early December.
This continues to be a widely used tool with good support from the local residents. Stewart Richardson with support from Dave Clements continue to maintain and administer this in an effective way. The activity around the Coombes continues to be the main topic.
Dave Clements has set up the DD process and the payment mechanism using GoCardless. This is simple to use and has proved very effective. We will continue to push this for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020. Excellent progress has also been made on the development of the Membership Data Base and we now have a number of easy to use reports that support the newsletter distribution effort.
An area that is normally very active has seen an almost total stop. Looking forward to 2021 we will be looking to re-instate our traditional activities/events and add some that appeal to the younger families within the community.
The Chairman thanked all of the Committee members and Distribution volunteers for their continued hard work and dedication. There was a good discussion around subscriptions for next year given the reduction in Parish Council funding in 2019 and the inability for us to collect the normal level of subscription funding, Many residents have also expressed a view that £2 was too low. The provisional outcome of the discussion was that the committee felt that an increase was appropriate but that this should be coupled with giving something back to the local residents, It was agreed that we would provide a Christmas hamper with mainly local products, This will be raffled through the Winter Newsletter. It was also agreed that coupled with any increase we would give something back in terms of a subsidised or funded event. Details of this have yet to be worked out. We are also looking at how we can help local charities.