Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2017
Held on Saturday 10 June 2017 at Winmarleigh House, Warrington WA1 1NB
The Omnibus Society
(Registered in England No 3081365; Charity No 1048887
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2017
Held on Saturday 10 June 2017 at Winmarleigh House, 15 Winmarleigh Street, WARRINGTON WA1 1NB starting at 1130.
33 Members of the Society and Directors/Trustees:- Harry Barker, Nigel Eggleton, Pat Russell, Tony Francis, John Howie, Don Akrigg, Gavin Booth, Ralph Barker, Julian Peddle, Geoff Lusher, Ted Gadsby, Nic Collins, Philip Kirk, Dave Bubier, John Hart, M.G Elliot, Alan Drabble, Philip Sharples, Phil Pearson, Robin Bence, Martin Kingsnorth, Peter Hale, Paul Wilkinson, Oliver Howarth, Paul Wigan, Ian Dennis, Alan Cross, John Carr, G D Stewart, Chris Dale, Andrew Barton, Ken Swallow, Kelvyn Waites.
Apologies for Absence were received from
Kenny Barclay, Roger Barton, Andy Gipson, Brian Elvidge, Tony Hall, Chris Holland, Carole Stevens, Richard Morgan, John Curtis, Peter Jenner, Mike Eyre, Adrian Sargent, Duncan McKay, Stephen Morris, Barry Le Jeune, Malcolm Flynn, Ian Barlex, John Smith, David Grimmett, Nick Agnew, Johnathan Evans, Charles Gill, Andrew Robertson, Robert Kenyon.
The meeting was declared quorate.
The Directors each introduced themselves for the benefit of the members present.
A minute’s silence was held in remembrance of the following members who have died since the 2015 Presidential Weekend:
John M ALDRIDGE
J. G. CHATTWOOD
DAVID J. CROFT
JAMES ISAAC (President 1982)
L. G. MACDONALD
ALAN W. MILLS, VICE-PRESIDENT, LIBRARIAN AND ARCHIVIST
A. W. PRATLEY
S. J. WILLIAMS (Sweden)
WE REMEMBER YOUR LOVE OF BUSES, YOUR KNOWLEDGE, YOUR COMPANIONSHIP and YOUR WRITINGS.
Minutes of The AGM held at The Black Country Living Museum on 11th June 2016 were agreed by the meeting subject to the correction of the date in minute 6 to read ‘11th July 2015’. They were adopted – proposed by Oliver Howarth, seconded by John Hart and signed by the Chairman.
Treasurer’s Report and Accounts for 2016. These were presented by Pat Russell who drew attention to the £75,000 from the sale of surplus material, resulting in a £44,700 excess of income over expenditure for the year. However, this should be considered a ‘one-off’ and the underlying ‘loss’ (as described in 2016 minutes) still applies.
The Accounts, having been approved and signed by Council, were
accepted: proposed by Peter Hale and seconded by Gavin Booth.
The Treasurer explained that the Society had to temporarily register for VAT in December 2016 but ‘on appeal’ this requirement was cancelled.
Harry Barker presented his Chairman’s Report:
‘I am pleased to report that 2016 was, yet again, another successful year for The Society. Our membership remained highly satisfactory at 968, and through our electronic membership we continue to attract new members who are younger than we have been accustomed to of late. This is extremely valuable for the future, because it is the case that when members retire, many turn their hobby of being interested in Buses and all of the industry’s many diverse aspects, into an ability and desire to give time to becoming involved in assisting the Society as a volunteer. Without our volunteers, we simply could not exist. We are looking for a Health and Safety Officer who can take on the not particularly onerous task of ensuring we are compliant in our various properties and activities and if anyone thinks they can help with this vacancy, please make yourself known to us. It is also the case that if you have some computer skills, you might be able to join the small team looking after the website. So, a big thank you to all of our members who have volunteered to run the Society in whatever capacity has suited them over the past year.
This will be my last AGM where I Chair the event throughout as I have intimated that after 30 years of being on Council, twenty-five as Treasurer, and five as Chairman, I shall be standing down next year. Thirty years sitting on Council has been informative and at times eye-opening. From a start as Treasurer in the 1990s which was a baptism of fire, and we were literally down to our last £200 and potentially unable to pay our ongoing accounts, I had to undertake an urgent viability assessment and quickly implement changes, not always popular but utterly essential, which resulted in the Society becoming viable again, and which was maintained for the following quarter of a century – to coin a political phrase creating a ‘strong and stable’ environment which directly resulted in us attracting a number of legacies which further cemented our financial position. We are a living Society – and have not only been fortunate in continuing to attract the highest calibre of Presidents from the industry, but have also attracted younger, highly experienced and professional Council members such as Pat Russell, Julian Peddle, Nigel Eggleton and Philip Kirk who puts himself forward as our new Archivist to follow on from the huge hole left by the death of Alan Mills. It is important that these ‘youngsters’ are given their heads to run the Society in the future, and my departure will form part of that process.
We are now at the stage of entering a completely new phase of the Society’s development through the establishment of The Bus Archive which is simply the most important, yet exciting, development I suspect we have ever been through. It recognises the success of our Library and Archive over the years and its structure which will also involve The Kithead Trust, will prove invaluable to take matters forward into the next generation. I and Council are totally supportive of this development which may well be able to attract outside funding and we are determined to ensure that this is undertaken professionally with a seamless effect on members’ ability to use the archive facilities. Of course, we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Library and Archive next month.
I take this opportunity to thank all Council members who give up their time well beyond their call to duty. Life is not always a bed of roses and we have been through some turbulent times, but the Society survives, and will survive to enable us to celebrate our 90th anniversary in 2019 – only two years away and our Centenary in 2029. The Midland Branch celebrated its 70th Anniversary this year and there will be other important anniversaries in the pipeline.
I am also proud to have put in place the implementation of The Equality Act (2010), which has proved almost painless. We may still have the odd hic-cup, but there is no doubt that we are now ‘thinking’ disability in all its forms and I look forward to the day when catering for those with personal requirements will become second nature. But we are well ahead of many other organisations in this respect.’
Tony Francis referred to his published Secretary’s Report which was included with the official notification of the AGM.
Reappointment of Directors The meeting agreed to the re-appointment of the two Directors whose term of offices were reaching an end. They were Harry Barker (proposed by Stephen Morris and seconded by Nick Agnew) and Ralph Barker (proposed by Kelvyn Waites and seconded by Paul Wigan).
Harry Barker was confirmed as Chairman of the Omnibus Society for a further year and until the AGM in 2018.
Philip Kirk was appointed as a Director (proposed by Don Akrigg and seconded by Ken Swallow.)
Bus Archive Details of the proposed arrangements, (which involves the ‘pooling’ of Society and Kithead archives and assets) had been circulated with the AGM agenda. Both Philip Kirk and Ted Gadsby made short presentations re-iterating the primary objective. (ie.‘to create an Archive to ‘professional standards for the benefit of the users and the bus industry’). Ted stated that Alan Mills had been extremely enthusiastic and its creation would form part of his legacy.
Pat Russell had prepared a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) document covering all aspects of the new arrangements and stressed that there would be very little change for users or volunteers. A summary of this document will be put on the website and in the Omnibus Magazine.
The target date for completion is 1st April 2018 but some details (including a Business Plan and Memorandum of Understanding) still need to be developed, during which all the concerns expressed by members will be addressed.
The AGM gave unanimous approval for the next steps to be taken. This
would culminate in the final proposals being presented to the
Membership for consultation. Subject to any views expressed it would
be for Council to then approve and implement the final package.
The re-appointment of and giving Council the authority to remunerate The Barker Partnership as Examining Accountants was unanimously agreedby the meeting.
Other Business. A number of issues had previously been raised by Dave Bubier. A copy of the response was available at the meeting.
Other issues debated were:
Presidential Weekend Costs were thought to becoming too expensive for some of the membership. It was stated that a full review of this event was in process (following similar comments in the recent questionnaire) which would also cover other aspects such as timing, duration, structure etc. This will be considered at the next (November) Council meeting. In the meantime, Council has agreed that there will be no charge for members attending the 2017 Presidential Dinner.
Autonomy of Affiliate Bodies It was agreed that once the Bus Archive is established a review will be undertaken to consider future relationships between the Society and its affiliates.
Status of OSMART The Treasurer clarified that OSMART was not a ‘trader’ as it did not buy items for resale. It only sells surplus ‘donated items’ (ie. duplicates to ones already held in the Archive)
The meeting concluded at 1525 hrs.