2022 Annual General Meeting Report
On 3rd May the Chairman, Roy Sammons, welcomed everyone to the Annual General Meeting, the first time in three years it had been held on its usual date at the beginning of May. He reported an improvement in test passes during 2021 to 10, a number which was a significant improvement over the two passes during 2020. We had not started a course in May 2021, so our first course of the year was in August 2021, when we also returned to Mass Guidance. If they so wished we were able to re-connect with Associates who had enrolled pre pandemic but whose training had been put on hold.
Committee meetings had been held using Zoom, until 29 June 2021 when we resumed ‘face to face’ meetings at Dobbies. Our 50th Anniversary events, our Anniversary Dinner and Electric Vehicle Show, were successfully held on their re-arranged dates, thanks to the sterling efforts of the 50th Anniversary Planning Committee and our Observers and members, not forgetting the host for the meetings, Lynne Gartside.
We were able to return to Dobbies for our Group Social meetings on 7 Sept 2021, and we thank Chris Knowles for bringing our speaker calendar back to life. This year we resumed our raffles, thanks to Margaret Middleton. We were also able to hold our Christmas Dinner at Brookfield, our first since 2019. Thanks to Lynn Jordan, Steve Peary and Vince Dover, we took our first steps (no pun intended) with the restart of our Ride and Rambles in August 2021. After the winter break they have continued in 2022.
In March 2022 we were able to commence our first Observer course since August 2019. These courses are essential to bring new blood into our Observer team. Many of our Observers have continued to keep in contact socially in our WhatsApp group. The thoroughness of the records kept by Lynn Jordan, Vince Dover, Steve Peary and Dougie Phillips has meant that we were able to actively manage our return to training Associates in a Covid safe manner, both on a ‘one to one’ basis and now back to Mass Guidance.
We were able to restart our suspended 2020 Diploma course in March 2022, just two years after we put the course on hold in March 2020. Practical driving sessions leading to the Diploma Driving test are now under way and will be concluded in late June. We have agreed with Lois German and family that we can introduce a Diploma Trophy in Hugh’s name in recognition of his 50 year unstinting contribution to the Bolton Group and for his 40 year dedication to the Diploma course itself.
Our Publicity Officer, Barry Sloan, has continued to maintain the Group’s presence on all forms of social media, with our own public Facebook page and our presence on Twitter. Barry was thanked for his enthusiasm in maintaining and co-ordinating our presence as we returned to normal, and Steve Peary for keeping our website up to date and relevant. But we must not forget that personal contact and recommendation remains our best form of recruitment.
We returned to using the car parks at Bolton University from August 2021 but we have not yet been allowed use of the classroom. Open car parks are perfectly ok when the weather is good, but not so good when wet!! We remain optimistic that we will be allowed access to the University classroom in the not too distant future.
Personal thanks went to the officers and committee members in staying focused during the pandemic – Zoom meetings were the ‘norm’ for many months. Whilst Zoom is a useful tool and better than nothing, everyone prefers being back in one room together.
The Chairman reminded members that he had completed his 25th year in office, and was looking towards standing down next year. He again quoted the IAM guidelines recorded in the IAM Group Handbook. These state; “It is very strongly recommended that the post of Chairman be held for no more than three years and that there be a break of at least one year before being nominated again”.
It was an honour to be Chairman of such a strong, active and enthusiastic IAM RoadSmart group, a fact which has been so well demonstrated during the difficult Covid times over the last two years. The Group went from strength to strength when Hugh German became Chairman in 1991, along with Les Wardle as Secretary and Lyn Entwistle as Treasurer. We have survived Covid and our ethos and look to the future is still as strong as ever. The Chairman closed with a very big ‘Thank You’ to everyone.
The Secretary began his report by thanking the Chairman for his enthusiasm, dedication and leadership skills. He had again worked harder than any other committee member during the past year to maintain our place as one of IAM RoadSmart’s top groups.
The Advanced Driver course had cost £149 between 1st October 2014 and 31st March 2022. It is now priced at £175. The Group introduced a cashback at the beginning of 2020 to celebrate our 50th anniversary year: The first 50 people to enrol during the year were to be offered a £50 cashback – our 50/50/50 anniversary offer – when they passed their advanced Test. Because of the COVID pandemic we have yet to see 50 associates pass their test and consequentially this offer is still open.
Our membership at the beginning of May consisted of 154 full members, 19 associates and 9 friends. These add up to a total of 182 compared with 201 at this time last year. We are currently sending out only 29 monthly Newsletters to members by post compared with 144 by email. If you are one of these members, please think about transferring and getting access to the Newsletter’s web links. This will save the Group printing and postage costs. Special thanks are due to those who send postage stamps for their newsletters. The Group subscription remained at £10.
The Treasurer opened his first speech in office by thanking members for accepting him – working with figures and administration was what he enjoyed. He reported that during the year we had managed to set up on-line banking which has worked well and is now going smoothly. It gives us the benefits of paying our accounts to our main payees quickly and easily and being able to view the bank transactions immediately.
Charity Account income has decreased as 24 members did not renew their subscription. On the expenditure side we had an overall loss of £980. Dobbies’ room hire, additional room hire for Observers’ meetings and courses, double IAM insurance (as last year’s was carried forward), £450 on Cashbacks, and the purchase of new Roadcraft books for Observers all contributed to the loss.
In the Social Account, social meetings raffles and ride and Rambles restarted part way through the year meaning a smaller than normal contribution to income. The success of the year was the excess of £1301 from the Electric Vehicle Show. Special thanks went to Barry Sloan for organising it and obtaining the voluntary contributions from the exhibitors, Vince for not claiming for his expenses and the University not charging for use of their facilities. On the Expenditure side the budgeted subsidies on the 50th anniversary and Xmas dinners were the main contributors to an overall loss on the year of £142.
The overall cash in the bank of both accounts, £10,037, continued to leave us in a healthy position and further gift aid claims had been submitted.
The Chairman was thanked for guiding the Treasurer through his first year in office. Also Warran Bolton for auditing the accounts, Margaret Middleton for organising the Raffles and Christine Knowles for organising the speakers and looking after the clothing and regalia.
All office-holders and committee members who stood were re-elected. Contact details can be found on the inside front cover of the Newsletter.
End of report