MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF FELIXSTOWE CHAMBER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE HELD AT THE BROOK HOTEL ON MONDAY 21st MARCH 2011
Peter DawesSarah Gooch
Dave WhitingDenise Moreton
David PrestonAngel Goodwin
Louise BerrillJohn Goodwin
Nick BarberErika Rowdon
Andrew RowdonSue Gipps
Dick MoffatCaron Mexome
John Brinkley Stuart Brindle
Tracy TippleEileen Aldous
Stanley HarrisBarry Cooper
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS AGM MEETING (15/03/10) –
PROPOSED:Dick MoffatSECONDED: Dave Whiting
MATTERS ARISING –
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT –
The last two years I have started my report on the economy and the impact this has had on the business of Felixstowe. March 2009, I reported we had started to see the impact of the recession. March 2010, I reported we had started to see and feel the impact of the recession, so what for March 2011. Well, the depth and length of the recession has been taken its toll and surprised many. Its impact has been far reaching ranging from closure of business, cancelled funding for charities and many a corporate events being postponed or indeed cancelled altogether. The most upsetting thing of course is that many people have lost their jobs and found themselves out of work. However, I do feel that a lot of businesses have restructured and trimmed their overheads and costs down to the bone, cutting the fat from the business.
I feel moving forward 2011 will be a difficult year with many challenges yet to come. We have cut backs, tax rises and not forgetting inflation to deal with but deal with we must. Many business are like the ebbing of the tide, neither moving forward nor retreating. However, many businesses that are still with us are lean, well run, cost effective, and ready to take advantage of the upturn when it comes.
On The Pitch
I would like to thank Andrew Rowdon, vice chair for his hard work and support and the many meetings he has not only attended where he has taken a lead role. In particular I would like to thank him for his work on the re-birth of the Visit Felixstowe web site.
I must say a very big thank you to Louise Berrill, secretary, for her constant support and help. She is a vital part of the Chamber and without her, I feel the Chamber would be a poorer place. This is one of the many reasons I have tabled a motion for this AGM to review her pay structure.
A big thank you also goes to John Brinkley, treasurer, for the way in which he has run the Chamber’s accounts and of course not forgetting his work on CCTV and safer neighbourhoods.
I would like to thank all the committee members, Dick Moffat, Dick Calvesbert, Dave Whiting, Stanley Harris, Sue Gipps, Charlie Manning, David Preston, Belinda Jarvis and Tracy Tipple. It has been a pleasure to welcome new committee members to the Chamber, Rachel Cronin, Nick Barber and Sarah Gooch. I would also like to say a very big thank you to you all as without all your hard work we could not be the Chamber that we are and indeed we would not be able to carry on as a Chamber.
The only committee member we lost as a Chamber was Carol Jones. I would like to thank Carol for her work while at the chamber and wish her luck with her business.
Off the Pitch
I started off the years as guest and speaker at Aston Graham’s first thank you dinner at the Alex. I also attended a business forum at Level two in July. On the 6th July I visited the town hall to meet the new town Clerk Caroline Bennett, followed later that day with the Mayor’s reception, as guest of the Evening Star: thank you to them.
We had the Felixstowe in Flower launch to round off July on the 15th August, Louise and I met with Alicia Garrard to plan how we could work together. I followed that on the 6th with a meeting with Helen Rudd reference PR and an approach by Simon Middleton. I would like to thank Helen Rudd for her work and support with the Chamber. I ended the month on the 19th with a Suffolk Chamber business launch.
September started off with an ISSBA breakfast and ended up with a full day at the town hall attending a Simon Middleton work shop: a very enjoyable day.
October we hosted with Refer-On an MP’s question time at the Brook in what proved to be a good night. I also attended a FLT meeting at OrwellHigh School and was guest speaker at the Rotary Club’s evening dinner. November I had only one engagement at Aqua 8 when Suffolk Chamber hosted a Chamber awareness event.
December was the month when the traders voiced their concerns and fears for the future. Following several meetings some of which were heated we came out the other side with not only a better understanding of the traders concerns but also closure links with them. We launched late night shopping and with only two weeks to sort things out, we got there. 2012 Christmas late night shopping will be a lot better, plus we have all year to organise things and make the most of the evenings.
The New Year started for me on the 4th at 7.30am with an interview on Radio Suffolk. Followed on the 10th by the Port Reception and an meeting with Erika Rowden reference helping Louise and the Chamber. I met with Suffolk Chamber to talk about education and helping out in the local schools. We hosted our Chamber forum at the Brook at the end of January where we meet the local business community.
I visited Suffolk chamber in February to talk about local Chamber forums and a way forward. Then visited Hadliegh to attend a Suffolk Chamber lunch.
All in all a busy year but I must say I have enjoyed all the meetings I have attended and all the people I have meet.
I must add that I fully understand the concerns and frustration of the traders affected in Hamilton Road and the surrounding area, reference Shared Space. I would like to thank them all for their understanding and patience. I firmly believe that Hamilton Road has come out the other end looking fantastic. It not only feels a better place to shop, but is a better place to shop and as a Chamber we look forward to working with the traders to make the most of Hamilton Road, moving forward.
I would like to finish by informing the committee that I will not be standing for re-election as chair for a fourth term. Since the last committee meeting I have given re-election a lot of careful thought and it has been a very difficult decision to step down. Having had three years, in the chair, and having really enjoyed my time, I believe the time is right to go. It has been a privilege to be the head of such respected organisation with such a strong team of individuals behind me.
The reasons I feel it is right to step a-side are many but the main reasons are that after three years in the chair, I feel the chamber is ready for a new chair and a fresh look at what is needed. I always promised myself that I would do what is best for the chamber, come what may. I have also got to the stage that I must spend more time developing my own business and concentrating on finishing my degree, which I plan to do by the end of this year. I also felt that if someone came along that could add value and lead the chamber forward I would step a-side. That is why I would like to take the unusual step and fully endorse Andrew Rowdon as my successor. I have been very impressed with Andrews’s passion and commitment plus his ideas and enthusiasm, and I feel he can lead the Chamber.
I would like to thank everyone I have met and had dealings with both personal and professional. I would like to stay involved with the chamber if the committee felt it was in the best interests of the chamber.
I recommend this report to the committee.
STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS –
John Brinkley raised the Late Night shopping spend which was an additional cost from last year.He also pointed out that subscriptions were down from last year.
Barry Cooper from Matrix DS questioned the spend of £726.00 on late night shopping.Peter Dawes explained that we tried to assist the traders with PR surrounding the late night opening, the associated printing costs and entertainment.Peter pointed out that the chamber only had 10 days to try and promote the event that the traders had pushed for. Barry added that he thought that the late night opening was not successful – for traders or visitors as it was poorly supported.All in the room agreed.Nick Barber noted that next year they hope to put on a market for the weekend of the Christmas Lights switch in a bid to entice visitors into the town during this period.Stanley Harris commented that there had been significant issues in the past in trying to get shops to open later during the run up to Christmas.
The statement of accounts are believed to be a true and accurate copy:
PROPOSED:Nick BarberSECONDED:David Whiting
ELECTION OF OFFICERS –
Notification was read that Peter Dawes would be standing down as Chairman after being three years in post.
Peter Dawes read his nomination that Andrew Rowdon should be elected as Chairman.
Andrew Rowdon provided his nomination that Peter Dawes should be elected as Vice Chairman.
Andrew Rowdon was elected as the new Chairman
PROPOSED:Peter DawesSECONDED:Sue Gipps
Peter Dawes was elected as the new Vice Chairman
PROPOSED:Dick MoffatSECONDED:Belinda Jarvis
Treasurer, John Brinkley agreed to remain in post
PROPOSED:Belinda JarvisSECONDED:David Whiting
Secretary, Louise Berrill agreed to remain in post
PROPOSED:Tracy TippleSECONDED:John Brinkley
ELECTION OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE –
The following were elected as new executive committee members:
Denise Moreton of Rubys Kitchen
Stuart Brindle of Felixstowe Radio
All voted in favour of the new elections.
The following members were re-elected en-mass:
PROPOSED:Peter DawesSECONDED:Louise Berrill
MEMBERSHIP FEES 2012
It was agreed that the membership fee’s for 2012 should remain the same with no increase.
PROPOSED:John BrinkleySECONDED:Nick Barber
APPOINTMENT OF EXAMINER OF ACCOUNTS –
KEITH HORN has agreed to remain the examiner of accounts for the coming year.
PROPOSED:Peter DawesSECONDED:Andrew Rowdon
ANY OTHER BUSINESS –
¨Andrew Rowdon gave his thanks to Peter Dawes for his work as Chairman during the last 3 years.
¨Thanks were given Keith Horn for being examiner of accounts
¨Peter Dawes proposed that there be an increase to the Secretary’s wage of 10% to reflect no increases for the last 3 years.He also proposed that be an annual increase to this figure in line with inflation.
PROPOSED:Peter DawesSECONDED:Andrew Rowdon
Date of next AGM meeting: 6pm, The Brook Hotel19th March 2012