whitchurch association minutes
1. Welcome and introduction
HT welcomed those present and introduced herself.
2. Background information
HT reported that Cllr Gill Nethercott had formally initiated the healthcheck process in September 2002. This looked at the health of the town and its hinterland in terms of local economy, environment, social and community amenities and transport.
Consultation with local residents and businesses took place in April 2004 and 10 initial projects were identified which formed the basis of the Town’s Action Plan.
After consultation by BDBC on the new community facility a Steering Group was formed in 2004 of people interested in becoming trustees for the new centre.
After much debate amongst the Town Action Plan Group it was decided that the two groups should amalgamate for the benefit of the town for two reasons. First, it was an initial desire for groups to come together under one umbrella organisation to benefit from one another and to organise dates better, and secondly, launching two new groups, each with their own constitution and agenda, would have been difficult.
HT introduced JB and handed over to her.
3. Adoption of the constitution
JB said she would not read through the constitution word by word but would go through the main headings, highlighting any decisions made by the Steering Group. These were outlined in red in the constitution. She noted that anyone could ask questions over any points they were unsure of.
JB noted that two proposals had been put forward for the new Association – the Whitchurch Town Association and the Whitchurch Association. She asked if there were any further suggestions for a name. None were forthcoming.
Derek Verran proposed that the name ‘Whitchurch Association’ be adopted because the proposed area of benefit included not only the parish of Whitchurch but also some of the surrounding villages and hamlets. This was seconded by SF. 18 voted in favour, 0 against and there were 5 abstentions.
BarryJ proposed that the name ‘Whitchurch Town Association’ be adopted. This was seconded by Clare Wilson. 6 voted in favour, 18 against and there were 3 abstentions.
It was, therefore, unanimously agreed that the name of the new organisation would be the Whitchurch Association.
JB said that the Steering Group were proposing that the area of benefit should be the parish of Whitchurch and the surrounding hamlets of Litchfield, Woodcott, Tufton and Dunley.
Cllr Wall proposed that it should be extended to include Hurstbourne Priors. This was seconded by Keith Watts. 20 voted in favour of this, 0 were against and there were 3 abstentions. The motion was carried unanimously.
Keith Watts noted that the draft constitution for the original Town Action Plan Group had been based on a model provided by the Civic Trust. He felt that this contained powers not currently in the model for the Whitchurch Association, particularly allowing the group to lobby, and wanted them to be put back in. He proposed that Power 3d in the draft constitution be replaced with the power: ‘To act as a co-ordinating body and to co-operate with the local authorities, planning committees, and all other statutory authorities, voluntary organisations, charities and persons having aims similar to those of the Association.’
JB commented that she had taken legal advice and that Power 3d did give the Association the power to lobby. She also queried whether the Association should be a ‘co-ordinating body’ or whether this was the role of the Town Council.
The proposal was seconded by Phil Cooper with 15 in favour of the amendment, 5 against and 9 abstentions.
Keith Watts then proposed that a new power be added: ‘To educate public opinion and to give advice and information.’ This was seconded by JW with 26 in favour, 0 against and 2 abstentions.
All the other powers were agreed as stated.
Phil Cooper asked whether associate members under clause a)i)b) would become members of the committee and, therefore, trustees. JB confirmed that this was the case and clarified that, for example, if there were 20 associate members they could only elect one member to represent them on the committee.
Sections 5, 6, 7 were agreed.
3.5 Special General Meetings
Phil Cooper felt that 55% of members required to call a special meeting was too high. JB explained that if the percentage was smaller the Association could be forced into having a large number of special meetings. If 55% of members were unhappy about a situation then it would indicate that a large number of people were concerned about it and it was only fair that they should call a meeting to discuss it.
Phil Cooper proposed that the constitution should be amended to read ‘….of receiving a written request so do signed by not less than 25 people or 55% of Members with power to vote, whichever is the less, and giving reasons for the request….’.11 voted in favour of the amendment, 11 voted against and there were 9 abstentions.
JB asked for a recount. 11 voted in favour of the amendment, 12 voted against and there were 10 abstentions. The constitution would not, therefore, be amended.
Sections 9 – 23 were all agreed.
SF proposed that the constitution, with one amendment and one addition, be adopted. This was seconded by Dave Titcomb and agreed unanimously.
4. Election of committee members
JB said that she intended to announce the honorary officers indivudally and then announce the rest of the committee members en bloc. This was agreed.
Susan Flawith was proposed as Chairman by JW and seconded by BJ. This was agreed with 22 in favour, 0 against and 3 abstentions.
Harriet Titcomb was proposed as Vice-Chairman by JW and seconded by BJ. This was agreed with 31 in favour, 0 against and 1 abstention.
Jean Watts was proposed as Secretary by HT and seconded by SF. This was agreed with 31 in favour, 0 against and 0 abstentions.
There were no nominations for Treasurer and the post remained vacant.
The following were proposed as committee members:
Barry Jackman proposed by HT and seconded by SF.
Marion Woods proposed by HT and seconded by SF.
Brian Jackman proposed by HT and seconded by SF.
James Seamons proposed by JS and seconded by JW.
Lorraine Haysom proposed by JW and seconded by SF.
Jane Powell proposed by G Wilson and seconded by I Gale.
Rupert Strong proposed by CS and seconded by JW.
Cari Strong proposed by RS and seconded by JW.
These proposals were agreed unanimously.
JB wished the group every success and handed the meeting to the new chairman, SF.
5. Chairman’s closing remarksSF thanked everyone for coming to the meeting and noted that the first meeting of the new Association would be held on Thursday 3 November at 7.30pm in the Town Hall.
The draft constitution is here, it is a 142KByte Adobe Acrobat File
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