Heston Resident's Association AGM 5th April 2023

Members of HRA,

 

2022 was a very challenging year. So was 2021, and 2020. 2020 and 2021 both suffered the impact of the Covid Pandemic. The lockdown made it difficult to operate in the usual way for both monthly general meetings and meetings of the Executive Committee. Communications with members managed to continue with editions of the RAM magazine continuing to be produced and distributed on a regular basis. Our inability to meet face to face in Committee meetings was overcome by meeting online using zoom. In practice, the Committee managed to meet more often than in pre-pandemic days, and the zoom Committee meetings proved to be more productive and more sociable than our previous face to face meetings were. The zoom meetings were also kinder to the planet with no need to make car journeys or to heat and light a meeting room. Given the significant advantages of the online meetings, the Committee has concluded that we should continue to hold our Committee meetings online.

 

The most significant challenge during last year was the announcement by our acting Chair, David Blackett, that he would be retiring from producing the RAM magazine at the end of the year. This posed a very significant existential challenge to HRA because the magazine was the main way in which the membership and the Committee could communicate, and the network of deliverers of the magazine was the way in which we collected the annual subscription. It proved impossible to find anybody who could pick up the task of producing the magazine. Committee members had been aware that we would, at some stage, be unable to continue to produce the magazine and there had been several discussions about the options for maintaining the Association once production of the magazine ceased. When it was clear that the magazine would not be published after December 2022, the various options were reviewed. The majority of the Committee were determined to do everything possible to ensure the continued existence of the Association, with a small minority view that the Association should close down on the cessation of RAM. I am pleased to say that the majority view prevailed.

 

The Committee worked hard to identify a new business model for the Association based on modern working practices. The manifestation is what you have seen since December 2022. The RAM magazine has been replaced by an online e-Newsletter. The Committee recognises that replacing the old printed magazine with an online e-Newsletter does not suit everybody, but it was Hobson’s choice. Either we close down or we move to new work practices.

 

While there are those who are not yet comfortable with the e-Newsletter, the general feedback was very positive. The Committee will seek to help all members who might struggle with online working. We will provide you with assistance to get you more comfortable with HRA’s new business model. It is clear that there are significant benefits for both members and the planet that arise from the new business model. The most obvious benefit is that there is no longer an annual subscription. Online working has enabled us to suspend subscriptions because the new costs have been kept to an absolute minimum, and mainly relate to the Mailchimp licence and the website cost. The old costs associated with producing and distributing RAM of just over £5,000 no longer arise. The Committee believes that the costs of operating the new business model are sustainable for the foreseeable future

 

Another advantage of the new business model is the speed in which we can contact members. The lead time to make members aware of information is virtually zero, whereas the lead time for communicating through RAM was up to six weeks depending where the Magazine is in the production process.

 

The newsletter allows HRA members to decide how much detail they want on any of the subjects in the Newsletter. With the magazine everybody got the full details for every article.

 

The e-Newsletter provides a simple and fast way for members to provide their comments on issues or to submit items for inclusion in the e-Newsletter. In parallel with the e-Newsletter, the contents of the website have also been expanded. This incudes the information relating to this meeting. If you want to review this Committee report at your leisure, it will be on the website sometime tomorrow.

 

Perhaps the most important benefit delivered by the new business model is that it provides a platform for both the immediate and long-term future of HRA. The situation at the moment is that, because we did not start the process of updating our business model when we should have done some three or four years ago, we have had to compromise on what we can get done in the time available. We are aware of some shortcomings in our current processes, and we are confident of our ability to resolve those issues. We do intend that the Newsletter will become as far as possible a reflection of what members wish to see in it. We have provided simple links within the newsletter so we can capture your feedback. Please do use them.

 

In terms of the day-to-day work of the Committee during last year, we continue to chase our council to deliver developments which are appropriate to the locality. The HRA Planning Team has virtually ended the creation of beds in sheds facilities, we have effective controls on the creation of HMOs, and we are working hard to ensure that roof extensions are of an acceptable nature.

 

I would like to now place on record my gratitude to the Committee Members who have provided wise council throughout the last year. Due to circumstances, I took on the duties of facilitator for the Committee during the last couple of years. It was not a case of me leading and others following so much as making sure that all views were given full consideration by all Committee members. The quality of the decisions taken reflects the best efforts of all Committee members. I am sure that all Committee members will allow me to express particular thanks to our Media Officer, Brian Kidd, for his commitment to ensuring that HRA has a world class website and a world class, e-Newsletter.

 

I commend this Committee Report to you all.

 

Irene to propose acceptance of the report,

Shyam to second acceptance of the report.

89th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF HESTON RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION

5 April 2023. At Heston and District Community Association 343 Vicarage Farm Road Heston TW5 0DZ strting at 6 pm

Agenda

1. Minutes of the last AGM.

2. Matters arising.

3. The Annual Report of the Committee.

4. Consideration of the Annual Report of the Committee.

5. Treasurer’s report (see note 1)

6. Officers’ Reports viz Planning Officer, Membership Secretary, Media Officer.

7. Update to the Constitution in respect of a “Sunset Clause” (see note 2)

8. The election of a committee of not more than 30 members (see note 3, 4, 5)

9. Election of Honorary Vice-Presidents

AOB including:

Future of Monthly General Meetings (see note 6)

Future of AGM meetings (see note 7)

Note 1 – as an “Unincorporated Association” there is no legal requirement for the accounts of the Association to be subject to independent audit, but they are subject to the approval of Members of the Association at the AGM. The Treasurer would welcome an independent audit of the accounts. If there is any member of the Association who is willing to act as a Financial Examiner in respect of the Accounts then please do contact the Treasurer so that appropriate arrangement can be made.

Note 2 – The proposed amendment is fully consistent with other clauses of the Constitution and is fully supported by the Executive Committee.

Note 3 – For those who may be interested in seeking election to The Committee the following information may be helpful.

Rule 13(a) of our constitution advises that the affairs of the Association shall be conducted by Officers of the Association together with the Committee. The Committee meets on the last Wednesday of the montth at 1800. The meetings take place online using Zoom and last about 1 hour.

The Committee initially held meetings online as a way of operating during Covid lockdown. The Committee found that meeting online had many advantages over face-to-face meetings and concluded that meetings should

continue to take place in this manner. Should you wish to attend one of our committee meetings please advise the Treasurer so that arrangements can be made.

Note 4 – The election of the Chair shall be the responsibility of the elected Committee Members.

Note 5 – The appointment of Officers shall be the responsibility of the elected Committee Members

Note 6 – Below are the statistics for attendances at monthly general meetings between March 2022 and March 2023. The statistics show total number of attendees and the number of those attendees that are also members of the Executive Committee. It shows an average of 5 people who are not Committee Members attend the monthly general meetings. The  membership at 31 December 2022 was 442. It is clear that the monthly general meetings are not important to 98% of HRA members. The cost of room hire is £38 per evening. The Committee would like to hear the views of members as this is an appropriate time to consider whether monthly general meetings are still relevant to the HRA business model. This issue was discussed at the Committee meeting on 29 March. No conclusion has yet been reached.

March: 18 (incl.10 Comm)

April: 11 (8 comm)

May: 14 (8 comm)

June 14 (7 comm)

July 14 (8 comm)

Sept 11 (6 comm)

Oct: 14 (7 comm)

Nov: 13 (7 comm)

Dec: 17 (8 comm)

Jan no meeting

Feb no meeting

Mar: 14 (9 comm)

Note 7 – The Committee considered holding this AGM online using Zoom. It was decided to hold this year’s AGM in the traditional manner. It would be helpful to get some feedback from members on whether they would prefer future AGMs to be online using zoom or in the traditional manner. Please advise the Treasurer if you have a strong opinion on this issue.

NM 14/3/2023

MINUTES OF THE 88 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING THE OF HESTON RESIDENTS’

ASSOCIATION HELD ON WEDNESDAY 2nd MARCH 2022 AT THE HESTON COMMUNITY CENTRE.

Meeting Started at 19:42 Chair Mangal Chudha. APOLOGIES: R.Bhatti. J. Lawes. Minutes of the last 87th AGM: Agreed and signed. Matters Arising: None. Receipt and adoption of the Chairman’s Annual Report: The lockdown imposed by the Govt, due to the Wuhan virus (Covid-19) pandemic restricted the opportunity for monthly general meetings. At a special general Meeting on the 3rd Nov 2020, it was agreed to increase the membership subs rates to £6 for local and £12 for postal members due to increased costs.

At the last AGM in 2020, David Blackett stood down as Chair and Mangal Chudha was elected as Chair. Appreciation was expressed for the work carried out by both Vivienne and David Blackett who has served for 3 decades as Treasurer and then Chair (2004), as well as editor of RAM.

Chairman’s annual report was proposed for adoption by Vivienne Blackett and seconded by Lata Dhiri. The report was adopted by the meeting. Receipt of the examined accounts for 2020 and 2021: Chair stated that he had had problems to get the accounts audited and needed support from the membership to arrange for someone to check the accounts. The Membership Secretary offered to speak to someone about acting as Financial Examiner to check the accounts. Chair would present the audited accounts at the next meeting. The Treasurer commented that subscriptions and advertising in RAM were the main sources of income for the Association. The income from HRA funds in Scottish Widows was just £2.15. The Chair questioned whether the income from the funds could be improved. The Treasurer advised that the interest received was in line with general market rates for such funds.

David Blackett apologized for recent delays in producing the RAM magazine. This was due to the printers being off sick. Membership Secretary asked whether cost of production could be reduced with cheaper quality paper for the RAM magazine as the cost of production had increased significantly.

Report of Officers and Committee members The Membership Secretary thanked Malcolm MacLachlan for assisting her in filling in the membership cards.

The Treasurer expressed appreciation for the hard work and commitment of John Mullins in reviewing and commenting on planning applications. It could now be said that HRA had prevented approval of most “beds in sheds” facilities. The Treasurer advised that Council Planning Officers often took decisions that were not compliant with National Planning Law or Local Planning regulations. HRA’s planning team had developed a detailed understanding of planning rules and had been successful in ensuring that the vast majority of applications were now fully compliant with both national planning law and local planning policy.

The Planning Officer informed the meeting that the development at Orchard Avenue and the corner of Vicarage Farm Road had been stopped, that the Tesco/Home Base site public enquiry would be starting this month, and that the proposed development on New Heston Road had been withdrawn. The Chair advised that the last 18 months had been very difficult and stressful and as a consequence he had decided to step down from office but would stay on the Committee if re-elected..

Election of Officers and Committee members Chairman: No Nominations. Vice Chairman: David Blackett. Treasurer: Nick Marbrow. Secretary: No Nominations. Membership Secretary: I Hansen. Advertising A/C: Planning Officer: J Mullins.

Committee members elected: Mangal Chudha, M MacLachlan. S Goyal, R Bhatti, V. Blackett, L Dhiri, M.Dhiri, T.Tambiaya, K.Bhatti, M. Edwards.

David Blackett advised that, if members are agreeable, then he would be prepared to be acting chair until a new Chair is appointed. The offer was accepted.

AOB

Mangal Chudha advised that, in his opinion, the constitution of the Association needs to include a “Sunset Clause” in the event that it becomes necessary to close the Association. He suggested the following words:

“If the General Committee by simple majority decides at any time that on the grounds of expense or otherwise it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Association, it shall call a Special Meeting of all members of the Association who have the right to vote. Notice of not less than 21 days of the Special General Meeting stating the resolution to be proposed shall be given. If such a decision shall be confirmed by a two thirds majority of those present and voting at the Special Meeting, the General Committee shall direct the Executive Committee to dispose of any assets held by or in the name of the Association after satisfaction any debts and liabilities.”

No formal proposal was made. No decision was taken on the issue.

Acting Chair asked those present to let him have any ideas for speakers at future general meetings.

Acting Chair advised that with regarding to RAM magazine he had been editor for several years with the support of Lyn Streather, but Lyn wants to retire at the end of 2022. He had concluded that production of RAM would therefore cease with effect from 31 Dec 2022. The meeting ended at 20:43

AGM 2023 – Membership report

Membership 31 Dec 2018 – 555

Membership 31 Dec 2019 – 544

Membership 31 Dec 2020 – 504

Membership 31 Dec 2021 – 486

Membership 31 Dec 2022 – 442

Current membership is based on those who were members last year and had provided an email address when commencing or renewing their membership last year. These members were considered to have opted in to receiving the e-Newsletter. The current number of such members is 297.

Those who did not provide an email address will be invited to opt-in to receiving the e-Newsletter in due course. It is anticipated that membership numbers are likely to equal or exceed the membership total as at 31 December 2022.

List of current Committee Members (all are seeking re-election)

N Marbrow – Treasurer

J Mullins – Planning Officer

I Hansen – Membership Secretary

B Kidd – Media Officer

S Goyal – Committee Member

M MaClachlan – Committee Member

M Dhiri – Acting Secretary

L Dhiri – Committee Member

T Thambiaya – Committee Member

NM 14/3/2023

Proposed amendment to the Constitution

 

A proposed amendment to the Constitution in respect of a “Sunset Clause” in the event that The Committee considers that the Association should be dissolved.

“If the Executive Committee by a simple majority decides at any time that on the grounds of expense, or for any other compelling reason, it is necessary to dissolve the Association, it shall call a Special General Meeting of the Association in accordance with Rule 7 of the Constitution i.e. a notice of not less than 10 days of the meeting shall be given to all members of the Association stating the resolution to be proposed. If the resolution to close the Association is confirmed by a two thirds majority of those present and eligible to vote at the Special General Meeting, the Executive Committee shall settle all outstanding debts and liabilities of the Association and dispose of any remaining assets in accordance with the aims and objectives of the Association as set out in Rule 2 of the Constitution.”

 

The proposed amendment is consistent with other clauses of the Constitution and is fully supported by the Executive Committee.

 

NM – 14/3/2023

Please print above document and bring it with you to the meeting
Copyright Heston Residents Association 2024
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