THE INCORPORATED GLASGOW, STIRLINGSHIRE & SONS OF THE ROCK SOCIETY MINUTES OF THE SOCIETY’S ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Held at the Forth Valley College campus building, Stirling at 7 p.m. on Auld Hansel Monday, 15th January 2018
1. Welcome from the Preses – George Stevenson, Preses, welcomed a total of 53 members and guests to the Meeting.
2. Apologies – It was noted that apologies had been received by the Secretary from 25 members, some of whom had kindly made donations in lieu to the Society, and that 2 proxy nominations had also been received. The Meeting was quorate.
3. Minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting – the Minutes of the AGM held on 16th January 2017 were made available to all present and were taken as read. The adoption of the Minutes was proposed by David Miller, seconded by Shaun Nesbitt, and approved as a correct record.
4. Report from the Preses – George Stevenson drew members’ attention to the 2017 Newsletter which summarised the Society’s activities over the past year, including a list of all grants totalling £6,853 made to individuals, and the successful Members’ Event held at Loch Katrine in June.
5. Approval of the Report & Accounts for the year ending 31st August 2017 – John Gold, Treasurer, confirmed that copies of the published Report & Accounts were not being circulated at the Meeting, having been previously posted on the Society’s website a month earlier for members’ information. Speaking to the Accounts, he summarised the salient income and expenditure figures, including the funds raised from a Carol Supper hosted by the Preses, the Annual Gathering and the Members’ Event at Loch Katrine, which had generated a net operational surplus of £1,768 and this, together with the very healthy performance of investments in the year, had increased the total funds to £181,083. Much of this was represented by investments with a market value of £166,935. In general terms, the Society’s finances were very stable. There being no questions, the adoption of the Report & Accounts was proposed by Theresa Donald, seconded by David Reid-Kay, and approved unanimously.
6. Initial Joining Subscription and Minimum Donation – the retention of the existing £25 joining subscription and minimum donation for the coming year was proposed by Colin Graham, seconded by Morven Reid-Kay and approved unanimously.
7. Rotation and Election of Trustees of the Society – The Secretary confirmed that under the terms of Article 33(a) and (b) George Stevenson was willing to serve for a second 3-year term. His re-election was proposed by George Willis, seconded by David Miller, and approved unanimously.
8. Election of Office Bearers of the Society for 2017 – 18 -The Secretary confirmed that, under the terms of Articles 36, 37 and 38 as amended, the following were willing to be nominated for election as the Society’s office bearers for the coming year: (i) Anne Wallace as Preses; (ii) Shaun Nesbitt and George Stevenson as joint Vice Preses;
These elections were proposed by Jane Nesbitt, seconded by Saffrey Miller and approved unanimously.
9. Appointment of Secretary to the Society – the re-appointment of CLEAR Services Ltd as Secretary for the coming year was proposed by George Stevenson, seconded by Anne Wallace and approved unanimously.
10. Appointment of Independent Financial Examiner to the Society – the re-appointment of Messrs Ian Macfarlane & Co, Chartered Accountants for the coming year was proposed by Morven Reid-Kay, seconded by Nigel Buchanan, and approved unanimously.
11. ‘Rationale for Change’ Discussion Paper – the Preses introduced this item with a presentation based on the paper previously circulated to all members, before inviting comments from the floor. His key points were:
- Recruiting new members is increasingly becoming a major challenge for the Society; this was the clear lesson of the high-profile Members Event held at Bo’ness in 2016.
- Growing collaboration with other care sector organisations shows that a real demand still exists for the Society’s services.
- We need to be more pro-active in planning a more inclusive and sustainable future for the Society – ‘joining’ may be difficult, but we can widen the scope for engaging with people and supporters far more generally.
- The Society doesn’t connect well with the public via the existing website or on social media – it needs to modernise its communication strategy and broaden its supporter base. This should include targeting major companies based in the Stirling and Falkirk areas.
- MTC is a web development business based in Dundee offering the Society this new approach in which it has a proven track record. The package it is offering focuses on support ‘behind the scenes’
- Sons of the Rock’ conveys no sense to most people of what the Society does. By contrast, work done by the Trustees recently shows that ‘Giving to local people in crisis’ is an effective strap line, which we should use widely.
George Willis congratulated the Preses for delivering a ‘hurricane of fresh air’ on the matter of the Society’s trading name identity; he quoted the transformation of his former business following its change of name to a short, concise title.
Elizabeth Roads said that use of social media would only benefit the Society if someone organised regular and frequent ‘posts’ on current activities; these could easily encompass events such as the Gartmore fundraiser held in 2016 and this might encourage members to contribute ‘posts’ of their own. Janet Gaywood hoped this practice could be extended to encourage members to give talks about the Society’s activities.
John Stein hoped that, relative to the financial cost of investing £7.2 K in the initial development of the web package, the Society’s grants programme could also be expanded and streamlined by working more closely with other charities. In reply, the Preses highlighted the proposed ‘block grant’ arrangement with Start Up Stirling, outlined in the 2017 Newsletter, as an important new initiative. He also confirmed that the Society was seeking external grant funding from the Big Lottery ‘Awards for All’ programme towards the initial development costs of the web package; projected annual running costs of future MTC website and marketing support would be £500 pa.
Ronald Graham commented that as the Society only worked indirectly with those in need, the task of making its work attractive to donors and supporters would always be challenging although it had some powerful human stories to tell and these should be a key part of its message.
David Reid-Kay supported the principle of a change of trading name for the Society but asked if the Trustees were agreed on some ‘key words’ for the new title. The Preses said that he did not propose to put forward a specific new name at this Meeting, and this was for further discussion by Trustees with the MTC creative team. Further comments from others indicated that the word ‘Support’ was more popular than ‘Aid’.
Lesley Stein thought that the proposed working link with Stirling University would be a positive move. Morven Reid-Kay strongly endorsed this, based on her local business links with the University campus.
In response to a question from Saffrey Miller, the Preses stressed that the legal identity of the Incorporated Glasgow, Stirlingshire & Sons of the Rock Society would not be changing. By contrast, the Society’s trading name could be changed at any time.
Murray Dickie hoped that the Society would consider developing a ‘Friends’ network of supporters as part of its future communications strategy.
Concluding the discussion, the Preses said the overall tone of the debate had been very helpful. He confirmed the overall consensus of the Meeting was to agree the Board’s proposed course of action with general acclaim and to entrust the Board of Trustees to make an executive decision on the change of trading name based on all comments received. Whatever decision was made, members would be kept fully informed.
12. Any Other Competent Business – none.
The Meeting was concluded at 7.35 p.m.