Weymouth & Portland Chamber of Commerce
Minutes of AGM held on 25 February 2016 at Weymouth College
The meeting was opened by the outgoing President, Michelle Hind, at 6.30pm.
The minutes of the 2015 AGM were presented and accepted by those members present at the meeting, with no matters arising from the previous year. The minutes were signed off by President Michelle Hind.
- Treasurer’s report
Good evening everybody
After delivering my Treasurers report last year I was given some useful advice on delivering a speech and presentation skills. I was told one of the most important things is to stand and deliver, well unfortunately I was paint balling on Sunday and have barely been able to walk since, so if you don’t mind I will remain seated whilst delivering my Treasurers report again this year.
2015 was my second full year as the Chamber Treasurer. It proved a challenging year which sums up the economy at the current time.
Annual membership fees remained unchanged for the third successive year at £99. We once again offered the half year membership from 1 July at £50 and the reduced annual membership fee of £50 for new businesses, i.e. any business less than 12 months old.
Unfortunately membership numbers dropped from the previous year, from 132 in 2014 to 114. This resulted in a reduction in subscription income of approximately £2,000 as reflected on the general fund statement in the attached accounts.
The monthly business breakfasts remained popular and we were able to raise additional funds through sponsorship of the monthly business breakfasts at a rate of £100 per breakfast. Sponsorship was introduced following Lloyds Bank decision to cease their sponsorship of the monthly breakfasts. The business breakfasts generated a profit of £2,227 for the Chamber, up by £425 on 2014.
A number of social events were held during the year comprising the AGM Dinner, the Autumn Ball at Penn Castle, and the Christmas Lunch at Vaughan’s, which were supported by both members and non members. In total we made a very small profit on the social events.
Administrative costs increased by more than £1,500 on last year although the majority of this was the expense incurred for the refurbishment of the Presidents Badge, total spend was £1,472. The Badge was in desperate need of restoration and it was agreed the refurbishment was a worthy investment given the badges history and future.
We continue to incur costs in respect of the maintenance and hosting of the website which remains a benefit to our members and is a good way for members to promote their businesses.
The Chamber supported a number of events through sponsorship during the year, including the Bank holiday fireworks, The Christmas Lights switch on and Victoria Show night, Spirit of Portland, and the Danish Chamber visit. In total £1,550 was contributed to these events.
We also committed a further £600 to The Budmouth CEIL in respect of their scholarship programme, and finally £500 was committed to the Shop Wrap Project which was picked up by the Weymouth BID.
The £2,500 received from the Council in respect of the shop wrap project which we were previously holding on account, was also released to the Weymouth BID to take up this project.
We continue to support charities and in total donated £1,775 to our Presidents nominated charity “Headway Dorset”. This represented the money raised during the Autumn Ball.
For 2015 we forecasted an increase in investment in our members, and therefore a reduction in surplus was anticipated. Due to the reduction in membership numbers we actually made a very small loss for the year of £14.
The good news is there’s no tax to pay!
To summarise although it has been a challenging year for the Chamber, in which we have seen a fall in membership numbers, we have been able to invest in our members as anticipated and yet still almost break even.
With regards to the Chambers Balance sheet position you will note the Chamber had in excess of £22,000 Cash at Bank at 31 December 2015, although this includes £6,947 in respect of 2016 Membership subscription monies received in advance (i.e. pre 31 December 2015).
The Chamber had reserves of just short of £15,000 at 31 December 2015 and so overall the Chambers finances and cash position remain very strong.
We will continue to invest in our members and indeed we have already committed a further £600 to The Budmouth CEIL in respect of their scholarship programme for the current year.
We recognise the importance of working with our members and at the end of 2014 committed to a further investment in appointing Guy Bridge in a new paid role as the Chamber’s Membership Coordinator, with a view to working closely with our members and increasing membership numbers. Guy has also taken over the Administrators role from Andrew Knowles.
May I take this opportunity to thank Alex Goracy our Independent examiner at Albert Goodman.
Subject to their being no questions with regards to the annual accounts, can I please have a proposer and seconder from the floor to formally approve these.
- President’s Report
Good Evening and may I thank you all very much for attending tonights AGM and to those of you who are staying for dinner I look forward to the same.
First of all I would like to make a few acknowledgements to the WPCC Executive Committee.
We will lose some great members to whom we would like to thank for all their hard work and commitment. We would like to thank Julie Clever and Anna Maria Geare, both past presidents for their precious years of being on the Executive Committee and for leading us to where we are today.
I would like to present Julie and Anna Maria with honorary memberships to show our appreciation.
This has been a very interesting year and the role of the Chamber being the voice of the local businesses has grown and is much stronger than it ever has been in the past, this year we have a newly appointed admin and membership co-ordinator namely Guy Bridge who I know a lot of you will have spoken to by now and Guy was appointed by the Executor Committee of the Chamber as a benefit to you with his prime role to increase membership of the Chamber of Commerce and provide support and admin for the Executive Committee and the Chamber of Commerce.
I would just like to mention congratulations to Nigel Evans who has been newly appointed Principal here at Weymouth College, a well deserved position and we would like to thank him very much for hosting the AGM this evening.
Over the last few years Weymouth and Portland have been undergoing lots of changes which have led to some very difficult decisions for local businesses. For many of the business this has meant restructuring, branch closures and layoffs that I know were very painful to make. Now on some issues we found some common cause. On other issues we have had some pretty strong disagreements with in particular the local authority with dare I say PARKING!
But I am here today as I am convinced that we can and we must work together. Whatever differences we may have I know that all of us share a deep abiding belief in our town, a belief in our people, a belief in our principles, a belief in ourselves.
The Chambers involvement didn’t happen overnight and it took the hardwork and effort of the Past Presidents and the support from the Executive Committee to allow good ideas to flourish and thrive and because of their conviction and hard work and this opportunity is there for any of you who will reach for it.
Not just once, not twice, but over and over again we have come together to remake this Chamber.
There are lots of challenges that we face today, we have men and women in this room who are living testimony that Weymouth and Portland are a source of some dynamic businesses.
We are all aware with the march of technology over the last few decades that competition for jobs and businesses has gone fierce.
The globalisation of our economy means that the businesses can now open up a shop, employ workers and produce their goods wherever an internet connection exists.
What used to be done by a thousand people can be done by 100 or in some cases even 10.
These forces are powerful and combined with what has been a brutal and devastating market for all of us, these forces have also shaken our faith in the institutions of our businesses and our government.
We need to work together to out-innovate, out educate, and out build our competitors.
We need an economy that is not based on what we consume and borrow but what we make and what we sell and the services we offer.
We need to make Weymouth and Portland the best place on the south west coast to do business, and this is a job for all of us.
We need to lay a foundation to grow and innovate and succeed.
We need to upgrade our transportation and communication networks so we can move goods and information more efficiently.
We need to invest not just money but time and education so that we can hire more skilled and talented workers and we can knock down the barriers that make it hard for local business to compete, from the taxes to the legal system BUT I want you to be clear
We have a responsibility to Weymouth and Portland, I understand the challenges that you face, I understand the incredible pressure to cut costs and keep your margins up, I understand the significance of your obligations and the pressures, I GET IT.
BUT, as we work to make this a better place to do business, I am hoping that all of you are thinking what can I do, What can you do to support and invest in Weymouth and Portland.
The responsibility that we all have to secure the future is something that we all share.
That’s why I am making an investment in my time in another year as President of the Chamber of Commerce. It is this point I would like to appoint the new members that have been proposed and nominated to be on the Executive Committee for the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce and to be the voice of local businesses.
Alan Cheeseman Trevor Matthews Clive Garman
Craig Oakes Julia Cohen Cherise Luke-Bennett
David Morphew Steve Davies Maria Greenwood
Nigel Reed Andrew Knowles Shenis Cant
And I want to Thank You all for coming on board and for those who are staying on board and of course everyone who has invested their time. We are going to push the local authority to make more infrastructure investments and to do so in the most cost effective way possible, with projects that are determined not by politics but what is best for our economy.
You may remember from last year what I said – now is the time to invest in Weymouth and Portland and this thought still remains.
So I will continue to chair the Weymouth and Portland Business Leaders, we will continue to work with Weymouth College and education providers in the local area, we will continue to work with the Tourism Partnership and the local authority and the Coastal Communities Team and you will find on your seats a copy of the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce Strategy for the next 3 years.
- Election of President
President Michelle Hind was duly elected to the role of President for her second year 2016.
- Election of Officers and Executive Committee for 2014
President Michelle Hind conducted the election of Officers and the Executive Committee for 2016.
I hereby propose the Executive Committee and Officers of Weymouth & Portland Chamber of Commerce for 2016- 17:
Mike House of Albert Goodman Proposed: Cherise Luke-Bennet of Battens
Seconded: Alison Weller of WHGLA
Shenis Cant of Silversurfing Ltd Proposed: Michelle Hind of Redferns
Seconded: Trevor Matthews of Wessex Film
Junior Vice President:
Andrew Knowles of Proposed: Alan Cheeseman of Cockings
Dorset Social Media Seconded: Alison Weller WHGLA
Committee members: (in no particular order)
|Alan Cheesman of WR Cockings||Proposed: Trevor Matthews of Wessex Film||Seconded: Clive Garman of Sherrens|
|Areas of speciality: Local Liason|
|Craig Oakes of Coversure Insurance||Proposed: Alison Weller of WHGLA||Seconded: Mike House of Albert Goodman|
|Areas of speciality: Local Liason|
|Julia Cohen of Weymouth College||Proposed: Alison Weller of WHGLA||Seconded: Julie Cleaver of Popcorn Marketing|
|Areas of speciality: Skills, Education and Training|
|Cherise Luke-Bennett of Battens Solicitors||Proposed: Mark Blunden of Futurum||Seconded: Mike House of Albert Goodman|
|Areas of speciality: networking and social events, finance and legal|
|Clive Garman of Sherrens||Proposed: Anna-Maria Geare of Geare Business Consultancy||Seconded: Nigel Reed of Weymouth BID|
|Areas of speciality: Graphic design and printing, networking and social events|
|David Morphew of Photography by David Morphew||Proposed: Andrew Knowles||Seconded: Alan Cheeseman|
|Areas of speciality: Marketing, Media and Design|
|Maria Greenwood of Wessex FM||Proposed: Nigel Reed of Weymouth BID||Seconded: Anna-Maria Geare of Geare Business Consultancy|
|Areas of speciality: Media|
|Nigel Reed of Weymouth BID||Proposed: Michelle Hind of Redferns Solicitors||Clive Garman of Sherrens the Printers|
|Areas of speciality: Local liaison|
|Trevor Matthews of Wessex Films||Proposed: Clive Garman of Sherrens||Seconded: Alan Cheesman of WR Cockings|
|Areas of speciality: Networking and social events|
|Steve Davies of VindellisMMC ltd||Proposed: Michelle Hind of Redferns||Seconded: Andrew Knowles of Dorset Social|
|Areas of speciality: Local Liason, Skills, Education and Training|
The role of the Executive Committee in 2015-16 is to continue the support of the President in achieving the aims of the Chamber and building upon its reputation.
Albert Goodman will remain honorary Auditors and Accountants, with special thanks to Alex Goracy for conducting an independent examination of the Chamber’s accounts.
Pengillys to remain Honorary Solicitors.
Thanks to both of these for agreeing to continue for a further year.”
- AOB: Past Presidents Anna-Maria Geare and Julie Cleaver were created Honorary Members, Flowers were presented and both were thanked for their dedication and hard work over many years serving the Chamber on the Executive. Much applause followed.
The meeting closed at 7.10pm and was followed by networking and dinner in the Hix Academy at Weymouth College.