Minutes of Meeting October 23rd 2023
P.Catlin, M.Sutton, P.Jones, I.Badman, S.Withers, J.McFarlane, L. Smalldon
The Chairman opened the meeting at 7.30pm.
Apologies for Absence
These were received from Brian Pearson, Ann Kelly & Ray Kelly. Brian had advised that he and Althea are suffering severe debilitating after effects, following a bout of Covid. He also has an additional medical problem, hampering his recovery. The Committee wished Brian and his wife a speedy recovery to full fitness
Minutes of the Committee Meeting of August 7th
These were accepted as a true record.
Matters Arising from preceding meeting
Phil advised that the defibrillator outside our side gate was operational and regularly maintained. It is however an old model and spare parts may not be available should it need repair. The Trustees have yet to decide on purchasing a replacement unit. Peter advised that should the Club decide to purchase its own unit, Bowls England have a scheme whereby a sizeable discount on the cost is available to Bowls Clubs. In discussion the need to train personnel in CPR techniques to effectively use the machine was highlighted. This topic should be an agenda item for next year’s Management Committee.
Toby Strang had formalised a proposal to run a lottery next year. If enough members agreed to participate this could provide a significant contribution to Club funds. Toby was prepared to run this lottery whereby consenting members would be asked to pay an entry fee costing £26 for 6 months or £52 for a year. They would be allocated a ball and a weekly draw would be made. Following discussion, it was proposed that we run the lottery for a 6-month trial period to gauge support and keep the initial outlay for members to a minimum.
Updates (as relavent) from Committee Officers
Peter mentioned the initiative being taken by the Bowls Development Alliance to assist Bowls Clubs. They have recently arranged a series of webinars covering topics such as Financial planning, Fund raising, Safeguarding and a Club Health Checker. The latter takes the form of a questionnaire whereby a customised report is prepared offering resources and suggestions on how to improve the Club’s areas for development. He intends to complete this. Obvious concerns for us at present are getting members to serve on the Committee and new members to actively participate in Club matches.
The cyclists who used the Club as a pit stop in July this year made a donation of £50. They have asked if they could repeat this exercise, wishing to visit on July 12th. Sue confirmed the Club would not be hosting a match on this date.
The protocol for individuals to enter County competitions is changing next year with registration and payment having to be made via the SBA website by individuals rather than a collective registration being made by the Club. Mary felt this measure would likely further reduce the numbers participating in competitions. The Secretary still has to enter the Club for Club County competitions. Despite concerns that the Club presently struggles to get past the first round in these competitions, the Secretary was actioned to register the Club for the Turnbull Cup, Fear Cup and Double Rink events in 2024.
John advised that he has to sort out some issues with the balance sheet before it can be presented to the AGM. It appears the Club will make a loss of around £2k this year with the largest contributing items being repairs and renewals. In discussion it was mentioned that there had been some exceptional items requiring expenditure and these were unlikely to recur next year. However, we must accept that green supplies and maintenance of equipment are essential and costs rise with inflation.
Ian read out his report to be presented to the AGM, summarising the results in the leagues and competitions. Whilst the WFML matches were well supported, it proved a struggle to get teams out for men’s league fixtures and disappointingly many new bowlers did not put their names down for friendly matches. He is standing down as club captain after a number of years’ service but offered to fully support the new incumbent in this role.
Lynn provided an account for an up and down season for the ladies. She too is retiring from the role as ladies captain and was appreciative of all the assistance she has been given over the years.
Sue provided an update on the ongoing planning of matches for next season. She mentioned that Castle Cary have dropped out of the WFML fours league and that the police have cancelled their fixture with us. She has received several invitations for additional friendly matches and these were discussed at the meeting, choosing to accept some and decline others. A team the Club has visited on tour, Oddcombe BC have requested a match with us as part of their tour. We have offered to accommodate this but our inability to provide alcoholic drinks and a meal for them may make them seek an alternative club.
Ray and Ann were away on holiday but had provided a report for the AGM. The forthcoming Presentation Evening was discussed and in case members ask about protocol, they are to be advised that dress code is smart/casual. Following the Music Evening experience, it was deemed essential that anyone attending this event make a non-returnable prepayment to avoid losses.
Green/ Maintenance Officer
Ian provided an account of the work that had been carried out and was ongoing on the green and surrounds. He mentioned that we had been supplied with a substandard delivery of top dressing that contained lumps and even stones. The supplier has been contacted about this, seeking redress.
One of the lights along the entrance path is not working. Ian agreed to obtain a quote for its repair and depending on the cost, there is an alternative option to replace them with solar lights.
Welfare& Safeguarding Officer
Brian was unfortunately not able to attend the meeting but had submitted a detailed report for the AGM.
The Club at Somerton Representative
Phil mentioned that there is a lot of uncertainty about how the Club will operate next year with the departure of Graham Load. It does seem likely that if we are to get the bar open after matches that we will have to staff it with members. Accordingly, we will need to seek volunteers and provide adequate training to them. This issue should be raised at the AGM
Recreation Ground Trustee
Phil stated that the Trustees are definitely ante- the Bowls Club since they receive no money from us. It has even been suggested that they charge us for use of the car park. In many ways this also applies to the Tennis Club and their application to construct a third court was recently rejected.
Mary advised that she will represent the Bowls Club at the forthcoming AGM. She also intends attending their presentation luncheon on November 5th
Topics for the AGM
2024 Management Committee Nominations
The nomination form for the 2024 Management Committee had received very few entries and for the sake of good order it was deemed necessary to complete the form with proposer and seconder for presentation to the AGM. This task was duly completed at the meeting. The only changes from the 2023 Committee being in the captaincies as covered in the following section.
Club Captaincy and Match Management Next Season
President Ann Kelly had prior to the meeting, agreed to undertake the role of Ladies Captain for one year only. To assist her in this role, two Vice Captain’s were nominated, namely Audrey Pilkington and Jane Norris. Their appointments were endorsed by the meeting.
Concerning Club Captaincy, Phil had had a discussion with Toby Strang who had agreed to take on the role of Captain for WFML and friendly matches. Ian agreed to assist Toby in this role and additional volunteers are needed to spread the workload and ensure that no one individual has to commit to captaining too many matches.
As far as the Men’s League is concerned, the Club is required to nominate a League Representative who deals with the logistics of supplying results to the SBA officials and acts as the contact point for other teams in the league. Ideally this person should also be involved in team selection. Concern was expressed at the meeting that we may not have enough willing men members to support the league. Accordingly, it was suggested that we canvas members to establish whether there is sufficient support for the Club to remain in the league, if not the position of league representative becomes irrelevant.
As actioned at the last Management Committee meeting, a sub-committee of three had met and drawn up a set of Club rules that had been pre-circulated to committee members. Mary felt that some of the long serving members were unlikely to change their behaviour by simply putting up a set of club rules. In discussion it was pointed out that these are intended as guidance for new members together with documentation on the etiquette of bowls and details of opening and locking club premises. The document as it stands was adopted by the Committee and will be presented to the AGM.
2024 Membership Fee & Other Charges
John proposed that the annual subscription be retained at £80. It was suggested that this no longer include club competition entry fees and members be asked to separately pay an entry fee for each competition they enter. Other fees to remain unchanged.
Any Other Business
In these litigative times, organisations are required that they take reasonable steps to not put anyone at risk within their premises, otherwise they may be sued in the event of an accident.
By undertaking risk assessments on a regular basis, up to date documentation can be available to show that the Club has taken reasonable measures to not put people at risk. It was suggested that members of the Committee perform an annual safety inspection of the site and complete a risk assessment form. It was agreed that this should be undertaken.
Open Day 2004
Last year’s open day took place too late in the season to attract new members besides being something of a washout. Peter proposed that this next year we participate in the Bowls England Big Bowls Weekend (May 24-27th). The committee agreed on Sunday, May 26th for this event.
Disposal of Old Crockery
Mary mentioned that there are two sets of cups and saucers that are no longer in use and are cluttering up the shed. It was agreed these should be disposed of.
The Meeting closed at 21:15