News Release - BSMTTC News 112
Dateline: 27 August 2020
On Wednesday 26 August the club was at last able to hold it's Annual General Meeting! Normally held in May, the meeting was delayed because of the corona virus lockdown restrictions. Ongoing restrictions meant that the meeting was a little different this year because of the need for social distancing and the use of face coverings for those attending, but at least it was possible to hold the annual business meeting and provide members with the opportunity to have their say about the running of the club.
The Chairman, Bernard Cooney, introduced the evening by welcoming all members, and especially new members attending for the first time. He asked all members to remember those who had passed away in the last year, particularly Life Member Don Gibson. Bernard also made special mention of the absence of Club president Billy Clayton, who is sadly now in residential care at Nazareth House in Crosby.
The evening included a report on the year 2019/20 by Club Secretary, Graham Turner (full details of which can be found in the club Newsletter on this site); and presentation and approval of the annual audited accounts for the year ending 30 April 2020; which showed a profit of £6,245 but a fall in reserves of £2,845 due to the investment in the new building in the year. In presenting his financial report the Treasurer, Ian Brownrigg, drew attention to the increased level of fee income due to the influx of new members following the opening of the new building. Around 20 new members have joined the club in the last year. A brilliant response to the new building.
A new Management Committee was appointed for the next 12 months consisting of Bernard Cooney (Chairman), Graham Turner (Secretary) and Ian Brownrigg (Treasurer) as the Officers of the Club, together with 5 General Committee members, Lesley Blanchard, Jennifer Givens, Keith Hardman, David Noden & Keith Williams. The Chairman also paid tribute to Mary Delamere, Des Logan & Doreeen Smith, who were not seeking re-election this year, and thanked them for their dedicated service in the past. It was also unanimously agreed that Billy Clayton should remain as honorary President of the Club.
Two alternative resolutions were presented to members about fees for the current year; with the main focus being how to recognize and reward members loyalty over the period of the pandemic when the club was closed. It was acknowledged that all members had shown tremendous loyalty and support over the pandemic. The choices presented to them were to accept a fee reduction for the current year, but with the risk that a significant rise might then be needed next year; or to maintain the status quo at the same level as last year and fixed for this year and next. Adult membership had grown to around 80 members, but the full effect of the corona virus pandemic on membership was still uncertain. If this level of membership were to continue then either proposal would enable the club to meet its costs. The meeting voted overwhelmingly in favour of maintaining the status quo with an adult fee level of £150.
Further good news was reported by the Treasurer. In addition to the grant received from Sport England under the community emergency fund, to help sports clubs through the pandemic, the Club has also received an unexpected grant of £10,000 from Sefton Borough Council, again under provisions linked to the corona virus. It is proposed that this unexpected sum be added to the property sinking fund which the Club is obliged to build up under the terms of the Sport England award for the purchase of the building. The current building is regarded as a temporary structure only, and the existing lease of land on which it stands is also finite. So, provision has to be made for replacement. Adding this sum to the sinking fund will mean that the club does not have to divert its operating income to the building, thereby enabling income to be applied to meeting operating costs.
The meeting also heard news of the latest position in regard to participation in the Liverpool & District Table Tennis League. The League will now not start until at least January 2021. In the meantime all members playing table tennis at Marine were urged to register with Table Tennis England as club players. This applies to anyone who plays table tennis at Marine. The registration is free for those who do not play league table tennis, but there continues to be a charge for those registering as league players. The link below will take you to details of the TTE membership scheme.
Going forward, the meeting also discussed ways in which the club could communicate with its membership, particularly in this post lockdown period to encourage people back to play. The Club is doing all it can to operate in a safe and covid compliant way, but it was recognized that risks remain and thus that continuing vigilance was essential. The Club should also consider how best to promote itself and its offering and it was reiterated that the club is open for new business, and actively seeks to welcome potential new members. There was also an outline of possible plans for releasing further time slots for play; including the possibility of a mini league competition running in the autumn ahead of the re-start of the League; and plans for this years club tournament to be run in small groups over the autumn period.
The Chairman thanked so many members for attending and assured all that the Club Management Committee were very keen to hear from all members with their ideas to take the club forward and to continue its development on both the table tennis and social fronts. The evening included the showing of a short film reviewing the 2019/20 year and this film can be seen below.