Present Gerry Robinson (GR) (Chairman), Rhod James (RJ) Richard Latham (RL), Chris Bunning (CB), Gerry McGuffie (GM), Mike Beament (MB), Steve Stoner (SS), John Stembridge (JS)
1. Minutes of last Meeting
The Minutes of the meeting on 7th November 2005 were produced and approved. There were no specific points arising on the Minutes.
2. 2007 Tour
There was a broad ranging discussion about the destination of the 15th anniversary tour. RJ circulated the comments made by individual members in response to the questionnaires. RJ and RL also reported about the overall preferences expressed by the members in response to the questionnaires.
Taking all the considerations into account, the decision of the Committee was that the destination of the 15th anniversary tour in 2007 should be Spain. This tour will now be organised by RJ and Mike Wells, who will form a Tour Committee which will also include such other members as they invite to participate. MB immediately volunteered to join this Committee.
MB reminded everyone that there should be a random draw amongst those who responded to the questionnaire, to find out who qualified for a £100 tour subsidy (in addition to the general subsidy that will be being made to members, out of the tour fund). MB conducted a draw which was won by Mike Wells.
It was agreed that GR will prepare an email to the members regarding the 2007 tour decision (now done). RJ will complete the appointment of a Tour Committee, with Mike Wells, and then revert to the Committee early in 2006 with proposals for the way forward.
Given the decision to tour Spain in 2007, there was then further consideration as to what should be done in relation to the other destinations, particularly Ireland given that that destination came a very close second to Spain in the preferences of the membership.
After consideration it was decided that there was sufficient support for an Irish tour that this should be the Spring/early season tour in 2006, and that the original idea to tour in Le Tourquet should be shelved. It was therefore agreed that MB and SS would organise an Irish tour. After further discussion it was agreed that this would be in June 2006. It will be left to MB and SS to decide whether this should be in the same format as proposed for the 2007 tour, or whether this should be shorter.
3. Other tours in 2006
It was debated whether there should be a Cornwall tour in 2006 at all given the decision to tour Ireland in June 2006. After lengthy consideration it was agreed that the Cornwall tour in September 2006 should still go ahead. However the Irish tour will be promoted as the major tour of the year.
4. Other 2006 Fixtures
These are as listed in the 7th November 2005 Minutes, save that given the decision to tour Ireland in June, the Worplesdon fixture previously pencilled in for June 2006 will be abandoned. RL reported that there were significant difficulties in booking Worplesdon in June so this fixture may not have been able to go ahead in any event.
There was some debate as to whether the Bushey Hall fixture in October 2006 should be on a Saturday or midweek. A vote was taken of those present, with a Saturday fixture being decided.
RL reported in relation to the 2005 end of season social event which will take place on Friday 20th January. The same venue (Barbarellas in Fulham) as last year is booked. RL was given a mandate to organise this. The charge will be £35 per head or £60 per couple.
CB reported that total funds held by the Society amounted to £7,463. Of this £6,575 is on deposit, with £888 being on current account. Of the £7,463, £2,175 is made up of member's deposits, with £5,288 being Society money. Of the £5,288, £3,000 is currently in the 2007 tour fund.
There was some discussion about the level of the subsidy that the Society could put to the 2007 tour. It was agreed at this stage that there will be a minimum subsidy of £100. However the extent to which this figure increases will be revisited following further research and reporting from the Tour Committee.
MB also canvassed the idea of a loyalty bonus in that a member would qualify for a higher tour subsidy if he plays 6 or more events during 2007. It was agreed that the Tour Committee would investigate this proposal further.
CB reminded the Committee that we never received a bill for the Mill Ride event in April 2005. However given we have now booked this venue for April 2006, he will sort out the 2005 payment.
6. Review of membership
There are currently 42 UK members and 8 overseas members. There is therefore capacity for 8 further UK members.
It was noted that Applications are anticipated from Gavin Flaxman (introduced by Mike Wells) and Graham Hanson (former member, now reapplying via RL).
SS raised the recurring theme of the ever rising average age of the membership, and what could be done to encourage new (preferably young) members. SS identified in particular the need to get the sons of existing members more involved.
It was agreed to create a formal new category - "Junior Member". The Junior Member would pay an annual fee of £10. To qualify you had to be the son of an existing member, and under 21/in full-time education.
Having joined this category you then pay the same fee at each event as other UK members. In other words every Junior Member is subsidised to the tune of £10 for each event he plays in.
It was agreed that a Junior Member will also be entitled to merchandise.
It was agreed that CB will write to all potential Junior Members at the start of the 2006 season, at the same time as sending out subs requests.
7. 2006 Merchandise
MB and SS will continue to upgrade the WAGS caps as necessary. It was also agreed that given the success of the previous batch of Ping shirts, SS and MB will work on a new shirt for 2006.
JS reported that he and SS are continuing to work on problems that the site is experiencing. The target remains to have the site up and running for the 2006 season.
9. Any other business
It was agreed to permit advertising on the site in relation to the personal business interests of individual members.