THE WILSON NORTHAMPTON LAWN TENNIS LEAGUE

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Monday November 12, 2007 at Northampton LTC...

COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT - Barry Searle (BS) Chairman, Aub Draper (AD) President, Mark Beesley (MB) Secretary, Clive Geddes (CG) Treasurer, Brian Tunbridge (BT) Fixtures Secretary, Tim Graham (TG), Gill Smith (GS).

CLUBS REPRESENTED: Abington, County, Dallington, Harpole, Heyford, Kettering, Kilsby, Northampton, ONs, Rugby, Rushmere, Towcestrians, Wollaston.

APOLOGIES: James Roberts (Ferrers), Alex Dunn (Dallington), David Barr (United)

CHAIRMAN'S OPENING REMARKS - BS thanked Northampton LTC for agreeing to host the AGM and expressed a wish that the meeting should conclude by 9.30pm as two hours debate was more than enough for anyone.

MINUTES OF THE 2006 AGM - These were confirmed a true and accurate record.

MATTERS ARISING - There were none.

PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS - AD remarked on Kettering's excellent achievement in winning the league treble of men's, ladies and mixed titles - also pointing out that Kettering B men had won Division Four while the club's mixed B must have been very disappointed at only finishing as runners-up! He also thanked the committee for their work and said that anyone who had missed the League's 75th anniversary Dinner/Dance on October 12 was the loser as it had been an excellent occasion. He also congratulated Kilsby men on reaching Division One and said he would keeping a special eye on them in 2008.

BS went on to thank all team captains, reflecting that they had a thankless task and stressed the importance of upholding the social side of tennis which according to some comments had suffered 'slippage' with the difficulties of always having a drink after matches these days, especially where junior players were concerned. He said a couple of clubs who did not have bars were among the most hospitable in the League. BS also thanked Ram Gallo for his work in his first year of running the Mellor Cup and Steven Shield and said he knew Ram already had ideas for improvement in 2008. Graeme Baker of Rugby said it had often proved difficult to get an up to date picture of the Cup competitions and BS said BT could only act on the information filtering through to him

SECRETARY'S REPORT/TEAM ENTRIES/TENNIS BALLS - MB pointed out that as well as himself, AD and BS were Town League reps on the LTA Council and stressed it was important to keep up strong ties. Regrettably, Gina Jackson, the LTA chairman, was emigrating in 2008 but now is the time for interested parties to come forward to help work between the two committees, in particular with the potential re-launch of the NLTA Tournament which had failed to get off the ground in both May and September.

On the subject of tennis balls, BS said that Wilson still gave us a good deal even though the League didn't always sell the agreed quantity through John Henry Sports in Northampton and urged clubs to support the sponsor whose donation had risen to £800 this year.

TREASURER'S REPORT - The audited accounts for the year ended 31st. Oct. 2007 were made available to those present. CG said that the League had taken steps to provide a greater degree of accountability following the comments made at the 2006 AGM. In this connection the Mens Winter League's finances had been " merged " into the main account with a mystery balance of £724-88 having been transferred. Overall a working surplus had been achieved despite increased expenditure , albeit of a one-off nature , associated with the 75th. Anniversary Dinner Dance. He also supplied details of the Income and Expenditure relating to the Ladies Winter League. In conclusion , he recommended that there should be no increase in Team Entry fees for 2008.

The adoption of the accounts was proposed by Brian Perry and seconded by Gina Jackson (both Kilsby).                       .

MOTIONS FOR ALTERATIONS TO RULES - There were lengthy debates about the new Club Singles League which had been set up for 2008 and over which TG was going to sit as an unofficial arbitrator although the general mood was one of 'playing it by ear' with likely issues over court availability etc, alongside the existing doubles format. As a League, the NLTL wants to do more to encourage singles action.

Northampton LTC put forward a proposal that the NLTL should employ a Premiership style top section next year as there were rationed arguments that too many matches in 2007 had finished 8-0 and were uncompetitive. Clubs were asked to vote on three choices: I) To preserve status quo, 2) to introduce an abridged top division playing home and away and 3) to make all the men's divisions smaller, playing home and away. The voting went: 15 - 8 - 3 in favour of keeping the current system although the point was made that clubs would have been more likely to vote for a change if the three options had been made available beforehand.

It was also agreed the deadline for internal matches would be extended by a month.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS -.The existing officers: President, Vice-Presidents, Hon.Secretary, Hon.Treasurer, Hon.Auditor, Fixtures Secretary, Results Co-ordinators, Publicity Officer and Executive Committee were re-instated en bloc with the proposal coming from Brian Perry (Kilsby) and the second from Gina Jackson (Kilsby).

PUBLICITY/WEB SITE-. The web-site is more proving popular than ever with a healthy number of hits while the Singles Ladder would also be incorporated in 2008. Secretaries were urged to keep details of changes of contacts updated

AOB-.BS thanked Sharon Constable, who along with Rosemary Swallow had been one of his helpers in organising the 75th Anniversary Dinner/Dance, in manning the bar for the meeting.

* The meeting closed at 9.30pm.