Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Monday November 10, 2008 at County LTC...

COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT:  Barry Searle (BS) Chairman, Mark Beesley (MB) Secretary, Clive Geddes (CG) Treasurer, Brian Tunbridge (BT) Fixtures’ Secretary, Tim Graham (TG).

CLUBS REPRESENTED: Abington, County, Duston United, Harpole, Kettering, Northampton, ONs, Rugby, Rushmere, Wollaston.

APOLOGIES:  Margaret Green (NLTA), James Roberts (Ferrers), Gill Smith (exec’ committee and Heyford), Aub Draper (President), Brian Perry (Kilsby), Alex Dunn (Dallington).

CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS: BS welcomed everyone to County LTC and said any club with adequate facilities which wished to host the AGM could offer to do so in future. He announced that David Barr had brought a questionnaire which clubs were welcome to fill in regarding a potential new indoor tennis facility in Northampton.

MINUTES OF THE 2007 MEETING: These were proposed by Tim Walden (Abington), seconded by Graeme Baker (Rugby) and adopted as a true and correct record.

MATTERS ARISING: BS said the Singles League had been tried but had not seriously got off the ground, with few matches played. However, in conjunction with TG he voiced the opinion it had not been completely abandoned but suggested there might be too much tennis in some cases and perhaps the timing was just wrong.

PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS: With Aub Draper tendering apologies, BS said the President had asked to pass on his congratulations to all divisional winners. Kettering had swept the board at the top in 2007 while Northampton had won the men’s and mixed titles in 2008, taking 2/4 (men’s) and 2/3 (mixed). County had weighed in with 2/3 in the ladies. However, smaller clubs such as Harpole, Corby and Brackley had also won titles. He also congratulated Ferrers & Rushden who had finished as runners-up in Division Three and who would therefore be contesting Division Two tennis in 2009.

BS also thanked Ram Gallo and Northampton LTC for all the work they had done in organising the Mellor Cup and Stevens Shield. It was generally felt more matches could be played and Ram said it was frustrating to have so many walkovers, not just in the early rounds, but at the semi-final stage where a club the size of Dallington had forfeited. A suggestion that it might all be played on one day was vetoed on the grounds it would involve too much tennis but a plan to organise matches on set weekends for 2009, in the same fashion as the FA Cup in football, was put forward. BS also thanked Rosemary Swallow and Sharon Constable who had helped organise the Dinner/Dannce in October. A fresh venue was being explored for 2009. Concern was then expressed over the LTA’s recent e-mail to smaller clubs with less than 20 members refusing an affiliation at this level for what was chiefly believed to be on financial grounds. BS said he would write to the Northants LTA to express the League’s concerns.

SECRETARY’S REPORT: MB noted correspondence arising from the late August title decider in Men’s Division One between Northampton and County which had been a tremendous spectacle and advert for the league. He also expressed a desire for a greater variety of clubs to take part in the League, avoiding too much monopoly from a few clubs.

TREASURER’S REPORT: CG said it had been a relatively quiet year, revealing a small trading loss but one he described as ‘inevitable’ as the £650 sponsor money from Wilson’s which had now been received, was not included. He stated team entry fees had not risen for many years but agreed in response to a question from Ram Gallo that they would need to be reviewed in the near future.

MOTIONS FOR ALTERATIONS TO RULES: A proposal from Abington LTC which had been circulated to the clubs over rule 11B (player eligibility) was discussed and voted upon. It replaced the old rule by stating players could only play one team down from the highest represented (movement up unaffected). This was passed by nine votes to eight. Tim Graham asked BS if he was not going to raise the issue of divisional reformatting under this agenda item. It transpired that the chairman had not received a proposal from Northampton LTC via e-mail due to a computer problem. After some discussion it was agreed Northampton LTC would re-submit the proposal and that BS would consider how best to take it forward.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:  The existing members of the Council were re-elected in a motion put forward by Carole Bird and seconded by Dave Mundy. Colin Chapman (Abington) had now joined the committee in his capacity as Winter League Fixture Secretary while Alex Dunn (Dallington) had also agreed to join the committee in place of Beth Spicer-Freeman (Kettering) who had emigrated. Roger Pinnock and Andy Trott were no longer members of the Executive Committee.

PUBLICITY/WEB-SITE:  BS said that BT continued to consistently run and update the web-site which was a useful tool in promoting the league while he also thanked MB for his tennis reports in the Chronicle & Echo and the Kettering Evening Telegraph.

AOB:  Rosemary Swallow (Northampton) thanked BS for all his work with the League Dinner-Dance, and the League for subsidising it. Harpole expressed a wish that certain clubs could be more accommodating in re-arranging fixtures when they were given plenty of notice. The meeting closed at 9.25pm with the Chairman thanking County LTC for hosting the meeting.