Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Monday November 8, 2010 at Abington LTC…


COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT – Barry Searle (BS) Chairman, Mark Beesley (MB) Secretary, Clive Geddes (CG) Treasurer, Brian Tunbridge (BT) Fixtures Secretary, Tim Graham (TG), Gill Smith (GS), Steve Morris (SM), Trish Harland (TH).


CLUBS REPRESENTED: Abington, Brackley, Corby S&L, County, Dallington, Duston United, Earls Barton, Harpole, Heyford, Kettering, Kilsby, LMRCA, Northampton, ONs, Priors Marston, Roade, Rushmere, Scaldwell, Towcestrians, Wollaston.


APOLOGIES: Ferrers LTC, Margaret Green, Malcolm Ward, Aub Draper


CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS – BS welcomed everyone to the meeting and expressed thanks to Abington for providing a fresh venue. He hoped it sent out a message to other clubs who had appropriate facilities . He reminded clubs they had a maximum of two votes if they had two members at the meeting.


MINUTES OF THE 2009 AGM – These were confirmed a true and accurate record (proposed by Patricia Kendall of County and seconded by Brian Perry of Kilsby).


MATTERS ARISING – BS provided an update on the LTA’s shift in the method used to charge affiliation fees. Club are now charged at a rate of £100 per court, up to a maximum of £1,200, with a 50 per cent discount for grass. However the fee was £200 for new clubs, irrespective of court number. There was an insistence most clubs would find this cheaper. Clubs with queries were asked to contact Neil Twitchett via Northants LTA (tel: 01604 647525). Major benefits of affiliation are Wimbledon tickets and insurance. On the latter, BS said he would never want to turn disaffiliated clubs away but would want assurances regarding insurance in case of injury.


PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS – In AD’s absence, BS reported on his behalf, having held a conversation with the President. He congratulated County on their ‘double treble’ of summer titles, as well as offering praise to LMRCA for recording 79 points out of 80 to win Ladies Division Three. Also Priors Marston in achieving promotion in their debut year with the League, in Mixed Division Three. On a personal note, BS extended praise to Rugby who finished runners-up in the Stevens Shield and the Ladies Mellor Cup, where they proved to have some very promising players, and the progress made by resurgent Duston United. There was an unhappy footnote, as the club had been broken into and the Prentice Salver stolen a fortnight after it had been awarded at the Dinner/Dance. BS passed on a debt of thanks to Ram Gallo for running the Mellor Cup which enjoyed a successful finals day in September. Thanks also expressed to Sylvia Dean (Mixed League), Colin Chapman (Men’s Winter League), Gill Smith (Men’s Winter and Veterans) and Tony Redden (Men’s Veterans) for all their work.

The League Dinner/Dance had been a great success again at the Marriott Hotel and thanks went to Rosemary Swallow and Sharon Constable for their help. BS touched on one of the summer’s few sour notes – the misleading result card forwarded by Northampton B which would lead to them starting 2011 on -8. Northampton chairman TG said the punishment was entirely appropriate. He could not condone the action.


SECRETARY’S REPORT – MB reported on the sad case of his own club the Old Northamptonians who would almost certainly fold, due to a dwindling number of members and lack of volunteers to run teams and organise. The ONs had always enjoyed links with Northampton School for Boys but the modern culture of 24/7 for all sports (ie: football, rugby and cricket on site) and changing social attitudes had moved the goalposts (or tram lines!). Points were raised as to whether this was an area in which the league could involve, but BS said he felt it was for individuals to have a freedom of choice, although there remained the possibility of a ‘nursery’ status to a bigger club. It also meant the loss of one of only two exclusively grass court clubs in Northampton. BS thanks MB for his work as secretary and publicity officer.


TREASURER’S REPORT – Increasing costs had led to the first rise in affiliation fees since 1990 although CG said that with modern living it was highly unlikely to be another 20 years before the next one. Total income had been £7,229 with expenditure £7,613.44, but included in this were two honorariums carried over. Costs had been reflected in a 20 per cent rise in payment to the County Engravers and the feasibility of giving just four individual trophies rather than six to team winners was mooted. BS thanked CG and League auditor Martin Wilson for their work. Adopted accounts were proposed by Denise Sayer (Wollaston) and seconded by David Barr (United).


MOTIONS FOR ALTERATIONS TO RULES – Two motions were put forward. The first, by Wollaston, related to Rule 8 where a club can have a maximum of three teams in a division. The motion proposed this be dropped as Wollaston had in the past been obliged to go up despite not being strong enough. Denise Sayer spoke for Wollaston, but BS pointed out clubs were no longer under pressure to be promoted and play out of their depth. There was an almost unanimous vote against the proposal. The second, put forward by Rushmere, proposed that players be tied to a higher team once they had played three matches up. This was passed by 17 votes to 13.


ELECTION OF OFFICERS -.The existing officers were all confirmed en bloc. Proposed: Graeme Baker (Rugby), seconded: Bob Griffith (Rushmere).


PUBLICITY/WEB SITE The IT expertise brought to the web-site by BT was praised and it was noted the usefulness of mixing this task with being Fixtures Secretary. Club secretaries were asked to support BT, providing accurate, up to date club details regarding team captains and directions to venues to be placed on site.


AOB– Graeme Baker of Rugby said one of his club’s ladies matches had not been re-arranged on the usual match night due to the inflexibility of the visitors. It was agreed there should be respect for a club’s chosen match night as long as three dates were offered. Iain Wetherell of Corby offered a ‘brainstorm’ idea of embracing technology and putting League events on the U-Tube. Jonathan Searle (County) agreed it would help give momentum which might impact on smaller clubs at a time of struggle.

* The meeting closed at 9.28pm.