AGM Minutes 11th July 2017




TUESDAY 11th July 2017, 7.30pm AT THE PLAYGROUP



Present:  Liz Bull, Cindy Coppen, Mandy Thomas, Deb Paul, Sharon Peer, Karen Jackson, Des Merrill, Ronnie Thornton, Diane Taylor, Phil Race, Catherine White, Faith Bickerdike, Michyla Castle, Poppy Walker and Natalie Follenfant.

1.      CHAIRMAN’S WELCOME: the Chairman thanked all those in attendance.

2.      APOLOGIES: Viv Cottam, Jane Murray and Toni Tompkins.

3.      APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS AGM HELD ON 13th July 2016: these were read out by Des Merrill. The minutes were agreed; no amendments were noted and were signed as a true record by the Chairman.


No matters arising.

5.      HOLDING TRUSTEES’ REPORT (attached):  this was read out by Diane Taylor, proposed by Mandy Thomas, seconded by Deb Paul and adopted.

  • Building maintenance is on-going and the building is now 14 years old.
  • Priority to window joinery, fascia boards, sensor lights and CCTV.

6.     MANAGER’S REPORT (attached):  this was read out by Liz Bull, Playgroup Manager, proposed by Sharon Peer, seconded by Ronnie Thornton and adopted.

  • Numbers are 34 for upcoming Autumn term with the trend for more hours and less children.
  • Children are coming from a wide area which shows that numbers have increased through word of mouth and returning families.
  • Plenty of new equipment has been purchased this year, since the Easter event, the raisin challenge and Trike ride were all successful and were well supported by staff, parents, Committee and the Trustees.


  •  Accounts up to 31st March 2017, show a profit of £14,538 mainly due to an 11% rise in income from fees and grants. This has contributed to a 9% increase in total income compared with last year.
  •   Expenditure on staff salaries has been contained this year and maintenance costs are down 50%. However, we must remember the age of the building, with repairs already on the roof for leaks and electrical repairs. We need to take into account there will be no income for the months of July and August.
  • Although child numbers are currently down to 34 against 43 for the same period last year, the number of sessions for these children is higher.
  •   The Treasurer thanked the staff for their continuing efforts over the year to achieve this profit and thanked Sharon Peer for all her support and reports produced throughout the year.
  • There is still £21K+ with Nationwide, in reserve for unforeseen closure costs and this needs to remain in place. Despite the substantial bank balance of £40314, attempting to gain interest elsewhere after opening a new account was deemed pointless and best course of action is to leave the money in place in case of increased building expenditure.
  • Poppy Walker raised a question on expenditure on education being significantly higher last year. This was down to staff training on the run up to the Ofsted inspection, plus most training such as First Aid is on-going.
  •  Deb Paul questioned why the expenditure on maintenance was so high last year, which was explained being down to flooring, toilets and glass.
  • Diane discussed the possibility of a sinking fund, namely for windows, CCTV, lights, and other maintenance repairs required next year.
  • The Treasurer agreed with Diane that despite the £21K in bonds with Nationwide, we do need to put money away where possible, in reserve for maintenance.
  • The Treasurer commended Sharon for saving £240 on rates, reducing the cost of cartridges for the printer and by the use of Gift Aid.
  • Compared with this time year, the Grant Income has had an extremely positive effect on figures.

The Treasurer’s Report was proposed by Liz Bull, seconded by Mandy Thomas and adopted.

8. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT (attached): the Chairman read his report for 2016 to 2017 (attached) and the report was proposed by Deb Paul and seconded by Liz Bull and the report adopted.

  • The Chairman discussed the number of difficult decisions which had been made last year to reduce costs and the deficit.
  • Fundraising has been essential in order to buy new educational equipment for the children.
  • The introduction of 30 hours grant funding due to be implemented from September means our hourly rate of grant funding will increase 50 pence per hour. The sessions for September are looking very positive despite the number of children currently being lower than last September.
  • The priority for the coming year is the staff salaries, following the pay freeze last year to reduce overall expenditure. Phil will be looking into reimbursing our dedicated staff by way of an increase in salary.
  • Next year the Chairman will stand down after 15 years and with the future looking positive for playgroup, it is hoped that a new Chair will come on board.

9.      RESIGNATION OF CURRENT COMMITTEE:  Catherine White resigned.


  1. CHAIRMAN:  Des Merrill was proposed as Chairman (and is prepared to stay 1 more year) everyone agreed and the proposal adopted.
  2. TREASURER: Phil Race was proposed as Treasurer, everyone agreed and the proposal adopted.
  3. SECRETARY:  Michyla Castle was proposed as Secretary, everyone agreed and the proposal adopted.

11.     NOMINATIONS AND ELECTION OF 1 NEW MEMBERS OF VOLUNTARY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE:  Poppy Walker is willing to stand as new member, in place of Catherine White. Jane Murray and Faith Bickerdike are happy to stay on as members of the Voluntary Management Committee, and the proposals were adopted.

12.    AOB: Facebook page place and website need altering as playgroup has been going for possibly 38 years now.

Meeting finished: 20.15