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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday 1st April 2015

Minutes

Minutes of the previous annual general meeting were confirmed and signed, proposed by Mrs C Smith and seconded by Mrs I Gaten.

Matter Arising

None

Chairman’s report

The report that I made at the meeting held in October 2014 gave an account of our activities in 2014. Since then it has been fairly quiet and we have been able to press on with general maintenance on the estate. We are working on the renovation of the last two empty properties and when these are completed we hope to have a breathing space. For various reasons, the last few years has seen more properties becoming vacant than we can ever remember. The two houses on Keyham Lane that are being renovated at the moment require a lot of work to be done on them and we are pressing ahead with this as fast as possible. At the next quarterly meeting I would hope that I can report that we have no more empty properties. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

When properties becomes vacant and we survey them to see what work needs to be done. We are still coming across alterations that have been made without the committee’s permission and that do not comply with current planning regulations. I cannot emphasize how important it is to seek permission before any structural work is undertaken. Most other landlords regularly visit their properties to check. We really do not want to go down that route, but if tenants continue to do structural alterations without permission we might have to. When a house is re-let we have to make sure that the property complies with health and safety regulations. This not only includes the house but the garden as well. Sheds, garages and greenhouses that we consider to be unsafe have to be taken down. This also includes ponds which have to be filled in. Should the next tenant be a family with children it is important that we provide a safe environment.

The rent increase that came into effect last year enabled us to make a start on the repainting program that had been suspended for lack of funds in previous years and we hope to continue with this program in the current financial year. As I hope you will see when the auditor gives his report, that if we continue to prudently spend the money we have available we shall continue to thrive.

One problem that is giving us concern at the moment is condensation and black mould. We are trying to tackle this in various ways, by using insulated plaster board on the external walls of empty properties and also using a chemical which should remove and kill the mould. The way forward is a combination of these methods and maybe a slight change in lifestyle by the tenants who are affected. Increasing the ventilation and not having damp washing drying in the house will all help. We are monitoring the methods to see what gives the best results. What we do not want to do is to throw money at methods that do not work.

It is sad to report that our association with the Orpheans, who occupied our hall, has come to an end. The lease ran out and the Orpheans have vacated the hall. We have grave concerns about the safety of the hall and feel that we could not let it again until a full health and safety check has been carried out. When this has been done and any necessary work completed we shall consider the options available to us. No decisions have been made at the moment. May I again remind those shareholders who were temporarily removed from the housing list, that should they wish to be put back on, it is up to them to apply.

Can I thank all those who were nominated for the committee. As there were five nominations and only three vacancies, two of them will be disappointed. But do not despair, try again next year and you may well succeed. I always include in my report how important it is for the nominations to come in. It was nice to see that at the last meeting, we had more nominations than vacancies. I say to all shareholders that without people to serve on the committee we cannot survive. I cannot promise you a fun packed evening. I cannot promise you lots of money. I cannot even promise you a cup of tea most of the time. But I can promise you an interesting evening with like-minded people who care about this estate, its future and its people.

This concluded the chairman’s report.

Result of Ballot
The result was as follows
Miss A Benning 162
Mr M Carter 85
Miss L Johnson 79
Mrs L Osborne 174
Mrs P Smith 171

As there were three positions to fill, Miss Benning, Mrs Osborne and Mrs Smith were elected to the committee. Mr Gee thanked everyone who voted, and Mrs I Gaten and Mrs J Taylor for acting as scrutineers.

Auditor’s Report

Mr Mee began his report by saying that last year’s rent increase of £3.50 plus the rents on the newly let properties had brought in an extra £30,500. As you will see this has been reinvested in the properties. Management costs had dropped by £3,500, this was due to there being no wage increase and a £2,000 allowance given off the National Insurance contributions. This allowance will apply again this year.

The big area of expense was on repairs and the work required on the empty properties, this shows in the cost in building and roofing, skip hire, damp proofing and plastering. One occupied property also needed damp proofing.

The expenditure on windows and doors has gone back up due to those fitted at the beginning of the programme now need replacing again.

The central heating costs have now levelled out, now that the initial spend on repairs has been done. The painting programme was restarted and £10,000 was spent this year on one side of Fern Rise, funded by the increase in rent.

The cost of the empty properties is not only the work carried out, but the council tax and gas and electricity whilst they are empty. Council Tax has to be paid after the property has been empty for a month, this totalled £4,500.

As you can see £14,000 has been generated into the account to enable work to carry on this year. But because of the past years losses, we are still in the situation where we do not have to pay corporation tax.

Overall, the society is in a healthy position which enables the work that needs to be done on the estate.

Mrs J Goodwin proposed that the accounts were accepted as a true record, seconded by Mr R Parr.

Mrs J Goodwin proposed the re-election of Nixon Mee Limited as auditors for the coming year; this was seconded by Mr J Woolley.

Arbitrators

Not required

Remuneration of Committee

It was proposed by Mrs I Gaten that the committee fees remain the same at £3.00 per meeting; this was seconded by Mrs J Goodwin.

General Business

Mr T Smith asked if the committee had reduced the age from twenty five to be eligible for a house. Mr Gee said that after the last meeting it was discussed and the committee voted to keep it the same.

This concluded the business of the meeting and Mr Gee thanked everyone for their attendance before declaring the meeting closed at 7.18pm.

These minutes are the official record of what happened, and not a verbatim account.


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