Mrs Benning took the chair; all committee members were present, with a further 22 society members in attendance.
Minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed and signed. Proposed by Mr S Oliver and seconded by Mr E Gaten.
It was proposed by Mr S Oliver that minutes of the shareholders meetings are sent out with the agenda for the forthcoming meeting, seconded by Mr M Osborne. The majority of those present were in agreement.
Mrs Benning began her report by informing the meeting that most of the allotments plots had now been taken, but if any tenant wanted one, their name could be put on the list. There are still three empty houses and we are aware that there are another three due to be handed in soon. Due to the economic climate people are not able to take up the offer of a house if they have a property to sell, so those people are reluctantly turning them down and it is proving a slow process in letting the properties.
Finances are quite tight at the moment and we may have to borrow from our savings account.
We have now employed a new maintenance man full time. By doing this we hope that we can cut back on outside contractors.
Sent out with October’s Agenda was paperwork relating to Data Protection. Previously shareholders have been able to read the minutes of committee meetings, these may contain personal information and could contravene the Date Protection Act. So therefore in the future, if there is a particular item that a shareholder wishes to read, arrangements will have to be made with the secretary prior to viewing them. Mrs Benning went on to remind tenants that their contents insurance should cover accidental damage to windows; this is usually under “Tenants Indemnity” in their insurance policy. Anchor Tenants insurance will cover malicious damage if there is a crime number issued.
Lastly Mick Woods is retiring at Christmas after twenty five years of dedicated service to the estate. There will be a card at the estate office should anyone wish to sign it This concluded the chairman’s report.
Mrs Benning informed the meeting that the auditors Godkin & Co had ceased trading. Mr Ross Mee has now formed a new company along with some of his former colleagues called Nixon Mee Ltd. The committee are recommending that Nixon Mee Ltd act as our auditors; this was proposed by Mr R Parr and seconded by Mrs J Bradshaw.
Nominations are Mrs J Benning, Mr A Ridgway and Mr M Carter. As there are two vacancies and three nominations a vote will be required, Mrs P Smith and Mr E Gaten volunteered to act as scrutineers.
Mrs I Gaten asked if the estate was giving Mr Woods a retirement gift, or whether a collection was going to be made. Mrs Benning said that it had not been decided on what to do to mark his retirement; she went on to say that he had been presented with a silver trowel on his sixty fifth birthday. The committee would welcome any suggestions anyone might have.
Mr R Parr asked if the estate was any nearer fitting the new doors on Lilac Avenue. Mrs Benning said that the replacement of doors had been put on hold, as the money had to be spent on the empty properties, as we need to get them let as soon as we can, to generate more revenue. She went on to apologise to anyone waiting for a new door and said that they will be replaced as soon as funds allow.
Mrs P Smith asked if one quarterly meeting was sufficient, Mrs Benning said that this had been put to the shareholders, and they had agreed at the time, but if it is felt that it is not working then we can go back to having more. She then went on to ask for a show of hands, there were 8 in favour and 13 against having another meeting during the year.
Mr Pawson suggested a tenants meeting, Mr J Willmin said that this could be more informal. A discussion then took place, as several shareholders expressed their support for this it was agreed that this is given some consideration.
Mr C Smith then said that it would be beneficial for the Chairman’s Report to be published with the agenda. Mrs Benning said that the report is usually done at the last minute to include up to date items, but it is something that could be considered.
Mrs Cook asked if there was a ruling regarding lodgers. Mrs Benning said that sub letting was not allowed but tenants can take in a lodger.
Mrs J Goodwin said she would like to thank Mrs I Gaten for taking over the gardening, several members then commented on how nice the area was looking around the estate office.
This concluded the business of the meeting and Mrs Benning thanked members for their attendance, before declaring the meeting closed at 7.45pm.