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2016 AGM Report (IGM as Charitable Incorporated Organisation)

Minutes of the inaugural AGM – Thursday 6th October 2016

Town Hall Redditch

1. Apologies and attendance – see attendance list at end of these minutes. Apologies had been received from: Jo Smith, John Clark, Linda Falla, Mark Pettifer, Jan Higgitt.

2. Items for Any Other Business – none notified

3. Organisation structure and status – Philip Roberts outlined the structure and organisation and status of the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) which was registered with the Charity Commission (CC) on the 17th August 2016. Copies of the ‘charitable purposes’ of the CIO were distributed, and PR explained that, following lengthy discussions with the CC, these were the purposes which best reflected our explanation of what we do, and what we aspire to do; these are now incorporated into our constitution, which would be posted on the website shortly.

PR emphasised that AIR is constituted as a member organisation, with members having voting rights, including the appointment and renewal of trustees. The initial trustees are: Malcolm Hall, Philip Roberts, Jo Smith and Huw Moseley.

It was also explained that Arts in Redditch and Redditch Arts Council had now merged, in accordance with the approval of both organisations in July 2015. AIR would now be responsible for administering the funds of RAC and the Redditch School of Art Trust (see Item 5 below).

4. (a) Chairman’s Report – Malcolm Hall, as Chairman of AIR and RAC, was delighted to see the two organisations merged. He went on to outline some of the activities undertaken by AIR during 2015/16, including two successful Pop-Up Galleries, Kingfisher Country Dance Club, which as well as the dancing itself, gives musicians the opportunity to play, and ‘callers’ to hone their skills. The establishment of the ‘Bertie Crewe Gallery’ at the Palace Theatre, was established to enhance the experience of visitors to the Palace, as well as showcasing local artists.

Malcolm commented on AIR’s role in introducing Indigo Arts to Ken Williams, Kingfisher Shopping Centre General Manager, which had culminated in the establishment of Indigo’s new base in the old offices below the Ecumenical Centre. This was an example of how AIR can connect key people in the town, for the benefit of the arts.

On the RAC side, funds had been made available to support various projects, including Indigo Arts’ Pop-Up Theatre, and the ‘Scour’ landscape exhibition, involving professional artists, exhibited at Forge Mill, in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, and currently at the palace Theatre.

Inclosing, Malcolm recorded his appreciation for the work done by Philip Roberts in applying for and securing AIR’s registration as a CIO, also to Sally Whytehead for her work as Treasurer of AIR,  RAC and Trustee of the School of Art Trust.

(b) Acting Treasurer’s Report – Malcolm explained that since Sally had stood down as Treasurer of AIR & RAC in the summer, he had been acting Treasurer. Accordingly, Malcolm distributed a summary of the 2015/16 accounts (copy attached to these minutes).

The summary shows that AIR made ‘operating surpluses’ on all its’ activities, which helped to increase funds carried forward to 2016/17 to £1,536.98. RAC had paid out grants of £1,200 during the year, leaving a balance of £2,073.89 carried forward to 2016/17. Thus, the combined funds of AIR, newly constituted, were £3,610.87.

Malcolm explained that the final meeting of RAC had agreed that the £1,000 should be set aside to provide small (£100) grants to support new arts initiatives. Surplus funds generated with AIR activities can provide further grants, and we have the opportunity to bid for further funding to increase the ‘pot’ of available monies.

AT this pointed Anne Bradford referred to £500 of funds retained by ‘FLAIR’, an historic arts initiative, which could be made available to AIR. Also, Helen Tyrell suggested that funds held by the now the defunct Redditch Music Society might also be available. It was agreed that Huw Mosely would follow up both these possibilities.

5. Grants regime and Grants panel – So that AIR could continue – and increase – the work of RAC as a grant-giving body, it was important to re-establish a ‘grants panel’, together with new criteria, guidance and application forms. Members of that panel would need to be members of AIR (but not necessarily trustees), and would be responsible for allocating former RAC funds, SoAT funds, and any new funds becoming available.

Malcolm wanted the panel to actually meet whenever possible, rather than conduct business by e-mail. It was agreed that Malcolm would contact all past panel members to see if they wished to serve.

6. Membership scheme – Philip outlined the new membership scheme for AIR, which would have 3 classes of membership: ‘Corporate’ – for arts organisations, annual membership fee £12; Individual, annual membership fee £6, and Friends, non-voting members who would simply be on AIR’s mailing list, free of charge. Memberships would run for 12 months from the date of joining, although people could be encouraged to join for longer periods (at a discount?). There was some discussion about payments methods; BACS might be the best method initially, Standing Order/Direct Debit would also be helpful, but Steve Pound also suggested Paypal. It was noted that RYCE already use Paypal (which offers discounts for charities) so it was agreed that AIR would discuss this with them.

In terms of membership benefits, the key point is that it provides AIR with an income stream (some of which can be used for grants) helping to fund its’ activities, such as funding & advice workshops, and gives members a key role in the direction of the organisation.

7. Steering Committee membership and future trustees – Malcolm emphasised that the four current trustees don’t have the capacity – nor indeed the full range of skills – required to take the organisation forward. The steering committee (currently comprising the 4 trustees) needed to be augmented in the following key areas:

  Treasurer/finance – an urgent priority

  Membership Secretary – ditto

  Marketing and PR – mostly done by Philip currently

  Website and social media development

AIR need enthusiastic people, committed to the aims of AIR, willing initially to undertake the work noted above, with a view to potentially becoming trustees.

The steering group currently meets on the last Monday morning in the month (the date that suits current steering group members), although that could be changed if necessary.

Steve Pound pointed out that, as a graphic designer, he had undertaken a lot of web design work, and could assist in this area, subject to his work commitments. He had done the Headless Cross Community Orchard website (see: He suggested that we might find Wordpress a more suitable platform for our site. Malcolm was concerned about changing platforms, but recognised that we need a set up that allowed more than one person (currently himself) to make changes to the site.

One option might be to secure a grant for professional development of the website.

8. Priorities for Year 1 – 2016/17 – Philip stated that AIR had not established a set of firm priorities for the current year, since these would be driven by the views of the membership. Apart from administrative tasks, such as sorting out multiple bank accounts and setting up the membership scheme, the steering group hadn’t established a clear ‘work plan’.

In the ensuing discussion, a number of suggestions were put forward:

  Networking events for  members/prospective members – this had come up previously, in the form of an ‘Art Café’ suggested by Jan Higgitt. Various venues could be used, but they need to be accessible and available after hours.

  Heidi Nixon raised the issue of engagement with schools, and the difficulties of getting schools to participate in collaborative arts projects. Malcolm mentioned that hitherto, we hadn’t specifically involved children in AIR events, because it added an extra layer of complication. However, our remit embraces all communities, and AIR ought to be involved in projects which engaged children and young people. One way of doing this would be to base an event on an anniversary or theme (e.g. WWI).

  Website and social media development should be a priority, since these were the key ways of engaging with members, supporters, and the wider public, and fulfilling our charitable purposes.

9. Any other business – Malcolm noted that the signatories to the various bank accounts needed to be changed, initially removing Sally and adding Philip. The Treasurer could be added later.

10. Date of AGM 2017 – 5th October 2017

Attendance List:

Malcolm Hall – Trustee and Chairman of AIR

Philip Roberts – Trustee and Secretary of AIR

Huw Moseley – Trustee and RBC Arts Development Officer

Nikki Farmer – Artist

Anne Bradford – Hunt End Books

Sally Whytehead – former AIR & RAC Treasurer, Make & Play Dulcimers

Steve Pound, Artist & Headless Cross Community Orchard

Heidi Nixon – Severn Arts (formerly Worcestershire Youth Music)

Helen Tyrrell – Redditch Choral Society

2015 AGM report At our Annual General Meeting on 22nd July it was agreed that the two organisations, Arts in Redditch Network and Redditch Arts Council will be merged into one organisation.  The name of the new organisation will be Arts in Redditch.

It was also agreed at the meeting that the new organisation will seek to become an Association model Charitable Incorporated Organisation.  The transition process will begin with immediate effect but may take three months or more.  In the meantime both organisations will continue to operate as before with the same officers and roles.

The new constitution will have the following objects if approved by the Charities Commission

 (1)  To advance the education of the public in the subject of the arts for the benefit of the residents of Redditch and the surrounding area.

 (2)  For the benefit of the residents of Redditch and the surrounding area, to promote, provide or assist in the provision of facilities for arts related recreation or other leisure time occupation of individuals who have need of such facilities by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disablement, financial hardship or social and economic circumstances or for the public at large in the interests of social welfare and with the object of improving the condition of life of said beneficiaries;

(3)     To further the above objects by any means the trustees see fit, but in particular through the provision of facilities, information, advice, guidance and support, and the making of grants and donations.  To advance the education of the public in the subject of the arts;

The constitution will stipulate that there will be up to nine trustees, elected from members annually by thirds (three trustees to be elected or re-elected per year)

It was also agreed that the initial membership fee would be £6 pa for individuals and £12 pa for affiliated societies or organisations.  Those organisations will be able to nominate one voting member.

It is important to note that the grant-giving function of Redditch Arts Council will continue as long as there are funds for distribution.  This  will be carried out by an independent sub-group.